T-Mobile joins AT&T in supporting Windows 10 by offering Alcatel's new Fierce XL smartphone
T-Mobile US announced in the coming weeks it will sell the new Windows 10 Fierce XL smartphone built by Alcatel OneTouch, the handset brand of Chinese electronics maker TCL. T-Mobile will sell the phone for $139.99, or for $5.67 per month for 24 months.
T-Mobile joins AT&T in selling Windows 10 phones. AT&T currently sells the Lumia 950, which Microsoft released late last year alongside the Lumia 950 XL as its first flagship Windows 10 phones. The full retail price for AT&T's Lumia 950 is $598.99.
A Verizon spokesperson said the carrier does not sell any Windows 10 phones. A Sprint spokesperson didn't respond to questions from FierceWireless about whether the carrier sells Windows 10 phones, but the carrier's website does not offer any Windows phones.
"We strive to provide our customers a wide selection of price points, operating systems and capabilities when it comes to choosing a smartphone, so adding the Fierce XL to our hardware line-up was a no-brainer," said Roger Brown, T-Mobile's VP of marketing, in a release. "This will be our first Windows 10 device to hit T-Mobile stores nationwide, and since the Fierce XL is coming from Alcatel, our customers know the build quality and feature set will be top notch."
Alcatel OneTouch boasted that its new Fierce XL Windows 10 phone runs the voice-activated personal assistant Cortana and can access Microsoft Office Mobile productivity applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. The phone sports a 5.5-inch HD display, 1.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Quad-Core processor, a 2500mAH battery and band 2, 4 and 12 Cat 4 LTE connections. Notably, the phone also supports T-Mobile's VoLTE service and Wi-Fi calling compatibility.
Microsoft released Windows 10 last year on tablets and laptops, and more recently has begun allowing some existing Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 users to upgrade to the new operating system. The company earlier this week boasted that it now counts more than 200 million "monthly active devices around the world" running Windows 10, a figure that includes phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.
"In fact, Windows 10 continues to be on the fastest growth trajectory of any version of Windows -- ever -- outpacing Windows 7 by nearly 140% and Windows 8 by nearly 400%," Microsoft said in a blog post.
But the company didn't provide any sales figures or activation numbers for Windows 10 phones specifically. "The first Windows 10 phones, the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL are now available worldwide and off to a great start, with initial demand outstripping our supply," Microsoft said. "We're working actively to resupply the many stores which ran out of initial stock."
Microsoft's Windows platform continues to trail Apple's iOS and Google's Android in the United States. According to eMarketer, there were roughly 190 million smartphone users in the United States last year, and 51.7 percent of those used Android smartphones. The firm said 43.3 percent of those smartphone owners used iPhones, while just 2.8 percent (or around 5.3 million people) used Windows phones. Not surprisingly, only 1.1 percent of American smartphone users were BlackBerry phone owners.
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Article updated Jan. 6 with pricing information for the Fierce XL.