T-Mobile USA unveiled two new smartphones running on its faster HSPA+ 42 network, an indication that the carrier still plans to aggressively target customers with high-end devices despite clouds surrounding AT&T's (NYSE:T) proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile.
Click here for details on the HTC Amaze 4G.
T-Mobile CMO Cole Brodman announced the phones, the HTC Amaze 4G and T-Mobile's variant of the Samsung Galaxy S II, at GigaOM's Mobilize 2011 conference in San Francisco. The phones are the first from T-Mobile to run on its new HSPA+ 42 network, which T-Mobile has been steadily expanding this year. The carrier said the phones are showing average downlink speeds approaching 8 Mbps with peak speeds around 20 Mbps.
Brodman said T-Mobile's HSPA+ 42 network is now in more than 150 markets covering 170 million POPs, and that data traffic on the network is doubling every six months. He said 75 percent of the devices T-Mobile has sold this year have been smartphones, and 90 percent of those run Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform.
Brodman demurred when asked whether T-Mobile will get Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone this year. "We'd love to have the iPhone whenever Apple makes that available," he said, adding that the decision is up to Apple. "We are waiting for that phone call."
In a separate company blog post, Brodman told customers that "we think the iPhone is a great device and Apple knows that we'd like to add it to our lineup. Today, there are over a million T-Mobile customers using unlocked iPhones on our network. We are interested in offering all of our customers a no-compromise iPhone experience on our network." He then proceeded to talk up the high-end Android devices T-Mobile offers, including the new HSPA+ 42 smartphones.
The HSPA+ 42 expansion--and the new devices--have been T-Mobile's way of keeping up with Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) LTE network, which currently covers 143 markets and 160 million POPs. Verizon plans to increase that to 175 markets and 185 million POPs by year-end. Verizon's LTE network, which provides average downlink speeds of 5-12 Mbps, currently supports five smartphones.
HTC's Amaze 4G runs Android 2.3.4 and features a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon processor, 4.3-inch qHD super LCD display and NFC capabilities. T-Mobile also boasted of the device's camera, which is equipped with an 8-megapixel resolution and 1080p HD video recorder, a backside illuminated sensor for improved low light performance, zero shutter lag and a dual LED flash. T-Mobile said the Amaze will be available Oct. 10 and in stores Oct. 12 for $259.99 after a $50 mail-in-rebate card and with a two-year contract.
Additionally, T-Mobile took the wraps off the previously announced Samsung Galaxy S II. The device has similar specs to the Amaze, and features a dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. It also sports a 4.52-inch Super AMOLED Plus touch screen, the largest screen available on a T-Mobile smartphone, and has DLNA compatibility and HDMI out capabilities, allowing users to view the phone's content on compatible HD TVs. The Samsung Galaxy S II will be available Oct. 10 and in stores Oct. 12 for $229.99 after a $50 mail-in-rebate card and with a two-year contract.
T-Mobile also launched the Huawei-made Sonic 4G Mobile HotSpot for its HSPA+ 42 network, providing access for up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices. The gadget also comes with an SD memory card slot capable of holding up to 32 GB. T-Mobile said the hotspot will be available in October but did not provide specific pricing or availability.
- see this release
- see this TMoNews post
- see this GigaOM post
- see this T-Mobile blog post
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