For any device to be legally commercialized in the United States, its maker must file a bevy of tests and other documents to certify that the device works according to regulations. This process is often, but not always, useful for determining when a device is about to be launched in the US.
That’s the case with the Sony i1, also known under the codename Honami, which just made an appearance in the FCC’s database. While the documents don’t provide much information in addition to what we already knew, the LTE compatibility listed in the filing gives us a clue about the carriers that could range the Honami.
The Sony i1 sold in the US should be compatible with these LTE bands: 2, 4, 5, 7, and 17. Judging from spectrum allocation alone, the American operators that could carry the i1/Honami are AT&T and perhaps T-Mobile.
Keep in mind however, that the mere certification of a device for certain cellular frequencies doesn’t guarantee that the device will actually ever be sold in the US. However, the availability of the T-Mobile Xperia Z, albeit late, gives us hope that Sony will manage to improve the distribution of its future flagship.
Other useful tidbits from the filings are the presence of Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac and a microSD card slot.
The Sony i1 is widely expected to debut at a Sony press event in Berlin on September 4, ahead of IFA 2013.