When I think of Sprint, the first thought that comes to mind is CEO Dan Hesse standing on a pier talking about being truly unlimited. I'm sure that he really does like the idea of being truly unlimited... but only when phones are concerned. You see, Sprint is reportedly going to take a different stance when it comes to data connection cards and embedded devices, such as tablets and netbooks.
NielsenWire has released yet another one of their bar and pie chart-filled smartphone surveys for the US this morning, and it's just more good news for Android. Here's a quick breakdown of some of the key stats Nielsen compiled:
- Android now represents 37% of all US smartphones
- 50% of smartphones sold in the month of March were Android phones
- 31% of consumers said their next purchase will be an Android phone, compared to 26% one year ago. Android now leads iOS here as well (iOS accounts for 30%, down from 33%)
- 20% of consumers don't know which OS their next smartphone will run
Another interesting tidbit the survey revealed is that Blackberry has finally dropped to third place in all three of the comparisons Nielsen publishes (future purchases, March purchases, total market share).
Update #1: Skype is investigating the issue, we've been told.
Update #2: Skype's official first response can be found here.
The safety of our personal information is often a concern of mine - who has my email address, my phone number, my date of birth? How can I keep my private information safe while still enjoying the internet? These concerns have prompted me to take a deeper look at Android apps more than once, and often this can yield some frightening information.
On April 11, a leaked version of Skype Video hit the web and, having a Thunderbolt, I had to try it.
When we talk about the Federal Communications Commission, we usually do so in regards to a new and highly anticipated device they have just finished testing. Today, there is a little something different in the news regarding the FCC. On Thursday, the FCC made a couple of moves that have received mixed responses from the major wireless carriers.
The first order they passed was to establish a rule forcing carriers to allow competitors to send and receive data on their networks for an established price. This move means that no matter where you are outside of your carrier's network, you will have roaming data coverage.
T-Mobile is starting to get aggressive with customer acquisition and retention, and in light of less than stellar fiscal performance and the news of the AT&T deal, it's not hard to see why.
On April 13, the carrier will begin offering a new off-contract smartphone plan, and it's a steal - for $59.99 a month (down from $79.99), you'll get unlimited talk, text and data*. But, there are some significant catches. The first is that you'll have to pay full retail for your phone of choice - the Even More Plus plan is a month-to-month affair.
The second is arguably worse - your data usage is technically unlimited, but after the first 2GB (as opposed to the current 5GB) your data speeds will be throttled down until the next billing cycle.
4G is here - and it seems like all four of America's biggest carriers are more than happy to advertise the fact that they've got it. Sprint was first on the scene - offering their WiMax 4G, and T-Mobile shortly thereafter began its upgrade to HSPA+ technology. Verizon was next, providing mobile broadband LTE via USB dongle for laptops, though its much-awaited debut 4G handset, the Thunderbolt, has yet to hit shelves after numerous delays. Finally, lagging behind in truly characteristic fashion, AT&T has begun to roll out its own HSPA+ network, with plans to offer LTE in the second half of the year.
While some people were unable to contemplate the possibility that Verizon's all-you-can-eat data plans would be coming to an end, Verizon's CFO Fran Shammo again affirmed the carrier's commitment to move to a tiered system today. When will life start to suck for new or upgrading Verizon customers? This Summer, apparently.
"But David, I already have an unlimited data contract, they have to honor that!" Why yes, they do. Until you want to upgrade to a 4G device, and you have to sign a completely "new" rate plan contract. AT&T is already doing this with the Inspire 4G - if you upgrade from any previous device to the Inspire, AT&T forces you into their limited data plans because your "service" has changed (to "4G").
Samsung has a reputation for not being the greatest at updating their devices, but this week has been especially rough for them. First, Microsoft had to halt an update to the Samsung Omnia 7 due to reports of bricked devices. Today, Sprint has just stopped pushing the Android 2.2 update for the Epic as users have found hardware problems after applying it.
According to Sprint's support forum, there have been an increased number of calls into their Care Centre about issues with wireless data connectivity and the ability to access the SD card. While it's a relief that no one has reported a bricked phone, I can imagine the long wait for Froyo would be made that much worse by having it break some core functionalities of your device.
Today, Google got the ball rolling on Gingerbread updates for the two official "Google phones", the Nexus One and Nexus S. While this is exciting, long awaited news for owners of the Nexus One, the Nexus S crowd may have some reason for disdain.
One of the things that got me really excited when I bought my first Android phone was the ability to import the numbers and email addresses of all my Facebook friends to my contact list automagically. No longer did I have to look it up on the Facebook webpage or, God forbid, call them and ask.
With the Gingerbread update for the Nexus S, Google has disabled this feature.
One of the few tech blogs who managed to get their hands on Motorola's upcoming AT&T flagship - the Atrix 4G - is, of course, Engadget. The reviewer, unsurprisingly, is the infamous cool geek and editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky, who, from my experience reading Engadget's reviews, does a good overall job but fails to go into those details that matter to most Android users. The Atrix 4G review is exactly what I had expected, and I'm going to summarize it and save you 20 minutes reading it.