Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) will launch the HTC Arrive, the first CDMA version of a Windows Phone 7 device from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). This launch gives Microsoft a shot in the arm by expanding distribution for the software giant's fledgling platform.
Sprint will launch the Arrive, which was previously known as the HTC 7 Pro, on March 20 for $199.99 with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate. The debut will add a third U.S. carrier to Microsoft's stable of operator partners; AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA launched Windows Phone devices late last year.
The Arrive is similar in many respects to other Windows Phone devices. It has a 1 GHz Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon processor, 3.6-inch display, slide-out Qwerty keyboard, 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi and 16 GB of memory. According to PC Magazine, the device will ship with Microsoft's update to the platform, which includes copy-and-paste functionality.
Microsoft has been crowing about the platform as well as its recent partnership with Nokia (NYSE:NOK), in which Nokia will use Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform. Microsoft said it has shipped 2 million Windows Phone devices to its partners so far, but has not given sell-through figures to end users.
At the Mobile World Congress trade show earlier this month, Microsoft said it will add Internet Explorer 9, powered by the same engine the browser has for the desktop, to the platform this year, as well as multitasking for third-party applications.
Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) is expected to launch a Windows Phone device this year as well. However, the carrier appears cool to the platform. "I do want a strong third OS out there," Verizon Communications CTO Tony Melone recently told CNet. "It gives the carriers more flexibility and balances the interests of all the parties. But I still have doubts whether Microsoft will get the traction they are hoping for with Windows Phone 7."
- see this release
- see this PC Magazine article
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