Hurum-hum, as Treebeard would say. At the beginning of the year, Sprint ho-hummed about Windows Phone:
We have a Windows device in our lineup, but honestly, it hasn’t done well enough for us to jump back into the fire. We told Microsoft: You guys have to go build the enthusiasm for the product. We’ll train our reps on why it’s great…[but] the number-one reason the product was returned was the user experience.”.
“We want to participate in the market, but we can’t build that brand by ourself,” Sprint director of product development Lois Fagan pitched in. “We’re cautiously optimistic, but [Windows Phone] just hasn’t taken off.”
Google’s Android OS and Apple’s iOS may have the market locked down, Owens mused.
“There’s a tremendous market momentum that Apple has…and I think Ice Cream Sandwich, and what Android’s doing, will continue to have momentum. It squeezes down to such a small subset what’s left,” he said.
Now, the only phone they were carrying was the HTC Arrive, a chunky, 3.6” screen, 3G only, QWERTY monstrosity. The Titan it wasn’t. They dropped it in August, despite its having very good reviews on their website, for “too many returns.”
In September, a Sprint training memo added this:
Right now there’s buzz about this platform, which includes PCs, tablets, and a Windows 8 phone. Currently, we’re evaluating this new OS and working with Microsoft on potential opportunities. However, we have no announcements regarding Windows 8 devices at this time.
Another less than enthusiastic position.
A quick look at sprint.com shows that they DO have one lonely Windows device, under “International”: the Motorola ES400S, at $549.99 on a 2-year contract and running WINDOWS MOBILE 6.5. Yeah, you read that right: WINDOWS MOBILE. *facepalm*
Well, today, Ting, a carrier that leases frequencies from Sprint, let this little cat out of the bag:
We’re looking ahead to the device lineup for the first half of 2013. We’ll be adding a Windows Phone device running the latest version of the mobile OS within this time. Worst case scenario for Windows Phone on Ting: We’ll have the latest WP device sixty days after Sprint begins offering it. Best case: We’ll have it at the same time as it becomes available in Sprint’s lineup.
Ho-ho! This is interesting. Is Ting saying that they know Sprint will be carrying a WP device? Or is this just hopeful thinking? Hedging their bets? Hoping to force Sprint’s hand?
They also had this to say about the iPhone:
If didn’t make reference to the iPhone, the first comment on this device update would be asking about the iPhone. You know it and we know it.
We continue to make slow progress on the iPhone front. In this, the last quarter of the year, new partnerships are a low priority for Apple. Understandable given that they want to focus on the busy holiday sales period.
We do expect that next year, some form of iOS device will be usable on Ting. Alas, whether that’s the earlier or the latter half of the year we cannot yet say. Likewise, whether that means an other-than-the-latest iPhone becomes eligible for BYOD or whether we’ll be selling the iPhone directly (or both) is unclear. As always, we’re eager to share news as it becomes available… but we’re not interested in creating false hope. As we know more, you’ll know more.
Windows Phone on Sprint, I like their attitude!
Sources: Windows Gadget News, WPCentral, Ting
Windows Phone on Sprint