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  • Sprint To Offer Dual-Screen Android Smartphone

    The device, called the Echo, features two 3.5-inch touch screens.

    Sprint Nextel Corp. unveiled a smartphone late Monday that includes a twin set of touch screens that give the device a pseudo-tablet design. The device, called the Echo and made by the U.S. unit of Kyocera Corp., features two 3.5-inch touch screens that can be stacked side by side. It will be available in the spring for $199.99.

    Users can accomplish multiple tasks on the two screens, or drag items from one screen to the other. The phone, which runs on Google Inc.’s Android software, uses a pivot hinge that allows one screen to be tucked under the other, transforming it into a more conventional touch-screen phone.

    Sprint is hoping the Echo’s unique design will drum up more attention for the company’s products and services at a time when the carrier needs more high-end devices to replace its two marquee phones: the Evo, made by HTC Corp. of Taiwan, and the Epic, made by Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea. The Evo and Epic are beginning to show their age at a time when most smartphones have a shelf life of only a few months.

    “Having a new halo device for Sprint will be critical for them to maintain their momentum,” said Daniel Hays, who covers telecommunications for consulting firm PRTM. “Sprint’s smartphone lineup is definitely in a need of a refresh.”

    Sprint Chief Executive Dan Hesse showed the Echo at an event in Manhattan on Monday night. Touting the Echo’s ability to handle multiple tasks, Mr. Hesse said, “Extreme multitasking can be magical.”
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