Friday, September 4, 2009

Sprint Becomes Second U.S. Carrier To Launch Android Phone

Sprint (NYSE: S) announced today that it will begin selling its first Android handset on Oct. 11, making it the second U.S. carrier to roll out a phone based on Google’s platform. Release.

Up until now, T-Mobile USA had been the only carrier in the U.S. to sell an Android phone. Many theorize that the Android platform won’t start see a dramatic uptake in usage without multiple handsets and carriers using the platform. A wave of announcements are nearing, especially with Motorola (NYSE: MOT) set to unveil its Android strategy next week in San Francisco.

Sprint will be selling the HTC Hero, which has been
available in Europe since early this summer.
It will cost Sprint subscribers $180 after $150
in rebates and will require a two-year contract.
They will also need an unlimited
data plan, which costs $100 a month for unlimited
minutes or $70 a month for 450 minutes. Sprint’s
Hero is the first in the U.S. to feature HTC’s user
interface overlay, called “HTC Sense.” Users will
be able to switch between “Scenes” to reflect
different roles in their lives, such as work, social,
travel and play. For example, the companies said
a work Scene can be set up to include stock
updates, work email and calendar, whereas a
play Scene could have music, weather and a Twitter.
In a release, Andy Rubin, Google’s VP of mobile
platforms, said: “Sprint and HTC are helping to
drive openness and innovation in the mobile
industry with the introduction of the Android-powered
HTC Hero.”

Some of the features and specs:

—Camera: 5 megapixel camera and camcorder.
—Email: POP, IMAP, and Exchange Active Sync
—HTC Footprints: An app users use to chronicle
their moments by capturing a digital postcard
on their phone, and taking notes and an audio
clip of that favorite restaurant or special place
while identifying its specific location.
—HTC Hero is a full-featured smartphone with
Wi-Fi capability, a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen
with pinch-to-zoom capability and a fingerprint
resistant coating, integrated GPS navigation,
and trackball navigation.
—Stereo Bluetooth 2.0 Wireless technology
—accelerometer, light sensor and home screen
widgets for improved usability
—multimedia capable with microSD slot
(32GB capable, 2GB included)
—Sprint TV with live and on-demand programming
—NFL Mobile Live and NASCAR Sprint Cup
—easy access to social networking sites,
including Facebook®, Flickr® and Twitter
—visual voice mail for quick and easy access to
specific voice mail messages

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