March 24, 2014

EE rumoured to be working on own-brand 4G smartphone

4g phone

EE might be working on a low cost 4G enabled smartphone of its own, if rumours are to be believed.

An industry source reports that the phone will support Cat 4 LTE technology, which will allow it to run at the maximum speeds EE’s 4G network allows and apparently the handset will be the cheapest 4G enabled handset that EE sells, meaning it will presumably come in at under £130 on pay as you go and under £19 on contract, as that’s the current price of the Alcatel One Touch Idol S, which is the cheapest 4G handset currently sold by EE. Though it’s thought that this new own branded handset will have significantly better specs than you’d expect for the price.

Beyond that not much is known, we don’t have any word on exactly what the specs will be or when the handset will be available.

It’s also unclear who the source of the rumour is, though an image of the supposed handset had emerged on Engadget which adds credence to the rumour. The image shows a phone with a home screen that doesn’t look a million miles from stock Android, though of course there’s some EE theming along with ‘My EE’ and ‘EE Film’ apps visible.

Beyond that it looks like a fairly nondescript rectangle with three soft keys below the display and what looks to be a metal backplate. It’s hard to say for sure but it also looks like the phone might not be full HD, which at such a low price point would be no surprise.

While there’s not much to go on yet it would certainly make sense if EE was making its own handset. The network seems more reliant on income from 4G than from handsets, so making a more affordable entry point for people could help bring more customers on board, much like how Amazon has made the Kindle so affordable in a bid to get more people buying ebooks.

This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen a network release its own branded smartphone either, though it would be the first EE one and more importantly the first 4G one. In any case if you like the idea of a cheaper 4G entry point stay tuned, we’ll bring you any new information on the phone as soon as we have it.

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