70% of Sprint’s Devices to be Android-Based, Bigger 4G Push in 2011


Sprint was the first out of the starting gate with 4G Android devices and they’ve seen the competition load their barrels up for what’s sure to be a very competitive 4G war starting this year. Sprint isn’t sleeping at their own wheel, though, as they have committed to putting a bigger emphasis on their 4G strategy in 2011.

Sprint’s Fared Adib – the man who replaced Sprint’s former Vice President of Product Development, Kevin Packingham (who was responsible for Sprint’s 4G push in 2010) – stated that 70% of their devices would also be running Android. This is even taking into account the sales of feature phones and netbooks, apparently.

They’ve already kicked the year off with the launch of the HTC EVO Shift 4G – a review of which we’ll have up soon enough – and yesterday’s unveiling of the Kyocera Echo are testaments to their strategy. What kind of devices we’ll be getting and how many exactly weren’t said, but I can’t imagine we’ll go the year without seeing at least 10 new devices, with 4 of them being high-powered beasts. (My guesstimation is based on past trends.)

More than having the most, Sprint wants to be the most unique in their offering – yesterday’s revelation was the beginning of that – but what kind of market there is for the types of devices Sprint hopes to bring out remains to be seen. Their Kyocera Echo was met with very little fan-fare and left many in a state of disappointment.

Sprint is scheduled to talk about their 4th quarter numbers on a conference call this Thursday, and we’ll be sitting in to hear what they have to say going forward. [via Wall Street Journal]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. ugh . 70% huh . we will see. the echo is junk. so the 3 4g phones they have. they need to add about 10 more to even somewhat compete. which i don’t see them doing sprint is known for mediocre devices. they need evo 2 soon, palm 4g phone , etc something. the echo will sell just not sure how many. doubtful they sell over 100k units.

  2. We’ll see. Whoever the hell is in charge of their marketing needs to figure it out quick #Hint: Verizon is kicking your ass in marketing.

  3. Well the EVO dropped in June … so it would make sense for the EVO 2 to arrive this spring/summer. At which point I’ll finally say goodbye to my good friend Hero.

  4. @Brian: VZW kicks everyone’s ass in marketing so your point is moot.


  6. Sprint 4G has a short road ahead of it. Why? Because WiMAX and WiMAX2 aren’t nearly as promising as LTE. How they plan to address this–or more likely ignore it–is going to be interesting.

  7. well, i’m hanging around until April/May so by then their device plans for 2011 should be pretty clear. if they don’t bring out a 4″ dual-core powered device, i’m jumping ship.
    the Motorola Atrix 4G is exactly what i’ve been wanting and i don’t think HTC can compete device wise but we shall see. here’s to hoping they change my mind with MWC around the corner.

    Motorola and HTC are the only device manufacturers i will stand by because they actually update their devices in a timely manner

    @jmax, i agree with your point there as well.

  8. 10 4G phones? I rather them release 2 awesome phones like they did worth the epic and evo than having a million subpar phones.

    The only thing coming out worth a damn is the Atrix on AT&T. Everything else are rehashes that didn’t need to be made.

    Galaxy S 4G – T-Mobile had a second chance to get it right and they still forgot the camera flash.

    Thunderbolt – basically an Evo but with a mytouch 4g specs.

    Iphone 4 on verizon? LOL

    The Infuse – at least AT&T is getting their second shot at the galaxy s right, but it’s completely overspend by the Atrix.

  9. Even though I am a huge fan of Android, it is not a good idea to be that much committed to any one platform. If anything ever does come of the lawsuits they could be in a hurt. AT&T got too involved with Apple are now climbing out if the hole of being too dependent.

  10. Guys, Sprint is going to LTE, just not yet. Why do you think they are freeing up the 800MHz frequency band by retiring iDEN? Two years and the LTE cards go in the towers.

  11. I want to know what are Sprint’s plans for upgrading their 4G network.

    Their 4G network, at just 3-6 mbps, sucks ass compared to T-mobile’s constant 10 mbps, which is getting upgraded this summer to upto 42 mbps.

  12. Bottom line here there no secret that the HTC EVO 2 4G WILL BE ANNOUNCED AT CTIA IN MARCH OF 2011…Then the rest of there devices will fall into place…All the other devices that currently came out on other carriers are all new to the game and need to establish themself in the 4g game REAL WORLD…The current Evo is all ready proven and so is SPRINTS NETWORK…All these other versions of 4g technology is not truly proven at this time…We will see how everything turns out…Sprint has nothing to worry about I am sure they sold at least 30plus million htc evo’s during 2010…I’d like to know how many other devices were sold from verizon and there Droid X or any other of those other devices that came out during 2010. Sprint rules as well as the htc evo

  13. In other words 70% of Sprint customers to pay 4g tax in 2011..

  14. Sprint needs to work harder on bring 4G availability to other cities. I am in Phx and am still waiting on 4G.

  15. Some of you aren’t taking into account that Spring has already been testing simultaneous WiMax and LTE. This has been kept pretty quiet but I understand from one of their field testers that they have been in actual market testing already. He didn’t want to elaborate further for obvious reasons. I expect LTE to come this year along with phones to support it.

  16. belmont is right if you look at the new line up of phones from other carriers they really bring nothing new to the table, with the exception of the atrix. all the htc phones thunderbolt, infuse, old 2010 specs. dont count sprint out yet im sure they are smarter than most people think. i’d rather wait for a new dual core phone than a rushed out already old renamed desire hd.

  17. Sweet. Well bring on the dual core Android smartphones then.

    I am looking to upgrade before April, so I hope we see something before that. I cannot wait.

  18. I waited all this time for what? A magic show followed by an introduction of a brick dual screen 3G phone with last year’s OS that nobody wants? I was hoping for National 4G / Dual Core 4G phones / Nexus S 4G / EVO2, Honeycomb deployment.. What a waste of time. They are falling behind the curve. They need to get their act together. Finally all this talk about new phones coming out from Sprint? Where are the PRESS RELEASES from SPRINT regarding this? If nothing “Innovative” comes out of them soon, I’m leaving!

  19. Price of VZW stock > Sprint: VZW can afford the marketing. Sprint uses literally all of their $ to invest in their network. Sprint has the capabilities with their bandwidth to explore all 4G options, and possibly utilize them simultaneously. Another point to note, Sprint is ahead of all of their competition. While others are moving from having one network technology to two (3G+4G), Sprint has moved (2 years ago) from 2 (IDEN + CDMA), to 3 (Wimax), and is exploring a 4th (LTE).

  20. @Rob Schoenfeld – As of Feb. 1, every smartphone user will be paying the $10 fee previously known as the 4G tax, it is now the “enhanced data usage” tax. I only hope Sprint spends as much time lighting up its 4G network as it says it will be spending selling 4G phones. What good is a 4G phone if you don’t have 4G service (even if it is only Wimax)?

  21. That was supposed to be every Sprint smartphone user will be paying the $10 fee.

  22. I’ve been a sprint customer since 2009, and I’ve never stopped regretting it.

  23. MVT… correction, every smartphone ACTIVATED after Jan 30th will pay for the enhanced experience, lol.

    Anyway, that said… Sprint better get their butt moving, cause so far, it appears that they’re dragging their asses with all the other networks already announcing their intended game-plan for the coming year. The EVO has carried the charge but is losing gas, I love my HERO but it needs some horsepower. Sprint has the 4g, and in spite of the bull you guys want to spew about WiMax-vs-LTE, Sprint is best poised in the market, bar none, for bandwidth and expansion, do your homework! Why do you think they’re not freaking out like all the others with the data throttling!

    We NEED a better share of the cutting edge handsets, increased rotation of new equipment to match the customer retention policy’s (1 year), etc., lol…

    My $.02

    By the way, some critical review… where do you get your info that Sprint will be announcing “10” new handsets this year consisting of Android based phones… YOUR guess based upon past trends??? Really??? Please list your sources and validate that info! “10”… Wow, I don’t think Sprint EVER announced 10 new phones in a year, prove me wrong!


  24. We are barely, just barely getting new phones that aren’t rehashes of the Evo. There is no reason to rush out the Evo2. Dropping it one year after the Evo is sound.

  25. I have to say, I love my EVO but just as SIGNT said, I have yet to see any phone come out…on any network…that I want over my EVO. The EVO really hit the spot. I would like to see something around October (when I am eligible and my wife who is still on the Hero is eligible) come out as a replacement to the EVO. I really wonder though what they can do to make the phone better. The only thing I can think of is better battery life.

  26. Ok my 2 cents…
    I’ve been with Sprint now for going on 9yrs and I their plans are 2nd to none! We have the most sound network and are poised to expand it even more. The phones are coming MWC and CTIA in March will quiet all skeptics.

    Plus, Sprint has indeed already done testing of dual-band WiMax/LTE phones in several markets already and we already share our voice and 1x data towers with Verizon, so once we pick up LTE on the 800Mhz frequency we’ll pretty much be boss.

  27. I waited in line for my evo and has been overall impressed with my phone since day 1. We had problems at first but it was nothing that the updates didn’t work out. My phone bill for three lines are reasonible over everyone else’s. I’m in Baltimore where we have 4g and it works great. This was the the first phone of its kindand the iphone really don’t come close besides the screen that does look good I must say. But pricing and and plans are high for it compared to sprint. I’m upset its taking a long time for the update but I’m quite sure its worth the wait. When the evo 2 comes out ima buy it straight out cause I’m no eligible for a upgrade but I don’t care ill pay 449 for it and still have my evo. If the iPhone went to Sprint ill buy one too but ill never put my fully customizable Android down. HELL NO

  28. Evo is the best phone availible first of it’s kind.

  29. I doubt that 70% of their customers will have Android phones if they insist on a $79.99 minimum rate while Verizon’s is still $69.99 for an Android phone.

  30. Verizon’s minimun is 69.99 for??? Talk.
    Sprint’s 79.99 is for Talk+Text+Web+4G ALL UNLIMITED
    Want the same on Verizon? That will cost you around 130, soooo ima say Sprint wins:)

  31. I have sidekick through t-mobile and they said that they no longer have service with sidekick danger end of May. So I have to look for a better phone and service. Which is a good service Verizon or Sprint? I am not sure if thunderbolt or Evo 2 4g is good. Please let me know so I can make up my mind which one I want and that will make me happy before May 31st. Thanks.

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