Exclusive: Windows Phone 8 Coming to Sprint in 2013
Windows Phone 8 is hitting three of the four big carriers in the U.S. this year, with Nokia and HTC phones coming to AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. But Sprint is sitting out the 2012 season, waiting to introduce Windows Phones in 2013.
“Sprint and Microsoft are partnering to bring Windows Phone 8 to Sprint’s customers – operating on its 4G LTE network – next year,” the company said in an emailed statement.
The nation’s third-largest carrier, which is in the midst of being acquired by Japan’s Softbank, has had mixed experiences with Windows Phone. Its single Windows Phone 7 handset, the HTC Arrive, had lackluster sales, Sprint’s director of consumer acquisition, David Owens, said at CES last January.
In May, Owens said he was “bullish” on Windows Phone 8. But apparently he wasn’t quite bullish enough to slate it for the 2012 holiday season.
AT&T appears to be Windows Phone’s premier partner, with the first review units of the Nokia Lumia 920, Lumia 820 and HTC 8X appearing on that carrier. Verizon plans to carry three Windows phones (the 8X, the Nokia Lumia 822, and the Samsung Ativ Odyssey) and T-Mobile will run the 8X and the Nokia Lumia 810.
Sprint may not have Windows Phone 8 in its lineup, but it’s keeping up with top handsets on other platforms. The carrier recently introduced Samsung’s popular Galaxy Note II phablet and the quad-core LG Optimus G Android phone, and it was a full partner in Apple’s iPhone 5 launch.
And while Sprint is behind rivals AT&T and Verizon when it comes to rolling out LTE, it recently did a deal with U.S. Cellular to beef up its potential LTE coverage in Chicago, St. Louis, and parts of the Midwest.
By Sascha Segan, PCMag