Wow, what a year 2011 was for T-Mobile. We watched as AT&T tried to purchase T-Mobile USA to no avail, while Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T all launched the iPhone 4S and made progress towards their own respective LTE networks.
In fact, the latter two items hurt Magenta so much that its revenue dropped 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. Ouch. Don't underestimate the underdog, though; T-Mo has a plan.
T-Mobile and Samsung announced just moments ago that the Galaxy S Blaze 4G that was unveiled at CES earlier this year will be available beginning in "late March," priced at $149.99 (after $50 mail-in rebate card) for two-year agreements with qualifying voice/data plans. The S Blaze 4G will be a T-Mobile exclusive device, and will evidently include T-Mo's 4GPro App Pack, meaning the phone will come with apps like Dropbox, Evernote, Square, TripIt, Camscanner, and LinkedIn preloaded.
Sprint posted its fourth quarter earnings this morning, and they definitely painted a mixed picture of the company's financial position. On the one hand, the Alamo of unlimited data increased its subscriber base by 1.6 million in the last quarter, with big thanks likely owed to the addition of the iPhone to Sprint's lineup - giving them a significant advantage over their primary price point rival, T-Mobile.
Unfortunately, also because of the iPhone, the company managed a $1.3 billion net loss for the quarter, owed in large part to the massive cost of providing the device ($15.5 billion over 4 years) to customers at heavily subsidized price points.
Infuse 4G owners have been chomping at the bit for some Gingerbread love since the device's release in the middle of last year, and it seemed this morning they were finally going to get it. A moderator at the AT&T forums posted up the typical changelog marketing spiel, chocked full of customer benefits and exciting new fonts like 'Choco Cooky' and 'Cool Jazz' (I am not kidding).
Google's latest wunderphone, the Galaxy Nexus, normally runs a pricey $300 on contract when purchased through Verizon. Luckily, competition brings down prices - sometimes dramatically - and it's on sale now at Amazon for just $99.99 with free 2-day shipping for incoming Verizon customers (it's still $259.99 for those who are upgrading). Quite the discount, and 100 bones for such a mind-blowing device is quite the steal indeed.
In comparison, Wirefly is selling the GNexus for $230 for both new and upgrading customers.
It would appear that Sprint plans on going full speed ahead in focusing on product development for its 4G LTE lineup this year. David Owens, Sprint's VP of Product Development made clear at CES Wednesday that Sprint "won't be introducing any more WiMax smartphones," adding "April, May, June, July, August, those will be very aggressive times for us." This may be a hint that we could begin seeing LTE devices as early as April, which is great news for customers holding out for a new device (like Samsung's Galaxy Nexus, which is poised to be Sprint's first LTE device).
Late yesterday, we got a chance to spend some time with the Motorola DROID 4 over at the Verizon booth here at CES, and we have to say - It sure seems like Motorola has done it again. The DROID 4 will likely once again set the bar for QWERTY slider phones, and thanks to the addition of 4G LTE and a snappy TI OMAP 4430 dual-core processor (the same one found in the DROID RAZR), it's also going to be the fastest DROID yet.
We stopped by the Sony booth earlier this morning at CES, and got some hands-on time with the very first Sony smartphones (Sony-Ericsson is no more, subject to regulatory approval) - the Xperia Ion and the Xperia S. While these devices were designed before the Sony Ericsson breakup, they'll be marketed as Sony devices when they hit retail channels.
At CES today, T-Mobile, in an effort to outline "the company's ongoing efforts to fuel consumer adoption of mobile data," revealed a handful of announcements, ranging from the introduction of a new 4G-capable device, to Bobsled Messaging, to expanded 4G networks.
You may remember that T-Mobile announced updates to its Bobsled Messaging service back in October. Well, T-Mo today announced further enhancements, including free unlimited messaging to Android users worldwide.
As we already know, Sprint is going to roll out its next generation 4G LTE network in four U.S. cities somewhere around mid-2012, and it would only make sense that they already have some of the towers undergoing testing. The first of such alleged tests surfaced online today:
While I can't promise you it's 100% legitimate, here's my analysis:
The device used is more than likely a dedicated LTE hotspot and not a handset (like the LTE Galaxy Nexus).