AllThingsD is reporting that microblog Twitter has just completed a final round of investor funding. “Sources familiar with the situation” told the publication that the San Francisco based company raised over $200 million on a $3.7 billion valuation; an assertion Twitter later confirmed. The top investor was firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who the report notes was the “only new investor in the latest round”. Twitter, unlike Facebook, has yet to come up with a concrete and clear model for monetization, but does have a plethora of users and… a larger pile of cash to work with. More →
Regional wireless provider U.S. Cellular has announced three new prepaid calling plans just in time for the holiday buying season. The new plans, which all include unlimited text messaging, will offer 200, 400, or 1000 talk minutes and retail for $29, $39, and $49 respectively; the 400 minute plan will also include 5GB of monthly data usage.
“With balancing the budget on the minds of many, prepaid plans can help customers stay on top of spending and don’t require a contractual agreement,” quips the press release. “U.S. Cellular’s new prepaid plans offer spending flexibility through unlimited messaging choices and graduated levels of included voice minutes.”
T-Mobile announced Monday that it will release the T-Mobile Comet on November 3rd. Manufactured by Huawei, the T-Mobile Comet will be the least expensive Android phone in T-Mobile’s lineup when it launches later this week. The Comet will be available for just $9.99 with a 2-year postpaid contract, or “less than $200” off contract. As a sub-$200 prepaid phone running Android 2.2, the Comet is a terrific option, featuring a 2.8-inch QVGA touchscreen display, HSPA connectivity, Wi-Fi, microSDHC support and more. While we can’t confirm exactly how far below $200 T-Mobile will price the Comet, we can confirm that Costco will be selling the Comet for $149.99 when it becomes available. Hit the break for T-Mobile’s press release. More →
Following up on an exclusive from last week, T-Mobile has officially announced two new data offerings for its smartphone customers: a 200MB data plan and a tethering add-on.
The new, 200MB data plan option will cost smartphone owners $15 per month and require no contract extension. If you happen to be a satisfied T-Mo customer, and want to save yourself $60 per year, you can re-ink a new two-year agreement which will bring the offering down to $10 per month; the company will continue to offer its unlimited data plan for $30.
Next up is Magenta’s new “Tethering and Wi-Fi Sharing” plan. The add-on, which will retail for $15 per month, will allow “select smartphones” to “function as wireless modems for connecting devices, such as laptops, tablets and netbooks to the Internet through the T-Mobile network.” The tethering plan can be added to the $30, unlimited data-plan only. More →
Now this is more like it! The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Samsung product executive, Hankil Yoon, informed them that the Galaxy Tab tablet would retail for somewhere between $200 and $400 in the United States. Yoon did say that the final price of the device would vary depending on carrier subsidies; hopefully the two to four hundred dollar figure is unsubsidized. Sammy is predicting to ship over 10 million Tab’s next year and would like to grab at least ten percent of the tablet market share. The report is good news, as earlier rumors had the Galaxy Tab selling in Germany for upwards of $1,000 for the 32 GB model. Mr. Yoon also said that his company is in talks with “multiple U.S. carriers.” More →
We told you about Android’s worldwide growth, then about their Q2 U.S. sales figures, so how about some more data! Google CEO Eric Schmidt noted that his company is now activating 200,000 Android handsets every single day. That is up from 160,000 per day in June, and 100,000 in May. We’ve seen several of you in the comments question whether the Android venture was worth it for Google, as they are not directly profiting from the operating systems sales. When Schmidt was asked if the Android venture was worth it, he responded that the idea of Android was to further grow their search business. Schmidt then quipped, “Trust me that [search business] revenue is large enough to pay for all of the Android activities and a whole bunch more.” Google’s CEO was also caught saying he “loved the success of the iPhone.” We’ve got the video conversation queued up for you after the break. More →