Sprint has revealed its plans to introduce a smartphone with the 4G cellular-wireless standard WiMAX in the first half of this year. Previously, this device had been expected near the end of the year.
WiMAX support will give it significantly faster Internet access than any current phone — it should have peak downlink speeds of up to 12 Mbps, and average downlink speeds of 2-4 Mbps.
There is one caveat: Sprint’s 4G network — which it runs in conjunction with Clearwire — is only available in limited areas covering about 10% of the U.S. population. That’s why its first model will also offer the 3G standard EV-DO.
Is It the HTC Supersonic?
Although Sprint was willing to talk a bit about the timing for its first WiMAX-enabled smartphone, it declined to give details about the actual device. However, these may have been revealed by another source.
In recent weeks, details on an HTC smartphone with WiMAX have been leaking out. It’s quite possible that this model, the HTC Supersonic, will debut in the near future from Sprint.
Last fall, Mathew Oommen, Sprint’s VP of device and technology development, said Google’s Android OS is the best option available for creating streaming multimedia applications that can take full advantage of WiMAX’s high data transfer speeds. The Supersonic will reportedly be an Android-based device with a focus on multimedia.
It will supposedly have 4.3-inch touchscreen, a slim tablet shape, and 1 GHz Snapdragon processor.
On top of Android OS 2.1 (or possibly version 3.0), the Supersonic will run HTC Sense, this company’s alternate user interface that expands on Google’s standard one.
Despite all the leaks, many details on the Supersonic, such as the camera resolution or battery capacity, remain unknown.