Verizon flipped on its 4G LTE service back in December 2010 and since then it’s rather quickly spread to 190 million US cities and 118 million major airports, covering more than 200 million Americans. At long last, the time has come for the competition to throw their hats into the ring.
In early September, AT&T launched their 4G LTE service in 5 markets (Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston) to complement its HSPA+ network (also known as “faux-G”). Later in November they expanded to eleven additional markets including Athens, Ga., Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. On January 5, AT&T added another eleven markets to the mix, and they’re big ones: New York City metro area, Austin, Chapel Hill, Los Angeles, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix, Raleigh, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose. Ma Bell calculates that this addition makes AT&T 4G LTE available in a total of 26 markets to 74 million consumers. The company expects its 4G LTE deployment to be mostly complete by the end of 2013.
And then there’s Sprint. They’ve been innovating behind Verizon and AT&T, only just announcing their first major markets to receive 4G LTE. Dallas, Atlanta, Houston and San Antonio will be the first four markets to see the faster speeds in the first half of 2012. Sprint is also working on boosting their 3G speeds as well. They call it Network Vision: “Sprint customers can expect to enjoy ultra-fast data speeds, improved 3G voice and data quality, and stronger in-building signal penetration providing a more reliable wireless experience…everyone in the upgraded areas is expected to benefit from the advanced 3G/4G LTE network.”
With 4G LTE markets spreading across America like wildfire from Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint, consumers can expect new smartphones to release this year that take advantage of the faster voice and data speeds that 4G provides. Rumor has it that the next iPhone will in fact be compatible on VZW, at least. Now that AT&T isn’t allowed to swallow T-Mobile, the network that made popular the Sidekick is going to have to act quickly if they want to remain the race; their speedy HSPA+ network won’t stand a chance once the other three carriers are boasting their expansive 4G LTE ones. Let the games begin.
When Microsoft unleashed its sleek, new mobile OS unto the world back in October 2010, it did so only on GSM carriers in the U.S. including AT&T and T-Mobile. Come next month, Windows Phone 7 will finally become available on a CDMA network. No, not Verizon, I’m talking about Sprint, the “Now Network.” The handset is dubbed the Arrive, it’s built by HTC, and here are its specs: 3.6-inch WVGA capacitive multitouch display, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 5MP camera with flash, autofocus, and digital zoom capable of 720p HD recording, 16GB of internal memory, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, and of course a sliding full QWERTY keyboard with a tilt-up display. Oh and get this–the Arrive will be the first phone to ship with the upcoming WP7 update that brings copy-and-paste functionality to the OS. You can pick up the Arrive on March 20 for $199.99 (after $100 mail-in rebate) if you sign a new two-year contract with Sprint. Get a closer look at the sexy slider in the gallery below, and jump after the break for the official PR. Verizon Wireless customers will have to wait another day to experience “Glance and Go” goodness.
[Via Engadget](Click here for more…)
About one month ago Samsung and mobile operator partners detailed Galaxy Tab offerings. Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile put their cards on the table, while U.S. Cellular said it it was coming soon and AT&T remained silent. Today the latter two carriers shared their respective release dates and pricing schemes, so I thought it’d be helpful if I charted out each carrier’s Tab information. So without further ado:
Verizon: $599.99 (no contract required); optional 3G plan- $20/month for 1GB of data; released 11/11
Sprint: $399.99 (new 2-year contract required); $29.99/month for 2GB or $59.99 for 5GB; releases 11/14
T-Mobile: $399.99 (new 2-year contract required); $24.99/month for 200MB or $39.99/month for 5GB released 11/10
AT&T: $649.99 (no contract required); $14.99/month for 250GB pay-as-you-go plan or $25/month for 2GB pay-as-you-go plan; $50 Media Hub Movie Rental credit with purchase for a limited time; releases 11/21
U.S. Cellular: $599 (no contract required) or $399 (contract required); $14.99/month for 200MB or $54.99/month for 5GB with tethering enabled; releases 11/19
Been looking for an iPad alternative? This Android (Froyo) based tablet is it. That is, until iPad 2 comes out.
Samsung Galaxy Tab coming to Verizon Wireless November 11 for $599.99 [Update: Sprint & T-Mobile details]
If you’ve been hunting for an iPad alternative to satisfy your tablet needs, look no further than here. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab will be sold through Verizon Wireless for $599.99 come November 11. You want specs? Oh, I got specs. The Tab sports a 7-inch (1024×600, WSVGA) multitouch display, 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor, rear-facing 3 megapixel camera with LED flash and autofocus, front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera, 2GB of onboard storage with 16 GB pre-installed on a microSD card (expandable memory up to 32GB), 802.11n WiFi, A-GPS, and a headphone jack. It weighs 13 ounces and is 12 millimeters thin; Sammy says it can “easily fit into a jeans’ backpocket”, but I’m not so sure about that. The display supports full HD 1080p video playback and the rear-facing camera can shoot up to 720p at 30 fps. The browser supports Adobe Flash Player 10.1.
The Tab runs Android 2.2 (aka Froyo) with a tweaked version of Samsung’s TouchWiz skin on top. Google Maps Navigation and Google Goggles come preinstalled, along with Swype keyboard functionality. Apps like Qik and Fring are available to download in the Android Market and can be used for video chatting over a WiFi connection. In addition to its custom skin, Samsung is throwing in some of their own apps they think will be useful for users. The Media Hub offers a ”vast lineup of critically acclaimed films and TV programs for rent or purchase.” Samsung has partnered with MTV Networks, NBC, Paramount, and Universal Studios Home Entertainment to bring media content to Tab owners. Purchased content can be shared with up to five devices that carry the Media Hub application. The Social Hub “works with the user’s Messaging and Contacts to initiate the sending and receiving of information, whether it is e-mail, instant messaging, social network updates or SMS messages.” Also, calendar information from portal calendars like Google Calendar and social networks can be unified into one calender view. There’s also a Document Viewer & Editor that can open and make changes to any Word, Excel, Powerpoint or PDF document, AllShare DLNA Technology can stream content to DLNA-compatable devices, and Daily Briefing gives you access to updated weather, news, stocks, and schedules. Accessories will be sold separately: keyboard dock ($99.99), desktop dock ($49.99), car/GPS dock ($99.99).
The Tab will eventually be sold through all major US carriers (including AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile), but it’s coming to Verizon Wireless first. The Tab on VZW will sell for $599.99 with no strings attached, meaning there’s no required 2-year contract obligation. You can access the Internet on it using WiFi, and if you so choose you can add an optional 3G plan and pay $20/month for 1GB of data. Users can access V CAST Apps, Verizon’s mobile storefront for apps, and the Tab will come preloaded with V CAST Music, V CAST Song ID, VZ Navigator, Slacker Radio, Kindle for Android, BLOCKBUSTER On Demand, and a game called “Let’s Golf.” Text, picture and video messaging is supported, but voice calling is not. I repeat, the Tab is not a cell phone. It may look like an oversized Android handset, but it cannot make and receive calls in the U.S.
Look in the gallery below to check out the Samsung Galaxy Tab from all angles, and jump after the break to watch a 10 minute “official demo” of the Android tablet.
Update (10/25): Today Sprint shared pricing details for their version of the Galaxy Tab. Sprint customers can purchase the Tab for $399.99 with an obligatory two-year contract and they’ll need to cough up $29.99/month for 2GB of data or $59.99 for 5GB. Preorders start today and it releases November 14.
Update 2 (10/27): T-Mobile will sell the Tab for $399.99 on a two-year contract. A $35 activation fee is required. Goes on sale November 10.
Update 3: The Tab is also coming to U.S. Cellular, but price and a release date have not been detailed yet.
Windows Phone 7: 10 devices, 4 launch hardware partners, 60 mobile carriers in over 30 countries worldwide; coming 10/21 in Europe & Asia, early November in U.S.
Today Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage in New York City to reveal the final details surrounding the launch of Windows Phone 7. Microsoft first unveiled their new cell phone operating system in February at Mobile World Congress; next they spotlighted developer support at MIX’10; and most recently they detailed Xbox Live integration. All there was left to do is reveal launch harware and mobile operator partners and device release dates and pricing. And that’s exactly what went down today in NYC.
Let’s start with the Windows Phone 7 launch hardware partners and the actual devices you might potentially pick up come this holiday season. Samsung, LG, HTC, and Dell are collectively bringing ten new devices that will run WP7. The Samsung Focus (codenamed Cetus) features a 4-inch (480×800) Super AMOLED display, 1GHz processor, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, and 8GB of onboard storage with microSD expansion up to 32GB. It’s the thinnest WP7 launch device measuring at 9.9mm (or .3 inches) thin. It will launch exclusively with AT&T in the U.S. The Samsung Omnia 7 features the same 4-inch (480×800) Super AMOLED display, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, and 8GB of onboard storage. It will launch with Orange (France and UK), SFR (France), Movistar (Spain), and Deutsch Telekom on November 8. The LG Quantum (or Optimus 7Q outside the U.S.) features a 3.5 inch (480×800) display, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, 8GB of onboard storage, a slideout QWERTY keyboard, and it comes preloaded with PlayTo, an app that allows users to wirelessly stream content to DLNA-enabled devices. It will launch exclusively with AT&T in the U.S. and with Telstra in Australia. The LG Optimus 7 features a 3.8 inch (480×800) LCD display, 1GHz processor, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, and 16GB of onboard storage. It will launch with Telus (Canada), América Móvil (Mexico), Movistar (Spain), Vodafone (Germany, Italy, Spain and UK), and SingTel (Singapore).
HTC is launching five WP7-powered devices. The HTC HD7 features a 4.3 inch (480×800) display (it’s the WP7 launch device with the largest display), 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 576MB of RAM, 5 megapixel autofocus camera with dual LED flash (supports HD 720p video recording), 16GB of onboard memory, built-in kickstand, and it comes preloaded with Netflix, Slacker, T-Mobile Family Room (a note-taking sharing app), and a T-Mobile TV entertainment app. It will launch exclusively with T-Mobile in the U.S. in mid-November and with O2 (UK, Germany, Ireland), Movistar (Spain), SingTel (Singapore), Telstra (Australia), and Bouygues Telecom (France) on October 21. The HTC 7 Surround features a 3.8 inch (480×800) display, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 576MB of RAM, 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash (supports HD 720p video recording), built-in kickstand, and 8GB of onboard storage. What makes this device standout from all the others is the slideout speaker that features Dolby Mobile and SRS Surround Sound technologies. It will launch exclusively with AT&T in the U.S. and with Telus in Canada. The HTC 7 Pro will be the first WP7 CDMA device and will launch exclusively with Sprint in the first half of 2011. It features a 3.6 inch (400×800) display, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 576MB of RAM, 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash (supports HD 720p video recording), 16GB of onboard storage, and a slideout QWERTY keyboard. Update: The 7 Pro will arrive in Europe “early next year.” The HTC 7 Mozart and HTC 7 Trophy are two WP7 handsets that will not (initially, at least) not make it to the U.S. market. They both feature a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 576MB of RAM, 8GB of built-in storage, and HD 720p video recording. Here’s where they differ. The Mozart features a sleek aluminum unibody construction with a 3.7-inch (480×800) display and 8 megapixel camera with a Xenon flash. The Trophy, on the other hand, features a slightly larger 3.8 inch (480×800) display and a slightly lesser 5 megapixel camera with LED flash. The Mozart with launch with Orange (France and UK), Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Telstra (Australia) and the Trophy will launch with Vodafone (Australia, Germany, Spain and UK) and SFR (France).
And finally there’s the Dell Venue Pro. It features a 4.1-inch (480×800) AMOLED display, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 5 megapixel camera with flash, and a portrait-designed QWERTY keyboard. It will launch exclusively with T-Mobile in the U.S.
And that’s a wrap on the hardware discussion. As you can see, all ten WP7 devices are very similar in terms of internals: the 1GHz processor, the 5 megapixel camera, the 8GB-16GB internal storage, 3.5 inch to 4.3 displays, and the handful of slideout QWERTY keyboard-equipped models. Through the end of the year, WP7 devices will be exclusive to AT&T and T-Mobile; this leaves a wide gap in the CDMA (Verizon/Sprint) playing field. By the time Q1 of 2011 rolls around, Microsoft better have deals finalized with the other mobile carriers if they truly want to compete in the competitive smartphone market. Also, hardware partners will eventually have to up their game with better and differentiating specifications and designs if they want to stay relevant. HTC is doing a fine job so far with the 7 Surround speaker design the HD7′s large 4.3 inch display. But for now, the WP7 starting lineup is quite impressive. The stars are certainly aligning for a successful launch.
In addition to revealing hardware and mobile carrier partners, Microsoft also shared some information regarding software developments. Though they weren’t specific about the exact number of launch apps for Windows Marketplace, they did show off bunch of promising apps. They include Twitter, eBay, Fandango, Netflix, Slacker, IMDb, and games such as Tetris, The Sims 3, Monopoly, Need for Speed: Undercover, and The Harvest. AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega was on hand to show off the AT&T U-verse app. The app will be preloaded on all AT&T WP7 devices and will allow users to download and watch TV shows on the go. If you are already a U-verse subscriber at home, accessing and downloading content off the app is free. You will have the ability to manage your DVR recordings, access TV guide listings and an On Demand library. If you are not a subscriber, AT&T will offer a $9.99/month plan to watch TV on the go when WP7 launches wide in November. (Keep in mind, “live” TV is not available; you are simply downloading content to watch now or later.) In related news, AT&T has confirmed that Xbox 360 owners will have the ability to use their console as a U-verse receiver starting October 15. New subscribers can order a $99 Xbox installation kit and a technician will load the software onto the console for you; current subscribers will be forced to pay an extra $55 on top of the $99 installation kit to make the switch from set-top box to Xbox. And here’s one last software tidbit: Microsoft promises a free software update bringing copy-and-paste functionality to all WP7 devices will be pushed out in “early 2011.” Update: In a statement Microsoft confirms that public beta software will be available for Mac users to sync “select content” with their WP7 device later this year. Look after the break for the first two WP7 commercials!
Apple, Google, RIM…it’s on.
At this year’s Wireless Enterprise Symposium (WES), Research in Motion (RIM) showed off the latest BlackBerry OS in video form. (Go acronyms! Anyway…) RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis did not go into detail about “BlackBerry 6″ but he did have these choice words to say: “It’s an all-new user experience guided by a few fundamental design principles. It had to be easy to use, yet incredibly powerful. It had to be fun and approachable. Anyone that looks at it should say ‘I want a BlackBerry.’” He also shared his excitement about the “all-new WebKit browser.” According to a leaked report from BGR, BB 6 will feature a new home screen (with customizable icons), the WebKit browser (with tab support), a redesigned media player and photo viewer, and a bunch of new keyboard commands. It’s expected that BB 6 will natively support multitouch, finding a home both on touch and non-touch screen devices. RIM confirms it will release later this year.
Also introduced at the event: the new BlackBerry Bold 9650 & BlackBerry Pearl 3G. Sprint formally announced it will sell the new Bold for $199.99 with a new two-year contract; Verizon Wireless is expected to make a similar offer. The Pearl 3G is heading to Canada first on Bell, Telus, and Rogers. Peek after the break for an image of the sleek new pair of handsets.
Touting multi-tasking support and more, Sprint creates an ad for the Palm Pre that pits Apple in the corner. Apple, your move.
On June 6th, Palm will be releasing its brand new smartphone device called the Palm Pre. It will be available for Sprint for $199.99 after you sign up for a 2-year contract. I got a sneak-peak hands-on with the Pre this afternoon. To sum it up, the Palm Pre is simply the first cell phone that will truly rival the Apple iPhone. Both the exterior and the UI are extremely sleek and modern. Although the physical keyboard is rather small, the keys are bouncy and raised to make typing with them not too much of a hastle. I was able to run a number of apps including Calendar, Email, SMS, Photos, Camera, Music, the browser, SprintTV, AmazonMP3, Google Maps, and YouTube. The App Store was open, but I was unable to download apps from it. Synergy, Palm’s signature way of bringing together everyone’s contact information into one entity, is quite impressive. When you search a contact name, you get more than a picture of them, their phone number, email and address information. Tagged with their name is also their AIM, Facebook, and other social networking services, if they have them, of course. Think of it as a a bundle of ways to contact a person, all found in one place. The “cards” are very fluid in motion. You can easily flick an open app to the side for later use, or up and out of the way to exit it. All in all, I am very excited for the launch of the Palm Pre on Sprint. According to some rumors, the Pre will soon be available on other networks, such as Verizon, in the coming months. Here’s hoping Palm will make a move Apple did not take advantage of–opening their device to a number of networks, to get a Pre in as many hands as possible.
Check after the break for the gallery of pictures. They include the front and back of the device, as well as the official packaging of the phone. (Click here for more…)