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.
A couple of leaked Verizon charts popped up on Droid Life this morning, their contents? HTC Thunderbolt propaganda - well, at least in one of them.
If Verizon's estimated LTE speeds aren't just hot air, then Sprint and T-Mobile (and AT&T) should probably be worried right now. Sprint's smartphone plan price hike probably isn't winning them any points, and T-Mobile's 4G handsets aren't exactly new and exciting (G2, myTouch, or a rehashed Vibrant - take your pick).
I don't know where Verizon gets their network speed estimates for T-Mo and Sprint, but they seem pretty forgiving - given the speed ranges shown.
The phone is available for $149.99 for new accounts and upgrades and $199.99 for family plans adding a new line.
As usual, Wirefly ships free (November 3rd) and doesn't charge tax in most states.
Here are all 3 phones, linked for your convenience:
Spec recap follows:
- 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 "Snapdragon" CPU
- 3.8" WVGA display
- optical joystick
- four color options: white, black, plum, red
- Genius button
- 8GB preinstalled microSD, expandable to 32GB
- 5MP camera with 720P recording
- front-facing camera
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- Android 2.2 with T-Mobile's video chat app that works on both T-Mobile's network and WiFi
So, who is picking one up?
Well, Verizon is up to their old tricks again. Last time they did something worthy of a head-scratch was just a short time ago, when they forced Bing onto the Fascinate and abandoned the built-in Google bits and pieces for search.
Now they've decided that, in addition to Google Maps, Google Search, and Google Voice Search not being necessary, the Android MARKET is insufficient. Introducing the Vcast App Store!
Verizon seems to think that they are somehow more likely to persuade users to buy apps. While there may be some advantages (carrier billing being the only one i can think of), it is really starting to look like Verizon hates Google.