Before Sony Ericsson became Sony Mobile, the company seemed committed to developing an Android 4.0 update, going so far as to release alpha ROMs for a number of Xperia devices, and more recently a beta for the Xperia Play. Here we are, a quarter of the way into 2012, and Xperia owners are still gnawing on last year's official Gingerbread. Although, there may finally be a light at the end of the tunnel; the Sony Mobile blog has announced that the first Android 4.0 updates will roll out to select Xperia phones in mid-April. Don't get too excited when wireless carriers are involved though.
If you're in love with the Galaxy Nexus, but also have an affinity for hockey, maple syrup, and carriers not named Bell, Virgin Mobile, or Telus, then you've been left out in the cold. Don't worry, though. The winter of your discontent is about to come to an end. The Galaxy Nexus will be landing on Canadian carrier WIND on February 3rd. If you opt for the carrier's WINDtab+ program, you can grab the nexus for just $249. Choosing to participate in the regular WINDtab program will bump the price tag up to $499, and those looking to buy the phone outright will need a cool $599.
After reading a couple of great pieces on Droid-life about how Android manufacturers seem to be moving at breakneck pace to advance hardware and iterate handsets like crazy, I had an idea - let's visualize it in different ways. First, we'll start with a pretty basic comparison, showing the US's four major carriers and the number of Android devices they currently offer.
*includes upcoming DROID RAZR and Galaxy Nexus on Verizon. Based on respective carrier websites as of 10/28/11.
Next, we'll see how much each of the major handset manufacturers contributes to these numbers at the present moment.
*includes upcoming DROID RAZR and Galaxy Nexus.
Here's a shocker: in order to conserve precious bandwidth, AT&T plans to start throttling data for the top 5% of users that were grandfathered in on unlimited data plans back in the day. An AT&T spokesperson danced around the subject quite delicately, making sure to note that most users won't be affected by the change:
A few months ago, Motorola announced that its "portfolio of devices" will be graced with unlockable/relockable bootloaders in late 2011. However, there was some confusion over whether this concerned future handsets only or current devices as well.
Yesterday, Ausdroid reported that unlocked bootloaders will be coming to all existing Motorola Android devices (or rather, those still on Moto's update schedule) later this year via a software update. Needless to say, this was excellent news, and it had many a DROID X user jumping for joy.
To confirm, we reached out to Motorola - here's what we got in response:
Update: BGR just confirmed with AT&T that the early upgrade price bump listed for iPhones applies to all smartphones - that means early upgrade pricing for 2-year agreement customers will go up by 50 bucks on all Android phones.
Well, there's not a lot of ways to spin this positively, and it's pretty clear what's going on - AT&T is disincentivizing its 1-year and no contract plans in order to goad customers into making more economical 2-year agreements. Customer retention method much?
If you want to go month to month (no contract) on AT&T, the full retail price of your smartphone of choice will shoot up by $50, for no apparent reason other than to discourage you from making that decision.
Now that the dust has settled a little bit on the proposed deal that, if approved, will shake up the US wireless landscape, what more is there to know about AT&T's buyout of T-Mobile? Several stories (reported by All Things D) caught our attention regarding the aftermath of the deal:
Sprint Scoffs At Deal, Says The Wireless Market Would Be Altered Dramatically
While most experts seem to agree that the deal will most likely get FCC and Department of Justice approval, Sprint (not surprisingly) doesn't have a lot of nice things to say about the buyout. The rumors had previously been swirling that Sprint would be the one gobbling up T-Mobile and, whether those talks actually happened or not, that deal most definitely won't be happening now.
They say "talk is cheap" - and these days it seems like every major US wireless carrier is claiming to have the fastest 4G (of course 4G is a highly debatable marketing term that describes three vastly different networks, but that's fodder for another post altogether). It's relatively easy to tune all of the marketing hype out but, when presented with some solid numbers, it gets easier to pay attention. PC World has tried to give us some raw data to work with in their profiling of the data speeds on the four major providers.
There are, however, a couple of very important things to keep in mind before viewing these results:
Are you a Verizon customer who has been waiting (in vain) for the HTC Thunderbolt to arrive, and are tempted to just get an EVO? Maybe you are on AT&T and are fed up with the slow upload speeds on the Inspire and Atrix, and would rather just pick up an EVO Shift? You may be in luck, as Sprint is generously offering a $125 credit for smartphone subscribers who make the switch and port their old numbers to Sprint.
Check out the instructions Sprint posted to get in on the deal:
- Find the perfect phone. Shop online now.
- Transfer your eligible number to Sprint by 4/16/2011.