As much as I complain about how ridiculous the monthly price of a good wireless plan is, I have to admit it does have its upsides. For AT&T and Verizon especially, that means that when they take in those huge profits, they pay part of it back out in the form of network upgrades and advancements. That's a big chunk of why their 4G (LTE) rollouts are ahead of the other two carriers, and part of why they're ahead of their European counterparts (the other big part, at least compared to Europe, is spectrum).
It's nothing new for images or specs of a device to leak prior to its announcement, but this time it does dash the hopes of some Android fans to bits. The Samsung SPH-L300 for Sprint was first leaked in a user profile that lacked any real information. It was put forth that this could be the Sprint version of the Samsung Galaxy S III already in testing, but if this new leak is to be believed, this is a completely different and thoroughly mid-range device.
TheVerge has just learned that the previously-upcoming Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD, an upmarket version of the Galaxy S II with LTE and a larger HD display, will not be released.
Previously announced at CES, the HD would have been the flagship Samsung device in AT&T's lineup. In light of the launch of the HTC One X, though, the HD was simply outgunned. Rumors prior to the launch of the Galaxy S III also indicated Samsung had moved up the release date of the next Galaxy in order to get a leg up on the competition (namely, HTC).
T-Mobile sent out a press release late last night to announce just what they're doing with the consolation prize from AT&T's failed bid to take over the company. Unsurprisingly, the company is using the $4 billion and spectrum licenses to do exactly what they need to stay competitive with other carriers: expand their HSPA+ coverage and, more importantly, roll out LTE.
According to the press release, we can expect T-Mo to continue expanding and improving their HSPA+ for the remainder of 2012:
Want to hear more about the EVO 4G LTE? Good! Because we have a release date for you! And if you don't like that one, we have another one. According to Wirefly's pre-order FAQ page, this slick beast will be unleashed on May 18th. Sprint's own pre-order confirmations seem to lend some credence to this idea, stating that pre-order will begin to ship as early as May 15th.
Sprint's promotional email also supports this, stating that the pre-order offer ends May 17th, which would make sense if the next day is launch day.
It's finally here, the DROID Incredible 4G LTE, that phone you might have sort of been a little curious about at some point, but probably weren't because it isn't nearly as good looking as the real HTC One phones. But hey, it has a removable battery, Verizon's ever-expanding 4G LTE network, and a Snapdragon S4 processor that hopefully won't devour juice like the Cookie Monster at an all-you-can-eat Nestle Toll House buffet.
If you've been following the Galaxy S III news today, you know it has a banging new Exynos 4 quad-core processor that absolutely obliterates benchmarks. The problem is that the Exynos 4 platform is quite old at this point (for a mobile chipset), and was never designed to support LTE. That's why devices like the Galaxy S II Skyrocket don't use an Exynos chip. Devices with Exynos 4 chips that do, like the Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE, use an external one - adding thickness and increasing power consumption.
Sprint's money troubles are no secret to anyone. After losing out on the Lightsquared deal, not to mention the decreased revenue from the iPhone deal (which should pay off in the long run), Sprint has had trouble making ends meet in the short term. Thanks to a new deal signed with the Western States Contract Alliance (WSCA), Sprint will receive $2bn in revenue over the next four years in exchange for its wireless services.
We've been waiting eagerly for Sprint to get on board the LTE train and now that it's finally happening with the Now Network's version of the Galaxy Nexus, Wirefly is stepping in to make the deal even more attractive: the Galaxy Nexus is available today for $150 with a new account. That's half the price of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus and $50 off the phone directly from Sprint.
If you're looking to get in on Sprint's "truly unlimited" LTE data plans, but still want to save some cash on the device, Wirefly is also selling the LG Viper for $20, or $80 off Sprint's official price.
It's the third-ish week of the month, so you know what time is: time for new Verizon LTE markets. This month, Big Red decided to go big by activating LTE in 27 new markets on April 19th. Not only that, but it's expanding current LTE coverage in 44 additional markets. Without further ado, here's that monstrous list:
- Auburn and Tuscaloosa, AL
- Pine Bluff, Siloam Springs, and Van Buren, AR
- Brunswick, LaGrange, and Macron/Warner Robins, GA
- Peoria, IL
- Kokomo/Logansport and Marion, IN
- Salisbury, MD
- Cattaraugus/Allegany, NY
- Sandusky, OH
- Ardmore and Ponca City, OK
- Salem/Albany/Corvallis, OR
- Pierre, SD
- Big Springs and Tyler, TX
- Phoenix and Tucson, AZ
- Bakersfield, Fresno, Modesto, Sacramento, Salinas/Monterey, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo and Stockton, CA
- Colorado Springs and Fort Collins/Loveland, CO
- Sarasota/Bradenton, FL
- Boise/Nampa, ID
- Carbondale/Marion and Rockford, IL
- Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, IN
- Des Moines, IA
- Boston and Worcester, MA
- Detroit, MI