What is Project Emerald? A trusted source tells our friend’s at TmoNews that it is a codename for an upcoming smartphone launch on T-Mobile which is said to be a “new Nexus One-like device”. Not many details are provided past that, but it fits in nicely with some other information we recently received.
T-Mobile has been telling the press their HSPA+ network is on schedule to cover more than 100 major metropolitan areas and 185 million people by the end of the year. This is more than the 120 million that Sprint plans to cover with their 4G WiMAX network. They are also touting that their HSPA+ implementation allows customers to “enjoy today’s 4G speeds on existing broadband devices”.
We also know that T-Mobile is planning a HSPA+ handset this year to compete with the Sprint EVO 4G. Project Emerald might very well be that device. T-Mobile has been one of the biggest supporters of Google and HTC and they are long overdue for a high-end Snapdragon type device. HTC is providing Android Snapdragon phones to all the other carriers, so it’s only a question of when for T-Mobile. They do have a Snapdragon device with the HTC HD2 (WinMo 6.5) and the demand was so high it has been sold out since launch.
Finally, I was also passed a tip today that was HTC related. An old reliable source told me to expect a big HTC press event in the U.S. this June. For all we know it could be to celebrate the launch of the myTouch 3G Slide, but HTC doesn’t host their own events that often. Sprint is hosting an EVO 4G event tomorrow, but that’s expected for their biggest launch of the year.
Do I really think T-Mobile will announce an Android superphone next month? Maybe. I think one is needed to fill their high-end customer’s needs, but it looks like the immediate future is reserved for the Slide and Garminfone. A more realistic date for a HSPA+ phone would be late 2010.