It's been a long, hard, winding road to get here, but finally Sprint has announced via its forums that the Evo 4G LTE will finally arrive in Sprint stores Saturday, June 2nd. The phone will still retail for $199. Amusingly, the new launch date coincides almost perfectly with the original launch date of the Evo 4G, June 4th, 2010. Those of you who picked up the original Evo and are committed to the line will be able to celebrate your 2-year anniversary and contract expiration in style.
The EVO fan blog Good and EVO is reporting that simultaneous voice calling and 3G data (SV-DO) is working on Sprint's HTC EVO 4G LTE. Some of you may be aware that unlike GSM carriers (e.g. AT&T), CDMA carriers (e.g. Sprint) are unable to serve voice and data over 3G simultaneously. So if you were on a CDMA device talking to someone, it would be impossible for you to connect to the internet.
Hot on the heels of blurry-cam shots of the upcoming LS970, a rumored upcoming Sprint LG device, today we've heard that the carrier has yet another phone from the other Korean electronics giant waiting in the wings - though this one's a little less exciting.
If you recall, the LG Viper is essentially Sprint's take on the LG Lucid, found at Verizon - a mid-range device with highly capable, if slightly dated, specifications.
Mere hours ago, we got confirmation that the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) approved a Verizon-bound version of the SGSIII. Now, we're seeing a similar listing for what is likely a Sprint variant of the Galaxy S III. The device appears in SIG's listing with the model number SPH-L710, which has been rumored to be the designation of the Sprint-branded variant.
The model number is only one character off from the Sprint-branded SGSII (SPHD710), so we're pretty confident this implies that the Galaxy S III will be heading to Sprint, which is the last of the four major US carriers to receive confirmation.
Sprint has long been the refuge for data-hungry users that don't want to deal with caps or overages. While Sprint's regular 3G and 4G data usage on phones is still unlimited, back in October the Now Network started capping the mobile hotspot feature at 5GB per month. Starting last Friday, May 18th, that plan is gone. In its place are two pricier options.
The low-end option comes with 2GB of monthly bandwidth and costs $19.99 per month.
Update: here's an official statement from Sprint's Community Forums, confirming the May 24 delivery estimate:
Customers who pre-ordered HTC EVO 4G LTE…Your wait is almost over! Sprint expects to begin shipping HTC EVO 4G LTE for arrival on or around Thursday, May 24 to customers who pre-ordered the device online from Sprint.
We will provide details on the full national launch as soon as possible. Thank you to everyone who has been patient while waiting for their HTC EVO 4G LTE. We will continue to update this post as additional details are available.
Two weeks ago, Google announced a series of expansions to carrier billing options for Play Store Apps, Movies, Books, and Music on various carriers. While some changes went into effect immediately, Sprint, which already allowed direct billing for apps, was one carrier that was listed as "coming soon."
As of today, all three additional options are available to Sprint customers: books, music, and movies. Not surprisingly, carrier billing is the default option since it's by far the cheapest to carriers and Google as they get to bypass credit card fees.
We reported last night that, due to an ITC order on an Apple patent infringement claim, at least some of HTC's One X and EVO 4G LTE smartphones had been halted at shipping ports by US Customs.
The implications of this for the EVO 4G LTE just got worse, as Sprint has been forced to concede that the planned May 18th launch will have to be delayed until the customs investigation is completed.
US Customs has halted at least some shipments of the HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE (presumably at the Port of Los Angeles), as a result of an earlier ITC order won by Apple over a patent lawsuit for "data tapping" (context-sensitive text-based actions) in the browser and messaging apps on some HTC phones.
These features, HTC contends, have been removed from the One X and EVO 4G LTE, and HTC is "confident" that it is in compliance with the ruling:
This is the sort of quasi-rumor (it's fairly detailed and comes from the Wall Street Journal, so we're inclined to trust it) that makes me happy to be an Android fan.
According to the WSJ, Google is in cahoots with up to five device manufacturers to provide early access to the next iteration of the Android OS (Jelly Bean, we assume) so it can have an entire "portfolio" of Nexus devices ready by Thanksgiving - that's late November for those without turkey day.