Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus has been available around the world for quite some time after officially making it’s debut on Verizon Wireless in December. Sprint’s version of the handset, which supports the company’s brand new LTE network, is currently slated for an April 22nd release according to one of our sources, which is in line with earlier rumors. Stores should be receiving merchandising materials shortly, and sales are set to start soon after. Whether you’ll actually be able to get an LTE signal, however, depends on if you’re a 1%-er — Sprint’s LTE network has gone live in a few regions during testing, but isn’t set to go live in launch markets until June. Sprint also plans to launch the LG Viper 4G LTE on April 22nd.
Sprint announced last week that pre-orders for one of its first 4G LTE-enabled smartphones were going live on April 12th, and now the carrier has made launch details official. LG’s affordable Viper 4G LTE will become available in just over a week on April 22nd for $99.99 on contract. While this makes LG’s new smartphone one of the most affordable LTE-equipped smartphones on the market — in line with the Nokia Lumia 900′s retail price, though the phone is free for the time being — buyers will be hard-pressed to find LTE service for the time being. The LG Viper 4G LTE features a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, a 4-inch 800 x 480-pixel display and Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Sprint’s full press release follows below. More →
HTC and Sprint have a big press conference scheduled to take place this evening, and all signs point to a new flagship smartphone. Persistent rumors suggest the flagship HTC One X will be the star of the show, and with specs that include a 4.7-inch 720p HD display, a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor, a remarkable 8-megapixel camera, Beats Audio and 4G LTE on board, there’s no question it would make a great star. A recent report suggests the One X could launch on Sprint later this year as the EVO One, but nothing is set in stone until we hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. BGR will be reporting live from the event in New York City, so be sure to check back for all the news as it breaks.
Bookmark this link, which will go live shortly before the event begins tonight, and make sure to head there for our live coverage of Sprint and HTC’s press conference! Coverage will begin just before 5:30 p.m. EDT / 2:30 p.m. PDT.
While speaking at the Competitive Carriers Global Expo, Sprint’s senior vice president of networks Bob Azzi said that while the company has experienced success with its WiMAX handsets, it will not launch any additional WiMAX devices. The announcement comes after Sprint previously confirmed that it would continue to offer 4G WiMAX devices through 2012 and support the service through 2015. Instead, the company plans to focus on its Network Vision project and upcoming 4G LTE netowrk, Fierce Wireless reported on Thursday. “We are wrapping up final field integration tests,” Azzi said. “The technology works and delivers more benefits than we expected.” The executive noted that the company’s Network Vision project will result in a 50% reduction in cost-per-gigabyte to deliver data and cost-per-minute to deliver voice. “This is a huge benefit to us,” he said, adding that there are between 5,000 to 6,000 people devoted to the project, which is slated to be completed by the end of 2013. More →
Apple’s hot new iPad tablet has been a massive global success. The company recently announced that it sold more than 3 million new slates in fewer than four days of availability, making it the second most successful launch in the Apple’s history behind the iPhone 4S. Heat issues aside, Apple found itself in a bit of hot water earlier this week when Australian regulators took issue with Apple’s use of the term “4G” in its advertising. The new iPad indeed supports 4G LTE networks internationally, but is it not compatible with Telstra’s Australian 4G network. Apple argued in Federal Court on Wednesday that its iPad can connect to Australian HSPA networks which are considered to be “4G” in other markets, but the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission didn’t bite and neither did the court. In the end, ABC News in Australia reports that Apple agree to issue a statement clarifying that the new iPad does not support Telstra’s LTE network, and it will offer a refund to any buyers who feel they have been misled by Apple’s 4G claims. More →
Verizon Wireless on Tuesday announced an upcoming new addition to its 4G LTE smartphone lineup. Launching on March 29th, the entry-level LG Lucid features low-end specs and last year’s Android build, but it also sports one of the lowest launch prices we’ve seen so far for a 4G LTE-equipped smartphone. Specs include Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 5-megapixel camera and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. Verizon notes that the Lucid can be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, however no details were made available regarding when the update might roll out. At $79.99, Verizon and LG have undercut AT&T’s upcoming Nokia Lumia 900, which will tout a $99.99 price tag when it is released on April 8th. The Lumia 900 is positioned as a flagship device, however, so the sub-$100 price tag is still an impressive feat. Verizon’s full press release follows below. More →
In addition to the Nokia Lumia 900, AT&T on Monday announced the upcoming availability of another sleek Windows Phone with 4G LTE connectivity. While initially expected to launch in mid-March, HTC’s Titan II will hit store shelves on April 8th for $199.99 on contract. The sequel to the original HTC Titan features a 4.7-inch Super LCD display, a 16-megapixel camera with a dual-LED flash, 4G lTE connectivity and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 operating system. BGR took a hands-on look at the Titan II during the Consumer Electronics Show this past January, and while it offers clear advantages over the original Titan — namely LTE connectivity and the new camera — we preferred the unibody aluminum case on the original model to the sequel’s plastic exterior.
Global 4G LTE smartphone shipments reached 6.8 million units in the technology’s first year. According to a study from market research firm Strategy Analytics, global LTE smartphone shipments could surge tenfold to 67 million units in 2012. It is expected to be a breakout year for LTE technology, with Apple, Samsung, HTC and others planning to launch 4G LTE phones in the United States, Japan and South Korea. “The mobile industry is entering a breakout year for 4G LTE technology. Multiple operators and multiple phone vendors will be launching dozens of LTE models across numerous countries worldwide,” said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics. “LTE has quickly become a high-growth, high-value market that no operator, service developer, device vendor or component maker can afford to ignore.” Read on for Strategy Analytics’s press release. More →
The next-generation iPhone has been rumored to include an embedded LTE radio on several occasions. Until now, however, it has only been speculation and unconfirmed reports. iDownloadBlog reported on Thursday that according to code strings in iOS 5.1, the next iPhone will indeed feature 4G LTE connectivity. “Enabling 4G will end your phone call. Are you sure you want to enable 4G,” the new iOS 5.1 code said. The references to a phone call make it clear that this is an iPhone warning rather than an iPad one. In the end, the code shows that the Cupertino-based company is at the very least testing an LTE-enabled iPhone. Apple’s next-generation smartphone is expected to feature a faster processor, a larger display and a unibody aluminum case. BGR exclusively reported this past December that the handset will also feature a redesigned antenna system, and it will launch this coming fall. iDownloadBlog’s video follows below. More →
AT&T on Monday confirmed that it sold and activated more iPad tablets this past Friday than it has on any other single day. “On Friday, March 16, AT&T set a new single-day record for its iPad sales and activations, demonstrating robust demand for the new iPad on the nation’s largest 4G network, covering nearly 250 million people,” AT&T said in a statement. The carrier did not share any sales figures, however, and neither did Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier on Monday when he said that Apple’s new iPad saw record sales during its debut weekend. BGR noted on Friday evening that while iPads were much easier to find this year compared to Apple’s previous two iPad launches, AT&T’s iPad Wi-Fi + 4G was sold out more than any other model at more Apple Stores we spoke with.
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus and LG Viper will be the first 4G handsets to launch on Sprint’s upcoming LTE network in the second quarter, but a new report suggests the carrier will follow the phones up with a flagship launch early this summer. S4GRU on Sunday reports that a smartphone code-named the HTC Jet will hit store shelves on June 10th, nearly two years after Sprint’s iconic HTC EVO 4G launched as the carrier’s first WiMAX-enabled smartphone. According to the site, the Jet is in fact HTC’s new One X smartphone, the stunning Ice Cream Sandwich-powered flagship handset that HTC unveiled at Mobile World Congress in February. While the global version of this smartphone will be powered by a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, S4GRU reports that Sprint’s version will include a dual-core Snapdragon S4 like the variant AT&T is preparing to launch next month. The site also reports that the Galaxy Nexus and LG Viper will both become available on April 15th. More →
If you were looking to get your enormous hands on a Galaxy Note in the U.S. but have no interest in switching to AT&T’s network, you may be in luck. AT&T’s “phablet” was previously limited to EDGE speeds on T-Mobile’s network, making the device a much less appealing option. XDA-Developers forum members have managed to figure out a way to enable HSPA+ support for AWS bands, however. After performing a SIM unlock, a user can flash one of three radio files that will allow the phone to access T-Mobile’s network with the proper SIM card. There are obvious risks involved, but T-Mobile subscribers in search of a supersized smartphone now have access to the king of the crop. More →
Research in Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook may be down, but it’s definitely not out. Over a year ago, the company revealed plans to release an LTE-compatible PlayBook as well as a 3G model that will work on HSPA+ networks. Details surrounding these variants have been few and far between, with some assuming they were simply canceled. As it turns out, two tablets from Research in Motion recently passed through the FCC equipped with HSPA+ connectivity and AT&T compatible LTE radios. BGR in January exclusively reported details about RIM’s plans to introduce a new PlayBook tablet around May or June that will be equipped with a 1.5GHz processor, built-in HSPA+ and NFC support. More →