Market research firm The NPD Group on Monday published the latest data surrounding sales of supersized smartphones in the U.S. Using its “Mobile Phone Track,” which tracks smartphone sales in the U.S., NPD has determined that smartphones with screens sized 4 inches and above became tremendously popular in 2010. Devices like Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G and Verizon Wireless’ Motorola DROID X, which launched in the second quarter of 2010, grew to encompass 24% of the U.S. smartphone market by the fourth quarter last year. The EVO 4G was the most popular supersized smartphone in 2010, followed by the DROID X. Samsung’s Fascinate, Captive and Vibrant rounded out the top-5 in that order, according to NPD Group. The firm’s report also notes that fourth-quarter sales of smartphones with screens between 3.5 and 3.9 inches grew just 2% compared to the same quarter in 2009, and sales of smartphones with screens sized 3.4 inches and below dropped 63% over the same period. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
Verizon Wireless on Monday announced a revamped version of its V CAST Music app for Android smartphones. The carrier’s new V CAST Music app combines all of its music-related VCAST services, allowing users to purchase full tracks, ringtones and ringback tones from a single application. Song downloads range in price from $0.69 to $1.29 per track, but Verizon will also offer reduced-cost bundles that combine multiple formats into a single download. “Verizon Wireless is taking a leap forward with V CAST Music,” said Verizon Wireless VP Greg Haller in a statement. “We’re bringing the different kinds of music people love to have on their phones together in one, easy-to-use application, making it easy for customers to get what they want at lower prices.” The new version of V CAST Music requires Android 2.1 (Eclair) or later, and users will receive on-device prompts when the new version of the app is available for download. Hit the jump for Verizon Wireless’ full press release. More →
In confirming over the weekend that Verizon Wireless would be doing away with mail-in rebates on smartphones priced at $150 and higher, we also mentioned that price drops were expected to take effect today on several devices. Sure enough, several smartphones saw price reductions this morning as Verizon Wireless’ new policy slid into place. Among them are the Motorola DROID R2-D2, which can now be had for $99.99 with a new contract, and the HTC DROID Incredible and Samsung Fascinate are now available at the same price. Of note, the Fascinate’s price drop appears to be temporary as part of Verizon’s new “10 days of sweet deals” promotion, which offers a new deal each day leading up to February 10th, when the carrier is set to launch the iPhone 4. More →
If you’re a Samsung Fascinate owner, this is, in all likelihood, not the handset update you’ve been waiting for. Verizon Wireless will begin pushing out an over-the-air update — i500.DL09 — to its iteration of the Samsung Galaxy S over the next few days. The lone “enhancement“ detailed in the update change log is: “Updated versions of preloaded applications.” Joy. A few of the improvements listed include:
- Improved stand-alone GPS performance.
- Increased security by hiding your 3G Mobile Hotspot password while typing
- Ability to open any PDF attachments sent in an email.
- Ability to use special characters in corporate email passwords.
Not the Android 2.2 update most have been longing for, but an update — especially one with GPS enhancements — is an update (we suppose). Hit the read link to get the full details on the new code. 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.
Engadget has just published information on the availability of several handsets coming to Best Buy. First, for those of you that enjoy pale phones: the Samsung Fascinate, for Verizon Wireless, and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, for AT&T, will both be available — in white — on October 24th. Also seen in the above image is the HTC Surround Windows Phone 7 handset with an availability date of November 8 and the Dell Streak with an availability date of October 24. All four handsets can be reserved today with a $50 deposit. This did get us thinking… do you prefer mobile devices in white? Hit the jump to vote in our poll. More →
If you bought a Samsung Fascinate from Verizon Wireless, you might have been feeling a certain way at the fact that the default search engine on the device is Bing and not Google. In addition to Bing being the default, Google Search isn’t even a selectable option. It is well known that Verizon and Microsoft have entered into a multi-device agreement to promote Bing, appearing as the exclusive option on Verizon’s BlackBerry handsets for instance. It wasn’t known if users would ever be able to change search engine options, but a Verizon Wireless spokesperson has chimed in, and broke it down for everyone. Once the Fascinate is updated to Android 2.2, users will be able to download the Google Search application to get their Google searching fix directly from the device. Even with the new application though, customers will not be able to change the default search setting from Bing to Google, and the search button will always trigger a Bing search. Oh well. More →
If you’ve been patiently waiting to get yourself a Samsung Fascinate from Verizon Wireless, the day hath cometh. Oh, and it might be a good idea to bring a friend with you. Verizon has their iteration of the Samsung Galaxy S on a “buy one get one free” promotion on its inauguration day; the deal will allow you to “get up to four free phones.” So, if you’re looking to pick up one — or more — Samsung Fascinates, head over to verizonwireless.com and order yourself up the goodies. More →
Well, it isn’t like we didn’t know this was coming. Putting the cart before the horse, Verizon Wireless has begun running Samsung Fascinate commercials with the tagline, “available Sept. 9 at Verizon.” The advert-delivered news comes before an official press release. The device will retail for $199 and will be available in two short days. We should see an official note from Verizon Wireless later today; we’ll update this article once it becomes available.
UPDATE: Official press release is after the break. The device will be available in stores on the 9th and online on the 8th. More →
The unreleased Samsung Fascinate continues to make appearances in the wild. This time, it can be seen posing for several cameos with its Verizon friend — and fellow member of the Android No-Keyboard Club – the DROID X. We’re still hearing that the Fascinate is due for release in the September 8 – 10 timeframe and the the device will also be available for Verizon’s prepaid, pay-as-you-go plans. We’ve got several more images after the break. More →
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 →
Wow, for a Friday afternoon things sure are sultry on the Verizon Wireless front. We’ve just been sent in a Verizon training document that seems to indicate that the Samsung Fascinate will launch on September 9th. The document is part of a pre-paid training series being offered to VZW retail employees. You’ll notice that to the right of the Fascinate the date 9/9/2010 is listed. So there are two stories here… the first is that all the evidence we’ve seen points to a September 9th launch for the Fascinate, the second is that Verizon Wireless will be offering the DROID 2, DROID X, DROID Incredible, and Fascinate as pre-pay devices. We’ve got the full memo after the break.
Thanks, double0kevin! More →