While the rise of Windows Phone 8 is steadily marching out, a report earlier today from PC Magazine says one holdout will be waiting for 2013 to wheel out its own versions.
AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon will all be bringing out their own models this year, but number three Sprint will be passing on the new devices this year and instead bringing them out in 2013.
Sprint is working with Microsoft to roll out the Windows Phone 8 systems, according to a recent statement, but the release won't come until next year. That's not to say Sprint is ignoring new products; it's certainly keeping up with the Android line, recently availing the Galaxy Note II and the LG Optimus G.
As ever, they were also right in the thick of things when the iPhone 5 made its appearance. But for Windows Phone 8, the word is they're right out until next year, notwithstanding David Owens, director of consumer acquisition for Sprint, called himself “bullish” on Windows Phone 8 back in May.
Though the company didn't go too far into reasons, two potential ones jumped out almost immediately.
First is the recent news that Sprint is being acquired by Softbank of Japan – a process that will likely take some time, and now is probably not a good time for a boat already being rocked by the acquisition process to be rocked further by major new product line releases.
Second: Sprint and Windows Phone devices haven't got along terribly well in the past. Sprint tested the waters on the Windows Phone 7 line by bringing in the HTC Arrive, but sales for the device never actually showed up the way the name would imply that they would. Some have even wondered if Sprint's comparative lag in LTE releasing has also hampered the release of Windows Phone devices for the company, and issues of comparatively low developer involvement – though that's poised to change rapidly – may have something to do with it.
So for right now, AT&T seems to be the weapon of choice for Microsoft, as the Nokia Lumia 920, Lumia 820 and HTC 8X look to appear on AT&T shelves. Verizon will have a presence as well, with the 8X as well as the Nokia Lumia 822 and the Samsung Ativ Odyssey. Even T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular are expected to join in, with T-Mobile set to offer the 8X and the Nokia Lumia 810, and the HTC 8S expected to go to U.S. Cellular, though that's not an official announcement as of yet.
Just why Sprint is sitting this one out is unclear, but there are certainly plenty of potential reasons for the carrier to hold off. Those interested in Windows Phone 8 for Sprint, however, will be able to get the devices, just not immediately, so hopefully the wait won't be too big a sales loss for Sprint.
Edited by Braden Becker