We knew it was coming, and probably in September. But today, Sprint took all the fun out of guessing by unveiling its version of the HTC Touch Pro2 Windows Mobile Smartphone (Windows Phone).
The press release names September 8 as the day the new smartphone will go on sale via its web site and phone sales department, with in-store availability to follow.
The Sprint HTC Touch Pro2 will sell for $449 with a $100 mail-in rebate, bringing the final price to a whopping $349; fortunately, like the T-Mobile version of the Touch Pro2 (which also sells for $350) third-party retailers are likely to offer this new Windows Phone for much less within a couple of weeks of its release.
Learn More: Full Details, Specs on the Sprint HTC Touch Pro2
Source: Sprint Press Release
The fact that Sprint and Verizon will launch their respective versions of the HTC Touch Pro2 with Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional isn’t exactly hot news; but according to WMExperts, each company’s model already has a test version of Windows Mobile 6.5 ROMs under review, which – to us – was an interesting tidbit.
HTC has touted the Windows Mobile 6.5 readiness of the Touch Pro2 and Touch Diamond2 since the two handsets were first announced earlier this year, but if the WMExperts story is true the OS upgrade is a certainty, not just an exercise in technical software compatibility. This is of import to many users who don’t wish to invest in a device today that won’t be issued an upgrade to the upcoming Microsoft mobile OS when it’s released later this year.
No word on availability of the upgrades at this time, or whether the companies will charge for them.
Sprint HTC Touch Pro2
Verizon Wireless HTC Touch Pro2
According to a new report at DigiTimes, Microsoft’s plans for Windows Mobile in the coming year will be anything but straightforward. The piece predicts that Windows Mobile 6.5 – as we’ve seen it up to now – will launch on October 1, but be followed by an upgraded, more touch-friendly version (6.5SE?) slated for release in February 2010. Windows Mobile 7 would arrive in Q4 (between October and December) of 2010, months later than expected.
But the story doesn’t end there. Digitimes goes on to state that when Microsoft does finally release Windows Mobile 7, WinMo 6.5 will remain. Rather than replacing 6.5 or 6.5SE, Windows Mobile 7 would be the premium version of Microsoft’s mobile OS, while 6.5 licenses would be reduced in price and become a budget option.
We’re not sold on every aspect of this theory, but it likely contains nuggets of truth. The “dual-platform strategy,” as the story labels it, makes sense in some respects, but as told it doesn’t seem entirely likely. Microsoft does need a low-cost OS to compete with the free Android OS and the all-but free Apple iPhone OS (free in that only Apple uses it and doesn’t have to pay itself for the license). But wouldn’t it be better to lower the cost of the Windows Mobile 7 license across the board, while still providing top-tier features?
If Microsoft wants to reboot its mobile OS over the next 16 months, it must eliminate or greatly reduce the impact of its licensing fees since its primary competitors’ handsets’ final price isn’t impacted by an operating system fee.
Eyeing the T-Mobile HTC Touch Pro2, but not exactly ecstatic about the $350 price tag? Join the
Fortunately, our go-to wireless store has the new Windows Mobile smartphone for $150 less than the T-Mobile web store; LetsTalk.com is offering the T-Mobile Touch Pro2 for $199 at checkout (with free shipping and without any mail-in rebate).