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Look, Sprint - I get it.  I, like everyone else, can see the "Pro" moniker in the Touch Pro2 name, and admit that it's a fantastic device.  First Windows Mobile handset that I would consider carrying, in fact.  The popular device sports a 3.6-inch touchscreen, QWERTY keyboard, EVDO Rev. A, 3.5mm audio jack, and TouchFLO 3D.  But $349.99 AFTER REBATE?  In other words, I'll be dropping $450 out the door before taxes and will be forced to sign a two-year agreement?  What are you thinking?  Yes, you offer one of the cheapest all-inclusive plans in the industry ($99.99) and a "blazingly fast network" (that would be the press statement's words, not mine), but that doesn't mean that a vast majority of your PDA devices should be in the $250-$450 range - especially when your competitors are running BlackBerry BOGO offers.

Despite the price frustrations, this is exciting news for Windows Mobile fans that happen to be on the nation's third largest carrier.  Those interested will be able to purchase the Touch Pro2 thorugh telesales, online (www.sprint.com), or "sales representative" (I guess this means the retail store, though I'm not quite sure why they didn't just say "retail store").

The full press release is below.  Anyone jumping on this right away, or are you going to wait for the price to drop?  I doubt you'll have to wait too long.

HTC Touch Pro2 from Sprint Pairs a Dynamic Must-Have Business Device with the Best Value in Wireless
Award-Winning TouchFLO™ 3D User Interface with Sliding QWERTY Keyboard Makes It Easy to Juggle Work and Personal Needs on America’s Most Dependable 3G Network; Available Sept. 8

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. & BELLEVUE, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 31, 2009-- Sprint (NYSE:S) and HTC Corporation are answering the call for a no-compromise converged device on a blazingly fast network with HTC Touch Pro2. The attractive new phone combines the productivity of Windows Mobile® 6.1, the vibrant TouchFLO user interface and a variety of fun-to-use entertainment applications, including Sprint TV with live and on-demand programming, and Sprint’s exclusive sports applications NFL Mobile Live and NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile.

Beginning Sept. 8, customers will be able to purchase HTC Touch Pro2 through the Web (www.sprint.com), Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) and sales representatives for $349.99 with a two-year service agreement and after $100 mail-in rebate.

The latest in a series of best-in-class Windows Mobile devices, HTC Touch Pro2 features a large 3.6-inch WVGA variable-angle tilting touch screen and an ultra-wide, slide-out keyboard that is larger than its predecessor. Touch Pro2’s high-speed connectivity over Sprint’s 3G network (EVDO Rev. A) with Wi-Fi and world phone capability ensures that customers stay connected on the go.

The Sprint Mobile Broadband Network (inclusive of data roaming) reaches more than 271 million people, 18,652 cities and 1,838 airports. The Sprint Networks (inclusive of data roaming) have three times the coverage of AT&T’s current 3G network and more than 20 times the coverage of T-Mobile’s current 3G network, both based on square miles.

“More than ever, today’s wireless customers expect to stay productive whether they are on the road or in the office,” said Kevin Packingham, senior vice president - Product Development for Sprint. “HTC Touch Pro2 on America’s most dependable 3G network1 makes that a reality. And with Sprint’s Simply Everything plans, which include voice minutes, messaging and data for one low price, we let customers focus on all their phone can deliver.”

Sprint’s Simply EverythingSM plan is another excellent choice that provides unlimited nationwide calling, texting, e-mail, social networking, Web browsing, GPS navigation, Sprint TV, streaming music, NFL Mobile Live, NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile and much more for only $99.99 per month. That’s a savings of $1,200 over two years vs. a comparable AT&T iPhone® plan2. Sprint Everything Data plans with unlimited messaging and data start at just $69.99 for 450 minutes with unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling and unlimited nights and weekends starting at 7 p.m.

Equipped with the latest version of HTC’s hallmark TouchFLO 3D user interface, HTC Touch Pro2 offers a user experience that makes keeping in contact with colleagues and customers easy and intuitive. Easily switch from e-mail to a call with one touch by simply selecting a friend or colleague’s picture right in your e-mail. Customers can create an instant office with Straight Talk’s dual microphones and speakers to filter out noise.

“Unlike devices that focus solely on specifications, HTC Touch Pro2 was designed with the philosophy that people should be at the center of the communications experience,” said Jason Mackenzie, vice president of HTC America. “So, instead of having to search through multiple applications to find a specific message, HTC Touch Pro2 intuitively organizes all communications, whether voice, text or e-mail, under a single contact card.”

Additional business features available on HTC Touch Pro2 include International Quad-Band capability (CDMA, GSM); Straight Talk™ Technology with dual speakers; dual microphones and a mute button to provide a professional speakerphone experience; full HTML browser from Opera; stereo Bluetooth wireless technology; WorldCard Mobile Business Card Scanner; Facebook integration; and Linked inboxes, which easily link personal and work contacts.

The extra-large tilting display makes the HTC Touch Pro2 an outstanding device for enjoying video content, while the built-in 3.5 mm audio jack makes it easy to listen to music with virtually any headphones. A microSD card slot makes it simple to expand storage with an optional memory card for large libraries of multimedia content or for saving images captured with HTC Touch Pro2’s auto-focus 3.2 megapixel camera/camcorder.

About HTC

HTC Corporation (HTC) is one of the fastest growing companies in the mobile phone industry and continues to pioneer industry-leading mobile experiences through design, usability and innovation that is sparked by how the mobile phone can improve how people live and communicate. The company is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange under ticker 2498. For more information about HTC, please visit www.htc.com.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving almost 49 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2009; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The company’s customer-focused strategy has led to improved first call resolution and customer care satisfaction scores. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.

1 “Dependable” based on independent, third-party drive tests for 3G data connection success, session reliability and signal strength for the top 50 most populous markets from January 2008 to May 2009. Not all services available on 3G and coverage may default to separate network when 3G unavailable. Coverage may not be available everywhere. Customers should refer to sprint.com/coverage for details.

2 Savings based on publicly available information comparing AT&T Nation Unlimited plus required iPhone data plan and optional unlimited text messaging totaling $149.99/month for AT&T as of publication date, excluding taxes, surcharges and fees. iPhone is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.

 (image courtesy of Upcoming-Phones)


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