T-Mobile announced on Tuesday that it is now offering the LG GS170, a prepaid phone, in 6,000 Family Dollar stores around the United States. As you might expect from a phone being sold at a dollar store, the $30 GS170 offers a relatively basic feature set. It offers a large keypad, a VGA camera, Bluetooth 2.1 and support for e-mail. The phone will be available with T-Mobile’s no annual contract Monthly 4G plans, which includes the carrier’s $50 unlimited talk, text and web option. “T-Mobile’s track record for providing quality service and customer support fits well with our culture and commitment to the customer, and we are very excited to take our partnership to the next level and begin selling the company’s devices as well,” Family Dollar divisional vice president Bob Giles said, suggesting that Family Dollar will begin to stock more T-Mobile devices in the future. Read on for the full press release.
On Tuesday AT&T officially announced that its customers can now sign up for a $50 unlimited GoPhone plan that includes unlimited text, talk, and web for $50 per month. AT&T’s GoPhone option does not require a contract and it also allows customers to text Mexico, Canada, and 100 other countries at no additional cost. AT&T’s new pricing is a considerable drop from the original $60 per month GoPhone option, which just provided unlimited talk and text.Read on for the full release. More →
T-Mobile USA introduced two new 4G prepaid plans on Tuesday. These plans are in addition to the new prepaid options the carrier announced on May 23rd. One costs $50 per month and provides unlimited text, talk, and 100MB of data. The second offers 5GB of data, and unlimited talk and text for $70 per month. As usual, any subscriber that surpasses the data allotment will see their data speeds drop considerably until the next billing cycle begins. Hit the break for T-Mobile’s press release. More →
Trying to save a few bucks for your summer vacation? Today, Verizon Wireless officially launched “Unleashed,” the carrier’s own unlimited prepaid service. A spokesperson told Fierce Wireless that the service is available in parts of Florida and Southern California, to start. Customers can choose between four different plans — including daily and by-the-minute — but the most attractive offering is a $50 monthly option that provides unlimited calling, texting, and web browsing. There are only three feature phones available from Unleashed right now, including the LG Accolade ($39.99), the LG Cosmos ($99.99), and the Pantech Caper ($79.99). By contrast, Boost Mobile, which offers a similar $50 monthly unlimited plan, has 18 different phones including a few that are powered by Android. If you’re looking to save some cold hard cash without sacrificing cell phone minutes or text messages — or Verizon’s coverage — then Unleashed should do the trick. More →
T-Mobile on Tuesday announced the addition of two new unlimited plans to its portfolio. Dubbed “Even More” and “Even More Plus,” both plans afford subscribers with unlimited nationwide voice calling, unlimited messaging and unlimited data. Both plans also include 2GB soft caps, so customers who go over 2GB in a single billing period will have their data speeds reduced, or throttled, until the next billing period begins. T-Mobile says its 4G smartphone users average about 1GB of data each month. “Consumers today are looking for even more value and flexibility from their wireless plans,” said T-mobile SVP of Marketing, John Clelland, in a statement. “While data plans for many of our competitors continue to be very expensive, T-Mobile is lowering the price of our unlimited plans and offering more options, making it easier than ever for customers to step up to a richer mobile data experience on our 4G network.” The $79.99 Even More plan is available to contract customers while the $59.99 Even More Plus plan is available to customers on a month-to-month basis. Both plans become available for a limited time beginning Wednesday, April 13th. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
At SXSW, Google’s VP of Location and Local Services, Marissa Mayer, took the stage and dished out some interesting Google data, including mobile stats. During her talk, Mayer revealed the following statistics we found interesting:
- 40% of all Google Maps usage is from mobile devices, and Christmas and New Years day mobile usage surpassed desktop usage for the first time.
- 150 million mobile users on Google Maps
- Google Maps Navigation, included on Android handsets, has guided users 12 billion miles a year, and the latest version with traffic routing saves users 2 years per day in time that would have been spent in traffic.
- Google Maps could get smarter, and become contextually aware. For instance, if you were trying to catch a flight, Google Maps could see your flight schedule to see when your flight was, then look and analyze real-time traffic data and weather conditions to try and figure out the exact time you should leave
- Google would like there to be better Google Maps for iPhone. “We like being the default provider, but we’d like to get some of these updates out to a broader audience. That’s still a debate/question we’re considering.”
With Google’s Android explosion continuing, it looks like there will plenty more Google Maps and Navigation users over the next few years.
As we slowly march towards the holidays, we thought it would be appropriate to add some popular, battery-powered toys to our Throwback Thursday routine. Several weeks ago, we reminded you about the existence of the stage-prop turned must-have toy, the Tiger Talkboy. This week, we’re going all the way back to the mid-eighties to talk about Mr. Teddy Ruxpin.
Teddy Ruxpin was a plush, stuffed teddybear released in 1985 by toy manufacturer Worlds of Wonder. Teddy used a standard cassette tape deck hidden behind his tan vest to “tell stories” and “talk” with synchronized mouth and eye movements. Although the bear could play any standard cassette tape, special, Ruxpin-specific tapes could actually coordinate the bear’s movements with the audio. The special cassettes used the tape’s left audio channel for the bear’s vocals and movement instructions were found on the tape’s right audio channel. The toy also contained an input port to hookup its companion toy, Grubby. When Grubby was attached with the included cable, and a Ruxpin-specific tape was inserted in Teddy, the two could interact by jointly telling stories — alternating lines back and forth. In 1985, it seemed like science fiction.
The toy was so popular it eventually got its own TV series dubbed: The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin. Although no longer owned by Worlds of Wonder, Teddy is still available today — sans cassette deck.
Hit the jump to see Teddy’s awesomely bad 80’s commercial spot and to let us know if you have any TR memories. More →
There have been rumors floating around the internet about Verizon Wireless offering a second, “tiered” data plan, and that rumor was confirmed today. America’s largest wireless provider will begin offering a $15 monthly data plan to 3G smartphone users that offers 150MB data allowance. The carrier will bill overages at $15 per 150MB and the $30, unlimited data plan will remain unchanged.
Also hot off the rumor wagon, Engadget is reporting that Verizon is testing calling plans with unlimited, any-mobile-to-mobile minutes — a la Sprint — in select markets across Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The plans range from $60 all the way up to $130 — offering between 450 and 2000 minutes — and include unlimited text messaging. The unlimited mobile-to-mobile offerings are available until the end of 2010 at which point, we assume, Verizon will either expand or cancel the plans depending on demand. More →
AT&T has just sent out a quick press release to inform us of several new prepaid GoPhone plans they will be launching on October 3. The company will offer an “Unlimited Daily Talk and Text” plan which will afford customers the “flexibility of unlimited calling and texting with the two dollar rate plan charge only applying on days when they make or receive voice calls, use IM or send a text, picture or video message.” AT&T will also be offering a more traditional $60 per month “Unlimited Talk & Text” plan; 200 MB of data can be added to the plan for an additional $15. Finally, AT&T will be offering a “Simple Rate” plan that bills users $0.10 per minute for calls made and received. “AT&T GoPhone unlimited plans include nationwide calling and texting, as well as texting to Mexico, Canada and more than 100 countries worldwide,” writes AT&T. Hit the read link to check out the full release. More →
CNET is reporting that “Google is testing a Web-based service within Gmail that will allow users to place phone calls from their in-boxes.” The new reported service will allow users to make VoIP calls to landline and cellular phones, not just other Gmail or Google Talk users. CNET explains, “This is the likely culmination of Google’s work to integrate Gizmo5’s similar product, which it acquired late last year, into its arsenal.” Details on exactly how the service will work were not revealed to the site, and it is not clear if a Google Voice account will be required. When asked to comment on the report, the search giant would only say: “Google is always testing new features and products, but we have nothing specific to announce right now.” What do you think? Would you find functionality like this useful? More →
Did we nail it or what? Today Rogers announced the creation of chatr, the low-cost wireless brand we exclusively told you about last week. Created to serve what Rogers calls a “niche” market that is not currently served by its flagship and value brands Rogers Wireless and Fido, chatr will offer no contract voice and text plans as well as unlimited talk and text plans. Data is not a part of chatr’s game plan. According to Rogers, the big draw of chatr is not only its great plans, but that for the first time it gives urbanites who simply want to make calls and send texts affordable service from a “network they can trust.” We were pretty curious about the timing of this launch, what with WIND Mobile now being half a year old and Mobilicity having only been on the scene for six weeks, so we asked Rogers about it. Surprisingly, they were adamant that they could not care less what their competitors are doing or where it is they are operating. They were quick to point out that chatr has been one year in the making and that it actually designed to mimic business model that allowed MetroPCS to go from a small time carrier to the 5th largest in the United States. Sadly this was about as much extra information as we could squeeze out of Rogers. As much as they want to get chatr up and running today, they’ve still got a few more things to do behind the scenes before it launches by the end of summer. This means that they can’t get into specifics about when the network will launch. But as we have said before, thanks to our connects we know that Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Ottawa are a lock. Anyone planning to wait with baited breath?
Like we exclusively reported yesterday, Verizon is overhauling most of their voice, text, and family plans. To start things off, there’s an Unlimited Talk rate plan which will run $69.99/month that can also be upgraded to $89.99 to be all inclusive of text, photo, and video messaging, dubbed the Unlimited Talk & Text plan. Continuting the revamp, we have new Family SharePlan plans like $119.99 which will get you unlimited voice, and $149.99 which will include voice as well as unlimited messaging. Those rates apply for the first 2 lines, and each additional line is $49.99. Our other exclusive scoop on Verizon redoing featurephone data plans also turned out to be spot on, as Big Red will now start requiring a $9.99/month 25MB data plan with select “multimedia” handsets. You can look for these new plans to get into effect starting January 18th. Hit the link for the rest of the details! More →