Sprint to launch WiMAX powered Android device next year?
First, some of the backdrop. The pin-dropping network expects 4G speed to be 3 to 5 times faster than the current 3G connected iPhone and will support apps that will benefit from that speed. T.V. and video applications come to mind. Sprint owns a slight majority of WiMAX provider Clearwire, so it needs to come out of the gate with a device that can garner a huge amount of "buzz" with the power to handle all of the incredible things that 4G will be able to do. The white collar Sprint guys told PC World that the device has to be able to handle both 4G and a switchover to 3G in areas where 4G does not exist. This dual band requirement is similar to the today's phones that can switch back and forth between a 3G connection and a 2G one. At the emd of next year, 80 cities will have WiMAX, so having both radios is important for Sprint.
Both the latter firm and Samsung are members of the Open Handset Alliance that promotes Android. The OS, according to Sprint's VP of device and technology development, Matthew Oomman, is perfect to bring out the richness of the applications that developers will be making to take advantage of the 4G network. More so than the other OS available, Android allows the developer to take advantage of things like the high resolution of the screen, the accelerometer and the camera. And the fact that it is open source appeals greatly to both Sprint and Clearwire. Throw in Samsung's expertise in WiMAX (The Samsung Mondi just won an award for "Best WiMAX device") and the fact that it has been working hard to bring Android phones to the market, and it all adds up. If PC World is right, we could see the 4G Samsung Android powered phone sometime in 2010.