Sprint teams with Motorola to launch 10 smartphones in 2011

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) is teaming with Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) to develop at least 10 smartphones in 2011 for the operator's CDMA network and mobile WiMAX network, which it operates through Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR).

Motorola Photon 4G

The Motorola Photon 4G is Motorola's first mobile WiMAX phone.

The companies debuted two new Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android smartphones--the Motorola Photon 4G, which smartphone operates on Sprint's mobile WiMAX network (and is Motorola's first mobile WiMAX device) and the Motorola Triumph, a smartphone for Sprint's Virgin Mobile prepaid brand.

The companies said that a business-class  Android smartphone, the XPRT, which debuted June 5, is also part of the portfolio of devices, which will include push-to-talk devices, tablets and more.

Sprint currently offers Motorola devices, but they have primarily been low-tier and mid-tier phones.

The Motorola Photon 4G sports a  dual-core 1 GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. The device runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS and features a 4.3-inch qHD display, 16GB of memory and webtop connectivity, similar to the Motorola Atrix, which is offered by AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T).  

Meanwhile, the Motorola Triumph is Virgin Mobile's first Motorola device. It runs Android's 2.2 Froyo operating system, has a 4.1-inch WVGA touchscreen and a 1 GHz Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon processor. It also has a 5-megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture and a front-facing VGA camera for video chatting.

The partnership with Sprint is noteworthy because Motorola has been seeking to diversify its carrier partners. Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha warned investors in December that Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) competitive actions in the first quarter of this year, specifically its decision to begin selling Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4, could impact Motorola's device sales and its financial standing. In the first quarter, the company shipped 9.3 million total mobile devices, including 4.1 million smartphones, and its net loss shrunk to $81 million.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Cnet article

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