Sprint's product chief Fared Adib
On Thursday February 24th, Sprint will announce its first Windows Phone. It will be an HTC 7 Pro, but renamed Arrive, specifically for Sprint. Let me be clear upfront, this looks to be a quality landscape sliding keyboard device. But that’s the problem - Sprint almost exclusively releases landscape keyboard sliders. For those of us who want a larger screen, without the thickness of a keyboard, our best bet is the Evo 4G, which is among one of the thickest, if not the thickest, slate device on the market today. Why can’t we get hardware on par with the Droid X, or Droid Incredible? Or speaking WP7 hardware, why can’t Sprint get something comparable to the Samsung Focus, which has a brilliant 4” SAMOLED, and is about as thin as an iPhone 4. 

More after the break.

Since the release of the Evo 4G, Sprint has yet to release another slate device, but has managed to release several landscape sliders. If we compare Sprint to the other American CDMA carrier, Verizon, we see how behind Sprint is. Since the time that the Evo 4G was released, Verizon has released the following comparable devices:
  • Droid Incredible
  • Fascinate
  • Droid X
  • Continuum
  • Thunderbolt
  • iPhone
Verizon has also released several landscape sliders, most popular of which are the Droid and Droid 2, both of which have a larger screen and slimmer form factor than Sprints Arrive. Even if I were in love with the landscape slider keyboard form factor, I would still have options on Verizon that compete with Sprint’s best offerings.

I’m not an expert on the process of getting a phone to market, but I can say with some level of certainty that the only thing preventing Sprint from releasing a slate device comparable to Verizon’s offerings is incompetence. It is painful to see how disconnected Sprint is from their customer base. If you Google “Sprint WP7”, the first page that comes up is a petition for sprint to release a Windows Phone with the HD2 form factor - A sleek, slate device, with large screen.

In today’s phone market, carriers are winning over new customers on the devices they carry. If Sprint wants to attract new customers, they will fire their product chief Fared Adib and hire someone who will stop embarrassing them with phones like the Echo, which literally echo’s the form factor of a brick as its design inspiration, and comes standard with an extra battery due to poor battery life.

Sprint needs to stop releasing so many landscape sliders and start releasing more sleek slate phones.



02/23/2011 2:31pm


02/23/2011 2:35pm

I want a keyboard, not some soft keyboard that is unreliable to the touch. I have yet to see one that works reliably. Just because you have tiny fingers and like retyping things over because the keyboard alignment has gotten off or it thought you touched you a different key, that's your problem. I want a keyboard.

Carson Kuehne
02/23/2011 3:11pm

I am actually a fan of hardware keyboards myself. My favorite phone for texting was a Motorola Q (which was a portrait keyboard). It was a sleek device, but had a small screen.

My reason for the article is that the landscape sliding keyboard is the only form-factor Sprint is taking seriously. There are a large number of people who don't want a landscape slider, but just want something sleek. They already have people like you covered with several quality options. But what about everyone else?

02/23/2011 4:51pm

Agreed - they've had that issue for a while.

I would have bought the imagio years ago but Verizon carried it and Sprint refused to carry it. Thankfully, Sprint is now forcing everyone into their everything plan so if I want a decent phone I have to give up my legacy plan. Switching to Verizon would actually be cheaper for me since I barely text.

I've been with Sprint for a decade and it is now cheaper for me to go to Verizon as Sprint does nothing to retain their long term customers. Shortly, I'll be living the dream.

Back around 68 the carterfone law went into effect as ATT had a monopoly and forced you to buy their landline phones. For some reason Sprint still has a locked network and forces you to buy their crappy handset - seems a shame that politicians can still be bought off and they don't apply the same law to cell carriers. Imagine if HTC and Samsung didn't have their hands tied buy Sprint - they could release any phone they liked with a cdma chip and we could use our cell networks like the Europeans enjoy - better phones before they become obsolete and with no sprint crapware on them!

Carson Kuehne
02/23/2011 7:09pm

I would love to leave Sprint for Verizon, but Verizon can't touch what I'm paying. Currently my bill is about $30, and it will be maximum $50 when I upgrade to my next device, which will in all likelihood be the Arrive. It is not worth an extra $20 or so a month for a better device on Verizon.

My only hope is that Sprint will release a WP7 device without keyboard, and a larger screen sooner, rather than later.

02/24/2011 11:07pm

Sprint have some weird obsession with slider phones.

Let's take a look at Sprint's current top 4 smartphones:
HTC EVO Shift 4G - slider
HTC EVO 4G - slate
Samsung Epic 4G - slider
Samsung Intercept - slider

02/24/2011 11:26pm

Anyway, I had my finger crossed that Sprint would be picking up the Samsung Omnia 7, but that didn't happen.

02/26/2011 10:39pm

You all are missing the point. someone who wants a hard keyboard and is stuck with a soft keyboard is more inconvenienced than someone who wants a soft keyboard only. A phone with a hard keyboard is thicker than a phone with a soft keyboard and that is the only drawback for a person who wants a soft keyboard only. a person who wants a hard keyboard has to deal with all the unreliable BS that comes with a soft keyboard which is more than a little more girth on a phone. Sprint realizes this so they take on hard keyboard phones rather than soft keyboard phones. Plus the difference between the thickness of a soft keyboard phone and a hard keyboard phone is what 3/16", which is not much to complain about.

Carson Kuehne
02/26/2011 11:54pm

I don't disagree with you, but my point in writing this article is to point out that Sprint is almost exclusively offering physical keyboard phones, when they could be offering both. Verizon is offering both. There are high quality options for those who don't want a physical keyboard, and quality options for those who do on Verizon.

It would be nice if Sprint would just offer a little more variety; that doesn't mean that they need to slow down on their keyboard phone offerings, but rather speed up on their slate phone offerings while continuing to offer their quality keyboard phone offerings.

It is a win win for us all.

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