Rumor Mill: Sprint to unveil dual-screen Kyocera Android phone

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) will announce a new smartphone from Kyocera at a media event tonight that has two touchscreen displays, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The phone, called the Echo, will run on Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform, and its main feature is its form factor. The report, citing an unnamed source, said the two 3.5-inch screens can be placed side by side to form a tablet-like display, and that users can work on separate tasks on each screen or drag them from one screen to another. The screens can also be stacked to create a more normal-looking smartphone. Bloomberg also reported that Sprint will launch the Echo.

Sprint spokesman Mark Elliott declined to comment on the report.

Last month Sprint invited the media the the New York City event, promising to deliver an "industry first" that shows "the impossible is possible." Sprint CEO Dan Hesse is expected to attend the launch event, as is magician David Blaine.

Sprint currently supports one smartphone from Kyocera, the Sanyo Zio (Kyocera acquired Sanyo's handset business in 2008). The carrier's only major smartphone launch so far this year was the HTC Evo Shift 4G, its third phone running on Clearwire's (NASDAQ:CLWR) mobile WiMAX network. The Evo Shift is a smaller version of Sprint's flagship Evo smartphones, and has a full slide-out Qwerty keyboard. So far Sprint has not indicated if it intends any major new smartphone launches, and was relatively quiet at January's Consumer Electronics Show, though it did say it will launch a WiMAX version of Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) PlayBook tablet later this summer.

Sprint reports its fourth-quarter earnings Feb. 10. Starting Jan. 30 Sprint raised the price of its unlimited smartphone data service by $10 per month for new and upgrading customers. 

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Engadget post

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