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Sprint Said to Announce Kyocera Smartphone at Event

Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse
Sprint Nextel Chief Executive Officer Dan Hesse. Photographer: Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg

Sprint Nextel Corp., the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, will announce it is adding a Kyocera Corp. smartphone to its lineup at an event in New York today, said a person familiar with the companies’ plans.

The device, known as Echo, will run Google Inc.’s Android software, according the person, who declined to be identified because the announcement details are confidential. According to an invitation sent to the media, Sprint Chief Executive Officer Dan Hesse will attend the event.

Bill White, a Sprint spokesman, didn’t return a voice mail seeking comment. Midori Honda, a Kyocera spokeswoman in Tokyo, declined to comment.

Sprint sells several devices from Kyocera, including the Sanyo Innuendo and the Sanyo Zio Android smartphone, according to its website. The Zio is $49.99 with a two-year contract. The Innuendo, which features a Qwerty keyboard, retails for $249.99 and is available for free with a contract.

Kyocera, based in Kyoto, Japan, makes telecommunications equipment, liquid crystal displays and semiconductors.

Sprint does sell other Android phones, which compete with the Apple Inc. iPhone now offered by AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless, the country’s largest mobile-phone carriers. In June, it introduced the Android-powered Evo from HTC Corp., the first phone in the U.S. to use so-called fourth-generation wireless service.

The carrier rented a space in New York’s Times Square for the event tonight in which it promised “another industry first.” The event will feature magician David Blaine, who is known for feats such as being encased in a block of ice for 69 hours.

Sprint, based in Overland Park, Kansas, was unchanged at $4.40 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Kyocera rose 10 yen to 8,820 yen in Tokyo today.

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