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HTC CEO Peter Chou recently said that he expects the company to produce its first Long Term Evolution smartphone in 2011
With Verizon Wireless launching 30 LTE markets later this year, and AT&T waiting until mid-2011 to get its own LTE network off the ground, it's not too surprising to hear from HTC CEO Peter Chou that the company is targeting a 2011 launch for its own LTE devices.
Speaking in an interview with FierceWireless, Chou said, "HTC was the first with 3G smartphone and 4G smartphone [EVO 4G], and we are definitely looking to future network technologies."
Verizon's network will cover about 100 million people by the end of 2010, though it hasn't said how many people it believes will fall under its LTE coverage by the end of 2011. The first devices able to access the LTE network will be laptop dongles and similar embedded devices. Smartphones won't follow until later in the year, with Verizon noting that it expects to have two to three LTE handsets availably by May 2011.
AT&T says that its initial LTE launch will cover between 70 and 75 million people by the end of 2011, though it didn't say in how many markets. AT&T hasn't said much about what sorts of devices will be able to access its LTE network when it does launch.
HTC developed the first WiMax phone for the U.S. market with Sprint. HTC (and everyone else) has already lost the "first LTE handset" title to Samsung, which earlier this week rolled out the Craft, a feature phone that launched on MetroPCS' LTE network earlier this week.
HTC didn't say which network, nor which platform the devices in question will launch with. It will likely be Android or Windows Phone 7, and I'd be shocked if it were carried by any carrier other than AT&T or Verizon Wireless.