Cellular South Nabs Android 'Hero' - InformationWeek

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Mobile // Mobile Devices
02:38 PM

Cellular South Nabs Android 'Hero'

The regional carrier's addition of the touch-screen smartphone shows that the Google-backed operating system is gaining momentum.

HTC Hero
(click image for larger view)
HTC Hero
Cellular South is the latest U.S. carrier to announce support for the Android operating system, and the carrier will soon offer the HTC Hero smartphone.

The privately held mobile provider offers flat-rate voice, text, and 3G data services to a population of more than 5 million users in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee. The company already offers a few smartphones like the BlackBerry Pearl Flip, but it will be getting the high-end Hero around the same time it is being offered by Sprint Nextel.

The Hero is a full touch-screen smartphone, and HTC has put its Sense software on it to enable one-click access to things like Twitter, weather forecasts, and stock prices from the home screen. The handset will come preloaded with Google software like Google Maps, Gmail, and Google Calendar, and users can download new programs from the Android Market over the air.

The handset also comes with a full HTML browser that can use Adobe's Flash technology while browsing, which gives it an advantage over devices like Apple's iPhone. To stay connected on the go, the Hero has Wi-Fi and it can utilize Cellular South's 3G network for mobile Internet access. The Hero will also have Bluetooth, GPS, a microSD slot to expand the memory, and a 5-megapixel camera. Cellular South users will be able to preorder the device Oct. 5, but the company did not say when it would be available or how much it will cost.

Cellular South picking up the Android-powered Hero is another sign that the Google-backed OS is gaining traction. T-Mobile has been the most aggressive with the Linux-based platform, as it already offers the T-Mobile G1, myTouch 3G, and will soon sell the Motorola Cliq. Sprint is also gearing up to launch its version of the Hero, and Verizon Wireless is expected to have an Android device before the end of the year. AT&T, the nation's second-largest carrier, has remained relatively quiet about the Google-backed OS, and reports suggest it has already rejected three Android devices.

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