Sprint and Microsoft have announced that the carrier will add the Lumia 635 to its lineup. The Lumia 635 will be released by Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile on Dec. 23 and Jan. 16, 2015, for Sprint postpaid customers.

It's no secret that Microsoft and its Windows Phone smartphone OS hold a significant distance in terms of market share when compared with Google's Android and Apple's iOS. In an effort to turn things around, Microsoft purchased Nokia and its popular Lumia brand of smartphones.

Prior to its acquisition of Nokia, Microsoft's main purpose was to build the smartphone OS and license it to smartphone manufacturers like Nokia, Samsung, LG, HTC, and more. Nokia quickly became the top Windows Phone maker and owned a staggering 90 percent share of all Windows Phone-based smartphones sold. Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia allowed the company to take an approach similar to Apple, in retaining complete control over the hardware and software of its smartphones.

Microsoft's most successful Lumia smartphones have been its entry-level and midrange series. Sprint customers will soon have an affordable new Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone to purchase off contract from Boost Mobile or Virgin Mobile, as well as Sprint postpaid customers in January 2015.

"We are excited to welcome Lumia 635 as our first Windows Phone on our two no-contract brands -- Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA -- providing customers the ultimate in financial flexibility and choice," said David Owens, senior vice president of product development. "This device is the showpiece for our reinvigorated relationship with Microsoft, and we know our customers will appreciate all they can do with the powerful Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. Our Sprint postpaid customers will experience this device right after the new year."

"We are pleased to partner with Sprint and offer even more U.S. customers the opportunity to choose Lumia smartphones," said Matt Rothschild, head of North America sales for Microsoft Mobile Devices. "The Sprint, Boost and Virgin brands have great synergy with the value represented by the Lumia 635 -- a great, affordable smartphone that delivers uncompromised experiences to help people do more."

The Lumia 635 features a 4.5-inch 854 x 480 Gorilla Glass 3 ClearBlack display and runs Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box. It's powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, has 512 MB of RAM, and packs in a 5-megapixel rear camera. It comes with 8 GB of internal storage and a microSD expansion slot. It ships with a 4G LTE radio, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a 1,830 mAh battery that will provide up to 14 hours of talk time.

The Lumia 635 will be available in cyan at Boost Mobile and in white at Virgin Mobile for $99.99, which excludes taxes. Starting Jan. 9, the Lumia 635 will also be available at Boost Mobile's exclusive retail stores, select independent wireless dealers nationwide and later in the month at select national retail locations. Sprint pricing will be shared at a later date.

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