AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint used this week’s Consumer Electronics Show to showcase new LTE devices, to support the ongoing rollout of the next-generation network technology. In addition to the new Nokia device destined for AT&T (see separate report), smartphones are in the pipeline from HTC, LG Electronics, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.
AT&T’s planned portfolio stands out somewhat due to the prominence of Windows Phone, with the operator stating that with this platform it is “outselling all other carriers.” In addition to the Nokia device, the operator’s range will include HTC’s Titan II, a Windows Phone-powered device which includes the operator’s “largest-ever 16 megapixel camera.” Featuring a 4.7-inch screen, it will be exclusive to AT&T and available “in the coming months.”
AT&T is also set to offer the first LTE smartphone from vendor Sony Ericsson, with scheduled exclusive availability in the second quarter of 2012. Called Xperia ion (pictured), it is also set to be the first to feature Sony-only branding, although this is still “subject to regulatory approval.” The device will use the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) platform, rather than the more recent Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
Also on the AT&T roadmap is "the first LTE-connected Android tablet under US$300," the Pantech-made Element, and the consumer-oriented Burst 4G handset from the same vendor, which is "designed to help make 4G LTE devices more affordable to customers," priced under US$50. The operator will also offer a bundle of both devices for US$249.99 with service contract.
Verizon Wireless is set to offer the Motorola-made Droid 4, an Android-powered device with slider form factor and QWERTY keypad, which will reach customers in the “coming weeks.” Also in the pipeline from this vendor is the Droid Razr Maxx, a variant of the Razr smartphone with an extended battery life, and a purple version of the standard Droid Razr.
The US number one will also offer an exclusive device from LG Electronics, called Spectrum. Available from 19 January, it is said to feature “a 4.5-inch True HD In-Plane Switch (IPS) display,” based on the same technology used in the vendor’s premium televisions.
Verizon’s new portfolio also includes several non-smartphone devices. It is to offer an LTE-enabled version of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab device with a 7.7-inch screen, as well as Jetpack-branded hotspots from ZTE and Novatel Wireless.
Shortly after announcing its first markets to gain LTE coverage, Sprint confirmed its first LTE device plans. It will offer the Galaxy Nexus smartphone, a Samsung-manufactured device with “pure Google experience;” the LG Viper 4G LTE, an Android smartphone which includes “eco-friendly features;” and a tri-mode hotspot (3G, LTE and WiMAX) from Sierra Wireless.