Verizon Wireless on Friday announced that it is canceling plans to charge a $2 convenience fee to customers making one-time bill payments online or over the phone. The carrier announced earlier this week that the new fee would allow it to continue providing subscribers with the option to make one-time payments using its web-based and telephone payment systems. Following a rash of negative press and customer complaints, Verizon confirmed that it will scrap plans to introduce the new fee next month. “At Verizon, we take great care to listen to our customers, Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead said in a statement. “Based on their input, we believe the best path forward is to encourage customers to take advantage of the best and most efficient options, eliminating the need to institute the fee at this time.” The carrier’s full press release follows below. More →
There have been reports of BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 devices failing to power on after being left to charge all night. Late Friday evening, RIM confirmed the issue by saying a “limited number of customers have reported an issue where their device does not power on.” A RIM spokesperson said the company is “actively working on a software update to resolve this issue.” There’s no word on how many devices are failing, but there seems to be quite a few of them as the company’s support board is filling up with complaints.
According to WPCentral, Dell will not launch any new Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) smartphones. Dell was planning to release a device called “Wrigley” according to earlier reports, which was supposed to be quite similar to the Venue Pro. WPCentral said it has confirmed with “a higher up” within the company that the Wrigley is no longer in the pipeline. The report goes on to state that Dell is considering new devices for the next version of Windows Phone, ode-named Apollo, but no decisions have been made. “We have not made any announcements confirming that Mango or Windows Phone devices are no longer in the pipeline,” a Dell spokesperson told BGR when asked to comment on the claims. “Dell is committed to providing the best mobility solutions, regardless of the operating system, to our global customers.” More →
RIM on Monday confirmed that it has issued a recall for approximately 1,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets. “RIM determined that approximately one thousand BlackBerry PlayBook tablets (16 GB) were shipped with an OS build that may result in the devices being unable to properly load software upon initial set-up,” the company said in a statement. “The majority of the affected devices are still in the distribution channel and haven’t reached customers. RIM is working to replace the affected devices. In the small number of cases where a customer received a PlayBook that is unable to properly load software upon initial set-up, they can contact RIM for assistance.” Shortly after the PlayBook was released, a BGR reader contacted us to report problems with his PlayBook. The device, which was purchased on launch day, would not boot. Instead, it would just flicker and flash randomly while the power button was depressed and then power down when the button was released. It is unclear if this is the same issue that resulted in RIM’s PlayBook recall, but RIM’s description of the devices’ inability to boot on initial setup matched our reader’s description last month. Hit the break for a video of the BGR reader’s PlayBook. More →
What do we have here? It looks like our friend, the HTC EVO View 4G, is being marketed with Google’s tablet-specific, Honeycomb (Android 3.0) operating system on Sprint’s official web site. Prior to this discovery, or snafu, the 7-inch tablet was expected to ship with Gingerbread — HTC’s site still lists the device as having “Android 2.3 with HTC Sense for tablet.” While the inclusion of Honeycomb would be great, we’re not sure how much sense (pun intended) it makes. HTC has gone to great lengths to customize the View 4G to take advantage of its Scribe pen technology, and — judging by how much was left to do on the EVO View’s Android 2.3 bundle when we saw it at MWC and CTIA — we’re not sure the Taiwanese company would have had enough time for a 3.0 Sense port. We’ve reached out to Sprint for clarification and will update this post with any relevant information provided.
UPDATE: Sprint has issued BGR the following statement via email: “HTC EVO View 4G is in development with Gingerbread. Our plan is to offer Honeycomb. If we receive the software in time, we hope to launch with Honeycomb. If not, we will launch with Gingerbread and upgrade to Honeycomb as soon as we can.” More →
According to a report filed by CNET, social networking giant Facebook is “planning to launch a third-party commenting system in a matter of weeks.” The article cites “multiple sources familiar with the matter” and offers the recent hiring of both Nick Grudin and Andy Mitchell as additional evidence. While Facebook is already heavily integrated into the commenting systems of most major blogs, via Facebook Connect, it is not directly responsible for most commenting systems. “[The] Facebook commenting product may also permit users to log in with Google, Yahoo, or Twitter IDs if a publisher chooses to incorporate them,” writes a CNET source. The move does, in our opinion, make sense for the social networking site. Aside from padding its user base with those who sign-up just to comment, it would also allow it to build a more in-depth profile of its users by tracking what they are reading and inclined to comment on while online. What do you think of a Facebook driven commenting system? Yay or nay? More →
In an interview published Friday, Dell CFO Brian Gladden stated that the company would be ditching its cache of approximately 25,000 BlackBerry handsets and replacing them with Dell smartphones. The news comes ahead of Dell’s Venue Pro launch, which is scheduled to take place later this month in the U.S. Following Gladden’s comments that Dell would likely save 25% on communication costs by dumping BlackBerry smartphones and servers, RIM has issued a response. “We find it highly unlikely that they will actually save any money with this move and far more likely they were looking for a little free publicity,” RIM’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing Mark Guibert told Dow Jones Newswires in an email. The company’s response is short and to the point, though it doesn’t really address the fact that BlackBerry devices often require more expensive data plans than other smartphones. Businesses that use BlackBerry handsets also incur additional costs associated with BlackBerry Enterprise Servers. More →