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.
China’s third largest carrier, China Telecom, launched the iPhone 4S on Friday. The popular smartphone starts at free on contract for the 16GB model and is available at 2,850 of the carrier’s retail locations. According to M.I.C. gadget, Apple’s smartphone received an astonishing 200,000 pre-orders, with orders in Beijing and Shanghai exceeded 10,000 and 20,000 units, respectively. China Telecom has 129 million subscribers and operates the largest CDMA network in China. The carrier is the second, behind China Unicom, to offer the iPhone China. More →
Google’s flagship device, the Galaxy Nexus, has been widely acclaimed and we had great things to say in our review of the world’s first Ice Cream Sandwich phone. The device is fast, responsive, and Android 4.0 is the most polished version of Android yet. Numerous users are reporting a bug that randomly reboots their devices, however, and the exact cause of the issue is unclear at this time. The majority of these reports come from owners of the GSM version, although Verizon’s CDMA model isn’t immune immune to the problem. The issue is widespread, with users suffering reboots while streaming music, playing games or even while the device is idle. Additionally, affected customers are reporting that the reboots seem to occur more frequently as time progresses. Google has indicated that the company aware of the problem and is investigating it. More →
Sprint announced that it will offer the Motorola ADMIRAL, the first Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) PTT handset with support for its new CDMA-based Direct Connect network, on October 23rd. The phone will cost $99.99 with a new two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate. The ADMIRAL meets Mil-Spec 810G ratings for dust, shock, vibration, solar radiation, low pressure and high and low temperatures. It is equipped with a 1.2GHz processor, a full QWERTY keyboard, a 5-megapixel camera capable of recording 720p video, support for sharing its 3G connection with other Wi-Fi devices with Mobile Hotspot, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and 4GB of internal storage. Read on for the full press release.
Sprint announced on Tuesday that it will deploy its CDMA-based push-to-talk network on October 2nd. “Our customers are asking for broadband and push-to-talk,” president-Sprint Business Paget Alves said. “We’ve seen steadily increasing demand for faster data speeds, better and broader coverage, and more applications on push-to-talk devices. Sprint Direct Connect is designed to solve for all three.” The new service supports Group Connect and TeamDC for connecting with up to 20 or 200 other Direct Connect users at the same time, the ability to check if anyone is available using an “Availability Notification,” call alerts with texts and more. Sprint expects the new network to grow to the size of its current CDMA voice coverage area by the end of 2012. The Kyocera DuraMax is one of the first devices to run on the new network. It offers a rugged form factor that meets Military Standard 810G specifications and is equipped with GPS, Bluetooth, a 3.2-megapixel camera and more. The DuraMax will be available on October 2nd for $69.99 with a new two-year contract. Read on for the full CDMA PTT press release from Sprint. More →
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 →
AT&T isn’t the only major U.S. carrier getting in on the action today. Sprint on Wednesday confirmed that it too will soon launch a pair of Research In Motion’s latest smartphones. The touch-and-type BlackBerry Bold 9930 and the full touchscreen BlackBerry Torch 9850 will both become available to Sprint subscribers later this fall. Sprint neglected to specify a launch date or pricing, but we likely won’t have long to wait until these sleek new BlackBerry 7 phones find their way to store shelves. “Sprint’s incredibly loyal BlackBerry customers will appreciate the benefits of the BlackBerry 7 user experience on these two new smartphones – BlackBerry Bold 9930 and BlackBerry Torch 9850,” said Sprint’s product boss Fared Adib in a statement. “BlackBerry 7 is an evolution that extends the ability to support our customers domestically and internationally as they juggle their busy personal and professional lives with one easy-to-use device. We are excited to continue our strong relationship with RIM through these new powerful devices.” Sprint’s full press release follows below. More →
Sprint may be preparing to launch a beefier version of its QWERTY-sporting XPRT smartphone. Thisismynext has obtained screenshots and specs for a new phone dubbed the Motorola ‘Pax’ that could be launching in the near future. The Pax will come equipped with a dual-core processor, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and support for Sprint’s upcoming CDMA 1X Advanced push-to-talk network, Thisismynext said. The thickness also suggests that it’s equipped with an extended battery, although that’s unconfirmed. It is unclear when Sprint will launch the Pax, but we expect it will be alongside the activation of its CDMA 1X network. Read on for two more shots of the phone. More →
Qualcomm said it expects to ship between 120 million and 125 million chips during the quarter ending in September, a figure that is lower than the 130 million units MLM Partners LLC analyst Tero Kuittinen expected the company to move. The lower projection hit Qualcomm in late trading on Tuesday when its stock price fell 3.8%. Qualcomm blamed the lower than expected forecast on a weak European economy and said that consumers there aren’t buying new phones as quickly. “Chip units for autumn are light,” Qualcomm chief financial officer Bill Keitel said during a conference call. “The blame likely lies in Europe. European inventory correction now seems to be a fact instead of a theory. We reduced a bit our forecast for how many new CDMA-based units would sell into Europe. The situation demands that we still be cautious.” The company also noted that it hopes to begin working with manufacturers to build its Snapdragon processor into tablets. That chip is mostly used in smartphones now and manufacturers such as Samsung and Motorola have instead used NVIDIA’s dual-core Tegra 2 chip to power Android tablets. More →
If you’re looking forward to the possibility of flip-flopping your smartphone’s SIM card between a Verizon Wireless 4G phone and an AT&T 4G phone, we have some bad news for you. Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Brenda Raney confirmed to PCMag on Friday that the carrier’s 4G LTE phones will not be compatible with AT&T’s 4G LTE network because the phones “run on different frequencies.” PCMag explained that while the two carriers operate within the 700MHz frequency band, AT&T will operate mostly within the 704-746MHz bands while Verizon’s 4G LTE will utilize the 746-787MHz frequencies. Additionally, Verizon still routes its voice calls over its 2G/3G CDMA network while AT&T uses GSM/HSPA. That means, until both networks are fully utilizing voice-over-LTE, it just won’t work. Sascha Segan, the article’s author, notes that it is possible for phone vendors to create devices that operate with the frequencies used by both AT&T and Verizon Wireless, but it would likely require the carriers to ink out some sort of agreement first. More →
China Telecom will offer the iPhone to its 106 million subscribers this year, Reuters reported on Wednesday. China Unicom has been the exclusive iPhone seller in the country since 2009, but China Telecom will introduce an iPhone model on its CDMA network in November according to the report. The launch date implies that the carrier will carry Apple’s next-generation iPhone 5, which is rumored to be thinner and lighter than the current model. China Mobile, the third of China’s big three wireless carriers, is also expected to introduce the iPhone 5 in September. 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 →
On Wednesday, Citadel Securities analyst Shing Yin said that an iPhone launch on Sprint is ever more likely since Verizon Wireless’ announcement that it will move from unlimited data plans to tiered data pricing on July 7th. According to Barron’s, Yin believes that Apple will be more compelled than ever to launch a device on Sprint, given that it’s the last remaining of the big four U.S. wireless carriers to offer a truly unlimited data option. “We believe Sprint could capture more than its fair share of iPhone sales, especially if it gets the new model at the same time as AT&T and Verizon.” Yin explained. “We see little reason for Apple to hold back,” he argued, noting that Sprint most likely would attempt to launch the device before the holiday season this year. “[Sprint] could offer an attractive proposition for more price-conscious users (a demographic we think is increasingly important to Apple following the rise of Android,” he said. “[It] could be a relatively stronger seller than the Verizon iPhone.” More →