According to a brief report that just went live at Reuters, Sprint is "merging its sales and marketing operations for its business and consumer operations in a streamlining that includes the departure of four top executives." Reportedly, that news was delivered by none other than CEO Dan Hesse himself, who has been in the news a fair amount since 2012 began. Reportedly, the carrier is aiming to "gain efficiencies" in a market where hordes of customers snap up services as individuals, but actually use services tied to "employer-related contractual discounts." Hesse's exact words? "As the wireless market has evolved, the lines between consumers and businesses have blurred." Evidently, they've blurred enough to oust four unnamed bigwigs, too.

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Seriously, what will these marketing gurus think up next? As if banner ads and pop-ups weren't enough to draw our attention to whatever product a given company is attempting to sell, Dockers has reportedly whipped up the world's first motion-sensitive ad for Apple's iPhone. The so-called "shakable" ad (dubbed Shakedown 2 Get Down), which is "available" in a number of popular iPhone apps (iBasketball, iGolf, iBowl and iTV just to name a few) takes advantage of the built-in accelerometer and gives iPhone owners the ability to believe they're playing a game while they're subliminally being talked into buying a new pair of pants. We're hesitant to even speak it, but we get the feeling that Dockers and partner OMD have just created a monster here.

[Via AdAge]

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Just in case you haven't learned enough about the forthcoming Samsung Instinct from our hands-on gallery / UI video walkthrough, Sammy has launched a promotional website designed to give you the skinny. Within the site, you can peer at a handful of press shots, get schooled on all of its features and sign up to be notified when it's ready for your hands to be wrapped around it. Nothing too exciting, but those with the Instinct high on their list of next mobile to own will surely find it worth the click over.

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Where we come from, we were raised to believe that WAP-based content is intended to be simple, straight to the point, and free from distraction. After all, depending on the handset, you could be dealing with a bare minimum of screen real estate -- not to mention slow connections (in some areas, anyway) and impatient users. Be that as it may, Verizon Wireless is looking to imbue its walled garden of news, weather, and sports content with banner ads (can they really be called "banner" ads on screens that small?) starting early next year. To be fair, Verizon's fully aware of the revenue boon they could be looking at here, but its VP of marketing and digital media says "we likely will not - we want to take it carefully and methodically, and enable the right experience." Famous last words, Verizon; famous last words indeed. We'll be counting on you to set the right tone for industry moderation on this one.

[Thanks, srizah]

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Softbank -- the folks who could be (but probably aren't) in cahoots with Apple -- is pulling out all the stops to lure customers away from those larger carriers in Japan. Soon after "vowing" to undercut any prices offered by rival firms NTT DoCoMo and KDDI, the little guy has now gone one step further by offering free handsets at the point of sale. Of course, there's always a catch, and customers looking at high-end phones will be faced with "a monthly fee" for the luxury of toting the latest and greatest, and will also be forced to sign a "one or two year" contract. But before you get too down on your luck, Softbank estimated that a "digital TV phone" would only run customers about ¥390 ($3.30) per month, which seems awfully cheap when Verizon somehow charges even more to automatically restore your contact list.

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