Since returning to the Mac world some 18 months ago I've had what I would call overall a more than happy experience with Apple, other than their going into denial mode about the Sudden Shutdown Syndrome my black MacBook experienced this past summer.
Basically, as a regular customer Apple has kept me totally informed about new services as they release them. Most recently, they sent me an email that took me to a web page to announce the new advancements to MacMail, a service of .Mac.
While I don't profess to use my .Mac account that much for email, it does work very well and without much fuss. Beyond that though Apple has consistently made it easy for me to know what's live. Granted the rumor mill certainly tips me off to what may be coming, but as a customer I'm feeling rather well informed when they roll out something that would be of benefit to me and others like me.
Now compare this to Sprint. Recently they introduced EvDO Rev. A in San Diego. As a resident of San Diego county and a Sprint Wireless Data customer (two plans, one PDA and one EvDO card) it would have made sense to be told of the deployment and how to upgrade.
Unfortunately, unlike Apple's customer centric marketing, Sprint didn't do any outreach. This approach mirrors their method of notifying customers of lower prices for service plans for data. They don't.
In an era when wireless data could be a growing category the carriers can't get out of their own way when it comes to marketing. They have the blind staggers and behave like coupon clipping lottery winners instead of having fire in their belly to sell more.