U.S. Cellular said it will launch seven Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android-based smartphones (including one LTE smartphone), two tablets and its first Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 7 device this year. The first of those devices will debut this summer when the operator plans to launch four HTC devices, one of which will use WP7.
The company also said that it will launch its first tablet, also from HTC, in the fall. Although U.S. Cellular didn't reveal the name of the tablet, it said the device will feature a 7-inch screen. At the Mobile World Congress conference in February in Barcelona HTC unveiled its first tablet, the Android-powered Flyer, which has a 7-inch screen and uses Wi-Fi. Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) plans to launch the HTC View 4G, which is a WiMAX-powered version of the Flyer.
U.S. Cellular didn't reveal the name of manufacturer that will make its first LTE smartphone. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) currently offers three LTE smartphones--the HTC ThunderBolt, LG Revolution and the Samsung Droid Charge. All of those devices run on Android. MetroPCS (NASDAQ:PCS) also sells the LTE-powered Samsung Galaxy Indulge smartphone.
U.S. Cellular also said it will launch a Motorola (NYSE:MMI) smartphone with a 4.3-inch screen and an LG smartphone with a 4-inch touchscreen in the fall. Plus, the company will debut two entry-level smartphones from Huawei and Samsung later in the year.
Last month U.S. Cellular announced it was accelerating its plans to deploy LTE. The company, which had originally planned to deploy the next-generation technology in 2012, announced it will deploy LTE in 24 markets by November, covering approximately 25 percent to 30 percent of its total subscriber base. The company will outfit around 1,250 cell sites with LTE using its 700 MHz spectrum.
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