Though Microsoft has not been able to make Windows Phone 8 the iPhone and Android competitor it may have wanted, the company is still muscling its way into the smartphone market. Sprint today announced that the HTC 8XT, the carrier's first Windows Phone 8 offering, will be available starting on July 19.
HTC unveiled its 8X line of Windows Phone 8 smartphones back in September 2012, with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer joining HTC CEO Peter Chou at HTC's big announcement event. Sprint's version of the smartphone will feature a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of memory, a 4.3-inch screen, an 8MP rear camera, and 8GB of storage. Being an HTC smartphone, it also comes with Beats Audio branding. It will cost Sprint customers $100 with a two-year contract and after a $50 rebate.
The 8XT is the first of two Windows Phone 8 smartphones to be released on Sprint's mobile network this summer. The carrier has also announced that a version of Samsung's ATIV S smartphone, the Samsung ATIV S Neo, will be launching soon. That device will cost $150 with a two-year upgrade and rebate.
Though Nokia has taken the lead in manufacturing high-end Windows Phone 8 devices, it's clear that Microsoft has been using its substantial resources to encourage other manufacturers to produce Windows Phone 8 smartphones. However, it's also clear that those same manufacturers do not consider their Windows Phone 8 a priority. HTC has been focusing heavily on its HTC One Android device, which became a minor hit this spring, and Samsung has begun seriously competing with Apple due to its Galaxy Note and Galaxy S line of Android smartphones.