Sprint has abandoned its plans to launch a version of Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet with an embedded 4G WiMAX radio. The nation’s No. 3 wireless carrier cited a lack of demand among business customers as its reasoning for the cancellation, The Wall Street Journal reports. “It’s an interesting concept, it just hasn’t caught on with business customers as much as they would like,” said president of Sprint’s business markets group, Paget Alves. “There are so many tablets in the market, it creates confusion for the average customer.” Sprint announced in January that it would release a 4G BlackBerry PlayBook sometime this summer, and a Sprint spokesperson told The Journal that the decision to not release the 4G PlayBook will have no impact on the carrier’s relationship with RIM.
T-Mobile giveth, and T-Mobile taketh away. News coming down from T-Mobile enthusiast blog TmoNews suggests that the apple of AT&T’s eye has decided to cancel its “Even More Plus” plan, which never even got off the ground. T-Mobile intended to launch two promotional unlimited plans this week — Even More and Even More Plus — but the Plus plan was apparently cancelled with no explanation. T-Mobile has informed retail locations that they should not offer the plan to customers even if it has already appeared in their systems. Both the $79.99 Even More and the $59.99 Even More Plus plans offered unlimited voice calling, unlimited messaging and unlimited data — with a 2GB soft cap and throttling thereafter — but Even More was for postpaid subscribers while Even More Plus could be had by month-to-month customers. Alas, T-Mobile subscribers will now need a contract in order to get Even More. More →
New Yorkers and commuters in the surrounding region troubled by the possibility of an even more chaotic Grand Central experience got some good news, as The Observer reports Apple’s Grand Central Terminal store is a no-go. According to a source close to the M.T.A., Apple was indeed in talks to open a 16,000 square-foot Apple Store location on the balconies of the main terminal in Grand Central, but the negotiations fell through. The report doesn’t detail exactly what happened to sour the deal, but it looks like Apple is back on the prowl as it searches for a new home for a monstrous new retail shop in New York City. More →
According to a report filed by Reuters, Finnish phone giant Nokia has ended the development of its first MeeGo smartphone; the article cites “two sources close to the company” as the origin of this information. Nokia’s first MeeGo handset has long been rumored to be the full-QWERTY N9 (pictured above). Industry analysts tapped by Reuters feel that the phone maker could still showoff another, unknown, unfinished MeeGo device at next week’s Mobile World Congress, but such an assertion is pure speculation.
Nokia has an event planned for this Friday, and rumors have been flying about the company potentially adopting the Windows Phone 7 operating system; Nokia’s new CEO, Stephen Elop, is a former Microsoft executive.
We’ll know more on Friday, but until then… hang on. It’s going to be a bumpy ride for Nokia. More →
If you’re the owner of a Motorola CLIQ XT from T-Mobile, you’re not going to like this news. Via its user forums, Motorola has announced that plans to update the device to Android 2.1 have been cancelled; leaving the handset and its users stuck on Android 1.5. As the post reads: “After comprehensive testing of the Android 2.1 upgrade for the CLIQ XT, we have concluded that this device will remain on Android 1.5. We realize many of you were anxiously awaiting this upgrade, but we aim to deliver software upgrades only when it will provide a better customer experience.” Ouch. That stings. It seems like you have to have a crystal ball when you buy an Android smartphone these days… will it get upgraded, or will it be allowed to wither on the vine? Hit the read link to see the grim news for yourself. More →
Adding on to last night’s Apple announcement that the company would further delay the release of the white iPhone 4, we have received new information that paints a different story. According to a previous source of ours, we have been told that Apple in fact has no plans to release the white model iPhone 4. Our source hypothesizes another “delay” communicated around March leading us into an iPhone 5 release time-frame in June / July. Something interesting is that manufacturing sources our contact has are keeping quiet on the matter, not confirming that this was in fact a manufacturing issue at this point, but that there might be something else going on behind the scenes.
Oh well. We’ll always have CNN.cn.
A California appeals court has ruled that Verizon Wireless is to pay some 175,000 customers current and former customers $21 million as a settlement in a class action lawsuit over early termination fees. The class action suit was filed in California on the behalf of customers who were upset that Verizon asked they pay a flat ETF of $175 regardless of how many months were left on their contract. Each customer is expected to receive $87.50 as a result of the ruling. Too bad history is bound to repeat itself now that Verizon’s ETF for “advanced devices” (i.e. smartphones) is set at $350. More →
They say when the cell phone gods close a door, they open a window. Such is the case this morning for T-Mobile subscribers who aren’t enjoying their time with the carrier. As of today, T-Mobile is raising its overage rates to 45¢ per minute on individual plans under $59.99 and family plans under $89.99, and 40¢ per minute for plans above those price points. Since this rate increase is carrier-invoked and it constitutes a “materially adverse change of contract,” subscribers will be able to flee without the need to pay a hefty Early Termination Fee (ETF) — just as many did with Sprint earlier this year. What do you do if you want out of your contract? Get ready for battle, that’s what. As always with carriers, odds are good the some (or even most) customer service reps won’t even know about this option. When you call, be patient while the CS rep gathers info. Make sure that when you explain why you want to cancel your contract, you specifically cite these overage rate increases as your motive. If your rep starts giving you a hard time or doesn’t sound like he/she is going to put the pieces together, ask to speak to a manager or simply call back and start over with another rep. Oh, and hit the jump for a section of the T-Mobile contract that you may want to familiarize yourself with.