More on the HTC T8290

A bit more information on the HTC T8290 has leaked onto the web, and for Sprint Wimax users it is not great news.

Apparently the device has been commissioned and designed for the new Russian Wimax carrier Skartel, who retains all the rights to the distribution of the smartphone. They have specifically requested a large high-resolution screen for use with the streaming video service (but clearly forgot about the 3.5mm headphone jack). Originally the device was to be designed by Art Lebedev Studios, but they refused to do only the external appearance, and di not have the expertise to do the electronics inside also. Its clear however that the angular styling HTC finally went with had some roots in the original Lebedev look.

Only a few thousand of the exclusive devices have been ordered, and Skartel is only testing its network right now, but has plans to expand the network to cover Moscow and St Petersburg pretty soon. Despite the small volume of devices however the smartphone is not expected to cost much more than the HTC Diamond, and on par with the iPhone 3G in Russia. Skartel may distribute the device to Venezuela eventually, where it also has a Wimax network in development.

So bad news for American Wimax users hoping the device will soon arrive on western shores. However apparently Skartel only paid around $1 million to develop the device, so if any network wanted to have one for themselves it seems a pretty cheap investment.


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