T-Mobile announced new “Value” plans for customers who sign up for service and pay the full price of a new phone or bring their own device. Beginning on July 24th, customers will have the option of paying for a new device at an unsubsidized cost upfront or in monthly installments. T-Mobile’s cheapest Value plan is a $39 monthly option that provides 500 minutes and unlimited texting, but the carrier will also offer 2GB, 5GB, and 10GB data packages. Family lines will start at $49.99 per line, and customers will have the option of signing up for “value” mobile broadband plans, too. The new plans will be particularly attractive to customers who take hand-me-down phones from friends, but there’s a small catch. It’s typically attractive to buy a phone at full price to avoid being locked into a two-year agreement. If you sign up for a Value plan, however, you’ll still be locked into a contract. T-Mobile’s current “Even More” plans will be rebranded “Classic” when the Value options make their debut. Read on for the full press release from T-Mobile. More →
Adding once again to its line of ultra-high end luxury feature phones, Mobiado announced Tuesday the addition of the Classic 712 Mokume Gane to its Classic portfolio. Mokume Gane translates from Japanese as “wood grain metal,” and the 712MG is true to its name. The case materials undergo a unique forging process that involves hand-twisting different metals together to create the unique mokume gane look. Beneath its copper, nickel silver, brass and sapphire crystal exterior lie quad-band GSM and tri-band WCDMA radios, a 2.2-inch QVGA display panel, a 5-megapixel camera and integrated GPS. In addition to the Classic 712MG, a special Classic 712MG Angular Momentum Edition is also available along with a matching watch built by Swiss watch maker Angular Momentum. The Mobiado Classic 712 Mokume Gane is available immediately for $4,180 and the Classic 712MG Angular Momentum Edition is already available as well for $8,800. Hit the break for the full press release and additional images. More →
Following up on the 105 Damascus the company launched last month, Mobiado announced Tuesday that a new ultra-high end model has been added to its portfolio. The Classic 712 Stealth was inspired by stealth military aircraft and is built out of glass bead-blasted “aircraft aluminum” and sapphire crystal. The case is then anodize coated and adorned with hand painted sapphire crystal buttons. In terms of specs, the 712 Stealth features quad-band GSM and triple-band WCDMA (2100/1900/900), a 2.2-inch QVGA display, a 5-megapixel camera with video capture and a flash, integrated GPS and Nokia’s S40 platform. The Mobiado Classic 712 Stealth is available immediately for $2,970. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
In addition to an update to iTunes, Apple also announced a refresh of its iPod lineup at its annual fall event. First up is the iPod touch which saw a price drop, capacity increase and a hardware upgrade. The iPod touch is available in the traditional 8GB capacity for $199, 32Gb for $299 and 64Gb for $399. The 32Gb and 64Gb models are 50% faster than the current iPod touch and features OpenGL ES 2.0 support, presumably sharing the same underlying architecture as the iPhone 3GS. The iPod Classic has been bumped to boost to 160GB with a steady-state price at $250. The Shuffle got a brand new paint job and a price drop with a 2GB Shuffle available in a smorgasbord of new colors for $59, and a 4GB special edition model available for $99. The biggest changes to the lineup occurred in the Nano which to the surprise of no one has received, insert drum roll here, a video camera. Now we know where all of those rumored camera modules went. The new iPod Nano features a larger 2.2 inch screen, polished anodized aluminum case, video camera, microphone, speaker, YouTube integration, CoverFlow, VoiceOver, Genius mixes, Voice recorder, a pedometer and FM radio. The iPod Nano is also available in multiple colors with the 8GB model priced at $149 and the 16GB at $179. All models are now live and available on Apple’s website.
Read (iPod Touch) Read (iPod Nano) Read (iPod Shuffle) Read (iPod Classic)
Now before we get into these screen caps our disclaimer must be made explicitly clear: This is superduperultramegaturbo rumor/skeptical status. Right then. A German blogger claims to have dug up a hand full of iTunes 9 screenshots while sifting through a Chinese Apple forum. Yeah, we know — did you not read our disclaimer? For those of you who are late to the party, we exclusively scooped a handful of features said to be coming to the next version of iTunes and then followed up this morning with some tasty new info. Should these screenshots be authentic, they definitely firm up several of the items we listed including Last.fm integration and some kind of integration with Facebook and Twitter as shown in the first screenshot below (social playlists?). Hit the jump for the rest of the shots and a bigger version of the image above.
Nokia and Vodafone today announced the exclusive launch of the new Nokia 6730 classic. This mid-level S60 3rd edition handset features quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, dual-band UMTS/HSPA, 2.2-inch QVGA display, 3.2 megapixel auto-focus camera, GPS/aGPS, FM radio, Bluetooth 2.0, 48MB of internal memory and microSD expansion. Vodafone will be the exclusive carrier and will start offering the 6730 classic across all markets in June. Pricing is yet to be determined but we highly doubt this handset will break anybody’s piggy bank — this little guy is destined to be a freebie on most contracts.
As college students across the country try to recover from the 2008/2009 school year, Apple has just kicked off its back to school promotion for the coming year. The deal is nothing new — buy a Mac, get an iPod for free — but it’s pretty sweet nonetheless. Here’s how it boils down: College students and college/K-12 faculty who purchase a qualifying Mac (excludes refurbished computers and Mac minis) will receive:
- $229 rebate on an iPod touch
- $229 rebate on an iPod classic
- $199 rebate on an iPod nano 16GB
- $149 rebate on an iPod nano 8GB
- $79 rebate on an iPod shuffle
As far as snagging a Mac on a college student’s budget, the white MacBook is still your best bet of course. Coincidentally, the little MacBook that could is the recipient of a nice little spec upgrade as of this morning. Notables include a 2.13GHz processor instead of 2.0GHz, a 160GB HDD instead of 120GB and 2GB of 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM instead of 667MHz RAM. Pricing is still the same — can’t hate that.
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Nokia has just announced its newest handset to support one of our favorite still-emerging technologies, Near Field Communications (NFC). Dubbed the 6216 classic, Nokia’s third NFC-enabled phone does throw a bit of a curveball in that it is Nokia’s first to allow operators to build NFC services into the SIM card. NFC technology allows devices to transfer data between each other merely by tapping them together. Image files, video files, contacts, music and more can all be delivered wirelessly using NFC technology but the key functionality being eyed by the industry is NFC-facilitated secure payments. The 6216 classic is certainly a step forward in this realm, as Nokia’s head of near field communications Jeremy Belostock tells us:
The Nokia 6216 classic will be amongst the first commercial devices in the market complying with operator requirements using the SIM card in connection to secure transactions with Near Field Communications. With the Nokia 6216 classic in your pocket and the ticketing applications on the SIM you can replace the multitude of cards in your wallet. Having the applications on the SIM consumers can bring their secure applications to their next Nokia NFC enabled phone.
Beyond NFC, you’re looking at a pretty basic S40 handset: Quad-band GSM, dual-band 3G (850/2100 MHz), 2-inch QVGA display, 2 megapixel camera, microSDHC support, Bluetooth and 22MB of user-accessible memory pretty much say it all. The 6216 classic is slated to begin shipping in the third quarter and will retail for €150 ($196) before subsidies but don’t expect to see it stateside any time soon.
It goes without saying that amongst the earliest of early adopters to the Palm Pre will be Palm loyalists whose migration from PalmOS to WebOS will surely leave them missing some of the apps that they have grown to love and live by for the past 13 years. To help make the transition easier and allow the fanatics live in the past, MotionApp has obtained special rights to code the only Palm approved PalmOS simulator for WebOS entitled Classic. While it will not be able to access the heart of WebOS, Classic be able to run over 30,000 PalmOS applications at speeds nearly twice as fast as they would run on a Treo 700p meaning that the odds are the crème de la crème of PalmOS apps won’t be left behind. At this time neither the pricing nor availability of Classic has been announced, something we’re not too surprised about given that Palm has yet to tip the world off as to the pricing structure of App Catalog or a release date for the Pre itself.
Mr. Jobs has just left the stage down in San Francisco, and in recognition of Apple’s big event today we thought it was appropriate to bring you a round-up of all of the relevant bits of new product news and information. Cupertino dropped a lot of tidbits on us today, so grab a cup of coffee, light up that mid-day cigarette, and get ready to dive in:
- New iPod Nano. The new device is thinner than ever before, sports a completely revamped OS with cover flow, shake-to-shuffle feature, built-in Genius playlist, and a curved glass screen. It has a built-in accelerometer, and comes in a dizzying array of colors. Expect to pay $149 for the 8GB and $199 for the 16GB. The 8GB should be available right now, with the 16GB following sometime next week
- New iPod Touch. The new Touch features a completely redesigned case, integrated Nike+iPod functionality, external volume controls and speaker, and more. Available immediately, you should expect to pay $229 for the 8GB model, $299 for the 16GB, and $399 for the 32GB. Apple is billing this one as the “Funnest iPod Ever”, and seems to be trying to position it as a mobile gaming device.
- iPhone firmware 2.1. As expected, Apple announced the new 2.1 firmware update for the iPhone. The new software promises greatly improved battery life, fewer crashes, fewer dropped calls, and faster backups. Can anyone say “Hell yeah?” We’ll see how well it delivers on these promises, with an expected delivery this Friday.
- iPod Classic 120 GB. Nothing much to say about this one, except that it has replaced both the 80GB and 160GB models. Expect to pay $249 for this baby, available immediately.
- iTunes 8. The command center behind all of this, Apple introduced the new version of their omnipresent media software. iTunes 8 delivers a news Genius playlist function, new Hi-Def TV show support, the return of NBC shows to the TV Store, and more. The software is expected to launch today, though as of this writing it had yet to appear on Apple’s site.
- Minor bits: iPod Shuffle now comes in 4 new colors, Apple is now offering in-ear headphones with an in-line volume control and improved speakers for $79.
Excited? Disappointed? Indifferent? Sound off!