sprint

Ting is a wireless service provider here in the United States. Ting doesn’t subsidize the cost of smartphones and does that in order to avoid contracts for consumers. They operate their services via Sprint’s CDMA 3G, 4G, WiMAX and 4G LTE network. It looks like Ting is getting ready to jump on the Windows phone bandwagon according to a recent blog post and in doing so outs the HTC “Tiara” and another Samsung device. We last heard from Ting about a month ago where they reassured their support of Windows Phone.

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Some good news on a Friday for the 5 of you Sprint customers still rocking a Windows Phone 7.x device. We’ve known for sure since early January that you’d be getting some Windows Phone 8 handsets around summer time. One from Samsung and the other from HTC – the Tiara and Ativ S. One of those devices looks like it’s spent some time with our friends at the FCC. Is Sprint about to get some Windows Phone 8 love?

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We sympathize with you Windows Phone fans on Sprint. Here we are, it’s almost April 2013 and you’ve only had one device available since Windows Phone debuted back in October 2010. The HTC 7 Pro (Arrive) was a nice phone to start you out, but it’s time for something new. You already know that HTC and Samsung will be the OEMs making your devices when you get them early summer. But now we have a better idea about those devices – The HTC ‘Tiara’ and Samsung Ativ S.

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Sprint has already announced that the mobile operator will be releasing Windows Phones later this year, and now the company has launched a landing page on its website for Windows Phone 8. It's a sign of what's to come, confirming that a "pair of Windows Phones" will launch by summer 2013.

Which devices will be sported by the operator? We're not too sure. Consumers could be looking at anything from the ATIV S to the Lumia 520, or even a re-branded 8X.

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While Sprint has announced they would be adding two Windows Phone 8 devices to their lineup this summer, they were rather vague as to which Windows Phones. Sprint did say HTC and Samsung would be the manufacturers but could it be the HTC 8X and Samsung ATIV S?

Today at CES 2013 Sprint tried to shed a little light on the subject but left us with more questions than answers. Ryan Sullivan, Sprint's Director of Device Delivery, said that the wireless provider will introduce "current" Windows Phone 8 devices. Okay, so what does current mean?

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Over two years ago Sprint and Verizon were absent at the Windows Phone 7 launch. Since then the Windows Phone story hasn’t been too positive for folks of the red and yellow carriers hoping to get in on some Live Tile action. Since then Microsoft has had two major OS launches, the first for Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) and the most recent for Windows Phone 8. While Verizon customers didn’t get any new hardware with Mango, they did pick up a handful of devices for Windows Phone 8. That means Sprint has been without any new Windows Phone hardware since they launched the HTC Arrive back in March 2011. Looks like Sprint is about to jump back into the game.

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Sprint has finally confirmed what we already kind of knew for a while now: They will be hopping on the the Windows Phone 8 bandwagon. In an emailed statement to PCMag, the company said that it's cold feet have warmed up and that they will bring Windows Phone 8 on board in 2013:

"Sprint and Microsoft are partnering to bring Windows Phone 8 to Sprint's customers - operating on its 4G LTE network - next year."

There had been inklings that this may happen, like Ting, a Sprint network reseller blogging that it would support the latest version of Windows Phone "sixty days after Sprint has it," but there was plenty of reason to wonder as well. Not only did Sprint kill off it's poorly-selling, yet highly-acclaimed HTC Arrive, but they also put out an internal document stating that there were no Windows Phone 8 devices slated to offered any time soon.

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Controlling interest in Sprint Nextel has been purchased for $20.1 Billion by the Japanese mobile operator, Softbank. The announcement came today at a Tokyo press conference and represents the largest overseas acquisition by a Japanese firm.

Softbank will invest $20.1 billion into Sprint with $12.1 billion to be distributed to Sprint Stockholders and $8 billion of new capital to strengthen Sprint's balance sheet and fund efforts to expand Sprint's network reach.

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Ting, a US-based MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator - similar to Giffgaff in the UK), makes use of Sprint's network to offer their service to consumers. The company is working closely with Sprint to allow customers from the popular US carrier to move over to Ting with its BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). It has been rather quiet with Windows Phone, until now.

It seems both companies will be stocking Windows Phones. We're not sure if it was intentional, but Ting has revealed plans for (or the view to) both itself and Spring to support Windows Phone in the future.

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Good night, sweet prince: HTC Arrrive 2011-2012

We reported a few weeks ago that Sprint threw down the flag on the venerable HTC Arrive, giving the device end-of-life (EOL) status.  Now tonight, we can sadly report that Sprint has all but wiped the device from its online site, making the Arrive officially a has-been. Store availability is expected to be very limited with only replacement devices available for order.

Launched in March 2011 the Arrive was Sprint’s only Windows Phone offered on the CDMA network and the only other Windows Phone with a horizontal physical keyboard (the other being the LG Quantum), carving itself a nice little niche for itself. Though slightly bulky with an underwhelming LCD screen (as was common with Gen 1 devices), the phone has a loyal following and some of the highest satisfaction ratings from customers...

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Going, going, going... ah hello, Apollo!

Sprint is slowing phasing out the much loved HTC Arrive, according to Windows Phone Central forum member iknowsingh. Travelling down to the Sprint corporate store on 42nd street in New York, iknowsingh notes that the Arrive was nowhere to be seen. Confirmation came in that it was also not present at three local Sprint authorised retailers with no Arrives in stock.

A representative was able to explain that the HTC Arrive was listed as EOL after the last price change and software update. The device is still listed in the system and on the carrier website, where it can be picked up for just $49.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate.

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With AT&T, T-Mobile and even Verizon reportedly on board with Windows Phone 8, Sprint is the last holdout for a major US carrier in supporting Windows Phone 8. While some of our readers erroneously entertain notions that the carrier will embrace Microsoft’s next iteration of their OS, we’ve been very cautious in agreeing.

In a recent interview on All-Things D, Sprint VP David Owens is once again pouring some cold water on customer’s hopes for a big Windows Phone 8 push this fall. The carrier has 90% of their late 2012-2013 lineup already in place but what role Microsoft will play in that in unclear.

Speaking to Ina Fried, Owens notes that they are interested in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 but they may not be the leader this fall...

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The highest rated phone on Sprint is...

The HTC Arrive, one of our trusty go to devices on Windows Phone especially for you physical-keyboard lovers, never got too popular despite its uniqueness. The phone is a bit thick and sort of lacks that ‘sex appeal’ that Nokia or Apple bring to the market yet it’s still a darn good device despite its age and lack of updates.

Looking over Sprint’s customer ratings though, the device comes out on top with 89% of customers recommending the phone (from 402 reviews). Here’s how the Arrive ranks compared to the competition...

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Chris Weber, president of Nokia’s North America unit, is at it again, teasing us with the possibility of seeing Nokia Windows Phone devices on all of the major carriers across North America.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Weber reiterated comments that he made back in January, when he said that the key to Nokia's comeback would be offering "unique propositions" to each carrier so they can set their phones apart from the iPhones and Androids of the world. Weber shared,

“We’re back in the U.S., we’re back in Canada -- it’s exciting, but there’s more work to do.”

Nokia's partnership with AT&T has been hugely successful for the Lumia 900, and others to a lesser extent. The Lumia 710 is on T-Mobile now, but it is rumored that a Lumia 910, a slightly-modified version of the 900 with a 12MP camera, is headed there as well. Verizon Wireless is also rumored to be getting a Nokia handset as well.

While Weber's words of building special relationships with different carriers are certainly encouraging, these deals still need to come to fruition, so temper your expectations. While Weber didn't get into any specifics on what work is to be done, don't expect to see any carrier get some completely new and different device that nobody else has.

Heck, we'd be happy enough just to see Verizon and Sprint step up and get any Nokia phones at all.

Source: Bloomberg

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When it comes to Windows Phone, we've been pretty hard on Sprint in the past, and rightfully so. After testing the waters with the first-generation WP7 HTC Arrive, they have been a non-player, even going so far as to make the Arrive the poster child for their buyback program. Well, we could possibly be seeing that stubbornness come to an end with the imminent arrival of Windows Phone 8 (Apollo) later this year. Speaking at CTIA, the carrier's director of consumer acquisition, David Owens, said that he's "still bullish on Apollo." 

This is the same man, mind you, who said back in January:

"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."

Microsoft certainly paid heed to his word, setting off on a monstrous advertising campaign with the help of its partners, like Nokia and AT&T. Since then, we've seen huge demand for other Windows Phone handsets, like the Nokia Lumia 900. Perhaps the shifting momentum has changed Owens' mind. Or perhaps he has caught a glimpse of Mango's successor, Apollo, and liked what he saw. Owens failed to elaborate on his comment, so we'll just have to wait and see.  However, it gives us some hope that we could see an Apollo device or two in Sprint's Fall lineup.

Source: PCMag; Thanks for the tip, Vallos!

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Is this Sprint's LG Windows Phone?

This isn't the first time we've seen the LG Windows Phone LS831.  It's appeared on WP Bench and we first caught wind of the device being at the FCC back in October 2011 but only had the FCC ID label to show for it.  There's even some speculation this is the LG Fantasy.  Now we have pictures (doesn't look like the leaked pics of the Fantasy) and more information that could make the LS831 Sprints new Windows Phone.

FCC documentation on the LG LS831 indicates this Windows Phone support CDMA in the EMSR 800MHz band. A band used by Sprint.  The LG Windows Phone also supports the 1900MHz CDMA band.  Along with the banding, you also have a Sprint/Nextel Waiver included in the FCC Documentation that ties the mysterious device to Sprint.  

As far as device specs, beyond the 5mp camera everything else seems to be a bit of a mystery.

The LS831 appears to have a front facing camera and the screen size could be, what?  Four inches?  There is mention of a microSD card slot in the owners manual along with instructions on how to check available storage and formatting your microSD card.  But based on the side images, I don't see a microSD card slot exposed. Maybe under the hood?

The LS831 definitely sparks interest with all the Sprint connections.  That and it's nice to see LG still working on Windows Phones. Could this be Sprints next Windows Phone?  Or could the LS831 swing in Verizon's direction?

source: FCC via: Phonescoop; thanks, mamacita42, for the tip!

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Verizon passes up on Nokia 'Om' Windows Phone?

According to sources familiar with company plans, The Verge has reported that Verizon may have passed up on a Nokia Windows Phone 7.5 handset. Microsoft Stores were ready to stock the Nokia device, codenamed "Om", late January / early February but the carrier canceled due to concerns over lack of Verizon LTE support.

If this rumour is true, Verizon will be joining Sprint where both may well be waiting for "Apollo" to introduce new Windows Phones to customers. For the mean time, the HTC Trophy will be the only Windows Phone available on Verizon. More interestingly, this info seems to contradict earlier information from Paul Thurrott who noted that a Lumia 710 (with no LTE) was headed to Big Red sooner than later.

Either way, this is not good news for those on CDMA in the US who want a modern Windows Phone.

Source: The Verge; thanks Craig for the heads up!

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File this under odd and speculation, but possible.

The Sprint HTC Arrive has received some love in the in the form of updates--both Mango and a previous security-fix. But as of late, Sprint has bee quite silent on the device and overall not too keen on Windows Phone.

In the Sprint Arrive help forums, a moderator/Sprint tech named Tom Deaver has posted in the past that the HTC Arrive does not support tethering aka phone-as-modem and therefore will not be getting that enabled anytime soon. Obviously, this was false but it was posted way back in November.

Today, two curious things happened though:

  1. Tom Deaver edited his post today and crossed out the "does not support" section
  2. He wrote a new post which simply said "Re: ICS/Hotspot/Tethering? We appreciate your feedback.  Stay tuned to the Arrives' forum for any updates to a software maintenance release."

We agree with reader Todd M. who forwarded us the thread at Sprint--this does seem curious. Why would Tom both edit his post from November and add that note about a "software maintenance release"? Could the Sprint Arrive be on the verge of an update? Perhaps, but we're about 50/50 on the matter at this point. Tom could also just be revisiting old topics and giving the old company line. After all, he did leave in the part that says "Sprint will not offer a phone as modem option or tethering for this device." (We should also point out that Sprint TV & Movies app was just updated too.). Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Source: Sprint Community Forums; Thanks, Todd, for the heads up

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