Sprint, which owns the majority stake of Clearwire, has agreed to pay the company at least $1 billion through 2012 for fees associated with the use of its 4G WiMAX network. Sprint and Clearwire entered arbitration late last year after Sprint argued that it shouldn’t have to pay a fee for 4G handsets that exist where Clearwire’s 4G WiMAX network isn’t available. Sprint charges its customers an extra $10 monthly for the option to run on 4G networks and Clearwire charges an estimated $4.46 per 4G-handset owner. According to the Associated Press, Sprint will pay Clearwire $300 million this year and $550 million in 2012. Sprint will also reportedly pay an additional $175 million in a prepaid agreement to use the 4G WiMAX network this year and in the future. Sprint’s CEO, Dan Hesse, told the AP that his company is pleased to have reached a settlement. More →
Sprint on Monday confirmed that two of its popular Android devices, the Samsung Epic 4G and the Samsung Galaxy Tab, will receive software updates this week. BGR reported on Friday that the Epic 4G and Galaxy Tab would receive OTA software updates beginning on the 21st. Our report also stated that the Samsung Transform would receive an update starting today, though the device was not mentioned in Sprint’s announcement. The Epic 4G, Sprint’s version of the popular Samsung Galaxy S line, will finally be updated to Froyo while the Galaxy Tab Android tablet will get a minor update. Included in both updates is support for Sprint’s Sprint ID services. Customers will be notified of the updates on their devices beginning today, and the new software will be delivered over the air. Hit the break for Sprint’s full press release.
Several Samsung devices offered by Sprint — including the Epic 4G — are set to get software updates this coming Monday, March 21st, according to a tipster. Sound familiar? That’s because Sprint began pushing out the Epic’s update to Froyo last month on February 21st. Unfortunately, things didn’t go very well and Sprint was forced to pull the update a few days later. Needless to say, users were not pleased and they’ve been letting Sprint and Samsung know about it ever since. Exactly one month later, Sprint is finally ready to give it another shot. This time around, Epic owners can expect a new build (Android 2.2.1, build EC05) to be delivered to their smartphones as an OTA update. Users will be notified of the update over the four-day period beginning March 21st, and the update should take 20 minutes or less to download and 8-10 minutes to install. Samsung Galaxy Tab and Samsung Transform owners on Sprint can expect to be notified of OTA updates on the 21st as well; the Transform will finally be getting Froyo and the Tab will get a minor housekeeping update along with Sprint ID support. Hit the break for all the juicy details including change logs.
A new source contacted BGR on Thursday with details surrounding much awaited Android 2.2 (Froyo) updates for the Samsung Epic 4G and the Sanyo Zio from Sprint. In line with previous rumors, the Samsung Epic 4G will apparently be updated to Froyo starting on February 21st — though our source claims the build number will be EB13, a later build than the EA17 update referenced in earlier rumors. The update will be delivered over the air (OTA), and will be rolled out across the country over the course of four days. Listed changes include improved Bluetooth device support, Bluetooth voice dialing, Flash Player 10.1, GPS enhancements, improved OS performance and ability to install applications to external storage. Hit the break for details on the Zio. More →
Among the top carriers in the U.S., AT&T is the worst by a healthy margin. The news comes from this year’s Consumer Reports reader survey, which ranks Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile along with some regional carriers. Verizon Wireless was ranked as the nation’s top major carrier, though its score of 74 positions it in the No. 2 spot overall behind U.S. Cellular. Readers were asked to grade each carrier on several criteria including value, voice service quality, data service quality and customer support. The ratings were on a scale of “Worse” to “Better,” with three increments in between. AT&T received the lowest possible rating of “Worse” in eight out of nine categories, managing too eke out a next-to-lowest rating for SMS service quality. In response to the survey, AT&T had this to say:
We take this seriously and we continually look for new ways to improve the customer experience. The fact is wireless customers have choices and a record number of them chose AT&T in the third quarter, significantly more than our competitors. Hard data from independent drive tests confirms AT&T has the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network with our nearest competitor 20 percent slower on average nationwide and our largest competitor 60 percent slower on average nationwide. And, our dropped call rate is within 1/10 of a percent – the equivalent of just one call in a thousand – of the industry leader.
Smartphones were also ranked in the same issue of Consumer Reports, and all but one of the top devices in the country are powered by Android. In fact each of the four variants of Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphone received top honors, either solely (Sprint’s Epic 4G, T-Mobile’s Vibrant) or as part of a tie — the Fascinate tied the Motorola DROID X for the No. 1 spot on Verizon Wireless, and Captivate tied the Apple iPhone 4 on AT&T.
If you are up bright and early, trying to score yourself a Samsung Epic 4G, your friends here at BGR want to wish you good luck. We’ve already posted some initial impressions, a full review, and a way for new customers to save $50 on Sprint’s latest 4G handset… now we want to hear from you. Share your Epic 4G war stories in the comments, let us know what you think of the device, and how the buying experience was. Good luck.
Today, via a press release, Samsung announced that they have
sold shipped one million Galaxy S phones in just over 45 days. Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile, had this to say: “Bringing Galaxy S devices to multiple carriers has given Samsung Mobile the opportunity to reach millions of consumers. I am proud of the instant success of the Galaxy S line […].” The release also gives a tiny shout-out to those waiting for Android 2.2 on their Gally S device, “all Samsung Galaxy S devices will be upgradable to Android 2.2 in the future.” The future? It doesn’t get more vague than that. One million handsets in 45 days sure is an impressive showing for Sammy. We’ve got the full press release after the break. More →
If you’re thinking about picking up an Epic 4G from Sprint on the 31st, and want to know exactly what you’re getting into, Samsung has got you covered. The company was kind enough to post the user guide for the unreleased handset on its website late yesterday. There aren’t really any surprises in the document, but it does go over — ad nauseum — how the devices software will behave. The read link takes you right to the 264 page PDF if you’re interested. Enjoy!
Via a press release, Samsung is letting you know that its Galaxy S is “now DivX Certified for HD video playback at 720p resolution,” and that it is “the world’s first Android mobile phone that is DivX Certified for HD and the second overall DivX HD Certified phone.” DivX CEO, Kevin Hell, was quoted as saying, “We’re pleased that Samsung recognizes the importance of the DivX brand in providing their consumers with a seamless, high-quality entertainment experience.” To view movies in sweet, 720p HD, “consumers can load their video libraries of both standard definition and HD 720p movies [to] the DivX format on the internal and external memory.” There you have it. Anyone out there particularly fond of the DivX format? More →
The Samsung EPIC 4G is Sprint’s second 3G/4G dual-mode Android handset. The full-QWERTY slider device is a member of Samsung’s Galaxy S line of phones, and packs the standard set of equipment expected of a high-end smartphone, 1 GHz Hummingbird processor, 4-inch Super AMOLED display, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 5 megapixel camera with 720p video recording… you know, all the good stuff.
As some of you have been kind enough to point out, we have yet to publish our full review of Sprint’s Samsung EPIC 4G. We’ll admit, we have been a little delinquent in getting around to testing the device, but we’re on the case now. We recently opened up our shiny new EPIC, and have been tinkering with it very diligently in order to put together some first impressions for you. Hit the jump and let’s get started. More →
Sprint and BGR are collaborating on a video segment with the purpose of focusing on questions from you guys, our readers! We’ll be filming this video with David Owens, Sprint’s Vice President of Consumer Marketing, next week in New York City. While we’ll have some questions of our own about 4G and upcoming handsets, we really wanted to get some great questions to include from you all. Want to know if the Samsung Epic 4G will be able to support 10 computers/devices simultaneously over a mobile hotspot? Maybe you’re wondering when the handset will be upgraded with Android 2.2? Who knows, but shoot us your questions in the comments, and we’ll pick a whole lot of them to go over in our interview, ok?
Sprint’s second 3G/4G dual-mode handset, the Samsung Epic 4G, now has its very own teaser page. For those of you closely following the genesis of the Epic handset, there isn’t much this new site will tell you. The new micro site, like all hype-sites, will afford you the privilege of volunteering your name and email address… to be notified when the device goes live of course. We’re interested to know, which Android QWERTY-slider phone interests you more? The Epic 4G or the DROID 2? Hit the bounce to vote in our poll! More →
Excited about the Sprint Epic 4G? Want to know more official specifications? Great, because the folks over at sdx-developers.com got their hands on the spec sheet for the Epic 4G. Here is what you can look forward to: Samsung 1 GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird Processor, 4-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touch-screen display with multitouch, 5 megapixel camera with 3x digital zoom, LED flash, and 720p video recording, front-facing VGA camera, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, 1 GB ROM, 512 MB RAM, Rev. A 3G, 4G, 1500 mAh battery, GPS, six-axis motion sensor, 3.5 mm headphone jack, micro-SD card slot (takes up to 32 GB cards), and Android 2.1. We’ve got the full sheet after the break for those of you want, nay, need to know more. More →