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Going, going, going... ah hello, Apollo!

Sprint is slowing phasing out the much loved HTC Arrive, according to Windows Phone Central forum member iknowsingh. Travelling down to the Sprint corporate store on 42nd street in New York, iknowsingh notes that the Arrive was nowhere to be seen. Confirmation came in that it was also not present at three local Sprint authorised retailers with no Arrives in stock.

A representative was able to explain that the HTC Arrive was listed as EOL after the last price change and software update. The device is still listed in the system and on the carrier website, where it can be picked up for just $49.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate.

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The highest rated phone on Sprint is...

The HTC Arrive, one of our trusty go to devices on Windows Phone especially for you physical-keyboard lovers, never got too popular despite its uniqueness. The phone is a bit thick and sort of lacks that ‘sex appeal’ that Nokia or Apple bring to the market yet it’s still a darn good device despite its age and lack of updates.

Looking over Sprint’s customer ratings though, the device comes out on top with 89% of customers recommending the phone (from 402 reviews). Here’s how the Arrive ranks compared to the competition...

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File this under odd and speculation, but possible.

The Sprint HTC Arrive has received some love in the in the form of updates--both Mango and a previous security-fix. But as of late, Sprint has bee quite silent on the device and overall not too keen on Windows Phone.

In the Sprint Arrive help forums, a moderator/Sprint tech named Tom Deaver has posted in the past that the HTC Arrive does not support tethering aka phone-as-modem and therefore will not be getting that enabled anytime soon. Obviously, this was false but it was posted way back in November.

Today, two curious things happened though:

  1. Tom Deaver edited his post today and crossed out the "does not support" section
  2. He wrote a new post which simply said "Re: ICS/Hotspot/Tethering? We appreciate your feedback.  Stay tuned to the Arrives' forum for any updates to a software maintenance release."

We agree with reader Todd M. who forwarded us the thread at Sprint--this does seem curious. Why would Tom both edit his post from November and add that note about a "software maintenance release"? Could the Sprint Arrive be on the verge of an update? Perhaps, but we're about 50/50 on the matter at this point. Tom could also just be revisiting old topics and giving the old company line. After all, he did leave in the part that says "Sprint will not offer a phone as modem option or tethering for this device." (We should also point out that Sprint TV & Movies app was just updated too.). Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Source: Sprint Community Forums; Thanks, Todd, for the heads up

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In a first for a US carrier, US Cellular has reportedly begun distributing the 8107 OS update to the HTC 7 Pro (aka Arrive) owners. We've had numerous reports come in from readers that they started receiving the update within the last 48 hours with more reports coming in.

That's both exciting and frustrating as US Cellular is the "sixth largest" carrier here in the States, serving up CDMA coverage to 6.1 million subscribers. Sprint too has the the HTC 7 Pro (aka Arrive) with CDMA bands meaning this update could, theoretically, be ready to roll out there--should Sprint choose to do so. Likewise, it's a bit funny to see the small carrier outshining the likes of AT&T, who has eight Windows Phones (if counting Venue Pro) and yet has not rolled out this update nor the previous 7740 just yet.

Still, with at least one US carrier now pushing this out, it gives some hope to Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and of course Sprint. But we're not betting anything here just yet.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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Sprint has lowered the on-contract price of the HTC Arrive, arguably one of the best Gen 1 phones (see review), from $199 to $99. While you can find it cheaper on Amazon Wireless, when carriers lower the price it's a sign usually of the device's "life" winding down. So is Sprint getting ready to get rid of the Arrive? We're doubtful--the device clearly has a few more months left in it and we're not betting on any Sprint Gen 2 device news till CES in January.

The only thing we can tell you that we've heard is Sprint is one of the carrier's not throwing money at Nokia for their first US Windows Phone (Yeah, it's AT&T and Verizon, fighting for it, shocker). Take that as you will. The Arrive is a great phone though and for those who need a keyboard, it's pretty killer even at $99. Still, lets hope that Sprint gets at least two devices come winter.

Source: Sprint; Thanks, Cory S., Reese and Maria, for the heads up!

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Remember the previous Amazon Wireless penny sale last year? Well, we're having another, and a number of Windows Phones are included from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Amazon is also throwing in a $100 gift card* with each purchase. The handsets that are included are:

Be sure to check out this deal soon should you be interested as the closing date is November 28th.

* Note, you must activate the hot-spot feature/Wifi tethering at time of purchase to get the $100 gift card

Source: Amazon Wireless, thanks atander for the heads up!

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It was less than two weeks ago that we told you that Sprint made the HTC Arrive the posterboy for their trade-in program for people to upgrade to the iPhone.  Then, two days after the story (not that we're taking credit) they changed their mind, thinking that the Arrive may be a handset worthy of holding onto (the same cannot be said for the LG Lotus Elite). 

Now, in the latest edition of Sprint Connection, they are actually promoting it.  The caption praises the Arrive, now with WP 7.5, as a great tool for business owners, touting it's ability to stay connected to people and easily take notes using the text-to-speech and speech-to-text capabilities.

Like we said, we're not saying we had anything to do with this, but it sure is refreshing to see Sprint give props to its only WP7 phone, and one of the better first generation WP7 phones across the board.

Source: Sprint (Thanks for the tip, Mike!)

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We're not going to claim credit for this, but obviously there was quite a backlash against Sprint for using the Arrive as the poster-child for their Buyback program, at least if you go by the comments. If you recall, Sprint put the Arrive up for their Buyback program, which was prominently featured on the Sprint iPhone 4S page.

Now, perhaps due to a change of heart or perhaps a phone call from Microsoft, the Arrive has been replaced by the LG Lotus Elite. Hey, maybe they regularly rotate those phones and this is just coincidence, so we'll keep an eye on it, but at least for now the Arrive is spared the humiliation of being the iPhone 4S trade-in phone.

Source: Sprint; Thanks, Kien G., for the tip!

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To make the Windows Phone situation even sadder on Sprint than it already is (seriously, they pretty much tie Verizon), Sprint is now using the HTC Arrive, arguably one of the better Windows Phones, as the example for their buyback program. In short, when you go to the iPhone 4S page on Sprint, scrolling down reveals the Sprint Buyback program and the HTC Arrive, a phone that is just six months old, is wrapped in age-inducing ivy.

It's as if Sprint is digging the knife in a little deeper. Sure, we could hope that this is because they're getting ready to reveal one or even two new Windows Phone for the holiday season, but honestly, it's been pretty quiet on the rumor front so far.

Lame Sprint, just lame.

Thanks, EJ Lee, for the heads up

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We've seen it in the wild and now Sprint's official support page just went up detailing the Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" update. The new software version is confirmed as being 2305.13.40301.651 and should be going live today.

"Last Updated: Sep 27, 2011 - Just like your computer, your phone's software needs to be updated periodically to make sure you have all the latest fixes and enhancements to keep it running at optimal performance. Follow the steps below to check your current version and perform any needed updates."

  • Threads – Lets you switch between Text, Facebook chat, and Windows Live Messenger within the same conversation.
  • Groups – Organizes your contacts into personalized Live Tiles for status updates on Start and to quickly send a text, email, or IM to the whole group.
  • Social Network Integration - Integrate Twitter and LinkedIn feeds into contact cards.
  • Linked Inbox - View multiple email accounts in one linked inbox.
  • Hands-free messaging - Built-in voice-to-text and text-to-voice to support hands-free texting or chatting.
  • Live Tiles - Improved Live Tiles let you receive real-time information from apps without having to open them.
  • Multitasking - Lets you switch between Apps that are running and enables apps to run in the background to help preserve battery life and performance.
  • Internet Explorer on Windows Phone 7 - Includes an Internet browser based on Internet Explorer 9 including support for HTML5.
  • Local Scout - Pinpoint search results and recommendations for nearby restaurants, shopping, and activities.
  • Bing Enhancements- Includes Bing Vision, Music Search, and Voice.
  • Quick Cards - Get a quick summary of relevant information including related apps.

    The rest of the piece details all the new enhancements and features of Mango (without actually ever calling it that) and gives instructions on how to check and install the update via the Zune desktop software.

    Once again, Sprint, although quiet on the matter has once again come through and delievered a timely update (the last was the security fix). This makes the Arrive an even better phone and we're sure their customers will be excited to try out the new Mango feautres. Now if they can just get some new Generation 2 phones...

    Source: Sprint Support; Big thanks, Jetface, for the tip!

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    We've heard of a few sightings of a Sprint HTC Arrive running Mango and now one has been captured on film. WPCentral forum regular Coolaaron88 was in his local Sprint Store out in Vegas and stumbled upon the HTC Arrive running OS Version 7.10.7720.68.

    We haven't heard anything official or unofficial from Sprint and finding the Arrive running Mango doesn't guarantee an impending release. As with the Verizon Trophy being spotted in the wild running Mango, we like the odds that Sprint will join the Mango crowd sooner than later.

    Thanks again to Coolaaron88 for sending this in!

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    Good new for Sprint folks (remember, they're the ones with the HTC Arrive): your device is set to get that Microsoft "May" security update aka build 7392 on May 24th, which is just a few days away.

    That update, if you recall, is just to fix some fraudulent third party certificates on the phone. In other words, don't expect any new functionality. However, it also looks to bump the bootloader to version 1.29.651.02 (currently it's at 1.24.230506), so who knows if that will bring anything new (we're not betting on it).

    Considering we're about 2 weeks into the May update, Sprint's timing on the Arrive isn't half bad, especially considering this is their first update.

    Source: Spantechular; Thanks, Mike, Joy and Sam, for the heads up!

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    Sprint TV & Movies launches for the HTC Arrive

    One app that was missing from the carrier software on the Sprint HTC Arrive was Sprint TV (see our hands on with Sprint Radio here).

    Luckily, our wait is over as the app is now available in the Marketplace (hit the link here on your phone or use the Sprint hub to get to it). Featuring ESPN, NBC, Disney Channel, ABC, FOX News, you can watch a lot of live or streaming on the go, including some of the latest movies. Some of the features are free, included with your plan, while there are also "premium" features available for some extra cash e.g. Sports Xtra & Sprint TV Xtra which are $5.99 and $9.99 a month, respectively. Oh hey, there's a Looney Tunes option for $4.99 a month too...dibs. [Edit: for some reason we're getting an error when we try to subscribe--this happened on Radio too, could be Sprint's servers still catching up]

    Downside? You can't use it over WiFi. Yeah, go figure--they want you to use your "unlimited" data connection.

    Over all, the app is well polished and designed and takes advantage of the landscape/keyboard layout of the Arrive quite nicely. Give it a go in the Marketplace and we'll see about a video in the morning.

    Thanks, @David_Strait, for the heads up!

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    WP Bench: Arrive vs Focus vs Quantum [Video]

    WP Bench is a nifty free app that hit the Marketplace this weekend. It's what it sounds like, a full featured Benchmarking suite used to gauge your device's GPU, CPU, battery, display, etc. All in all, solid stuff. Couple of niggles though: you can't save results, you lose them if the screen turns off and no database to compare to other devices. But hey, for v1.0 and free, it's a great start.

    • CPU singlethreaded performance
    • CPU multithreaded performance
    • Memory read/write speed
    • Storage read/write speed
    • GPU performance
    • Display color reproduction
    • Battery life tester

    We decided, for laughs, to throw it on the LG Quantum, Samsung Focus and HTC Arrive to see what we got. (hint: results were similar) You can see the results above and watch the short video after the jump to see what the app has in store. Overall, we like it. You can grab it here in the Marketplace.

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    For those familiar with CDMA handsets, you'll remember the old "PRL" (preferred roaming list) and "Network Profile" options. It  took a few years to get direct OS support for it (Anyone remember calling Sprint to get your PRL update "flagged"? Yeesh), but we did with later versions of Windows Mobile.

    So it's nice to know that in Windows Phone 7, part of the CDMA integration that came with the 'NoDo' update on the Sprint Arrive was PRL and Network Profile support. To update them, simply go to Settings --> System --> Carrier and scroll to the bottom. There you can just tap either/or and it will walk you through the update, which takes about 30 seconds.

    You can later check your PRL version under Settings --> System --> About --> More info, under PRL-ID (mine is currently v60677). For those wondering what any of this is, your PRL is a list of towers that the phone looks to for roaming and in some cases, data connections. From Wikipedia:

    On many networks, regularly updating the PRL is advised if the subscriber uses the device outside the home area frequently, particularly if they do so in multiple different areas. This allows the phone to choose the best roaming carriers, particularly "roaming partners" with whom the home carrier has a cost-saving roaming agreement, rather than using non-affiliated carriers. PRL files can also be used to identify home networks along with roaming partners, thus making the PRL an actual list that determines the total coverage of the subscriber, both home and roaming coverage.

    So, if you roam, it helps to have the latest version on board. Meanwhile, the Network Profile is good if you ever run into connectivity issues with the CDMA network, as on occasion, though rare, your profile may get corrupted.

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    Today is the day folks, the first CDMA Windows Phone, the HTC Arrive, is now available on Sprint (actually, some people were able to get theirs a few days ago). Not only is it the first CDMA Windows Phone, but it's also the first phone in the U.S. to ship with 'NoDo' (copy paste, performance enhancements, better search)--which is actually nicer than we thought.

    For those who are new, take a look at our past coverage and catch up on all you need to know:

    Itching to talk about your new device? Have questions? Head over to our new forum dedicated to the Arrive and ask away or share your story: HTC Arrive - Windows Phone Forums at WPCentral

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    Hands on with Sprint Radio for Windows Phone 7

    The Sprint Arrive (see review) barely has any Sprint software on it. One of the apps though (not pre-loaded, either) is Sprint Radio.

    Two versions exist within the app: free, with 60 stations and some commercials and "extra" which costs $5.95 a month. The latter is for all intents and purposes, Pandora Radio (but it's actually mSpot). It allows you to create radio stations based on your bands/likes, skip tracks, dislike songs, etc. It also has news, sports radio, weather and some other premium content.

    For once, we can actually say we're mpressed with the service and if you don't have a Zune Pass, it is worth considering.

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    If you're a Sprint Premier Customer (10 years or longer, or in a certain price range per month), you can now pre-order the Sprint HTC Arrive onine:

    Up till now, you had to physically walk into a store and hand the $50 for a gift-card which "reserved" you a phone for release on Sunday, the 20th. This secondary option is a lot easier those too busy to bother with the store and at least shows general, online orders for the phone should be happening soon.

    Look for our full review of the Sprint HTC Arrive in the AM.

    Thanks, David Strait, for the heads up!
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    Sprint's HTC Arrive - Review

    Sprint customers who have been longing for a Windows Phone 7 unit are in for a treat. The latest Windows Phone, the HTC Arrive, is impressive.

    We've shared a hands-on video of the new Windows Phone and now we'll take a little closer look at things.   We'll skip the formalities and jump right into it.

    After the break that is.

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