W531 Dual-Class Phone Makes Its Way to Sprint

GSM is used by most of the world as a standard for cellular communications. Sprint and Verizon have traditionally poo-pooed the idea of being compatible. After all, the phones are locked to the provider’s network, so who cares? Sprint does, it seems.

It’s prepping Samsung’s W531. It’s a CDMA phone with a GSM SIM slot, a dual-class badboy, like a half-mage/half-paladin. It’s not the first such phone from Sprint, indeed the A790, which also sports GSM compatibility, is being replaced by this brash upstart.

Besides harmony with the rest of the planet’s cell networks, the phone affords you Bluetooth, a 1.3-megapixel camera, dual displays, and a thin-is-in form factor. No release date yet, but it’s cleared the FCC, so it could drop any ol’ day now.

What’s intriguing is that this could be a trend among phone manufacturers. Indeed, if mass-market phones had access to both types of network, then making multiple versions of the same phone wouldn’t be necessary, which would cut the cost per-handset greatly.

In addition, this sets a precedent for the rumors regarding the iPhone, which supposedly will support both network types. It remains to be seen if that’s a feature of the mysterious Apple phone, but now that the trail has been blazed, it seems far more likely.

Sprint’s Samsung W531 Gets Photos, Details [PCS Intel]