The HTC Inspire 4G goes on sale at AT&T stores and online on Feb. 13 for $99.99 with a two-year service plan.
The Inspire runs Android 2.2 and features a 4.3-in. LCD display, the largest in AT&T's portfolio. It is the first to include the AT&T Mobile Hotspot application, which means an added cost that is part of the user's required data plan.
HTC Americas President Jason Mackenzie noted that the device is the "first true superphone to launch at under $100." It runs a Snapdragon 1GHz processor and offers an aluminum unibody design. The device also features 4GB of internal memory, 8GB of microSD storage and an 8-megapixel camera that supports 720p HD video recording.
AT&T said the HTC Inspire 4G is the first of more than 20 4G devices that it will offer in 2011, with another 4G smartphone coming in the first quarter. AT&T is building an LTE network starting in the summer, but is enabling its network with HSPA+, which it calls 4G and can offer theoretical speeds of 21Mbit/sec and average speeds of more than 5Mbit/sec.
That HSPA+ network is being enabled with Ethernet and fiber backhaul, which AT&T says on its site is only "available in limited areas."
Minimum monthly data plans for the HTC Inspire 4G will cost $15 for 200MB of data, and $25 a month for a 2GB plan. Data usage over the hotspot capability through a DataPro Tethering Plan is deducted from the customer's data allowance, which is explained more fully on the AT&T site.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.