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HTC 8XT for Sprint reportedly not getting Windows Phone 8.1 update until November?

Either HTC's Twitter account is drunk and spouting off random timeframes, or HTC and Sprint are really in no rush for to update their HTC 8XT, a custom phone that looks like a cross between the HTC 8s and HTC 8x.

Asked about the Windows Phone 8.1 update, and presumably not the capital 'U' version aka 8.1.1, and HTC responded to Aaron B. on Twitter with the succinct "You can expect the Windows 8.1 update to roll out to Sprint's HTC 8X in November." Note not by November, but in November.

This follows on the earlier news about Verizon's HTC 8X not getting the update until "late October", which is barely better.

We suppose HTC's Twitter account could be wrong, even if they sounded confident in the response. Indeed, when asked about T-Mobile's 8X they gave a more familiar "We don't have any info to share on that right now. Stay tuned for future announcements."

One alternative interpretation of this news is the Sprint, and HTC are skipping 8.1 and going for 8.1.1 aka Update 1. A November timeframe for that release makes sense.

Updates are something that require carrier approval and Sprint is never leading the pack on those, nor Windows Phone devices in general. In the past, we have advocated people just drop Sprint as a carrier if they want a better Windows Phone experience. This late 8.1 update, if proven accurate, only solidifies our argument (it also does not make HTC look good).

By comparison, a good percentage of Lumia phones have received Lumia Cyan and 8.1 already. The one holdup appears to be for those on the Preview for Developers, but even they make up technically a small minority of users.

HTC, meanwhile, has had issues taking the 8.1 update, even through the Preview for Developers program, which has been blocked since August. Current devices enrolled do not get the latest 8.1.1 version, as there is a deeper issue that HTC needs to solve for hardware. Microsoft did change a lot in 8.1, for the better, but some of it are broad changes like a standard Bluetooth stack (Bluetooth SMART), aspects of the camera, and other underlying memory functions. Presumably, HTC is having a rough time at getting it to work.

Source: Twitter; Thanks, @Supergamer65, for the tip!

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

140 Comments
  • and they'll still (in all probability) beat T-Mo!
  • And Verizon icon...
  • Verizon is October for HTC 8X. We mention that.
  • Meant Lumia icon. Thanks
  • Will be interesting to see if that happens. I'm not holding my breath. Verizon has iPhones to sell! :p
  • Not just iPhones, wouldn't surprise me they're doing it to unload the HTC M8 stock.
  • Sorry but my question is how can I downgrade my HTC 8s to 8.0 I bought it from UAE??? Plz answer
  • Yeah, not sure why this is a surprise since AT&T is the only carrier to yet roll out the 8.1 update to existing devices.
  • Telstra in Aus haven't... But every other carrier has over here! Sucks balls!!!
  • -929.ico
  • And we thought the Cyan rollout was slow. They look like The Flash compated to the other OEM's.
  • Damn Microsoft still didnt enable the god damn firmware for developer prev phones due to the good damn bitlocker-hoax!
  • the bitlocker thing is not a hoax.  You even know what a hoax is?  A hoax is a trick; a deception.  The bitlocker thing was a massive mistake, not a trick.
  • November is just 7 weeks away. I'd be amazed if even Verizon released before then at this point. Doesn't seem like it's just Sprint, except for AT&T isn't Cyan/8.1 generally behind schedule in the US, compared to most of the world?
  • Exactly... I don't understand the surprised tone of the article. If I were on Sprint (thank god I jumped ship years ago) I would consider this very positive news that the updates was coming at all, not bad news that it was going to take a couple months. To put it bluntly, if you have WP on Sprint, your expectations should be pretty much zero. Just get out of town as fast as possible.
  • This is kinda true. But, I can also confirm HTC is slow on updating WP, despite their products that I've used being rock solid. I worked at another mobile carrier recently and had both the 8s/x in beta, and every kind of communication was slow and there was a lot of pushback getting roms for flashing, and even worse getting their device specific updates after officials. I do have Sprint now, with the ATIV S Neo. I was fretting the inevitable update delay, but as a developer I was just waiting for the preview. Fortunately, Sprint had the version update ready (or greenlighted) it so I could even join the preview. The same can not be said for the test-build 8s/x on the other carrier. (nor was I able to get it flashed off the test build version). The really annoying thing for me with sprint, now, is that after the last update, I did an about->reset->restore. Well as it turns out, that de-brands the phone. I only had a minor issue at first with resetting the antenna profile stuff (had to use Cortana to find the now-missing settings item). But then I discovered I could not send or receive MMS. The cellular settings menu was now a bit different, the old Sprint profile disappeared, and I now had an advanced MMS APN group, like I'm used to seeing from the days of old school Nokias. Knowing I merely need someone from Sprint to get me or enter those settings, I take it to the store. The supposed techs at the stores I've tried have no clue. I also get nowhere over the phone. I'm shocked that for things like this, the stores don't have a way to reach up the support chain to someone who must know what these settings should be. I unwilling left my phone with the first guy for an hour.. When I came back about 40 minutes later, he was googling and searching xda, as his last hope. I'm assuming I'll be able to get it flashed back to stock, if I'm willing to spend the time at the store and if I am lucky enough to get a tech capable enough to know wtf he/she is doing.
  • Hey! Im Aaron B. ;-) Thanks for the shout out!!
  • And thank you! lol
  • This one is famous XD
  • Okay, just asked HTC The Netherlands when they are going to update to 8.1 for the HTC 8X. 'Well, we don't know'. Dumping HTC now and ordered a Nokia Lumia 930 orange.
  • Orange a great fit for your country! Heard stories about the bravery of your countrymen during WWII and all the orange flags/signs that signalled safety for the allies. 930 is a great buy you wont regret it.
  • When is the Microsoft gonna start update for developer preview.. I don't want to downgrade.
  • I'd tell you but this is about HTC 8XT. Please do no hijack the topic because you want to talk about something else. Thanks!
  • Hijack? Really? Bit of an overreaction but excellent manners there Rubino. Is there a long history of htc phones not being updated? Pretty lousy on sprints behalf selling a phone and not supporting it. Think a while back some were getting bricked from an update (amber I think) so maybe this is a factor in their decision not to update or just too lazy to do the testing. Why cant other manufacturers do what apple does and bypass the carriers?
  • "Why cant other manufacturers do what apple does and bypass the carriers?" We've gone over this a million times here it seems. Apple has clout. And they do NOT bypass the carriers - the carriers are just on the ball and willing to work with them.
  • Ok thanks for the info, sorry if my genuine question pissed you off, you may of told ppl a million times but I was not one if them. Seems very unfair to favor apple no matter their 'clout'. I genuinely thought that apple pushed there updates OTA bypassing the carriers so thank you for setting me straight on the matter.
  • Sorry, didn't mean to be snarky. Also, I think I was wrong to say they go through carriers. the same way. See http://www.howtogeek.com/163958/why-do-carriers-delay-updates-for-androi... But the short answer is that "Apple has clout". They can tell the carriers what to do, Microsoft and Google can't.
  • Ok no worries. No need to say sorry as I appreciate replies especially when being informed. Great community here and I don't mind if ppl are mean or rude as I too are guilty of this now and then. Anyway thanks MikeSo. :)
  • It may not be all clout, remember Apple has two, maybe three devices firmware to care about, how many OEMs are there for WP and Android? More than a handful. All these devices need to be tested, that takes time and expense.
  • Also apple I'm sure works with the carriers for months and when everyone is ready they flip the switch
  • I had the HTC Arrive with Sprint. We got Mango and then the phone was dead.
  • +920 I refuse to downgrade to get cyan.
  • "-Updates need carrier approval..." yeah, in the U.S of A yes.
  • The 8XT is a USA, Sprint model exclusive...so very relevant to this story.
  • Here is why i don't consider HTC one as my upgrade ;)
  • Unfortunately being on Verizon I have had very little choice besides HTC. Never again. I had the Trophy and now 8x. Their lack of support - and build quality - is extremely frustrating (Verizon's isn't any better). Thank goodness for Dev preview or we'd never get these updates.  I would like to know what holds them back from releasing these updates in a timely matter - not some corporate dodging. That's why I really like when devs detail what's in this update for their apps. Waiting is easier when you know what's going on.
  • HTC doesn't use the standard parts but good at creating their own. The only big hold up from doing that is build drivers that will work right. So when the updates come out, they have to now rebuild and design new drivers for their equipment that will work with even better. That is HTC down fall.
  • If you can run the preview build, you can run the real build. It's a hard sell to think there is really a lot they have to work on, it always seems like super minor stuff. It's more likely that its a resource bottleneck. Both at HTC and at Carrier. HTC has to do their thing, then carrier does theirs. Carrier finds problem and has to send back to HTC which has to do something, etc. That's one of the quirky little things about Apple's business and device model that allows them to spin this subtle difference/advantage as a product quality thing, and perceived 'clout'. It's all part of the RDF, seriously. But it does also help them eek out slightly better polish (even if the features are turdy). While these issues may ultimately be trivial, they are issues nonetheless in hotly a contended arena, and these manufacturers have a tougher job maintaining agile enough quality because there is a premium on the feedback loop. Samsung and apple get first dibs, effectively.
  • Exactly why I went with Lumia. HTC literally abandoned it's Titan users. That phone had great portential! They may make great phones, but stop at that.
  • And their HD7/7S. Great phones that were killed by HTC.
  • Want an up to date WinPhone ? Looks like the only real option is to go Lumia ...
  • Agreed
  • Nope just Lumia on att my 925 tmobile isn't on cyan
  • Is anyone here surprised?
  • My HTC 8X on ATT hasn't gotten it yet either......I can't wait to get rid of HTC
  • This is why I left Sprint. They never updated the HTC Arrive even though multiple Windows Phone OS updates came out.
  • My only mistake when leaving sprint was going Verizon. Love the coverage but would take ATT spotty service at my house for the 1520
  • Not true. They gave it Mango. They did not update any further though.
  • The problem is carrier not Microsoft.
  • Thank you!
  • +925 This is why the carriers need to stop dabbling in software and leave that up to the professionals. Approve the Windows 8.1 updates (of which more than enough Preview testing has been done by willing volunteers) and Cyan already!
  • I want to know is when upgrading from windows phone 8.1 will be released to the Ativ S :/
  • This ^ No mention of any update news but I don't think Elizeu is off topic. This is relevenat to the carrier, and if HTC isn't getting it till november what does that mean for the better phone on their Carrier.
  • Agreed, I have the Neo and would like to see it supported. Really, at this point I just want to see firmware updates though since the DP has me up-to-date OS wise.
  • the preview version is consuming a lot of battery
  • Agreed, I can barely last a day on 8.1.1 when I used to get a day and a half easily on my 925.
  • Interesting you say this. Me too. It used to last me 26-30 hours, now it drains soooo fast. Less than Half day for solid use. I just assumed it was the battery, tbh, because I felt like it started before preview, but I can't be sure. (I was using waze a lot every day then, which is a battery burner for sure).
  • Surprise surprise another HTC abandoned.... Guess its the carriers fault. Just put DP8.1 in it guess. Never owned a HTC myself but friend has M8 for windows and its really nice apart from the woeful camera (ffc is better than main!) and the huge chin. Great loudspeaker, casing and os.
  • The problem in this case is, as mentioned in the article, the HTC devices didn't receive the latest Preview for Developers update either. So for now there is no update path for HTC devices. That might change of course.
  • How does getting the upgrade = abandoned? That's like the exact opposite!
  • This is one reason why I didn't get another HTC because my Titan never received an update.
  • I said the same thing a few comments above. I still have my Titan. No updates.. HTC literally abandoned its user base....nor did the fix the software bugs.. especially the one in network setting to add extra parameters to use it on StraightTalk.  
  • WP started to look like Android...
  • Hmm, what if we would need to roll back to 8.0 to get 8.1? How will that happen since we don't have any recovery tool like Nokia has..
  • How does one get the live tile for the clock
  • Ah well.. What about ATIVs anyways haha :)? Nokia and HTC news are only known..
  • I've got the ATIV S Neo on Sprint and it's got the latest dev preview updates. Looks like it's just the HTC on Sprint that's getting the shaft.
  • Lol well that minority is just about everyone in the USA that didn't want to wait on their friggin lazy thumbs up their bums carriers. Such as myself with my Lumia 521 with PfD 8.1.1 :3
  • A good percentage of Lumias?  Microsoft's official word was "summer."  We're closing on the end of that and my flagship Icon, the 928, and the 822 don't yet have it.  A good percentage by now would be equal to 100.
  • A good percentage of the world's lumias, not just the US.
  • Don't know why MS just make their developer preview official after a month of release and feedback instead of going thru carriers and this mess. Icon hasn't received 8.1 yet. Just pathetic
  • I had the 8xt on sprint before I switched to tmobile and a lumia 925. The 8xt was one of the first devices (if not THE first) to have the updates pushed out via Sprint, getting it's official update (corresponding to the Nokia Amber and Black updates) before the Samsung and Nokia devices. Needless to say, I was VERY suprised when they were pushed down without the developer preview, and still seeing that even the coveted Nokia phones didn't get it yet.  HTC has had driver issues with their 8x and 8s devices, keeping them from even getting the developer preview updates. Its low/mid range device, with a solid build, and probably not high on Sprints "update priority list".
  • "It's ok, little HTC 8XT, you'll probably get the update before I do", said little Lumia 928 on Verizon.
  • That is why I will never buy an HTC winphone again :/
  • Some mention about an upcoming update is welcome in the very least.  I've been sitting here (im)patiently with Bell/Samsung wondering when they're going to release 8.1(.1) for the ATIV S.
  • At least they have a date... Verizon ain't got shit
  • I have an unlocked carrier free 8x, so wonder if unlocked devices get updates any sooner.
  • So do I - all we need is the firmware from HTC (which they have to complete for the official 8.1 rollout) I'm just completely fed up that firstly we couldn't get Cortana because the US language wasn't fully installed to change our region and now when it is available it other countries which we can access, the update gets blocked! This will definitely be the last HTC phone I ever get!
  • Yeah, I'm sure they'll still get the update before T-Mo. I already knew from reading on here that T-Mo would supposedly be releasing Cyan in Q4, so just for fun I went to my local T-Mo store and asked them when we would get it OTA. Needless to say, I might have well been speaking another language. They knew nothing and acted like they didn't know what Cyan was. Thank goodness I have the Dev Prev or I'd probably never get 8.1. I believe if you sell a product, you should know a little something about it. Not just how to turn it on and off :)
  • October for Verizon, November For Sprint (8XT), T-Mobile's ETA is unknown ... Where does that leave the International version? HTC never replied to me.
  • I still don't got cyan on my 925, my dad doesn't yet have it on his 928 and my bro doesn't have it on his 521. I'll probably have an 830 or M8W before it rolls out to everyone.
  • What about Lumia 620 in India?
    It seems, it will also not get the update until November. :(
  • 620 update has already been released. Check previous articles from wpcentral or Nokia's site. If you are not detecting updates or having issues, go to Nokia care. They will update it for you.
  • I will try buy nobody has got it yet. Thanks for the information.
  • Does it really matter who's at fault (Microsoft, OEM's or carrier), the current state of provisioning updates for WP's is horrible.  I really don't care about similiar issues users encounter for Android updates.  The model which should be in place for WP's is what happens with the iPhone. OS updates announced  and everyone can get them when released - not months later or never. Sure I'm aware that older iPhones may be left out but my point is all currently sold models are supported.     (In case you're curious, I have a HTC 8X on Verizon - which is still sold by the way.   
  • The problem is Apple is one single OEM with one OS why Microsoft as to deal with several OEMs who in turn have different hardwares
  • Sucks to be a HTC owner but the rest of us give a big meh sigh. The 8X and 8S are ancient in mobile terms anybody is well past an upgrade.
  • I wouldn't say that. I just got that Ativ S Neo from Sprint early this year, so can't upgrade until next year. The Neo and the 8XT are the only WPs that Sprint has, so anybody wanting one still has to choose from one of those. With that said, this is why it will be hard for me to stick with WP. With all the issues surrounding the Neo when you factory reset while on Dev Preview, we've been waiting on Sprint to release the official updates to fix them. We never even got GDR3. Also, HTC isn't any better with their issues of hardware not playing nice with the updates. If Sprint never releases more WPs (specifically higher end models) and we never get the 8.1 update, then I'll be going back to Android. Yea, I know they don't always get the latest updates either, but from my experience, more likely to than WP. Still on Sprint's old unlimited plan, so can't afford for my 4-line plan to go up at least $50, which is how much more any other plan is. Otherwise I would just switch carriers.
  • schitznatch.. I'm in the same boat as you. I've been a Sprint subscriber since 2006 back when I had a huge bag Motorola phone. My family is also on Sprint (iPhone 5C for the wife, Galaxy Nexus for my daughter and HTC8XT for me). So you can see that it's beneficial for me to stay especially with a teenager who loves to text. But I've thinking long and hard lately about do I stay on Sprint and just go back to Android (don't really want to after having 2 Android phones in the past) or switch to iPhone (I like iOS but I also like not following the norm). Or stay knowing that Sprint likely will not ever get a Nokia which is what I want. More than likely Sprint will get the HTC One M8 for Windows or a lower spec HTC One Desire or something and put Windows on it just as they've done with HTC8XT. The HTC One M8 would be a nice Windows Phone for Sprint user but if buying that phone means I have worry about getting future updates then it's not worth it. Back when I had HTC Android phones on Sprint I use to get upset when my phone after a year would not be eligible for updates. At the time I assumed HTC was trying to push buyers to get new phones. Way before Samsung became the king of Android and spam the industry with many Android models. It seemed as HTC had the same business plan. There seemed to be a new HTC device coming out every 3 months.  I consider my HTC8XT a step down from the HTC8X which had a 720p screen. The HTC8XT does not. Luckily I've been running the 8.1 Developers Preview but now I'm annoyed that the official HTC update is not available so I'm not able to get folders and utliize the latest Xbox Music update to now have live tiles of the artist that's playing. At any rate I want my next Windows Phone to be a Nokia. I've had the HTC Arrive before getting the HTC8XT. I'm due for an upgrade next June 2015 so I have time to decide but I'm thinking of leaving my family on Sprint and I move to AT&T just to have some Nokia options. And also they seem to be the only carrier out of the 3 that carries Nokia that seems to get updates in a timely manner. However I am disappointed in two ways over this Windows 8.1 situation: My first annoyance is with Sprint or HTC had announced in April after build that they would bring 8.1 to their phones this summer. Once 8.1 started becoming available in late July then I heard that HTC would update their Sprint phones to 8.1 in September. Now today we hear that they will get the updates in November. Ugh!! My second annoyance with Microsoft although may anger may be misplaced but my annoyance is that Windows Phones was supposed to get updates without having carrier interferance similar to iOS. That was one of the reasons I left Android among other issues and it's one of the reasons I admire iOS. But from reading the forums over last month the update to 8.1 seems to be a major mess considering various Lumia devices as well have not gotten the 8.1 update. As well as the few Samsung Ativ phones have not gotten offical updates.  Again I may be barking up the wrong tree blaming Microsoft and it could be a carrier issue but I don't understand how some Lumias in other parts of the world have the update but the same version in America does not have the update. All these circumstances makes it hard to support Windows Phone but I as Daniel wrote in his editorial "Do Windows Phone Users need to think different".  I like to think that I'm a loyal lover and evangelist of Windows Phone and have been more than willing to put up with the platform of my choice being late on features, apps and updates and I love the user experience. Trying to offer my unwavering support just as an iPhone evagelist does with their phones even though they have lacked features that have been available on Android and Windows for two years now. But goodness my patience is being tested.    
  • IMO, it seems the blame is squarely on HTC's shoulders for not getting the firmware out.  Verizon HTC & Sprint HTC owners appear to be in the same boat with the late Oct/early Nov. timeframe...that said...I really want a One Mini running WP.  I don't want a phablet...I simply don't...I want an easily pocketable durable phone with top specs.  (I don't think that phone exists in the WP world...maybe an Icon...but again, not a Sprint phone.
  • The update process is pathetic.  Hunch tells me all the phones left that haven't been updated won't be getting updated. 
  • I am waiting for Lumia 830 to show up in eastern europe and ditching my htc...
  • What about verizon because the icon does not update lumia 928 and even when the users have to wait for this equipment should set a date for the upgrade so be in December, but to say something.
  • Makes me very scared of the one
  • Having second thoughts about the One also :/
  • My favorite part is that Sprint announced it would be out by late Summer. This is infuriating. I really just want a good phone but am stuck with Sprint. I have been drooling over a Lumia phone for a long time. I would even take a HTC One for Windows. HTC 8XT not getting support is just ridiculous.
  • They were so quick to say that 8.1 would be coming this summer, I remember reading that article shortly after the 8.1 unveiling. I'm just glad I got the Developer's Preview in time.
  • & why would Verizon bother when they could push people to upgrade to the m8
  • Please. T mobile said the 920 isn't until the fall, so who knows how long !
  • Where the heck are you getting your data last I checked Verizon had not released the cyan update for any of their phones! They like Sprint do not seem to care about customer who have already been locked in! Bottome line looks like AT&T is the only real supporter of Windows Phones here in the US !
  • Hear my words..."This update will come out within a few weeks of the new Windows Phones from Sprint." Ive been told from a Sprint Corp. rep that the HTC M8, (possibly in blue, red or gold to distinquish itself from the other carriers phones) a Samsung Windows/Android dual boot phone and yes a NOKIA (TBD - 1st or 2nd quarter of 2015)!!!. All phones will be high end and flagship phones. So be patient my Sprint WindowPhonabees...a change is a comin'!!
  • I'm surprised you heard anything from a Sprint rep other than "Keep an eye on our news room!", but I also heard faint rumors of a Nokia coming to Sprint in the future... I'll be eligible for an upgrade come spring 2015, so I hope I have the chance to get on the Nokia triain.
  • Carriers are why from now on I'm buying factory unlocked variants. No waiting on carriers for updates bull*
  • Someone please explain logically why carriers would wait so long to allow the 8.1 update, when 8.1 WP has been rolled out on newer phones for a couple months. Especially Verizon, when the 930 (identical to the Icon) has had 8.1 for weeks.
  • To be honest, and I own 3 8XT's, the phone has issues with 8.1 DP.  Connecting to a secure network via WiFi will slow down the phone to the point of essentially hanging.   Sprint has some issues with their Visual Voicemail app (which is the only indication that we have Voicemails), and a couple other apps 'Activiate my phone' for activating on their network...given that Verizon is late October, and Sprint, November, it would see to indicate (to me anyway) that HTC is still fixing their drivers...which would mean there's still carrier testing, etc before we'll see it.
  • What about the Samsung Ativ Neo on Sprint. The 8.1 update was supposed to be "end of summer" & that is the last anyone has heard. Online searches bring up announcements from April.  Sprint is no help either & I'm too afraid to install the Developer Preview. Does this mean Sprint is "breaking" their contract/promise to us?  We should be able to hand in our phones & walk away at no additional charge
  • Summer ends on 9/23, So they have 2 days. lol. Fingers crossed.
  • At least they could give Cortana to the non-US variant.
    HTC hardware is great and I want to upgrade to One M8 from my 8X. This lack of support is stopping me to click the buy button since weeks. I am torn between a new Lumia flagship or the M8 and I keep waiting because of HTC's incompetence.
  • The problem with saying that Sprint had been slow to update is that it historically isn't true, Daniel. The 8XT was the first in the world to get both GDR2 AND GDR3...which was only last summer and fall respectively... I'm no Sprint defender, but its very inaccurate to say they haven't supported this phone. I, for one, am hoping they're taking the extra time to fix their stupid Visual Voicemail app...
  • This BS of carryies controlling updates on wp and android has to end
  • Nokia Lumia 1520.3 FTW :3!
  • Why do updates (regardless of the OS) need to go through carriers?
  • Hardware variants I guess, like the 521 is a lil taller and has Wi-Fi calling built in, 520 doesn't, so TMo has to test it because its different. I wish MS didn't allow carriers to alter things in the phones...
  • I think after 8.1, it will be the end of HTC support for 8x. Just one major update after phone release. Forget about getting windows 9 r something like that......
  • I won't blame them if they do ... the 8X is a 2 years old phone .... i won't be surprised if Microsoft ended support for the 920 & 820 either
  • I really want to see a Sprint Windows Phone that supports all of their LTE bands! Include the CCA Roaming bands, too!
  • No tmobile update yet ? Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Good, reminds those not to buy a HTC M8 for Windows