Sprint this week officially launched the Android-based EVO 4G phone. The EVO will cost $199 with a two-year contract and require a $79.99 monthly plan that provides 450 anytime talk minutes along with unlimited data, texting and calling to other mobile phones. However, the pricing includes a $10 “premium data charge,” which already has prospective buyers complaining. They’re interpreting the fee as a 4G tax, yet customers in areas without 4G coverage will be subject to it along with those in areas that do have 4G. The EVO 4G will be available on June 4 from Sprint and various retailers.
Meanwhile, Android is increasingly the focus of patent concerns, as HTC this week countersued Apple for alleged patent infringement in relation to Android. The filing comes after HTC signed an agreement with Microsoft providing the handset maker rights to use a broad spectrum of Redmond’s patents covering mobile phones after Microsoft expressed concern that Android infringed on its intellectual property. Such a move could pave the way for Microsoft asking other Android handset makers to sign similar licensing deals.
Next week will bring the Google I/O developer conference, where Adobe is expected to release a beta version of the Flash Player 10.1, which Android phone owners have been anxiously awaiting as it’s expected to bring the full web experience to the Android platform. Early versions of Flash have been available for a while to Nexus One owners willing to install unofficial software on the device. NewTeeVee found a demonstration of the new Flash Player running on a Nexus One by Adobe itself.