Dallas - AT&T plans Feb. 13 sales of its first 4G smartphone, the Android 2.2-based
, priced at $99.99 with two-year contract through the carrier's company-owned stores and
The Inspire will be available Feb. 13 through AT&T-owned stores, the carrier's web site, dealers, and select national retailers, the carrier said.
The device will also be AT&T's first Android phone with the 2.2 version of the OS, the carrier's first phone with embedded mobile hot spot, and the phone with the largest screen size in the AT&T portfolio at 4.3 inches. It's also the first phone in the U.S. with HTC's next-generation Sense user interface experience and HTC cloud-based services, including Friendstream and remote wipe.
With 4.3-inch screen and 1GHz processor, the HTC Inspire 4G "is the first true superphone to launch at under $100," said HTC Americas president Jason Mackenzie.
The Inspire is the first of more than 20 4G devices that AT&T said at International CES would be available during the year. Also at CES, AT&T said it would deliver two 4G phones in the first quarter, including the Samsung Infuse 4G, and a total of five to seven 4G devices in the first half.
The HTC Inspire operates in 3G/4G mode only in its 850/1,900MHz bands, so it won't operate in 3G/4G mode in other countries. AT&T 4G phones using 700MHz 4G LTE technology, which will deliver faster data speeds, will be available in the second half following the mid-2011 of LTE service in select markets. The LTE rollout is expected to be largely complete at the end of 2013.
The carrier also plans to launch two 4G tablets -- including its first LTE tablet -- by mid-summer, with additional LTE tablets planned for the second half of 2011.
HSPA+ capability has been deployed in almost 100 percent of the AT&T network, and when combined with an Ethernet or fiber base-station backhaul, it delivers download speeds up to 6Mbps. AT&T said it expects the backhaul enhancements to be installed in almost two-thirds of its network by the end of the year.
For use in the HSPA+ network, the HTC Inspire 4G offers 4.3-inch capacitive LCD touchscreen, 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 8-megapixel camera/camcorder with 720p video capture, dual LED flash, autofocus, Adobe Flash, 4GB embedded memory, included 8GB microSD card, Dolby Mobile and SRS WOW HD sound technologies, and an aluminum unibody design. It comes preloaded with a Blockbuster application and e-reader app.
The next-generation HTC Sense user interface includes HTC's FriendStream service, which delivers Facebook, Twitter and Flickr updates in a consolidated view. The Inspire 4G also lets owners pinpoint the location of a lost phone on a map and send a command to make the phone sound an alert -- even if the phone is in silent mode -- through the htcsense.com website. Owners can also remotely wipe all of the phone's data with a single command in addition to forwarding calls and text messages to a different number.
HTC Inspire 4G requires a minimum data service starting at $15/mo. Activating the mobile hot spot capability requires a DataPro Tethering Plan on top of that.