HTC Merge on Cellular South comes with the Amazon Appstore pre-installed

The HTC Merge, who hasn’t seen nearly as much fanfare as expected, has just been announced for release on Cellular South — but that’s not the big story here. The big story is that when the Merge launches on Cellular South, it will be the first Android device to hit shelves with the Amazon Appstore pre-installed.

With the way Amazon has been treated by Google in the past, you had to figure there was a good chance the Amazon Appstore would make its way onto devices before they ever even left their packaging. Still, just one week after the initial release is a bit fast. This says a lot about Google and manufacturers. If companies are willing to support Amazon like this right out of the gate, expect to see the big A rise to the top in no time. They have a mature ecosystem, a payment system to back it up, and support from partners in the hardware and software market. Amazon will definitely be in the spotlight for the remainder of the year.

If you’re interested in the Merge, look for availability and pricing next month.

Press release:

Cellular South Unveils Plans to Offer HTC Merge™ – World’s First Smart Phone Pre-Loaded with New Amazon Appstore for Android
Carrier’s First Android World Phone Combines Full QWERTY Slide-Out Keyboard With the Power of Android 2.2 OS, HTC Sense™ Experience, 3.8-Inch Display and 5 MP Camera
RIDGELAND, Miss.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cellular South, the largest privately owned wireless communications provider in the U.S., today announced plans to introduce the new HTC Merge, its first Android world phone and the first smart phone in the world to come pre-loaded with the new Amazon Appstore for Android.
“Together with Cellular South, we are committed to helping customers navigate through the thousands of available apps to find those that are the most relevant to them. We aim to give customers a refreshing and unique app shopping experience.”
The HTC Merge Android-powered touchscreen smart phone combines a full QWERTY slide-out keyboard with the Android 2.2 operating system, HTC Sense user interface, a large 3.8-inch touchscreen display and a 5 megapixel camera to create a complete mobile experience.
“We’re excited to add our first Android world phone to Cellular South’s growing suite of Android smart phones and tablets as we continue to build on our promise to deliver the wireless industry’s best Android experience,” said Kevin Hankins, chief operating officer for Cellular South. “Coupled with the new Amazon Appstore for Android, the HTC Merge is the perfect device for customers who are looking for a reliable mobile experience with the features and functionality of a smart phone, whether it’s at home or traveling around the world.”
Cellular South is the first wireless carrier in the world to feature the new Amazon Appstore for Android on a smart phone. The Amazon Appstore helps consumers find, discover, try and buy Android apps using its easy and convenient shopping experience.
One Touch Access To New Amazon Appstore
Customers can shop in the Amazon Appstore for Android from any computer using a Web browser or download the Amazon Appstore application directly to their Android smart phone or tablet. When customers purchase an Android app from the Amazon Appstore, they can use the app on any of their compatible Android devices. The Amazon Appstore also is offering customers a paid app for free every day.
The Amazon Appstore for Android includes popular Amazon features like personalized recommendations, customer reviews, one-click payment options and detailed product descriptions, including screenshots and video content that show the apps in action. All apps will be Amazon-tested before they are made available in the Amazon Appstore.
“Amazon Appstore for Android is a new and convenient way to shop and discover new Android apps for your smart phone or tablet,” said Aaron Rubenson, category leader for the Amazon Appstore. “Together with Cellular South, we are committed to helping customers navigate through the thousands of available apps to find those that are the most relevant to them. We aim to give customers a refreshing and unique app shopping experience.”
Cellular South customers will appreciate the HTC Merge’s seamless integration with Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync®, enjoy quick and easy access to Flickr® for sharing and viewing pictures, and find new ways to customize their experience with Amazon Appstore. With a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard, customers will be able to keep in touch with friends and family no matter where they are, as well as stay in the loop with Flickr, Facebook® and Twitter™ updates through HTC FriendStream™.
In addition, the HTC Merge smartphone has a 5 megapixel camera with auto-focus and flash that captures outstanding images, while 3G connectivity makes sharing those special moments with friends and family quick and easy. The HTC Merge smart phone also comes with integrated GPS, Wi-Fi connectivity and even the ability to capture high-definition 720p HD video.
Availability
The HTC Merge will be available next month. Pricing for the device has not been set, but will require a two-year service contract and data agreement.

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