PCS Intel Quarterly Report – Sprint Q3 2006 (Updated)

From the LG KG-400 Series to the Motorola ic803, every Sprint phone you haven’t heard of. And, every phone you know you can’t wait to buy. The PCS Intel Quarterly Report is all about full disclosure on every phone, every quarter, every carrier, one carrier a week. Read more to see the details.

Note: The PCS Intel Quarterly Report provides “real-time” intelligence on phone models. Some phones may not be released, some phones may be radically different than the projections stated here when they near launch. We provide these reports as a summary view of carrier outlooks, and statements herein are not nearly as vetted as most content on PCS Intel. In other words, we aren’t a rumor site, so when things border on rumor, we make it very clear that they are as such, such as here.

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Updates: The CDM-220 is not cancelled, we apologize for the misunderstanding given in the article. The CDM-7075 will launch, followed by the CDM-220. In addition, the BlackBerry 8703 will launch around October, but via the web site and telesales (or Direct Ship) only. It in stores later next year.

LG LX-150 – The LX-150 will near in on completion of a long-term goal at Sprint, to deploy MIDP 2.0 on every phone. The LX-150 will replace the LG VI-125, and will compliment MIDP 2.0 as the most significant change. This will be part of Sprint’s goal in 2007 to offer all phones with GPS, and other premium MIDP 2.0 services. The device will be multimedia-classed, and will likely benefit from the MM-535’s media player to provide stable Sprint TV.

Expect the LX-150 out in time for the holiday buying season.

LG KG-400 Series – Chocolate on Sprint. Details are still sketchy, but expect it to be similar to the Verizon VX8500. It is possible, though unconfirmed, that this will also mark the start of hardware-identical models between the two CDMA carriers, dramatically cutting costs for LG. It also would open the door to a much broader portfolio of LG phones on Sprint.

The LG VX8500 on Verizon is likely to share hardware with the KG-400 series on Sprint

LG LX-8100 – Yes. The 8100. No, that isn’t a typo. The Verizon phone is planned be reborn on Sprint, care of Sprint’s MI-UI user interface. By complimenting uiOne on the device, LG will not need to re-engineer the firmware as much as a typical dual-path from Verizon to Sprint (or Sprint to Verizon). This does appear to confirm that the VX8500 and KG-400 series are the same device.

Why bring it back? Sprint will be able to deliver the 8100 as a mid-range phone at a mid-range price, rather than the high-end and high price-point Verizon offered the device with.

A Sprint Music Store, Sprint TV, GPS experience identical to the Verizon version should arrive late this year, or early next year.


Motorola ic502 – This is a phone that we have detailed in the past on PCS Intel, though the name is new. It is the first of two dual-network phones to be launched by Sprint as part of the initial effort to unite Sprint and Nextel customers.

Contrary to expectations set by Sprint, the first dual-network phone will not have EV-DO. It also will lack CDMA 800 MHz roaming. This is consistent with other upcoming phones like the Samsung M250 that have written off 1900 MHz. However, it will bridge iDEN PTT and CDMA voice/data networks at a reasonable mid-range price.

And, just to settle an issue, Sprint will not allow you to make voice calls on the iDEN network. Sprint was not able to implement the billing systems necessary to relay minute usage on iDEN over to CDMA, and thus only PTT calls can be produced on the iDEN network.

Motorola ic803 – If the ic502 disappoints, the ic803 should satisfy your needs. While CDMA 800 MHz appears to still be missing, the device does carry Sprint TV, and all other MM-class functions set by past Sprint phones. This phone is much more Sprint PCS than Nextel, unlike the ic502. It is similar to the device pictured below, which was an early prototype rendition of the ic803.

The ic803 will not, however, include QChat. QChat phones will not be in the ic series, and will largely reflect the deprecation of consumer iDEN. In other words, QChat will mark a clean break from iDEN.

The ic803 is currently targeted for the first quarter of 2007.

Motorola L7c SLVR – Not much new to report from the L7c camp, since first disclosing the device was in-development, it has remained on-track for a holiday season launch.


Nokia 6175i – Fading fast. Sprint doesn’t hang around long with phone makers that are firing their active development team. Sprint will have Pantech phones directly, bringing potentially to close Nokia’s relationship with Sprint. Again.

The 6175i promised major multimedia software revisions, but was otherwise to be identical to the 6165i.

Pantech E-Something – We have seen three potential candidates from Pantech enter Sprint’s testing and approval. All three are meant to be basic, low-to-mid range handsets. The E-2300, and E-2500 series appear to be very low-end EV-DO phones, with Sprint TV and other basic EV-DO standards.

However, Pantech appears to be stumbling on what every other new phone maker to Sprint suffers, and that is Sprint’s stringent Java approval process, and Sprint’s own closed MIDP 2.0 API. Until Pantech passes those hurdles, it’s not clear at all when Pantech will arrive on Sprint. Expect Sprint to continue its usual “Sprint branding” on Pantech devices. Sprint research clearly concludes Pantech is not a brand worth marketing.

Despite all of that, release is currently slated for around September.


HTC. Unfortuantely, we don’t have any phones to show. However, the acqusition of Dopod will clearly have an effect on the U.S. CDMA market. Manufacturing CDMA phones is a similar process to GSM, and HTC no longer needs UTStarcom to produce phones to sell in the U.S. The other CDMA OEM, i-Mate, has already severed ties with HTC. UTStarcom is expected to shortly as well.

UTStarcom CDM-7075 – Speaking of UTStarcom, the CDM-7075 has been confirmed to be slated for launch on Sprint. The basic camera phone will take the place of the CDM-220 that we covered at CTIA.


Samsung A420Announced by Sprint already, but not shipping until the end of the month.

Samsung A720 – With dual-displays, and a boxy look, the device will replace units somewhere between the A920 and the A940 in target audience.

Samsung M250 – Sprint has been extremely secretive as to their potential TV network support. Everything is still on the table, from MediaFLO, to continuing to rely on pure network based transmission via 3GPP2 and H.264 Baseline. While devices have been moved around with IPtv, there is still no deal, and still no assurance that it will be used in the production device.

As to the whole “1900 MHz only because of radio problems” speculation generated by other sites… our sources say that had nothing to do with it. Sprint simply has fallen back on previous plans to deploy on 800 MHz. In doing so, the burden on manufacturers has been lifted to require 800 MHz CDMA. And, on extremely expensive devices, corner cutting is essential (the A900, for example, lost its memory card slot in a cost-cutting effort).

The device will also, as we originally reported, cater to the music crowd. The microSD card slot will finally break traditional 512 MB barriers, allowing for 1 GB+ memory cards. It is not clear at this point if plans to offer a memory card bundle for the music-inclined (a la Sony Ericsson as we initially reported) will be followed through with however.

Samsung A900m/p – The A900m replaces the A900p, but appears to be the same device? Why the change (or non-change)? No real reason has come out from the folks in Virginia or Kansas, leading us to believe that it was simply to match the m on other ultra-thin phones, a la V3m. Worse, some testers report still being issued phones stamped A900p, confusing matters even further about two devices with apparently the same purpose. The MI-UI and GPS-leveraging upgrade is expected to come out next month.

Samsung M500 – The M500 will be the replacement to the aging MM-A800. The device will be a more traditional flip, with a 3+ megapixel camera. Like many modern camera-centric phones, the phone does use a CMOS lens instead of a CCD lens. Samsung claims this is due to advances in higher-end CMOS cameras that compensate for the difference on high-range phones. The M500 will take pictures at a quality, Samsung claims, as well as the A800 in terms of camera quality.

Samsung i830 – Still on-track, international PDA will bundle Windows Mobile 5.0 and a Sprint international roaming SIM support. However, unlike the Verizon version, it is expected to remain unlocked to support savvy customers touting their own prepaid GSM SIMs.


Palm. The Treo 700w is it on the pipeline for Sprint this year from Palm. Palm plans to float on vested interests in the CDMA market until 2007, making the Sprint version of the Treo 700w very late, and equally underwhelming. Don’t blame Sprint, ask Palm.

Okay, we’ll give a bit more than that. Palm is now partners with HTC, and has learned from their lead in CDMA development. The next Treo for Sprint/Verizon will be EV-DO Rev A touting, and will carry not one, but two cameras for video conferencing. Not only logical, but a new hope for CDMA smart devices on the bleak Windows Mobile state of today. With HTC developing their own devices in concert with ODM assistance to Palm, clearly 2007 will usher in a much wider selection of CDMA Windows Mobile.

RIM. The BlackBerry 8703 will deliver the 8700 series to Sprint early next year. RIM is also working with Motorola on a dual-network BlackBerry, though development is in working test phases, and is not as certain as the 8703.


Sanyo 8400 – The first refresh of a model since the Sanyo 7500. The 8400 will drop in time for the holiday season, and will be a lower-cost less-rugged version of the Sanyo 7500.

Sanyo 6700 – The successor to the 6600 Katana (which launched this weekend), will bring the device on-par with more higher-end devices such as the Samsung A900.

Some have rumored that Katana will spawn a smartphone in 2007. It is likely that such development will not even begin until the 6700 has been finished, pushing such a launch well into next year.


The Sierra AirCard 595 will be the nation’s first EV-DO Rev A wireless data access card, and will arrive in just two months. However, network deployment will be limited to the start of 2007 with any significance… however, Sprint wants as many customers to be on the new network as possible before it launches.

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