Sprint Reveals EVO 4G Pricing: Phone is $199, Service is an Extra $10 for WiMAX, $30 for Pocketspot Capability

When we heard about plans for a big Sprint HTC EVO 4G shindig in New York tonight, we sort of figured we’d hear some more details about the first WiMAX smartphone for the U.S. market. Turns out it will be available June 4. So what will you pay for a handheld device that can surf at either 3G or 4G speeds, and can also act as a portable Wi-Fi router or Pocketspot for up to eight additional devices?

Now we know: According to a Sprint blog, the pricing for the phone itself is $199 (after rebate and with a 2-year contract). To get the standard Sprint “everything data” package (unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling, unlimited text, unlimited web and 450 anytime minutes) it will cost you $79.99 per month, a $10 “premium” fee for having WiMAX support whether you use 4G or not. To enable the EVO’s pocketspot capabilities will run you another $29.99 per month, a decided discount from standalone Pocketspots like Sprint’s Overdrive, which was priced at $60 a month last we checked.

With the EVO 4G’s dual video cams, superb screen and other bells and whistles it seems like a great deal at $199 for the phone. While we’re not thrilled by the emergence of a “premium” fee for WiMAX access, it’s a good guess that when Verizon launches its Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G networks later this year you will see a similar “3G Plus” pricing plan. The $30 a month for pocketspot support is a huge bargain when you consider how much it would cost to upgrade as many as eight additional devices to 4G speeds. We’d compare it to AT&T’s costs for data tethering off an iPhone, but unfortunately that feature is… not yet supported.

With the EVO intro, Sprint and its WiMAX partner Clearwire stole the show at CTIA. Can Sprint steal the summer smartphone thunder from the expected iPhone upgrade in June? Having the EVO available early will help. Let the smartphone games begin!

4 Responses to “Sprint Reveals EVO 4G Pricing: Phone is $199, Service is an Extra $10 for WiMAX, $30 for Pocketspot Capability”

  1. Slash Says:

    I think the extra $10 is a little questionable from a subscriber acquisition standpoint, though it’s probably not a huge amount for the early adopters. This problem for Sprint in not owning the 4G network directly is that it has to pay Clearwire for 4G. Perhaps for Verizon, they will continue to have a $30 price point for a bucket of capacity that works for most people. They will be able to pass on the savings from the huge cost improvements per bit. Sprint’s clearly not doing that now and doesn’t really seem to be in a position to do that because they have to pay someone else for 4G.

    Sprint needs mass adoption and the extra $10 may be enough to significantly dilute the impact of what should be an iconic device and huge growth driver.

  2. Paul Says:

    Thanks for the view Slash. I agree, the $10 seems a bit arbitrary; the $30 extra for hotspot capability is understandable (and arguably a big bargain) but the extra 10 smacks for WiMAX… well maybe you have to price it higher to discount it down the line.

  3. Rick Says:

    Actually Sprint owns 51% of the 4G network that has been deployed and Clearwire 4G deployment is actually Clear LLC which could be spun off at anytime.

    I believe that Sprint should bundle unlimited everything for $99 month.
    I currently use Clears pick 2 for only $55 with a USB for my laptop and a home modem.

    I have been waiting for this phone for awhile, however the additional charges make me hesitant.
    Currently, I use ATT for my cell phone service.

  4. Paul Says:

    It looks like this device is priced for the traditional Sprint “power businessperson” who wants to lean heavily on one device. Rick, it might be interesting to see how Clearwire prices its WiMAX phones when they arrive later this year… wondering how the Pick 2 promos will work then.

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