As tech writers we get to play with a ton of phones, but nothing really takes us back to our high school days like playing with a Sidekick — and we just had a chance to sit down with the first one powered by Android. Built by Samsung, the Sidekick 4G features Android 2.2 (Froyo) and, despite our initial fears that it would be a lackluster device compared to the high-end beauties recently announced, we were pretty pleased with what the Sidekick 4G offers. It includes a horizontal-slider form factor, a throwback QWERTY keyboard with rounded keys, and more power under the hood than any Sidekick before it. Hit the jump for our hands-on with the Sidekick 4G, and some initial impressions.More →
We just met up with Nokia and T-Mobile to check out the Astound, also known as the C7, which is the first Symbian^3 device to launch in the United States (even though Symbian^3 is now just Symbian). The Astound sports a 3.5-inch AMOLED touchscreen display, and the colors really popped off the screen during our time with the device — we watched a music video from Shakira, in case you were wondering. It’s also packed with some high-end specs, including an 8-megapixel camera that’s capable of recording 720p HD video, Bluetooth 3.0, and support for Wi-Fi b/g/n networks. Hit the jump to read on.More →
In conjunction with yesterday’s AT&T and T-Mobile merger announcement, T-Mobile USA’s President and CEO — Philipp Humm — sent an email to company employees explaining the move. Referring to it as “the best possible solution for our business and for our customers,” Humm assured his workforce that AT&T was committed to “keeping talented people through the transition.” The letter reiterates statements made in the company’s official press release, and acknowledges that the news may be both “unexpected” and “unsettling.” The full-text of the letter is awaiting your scrutiny after the break. More →
AT&T, the nation’s second largest wireless provider, has just announced that it will acquire T-Mobile USA from parent company Deutsche Telekom in a cash and stock deal worth approximately $39 billion. With all of the talk of Sprint and T-Mobile joining up, the AT&T news comes out of the blue — though strategically it makes more sense due to both carriers’ spectrum and network technology. It has been widely reported that Deutsche Telekom was looking to get rid of T-Mobile USA for various reasons. AT&T has also committed to delivering LTE to an additional 46 million people with the T-Mobile acquisition, promising to cover close to 95% of the U.S. population with LTE wireless services in the future. The deal is expected to close, pending regulatory approval, within the next 12 months. The full press release is after the break.
Despite all the talk about AT&T being Microsoft’s exclusive U.S. launch partner for Windows Phone 7, it looks like T-Mobile will actually have the honor. According to a post on Microsoft’s website, the “Windows Phone 7 Worldwide Launch Event” will take place next Monday, October 11, in New York City. The site also notes that, “T-Mobile reps will be present for device showing and their service offering discussion.” With the launch of the G2 and the relaunch of the myTouch 3G, it looks like the nation’s #4 carrier is coming out swinging for the holidays. There you have it. October 11, New York City, Windows Phone 7. We’re hoping to see that giant, sexy slab of a device known as the HD7. How about you? More →
Now this is more like it! The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Samsung product executive, Hankil Yoon, informed them that the Galaxy Tab tablet would retail for somewhere between $200 and $400 in the United States. Yoon did say that the final price of the device would vary depending on carrier subsidies; hopefully the two to four hundred dollar figure is unsubsidized. Sammy is predicting to ship over 10 million Tab’s next year and would like to grab at least ten percent of the tablet market share. The report is good news, as earlier rumors had the Galaxy Tab selling in Germany for upwards of $1,000 for the 32 GB model. Mr. Yoon also said that his company is in talks with “multiple U.S. carriers.” More →
Today, Virgin Mobile USA announced that it would do away with its currently tiered $20, $40, and $60 prepaid mobile broadband plans and replace them with a prepaid, unlimited, $40 per month offering. Via a press release, Virgin wrote: “A recent study from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that the self-employed and independent workers represent approximately 30% of the nation’s workforce. The study determined that this segment of the self-employed population, consisting mainly of small business owners and freelancers, represents a large market of consumers who need to stay connected, mainly with email and internet browsing, without the constraints of a contract.” Virgin also noted it would offer a $10 per month, 100 MB plan for those users who need connectivity infrequently. Virgin currently offers an Ovation USB data-stick priced at $79.99 and a MiFi 2200 device priced at $149.99. What do you think? Prepaid, as you need it, mobile broadband. Any takers? More →
Just a quick PSA here. If you want to know the official (and vague) dates of when your Motorola Android handset will be updated, direct your web browser to Motorola’s support forums. The company has updated their “Android Software Upgrade” page to let you know in which three to six month window you can expect to see an update for your handset. Here are the listings for the U.S. and Canadian models:
|BACKFLIP (USA)||Upgrade to Android 2.1 planned for Q3|
|CLIQ (USA)||Upgrade to Android 2.1 – testing in process, planned for late Q3/early Q4|
|CLIQ XT (USA)||Upgrade to Android 2.1 – testing in process, planned for late Q3/early Q4|
|DEVOUR (USA)||Will not have a software upgrade to Android 2.1|
|DROID by Motorola (USA)||Upgrade to Android 2.2 currently rolling out in phases|
|DROID X by Motorola (USA)||Upgrade to Android 2.2 planned for late summer.|
|BACKFLIP (Canada)||Upgrade to Android 2.1 under evaluation|
|DEXT (Canada)||Upgrade to Android 2.1 under evaluation|
|MILESTONE (Canada)||Upgrade to Android 2.2 under evaluation|
|QUENCH (Canada)||Upgrade to Android 2.1 under evaluation|
Hit the read link for the full list. More →
If there’s one thing T-Mobile USA is known for, it’s solid customer service. J.D. Power and Associates found this out as well, as they have just announced that T-Mobile USA is the sole highest-ranking wireless provider in “Overall Customer Care Performance.” Congrats, T-Mobile. Now if you could only expand coverage and launch some kick-ass devices… More →
Fox Mobile announced on Thursday that it is launching a streaming video service that will rival Hulu. The service will feature full-length, on demand television programming from CBS, Fox NBC, A&E, Comedy Central, Discovery, FX, MTV, and USA. Though not available at launch, full-length movies will be added by the end of the year. Targeting the mobile phone market, the service will be compatible with BlackBerry handsets including all the variants of the BlackBerry Bold series, as well as the Curve 8900 and Tour 9630. Though the BitBop app itself is free, the streaming service requires a $9.99 monthly fee that provides unlimited streaming and limited downloads. Interested BlackBerry owners can download the BitBop application from the BlackBerry App World and get their streaming on now. If you give it a try, let us know your first impression in the comments. More →
There’s not too much to say so we’ll let T-Mobile do the talking…
Dear valued T-Mobile Sidekick customers:
We are thankful for your continued patience as Microsoft/Danger continues to work on preserving platform stability and restoring all services for our Sidekick customers. We have made significant progress this past weekend, restoring services to virtually every customer. Microsoft/Danger has teams of experts in place who are working around-the-clock to ensure this stability is maintained.
Regarding those of you who have lost personal content, T-Mobile and Microsoft/Danger continue to do all we can to recover and return any lost information. Recent efforts indicate the prospects of recovering some lost content may now be possible. We will continue to keep you updated on this front; we know how important this is to you.
In the event certain customers have experienced a significant and permanent loss of personal content, T-Mobile will be sending these customers a $100 customer appreciation card. This will be in addition to the free month of data service that already went to Sidekick data customers. This card can be used towards T-Mobile products and services, or a customer’s T-Mobile bill. For those who fall into this category, details will be sent out in the next 14 days – there is no action needed on the part of these customers. We however remain hopeful that for the majority of our customers, personal content can be recovered.
Sidekick customers can continue to visit T-Mobile Sidekick Forums (http://www.t-mobile.com/sidekick) on a regular basis to access the latest updates, as well as FAQs regarding this service disruption. The Forums also offers tips and suggestions for rebuilding content on your device.
Get those credit cards ready, Nokia fans. According to a notice reportedly sent out to several US distributors, Nokia’s first Maemo phone is scheduled to hit Nokia distribution centers on September 27th — just under two weeks from today. Assuming the communique is real and Nokia can manage to stay on target, we could see the N900 begin to ship to customers via distributors within the first few days of October. Though it’s not a surprise, the lofty $650 MSRP is sure to leave a sour taste in some mouths but if you want to be among the first to own a T-Mobile 3G-ready Maemo 5 handset, the early adopter tax is unavoidable. Hit the jump for the alleged notice to distributors.
T-Mobile USA just turned in its Q2 2009 numbers and while things weren’t all bad for the nation’s number four, Tmo is seeing its progress slowed while both Verizon and AT&T continue to gobble up subscribers by the millions. T-Mobile netted 325,000 new subscribers last quarter, down from 668,000 YoY and 415,000 sequentially. Of all the numbers reported, that is likely the most significant. While 325K net adds is fantastic from Sprint’s side of the table, it’s less than half of what Tmo took on in the same quarter last year. Operating income came in at $1.6 billion, up 1 percent YoY and a healthy 16 percent sequentially. Profits were down from $452 million in Q2 2008 to $425 million this past quarter, but up significantly from Q1 2009 which came in at $322 million. Finally, total revenue came in at $5.34 billion, down from $5.47 billion YoY and $5.4 billion sequentially.
All things considered, Tmo had a fair showing this past quarter — a quarter that saw Sprint launch the Palm Pre, AT&T launch the iPhone 3GS and Verizon continue to bulldoze through the middle of the country. Moving forward however, the myTouch 3G doesn’t quite seem to have the allure of the G1 which leaves T-Mobile lacking a true flagship draw. Verizon has the Storm 2 on the way, AT&T may have a new entry-level iPhone 3GS in store and Sprint, well, Sprint still has the Pre exclusively for the rest of the year. We know T-Mobile has some great handsets in store in the near future but, considering the competition, we can definitely see the carrier’s Q2 slump carrying over to Q3.