AT&T has a problem on its hands. It's big, but is it big enough? If you're a CEO of a major corporation the answer to that question is always "no." However, the carrier has difficulty expanding on the home front. An overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens have phones with one carrier or another, so there's very little wiggle room to grab new customers. And gaining in market share when you (and all your competitors!) are dead set on locking people into two-year contracts is very difficult.
It's easy for the tech world to forget that not everyone is looking to buy a new $200 phone on contract every six months. Vodafone UK hasn't forgotten, though. The British carrier is launching a new service to help put top-tier smartphones in the hands of pay-as-you-go customers by selling them lightly used hardware. More specifically, phones exchanged within the carrier's 7-day return window.
If you're buying a phone without a contract, the up-front cost would be slightly cheaper, as one would expect from a used device.
Getting your hands on Google's latest iconic Android handset seems to just get harder and harder as the holidays approach. Today, T-Mobile has the device back in stock yet again, however, the subsidized price is now bizarrely raised to $400 with a 2-year contract for existing customers. Um, T-Mobile...what?
This is still $100 off the "Suggested retail" price, which hasn't changed, but it's still $50 more expensive than buying it from Google outright.
One of the downsides to Google's Nexus sales model is that, if you want to get your hands on a Nexus 4, you have to order one. Thankfully, T-Mobile is also going to be carrying the newest flagship phone. If you want to save some money up front in exchange for a 2-year contract, you can pick up the device for $200. It's currently available online here, as well as in select stores.
Samsung's latest flagship – the Galaxy Note II – which we've so far only seen on video and in international markets, is finally (officially) headed to States-side carriers, with AT&T beginning pre-orders and Sprint and T-Mobile officially launching the device today.
In addition to official carrier launches (and the opening of pre-orders), though, Wirefly.com has opened up orders for the Galaxy Note II's T-Mobile variant, listing the flagship phablet at $279.99 for new or upgrading contracts.
The Galaxy Camera, which Samsung initially unveiled in Berlin back in August, is now confirmed to be on its way to AT&T. Unfortunately, the carrier hasn't offered up any details on when it will arrive or how much it will cost. The camera is no slouch, with a 4.7" 308ppi display, a quad-core processor, 4G connectivity, and, of course, a giant camera. That kind of hardware doesn't come cheap.
There's also the issue of data plan connectivity.
Sure, the RAZR MAXX HD may be the new hotness of the RAZR family, but if you're looking to get some extra-long battery life on the cheap, Amazon's deal on last year's model may be of interest to you. Today, you can get the RAZR MAXX 4G for $50 on a new two-year contract. If you're an existing customer looking to upgrade, the device will run you $70, which is comparable to prices you'll find at Wirefly.
Sprint has finally announced what we'd heard almost a month ago. The Kyocera Rise, the budget smartphone best known for making my movie references easy, is heading to the Now Network on August 19th. The device will cost $19.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate. So if you want the internal specs of the original Evo in a QWERTY slider from the company that you probably didn't know also makes cutlery, it will run you $70 out the door.
life raft smartphone has, thus far, been saddled to AT&T. Phret not phablet phans. Your dreams of using the nation's largest Samsung phone on the nation's fourth-largest national carrier are about to come true (sorry Sprint/Verizon users). T-Mobile has announced that the device will be available on a 2-year contract starting August 8th with pricing starting at $199 on a 2-year Value voice and data plans plus an added $20/month device financing charge.
Just last week, Sprint finally lit up its LTE network. Not before selling a number of LTE-equipped phones, however. If you were worried about Sprint's ability to keep up with the big dogs in the race to expand LTE coverage, the WSJ has some comforting words for you. Wait, did I say "comforting"? I'm sorry, I meant worrying. Very, very worrying.
The long and short of it is, Sprint simply doesn't seem to have enough spectrum to keep up.