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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 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 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.

  • 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
  • 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.
  • must not watch NASCAR.....they advertise that a lot during racing season. And when they advertise during a race...they advertise more 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 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 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 getting some in stock. I was finally able to find them in stores. It's slow, but they're finally coming out.
  • This is incorrect, as live demos have been installed next to the Galaxy line of phones near the front of the store. Web sales ate the whole supply before retail could get some on both units.
  • I recall hearing that the 8XT had a special camer app that allowed for HDR and Panorama; is that true?  Why can't I get it on my 8X. 
    I really like shooting in HDR and right now I use Fantasia Painter to add a post HDR effect.
  • The 8XT does have an awsome camera app called HTC Camerea. It also has a burst mode. 
  • I can't believe they haven't released it for the 8X yet; what are they waiting for?
  • Most likely a Sprint exclusive app. The panorama works amazingly well.
  • Not more exclusives!!!  I really want that app.
    I am using photosynth for panorama and it does a good job most times but I want something slightly better.  Any suggestions?
  • if you have grd2 your phone you can try the links from your pohone not a computer to see if it lets you download and install the app
    htc camera
    htc burst
    you need both, let me know if you can download them, remeber do it from your phone
  • Thanks for the links; as of right now it won't let me download them.  However, based on the description it is for 8XT and GDR2 devices.  So hopefully it will allow download when I get GDR2; which I am anxiously awaiting for!
  • Got GDR2 today. Still won't let me download. Says it only supports 480x800 resolution. Seems silly, they need to update that app.
  • im stuck with Sprint for another 10 months. Maybe in that time they will add more WPs to their line up......yeah right. And for those who say they dont advertise...pishaw...they advertise NASCAR really well. Now that's Sprint speed.
  • as well as NBA on TNT
  • I haven't been able to update on Sprint because until a few weeks ago there was nothing to upgrade too and honestly, it feels as though if I get an Ativ or the 8XT that it will be a waste of an upgrade on year old devices. My contract on Sprint isn't up until Feb 2014. Hopefully they'll work out the Nokia stuff by then, if not it'll be so long to Sprint.
  • I re-upped my contract with AT&T and I got my HTC 8X for 99 cents......
  • I'm letting my contract expire with Sprint and not renewing.  Too many signal issues for me in the past year in KC area.  I went ahead and bought the Lumia outright on AT&T, and am using the prepay Go service.  Love it!  $60 gets me unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of data.  Not too shabby, and the service is so much better than Sprint here in KC, especially data.
    Now, if AT&T would only release the doggone Amber update....
  • I just got my Neo last thursday. Was really hoping to get $100 back but it sounds like I won't.
    Interesting note, the Sprint Rep at the store I bought the phone from (Lynnwood, WA. The store is a repair center) said they have only sold about 2 8Xt's and they have both come back with the boomsound speakers having died. One of the repair guys also has one that had the speakers die. Sounds like the 8Xt may have QC issues.
  • They don't advertise Windows Phone at all. They at least put the Arrive on thier front page for a day or so, neither of these new devices have even gotten that much. They blammed MS for a lack of support for WP7 and claimed that was why the hardware didn't move but the carrier needs to put some effort into making the customers aware of thier existence as well.
  • A lure to attract new customers, or a realization that the upfront cost is too high considering these models are nearly a year old? Either way, here's hoping people start adopting the WP8 platform on Sprint.
  • Sprint/Google ongoing hatred for real competition continues. This latest move might be to get as many windows phones out there but give as little technical support as possible. Especially from willing and paid conspirators on tech blogs.
  • What is your source?
  • Has Microsoft even had a single commercial pushing any of the WP8 devices from Samsung?  They did for the 8X and the Lumia line.
    Just a thought...
  • I have yet to see a sprint commercial for anything lately so imagine thpush for WP.
  • These units are displayed prominantly next to the 2 highest trafficing sections of the retail stores. They are right next to the Galaxy line of units, and the HTC section with the One and the EVO LTE. I beleive marketing has something planned soon, but I have not seen specifics (whether TV, print, or web ads).
    Both phones sold completely out online so much so that store units on 8XT were small, and Ativ S were delayed until they could buy more as they were left with none to ship to stores. They arrived last weds.
  • Let be known, I would not pass up an opportunity to but a boot up Sprint's rear end on any given occasion. But unfortunately, I have to say that this is part of their promotion for all phones this month. All of the smartphones are being discounted by $100 including the HTC one, Iphone 5, Galaxy S 4 and all other smartphones. They do this often to attract new customers but leave existing customers to fend for themselves by looking elsewhere for sweet deals on the latest and greatest smartphones. 
    So, while it would be nice to think they are trying to drum up business for Windows. It's the same old, same old customers on Sprint have to deal with on a regular basis. You would think, Sprint would like to keep the customers they have as well as gain new ones but then again it is Sprint we're talking about. 
  • Htc 8xt is a crappy phone if you compare to others htc windows phones and the Ativ I really don't know but it seems people are not buying it, besides Sprint do sh#% in terms of advertising 
  • Neither has Microsoft for any of the current offerings from Samsung's Ativ line...
  • yeah, there really is not a discount, unless you are establishing a new account at Sprint.  Existing coustomers still have to pay the 149.99 price, and this promotion looks to only be for a few weeks.   so it looks like there really isn't a price cut here -
  • This is great news! My parents are on Sprint and know they'll need to move to a smartphone sooner or later (still "feature phone" users). I now have something on the Sprint n/w i can recommend - wahoo! 
  • 2 Things have happened, let me try and explain from a logistics standpoint.
    Web sales exceeded our (Sprint's) projected inventory, as the phones both launched there first and sold out. We got the 8XT first, but could only supply stores with a smaller quantity since web sales gobbled most of them up, same happened with the Ativ S, only they had none for stores. They put a small delay on getting the Ativ S out to stores and hit up both HTC and Samsung for more units as store levels of the HTC were gone, and the Samsungs ran out before store supply could be filled, hence the stores got no shelf inventory until mid last week. They got a better deal as they ordered more the 2nd time, hence the extra subsidy cut.
    In the meantime, those who run the Plan o Gram (sales pop and materials) changed the 8XT and the Ativ S to have their own spotlight fixtures with WP8 material next to the Samsung Galaxy display in stores noww that both phones are in supply at stores. This past week we finally got stock of both back in and dropped the price.
    Customer wins a better price due to buying more as the demand for both were pretty high.
    The Windows phone section displays both phones prominantly near the front of the store, right next to the Galaxy section with the Notes and S3, S4's.
    So there ya have it, WP8 is a hit at Sprint, and I just received my Samsung Ativ S advocate for the store employee, and for myself the Product Launch Ambassador unit to write about and promote.
  • But then again, a logical explanation is never good enough because is Sprint, and in wpcentral world Sprint and Samsung "don't care", while Nokia is "God" even though they cannot get their devices to be sold on a second CDMA carrier...
  • Thats why I'm here, as a Product Ambassador supporting the Launch of the Samsung Ativ S Neo, I want people to know we are internally advocating this device, carrying the device ourselves, promoting within, and outside on sites such as these, so that people know Sprint is seriously onboard with WP8.
    I believe there is even more to come with WP8, otherwise they wouldn't be putting fellas like me out here to spread the good word.
    Take my info as far as you want, but I picked myself to be assigned at WPCentral for Sprint, because I want the people here to know the difference this time around.
  • Looks like Sprint has accepted the challenge by Daniel Rubino.
    Surprise, Surprise!
  • Well my friend, I certainly hope you are a Sprint Rep and that they truly are changing their tune in regards to windows phone. It will be nice to know that I can purchase the ativ so neo without worrying about support from the carrier or oem. I look forward to testing your statement out since I've been due for an upgrade and will need to upgrade before going on vacation in Canada.  I won't hold my breath but will give it a shot.
  • Please get us some info on when they will fix the voicemail notification problem on the 8xt and the Neo!  This is ridiculous that voicemail notifications don't work.  I have no idea when I get voicemails unless I open the visual voicemail app to check.  It should give me a toast notification (sound and voicemail icon) but it doesn't.  Voicemail is complete useless without notification.
  • Got the sprint htc in last night. After living on LTE for so long, the 3G on the bar gives me the shakes. But the phone is quite nice.
  • That won't be for too long since Vegas has limited active LTE.
  • SPRINT with LTE ? LOL If you want LTE, it's Verizon then AT&T....sprint is a joke..
  • Dude, you have no idea about the LTE deployment...  
    S4GRU will set you free.
  • Yeah S4GRU is a great site.  They finally turned on the 4g lte site on the sprint tower in my old back yard and I get 23+ mbps download at my sister's house now.  They're turning on more and more sites all around me in the last month so I'm a happy camper. 
    Unlimited lte on a $50/month sero premium plan...can't beat it.
  • You got that right. AT&T rules in Vegas. Sprint network is a series of soup cans strung along telephone polls with dan hesse selling their latest scam, the unlimited soup can guarantee.  lol
  • Just went on sprints website to try and get this deal and the phones are still being sold for the same prices they were before
  • The $100 off is only for new customers switching over from other carriers.
    ONLINE ONLY - For a limited time, save UP TO $100 on this phone when you bring your number to Sprint on a new line of service.
  • The $49.99 price is after an additional $100 discount to bring your line over from another carrier... called the "Switch & Save" promotion.  The regular new line or upgrade price is still $149.99 after rebate.
  • well that sucks! what good does that do people that already have spring smdh...
  • People will pay that price.  It's no different on any other contract based carrier.