Heeeere's... Echo
Kyocera's deputy general manager of corporate communications of the equipment group Junzo Katsuki (L) and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse (R) flank the Kyocera Echo as it gets rolled out onto the stage at an event in New York. Hesse and Katsuki emphasized the longstanding partnership between Kyocera and Sprint. The Echo is the first smartphone from Kyocera offered on Sprint's network. IBTimes

Sprint announced its Kyocera Echo phone will be available on April 17.

The Kyocera Echo is being billed as the first dual screen touchscreen smartphone. It will have an Android 2.2 operating system and will cost $199.99 with a new two-year service agreement with Sprint. The phone will be available at Sprint stores and online. Consumers can reserve it online March 26.

Kyocera is the Kyoto, Japan-based company that manufactured the phone. Kyocera's phones are common in Asia, but unlike rivals such as HTC and Samsung it has not made a splash int he U.S. handset market.

Continuing to set the bar high in Android innovation, Sprint is thrilled to bring this industry-first device to the market, Fared Adib, vice president at Sprint, said in a statement. Kyocera Echo's unique dual-screen, Simul-tasking capabilities allow customers to do things they have never before done on a wireless handset. We believe customers will really appreciate and leverage the dual-screen capabilities and are excited to partner with Kyocera to bring this innovation to Sprint customers.

The phone will have a 3.5-inch wide video graphics array (WVGA) touchscreen displays connected by a three-dimensional pivot hinge that enables the two displays to operate independently, side-by-side or combined. Ultimately, this could turn into an oversized 4.7-inch (diagonal) integrated display.

The industry response to this innovative device has been overwhelmingly positive, confirming the need for a pocket-size multitasking handset with a tablet-like experience, said Yasuhiro Ohishi, vice president of sales and marketing at Kyocera Communications Inc., in a statement.

The phone will not have 4G capability, which has been available on a number of Sprint's newest phones. It does have Wi-Fi hotspot capability and will be on Sprint's 3G network.

To contact the reporter responsible for this story call (646) 461 6920 or email g.perna@ibtimes.com.