Cricket to increase focus on smartphones, may offer Windows Phone 8 devices

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| May 9, 2012

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So far we haven't heard much from Cricket during CTIA, but today the carrier offered a bit of a tease as to what we can expect from it through the remainder of 2012. Speaking to PCMag, Matt Stoiber, Cricket's senior vice president for devices, said that Cricket is "making a conscious effort" to pare down its roster of feature phones, which will only consist of three devices as of this summer. The rest of the lineup will be made up of smartphones, mostly of the Android variety, and Stoiber explained that Cricket is considering devices like specs like 3.5-inch, 4-inch and 4.3-inch displays and single-core 1GHz-1.4GHz Snapdragon S2 MSM8655 processors. Stoiber also said that while Cricket hasn't yet committed to Windows Phone 8, it's "likely to soon," adding that he's seen WP8 and is impressed with the OS.

Another topic that came up during the discussion is LTE. Currently Cricket is running LTE tests in Tucson, Ariz., with plans to roll out the service to the public later this year. The carrier plans to begin integrating LTE devices into its lineup by the end of the year, Stoiber said, and by next year it's expected that half of Cricket's smartphones will be LTE-capable.

It's also been revealed that Cricket will be releasing a number of new devices this summer. Cricket spokesperson Greg Lund told CNET that the carrier intends to launch "upwards of 10 devices" between July 31st and October. Additionally, new broadband rate plans are expected to be introduced this summer, while new wireless offerings are expected in August.

Sound good, Cricket folk? While we don't have any concrete details on new devices that'll be headed Cricket's way, it's exciting to hear that the carrier is planning to offer larger and more powerful handsets similar to the Huawei Mercury, which is already on Cricket's shelves. Cricket's plans for a move to LTE is also good news for customers, and while devices capable of accessing LTE may still bit a bit of a ways off, it sounds like users interested in a Cricket LTE smartphone will have several options by the time that next year rolls around. How many of you count yourself as a Cricket subscriber?