Sprint blames HTC Arrive sales performance, returns on ‘user experience’, may be hinting at timeline for Apollo roll-out

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sprintarriveA few months ago Sprint was encouraging their users to recycle their 6 month old HTC Arrive’s for an iPhone.  I guess the hint then should have been pretty strong that Sprint did not think much of Microsoft’s new OS.

PCMag has been able to confirm that much in an interview with Sprint’s VP of product realization David Owens.

"We have a Windows device in our lineup, but honestly, it hasn’t done well enough for us to jump back into the fire. We told Microsoft: You guys have to go build the enthusiasm for the product. We’ll train our reps on why it’s great…[but] the number-one reason the product was returned was the user experience," he said.

The HTC Arrive on Sprint has a 4.5/5 star rating from 232 reviews on Sprint’s website, with 89% of users willing to recommend it to others. This rate is higher than the 16 GB iPhone 4S, which scored 4.4 stars and an 85% recommendation rate from 170 reviews.

Sprint director of product development Lois Fagan blamed perception and awareness in part.

"We want to participate in the market, but we can’t build that brand by ourself," he said. "We’re cautiously optimistic, but [Windows Phone] just hasn’t taken off."

Implying it might in fact be too late, he continued:

"There’s a tremendous market momentum that Apple has…and I think Ice Cream Sandwich, and what Android’s doing, will continue to have momentum. It squeezes down to such a small subset what’s left."

Giving somewhat of a hint at the timing of Microsoft’s “Superphone” Apollo release, David Owen noted Sprint is looking at giving Windows Phone another stab in the "August-September time period," but he couldn’t muster much enthusiasm for the platform.

Other CDMA carrier Verizon is also expected to sit out this round of Windows Phone 7 handsets until the arrival of Windows Phone 8 in Q4 2012.

Thanks Brianna for the tip.

More about the topics: apollo, cdma, htc arrive, rumour, sprint, windows phone 7.5