Apple approves iTether for iPhone, enables tethering on standard data plans [updated]

By on November 29, 2011 at 9:25 AM.

Apple approves iTether for iPhone, enables tethering on standard data plans [updated]

Want to share your iPhone’s 3G connection with your laptop for a one-time $15 fee? iTether recently launched for iOS devices and it allows you do just that, without any carrier involvement. We would use the software with caution, however. Several wireless providers such as AT&T can detect when subscribers are tethering an unauthorized device and they usually send a warning asking users to stop. iTether is available now for anyone looking for a quick tethering solution to get through the day but, since carriers will likely react negatively to its existence, we don’t expect it to be around in its current form for much longer.

UPDATE: It now looks like Apple has pulled iTether, as most presumed it would. As of approximately 11:40 a.m. Eastern, the app still shows up in the store but attempts to download it are met with Apple’s “This item is temporarily unavailable” error. More →

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Sprint announces new 3G/4G broadband data plans

By on November 14, 2011 at 12:01 PM.

Sprint announces new 3G/4G broadband data plans

Sprint on Monday announced two new less expensive mobile broadband data plans that will replace the carrier’s existing plans. The changes apply to tablets, mobile hotspot devices, netbooks, notebooks and USB modems. Customers may choose between a $49.99 plan that provides 6GB of 3G or 4G data per month or a $79.99 plan that provides 12GB of data per month. Sprint’s plans offer an additional 1GB of data compared to Verizon Wireless’s competing plans, and it hopes that’s a draw for new customers. In addition to the aforementioned plans, Sprint is also introducing a new $19.99 data plan for tablets that provides 1GB of 3G/4G data per month as well as a new $34.99 plan for tablets and mobile hotspots that provides 3GB of data per month. The full press release from Sprint follows after the break. More →

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China Mobile lures 5 million new iPhone users with Wi-Fi, rebates

By on November 1, 2011 at 9:15 PM.

China Mobile lures 5 million new iPhone users with Wi-Fi, rebates

China Mobile has yet to convince Apple to partner on an iPhone that supports its proprietary TD-SCDMA 3G network, but that hasn’t stopped the carrier from attracting customers to the device. In fact, China Mobile added 5 million new iPhone users in just four months, and it now serves a total of 9.5 million iPhone users, Bloomberg said. Each of those customers can use text, voice and 2G data, and all of the iPhone models it sells are unsubsidized. That may sound like a turnoff, but China Mobile has increased its iPhone user base by building out a nationwide Wi-Fi network to make up for its 3G shortcomings, and the carrier is also offering rebates worth as much as $440. The carrier plans to add an additional 1 million hotspots throughout China during the next three years, too. China Unicom has been an exclusive iPhone partner in China since 2005 and while it has less 3G subscribers than China Mobile, it is able to offer a 3G-capable iPhone because it operates a WCDMA 3G network.  More →

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Samsung announces Android-powered Transform Ultra for Sprint

By on October 24, 2011 at 10:14 AM.

Samsung announces Android-powered Transform Ultra for Sprint

Samsung announced the Transform Ultra for Sprint on Monday, an Android 2.3-powered smartphone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The Transform Ultra is powered by a 1GHz processor and has a 3-megapixel camera, a secondary front-facing VGA camera for video chat, a 3.5-inch touchscreen display with an HVGA resolution, 512MB of RAM, 2GB of on-board storage, a 1,500 mAh battery and support for Sprint’s 3G network. Neither Sprint nor Samsung have announced pricing or a release date for the Transform Ultra, although we suspect it will hit the market in time for the holiday season at a budget-friendly price. Hit the break for Samsung’s fact sheet. More →

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AT&T: Our iPhone is better than your iPhone

By on October 7, 2011 at 2:05 PM.

AT&T: Our iPhone is better than your iPhone

AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint are all launching the iPhone 4S next Friday, but AT&T is doing its best to ensure consumers know that not all iPhones are created equal. The presence of HSPA 14.4 gives the iPhone 4S a theoretical download speed ceiling of 14.4Mbps, but only if you’re on an HSPA network. Here in the U.S., Verizon Wireless and Sprint both employ EV-DO 3G networks while AT&T customers will enjoy speeds over HSPA that are twice as fast, the company says. “We can’t wait for our customers to experience the incredible new iPhone 4S on our 4G network and enjoy download speeds of up to twice as fast,” said AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega in a statement. “When you combine the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network with iPhone 4S, as well as our new pricing for iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, we think we have the best iPhone line up in the industry.” AT&T’s full press release follows below.

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Sony PlayStation Vita to launch in Japan on December 17th

By on September 15, 2011 at 1:45 AM.

Sony PlayStation Vita to launch in Japan on December 17th

Sony announced on Wednesday that its next-generation portable gaming console, the PlayStation Vita, will launch in Japan on December 17th. Sony also said it has teamed up with Japan-based wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo to provide 3G connectivity on the device. 20 hours of 3G service is priced at $13 while 100 hours will set customers back $65. The system will launch in tandem with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Square Enix promised to port Final Fantasy X as well. Sony expects to begin taking pre-orders for the Vita on October 15th and said the first 500 units sold will come bundled with 100 hours of free 3G connectivity. We had hands-on time with the Vita during E3 in June. It is expected to launch in the U.S. next year for $249.99 and AT&T will provide stateside 3G connectivity. More →

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Sprint may launch iPad 2 in addition to iPhone 5

By on September 14, 2011 at 11:25 AM.

Sprint may launch iPad 2 in addition to iPhone 5

Apple and Sprint are preparing to launch a new version of the iPad 2 at the same time or shortly after a Sprint-compatible iPhone 5 is unveiled this fall, a new report claims. 9to5 Mac states that Apple and Sprint have completed development of an iPad 2 that includes an embedded cellular radio compatible with Sprint’s data network. It is unclear which Sprint data network the tablet will support: the carrier’s older 3G network, its 4G WiMAX network or perhaps even both. No previous reports indicate that Apple has conducted any late-stage development with WiMAX — which Sprint is shifting focus away from moving forward — so a 4G-enabled iPad 2 may not be likely at this point in time. The report also notes that Sprint may offer its unlimited data plan with the iPad 2, as it is expected to do with its iPhone 5. More →

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Samsung files new complaint against Apple in France, says iPhone and iPad infringe patents

By on September 13, 2011 at 8:01 AM.

Samsung files new complaint against Apple in France, says iPhone and iPad infringe patents

Samsung on Monday confirmed that it recently filed a new complaint against Apple in France, alleging that the Cupertino-based company’s iPad and iPhone devices infringe on three Samsung-owned patents. Unlike the case that recently saw a German judge ban sales of Samsung’s GALAXY Tab 10.1 tablet by the company’s local arm, Samsung’s complaint in France covers patents rather than the physical design of the devices in question. The suit targets Apple’s iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G as well as the iPad and iPad 2, and the patents in question cover the UMTS communication standard according to AFP. The complaint was first filed in July and a preliminary hearing will take place in December. More →

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BlackBerry Torch 9850 review

By on September 7, 2011 at 5:00 PM.

BlackBerry Torch 9850 review

RIM’s BlackBerry Torch 9850 is the company’s third smartphone to launch with a full touchscreen form factor, following the original Storm and the Storm 2, and it’s the first to launch on Sprint. The 9850 packs brand new hardware and the new BlackBerry 7 operating system into a thin industrial design, but is it enough of an improvement over the earlier Storm devices to warrant your upgrade? Can it compete with other touchscreen smartphones? I’ve been using the Torch 9850 for the past week and my full review of the smartphone follows below.

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MacBook Pro prototype spotted with 3G modem

By on August 15, 2011 at 10:35 PM.

MacBook Pro prototype spotted with 3G modem

Apple has yet to release a MacBook with an integrated 3G modem, but that doesn’t mean the company hasn’t toyed with the idea. A 2007 15-inch MacBook Pro has surfaced on eBay with a built-in 3G antenna and a SIM-card slot. The seller says he or she originally purchased the 3G-capable MacBook Pro “for parts,” from a former Apple engineer and said “it was immediately clear this was no normal MacBook Pro.” The machine’s SIM card slot is still recognized by OS X 10.6.8 Leopard but the seller has been unable to get the data connection working properly, and noted that “it’s entirely possible it never worked.” The high bid for the one-of-a-kind MacBook Pro was $11,211.11 at the time of this writing. Read on for a few more images. More →

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Fusion Garage unveils $499 Grid 10 tablet, $399 Grid 4 smartphone

By on August 15, 2011 at 12:40 PM.

Fusion Garage unveils $499 Grid 10 tablet, $399 Grid 4 smartphone

After teasing a new tablet under the parody brand “TabCo” for the past several months, Fusion Garage took the wraps off of the Grid 10 tablet and a new Grid 4 smartphone on Monday. The Grid 10 offers a custom “GridOS” operating system, is equipped with a 10.1-inch 1366 x 768-pixel display and is powered by a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 chipset presumably clocked at 1GHz. The GridOS supports Android applications as well, and users can purchase and download new apps from the “Grid Shop” or from Amazon’s App Store. In addition, GridOS has a unique home screen that allows users to create “clusters” of applications that span over an infinite amount of space. Fusion Garage also announced a GridOS-powered smartphone — the $399 Grid 4, which will ship in the fourth quarter — that will be powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The Grid 10 Wi-Fi tablet will launch on September 15th for $499, and a 3G-capable version will follow for $599. Amazon will carry the tablet and pre-orders are open now. Also of note, all existing JooJoo owners will receive a free Grid 10 in the coming months.

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7-inch HP TouchPad Go leaked with 1.5GHz processor

By on August 11, 2011 at 11:20 PM.

7-inch HP TouchPad Go leaked with 1.5GHz processor

HP’s TouchPad Go was recently approved by the the Federal Communications Commission, which revealed some information on the unannounced tablet. The webOS device could be equipped with a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and a 3G radio, which would indicate HP is looking to launch it with at least one U.S. carrier. We first heard word of a 7-inch TouchPad tablet in January of this year and the most recent rumors revealed that HP could launch the device this month. It is possible we’ll hear more about the TouchPad Go in the coming days, and we hope it gains more consumer traction than the original TouchPad, which just had its priced slash by $100 to make it more appealing. More →

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BlackBerry Torch 9810, Torch 9850/9860 unveiled

By on August 3, 2011 at 7:11 AM.

BlackBerry Torch 9810, Torch 9850/9860 unveiled

Three torches, two form factors, one goal: silence the critics. Research In Motion on Wednesday unveiled three new additions to the popular Torch family, the Torch 9810, the Torch 9850 and the Torch 9860. The latter two handsets are GSM and CDMA variants of the same device, a full touchscreen smartphone that hopes to pick up where the Storm series left off. Launching later this month with AT&T, the Torch 9810 is a touchscreen smartphone with a QWERTY slider that one-ups the original Torch in nearly every area. Both phones carry the new BlackBerry 7 operating system — no, not QNX, we’re afraid — on top of big, bright displays and solid hardware. RIM noted that in combination with the already-announced Bold 9900, these smartphones will launch on more than 225 carriers around the world. “This is the largest global launch of BlackBerry smartphones in our history,” said RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis in a statement. “The BlackBerry solution offers a best-in-class mobile communications experience that customers love and we think they will be thrilled by the faster performance, enhanced browsing and richer multimedia delivered by these powerful new BlackBerry Bold and BlackBerry Torch smartphones.” The new Torches and the Bold 9900 will begin rolling out later this month. RIM’s full press release follows below. More →

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