I am beginning to wonder if this phone even exists. Does anyone out there have an activated ATIV S Neo?? Has anyone received this phone by any means (online, telesales, in-store)?
Yes, folks on wpcentral.com are getting units, and PhoneDog.com just put up an unboxing video. It exists, I just returned from the main corporate store in W. Des Moines, IA and they'd never even heard of it. Told me it was a Verizon phone...geesh!
When I insisted that it was a Sprint Exclusive, they asked the store manager who told me it'll never be in the store, its Direct order only. I think the message isn't getting out there...but I plan to order this very shortly. My 8XT was good, but I returned it for this.
I ordered my ATIV S Neo online via my mySprint account on Tuesday 08/20 after I got home from work (evening). I had it shipped to my workplace because there isn't anyone at my residence when I'm at work and there's been a history of packages disappearing in the neighborhood. The following day I got a call from Sprint who wanted to verify that it wasn't a fraudulent order and the morning after that (Thursday 08/22) my phone arrived via (free) UPS Overnight Air.
In other words, it only took ~37 hours from when I placed my order until I received my phone. I'll add that I'm only 1 year into a 2-year contract and chose to pay full price for my phone so I didn't have to use the upgrade I'll be eligible for in a year, and that didn't add any difficulty whatsoever to my purchase. Now I have my phone, I'm a happy camper, and I didn't have to waste any time browbeating Sprint over local availability and almost no time searching for one. In fact, the only local places I even asked about one were at a Sprint store on the 16th and a Best Buy on the 19th and I actually went to those places for other reasons.
So here's my observation in a nutshell: Those of you who have spent all this time beating your war drums over local availability would probably have your ATIV already if you'd have simply ordered one online. I'll add that you (figuratively) were making the same doom-&-gloom predictions and the same threats during the launch of the Sprint Galaxy S3 and several other phones which ultimately became well-supported and very popular.
That said, I do have some cautionary advice for Sprint (for what it's worth):
I've been a Sprint customer since 2001, but I actually began taking the steps to opt-out of my contract early so I could get a Windows 8 phone and the 4G LTE coverage I've been living without from another provider. The ONLY reason I didn't jump ship was the HTC 8XT and ATIV S Neo announcement and there finally is some limited LTE coverage where I live, These are steps in the right direction and they're appreciated, but I'll be taking a hard look at the progress with these issues when my current contract expires and if that progress has stalled I'll probably switch providers. But I'll definitely stay with Sprint if the LTE roll-out continues in my area they and have a high-end Windows phone (like the Lumia 1020) in their inventory by then.
While you have some good points, I'd like to mention a few things. I'm not beating the war drum like anyone would over any other phone. The S3 did fine because it was on Android. The reason myself and others were making a fuss is because this is Windows Phone 8, and Sprint, which don't necessarily have the greatest track record together. A misstep in sales could spell EOL for the Sprint WP8 devices, much like the Arrive's forgotten existence. The OS makes a difference in the issue.
True, I would have had mine earlier (just got mine yesterday via local store) if I had ordered online. But don't forget that some people like to actually hold, look at, and mess around with a device before they buy it. Personally, I consider buying something like a $450 device online without having seen it or many reviews out yet a little nerve-wracking. I (and probably others) wanted to actually be able to go to the store not because it's less wait and maybe more convenient (ok, those too), but also because we could actually more feasibly make a purchase decision when actually holding the device in-shop.
All that said, it's a great device, and I'm really happy with mine so far. I can only hope that Sprint actually steps up their game, advertises it, pushes it a little bit, and maybe (At the very least) updates their webpages such as the sprint.com/windows8 to show that it's actually out? There are plenty of things that could be done better if Sprint wants this OS (not just this device) to succeed on their network.
You made some good points but like Qhendricks stated, we are not beating the war drum. Sometimes you get the info from the source themselves or figurative speaking "The Horses Mouth" This link will add Proff to what Qhendricks and I are saying and I have had The Ativ S Neo since Tuesday August 20. 2013. http://community.sprint.com/baw/community/sprintblogs/announcements/blog/2013/08/14/samsung-ativ-s-n...
Has anyone else end up getting this for $149 without the rebate? I am on a SERO plan and called customer service and they said there was no option for that...only $199 then the rebate.