Update: Sprint comes clean with the HTC Hero launch info

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That was quick. Forget about the rumor, the redesigned HTC Hero will launch on October 11 at $180 after a $50 mail-in rebate. And yes, that’s $20 under Sprint’s guided missile, the Palm Pre. So let’s recap, Sprint will soon be the only carrier with three of the hottest cellphones: the BlackBerry Tour, the Palm Pre, and the HTC Hero. And the carrier has some of the most reasonably priced plans. Nice.

Sprint’s first device with the Android™ platform available Oct. 11;
Pre-register for HTC Hero today at http://www.sprint.com/hero

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., and BELLEVUE, Wash. – Sept. 3, 2009 – Sprint (NYSE: S) and HTC Corporation today announced the upcoming arrival of the first wireless device offering the combination of the open and innovative Android platform with the high-speed connectivity of America’s most dependable 3G network1 (EVDO Rev. A), HTC Hero™ with Google™. Offering a rich mobile Internet experience, the much-anticipated HTC Hero offers synchronization for built-in Google mobile services, including Google Search™, Google Maps™, Gmail™, and YouTube™ as well as access to thousands of applications built on the Android platform.

Beginning on Oct. 11, customers will be able to purchase HTC Hero through all Sprint retail channels including Web (www.sprint.com), Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) and our national retail partner Best Buy for $179.99 (excluding taxes) after a $50 instant savings and a $100 mail-in rebate with a two-year service agreement. Pre-registration begins today at http://www.sprint.com/hero.

Access to countless applications
As a charter member of the Open Handset Alliance™, Sprint is actively engaged with the Android community. Through Android Market™, HTC Hero users have access to more than 8,000 useful applications, widgets and fun games to download and install on their phone, with many more to come. Thousands of developers are working to introduce new Android applications every day.

Intuitive, user-focused and fun
HTC Hero is the first U.S. device to feature HTC Sense, an intuitive experience that was built with a guiding philosophy to put people at the center and allows the device to be completely customized to the wants and needs of the user. The device’s seven-panel wide home screen can be populated with customizable widgets that bring information to the surface.

HTC Hero users can easily create and switch between Scenes to reflect different moments or roles in their lives, such as work, social, travel and play. For example, a work Scene can be easily set up to include stock updates, work email and calendar, a play Scene could have music, weather, and a Twitter feed or a travel Scene could offer instant access to the local time, weather and maps.

Industry-leading features
HTC Hero features an integrated 5.0 MP camera and camcorder. It also offers easy access to personal and business e-mail, instant messaging and text messaging through POP, IMAP, and Exchange Active Sync accounts.

HTC Hero is a full-featured smartphone with Wi-Fi capability, a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen with pinch-to-zoom capability and a fingerprint resistant coating, integrated GPS navigation, and trackball navigation. Additional features include:
Stereo Bluetooth® 2.0 Wireless technology
accelerometer, light sensor and home screen widgets for improved usability
multimedia capable with microSD slot (32GB capable, 2GB included)
Sprint TV® with live and on-demand programming
NFL Mobile Live and NASCAR Sprint Cup MobileSM
easy access to social networking sites, including Facebook®, Flickr® and Twitter
visual voice mail for quick and easy access to specific voice mail messages

HTC Hero requires activation on a pricing plan offering unlimited data. Sprint’s Simply EverythingSM plan 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 night and weekend calling starting at 7 p.m. (All price plans exclude Sprint surcharges and taxes.)

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