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U.S. Cellular Readies Smartphone Expansion

6/14/2011 12:47:30 PM Eastern

Chicago - U.S Cellular launched
its first Windows 7 smartphone as part of a promise to expand its smartphone
portfolio this year to include seven new Android smartphones.

The CDMA 1X EV-DO carrier also promised to offer
its first 4G LTE smartphone this year as part of a first wave of 4G devices coming
in November, and the company said it would offer two more tablets by year's end
to complement Samsung's Galaxy Tab.

With the addition of the new
Windows 7 phone, the company offers 14 smartphones consisting of two BlackBerry
models, eight Android models and two Windows models, the company's website
shows.

The new Windows 7 phone, which
joins a Windows 6.5 phone, is the $199 HTC 7 Pro -- the same phone as the HTC-made
Arrive
launched by CDMA carrier Sprint earlier this year. They're the first
Windows Phone 7 handsets to combine a sliding QWERTY keyboard with a tilt-up
display that creates the appearance of a tiny laptop.

Features of the 6.6-ounce phone include
3.6-inch touchscreen, built-in FM radio, access to Netflix, 5-megapixel
autofocus camera with flash, 1GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera, 800 by 480
capacitive touchscreen display, 720p HD video recording, 16GB of non-removable
memory, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, stereo Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, and SRS Wow surround-sound
processing.

The phone also lets users view,
edit, share and sync Office documents, and it integrates with Windows Live,
Xbox Live, Windows Marketplace and Zune services, the latter enabling users to
download and stream music.

In outlining additional phones in
its device roadmap, the carrier said all seven planned Android phones coming
later this year will run
the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system,
whereas the company's current eight models run the 2.1 and 2.2 versions of the
Android OS and come preloaded with
such Google applications as
Gmail
and Google Maps.

The planned 4G phone will also
run Android, the company said. The carrier previously announced plans
to launch 4G LTE service
in the 700MHz band in 24 markets to reach 25
percent of its potential customer base in time for the Christmas selling
season.

 Other planned products include:

 --three more HTC devices that will launch in
the fall, including an HTC
tablet with 7-inch
screen and two more HTC Android phones;

--a Motorola Android smartphone due in the fall with dual-core 1 GHz
processor, 4.3-inch
touchscreen and world-phone
capabilities;

-- an LG Android smartphone with 1GHz processor,
4-inch touchscreen and "ultra-bright" LCD for viewing in sunlight;

-- new entry-level smartphones
from Samsung
and Huawei; and

-- two new Samsung messaging
devices with slide-out
QWERTY keypad and 2.8-inch
touchscreens.