AT&T’s lineup of affordable smartphones expanded on Friday with the unveiling of the ZTE Maven. This $59.99 device comes equipped with 4G LTE wireless service, Android 5.1 and, best of all, doesn’t require an annual commitment. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a cheaper phone with better specs from any of the major service providers. More →
Cricket Communicationsannounced on Thursday that it will sell Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5 on September 28th, exactly one week after it first launches on September 21st. The wireless company best known for its off-contract plans didn’t immediately disclose which iPhone 5 models would be available with its prepaid plans, nor did it discuss pricing. One thing is for sure: Cricket’s iPhone 5 won’t come at on-contract prices of $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB) and $399 (64GB). For reference, Cricket sells the 8GB iPhone 4 for $399.99 and the iPhone 4S for $499.99. Prepaid users can likely expect pricing along those lines or higher.
Cricket will start to test the first installment of its 4G LTE network in Tucson, Arizona, the carrier confirmed in a recent interview with PCMag. Cricket’s vice president of device development, Matt Stoiber, said testing will begin during the second half of this year and that it will use Huawei’s E397 dual-mode USB modem preliminarily. The company has inked a roaming deal with LightSquared and has set a March 2012 target date for the first commercial LTE products to become available for its customers. USB modems will populate Cricket shelves first, followed by 4G LTE phones once the tech has evolved enough to make them cheaper and slimmer with good battery life. PCMag also suggested that Cricket’s next markets could include Las Vegas, Philadelphia, and Phoenix.
Value-driven wireless provider Cricket has announced a new, unlimited mobile calling plan that has a bit of a musical twist. The new plan will offer unlimited calling, text messaging, and data, and include unlimited music downloads. Customers, using the company’s Muve Music service, will be able to download full music tracks from labels such as Universal, Warner, Sony, and EMI; users will also have unlimited access to ringtones and ringback tones.
“Cricket was the first to introduce an unlimited wireless rate plan and now we are the first to introduce a new unlimited wireless rate plan that includes unlimited music. With Muve Music, Cricket is bringing together the best of wireless and music in a way no one has ever done before,” said Doug Hutcheson, the company’s president and CEO.
The Samsung Suede will launch as the first Muve device and the accompanying Muve unlimited plan will retail for a paltry $55 per month. Cricket plans to debut both the device and the music service at the Consumer Electronics Show this January in Las Vegas. More →
It looks like the FCC has just released the approval documents for the next iteration of the BlackBerry Curve, the 9300. Packing a CDMA radio, the 9300 looks to be the heir apparent to the Curve 2 (8530) that resides on a plethora of CDMA carriers here in the States. From the FCC filing we can see that the new Curve will have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and the AWS 3G band used by some smaller carriers (Cricket, MetroPCS, etc.). The newish device looks to be the next incremental step in the 8300/8500 line, although…what we really want to see is a BlackBerry OS 6 device! More →
There’s nothing like starting a carrier flame-war to get you through the rest of the week is there? PC Mag has just finished a mobile broadband study pitting the data rates of U.S. carriers AT&T, Cricket, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Sprint 3G and Sprint 4G against one another. Now, before we all get hot under the collar, the study parameters clearly state:
We didn’t test voice quality, dropped calls or coverage areas; while those are very important measurements, these tests were all about mobile Internet. We ran approximately 1,000 rounds of tests (totaling more than 10,000 individual tests) in 20 cities.
The PC Mag data has crowned AT&T as the overall winner; not to mention the winner of the Southern, Central, and Western regions of the United States. T-Mobile, thanks to their HSPA and HSPA+ rollouts, took the speed title in the Northeast region. We understand that a cellular phone isn’t much good without the phone component, but what do you think about the network speeds? Surprised? More →
- Kyocera/Sanyo ZIO (M6000)
- Target July 2010
- MSRP $299.99
- Android-powered touchscreen handset with 3.5 inch WVGA TFT display, Wi-Fi, 3.2 MP camera with video
- RIM BlackBerry Curve (8530)
- Target August 2010
- MSRP $349.99
- BlackBerry handset with WiFi, 2MP camera with video, QWERTY keyboard, EV-DO, A2DP
- Samsung r710
- Target Q4 2010
- MSRP $249.99
- Touchscreen feature phone with EV-DO, 3 inch 400×240 display, 3MP camera with video, full HTML browser, A2DP
- Huawei MiFi (EC5808)
- Target September 2010
- MSRP TBD
- EV-DO connectivity
Hit the jump for all the pretty pictures, prices, and phones headed to Cricket this year. It’s an impressive lineup for the small, but growing wireless carrier.
Thanks, Blitzz! More →
Starting today, Cricket customers can get their hands on the Motorola Evoke QA4, Cricket’s first full touchscreen handset. The Evoke will be a sweet addition to Cricket’s lineup and will feature:
- CDMA 800/1900/1700/2100, 1900MHz and 2100MHz EVDO Rev. A
- 2.8-inch WQVGA 240×400 touchscreen display
- 2 megapixel camera with 5x digital zoom
- 256MB Internal storage, microSD expansion
- Widget-Based, customizable home screen
- MySpace, YouTube and Picasa integration
- Full HTML browser
- Centralized & conversational style SMS and email (POP3/IMAP4)
- 108mm x 50.5mm x 17.5mm dimensions
The Evoke will retail for $299 and should go live soon on mycricket.com. It will also be available shortly in Cricket retail locations across the country. Woo! Hit the jump for the full press release.
Fresh off the bus to unlimitedsville, the Nokia 3606 has just been officially announced for Cricket. The small up and coming carrier doing battle with the likes of MetroPCS definitely has the goods when it comes to rates, with unlimited voice plans starting at $30 per month and unlimited everything plans starting at $50 per month. As is often the case with the ‘little guys’ however, Cricket is definitely lacking when it comes to handsets. We’re not sure the 3606 adds much value to the carrier’s line — sporting basic features such as a 1.3 megapixel camera with an LED flash, stereo Bluetooth, FM radio, microSDHC support and dedicated external multimedia keys — but at the very least it adds a bit of style to an otherwise hohum line up. For the time being the 3606 is the most expensive handset offered by Cricket, commanding a steep $179.99, but the price of entry is almost irrelevant when the carrier’s low-cost unlimited monthly plans are considered. As long as you live within Cricket’s coverage area and don’t move around much, the 3606 is definitely a fair option for the feature phone crowd.