It’s that time of year again – the end of January, when I realize I’ve had my phone for more than eight months, and I start getting antsy for a new one. Usually, I only upgrade once a year. When I entered the smartphone market, I started out with a Samsung Blackjack II, then a T-Mobile myTouch 3G, then an HTC EVO 4G, then an EVO 3D, and now the EVO 4G LTE – each phone lasted me about one year.

Until recently, I’ve been relatively happy with Sprint and HTC. I loved my EVO 4G, was amazed by the 3D capabilities of my EVO 3D, and was blown away by the new version of Sense on my EVO 4G LTE. I also thought Sprint had fair prices and decent service.

Oh, how quickly times can change, right?

Long time readers of both Pocketables and G&E will know that I’ve been a long time defender of both Sprint and HTC. When Sprint began making all its cutbacks and sneaky price increases (i.e. no more annual upgrades or Sprint Premier, increased activation fees, cancellation of unlimited data for tablets, etc.), I was the first to shout out: “Don’t worry! Sprint is going to use the money to improve its network and bring 4G LTE to everyone!”

Meanwhile, speeds have continued to degrade for most people across the country, in spite of a lucky few who report improved speeds. And even though the LTE buildout is progressing, Sprint is behind schedule in almost every market.

For me personally, I’ve talked to Sprint almost every few months for over a year, and every time I call to ask them when I will be able to have usable data, and when I will be able to be sure that my phone will actually ring when someone dials my number, I’m told – every time – “a couple months.” Meanwhile, Sprint has confirmed extreme capacity issues on every single tower in my city. Every. Single. One. The only thing that kept me from cancelling my service was the very generous monthly credit I’ve been given until these issues are resolved.

But there comes a point where even very cheap cell phone service just won’t cut it anymore if it’s not reliable. More and more, T-Mobile or MVNOs like Straight Talk are looking pretty darn attractive.

And then there’s HTC. Where do we even begin? Between HTC’s delayed OTA updates, bootloader shenanigans, and recent hostility towards the developer community, I’ve pretty much had it. There’s a reason the company is struggling financially, and it looks like HTC doesn’t really want to do anything radical enough that will correct its downward decent.

So here I am, approximately four months before I’ll seriously start looking for another phone, and I have a growing suspicion that the time is coming for me to bid HTC and Sprint farewell. I know a lot of readers already have, and I’d be very interested to know the reasons why you left HTC and/or Sprint. I’d also like to know where you moved to. Comment below, or rant along with me in this related thread in the forums.

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