First Sprint Windows Phone 8 device, the HTC 8XT, on sale July 19th

After officially announcing their return to the Windows Phone family in June, Sprint announced today that the first of two planned Windows Phone 8 product launches will arrive July 19th for the HTC 8XT.

Sprint's press release states that the HTC 8XT will be sold for $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate. That price is for a new line or for an eligible upgrade with a two year contract. Sprint says the smartphone will be the first Windows Phone with HTC's BoomSound hardware, which will give the 8XT "dual front-facing stereo speakers with a dedicated amplifier that deliver bigger sound with less distortion and more detail."

Inside, the 4.3 inch HTC 8XT will have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with a dual core 1.4GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, a microSD memory card slot that supports up to 64 GB memory cards and an eight megapixel camera.

While Sprint, the third largest wireless carrier in the US, sold the Windows Phone 7 HTC Arrive in March 2011, the carrier decided to bow out of releasing any other Windows Phone devices until this week; Sprint is also slated to start selling the Samsung ATIV S Neo later this summer for $149.99

Source: Sprint | Image via Sprint

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The delay in getting a current Windows phone on sprint is multi-layered.

(1) Sprint wanted to get their 4G LTE network in more places since their 4G Wi-Max network has been superceded and they didn't want to release many new devices that support that particular network technology and I don't believe ANY Windows Phones have ever supported or came bundled with a radio that supported 4G Wi-Max networks (Could have been a platform/driver/demand issue)

(2) Sprint is heavily financially burdened with their agreement with Apple to bring the iPhones to their network. This agreement will pull down on Sprint for several years to come and will delay their commitment to any competing platforms and devices outside of Androids.

(3) Sprint has a number of overlapping and incompatible networks under their management and they have been over the last few years decommissioning networks using older technology (Ex: Nextel network) and at the same time feverishly trying to build out new networks. They were one of the first to build out a 4G Wi-Max network (Through their partnership with initially and now Near complete ownership of Clearwire) - That is now no longer the lead network, Their 4G LTE network, Their 3G networks, and all of the additional spectrum that they have that they lease out to smaller providers such as Virgin, Boost, Ting, etc.

Tons of moving parts over at Sprint that all added up to them temporarily abandoning the Windows Phone platform. This is their testing of the Windows Phone waters again.

However, Sprints strategy looks like it will pay off long term, but they would be unwise to renew their current Apple agreement at the current terms.

Soooo late. Switched to AT&T and got a Lumia 920 months ago.

Sure, my data is limited to 3GB but finally useful!! (With Sprint it would take ages to load things).

As a Sprint customer, I feel so... cheated? duped? I've waited so long for a (decent?!) WP8 from Sprint and this is what's put out? I don't even know what to say. No Blackberry Q10 (yet), no Nexus 4 (yet, if ever...) and now we get this WP8 device. Not happy right now....

At least it's the 8X and not the 8S. By looks, it looks like the 8S, but with the 8X's size and features.

But, thankfully speaking as a non-Sprint customer, I agree.

Curious whether Nokia is to blame there not being a Sprint-based Nokia WP8, or if it's Sprint to blame.

The sooner that manufacturers stop offering carrier variants--perhaps internal chips based on radio requirements--the better that we will all be. Hopefully someone can figure out how to get all of the radios working from the same chip (Apple was close with the iPhone 5, but not quite there), and then we can truly just take our phone to any carrier to avoid the shenanigans of being carrier-blocked for reason except coverage.

pickypg said,
Curious whether Nokia is to blame there not being a Sprint-based Nokia WP8, or if it's Sprint to blame.

The sooner that manufacturers stop offering carrier variants--perhaps internal chips based on radio requirements--the better that we will all be. Hopefully someone can figure out how to get all of the radios working from the same chip (Apple was close with the iPhone 5, but not quite there), and then we can truly just take our phone to any carrier to avoid the shenanigans of being carrier-blocked for reason except coverage.

I think it's SPrint, they're coming off of the iPhone 5 and that probably cost them a good chunk of cash to support since it seems like getting that on your network means you have to give up a nice slice of profits back to apple.

GP007 said,

I think it's SPrint, they're coming off of the iPhone 5 and that probably cost them a good chunk of cash to support since it seems like getting that on your network means you have to give up a nice slice of profits back to apple.

And the deal Sprint signed was ungodly one sided too...