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Sprint Sketches Out Product Roadmap

Overland Park,
Sprint plans to unveil additional
cellphones for holiday sales, but consumer marketing VP David Owens declined to
specify whether they would include Android-based smartphones other than the
previously announced HTC Hero and
Samsung Moment.

The carrier has “a couple others [phones] up our sleeve” for
holiday sales, he said in an on-line chat with consumers.

In pointing to other future products, Owens said Sprint will have
more BlackBerry options with Wi-Fi “soon,” new iDEN-network phones “coming
soon,” and a 2010 selection that will include a “robust” selection of HTC-made Android phones, a “strong BlackBerry
roadmap, and a “broad array” of Android phones. The company will also “continue
to build on the BREW platform” for feature phones.

Currently, in Wi-Fi-equipped BlackBerries, Sprint offers the Curve 8350i, a spokesman

Early in 2010, Owens continued, Sprint plans “touchscreen
products that are non-PDA” to join the Sprint Instinct HD. Not all of the new
models, however, will require a data plan, as the Instinct does. “We still
believe customers will want to explore data services, but there will be
options,” he said.

Sprint, he noted, requires data plans or data-included Simply
Everything plans for five “data-intensive” phones. They are the Instinct,
WebOS-based smartphones from Palm, and Android smartphones. Sprint requires
data plans on these models so subscribers don’t get hit with unexpected data
charges exceeding their expectations, he explained. “We saw some of our highest
customer satisfaction on the Instinct product because of this requirement,” he noted.

In other comments, Owens said:

print will offer Mobile WiMAX-equipped handsets in
2010 for the first time.

he Android-based Hero “has sold incredibly well
without advertising,” but Sprint and Hero maker HTC
nonetheless plan “significant advertising very soon.”

nd an international Android is “certainly a
possibility” but isn’t planned for this year.

He wouldn’t comment on whether the carrier will offer a
touchscreen-equipped BlackBerry in 2010.