Verizon Wireless' new smartphone; Sprint QChat

It's already been a busy week for handset launches. Now, Verizon Wireless is launching a couple of smartphones, including the slow-to-launch Samsung SCH-i760 (click to see an image). The handset debuted at CES at the beginning of the year. It features Windows Mobile 6 and is a suped up version of the Samsung BlackJack with a slide-out QWERTY. It also features a touchscreen, integrated WiFi, EVDO, VCast, Bluetooth and a 1.3 megapixel camera. Verizon Wireless is selling the device for $349.99 with a two-year contract and after rebates. Verizon Wireless also announced that it was working with InnoPath to deliver over-the-air (OTA) updates to its subscribers' phones.

Not to be outdone, Sprint Nextel's executives are quietly spreading the news that they plan on offering QChat phones next year. The walkie-talkie handsets make use of Qualcomm's technology. The phones will effectively phase out the Nextel PTT service, which has dominated the PTT industry in the past.

For more on Verizon's handsets and OTA:
- read this press release about the phones
- check this release out about InnoPath
- read this Washington Post article about QChat