Verizon Will Offer Free Windows Phone 8 Device By End of 2012

Verizon will offer a free device running Windows Phone 8 before the end of this year according a report from The Verge.


Verizon Wireless CMO Tami Erwin told The Verge that Verizon will soon offer a Windows Phone 8 devices free on contract in addition to phones at the $99 and $199 price tiers. Verizon already announced it will carry the Nokia Lumia 822 and Windows Phone 8X for $99 and $199, respectively.

Verizon also announced that it will carry the Samsung ATIV Odyssey┬áin December, which could be the free option for Microsoft’s platform. An image of the phone recently leaked online and seemed to indicate that it is a low-end or mid-range smartphone. A lower-end Samsung device would make sense as the free option on Verizon.

Samsung ATIV Odyssey

The Samsung ATIV Odyssey could be Verizon’s free Windows Phone 8 device.


Verizon hasn’t announced any other Windows Phones for 2012, so if the ATIV Odyssey isn’t free the carrier will need to announce a fourth device.


No other U.S. carrier offers a free option for Windows Phone 8. At the moment the least expensive WIndows Phone 8 devices is the Nokia Lumia 820 on AT&T which costs $49 on a two-year contract.

Even a low-end Windows Phone will likely have specs similar to those of the Lumia 820 because Microsoft limits the options for WIndows Phone 8 specs. It is possible to offer a slower processor than the one in the Lumia 820 variants, but the slower specs get closer to the realm of the Lumia 610 which is a phone made for emerging markets.

A free Windows Phone 8 devices will go up against phones like the two-year-old iPhone 4 and lower range Android devices like the Pantech Marauder.

Free smartphones are a good entry point for users who are new to smartphones, and Windows Phone 8 is relatively easy for first time users. A free phone can help Microsoft’s platform gain more traction among users, which it needs to better compete with Apple and Google.