updated 03:45 pm EDT, Mon April 27, 2009
ZTE 4G MetroPCS Phone
MetroPCS COO Tom Keys today said it has tapped China's ZTE to make smartphones for its upcoming 4G cell network. While not revealing the full scope of the lineup, Keys tells Forbes that one of these will include a large screen and an "HTML-compatible" browser to take advantage of the faster Internet access. Whether or not the phone would involve a touchscreen isn't mentioned.
The phone isn't given a specific release window, though MetroPCS has previously said it plans to launch 4G in 2010 and that cellphones using the standard would first show in late 2010 or the start of 2011.
MetroPCS' new emphasis on smartphones is part of a greater effort to grow its market share and comes as Verizon is poised to switch to 4G at the same time. By 2011, AT&T and T-Mobile are also believed to be switching in 2011 and would, for the first time, let MetroPCS users roam on their networks.