I've been calling Sprint stores in my area and no one has the Samsung ATIV S Neo. No one.
And then I'm checking WPCentral and happen upon reading this: http://www.wpcentral.com/sprint-ativ-s-neo-limited-availability-online-shipping-only
What the he//, Sprint? Are you even trying? If there's a way to suck at launching a phone, it has certainly been found. Announced 3 days before release, not even available except online? What are they playing at, and how do they expect the device to sell at all?
I was genuinely excited to be able to go get this at a store today, since it supposedly released, but I guess Sprint's definition of a release is slightly different. Shooting everyone who wants your phone in the foot only to turn around and sell them the bandage as they're bleeding out is not an effective marketing strategy. I can see this leading to Sprint corporate just turning around and saying "well, it didn't sell well, so we're not going to do any more Windows Phones." No duh?!
That's Sprint for you! They didn't have any in my area as well. They are full of it sometimes. The good news is, even though Sprint didn't release the phone in time like they was suppose to, The Samsung Ativ S Neo sold out at best buy for Sprint. So there shouldn't be to much of an excuse from Sprint saying Windows Phone isn't doing well on the "LATER" network. Don't bother buying the phone from telesales because they are charging $199.99 up front with a $50.00 mail in rebate which is the store price. I advise everyone to call customer service and have them order it for you for only $160.00. That's what I paid for the phone after I hung up the phone with telesales. Its sad Sprint don't support Windows Phone and they don't have any on display in their stores.
I don't think it sold out at Best Buy. I think it was never there to begin with, like they just didn't get any in and they're waiting, so by default it says "Sold Out."
I get that feeling because it's been like that since Friday morning, and I checked every Best Buy in the area, all saying they're not doing anything for it yet.
My local Corporate Store told me that they don't think that they'll get any for "about a month or so".
On top of that the employee, instead genuinely trying to find out why I was interested in a Windows Phone, said that "I'd be better off with an iPhone or Android". When I told him that I was a WP user through and through, he stepped back in his responses a bit. So I asked him how the 8XT has sold and he told me "We typically steer customers away from it, we don't want to lose our commission when they bring it back."
At least you can order one! You will get in a couple of days. I hate to complain because I am in the 'advantage' club and don't pay so much but the advantage of having to wait really sucks!
I cannot even get an ETA on when it will be available--not even from my Sprint employee friend.
So anyway, waiting sucks but at least your wait will only be a few days--not sure how not having the phone in stores is 'ruining' all this but that is pretty common. A LOT of the available phones are not in stores.
I have never walked into a store to get a phone...
Sorry for any inconvenience with finding the device. The limited store release was intentional and they should be fully stocked in a couple of weeks. Please take advantage of ordering online as the fastest method for obtaining the Samsung ATIV S Neo at this time.
Sprint Social Care Team
Thanks for the response at least. It is becoming more and more clear that releasing the phone online-only was intentional, but that's all to the point I'm trying to make - this is precisely the problem. That intent wasn't obvious and it's only hurting the device and WP8 in general. This is just another reason for Sprint to have this "release" (if you could call it that) and then say that the Windows Phones aren't selling, following it up with an EOL in a few months. If you want people to buy your phone, it has to be available, in multiple locations, via several sales avenues. Even the Sprint Care Twitter told me that the phone should be available in stores, only to come back a day later and say that it's "online only." There's miscommunication everywhere.
Even Sprint's press release said it would be available in Sprint stores. Nowhere did it say this was online-only (at least not until the release day was almost completely over). Otherwise, everyone on these community forums and on WPCentral, for example, wouldn't have gone out to the stores, or called store-by-store in their area trying to get one, only to be told by unaware sales reps that they "had no clue" or that it was "delayed for a month+". Even the stores that are supposed to be selling them have no clue! How is that intentional? It's painfully obvious to me and the rest of the internet (just do some searches) that Sprint isn't even trying on WP8.
While that may be true for some phones and some users, that doesn't mean it's the right way to release a phone, or that it should be what potential buyers expect. That would be marketing done wrongly. Many people don't order phones online directly because they actually want to go in, try it out, see how it works and play around with it first before committing to a purchase. A large majority of people who walk into a phone store are there to make some sort of purchase. If release day for a phone (not just WP phone, but any device) comes and goes without any display units, how do they expect their sales figures to increase? What reason does Sprint have to believe their WP8 devices are selling better than WP7 if they're not even promoting it? This may be a symptom of Sprint itself, because other providers don't seem to have this problem. Let's look at the Nokia 1020 from AT&T. They had a release party, with full availability of the phone. That is how you sell a device... not by telling people it's for sale in a vague press release and then, day-of or day-after, say "oh, it was intentional to sell it online-only... never mind what all the sales reps told you about not knowing a thing about the phone."
I'm sorry that you, like me and probably many others, have to wait to get the phone they want, even though it was supposedly "available in stores."
Then why did Sprint say the phone would be available IN Stores and Online on the 16th?
Maybe they just should have said online only?
By the way, the windows landing page still says coming soon.
Not only is the windows landing page out of date, but there's no mention of the phone on Sprint's homepage... still just the HTC 8XT. Why no ad for both, now that they're both (supposedly) available?
Also, the phones are still buried near the very bottom of their smartphones shopping page... you know... in the spot where no one will see them.
It wasn't misleading to say the phone was available in-store because they are; just on a limited basis. I believe the devices on the shop page are rotated based on popularity but I'm unsure if it's weekly, monthly, or daily.
Sprint Social Care Team
I guess we'll agree to disagree on the press releases and general release of the phone being "misleading". I think they were, and obviously a lot of other people did too, otherwise they wouldn't have gone out to those stores to try and find them only end up disappointed. The biggest clue to me is that even the stores don't know what's going on. Anyway...
For the online store page, if they were rotated based on popularity, then that means the used (pre-owned) Blackberry devices are more popular? Or one of the lowest rated phones on the page, the ZTE Fury, has a higher spot than something like the HTC 8XT, which has a REALLY high customer rating? I don't think it's sorted by popularity. Looks very arbitrarily placed. There are phones in various prices, manufacturers, ratings, etc. all over the page.
The best way any online store could ever sell products is to show the newest first, because that makes sense. It's what you'd want people to buy, right? But even that's not how the page is sorted.
I'm not sure if that's exactly how they're sorted but that seems to be what I've noticed over a long time. Number 1 and 2 are the free iPhone 4 and the HTC One which recently has a BOGO offer; cost drives popularity. Looking at it now it seems to be sorted by price from low to high, with the exception of the Sonim XP Strike.
Sprint Social Care Team