Lenovo announced three new tablets with 10.1-inch displays on Wednesday morning, including the IdeaPad Tablet K1, the ThinkPad Tablet, and the IdeaPad Tablet P1. The Android3.1 (Honeycomb) powered IdeaPad Tablet K1 will be targeted at the everyday consumer and is equipped with a 1280 x 800 resolution screen, HDMI-out, a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity. It’s also the first Netflix certified Honeycomb tablet. The 32GB IdeaPad Tablet P1 will be available on July 20th for $499.99, and the company confirmed that a 3G model will also launch in the U.S. at a later date. Lenovo will market its ThinkPad Tablet to business users. It’s equipped with a Gorilla Glass display, features a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, runs Android 3.1 (Honeycomb), has a full-size SD card slot and a USB port, and can be bought with an optional digitizer pen. The 16GB and 32GB ThinkPad Tablets will be available on August 2nd for $479 and $589, respectively. Finally, the IdeaPad Tablet P1 runs Windows 7 and is powered by a 1.5GHz Intel processor. It will be available in the fourth quarter of this year. Read on for the full press release. More →
Amazon announced on Wednesday that AT&T will sponsor a new Kindle 3G with Special Offers, a deal that has lowered the price of the device $50 to $139.99. In a statement, AT&T’s CEO Ralph de la Vega said that the Kindle 3G is “by far the fastest growing connected device” on AT&T’s network. Amazon’s “Special Offers” devices come at the cost of ad-sponsored content. Users will see advertisements at the bottom of the screen and can launch the “AdMash” Kindle application to choose which advertisements are displayed. The $114 Kindle Wi-Fi with Special Offers device, which launched in April, is currently the best selling version of the popular eReader. Read on for the full press release. More →
It’s funny to think that until a few months ago, Apple’s iPhone was locked to a single carrier here in the U.S. And just like that, AT&T’s exclusivity agreement expired and Verizon Wireless starting selling the device. According to public statements from Verizon Wireless and Apple, there is no CDMA exclusive on the iPhone, though the device is still not available from any other CDMA provider in the world. But I think this will change later this year when Sprint and T-Mobile USA start retailing the iPhone 5. Hit the jump for my thoughts. More →
A China Mobile employee allegedly revealed that the popular Chinese carrier will launch Apple’s fifth-generation iPhone this coming September, Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White wrote in a note to investors on Thursday. The news jibes with multiple earlier reports that Apple’s iPhone 5 is set to launch this September, though it may launch even sooner in the U.S. and other key markets. The news was first relayed by Chinese language website Bianews.com, which reported on Thursday that a China Mobile employee wrote that the carrier would launch the iPhone 5 in September in a post on Weibo.com, a micro-blogging service similar to Twitter. The post was subsequently deleted. Apple COO Tim Cook was recently seen attending meetings with China Mobile executives, and the tech giant’s next-generation iPhone could very well have been the topic of their conversations.
Verizon Wireless has stated on multiple occasions that it will move to usage-based smartphone data plans next month, but the carrier has been tight lipped when it comes to sharing the details surrounding the new plans. Following a report on Monday that claimed to detail Verizon Wireless’ upcoming tiered plans, they have now been reaffirmed by a new leak. Android Central claims to have received internal documents showcasing the changes, and pricing lines up exactly with earlier reports:
- 2GB – $30/month
- 4GB with tethering/mobile hotspot – $50/month
- 5GB – $50/month
- 7GB with tethering/mobile hotspot – $70/month
- 10GB – $80/month
- 12GB with tethering/mobile hotspot – $100/month
The new documents also confirm that existing smartphone customers with unlimited data plans will be able to keep those plans after the changeover date, which is said to be July 7th. Hit the break for an email on the new plans reportedly sent by Verizon Wireless to retail partners. More →
Verizon Wireless will finally be shifting to the usage-based data plan structure we all knew was coming. Android enthusiast blog Droid Life on Monday reports that future Verizon subscribers will no longer have an unlimited smartphone data option starting July 7th. Instead, they will be forced to choose one of three tiered data options: 2GB for $30 per month, 5GB for $50 per month or 10GB for $80 per month. Those looking for tethering will have to add $20 to each of those plans, which works out to 4GB for $50 per month, 7GB for $70 per month or 12GB for $100 per month. Overages on any plan will run $10 per gigabyte. According to the report, Verizon will charge the same rates for 3G and 4G LTE data plans, so subscribers interested in newer 4G smartphones will not have to worry about paying a premium for data, as they might elsewhere — which is a good thing, considering these plans are already a bit pricey. Current Verizon customers will not be forced to switch to a new plan. BGR contacted Verizon for comment and while the company would not confirm the new plans or exact timing, a Verizon Wireless spokesperson did have this to say: “As we have stated previously, Verizon Wireless is making some minor changes to data plans including those for new smartphone customers. We will move to a more usage based model in July.”
UPDATE: Droid Life has also obtained an internal letter purportedly being sent by regional VPs that confirms usage-based pricing will be the same for 3G and 4G service. The letter can be found through the second read link below. More →
Speaking during a D9 press event in California on Thursday, AT&T Mobility’s CEO Ralph de la Vega said it will take AT&T between 2 and 3 years to bring its LTE network coverage up to a par with Verizon Wireless’ 4G offering. AT&T has already announced that it plans to deploy its 4G LTE network to five cities this summer, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. However, Verizon’s network is already available in 55 markets, it plans to deploy in 23 more this month, and the carrier has promised full 4G LTE coverage across its current 3G network by the end of 2013. According to CNN, Ralph de la Vega said AT&T “can’t say when” its 4G network will match Verizon’s but said “in the next two to three years they will probably be indistinguishable.” The carrier also reaffirmed that if its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile is approved, customers should see a large improvement the in overall quality and reliability of AT&T’s service.
UPDATE: AT&T spokesperson Seth Bloom provided BGR with the following comments via email: More →
The DROID Incredible 2 recently landed on Verizon Wireless, and it has some tough shoes to fill. When the original launched, it was BGR’s favorite Android phone to date despite stiff competition from the Motorola DROID, which launched at the same time. The DROID Incredible 2 packs some decent hardware, like a 1GHz processor, an 8-megapixel camera capable of recording 720p video, and more, but its specs — and data speeds — don’t match those of phones at the higher end of Verizon’s portfolio. Is the DROID Incredible 2 a worthy successor to the original or does it fall short? Read on to find out!
T-Mobile on Monday introduced several new postpaid and prepaid plans headlined by a variety of throttled unlimited options that cater to a wide range of data-hungry smartphone users. The new individual unlimited plans start at $59.99 for unlimited nationwide voice calling and unlimited text messaging, and then become incrementally more expensive when unlimited data is added. Users can opt for unlimited data with 200MB of “high-speed” data for an extra $10 each month for a total of $69.99, 2GB of high-speed data for a total of $79.99, 5GB of high-speed data for $89.99, or 10GB of high-speed data for $119.99 each month. Once the high-speed data ceiling on one of the aforementioned plans is reached in a single month, data speeds will be reduced significantly — or “throttled” — until a new billing period begins. T-Mobile revamped several other postpaid plans and added two new prepaid options as well, and the details can be found in the press release below or on the carrier’s site. More →
A lawsuit has been filed against Apple, Pandora, and The Weather Channel in the U.S. District Court of Puerto Rico that alleges Apple “intentionally [intercepts] personally identifying information.” The plaintiff, Lymaris M. Rivera Diaz, is charging Apple with unfair trade practices, abuse and fraud, and he believes that Apple shares the iPhone’s unique ID, as well as personal location information, with third party developers such as The Weather Channel and Pandora. Apple’s vice president of software technology, Bud Tribble, testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law on Tuesday, and said “Apple does not track users’ locations,” and that the Cupertino-based company has no plans to do so. This is the second lawsuit filed against Apple in regards to the location tracking scandal; The first was filed in Tampa, Florida late last month. More →
AT&T may soon join Sprint and T-Mobile as the third U.S. carrier to offer the Nexus S. The phone was spotted in white on Samsung’s website with AT&T listed as its carrier, although Samsung appears to have removed the page. We suspect AT&T will tag the Nexus S with HSPA+ support and slap a 4G at the end of its name, although the website doesn’t confirm whether it will launch as a 3G or a 4G device. The Nexus S is powered by Google’s latest Android Gingerbread operating system and will receive future Android updates ahead of other devices. It’s equipped with a 4-inch 800 x 480 resolution display, a 5-megapixel camera, a front-facing VGA camera, and a 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor. More →
Motorola on Wednesday announced that the Android 3.1 Honeycomb update revealed by Google on Tuesday at its Google I/O 2011 conference will become available on the Motorola XOOM “within the next several weeks.” Google announced that the Verizon Wireless’ XOOM would be the first device to get the update, but there was some confusion surrounding when the new Honeycomb build might become available to devices. Motorola has now clarified that Android 3.1 will become available in the next few weeks and it will be delivered as an over the air (OTA) update. Forthcoming key additions in Android 3.1, as highlighted by Motorola, include support for the new Android movie rental service, full support for Adobe Flash Player 10.2, resizable home screen widgets, USB-connected peripheral support, expanded Bluetooth accessory support and simplified photo sharing between the XOOM and PCs. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
Google and Apple testified before the Senate on Tuesday, where both firms were grilled on collecting location information from mobile phones. During the hearing, Senator Al Franken was particularly vocal on the issue. “My wireless companies, Apple and Google, and my apps, all get my location or something very close to it,” Senator Franken said. “We need to address this issue now, as mobile devices are only going to get more popular.” We covered Apple’s response on Tuesday, during which Apple’s vice president of software technology, Bud Tribble, said that “Apple does not track users’ locations,” and that the firm never plans to do so. However, Franken was also concerned that Apple and Google have done little to police third-party applications that are collecting and transmitting location data, and suggested that both companies require developers to alert users of their specific privacy policies. Trimble said Apple already does this, but it has never tossed an application for violating that rule. Google’s director of public policy, Alan Davidson, said Google would consider adding the option. According to The Wall Street Journal, Jessica Rich, the deputy director of the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer-protection bureau said that, despite both firms saying they don’t collect user data, “there’s a lot [the FTC] can do… to challenge,” those claims. More →