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Smith Micro Wins Macro Sprint Deal

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
3/27/2007

Wireless multimedia software vendor Smith Micro Software Inc. (Nasdaq: SMSI) has landed a major OEM deal with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), the companies announced Monday. Light Reading reported that a deal was pending in a story published March 9. (See Smith Micro to Sprint.)



As part of the OEM deal, Sprint will distribute Smith Micro's Quicklink software renamed as the Sprint Music Manager. The software manages multimedia files, and allows users to port music and other files from their PCs to their mobile phones via USB cable.

The deal is a big step forward for Smith Micro. News of the Sprint contract sent Smith Micro stock up from its $16 price on Monday. The stock was up $0.89 (4.90%) to $19.04 at midday on Tuesday. "Clearly this was a major step for us and a major validation of our technology," Smith Micro founder and CEO Bill Smith told Light Reading Tuesday. Smith declined to put a dollar amount on the Sprint deal.

"We can now say that two of the three largest carriers in North America have decided on Smith Micro for their multimedia needs," Smith says.

Verizon Wireless last November implemented an earlier version of the Smith software that focuses only on music. The latest version of the Smith product, the version Sprint will use, includes photo and video support. That could give Sprint a leg up on Verizon in the mobile media business. (See Sprint: Profits Up, Subs Stall.)

Smith declined to say if Verizon might be inclined to upgrade to Smith Micro's newest software to keep parity with Sprint.

The other major North American wireless provider, AT&T's Cingular Wireless , said earlier this year it will distribute the new Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone, which uses a version of Apple's iTunes for multimedia management. (See Cingular: The iPhone Price Is Right .)

Alisa Viejo, Calif.–based Smith Micro sells various wireless compression and connectivity products, but its main business has become its Quicklink product. The company entered the wireless music software business in late 2005, and the move bore fruit almost immediately the next year.

Smith Micro says in SEC filings that its wireless music product group was its biggest seller during 2006. Smith reported revenues of $54.5 million for 2006, a 170 percent increase from its 2005 revenues of $20.3 million.

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

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