Sprint is scheduled to have a New York City unveiling of what the company calls an ‘industry first’ later today, which we’re assuming to be a smartphone as the U.S.-based CDMA and 4G WiMax carrier is making a big deal in its press invitation. The announcement is slated to bring in a Kyocera handset called the Echo, a device that we had previously reported as a trademark filing was discovered.
However, Engadget is also reporting that the carrier is slated to bring a Windows Phone 7 handset to its New York event by the name of the HTC Arrive. Given that Sprint’s been aggressively pushing its 4G WiMax network recently, we’re guessing that the ‘industry first’ here is that the HTC Arrive will be the first 4G Windows Phone 7 handset. Microsoft had previously limited Windows Phone 7 to GSM networks for the platform’s initial launch, making initial batches of the device 3G-compatible for AT&T and T-Mobile. A 4G/3G hybrid Windows Phone 7 handset for Sprint will give the carrier somewhat of a marketing edge against its rivals, both of which have had Windows Phone 7 smartphones in their lineup for some time now. Moreover, given Sprint’s push for tethering on Android handsets for an optional subscription premium, our speculation for a 4G WiMax Windows Phone 7 HTC Arrive could potentially come with tethering capabilities, which would be another industry first as prior Windows Phone 7 handsets lacked the ability to tether.
Whatever Sprint announces, we’ll be sure to hear more tonight.