Sprint, LG, Microsoft To Intro WinMo WiMax Phone? - InformationWeek
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12/22/2009
03:57 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Sprint, LG, Microsoft To Intro WinMo WiMax Phone?

Sprint has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday, January 6 -- the day before the Consumer Electronics Show kicks off. LG and Microsoft factor large in the presentation, and Brooke Shields is involved, too. What could they possibly be announcing?

Sprint has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday, January 6 -- the day before the Consumer Electronics Show kicks off. LG and Microsoft factor large in the presentation, and Brooke Shields is involved, too. What could they possibly be announcing?If Microsoft weren't involved, I'd have two guesses, but since it is, well, that narrows it down pretty far. Sprint has been pitching this event hard to tech journalists as the "must-attend" event of the entire show. In fact, they are calling it the "Hottest Spot at CES!" That sounds suspiciously like a WiMax-flavored event is taking place. Remarks are going to be made by Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Now, this event makes no mention of LG mobile phones, but Sprint and LG have sent out a separate invitation for a big party taking place the following evening. The party is going to be hosted by Brooke Shields. You don't bring out the big talent for a teensy little announcement. Whatever these three companies are up to, it is going to be pretty big.

All of this thrown in together points at just one likely conclusion: Sprint is going to launch its first WiMax-enabled smartphone. Not only will the device have WiMax, but it will run Windows Mobile and it will be made by LG. Such a device would be quite big news for all three companies involved.

To-date, the only devices that can access Sprint Nextel / Clearwire's WiMax network have been desktop modems and mobile laptop modems. (OK, the Samsung Mondi internet tablet, too. But no phones.) Sprint has been promising that it would have WiMax-capable phones by this year, but we haven't seen one yet.

I'd say it's highly probable that Sprint, Microsoft and LG will announce the first WiMax-equipped smartphone on January 6.

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