After just a few weeks, Sprint lowers prices for the HTC 8XT and ATIV S Neo to $0 and $49.99

While it’s not uncommon to see new phones get price drops, especially through third party retailers like Amazon.com whose business is to undercut the carriers, it is a bit unusual to see a carrier lower the price too quickly. Such is the case with the HTC 8XT (review) and the Samsung ATIV S Neo.

The HTC 8XT, which was released on July 19th, initially sold for $99 on a two-year contract. Starting this past weekend, the price has dropped to free, though you still need to send in the $50 mail-in rebate. Likewise, the Samsung ATIV S Neo, which has only been available for 10 days (with a limited rollout), has also had a $100 haircut going from $149.99 to a more reasonable $49.99 (also after a mail-in rebate).

Carriers lowering prices to move inventory is a common practice, indeed the AT&T Lumia 920 has recently been lowered to $49.99 from its initial $99 offering. The difference there is the Lumia 920 has been available for nine months whereas the ATIV S Neo has had its price cut after just ten days. Such an early reduction in price could leave a few customers sore if they had bought it on day one (Sprint will credit you if you're within the 14 day purchase period, but you have to contact them first).

It’s not clear if this is a temporary sale, meaning potential customers should act now, or if this is a permanent reduction in an attempt to make Sprint’s new Windows Phone’s more attractive to the public.

Sprint, who offers low-cost and affordable plans when compared to Verizon or AT&T, may have had these prices set to high for their new phones. By comparison, T-Mobile launched the Nokia Lumia 925 for $49.99. Offering the ATIV S Neo at that same price range seem more appropriate to keeping customers from switching.

Source: Sprint (HTC 8XT; ATIV S Neo); Thanks, Joel W., Premsta (WPCentral forums), for the tips!

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

116 Comments
  • Is sprint actually trying to drum up WP biz?
  • Or are they trying to flush their inventory?
  • I wouldn't be surprised if Sprint is EOL WP
  • maybe they are flushing to make more room for more WP..... Besides since they have been out less than 2 months their tech is already out dated......what was I thinking ???? Must be a gas leaking in here....lol
  • I haven't seen Sprint advertise a damn thing❕❕
  • I see this as a good thing. People see a cheap phone and rush to it.
  • Rick....you must not watch NASCAR.....they advertise that a lot during racing season. And when they advertise during a race...they advertise more races....so see they do advertise, just not phones, or plans, etc
  • They probably have only sold like 200 of the both total, honestly they both are horrible in my opinion
  • You say these phones are horrible❔
  • Yes, that is what he said.
  • Well, he's wrong because my EX has a 8X and it's a magnificent device.. And, the Neo is very nice,, as long as you like Samsung's plasticy designs, but it's a powerful device, and is very capable.. Your boy needs to give credit where credit is due..
  • They are not horrible, but they aren't ground breaking either.  Unless I'm mistaken, these are basically just Sprint specific versions of the HTC 8X and Samsung ATIV S that came out almost a year ago.  So Sprint trying to charge that much for 1 year old hardware is stupid in my opinion.  In the end, Sprint will say "Well gosh, Windows Mobile 8 devices just can't sell, just like Windows Mobile 7."
  • i could care less about Sprint.  They dont advertise these phones, so how in the H*** would they expect to sale these?  I know that i havent seen one commercial showcasing either of these phones.   They could have represented these phones as a sister/cousin/etc to the HTC One (boom sound) and just mention Samsungs name and people will be interested.  MS should not do business with Sprint Ever Again!
  • When you think of Windows Phone you immediately think Nokia. Its a fact.
  • You are right. They should have invited Nokia to the party if they wanted a real WP launch. The reality is that Samsung and HTC aren't doing enough to compete and maybe never will.
  • They will once WP market share surpasses iOS.. And, that's not to long from now.. Maybe 18-24 months.
  • I like your optimism, but I'm afraid iOS wont continue it's drop after its next release.
  • Yeah, it's next release will give it a boost, but with it being the same old phone the fourth time around it's not the threat it used to be.. Regardless of Apples boost Nokia will continue with multiple releases for the rest of this year, and throughout 2014.. WP being second isn't only optimism on my part,, it's inevitable...
  • Yeah, with the cheap colorful iPhones the cheapos that buy cheap androids will buy iPhones, they can finally afford it, maybe.
  • Let them buy that one device.. Nokia is going to have an onslaught of WP8.1 devices in all different price ranges.. The iPhone can't even compete with the 520 right now❕ You think the solution is a more expensive device with some colors❔... What do you think Nokia ha in store for its next entry level device❔ Stop thinking if the market in terms of the US only.. Jesus people,, WP has surpassed the iPhone in multiple European countries, and huge markets like India, and China❕ Wow❕... You guys optimism, and assurance, should be like way higher... WP only needs 10% more market share to match iOS, and it's growing faster, and faster... I'm not threatened by the upcoming release from Apple, and you guys shouldn't be either.. We got to stand our ground, and ignore the medias negative BS about WP...
  • Yes you should...the next releases of the iPhone will be insane and the color options are gonna rules every high school in the country. They are going to literally make Nokia look like they never offered a colored phone option because that's what apple does with everything. They have clout and I think your underselling the marketing machine that is apple.
  • I know what they do,, but I have faith in what Nokia knows Apple will do, and how Nokia will respond to it... That's why I'm not scared.. It's still the beginning, and we have not yet seen what Nokia is fully capable of doing.. As Nokia continues to pick up steam it will be obvious that they are a serious threat to Apple, and Samsung in the near future.. But, nevertheless, we'll just have to wait and see how the next few years unfold........ But, as far as Apple goes I still think it will be in Nokias favor.
  • That may be possible world wide, but in the US, iOS is still king.
  • But, worldwide is what matters the most to developers, Microkia, and to EVERYTHING❕.. You've got to be American to make a comment like that.
  • Sprint is a US company that operates in the US and services US customers.  They care about US marketshare, not world wide marketshare.  Why the heck would you missunderstand the point of my comment?
    Edit: Actually the fault might be mine, looking at the root of this thread I see the conversation may be more about Samsung/HTC and not Sprint. My bad.
  • Lol❕ dude read the whole thing.. We're slightly off subject, and not really talking about Sprint on this one... You're funny..
    Update... It's cool❕❕ LOL.
  • If iOS is still king in the US why does Andriod have 52% and iOS 40%.
  • Everyone I know has an iPhone.
  • I do not know anyone who owns an iPhone. That is the honest truth, the last time I seen an iPhone was december of 2012. 
  • People I see usually have some type of iPhone, or some version Galaxy device... Here in the US..
  • I thought I saw some numbers a few months back which showed iPhone was still 50+% of the US smartphone sales.  I could be wrong though.
  • Nope Apple is at 39.9% in the USA from the latest numbers. World wide they are at only 13%.
  • The only number that really matters is that 13% you speak of.. And, since the time period that number was generated for 7 new WP devices have been released, so it's bound to be higher now.. Possibly at 13.5%..
  • HTC isn't doing enough to compete with Samsung on either the WP or Android market. I'm not sure Nokia has any real competition. At least in the WP arena. Apple will always have a device but they're due for a drastic style change to really make any large advancements in market share. Their style is beyond old and dated. They also need to embrace a phablet offering to be competitive. I just see apple milking their current crop for all its worth before making any real changes. This is an opportunity for Microsoft and Nokia to capitalize by providing a more diverse portfolio. Android is just the poor man's ios, it will continue to be as ambiguous as ever.
  • I can agree with that.. Sounds like the reality of the situation..
  • I don't know Sprint's services, of course they are cheaper than AT&T and Verizon but maybe their network is not as broadly available as others.  Then they are cheap just a little bit.  They could do a lot better if they offered some mid/low-range WP device ($150-350) on pre-paid network (if they have any).  For post-paid they are competing with big DOGs like AT&T and Verizon and only little price difference doesn't make up for AVAILABILITY. Pre-paid customers; however, are not as demanding as post-paid but pretty frugal.  They can do T-mobile thing, Nokia Lumia 520 for $150 and see how their customer base grows.
  • Nah, infact I will never buy another Nokia...poor quailty control and this 928 FM radio thing...
     
    HTC was Windows Mobile/Windows Phone before Nokia was ever in the picture..
  • I was on Sprint before switching to AT&T because of their horrid WP support. I would assume that most people interested in WP have dumped them for greener pastures, and I doubt Sprint does anything to sell these phones to their average customer coming through their doors. So of course they will have extra if these phones.
  • +1020
  • at this point, I feel as though I'm the only person still using their Arrive
  • Why have you not upgraded? We're you THE last person to purchase the arrive❔
  • You're not the only one. I'm typing this on my Arrive.
  • Have been "off-contract" now for a month and typing this on my Arrive, waiting for a 1028 or something better on a real network. ;-)
  • @ Daniel, will WP review the Neo anytime soon? I am a Sprint customer that is ready to move on from my Arrive but am a bit wary especially after the dreadful review from Cnet.
  • We'd like to but so far, nada on the review units--their PR firms aren't pushing it too much. We'll do what we can though.
  • Thanks.
  • What was the point of Sprint getting these phones if they don't care to sell them.. Have they read WP news lately❔ WP devices don't yet sell themselves.. I just don't understand... Maybe it was to just please existing WP fans so they wouldn't switch❔I doubt they would go so far just to save that small amount of accounts.. WTF❕
  • I don't see Sprint advertising themselves (network, service) much less any hardware. The iPhone, they had to because they purchased all that stock upfront.
  • I agree... I've been begging for an investigative journalism piece regarding Sprint & Nokia for the longest. The closest that I can get is that Hess & Nokia had a bitter break up.
  • Hess❔
  • The oil company....it makes sense now!
  • Oil company❔I'm confused...
  • it was an attempt at making a funny
  • Lol❕.. I guess I'm too stupid for your type of humor.. That's them edumacated type people's funny business..
  • From one former Sprint HTC Arrive user to another, get the HTC 8XT. You will really like the 8XT if you were at least somewhat satisfied with your HTC Arrive, given its shortcomings... small screen, bulky w/keyboard, etc. I am really enjoying the 8XT, despite still wanting a Nokia. HTC made a really solid device in the 8XT.
  • Has anyone seen any advertisements from Sprint and these phones❔
  • ALL Sprint phones are currently $100 off if you bring your number and switch to Sprint from another carrier. Look in the image in the pricing it says 'web only - switch & save' with the minus $100. If you're a current customer upgrading you'll get the normal pricing of $99 for 8XT and $149 for ATIV Neo, both after rebate.
     
    These prices are ONLY for new customers porting to Sprint from other carriers!
     
    The Sprint site even pops up the offer info when you go to the phones page... I'm surprised this wasn't mentioned in the article! -_-
  • Thanks for this info.
  • That's not entirely accurate though. A longtime Sprint customer (friend of the site) got the $100 credit added to his account and his was an upgrade, not new customer.
  • Hm, that's really interesting... I wonder why that is. More power to him haha.. I just felt the need to inform about the switcher offer since (as far as I can tell) that's why all of the phones on sprint.com are listed $100 off.
  • That must have been a mistake then. He got off lucky, and I'd say he's probably an outlier in the stats.
    I asked Sprint through 3 different avenues about the pricing and was told all 3 times that the $50 price is intended for NEW customers only. Upgrades don't count. I got my ATIV S Neo on Friday, and paid the $200, with the $50 rebate coming in later. Even the screenshot you provided says "Your price to start a new line of service"
  • Dan,
    I just called Sprint to try to get the $100 credit on the Ativ S Neo I recently purchased.  The Customer Service rep told me that the $100 was for all Sprint phones, but only for purchases with ported #s, not for current customer upgrades.  He said being a current customer wasn't the problem, but I would have to port a # over to my account to get the credit.  I also wanted to add that so far this phone is fantastic. It's nice to finally be on WP8.
  • He must have got lucky, or it must have been a fluke, or he must have had an extremely nice sales rep.  This definitely isn't a price drop.  I tried talking Sprint CS into giving me a similar deal to this and they basically said no way it would happen without bringing over a new line.
     
     
  • Thanks for the eagle eye. I was about to call Sprint and ask for some of my money back for my Ativ S Neo.
  • My source told me that her manager doesn't make them push the device at all or even recommend it. I thought those days were behind us with WP7. Not cool at all
  • People are clueless..
  • You've proven that on more than one occasion.
  • NIST has no scrotum....
  • These are what the prices should have been to begin with.
  • This is the vicious circle of WP sales - they don't advertise them, so they don't sell, and since they don't sell, they won't spend money on trying to advertise them... And so on. And unlike Android phones, where they can advertise a $350 phone and get ancillary business by putting the cheap phones next to it in the stores, the carriers display so few WP phones that not even that effect is available.
    I hope at least that AT&T is smart enough to try and display more than just the 1020 in their stores - how about putting up a half dozen other WP phones, so it doesn't look like some weird one-off product like the feature phones do? I don't know how to get the carriers to do more than just fulfill the bare minimum of their contractual requirements.
  • from what I understand most Sprint stores don't even have the Ativ dummy units on display
  • The ones around the St. Louis area are just now ge