My friend, who happens to be on Sprint, was looking for a new phone and asked me for a recommendation. Being in love with my Windows Phone, I of course recommended a similar device and offered to let her play with mine to see what she thought. She loved it! So we went to the Sprint store to get her one.
Sprint only sells one Windows Phone device, the HTC Arrive. I’m not a huge fan of this particular device, especially when stacked up against the array of Android devices in the store. However, I’m a big believer in usability over reasonably superior hardware, and since she’s not the most tech-savvy person who doesn’t want to spend too much time with learning curves(the phone she’s replacing is not a smartphone) I don’t feel that Android is for her. Android is great for people who know what they’re doing and/or have the time to learn and take full advantage of their device. She, however is not one of those people.
My problem arises when I notice the price tag on the Arrive, a whopping $200 with a 2 year service contract!!! Are you joking Sprint? This is a year old device and you’re still asking $200 for it? The, just released, 16GB iPhone 4S is priced at the exact same price! The top of the line Android smartphones are all priced no higher then $200, so what is the year old Arrive doing at that same price point? How can I recommend an almost obsolete device for the price of a new high-end one? Look at AT&T and T-Mobile, T-Mobile’s HD7 brand new Radar 4G are both priced at $100, AT&T has dropped the price of the Focus to just $50 and the HD7 to $100, all of which I think are better than the Arrive in terms of build quality and/or screen size/quality.
So here’s my problem, I’ve all but sold my friend on a Windows Phone. Would’ve been able to get Sprint’s customer to renew their contract (something Sprint needs judging by their recent quarterly earnings report) and a new Windows Phone user (something Microsoft needs more of). But can I seal the deal? Nope. Because I cannot honestly recommend a year old device for $200. That’s just silly. So either she’s got to switch carriers to get a decent price on the UX she likes, or take a UX that she wont like as much and stay with Sprint. Most likely she will just stay with Sprint and get an iPhone, which is probably why Sprint doesn’t care about lowering the price.