In addition to the rumored Nexus S 4G and EVO Flyer Tablet, Sprint could be launching an EVO 3D smartphone as a successor to its flagship HTC EVO 4G Android smartphone on the Now Network. The original HTC EVO 4G was launched at the Spring CTIA last year, making the wireless industry trade show later this month a natural fit for announcing an update to its flagship phone.
Not a lot of information is known at this time about the EVO 4G, but according to Engadget, the 3D moniker may indicate that the phone may support either a 3D display and/or 3D capabilities through 3D photo and video capture.
Also, as HTC has been the sole provider of Sprint’ EVO products–which currently includes the EVO 4G and the EVO Shift 4G–the EVO 3D smartphone could be a 4G smartphone also made by HTC.
At the time of its unveiling at CTIA a year ago, the HTC EVO 4G brought innovative features such as 4G WiMax support, a large 4.3-inch display, and mobile hotspot support. Since then, newer devices like the Motorola Droid, the Motorola Atrix 4G, and the HTC Thunderbolt have all eroded those competitive advantages offered by the EVO 4G on a hardware perspective, matching fast wireless mobile broadband connectivity, larger capacitive touchscreen displays, and mobile tethering support; the Thunderbolt, also made by HTC but for rival Verizon Wireless, also features the innovative kickstand that was popular on the EVO 4G. As such, Sprint may be turning to 3D, and in particular glasses-free 3D smartphone screens, to gain a competitive edge in the highly competitive mobile smartphone business.
If in fact Sprint does launch a 3D smartphone in the U.S., the carrier’s aggressive push for next-generation technologies may help to jump start the 3D mobile experience. As the carrier likes to claim ‘industry firsts,’ a 3D smartphone will definitely be the first U.S. 3D smartphone. Sharp has announced several 3D smartphones in the Galapagos line for Japan using the Android OS and Nintendo will be launching its portable handheld gaming console, the Nintendo 3DS, with a 3D display.
If HTC will not be the manufacturer of the EVO 3D, a potential partner could be LG, which had launched the Optimus 3D smartphone at Mobile World Congress, but has not announced any carrier partners or carrier support for the device. That smartphone will have a dual-core gigahertz chipset from Texas Instruments. For its part, Sharp has said at CES that the company intends to bring the Galapagos 3D smartphones to the U.S. market in 2011.
Both the Optimus 3D and the Galapagos smartphones offer a 3D-capable display without requiring the owners to wear special glasses to view 3D content. Additionally, users can also view the screen in 2D mode as well without having to turn on the 3D content.
If and when a 3D smartphone launches in the U.S., the phone will require apps, videos, and other content that will take advantage of the 3D-capable display. Until that happens, and support for 3D displays grow, the feature will likely remain a novelty.