Here’s a bit of an odd one. The iPhone has been on sale in the UK since November 2007 when O2 began exclusively offering the original iPhone. But it was only today the record for single day sales for a sole handset was shattered as Orange began selling the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The specific number sold has yet to come out as the day is not yet done, but as of 4pm local time, nationwide sales surpassed 30,000 units. Why is this? Orange thinks it is all to do with its network which it says offers far greater coverage and reach than its competitors and is the focus of a new multi-million pound ad campaign entitled “You’re Covered,” as well as its Orange Wednesdays app which offers perks like 2-for-1 movie coupons. Of course we’re still waiting for Vodafone to start selling the iPhone as it announced it would in September, so we’re quite interested to see how long this record last. One more thing for UK iPhone users. As of today, O2 will legitimately unlock your phone provided that you adhere to the following conditions: Pay Monthly users can unlock at any time but must continue to pay until O2 for services until their term is up while Pay Go subs must have had their iPhone for 12 months and pay a £15 fee. If anyone is interested in this, just visit http://shop.o2.co.uk/update/unlockmyiphone.html to get this process started. More →
If you’re not drooling over the DROID and Android 2.0 right now, you either have a heart of stone or you’ve been living under a rock. Motorola’s come-back device goes on sale November 6 for $199, but you know what the deal is at Verizon retail stores — mail-in rebates. Want to avoid the lines and the MIR? Head to Best Buy between October 29 and November 6 to and pre-order your Droid and you’ll be killing two birds with one stone: you know you’ll have a device with your name on it when it hits stores and you won’t have to wait around for your rebate card in the mail. This looks like a win-win situation to us boys and girls. Thoughts?
As we inch closer to the day when Project Dark is finally realized, we’re getting more news regarding what it is and what it definitely isn’t. In addition to what we’ve reported with network speed boosts, unlimited rate plans and new devices, we’re hearing that getting the device of your dreams is going to be easier than ever. It’s definitely an unconfirmed rumor right now and we’re working on getting more solid details for you guys, but apparently “Even More Plus” will give those who would otherwise qualify for FlexPay the option to finance a phone. It sounds crazy, right? Our sources tell us that the phones will not be subsidized and so there won’t be contracts for the devices, which means you pay the full retail price over the course of a set amount of time (up to 20 months is what we’re told). Not bad — for a $500 device over that time is just $25/month, as an example.
We’re also hearing that the “Most Affordable Unlimited Rate Plans” are going to include three tiers of unlimited options: unlimited voice, unlimited voice and text, and unlimited voice/text/data all priced at $40, $50 and $60, respectively. Again, none of this is completely confirmed, but it does jive with what we’ve been hearing in the past and the ad pictured above. With plans, pricing and financing like that, is it possible for T-Mobile to shoot its way out of 4th place and past Sprint for 3rd?
We just got a heads up from one of our Northern connects that has to do with Bell, and let’s just say we think Bell subscribers are going to be thrilled with what we have to report. How does Bell’s entire lineup of devices for their HSPA network launch sound? We also grabbed pricing for y’all, too! The following prices are prices with 36 month contracts following by full retail pricing.
Uh oh. We’re slowly moving across the board here… First with a rumored T-Mobile launch date, now we have a Rogers one for you guys. One of our Northern connects just let us know that Rogers’ BlackBerry 9700 launch is currently pegged for October 26th. We don’t have pricing information, but imagine it will run around $299 with a three-year agreement. Not confirmed, of course, but hey, besides Christmas not much is.
Funny, usually it’s the carriers doing the robbing. According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, eight men were indicted yesterday for allegedly using customer data to swindle AT&T and T-Mobile USA out of roughly $22 million worth of cell phones. Two former cell phone shop owners from Brooklyn, NY and six others have been formally charged with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft surrounding the scam. The men reportedly used dealer access to the carriers’ systems in order to obtain customer data, and then used the identities of said customers to obtain handsets without paying for them. If convicted, the perpetrators face up to 20 years in prison on the conspiracy charge alone. Key takeaway: if the recession has hit your cell phone shop hard, it’s probably a good idea to seek out a new line of work rather than exploiting your customers and scamming your suppliers. Just saying.
We love our HTC Hero around these parts… And what would a hot-selling handset be nowadays without 14 different color combinations? Unfortunately for HTC, they seem to have their color codes mixed up. Since we can confidently say a pink handset would appeal mostly to women buyers, this salmon-colored Hero makes no sense.
Powder baby pink and we know of a bunch of women who’d want one. Burnt salmon? No way.
When Microsoft and Nokia team up for a press conference, what comes to mind? A sleek Windows 7 powered Internet tablet or perhaps the unthinkable, a Windows Mobile-powered Nokia phone? A little bit of bubble bursting is in order as in their press conference today, Microsoft and Nokia announced an alliance that will bring Microsoft Office to Nokia mobile phones. Currently, only Windows Mobile devices have native support for Microsoft Office; other mobile platforms rely on third-party software to bring this functionality to their devices. This partnership will expand native Office support and will put the world’s most dominant document editing software suite on the handsets of the world’s most dominant cell phone manufacturer. What’s more, Microsoft may not be done with expanding the reach of Microsoft Office as hot on the heels of today’s announcement is another announcement from Microsoft’s Mac Business Unit reportedly scheduled for Thursday. Office on the iPhone, perhaps? Hmm…
Read (Microsoft press release)
Read (Mac Business Unit announcement)
RadioShack, or “The Shack” as it will soon be called, announced last month that it would be snuggling up with T-Mobile in locations across the country. What we don’t know — or didn’t know, rather — was exactly which handsets the retailer would be carrying when its T-Mobile offering goes live on August 19th. A ninja just hit us with a giant internal launch document that sheds light on various internal resources, training, merchandising (see the image to the right) and plenty more involved with the Tmo launch. All that stuff is pretty boring however, so we cut the fat and were left with the list of devices the Shack will be hawking, 11 in total, beginning two weeks from tomorrow:
- Samsung T239 (red)
- Sony Ericsson TM506 (amber)
- Samsung Gravity 2
- Samsung Comeback (red)
- BlackBerry Curve 8900
- Samsung Behold
- HTC myTouch 3G (black & white)
- Nokia 1661
- Samsung T239 (gray)
- Nokia 2760
- Samsung T349
Sure we already know plenty about each and every handset mentioned above, but you know you still want to hit the jump and check them out.
Right on cue, the BlackBerry Curve 8520 has gone live on T-Mobile’s website. Listed as “coming soon”, the 8520 will be available starting August 5th though direct pricing from the carrier is still a bit of a mystery. We’re not sure it matters all too much however, as the new budget Curve will be available for the ridiculously low price of $48.88 from Walmart. Seriously — less than $50. Coupled with the fact that there are about 50 bazillion Walmart locations spread across the country providing easy access, at that price it’s going to be pretty hard to find a reason not to snag an 8520.
Hooray for non-information! Hunting for trademarks is the latest trend in terms of ongoing efforts to prowl on handset manufacturers and dig up any possible bit of minutiae related to unannounced handsets. It’s a double-edged sword, really — awesome, so now we know that some day HTC may release handsets dubbed Vigor, Dawn, Imagio, Interlude and/or Tattoo. We still know nothing about any of these potential powerhouses beyond a few assumptions: A) Based on DigiTimes’ assertion, two and a half of these five handsets will run Android. B) The like-named audio snippet peddler IMAGIO will likely be unhappy if HTC releases a handset called Imagio because its Google cred will tank. C) The Tattoo will probably have some kind of atrocious pattern covering its case, or at least its battery cover. D) Many, many people with too much time on their hands will use these potential handset names as keywords when trying to dig up info on unannounced HTC kit. E) Interlude is a terrible name for a handset — unless it runs Windows Mobile 6.5 because then it will in fact just be an interlude.
Now before you get too excited about the bevy of rumored handsets listed below, we want to be extra clear in stating that this is rumor. A definite rumor. A steaming pile of rumor. And so on. While the source of this list has proven somewhat reliable in the past, it is also a bit loose at times with tipster-sourced information. Ok, enough with the disclaimer… Feast your eyes on a laundry list of low and mid-range handsets (and the Storm 2) reportedly headed to Verizon in the near future:
- LG Chocolate Touch VX8575 – Full touchscreen, might be like the BL40
- BlackBerry Storm 2 9550 – October-November release
- Nokia Shade 2705 – Replaces the Mirage 2605
- Nokia Twist 7705 – This might be the swivel-style phone that has been rumored for months.
- Palm Treo 800W – “Even though this was released for Sprint last year, Verizon may not have it out until February 2010.”
- Motorola Entice (or Harmony) W766 – Replaces the W755
- Samsung Rogue U960 – Replaces the Glyde U940, expected in August
- Samsung U450 – Verizon Mobile TV-compatible
- Samsung Strut U440 – QWERTY handset
- Samsung Omnia-II i920 – Due out by Christmas
And a few PTT handsets to boot:
- Motorola V860
- Samsung Convoy U640
- Casio Rock C731
- Casio Brigade C741
Sweet. Happy Sunday everyone.
Take that, FCC. Just as big brother starts to turn up the heat and examine wireless carrier exclusivity deals more thoroughly, Verizon Wireless has announced a new policy. Moving forward, any device Verizon negotiates exclusivity for will be a VZW exclusive for no more than six months — at least where carriers with less than 500,000 subscribers are concerned. Our guess: Verizon crunched some numbers and determined that sales drop off significantly enough after six months that it can throw tiny carriers a bone after that period of time — and it can use this move to look like the good guy. Big Red CEO Lowell McAdams had this to say:
Any new exclusively arrangement we enter with handset makers will last no longer than six months – for all manufacturers and all devices… Exclusivity arrangements promote competition and innovation in device development and design. This new approach is fair to all sides.
There you have it folks. If a tiny regional carrier is currently your home you should be getting your hands on new devices a bit more promptly now. If you’re on Sprint and are hoping for a hot new Verizon exclusive however, you’ll likely still have a while to wait.