sprint

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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Sprint customers have taken to the streets, er, the internet, and created an online petition to show that they want some new Windows phones.  The move comes after Sprint Vice President of Product Realization David Owens expressed his lack of enthusiasm for WP7.  Owens said that the HTC Arrive, Sprint's only WP7 device, sold poorly because Microsoft has done a poor job of promoting their mobile OS.  While this may have been true early on, Sprint certainly made no effort on their part either.  In fact, they went so far as to make the Arrive the poster child for their trade-in program.

The online petition explains the frustration that Sprint users feel as they see other carriers, most-notably AT&T, getting some fantastic devices, like the HTC Titan II and Nokia's Lumia 900 (Ace).  This is counter to what David Owens described, citing customer complaints and returns based on unpleasant user experiences. Sprint's own website shows, however, shows very high marks in customer reviews and was also in the top ten most highly-rated phones on Amazon.

The petition is still young, and thusly, has few signatures.  We're not sure if it will light a fire under the third-largest carrier in the U.S., but but stranger things have happened.  Verizon recently canned a plan to hike up their fees because of a huge public outcry that began on the internet.  Of course, that would have affected most, if not all, Verizon users, whereas this is only a fraction of Sprint's customer base.  But that doesn't mean people shouldn't try.  If you feel strongly about Sprit's reluctance to adopt more Windows phones, hit up the source link below and let it be known.

Source: SignOn; Thanks, Cris, for the tip!

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Waiting for Sprint to introduce a new Windows Phone? I wouldn't expect anything too soon.

Sprint's Vice President of Product Realization David Owens let it be known that while the wireless carrier is bulking up its LTE lineup it will be with Android devices for now. Sprint may take another chance at Windows Phone in the August-September time frame.

"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."

Owens also stated the the number one reason the HTC Arrive, Sprint's only Windows Phone, was returned was the user experience. Sprint's Director of Product Development Lois Fagan added,

"We want to participate in the market, but we can't build that brand by ourself. We're cautiously optimistic, but [Windows Phone] just hasn't taken off."

The news shouldn't be much of a shocker. While the Arrive has been on Sprint for some time, Sprint has done very little to promote the Windows Phone platform.  Android devices, on the other hand seem to be centerpiece of their ad campaigns. Can anyone remember any Windows Phone commercials from Sprint?

While Microsoft and the hardware manufacturers should do their part in promoting Windows Phone devices, but Sprint needs to step up to the plate as well. 

source: pcmag; Thanks, Brianna, for the tip!

Postscript: Just received a tip from a reader suggesting we look at the HTC Arrives ratings over at Sprint.com.  It makes you wonder where Owens is seeing poor user experience?

Thanks, venom5150, for the tip!

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Sprint has lowered the on-contract price of the HTC Arrive, arguably one of the best Gen 1 phones (see review), from $199 to $99. While you can find it cheaper on Amazon Wireless, when carriers lower the price it's a sign usually of the device's "life" winding down. So is Sprint getting ready to get rid of the Arrive? We're doubtful--the device clearly has a few more months left in it and we're not betting on any Sprint Gen 2 device news till CES in January.

The only thing we can tell you that we've heard is Sprint is one of the carrier's not throwing money at Nokia for their first US Windows Phone (Yeah, it's AT&T and Verizon, fighting for it, shocker). Take that as you will. The Arrive is a great phone though and for those who need a keyboard, it's pretty killer even at $99. Still, lets hope that Sprint gets at least two devices come winter.

Source: Sprint; Thanks, Cory S., Reese and Maria, for the heads up!

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It was less than two weeks ago that we told you that Sprint made the HTC Arrive the posterboy for their trade-in program for people to upgrade to the iPhone.  Then, two days after the story (not that we're taking credit) they changed their mind, thinking that the Arrive may be a handset worthy of holding onto (the same cannot be said for the LG Lotus Elite). 

Now, in the latest edition of Sprint Connection, they are actually promoting it.  The caption praises the Arrive, now with WP 7.5, as a great tool for business owners, touting it's ability to stay connected to people and easily take notes using the text-to-speech and speech-to-text capabilities.

Like we said, we're not saying we had anything to do with this, but it sure is refreshing to see Sprint give props to its only WP7 phone, and one of the better first generation WP7 phones across the board.

Source: Sprint (Thanks for the tip, Mike!)

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Sprint has hit a snag in their civil suit to prevent the merger of rivals AT&T and T-Mobile on the grounds that such a deal would kill competition, stifle innovation and result in higher prices for consumers .  A US District judge has denied Sprint's request to obtain internal AT&T documents, which are a vital part of the discovery phase of the lawsuit.  While Judge Ellen Huvelle stopped short of AT&T's request of dismissing the case, it dealt a huge blow to Sprint's hopes of suing the merger away. 

Explaining the decision, Huvelle said that Sprint does not "stand in the shoes of the consumer or the Department of Justice," and therefore, access to internal documents would not be "efficient or fair."  The Department of Justice is also suing to prevent the merger and may stand a better chance of obtaining the information that Sprint is after.  Judge Huvelle is presiding over both cases and still has yet to make a decision on whether or not to dismiss them all together.

Source: Reuters; Via: Electronista

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Is Sprint killing unlimited data packages?

It's the last major feature that differentiates Sprint from its competitors, but according to DSLReports, Sprint may be slowly moving towards killing off their unlimited data service. As more and more of their users have picked up smart devices on the US network, Sprint has made big changes every few months to their policies regarding unlimited data, and it looks like only time stands in the way of the company making that final decision to axe this unique offering (something the other major carriers did long ago).

Sprint hasn't said anything officially about this yet, but their actions are clear. First they added a $10 monthly fee to all 4G data users, then they capped their mobile hotspot subscribers to 5GB a month. Two days ago Sprint made another announcement via their website, saying that this data cap is expanding to include everything from tablets to netbooks to USB cards and beyond starting in November. The only thing left untouched is your average smartphone.

While Sprint has been gaining new subscribers over the last year from its one-of-a-kind unlimited data plan, the company continues to struggle to gain much of a financial profit. It may not be happening just yet, but here in the next year we may well see Sprint make a final decision and join the other carriers in capping their service, since they obviously aren't beating them yet. It's all speculation at this point, but from looking at the series of events up until now, that assumption just can't be helped.

As of right now, there are only a few Sprint WP7 device owners out there, but if you're one of them, this likely isn't the best news to hear. What do you take from all of this? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Sprint; Via: DSLReports

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We're not going to claim credit for this, but obviously there was quite a backlash against Sprint for using the Arrive as the poster-child for their Buyback program, at least if you go by the comments. If you recall, Sprint put the Arrive up for their Buyback program, which was prominently featured on the Sprint iPhone 4S page.

Now, perhaps due to a change of heart or perhaps a phone call from Microsoft, the Arrive has been replaced by the LG Lotus Elite. Hey, maybe they regularly rotate those phones and this is just coincidence, so we'll keep an eye on it, but at least for now the Arrive is spared the humiliation of being the iPhone 4S trade-in phone.

Source: Sprint; Thanks, Kien G., for the tip!

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To make the Windows Phone situation even sadder on Sprint than it already is (seriously, they pretty much tie Verizon), Sprint is now using the HTC Arrive, arguably one of the better Windows Phones, as the example for their buyback program. In short, when you go to the iPhone 4S page on Sprint, scrolling down reveals the Sprint Buyback program and the HTC Arrive, a phone that is just six months old, is wrapped in age-inducing ivy.

It's as if Sprint is digging the knife in a little deeper. Sure, we could hope that this is because they're getting ready to reveal one or even two new Windows Phone for the holiday season, but honestly, it's been pretty quiet on the rumor front so far.

Lame Sprint, just lame.

Thanks, EJ Lee, for the heads up

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Sprint has released some information about an actual time stamp today when Mango will begin rolling out for the HTC Arrive on their community forum.  1pm CST (just about an hour away).

We only recently covered a representative conversation between the carrier and our Seth Brodeur confirming that today's the day and it will take a few days for the rollout to complete. To those on Sprint, if you've received notification and have updated please do let us know in the comments or via tip!

Source: Sprint Community, thanks Jetface for the tip!

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Eager of the news that Sprint would be rolling out Mango for the HTC Arrive today, the first thing I did was plug in my phone and bring up Zune.  Much to my dismay, both Zune and my Arrive reported that I was fully updated at version 7.0. 

I decided to ping Sprint on this by logging a chat session with them and was told that though the update starts getting pushed out today it may take 2-3 days before I actually get the notification.  The reason is that this is a system-generated update that gets pushed out in waves over a period of time.  So if you, like me, are feeling antsy because you can't update your Arrive, just be patient. 

I know, I know, I want it now too.

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We've seen it in the wild and now Sprint's official support page just went up detailing the Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" update. The new software version is confirmed as being 2305.13.40301.651 and should be going live today.

"Last Updated: Sep 27, 2011 - Just like your computer, your phone's software needs to be updated periodically to make sure you have all the latest fixes and enhancements to keep it running at optimal performance. Follow the steps below to check your current version and perform any needed updates."

  • Threads – Lets you switch between Text, Facebook chat, and Windows Live Messenger within the same conversation.
  • Groups – Organizes your contacts into personalized Live Tiles for status updates on Start and to quickly send a text, email, or IM to the whole group.
  • Social Network Integration - Integrate Twitter and LinkedIn feeds into contact cards.
  • Linked Inbox - View multiple email accounts in one linked inbox.
  • Hands-free messaging - Built-in voice-to-text and text-to-voice to support hands-free texting or chatting.
  • Live Tiles - Improved Live Tiles let you receive real-time information from apps without having to open them.
  • Multitasking - Lets you switch between Apps that are running and enables apps to run in the background to help preserve battery life and performance.
  • Internet Explorer on Windows Phone 7 - Includes an Internet browser based on Internet Explorer 9 including support for HTML5.
  • Local Scout - Pinpoint search results and recommendations for nearby restaurants, shopping, and activities.
  • Bing Enhancements- Includes Bing Vision, Music Search, and Voice.
  • Quick Cards - Get a quick summary of relevant information including related apps.

    The rest of the piece details all the new enhancements and features of Mango (without actually ever calling it that) and gives instructions on how to check and install the update via the Zune desktop software.

    Once again, Sprint, although quiet on the matter has once again come through and delievered a timely update (the last was the security fix). This makes the Arrive an even better phone and we're sure their customers will be excited to try out the new Mango feautres. Now if they can just get some new Generation 2 phones...

    Source: Sprint Support; Big thanks, Jetface, for the tip!

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    We've heard of a few sightings of a Sprint HTC Arrive running Mango and now one has been captured on film. WPCentral forum regular Coolaaron88 was in his local Sprint Store out in Vegas and stumbled upon the HTC Arrive running OS Version 7.10.7720.68.

    We haven't heard anything official or unofficial from Sprint and finding the Arrive running Mango doesn't guarantee an impending release. As with the Verizon Trophy being spotted in the wild running Mango, we like the odds that Sprint will join the Mango crowd sooner than later.

    Thanks again to Coolaaron88 for sending this in!

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    We love stats and today we have some from 'I'm a WP7' which were sent to us directly from the developer, Scott Peterson. Going through the list of makes, models and code names is always a challenge. This morning we have three devices that caught out eye (besides the already known Nokia 703 and 800).

    • HTC Ultimate - first we've ever heard of this device. Ironically, there was a fan-designed Android device back in early 2010 going by the same name--guess HTC liked the idea. Before we jump to conclusions though, this could be just a carrier branded version of the Titan e.g. think AT&T.
    • Radar 4G - So far only Samsung with the Focus S on AT&T gets the nod for first Windows Phone with "4G" (yes, in quotes). But if true, this will show that HTC has something up their sleeves. Our bet? We're looking at a Sprint or Verizon phone, with more confidence in the former carrier.
    • Samsung Haden - Searching for Haden returns the 'Hayden' aka Samsung l870, but that's too old to be relevant. However, it is a portrait slider device ala Venue Pro and Samsung does have an i677 in the works, which traditionally are front-qwerty phones. Maybe we're reading too much into that, but it's fun to guess.

    (Note: The Eternity X310e is just the Titan)

    So could we still see some new devices this fall? We think so and we'll be keep an eye out for more info, especially if it happens to land in out inbox.

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    Good new for Sprint folks (remember, they're the ones with the HTC Arrive): your device is set to get that Microsoft "May" security update aka build 7392 on May 24th, which is just a few days away.

    That update, if you recall, is just to fix some fraudulent third party certificates on the phone. In other words, don't expect any new functionality. However, it also looks to bump the bootloader to version 1.29.651.02 (currently it's at 1.24.230506), so who knows if that will bring anything new (we're not betting on it).

    Considering we're about 2 weeks into the May update, Sprint's timing on the Arrive isn't half bad, especially considering this is their first update.

    Source: Spantechular; Thanks, Mike, Joy and Sam, for the heads up!

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    Sprint TV & Movies launches for the HTC Arrive

    One app that was missing from the carrier software on the Sprint HTC Arrive was Sprint TV (see our hands on with Sprint Radio here).

    Luckily, our wait is over as the app is now available in the Marketplace (hit the link here on your phone or use the Sprint hub to get to it). Featuring ESPN, NBC, Disney Channel, ABC, FOX News, you can watch a lot of live or streaming on the go, including some of the latest movies. Some of the features are free, included with your plan, while there are also "premium" features available for some extra cash e.g. Sports Xtra & Sprint TV Xtra which are $5.99 and $9.99 a month, respectively. Oh hey, there's a Looney Tunes option for $4.99 a month too...dibs. [Edit: for some reason we're getting an error when we try to subscribe--this happened on Radio too, could be Sprint's servers still catching up]

    Downside? You can't use it over WiFi. Yeah, go figure--they want you to use your "unlimited" data connection.

    Over all, the app is well polished and designed and takes advantage of the landscape/keyboard layout of the Arrive quite nicely. Give it a go in the Marketplace and we'll see about a video in the morning.

    Thanks, @David_Strait, for the heads up!

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    Uses of GoVoice will pleased to know there is a new update live in the Marketplace. Version 3.1 brings quite a few nice fixes to the table:

    • Fix the crashes for some users
    • Fix the crash for sending long text messages
    • More performance improvements to Scrolling
    • A better Metro look

    If you recall, GoVoice went completely free (and is still ad free) a few weeks ago, so there's little reason to try the app with it's push notifications/Live Tile support. Interestingly, the paid version's update was certified but it's not yet live in the Marketplace. That's okay though as you can just download the "Free" version and use that instead (there's no difference).

    In related news, Sprint announced awhile back that they will be supporting direct usage of Google Voice on Sprint phones--meaning all numbers called from your Sprint phone can appear as your Google Voice account. Invites for the pre-release went out last night and the general rollout is expected to occur on April 26th. More info on that from Sprint here.

    Source: Twitter (@GoVoiceApp)

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    Leaked images of a new Windows Phone have surfaced. The HTC Mazaa appears to be sporting a 3.7" screen and, according to unconfirmed reports, will be headed to Sprint in the next six or so months.

    The Mazaa resembles the HTC Trophy and is rumored to use DDR2 memory to improve overall speed. The tipster makes not of what appears to be an IMEI number on the phone which could mean the Mazaa has GSM capabilities. Could Sprint be poised to launch a Windows Phone 7 world phone?

    All of which leads us to the inevitable question, which will hit the market first, the Sprint Mazaa or Verizon Trophy?

    Edit: The red under the speaker grill is exactly like Verizon's "Red" accented Trophy. We find it a bit difficult that Sprint would opt for the same color scheme and at least I'm a bit skeptical. Even AT&T changed the color accent on their HD7 versus T-Mobile's. D. Rubino

    Source: XDA Developers via: Pocketnow

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    For those familiar with CDMA handsets, you'll remember the old "PRL" (preferred roaming list) and "Network Profile" options. It  took a few years to get direct OS support for it (Anyone remember calling Sprint to get your PRL update "flagged"? Yeesh), but we did with later versions of Windows Mobile.

    So it's nice to know that in Windows Phone 7, part of the CDMA integration that came with the 'NoDo' update on the Sprint Arrive was PRL and Network Profile support. To update them, simply go to Settings --> System --> Carrier and scroll to the bottom. There you can just tap either/or and it will walk you through the update, which takes about 30 seconds.

    You can later check your PRL version under Settings --> System --> About --> More info, under PRL-ID (mine is currently v60677). For those wondering what any of this is, your PRL is a list of towers that the phone looks to for roaming and in some cases, data connections. From Wikipedia:

    On many networks, regularly updating the PRL is advised if the subscriber uses the device outside the home area frequently, particularly if they do so in multiple different areas. This allows the phone to choose the best roaming carriers, particularly "roaming partners" with whom the home carrier has a cost-saving roaming agreement, rather than using non-affiliated carriers. PRL files can also be used to identify home networks along with roaming partners, thus making the PRL an actual list that determines the total coverage of the subscriber, both home and roaming coverage.

    So, if you roam, it helps to have the latest version on board. Meanwhile, the Network Profile is good if you ever run into connectivity issues with the CDMA network, as on occasion, though rare, your profile may get corrupted.

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    Today is the day folks, the first CDMA Windows Phone, the HTC Arrive, is now available on Sprint (actually, some people were able to get theirs a few days ago). Not only is it the first CDMA Windows Phone, but it's also the first phone in the U.S. to ship with 'NoDo' (copy paste, performance enhancements, better search)--which is actually nicer than we thought.

    For those who are new, take a look at our past coverage and catch up on all you need to know:

    Itching to talk about your new device? Have questions? Head over to our new forum dedicated to the Arrive and ask away or share your story: HTC Arrive - Windows Phone Forums at WPCentral

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