Samsung’s new flagship smartphone may launch on all four major U.S. carriers as well as a number of regional carriers beginning this summer. Samsung on Thursday unveiled the Galaxy S III during a press conference in London, and the vendor said its sleek new smartphone will launch on nearly 300 different wireless service providers around the world in the coming months. At the same time, Samsung added a page on its U.S. website that allows users to sign up to receive more information about the Galaxy S III when it becomes available. On the page, a drop-down menu asks users to select their carrier preference, and found within that list are AT&T, C Spire Wireless, MetroPCS, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless. While this is by no means confirmation that the handset will launch on each of the seven carriers listed, it seems unlikely that Samsung would simply list random carriers and omit popular options such as Cricket, which currently offers a Samsung smartphone, and other sizable regional carriers. Samsung’s current flagship phone, the Galaxy S II, is available from all major U.S. carriers with the exception of Verizon Wireless. More →
Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins at a press event on Wednesday confirmed that a 4G LTE PlayBook will launch by the end of this year. According to The Canadian Reviewer, the tablet will be equipped with an updated dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHZ, will include NFC technology and look similar to the current BlackBerry PlayBook. BGR in January exclusively reported details about RIM’s plans to introduce a new PlayBook tablet around May or June that will be equipped with a 1.5GHz processor, built-in HSPA+ and NFC support. In March, a RIM tablet with HSPA+ and LTE radios passed through the FCC, confirming speculation regarding a 4G PlayBook. More →
Regulators in the United Kingdom confirmed in late March that they were looking into various complaints concerning Apple’s latest tablet. Now, according to the BBC, the Advertising Standards Authority has begun to widen its inquiry into Apple’s advertising practices regarding the new iPad. Earlier complaints were resolved after discussions with the Cupertino-based company, however the agency is now looking into further concerns raised by consumers. Regulators are reportedly not satisfied with Apple’s complied agreement to amend claims about the latest iPad’s 4G capabilities, because when 4G coverage becomes more widely available in the U.K., the iPad will still be incompatible. The ASA told BBC that when it approached the iPad maker, the company said it had removed references to 4G from its web page and had edited a video that contained references to 4G. Apple’s U.K. website still offers consumers the chance to buy a “Wi-Fi + 4G” iPad, however, and it only offers a small footnote explaining that “4G LTE” is supported only on certain networks in the United States and Canada. More →
Verizon Wireless on Monday announced a new prepaid plan that offers unlimited talk, text, and 1GB of data for $80. The monthly plan is only being offered on the 3G Samsung Illusion, which can be had for $169.99 and will be available at Best Buy, Target, RadioShack and Walmart. Verizon also announced three different prepaid plans for its Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot. The nation’s largest carrier is offering 250MB of data for usage for a week for $15, 3GB of data per month for $60, and 10GB a month for $90. The Verizon Jetpack 4510L will be available for $129.99. Verizon’s press release follows below.
Sprint, the nation’s third largest wireless carrier, is the only major wireless provider that continues to offer unlimited smartphone data plans. When its network finally landed Apple’s iPhone, many people feared unlimited data would be heading out the door. Sprint continued to offer the plans, however, and will continue to do so even after its 4G LTE network goes live later this year and once it launches Apple’s next-generation iPhone. “I’m not anticipating the unlimited plan would change by that point,” Sprint CEO Dan Hesse told CNET. “That’s our distinctive differentiator.” The CEO believes the decision to stick with unlimited data for the iPhone has proved helpful in the company’s mission to appeal to new customers. “Frankly, it’s a marriage made in heaven,” he said about the combination of unlimited and the iPhone. “We’re clearly attracting customers from our competitors.” Hesse stressed, however, that he didn’t know when Apple would release the next iPhone, or whether it would even have LTE. “Our expectation is that we will all get the same device at the same time,” he said. More →
Following AT&T’s failed attempt to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion, AT&T had to pay a lofty break-up fee as per the terms of its agreement. AT&T’s related expenses totaled $4 billion, and included in that sum was the transfer of AWS spectrum licenses to T-Mobile in 128 different markets. On Wednesday, T-Mobile announced that the Federal Communications Commission has approved the transfer. “We applaud the FCC for acting swiftly to approve the transfer of these spectrum licenses,” T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said in a statement. The nation’s No.4 carrier will use its newly acquired spectrum to help build out its next-generation 4G LTE network, which it hopes to launch next year.
The HTC DROID Incredible 4G LTE has been outed on Verizon’s “Droid Does” website. The new Incredible is equipped with a 4-inch qHD Super LCD display, a dual-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, a microSD slot and an 8-megapixel rear camera — possibly the same one found on HTC’s One-series smartphones. The handset also runs HTC’s latest Sense 4.0 skin atop Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. In line with Verizon’s other 4G LTE smartphones, the latest Incredible will seemingly be offered for $299.99 alongside a new two-year agreement. The DROID Incredible 4G LTE has since been removed from Verizon’s site and there is no word from Verizon regarding a release date. More →
Sprint’s highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Nexus is no longer available for pre-order after initial stock sold out this week. Pre-order availability began just this past Monday, and Sprint’s pre-sales launch inventory was depleted by Thursday evening. It is difficult to gauge demand since the number of Galaxy Nexus handsets Sprint had allocated for pre-sales is unknown, but a source told BGR that “pre-sales supply was healthy” ahead of the device’s launch on April 22nd. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus features a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED display with 720p resolution, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, a 5-megapixel rear camera, 32GB of internal storage, NFC and 4G LTE connectivity, though Sprint’s LTE network has not yet launched. The Galaxy Nexus is not compatible with Sprint’s current 4G WiMAX network.
4G LTE devices are apparently so hot this year, Sprint is selling LTE phones without a network to support them. Sales of 4G-equipped smartphones, tablets, portable hotspots and other devices are set to explode in 2012 as carriers continue to expand 4G coverage and roll out new networks. In a recent report, market research firm ABI Research said that 4G device sales will balloon nearly 300% to 87 million units in 2012. ABI notes that higher prices are still a barrier to 4G devices in some regions, however, and consumer confusion is an issue as well. “As evidenced by the Australian iPad 3 promotion fiasco, when iPad 3s were being promoted as being ‘LTE-ready,’ even though the modem is unable to access the Australian LTE spectrum band, the number of LTE spectrum bands will hamper initial pricing and product roll-out,” ABI analyst Philip Solis said. “Nevertheless, in addition to 61 million 4G handsets being shipped in 2012, we estimate 26 million 4G non-handset products will be shipped. In the short-term, most of that will reflect customers purchasing USB dongles for legacy laptops and netbooks, followed by customer premise equipment, or home modem, purchases.” ABI’s press release follows below. More →
Verizon Wireless is planning to conduct an open sale of all of its 700 MHz A and B spectrum licenses in an effort to rationalize its spectrum holdings. The carrier obtained the 700 MHz A and B licenses — as well as a nationwide 700 MHz upper C license, which is currently used for its 4G LTE service — in an auction through the Federal Communication Commission. Verizon is in the midst of acquiring additional Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum licenses that it plans to use in conjunction with its 700 MHz upper C spectrum to deploy additional LTE markets, and this proposed 700MHz A and B sale will only be conducted if Verizon’s AWS acquisition is successful. The spectrum licenses cover dozens of major markets such as New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Verizon’s press release follows below.
Verizon Wireless on Tuesday announced plans to bring its 4G LTE network to 27 new markets on Thursday and expand its service in 47 existing markets. The additional markets bring Verizon’s total coverage to 230 4G LTE markets across the United States, covering nearly two-thirds on the nation’s population. By the end of 2012, the carrier plans to have its LTE service available in more than 400 markets covering more than 260 million Americans. “Verizon Wireless 4G LTE is the premier wireless data service in the nation, with more than six times the geographic coverage of our nearest competitor’s 4G LTE network and now available to more than two-thirds of the nation’s population,” said David Small, chief technical officer of Verizon Wireless. “We will continue to introduce new markets and expand covered markets to ensure even more wireless users across the United States can take advantage of the benefits that 4G LTE brings to consumers, small businesses and enterprises.” Read on for Verizon’s press release. More →
The four major carriers in the United States — Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile — all advertise some form of 4G technology, whether it is LTE, WiMAX or HSPA+, and each company claims to have either the most reliable, biggest, fastest or best network. PCWorld put the carriers claims to test in its “2012 Mobile Speed Test” and found that AT&T’s 4G LTE service featured the fastest download speeds while Verizon’s 4G LTE network provided the fastest upload speeds. T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 21 network was the fastest 3G service and the carrier’s HSPA+ 42 service held its own with both AT&T’s and Verizon’s 4G networks, making T-Mobile a good choice for many wireless users who are looking for affordable plans. Sprint’s 3G service and WiMAX technology lagged behind the competition according to the report. The “real-world speed tests” were conducted in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle and Washington DC. PCWorld’s press release follows below. More →
Sprint on Monday announced the availability of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The Android 4.0 handset can be pre-ordered today and will be available beginning Sunday, April 22nd for $199.99 with a new two-year agreement. “Galaxy Nexus is a beautifully designed smartphone that combines the Pure Google experience with the speed of Sprint’s upcoming 4G LTE network,” said Fared Adib, Sprint’s vice president of product development. “It represents the cutting-edge features and applications that customers expect and pairs perfectly with Sprint’s unlimited data plans to let our customers enjoy their wireless experience without worrying about overage charges or throttling.” As an extra bonus, Sprint is offering customers who register a Google Wallet account within a week of activating their devices a $10 instant credit, along with an additional $40 of credit to be delivered within three weeks. Customers who pre-order the Galaxy Nexus will begin receiving the device as early as Friday, April 20th. Read on for Sprint’s press release. More →