Verizon Wireless April 15 said it will begin selling the HTC Droid Incredible April 29 for $199 with a $100 mail-in rebate and a two-year contract.
The Incredible is based on the Android 2.1 operating system and runs the 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor that impressed users of the Google Nexus One smartphone. The gadget has a 3.7-inch WVGA (480 by 800) AMOLED capacitive touch screen.
Incredible employs the HTC Sense experience, including a seven-panel home screen with "Leap" view to let users quickly access their weather, social media and other widgets with one touch.
Customers will also be able to access such exclusive Verizon apps as NFL Mobile and Skype mobile, the long-awaited mobile VOIP app that lets Verizon customers make and receive unlimited Skype-to-Skype voice calls to any Skype user; call international phone numbers at Skype Out calling rates; and send and receive instant messages to other Skype users.
The device will also have a button for Android Market, where users can choose from more than 30,000 Google applications, and integration with Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync for those who need to check their corporate e-mail.
The Incredible is the first high-end smartphone based on Google Android from the top U.S. wireless carrier since its November 2009 launch of the Motorola Droid, which just got an upgrade to Android 2.1. It's also the first Verizon gadget to sport an 8-megapixel camera, which boasts dual LED with flash. An integrated GPS and 802.11b/g WiFi are on board.
That same day, eWEEK showed the documentation to a Verizon spokesperson, who confirmed the device but declined to say when it might be available to Verizon customers and consumers in the market for a new smartphone.
"Looks like a great Android device. Everyone will want one. No comment," the spokesperson said. Others reported the Incredible would hit stores April 29. As it turned out, they were right.
Verizon confirmed the rumors in this press release today. If all goes according to plan, the Incredible will hit the street a full seven weeks before the iPhone 4.0, giving it a good jump on the hot smartphone that has shipped more than 50 million units to date. Verizon wants to offer the iPhone and suggested Apple is the reason for the hold-up.
Customers interested in getting the device when it's available may preorder it beginning April 19 at Verizon Wireless' Website here. The $100 rebate will come to customers as a debit card, which customers can use anywhere debit cards are accepted.
Those who buy the phone must subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk and an Email and Web for Smartphone plan. Nationwide Talk plans begin at $39.99 per month. Email and Web for Smartphone plans start at $29.99 for unlimited access.