Sprint expected to unveil HTC Supersonic on Tuesday

WiMax phone to have 4.3-inch display, Android 2.1 with Sense UI (see video, below)

Sprint Nextel is expected to unveil the Supersonic by HTC, the first phone for Sprint's WiMax network, at the CTIA wireless conference next week.

Sprint has been expected to launch its first WiMax device for a while, and many analysts feel it has a limited window to do so, with Verizon Wireless planning to launch LTE high-speed wireless service in 25 or more cities late this year, with an LTE phone available in 2011.

HTC Supersonic
Sprint's iPhone killer?

AT&T is also building an LTE network, with trials expected later this year.

Photos of the Supersonic, based Google's Android mobile operating system with HTC's Sense UI and sporting a 4.3-inch display, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, have been leaked on various Web sites.

AndroidMobileOS has a posted a course-quality video of the Supersonic, with somebody wearing black gloves showing off the nameplate for the device and its camera and speaker, but little else (see below).

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse is expected to launch the new Supersonic device in his keynote address at the CTIA Wireless show on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting unnamed sources. (Paid subscription required.)

Phil Cusick, an analyst at Macquarie Securities, also said today in a report that he expects the Sprint launch next week. He said that Sprint will be paying Clearwire a fee for every WiMax customer.

Clearwire runs the WiMax services on the Clear network, but Sprint is a major investor in the network.

Sprint and Clearwire could not be reached for comment immediately.

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 mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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