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Quick Hits: iPhone Technology Lifted Once Again

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Sprint dumps money into cheap imitation.

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Sprint Nextel (S) can't turn a profit or retain a customer, yet the troubled wireless carrier still managed to approve a $150 million ad campaign to promote another cheap knockoff of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone.

The expenditure, five times the normal cost for a product introduction, is a last-ditch attempt at relevance in a market increasingly dominated by AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ).

The Instinct, made by electronics manufacturer Samsung, is billed as the fastest touch screen phone on the market and contains a Global Positioning System chip to support mapping applications. However, the snazzy pinching and zooming features unique to the iPhone won't work on The Instinct; it's just one finger at a time on this copycat.

I wonder if Sprint's executives see the irony in their grand turnaround scheme hinging on shoddy larceny of a competitor's technology. But it's pretty clear that abject failures in corporate America are rewarded by lavish pay packages and government bailouts. Why bother with originality when you can steal it?

For more on smart phone addition, check out Hoofy & Boo's always astute report.

No positions in stocks mentioned.

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