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Sprint Strategy VP: Windows Phone Not Worth ‘Taking A Risk On’

Posted by on January 13, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I was a Sprint customer for nine years before Google convinced me to move over to Verizon. One of the biggest questions I had was why Sprint wasn’t lining up behind Windows Phone more and why it gave the HTC Arrive (which was a decent, not great phone) such little berth to thrive on the carrier. The carrier had never come forward about this question, until now…

When prodded by former Zune MVP (and showrunner over at Zune Tracks) J. Patrick Hefner about why they hadn’t been so hot about hopping on the Mango train, Sprint’s VP of Strategy, Russ McGuire, explained:

What I do know, as the strategy guy, is that every company has to make decisions about resource allocation – that requires prioritizing, selecting, and deselecting. These days, there are four mobile OSes worth discussing – Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Windows. As the #3 player, Sprint has fewer resources to apply, so it’s more critical for us to make good decisions about where we focus our investments. In the past, we’ve been willing to go against the crowd and bet on unproven OSes. Some of those have been good bets (being one of the original Android supporters). Some have worked out less well (WebOS). For now, there’s no opportunity to gain a differentiation advantage by taking a risk on Windows, so we’re better off focusing most of our resources on proven market winners (iOS and Android).

What blows my mind here is that as the country’s third-largest carrier, they have absolutely no horses in the Windows Phone game, yet their smaller competitor T-Mobile has several of these phones, including the new Nokia 710. What’s also confusing is that Sprint hasn’t been forthcoming about their position here, which was another big reason why I was driven away from the carrier. Hopefully Microsoft can help make it up to them because they need all the help they can get.

Source: McGuire’s Law via @zunetracks and @tromboneforhire

[NOTICE: The previous version of this article had noted that Hefner was a current Zune MVP, but he explains he hasn’t had the title since 2009.]

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