Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has just announced at an event in NYC that the HTC Evo 4G will go on sale June 4 for $199.
The data plan will be $69.99 for the base plan plus a nearly $40 surcharge to use it as a mobile hotspot ($30 for hotspot rights, and $10 for “premium data”). This is not so good, but they could possibly make changes to this by next month.
Other things they announced includes simultaneous voice and data in 4G areas (data on 4G, voice on CDMA), comes with a dock to stream video to a TV, plays Flash and Sprint & Qik will launch two-way video chat with the Evo.
They also, by coincidence (see the rest of the post I wrote before the event) demoed an iPad using 4G over the Evo’s WiFi hotspot feature.
Lot’s of people have asked me why I didn’t pay the extra $130 to get the iPad 3G. My answer: the HTC Evo 4G.
When I buy a piece of tech hardware (which is pretty rare) I want it to carry me for a few years. Yes, years. That seems like blasphemy in this day in age, but I’m still using a Dell laptop from 2006, and you wouldn’t believe the kind of (old) phone I have. When I saw that the iPad and the Evo 4G were coming out at about the same time, however, I knew I had to make the jump.
First of all, I’m not a fan of 3G networks – never have been. If their main purpose was to get me out of a hard place of low data, then they would be fine, but the reality is that carriers built them to be the main source of data for customers – which was fine when they were thinking it up years ago, but which in today’s broadband world just doesn’t cut it in my mind. So I’ve basically skipped over 3G as much as possible and stuck with WiFi on the move for my data needs while WiMax (4G) networks have been slowly built out.
4G is slowly/quickly becoming a reality. Sprint/Clearwire has a lot of the major metro areas covered, and Sprint is basically betting the farm that by having the best 4G network they will attract a lot of new customers. I think they’re right, although having an iPhone that ran on 4G (and wasn’t apparently locked down to AT&T) would certainly help.
Yes, AT&T. A collective groan went up around the tech world when Steve Job’s announced that AT&T was the data provider for the 3G iPad. iPhone users are sick of AT&T and the carrier doesn’t have a 4G network (not that the iPad can receive 4G of course). Although the relatively low-cost unlimited data plan is attractive on paper (especially as it is pre-paid and month-t0-month), we all know the ugly truth – as soon as a million or so iPad 3Gs hit the market, good luck doing anything with the iPad from your 3G card.
So back to Sprint and the Evo 4G. Pair a $499 WiFi-only iPad with an Evo in one of the cities that has 4G coverage, and you are going to be one happy camper. Heck, the Evo by itself is probably going to be good enough, with a 4.3″ screen, but the iPad really is a fun device, and being able to connect to the Evo through its WiFi access point (like with the Sprint Overdrive which – if you love your iPhone and have the cash to have another data plan is an alternative to the Evo) is going to be all you’ll really need on the go.
Need to take a picture or do a Skype chat? You’ve got the Evo. Want to browse for a while or read the news? You’ve got the iPad. Want to play a game or watch Netflix? The iPad. You get the point I hope: between these two devices (or an iPad and a future 4G smartphone that beats the Evo) you’ve got the best possible combination of mobility you’re going to get in 2010.
And of course, you’ll have both the Android and Apple app stores to get whatever apps you could possibly want.
Here’s some images from the Sprint event tonight: