Sprint preps WiMax smartphone for CTIA launch

Sprint Nextel is reportedly poised to launch the first WiMax 4G smartphone at the CTIA wireless conference next week in Las Vegas.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the device is manufactured by HTC and is known as the “Supersonic.”

“[The smartphone] represents Sprint’s latest and biggest bet that its WiMax network and promises of a speedier wireless connection will reverse the struggling carrier’s fortunes,” wrote Roger Cheng.

“The company is racing to make WiMax services, which are run by partner Clearwire Corp., available to more people as it hopes to exploit its temporary 4G lead over rivals.”

Avi Greengart, an analyst at Current Analysis, expressed similar sentiments.

“It’s now or never. They won’t have an exclusive on the 4G marketing message indefinitely,” said Greengart.

“[However], Sprint needs to generate awareness. We’ll see if Sprint does a good job of explaining to consumer why they need this.”