Alltel will be the third US carrier to offer the HTC Merge after Verizon and US Cellular unofficially confirmed the device. Alltel customers will be able to pre-order the smartphone beginning March 28 for $124.99 with a new two-year agreement
According to HTC, the Merge will come to more carriers in the U.S. in the following weeks, but the manufacturer hasn't disclosed any release schedule for the moment.
HTC Merge is a “world phone
” with both CDMA and GSM network support, thus it is expected to become available worldwide soon after its initial launch.
The handset was recently showcased at this year's SXSW (South by Southwest) festival in Austin, Texas with some red accents on its keyboard, which suggests an imminent release at Verizon.
The mid-budget smartphone's 'insides' do not impress, its dual-mode capability being the only advantage.
It is powered by an 800 MHz Qualcomm
processor and runs on Android 2.2 Froyo with HTC Sense UI on top (dedicated Facebook and Twitter apps included). No word if the phone will receive any further firmware updates.
The phone is expected to be delivered with a 3.7-inch capacitive touchscreen with 16 million colors and 480 x 800 pixels resolution, as well as accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate and proximity sensor for auto turn-off.
There's also a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus, LED flash, face detection and video recording capabilities (720p), Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity, DLNA function, Stereo FM radio with RDS, and GPS with A-GPS support.
HTC Merge is currently available for pre-orders in India for Rs. 35,000 (about $780), which is way higher than the U.S. price.
Alltel's official announcement does not mention how long the pre-order period is going to last, which means there are no details regarding the HTC Merge release date.
However, given the fact that rumors point to an April release at Verizon, it should not take Alltel more than a week after the pre-orders start to release it.