Clearwire to offer WiMax phones from HTC and Samsung this year

Whenever we talk about WiMax phones (like the oh-so-drool-worthy EVO 4G), we’re usually talking about Sprint. Well, Sprint’s WiMax is powered by a (not so) little company called Clearwire (which, in turn, is 51% owned by Sprint. Crazy, right?) — and they want some WiMax phones of their own.

During an earnings call yesterday, the company disclosed that they’re planning on launching at least two WiMax handsets this year — one from Samsung, and one from HTC. One will be powered by Android.. and the other? Its a mystery!

The language straight from Clearwire’s press release:

The Company also expects to launch two WiMAX smartphones by the end of 2010. From Samsung, an Android-based 3G/4G/WiFi device optimized for heavy video and video communications use, and a 3G/4G/WiFi enabled phone from HTC.

Let’s break that down a bit. So, they’re getting a Samsung phone. It’ll be Android based, and have 3G (powered by Sprint), 4G (powered by their own Clear service), and WiFi. It’ll be “optimized for heavy video”, which seems to imply that it’ll have a big ol’ screen, and “[optimized for] video communications”, which strongly suggests that it’ll pack a front-facing camera.

As for the other one: notice that while they’ll say it’s made by HTC, they don’t indicate which platform it’s running. Why say Android for the Samsung phone but not the HTC phone, unless the HTC phone isn’t running Android? HTC’s Peter Chou confirmed back in March that they were working on Windows Phone 7 handsets. For the most part, Windows Phone 7 is the only other smartphone platform besides Android and Windows Mobile 6.5 that they’re really dabbling with. Given the avoidance of the word “Android” here and the fact that HTC’s Windows Mobile 6.5 efforts presumably ended after the launch of the HD2, we could very well be looking at the first hints of a WiMax-fueled Windows Phone 7 handset.

[Via WMPowerUser]