We have known since last year that Sprint’s first 4G handset would be powered by Android and launch in 2010. We weren’t expecting the handset till the end of the year, but a new report from Forbes indicates that Sprint has moved up the launch date. Sprint tells Forbes its first 4G handset will launch in the first half of 2010 by summer.
No specific handset has been announced, but many people are speculating it could be the HTC phone codenamed Supersonic (A9292). This phone (pictured above) is supposed to feature a 4.3 inch AMOLED display, 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 1 GB ROM, and be the first Android device to support WiMax.
Sprint’s 4G WiMax service is currently available in 27 U.S. markets (including my hometown) covering more than 30 million people. By the end of 2010, the network is expected to include Boston, New York, San Francisco and Washington and it will cover up to 120 million people.
The WiMax network has a theoretical max of 10 Mbps, but real world test place download speeds in the 3-6 Mbps range.
We should have some good competition this year because T-Mobile is planning their own upgrade to HSPA+ which supports 21 Mbps (9 Mbps in tests) and it will span their entire network (230 million people).
Look for some 4G handset announcements during next month’s CTIA show in Las Vegas.