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).
Update: Anymode, after what we assume was a good-natured cease and desist letter from AT&T, has denied any of the information in its CES Media Alert (pictured below) is true. If we're being frank, they're 100% completely full of beans. Someone made available information they weren't supposed to, and someone got upset. Too bad official photos of the AT&T Galaxy Note were leaked this morning.
The stylus-toting Samsung Galaxy Note (or as I call it, the Samsung Galaxy S II: Andre The Giant Edition) has been quite successful overseas, and US consumers have been clamoring for a chance to get their hands (both of them, mind you) on the mega-sized 5.3" handset.
Update: Dow Jones Newswires apparently left out a key piece of information from Hesse's statement on throttling, in an example of truly stellar journalism and attention to detail (unfortunately, we have no audio or video record to verify Hesse's statements). Hesse was discussing throttling of those who are on networks that Sprint has roaming agreements with (which, admittedly, Sprint has a lot of - including with Verizon). While this still makes Sprint's ads technically misleading, the throttling really only applies to those who live in areas where Sprint's data network relies chiefly on roaming - not to those using primarily Sprint towers.
It seems like this is becoming a weekly habit, doesn't it? Big Red 4G LTE devices across the nation are once again without data services (mine included).
It appears that this just happened, so there's no word from VZW as to when we can expect data services to be restored. We'll keep you posted on any new information as it comes along; until then, I hope you're around a Wi-Fi network.
In our biggest giveaway yet, we're handing out a whole boatload of awesome Samsung Android products - including the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, T-Mobile Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the T-Mobile Galaxy S II. Also included are the Captivate Glide and the Exhibit II 4G, all courtesy of our friends at Samsung's Mobile US division. This contest is open to US entrants only (they're US-only devices and Samsung USA is sponsoring, sorry guys).