Last week, sensitive information was leaked from a Three meeting and published on the internet. The information looks like slides from a presentation showing the roadmap and line-up of handsets Three is getting over the next four to five months.
The slides feature images and text of the as yet unannounced Samsung Galaxy S II Mini - it looks like a smaller version of the upcoming Galaxy S II, which also featured on the list.
And this was just the start. Other handsets featured in the leaked document include: the LG Optimus 3D – LG’s first 3D phone; the Nokia X7 - with a June release date; the HTC Flyer (HTC’s first Tablet); and the Wi-Fi only Blackberry Playbook - which was also shown to have a UK release in June on the network. Other handsets included: the Samsung Galaxy Pro; Sony Ericsson Xperia Play; Sony Ericsson Arc; HTC Wildfire S; HTC Cha Cha; Nokia E7; and HTC Desire S.
If this Spring and Summer line-up is correct then it's both comprehensive and exciting. Store staff agree. One 3Store assistant store manager said: ‘I am really looking forward to getting all these handsets, as I think the range is spot on, it’s a real credit to our handset team. If I was to buy one, I would buy the HTC Cha Cha, QWERTY keyboard – with HTC design, you can’t go wrong.’
She is also excited about the tablets. She says: ‘The Blackberry playbook will do really well as it’s a real alternative to the iPad - it’s about time we got a business tablet.’
The store manager, adds that ‘the LG Optimus 3D looks pretty cool, I’m looking forward to demoing and selling that one’.
Other members of staff in the store share his views on the leaked line-up. However one Three staffer isn't looking forward to getting the Nokia X7 or the E7. He says: ‘Nokia have had their time. The problem is the touch screen is not as good as HTC’s when you compare them – but customers still love the Nokia brand.’
He then adds: ‘Some people just love Nokia no matter how bad the product is.’
He believes that other handsets will do better due to customer demand - such as the HTC Cha Cha ‘I’m glad we are getting this one, a lot of people have been asking us for an Android QWERTY phone – if we got this it would sell like hot cakes,’ he says.
Meanwhile, another member of staff was keen to tell me that ‘I’m over Nokia, they are too old school, I just don’t know what they bring to the table anymore – are they even still in the game?’ Leigh adds: ‘I hope we get to sell the HTC Flyer tablet - you know if HTC make a tablet, it’s going to be good.’
It looks like there are clear winners and losers of what will sell and what the customers are asking for.
However, a spokesperson for Three, says: 'This was not our roadmap, it was an internal presentation and all handsets featured in the document are subject to change as we continue to improve our handset range’
And let's face it, in the past, Three has never been known for putting together a great handset portfolio. That has changed since the network launched its ‘One Plan’ and became the only operator to offer unlimited data.
In fact, as Three strives to double its customer base using the attraction of smartphones with unlimited data usage as leverage, the network appears to have really stepped up its game.
So, if this is the line-up, it's a nice mix of business and pleasure – and quite possibly the best collection of handsets that Three has ever put together.
It certainly looks like it’s going to be a good spring and summer for Three.