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Sprint To Run 70% Android in 2011



Sprint CEO Dan Hesse at the Kyocera Echo launch event. Photo credit: TDG

If you were scared after yesterdays Sprint/Kyocera announcement don’t worry.  Sprint’s Vice President of Product Development, Fared Adib, spoke with the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday and offered up some great news for Android lovers and those still seeking to get a smartphone.

Adib said that 70% of their total consumer portfolio in 2011 will consist of Android devices.  He also promised continued growth in their 4G space and to continue to set their WiMax “4G” apart from their competitors; Verizon’s 4G LTE, T-Mobile’s HSPA+ and AT&T’s 2 phase strategy of HSPA+ H1 and LTE H2.  Sprint was the clear leader with 4G, releasing their first modems about a year and a half ago.

The Wall Street Journal attributed Android to Sprint’s return to customer growth for the first time since 2007.  Sprint was the first to release a 4G Android device in the HTC Evo 4G, which has since grown to it’s best selling Android device.   Adib feels that their OEM partners have a better advantage for Sprint because they started the WiMax learning curve a year and a half ago while they are just now getting started adapting to LTE and HSPA+

Although we are still pre-MWC Sprint has already announced 2 Android devices the HTC Evo Shift 4G and yesterday’s announcement of the Kyocera Echo.  The latter went on sale in early January while the Kyocera device will go on sale in “the spring”.

The Kyocera Echo was met with mixed reviews although it is a flagship product for the US arm of the Japanese manufacturer. Its patented dual screen technology has two 3.5″ screens that can click together side by side to form one 4.7″ screen in both horizontal and vertical mode. The downside is that the seam creates a black bar in between the two screens and would seemingly disrupt moving viewing and gaming.

On the Kyocera Echo, aroundthe.net a top tech journalist site run by established female tech journalists put up a photo of the device and the wording “F*ck it Glue Two Phones Together” instead of an actual review of yesterday’s launch party.

Even with the Echo aside Sprint is promising another great year and commitment to the Android platform and continued investment into their 4G devices. 4G build out on the other hand is still up in the air.  Sprint’s 4G spectrum and network partner, Clearwire, for which Sprint owns 51%, has run out of money and hasn’t announced any new markets after completing their 2010 roll out a few days early.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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