Sprint will unveil the industry’s first dual-display Android phone at a press event in New York City on Monday, The Wall Street Journal reports. Reports from earlier this morning stated that Sprint plans to reveal the Kyocera Echo at tonight’s press conference, but details about the device were unavailable at that time. The Journal is now chiming in with preliminary details, however, claiming that the device will be a dual-display Android phone. The Echo will supposedly feature two 3.5-inch touchscreen displays that can be placed side by side. Content can even be dragged from one display to the other, the report claims. The device will apparently also feature unique hinge mechanism that will allow one display to be folded beneath the other, creating a more standard look and feel when the phone is closed. BGR will be reporting live from tonight’s event beginning shortly before 6:00PM EST. More →
Sprint’s press event tonight will yield a new Kyocera smartphone dubbed “Echo,” according to a report from Bloomberg Businessweek. Further information is not available for the time being and the moniker Echo doesn’t seem to be a great fit for theme of magic and illusion suggested by the invitation seen above, but Businessweek seems thoroughly confident in its source. Sprint announced last month that it would hold a special press event tonight. With Dan Hesse on hand alongside special guest David Blaine, a “master illusionist and world record holder,” Sprint promises to announce “yet another industry first.” Kyocera is most certainly not the first handset partner that comes to mind when carriers hold events like these, and we’re all the more intrigued as a result. BGR will be on hand at the event tonight and we’ll be live blogging all the action from start to finish. More →
We’ve just been dropped some intel from a new source that we thought we would share. Our source details three new handsets that U.S. wireless carrier Sprint will detail today at CTIA in San Francisco: the Samsung Transform, the Sanyo/Kyocera Zio, and the LG Optimus S.
The Samsung Transform will have a 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display (not Super AMOLED), 800 MHz processor, 0.3 megapixel front-facing camera, 3.2 megapixel rear-facing camera with LED-flash, EV-DO Rev. A and Android 2.1. We’re told the device will be upgraded to Android 2.2 shortly after launch. The phone is set to launch on 10/10/10 for $149.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate. We saw the user guide for this device leak yesterday, so no real shock here.
The second device is the Sanyo/Kyocera Zio. The Zio sports a 3.5-inch HVGA full-touchscreen display, 600 MHz processor, 3.2 megapixel camera, and Android 2.1. Like the Transform, the Zio will be upgraded to Android 2.2 shortly after launch. The device will retail for $99.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and will be available on 10/10/10.
The third and final phone is the LG Optimus S. The Optimus S will have a 600 MHz processor, 3.2-inch full-touchscreen display, 3.2 megapixel auto-focus camera, and will ship with Android 2.2. The device, which our source says feels great in the hand, will retail for $49.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate; also e available on 10/31/10.
All three devices will support Sprint’s mobile hotspot feature for up to five devices; the Optimus S will support this at launch, the Zio and Transform will support mobile hotspot creation once upgraded to Android 2.2. We’re also told that all three devices will run the the Sprint ID service we heard a little bit about yesterday.
Anything in this potpourri of devices pique your interest?
Sprint and Walmart have announced they’ve banded together to launch a brand new, low-cost carrier…say hello to Common Cents Mobile. Service will be lit up on May 15th and the carrier will be featured –exclusively — in over 700 Walmarts across the country. Minutes are billed at 7¢ a pop, but thanks to “Round Down” billing, a “minute” can last up to 119 seconds. This allows the $20 refill to be good for up to 565 minutes and the $30 up to 848 minutes. Nifty. Also coming in at 7¢ each are text messages, although there is an option for a $20 unlimited messaging package. Data will be available for $1 per megabyte per day. Being a no-frills carrier, Common Cents doesn’t offer a lavish line-up of handsets, but what it does carry is very affordable. The cheapest most affordable of the pack is LG 101 which sells for $19.77, followed closely by the Samsung M340 at $39.77. The most expensive handset is the Kyocera S2300, which has a full-QWERTY keypad, and retails for $69.77. Minute refills can be purchased at select Walmart stores; alternatively, Common Cents subscribers can register their credit card, debit card, or PayPal information at CommonCentsMobile.com to get more minutes.
Catch the press spiel after the break. More →
Some huge news this evening in the world of prepaid mobiles as Sprint has announced its new strategies for Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. With some 60 million Americans using prepaid mobiles, Sprint feels the time is right to make an all-out assault on the market. Said Sprint’s Dan Schulman: “This is the year that prepaid moves to the forefront of the wireless industry. In the first quarter of 2010, more than half of the mobile gross additions in the U.S. selected prepaid, and we predict that approximately 70% of the net adds in 2010 will choose plans without a contract,” adding that “the no-contract market has clearly moved beyond the credit-challenged and lower income segments.” Here’s what’s in the pipeline.
As of May 12th, Virgin Mobile will begin offering Beyond Talk plans. Ranging from $25 to $60 per month, each plan includes unlimited SMS/MMS, email, data and web. The $25 plan includes 300 minutes, the $40 plan 1,200 minutes and the $60 plan has unlimited minutes. Throw in an extra $10 per month and you’ll be able to hook a BlackBerry up to BIS. Yes, you read that right. $35 for a BlackBerry with unlimited data. If you’re a bit puzzled as to why Virgin is more focused on data and texts over voice minutes, the reason is simple: the amount of voice minutes used by young adults continues to plummet as email, IM and SMS grows at a rate of 150% during the years 2007 to 2009. Factor in 1800% growth in mobile data in this segment and it’s pretty obvious Virgin is one of the few companies that actually caters to the demands of its customers. This brings us to its new handsets. Virgin Mobile will be bringing the LG Rumor Touch and Rumor 2 ($149.99 and $89.99, both only available off contract), and Kyocera Loft ($69.99) into the fold with the BlackBerry Curve 8530 launching at the end of May with a retail price of $299.99.
As for Boost, not much is new in terms of plans (keep in mind it just announced that unlimited calls to 411, email and IM were recently added to its $50 unlimited plan which also includes all the talking, texting and web you wish), but now we know for sure that it will soon be carrying the Samsung Rant and Kyocera Incognito, Mirror and Juno.
Hit up the jump to check out the press release. More →
Way back in April before anyone outside of HTC knew what it was all about, a poster over at the xda-developers forum claimed that Sprint would be carrying a device known as the Hero on October 11th, mere days after the Fall edition of CTIA kicks off. The claims were pretty much brushed aside and/or soon forgotten, but now the poster is back with some evidence in tow. Well, kind of. The evidence that the poster has brought to light isn’t in the form of a fancy internal slide deck from Sprint but instead, a close up of a piece of paper that lists release dates for several upcoming Sprint handsets (more on them in a moment). Now normally we wouldn’t read too much into these sort of things but the fact is this guy called it from a long way back. Unless he just spit out a name from the huge 2009 HTC leak we’d say that has to count for something. Plus, he’s certainly not the only person who has suggested the sexy Android phone is Sprint-bound. On the very same day, it is also said that Sprint will be launching another Android device by Samsung, the Q (hello Moto?), but at the moment nothing is known about it. Perhaps it’s just Sprint’s internal name for the Galaxy.
Back to those other devices; The BlackBerry Curve 8530, which we already know to be headed to Verizon, is said to be launching on November 1st alongside a few numbers from Kyocera — the Pro 410, Pro 910 and perhaps the 3810 as well. Then we have the LG Lotus 2 (LX610) dropping some time in 2010. Yeah, we’re much more interested in the Hero, too.
While there has yet to be a formal announcement of any new handsets, some eagle-eyed observers noticed two new handsets from Kyocera for sale on Virgin Mobile’s website. Being Virgin Mobile phones, they’re not much to write home about but given the current economic climate we’re in, it’s a given that these phones will garner more interest than they would during prosperous times. Starting off with what is nothing more than a Virgin-branded S1300 Melo, the JAX is a plain Jane candybar that features… a color screen. Moving on to the more promising of the two, the X-tc sports a full-QWERTY slider, QVGA display, 1.3 megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth and comes pre-loaded with a Facebook and MySpace application. Not bad at all for a $100 phone.
[Via Phone Scoop]
Read – X-tc
Read – JAX