Sprint has finally confirmed what we already kind of knew for a while now: They will be hopping on the the Windows Phone 8 bandwagon. In an emailed statement to PCMag, the company said that it's cold feet have warmed up and that they will bring Windows Phone 8 on board in 2013:
"Sprint and Microsoft are partnering to bring Windows Phone 8 to Sprint's customers - operating on its 4G LTE network - next year."
There had been inklings that this may happen, like Ting, a Sprint network reseller blogging that it would support the latest version of Windows Phone "sixty days after Sprint has it," but there was plenty of reason to wonder as well. Not only did Sprint kill off it's poorly-selling, yet highly-acclaimed HTC Arrive, but they also put out an internal document stating that there were no Windows Phone 8 devices slated to offered any time soon.
The statement to PCMag failed to mention what device(s) they were planning on offering, nor did they say when exactly customers could expect them. However, the above-mentioned blog post by Ting said they anticipated getting their device "for the first half of 2013", so it could be as early as Q1 2013.
What remains to be seen is what approach the third-largest US mobile carrier takes to Windows Phone 8. AT&T, T-Mobile, and the one-time tepid Verizon Wireless have all embraced WP8, offering multiple devices, including some exclusive to them. They have also partnered with Microsoft to actually advertise Windows Phone. Hopefully, Sprint follows their lead.
Whereas they punked out on Windows Phone 7, offering only one device and doing zero to market it, they have a real chance to right the ship. Will they actually give Windows Phone lovers a variety to choose from? Are they going to half-heartedly offer a single mid- or low- range thing, or will they have the gusto to bring aboard any of the hero phones, the Lumia 920, 8X and ATIV S? We have no idea. But Sprint, if you are listening, this your chance to get it right. Please don't disappoint.