It appears as though Acer founder Stan Shih will get his wish, as news of CEO Gianfranco Lanci’s resignation could mark the start of a much needed overhaul. Shih, who retired from the company in 2004, said on Tuesday that Acer is in need of an overhaul and a shift in focus from being a leader in the PC market to increasing profit margins. On Thursday, Acer announced that Lanci is resigning effective immediately, and company chairman J. T. Wang will step in as interim CEO until the company finds a suitable replacement. “The personal computer remains the core of our business,” said Wang in a statement. “We have built up a strong foundation and will continue to expand within, especially in the commercial PC segment. In addition, we are stepping into the new mobile device market, where we will invest cautiously and aim to become one of the leading players.” Wang continued, “In this new ICT industry, Acer needs a period of time for adjustment. With the spirit of entrepreneurship, we will face new challenges and look to the future with confidence.” More →
Just a quick follow-up to a story we published on Friday. Clearwire has officially announced “the nation’s first pay-as-you-go 4G mobile broadband service for tech-savvy Gen Y customers.” The new, prepaid, cellular-data service offers customers daily, weekly, and monthly access rates; priced at $5, $20, and $50 respectively. Clearwire will provide this service on two new pieces of hardware, the Puck and the Stick. The Puck is a round, uh puck-like, mobile hotspot that can provide connectivity for eight Wi-Fi enabled devices on Clear’s 4G network. The Stick has a more familiar USB modem look to it and will get your laptop hooked up to the prepaid wireless fun without all that panache. The Puck will retail for $149.99 and the Stick will set you back $99.99. We’re loving the idea of prepaid 4G services, however the fact that both devices lack 3G radios — making your Puck and Stick useful in only 49 markets — is a slight cause for concern. We’ve got the full press release for you after the break. More →
Today, Sprint announced the U1901 4G USB WiMax modem. The device is, “compatible with both PC and Mac computers, connecting laptops or netbooks to blazing-fast 4G speeds.” The USB device weighs in at a meager 0.9 ounces, has a Beceem BCSM250 chipset, and has two external antenna ports for a docking cradle (sold separately). Here’s the full release:
Sprint 4G USB Device U1901
High-speed Internet access on the go
Built to work specifically with the Sprint 4G Network, Sprint 4G USB Device U1901 is a small, easy-to-use modem compatible with both PC and Mac computers, connecting laptops or netbooks to blazing-fast 4G speeds. It is compatible with Windows® Vista, Windows® XP, Windows® 7, MAC OS® 10.5 and 10.6. U1901 provides access to Sprint 4G wireless speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G1 in those metropolitan areas across the country enabled with the new 4G mobile broadband service. Visit http://www.sprint.com/4G for a list of Sprint 4G cities launched to date. U1901 is ideally suited for companies wanting to deliver high-bandwidth solutions to workers on-the-go or for remote offices looking to provide basic DSL-like speeds2 to workers in the metro area. U1901 is also an affordable option for value-conscious, highly-mobile Internet users, such as high school and college students who want to browse the Web, send and receive e-mail, access information, and explore social networking and multimedia entertainment.
The device is billed as “affordable” although no price was listed in the announcement. The real deal-breaker is the device only works on 4G… there is no 3G connectivity at all. Better not leave the confines of WiMax covered areas! Hit up the read link to check out the little 4G-packin’ fella. More →
While light mobile broadband users are busy eying Virgin Mobile’s new prepaid offering, those of you who travel constantly might be interested in Verizon Wireless’ latest USB stick. Dubbed the USB1000, Big Red’s new mobile broadband dongle packs all the connectivity you can handle — CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A, GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band HSPA are all accounted for. As for pricing, the stick itself will run $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate. Global data plans on the other hand, are a bit less attractive: $129.99 per month for 100MB of data and $219.99 per month for 200MB. Both plans will run you $0.005 per KB over the allotment and they include 5GB of data in the US and Canada ($0.05 per MB overage). You can also opt for the standard 5GB/$60 plan and pay $0.002 per KB in Canada, $0.005 per KB in Mexico, and $0.02 per KB for international roaming in over 175 other countries. If you’re a true international man of mystery, you should be able to warrant the expense of VZW’s global plans. Occasional travelers on the other hand, might be wise to examine other options. The USB1000 will be available online starting tomorrow.