08
Feb
Motorola-XOOM_thumb

Yes, we were excited too, but it looks like owners of Verizon's LTE Xoom still have to wait a bit for ICS. The tablet is about to receive a software update (HLK75H) "soon". Verizon's support page doesn't specify when. There's not much to the update, though. Your tablet will now support dual International Mobile Subscriber Identities (IMSI), as well as a bugfix for restoring data connectivity after exiting Airplane Mode.

2012-02-08 19h42_06

In other words, this update is for the subset of the already small group of people who own Verizom Xooms that use their tablets for frequent international travel.

08
Feb
sprint-logo

Sprint posted its fourth quarter earnings this morning, and they definitely painted a mixed picture of the company's financial position. On the one hand, the Alamo of unlimited data increased its subscriber base by 1.6 million in the last quarter, with big thanks likely owed to the addition of the iPhone to Sprint's lineup - giving them a significant advantage over their primary price point rival, T-Mobile.

Unfortunately, also because of the iPhone, the company managed a $1.3 billion net loss for the quarter, owed in large part to the massive cost of providing the device ($15.5 billion over 4 years) to customers at heavily subsidized price points.

02
Feb
MetroPCS-logo

We all love LTE. We also all love not being broke, if we can avoid it. Sometimes our two great loves conflict with each other. MetroPCS wants to try and make this love triangle work with $40 unlimited plans for all LTE devices in its portfolio. There's a catch, though: you're only allowed 100 MB of "multimedia streaming access."

2012-02-02 11h44_02

According to MetroPCS, "multimedia streaming access" is defined as "content that is programmed as streaming within a web site." Suffice to say, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, and any number of other services that you might want to use would fall into this category.

02
Feb
QCOM

We're gradually working our way into an all-LTE world, but there are still a few hurdles to cross. One of those hurdles, the seamless handover from LTE to 3G during a VoLTE (voice-over-LTE) call, has now been achieved by Qualcomm.

So, what does that mean, exactly? Basically, if you're on a VoLTE call in an LTE network and you leave the coverage zone, the call would normally go dead. Thanks to this new chip from Qualcomm, though, that all changes.

01
Feb
us cellular

US Cellular back in May of 2011 announced that it would be rolling out 4G LTE to about a quarter of its customer base "before the holiday season." While that deadline may have come and gone without a word from the regional carrier, it just announced that the rollout is officially set to begin "next month" in select cities:

  • Milwaukee, Madison and Racine, WI
  • Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport, IA
  • Portland and Bangor, ME
  • Greenville, NC

The company also announced the first two devices that will run on its LTE network: the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy S Aviator.

26
Jan
galaxy_nexus

Google's latest wunderphone, the Galaxy Nexus, normally runs a pricey $300 on contract when purchased through Verizon. Luckily, competition brings down prices - sometimes dramatically - and it's on sale now at Amazon for just $99.99 with free 2-day shipping for incoming Verizon customers (it's still $259.99 for those who are upgrading). Quite the discount, and 100 bones for  such a mind-blowing device is quite the steal indeed.

2012-01-26 14h15_44

In comparison, Wirefly is selling the GNexus for $230 for both new and upgrading customers.

13
Jan
image

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).

13
Jan
image
Last Updated: January 17th, 2012

As I wrote back in October, Sprint currently has major network issues, but the company has been planning to address the woes with the Network Vision rollout in 2012 and 2013.

Network Vision is a project to improve existing cell towers and roll out LTE across the U.S., and it's already underway in the existing CDMA 1900MHz range. 1900MHz is nice, but just wait till you see what the 2nd stage of NV (Network Vision) has in store when it starts rolling out in the 800MHz range in place of the current iDEN network.

12
Jan
wm_IMG_9932

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.

11
Jan
wm_IMG_9893

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.

First up is the Xperia Ion, announced a couple of days ago by AT&T.

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