The EVO, as mentioned, will be the first phone in the United States that supports fourth-generation high-speed data speeds, and experts say it's going to give the iPhone a little competition. The 4G iPhone is expected to come out this summer, but much later than Sprint's new phone. Vodafone Group is expected to offer a 4G phone in 2011.
The appeal of the phone is definitely the faster internet access. In addition, these phones will have large screens and two cameras. Unfortunately, 4G coverage isn't exactly widespread throughout the country. Areas such as New York won't even get 4G until after the summer. Clearwire Corp, Sprints venture that is building the WiMax-based network, says it will only cover about 40 million people in the United States for now and expects to triple that by the end of the year. The current U.S. population is around 300 million. Sprint will also be charging a $10 monthly fee for EVO users, regardless of whether or not they're running in a 3G or 4G market.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse calls the difference between 3G and 4G "night an day," and says even without the 4G capability, the EVO stands alone as being an exceptional phone. He said the phone will be the highest-spec phone on the markets for customers using 3G as well. The company also says that users will be able to make the most of the two cameras, which will support the first mobile two-way video conferencing service. According to Sprint, they have a long list of customers, waiting to buy the buy the phone.
Matt Carter, the head of Sprint's 4G business told Reuters that he believes the phone will appeal to consumers for a number of reasons and mentioned it would definitely be great for social networkers. He also mentioned that Sprint will release a second WiMax phone later this year and that Sprint is in talks with companies like Samsung and General Electric to consider putting WiMax connections in a number of consumer devices such as e-Readers, cameras, washing machines, and even medical equipment. Carter said Sprint is trying not to think like a "traditional carrier."
Sprint will also be launching a new prepaid service that will be aimed at older phone users who shop at Wal-mart. They're calling it a "no nonsense" mobile phone service for those whfo aren't really worried about having the latest trends. Upon making these announcements yesterday, Sprint's stock climbed, a good sign for the company who has been struggling for quite some time.
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