The rumors that Sprint was moving on from the Hesse era were true. After seven years at the helm of the Now Network, Dan Hesse is stepping aside so Sprint's parent company SoftBank can bring in someone new. Its choice is Marcelo Claure, the founder and current CEO of SoftBank subsidiary Brightstar.
Sprint has network problems. Major problems. And they've gotten a lot worse lately. Really, really bad. Not all areas are affected - and in fact some have improved already, but more and more areas are getting so bad that Sprint's 3G data is completely unusable there, especially since the introduction of the iPhone. Troubleshooting and update my phone's "profile" and PRL didn't help, as evident from the screenshot #2 you see below.
Turns out the rumors were true - Sprint and Kyocera have partnered up to build the Echo, the world's first dual-screen phone.
The two 3.5" 800x480 screens offer 4.7 inches of real estate when combined, and can be used as:
- One huge display ("Tablet Mode")
- Combined displays, where one screen can show a keyboard while the other displays the email app ("Optimized Mode")
- Two individual displays with each running a separate app ("Simul-Task Mode")
- One single display, with the second hidden underneath ("Single-Screen Mode")
Unfortunately, the rest of the Echo's specs aren't nearly as innovative - its battery is puny (1370 mAh, though Sprint will include a spare), it doesn't have a front-facing camera, and there's no 4G connectivity to speak of.
As a loyal Sprint customer, I must say - I was disappointed by the carrier's lack of announcements at CES. In fact, the only new phone they introduced was the HTC EVO Shift 4G, which offered little that we haven't already seen in a million other phones. But as it turns out, the nation's third-largest carrier isn't resting on its laurels; it was merely saving the more important announcements for its own event.
Thanks to our friends at phandroid.com (hey Rob!), we can now check out what was actually going on at yesterday's special 4G event Sprint held.
Rob recorded 4 videos on his HD camcorder (nice investment, Rob), starting with Sprint's CEO Dan Hesse's keynote speech announcing EVO 4G and going into the presentations that followed.