Now that most of the big guns have showed off their latest smartphones at IFA, you've got a pretty good idea of what's in store for the fall hardware parade. If you've decided on LG's G2 flagship, you won't have to wait very long on Verizon or T-Mobile.
LG had hardly introduced its new G2 flagship when they mentioned that it would come to the "big four" American carriers, meaning AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint. They're bringing the fight to Samsung in this carrier-driven market. T-Mobile has confirmed the statement in the LG event: there's already a basic website dedicated to the new 5.2-inch Android handset, complete with the compulsory information signup. There's currently no date or price for the phone on any carrier.
You might have noticed the pricing of the Moto X when it was announced yesterday. $199 is a typical price for a new subsidized phone on a 2-year contract, but what about T-Mobile? The magenta carrier doesn't do traditional subsidies anymore, so what's the deal? Well, a close reading of the original PR makes it clear that T-Mobile isn't going to carry the device in stores or online. It'll still exist, though.
The Isis mobile payment platform backed by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile hasn't exactly taken off, but that's to be expected: today it's only available as a trial program in Austin and Salt Lake City. The latest press release from Isis announces that the NFC-powered platform will expand nationwide later this year, though a specific date was not mentioned. Isis is widely regarded as the reason that Google Wallet remains inaccessible to most Android users on the networks of its three founding companies.
T-Mobile's version of the Sony Xperia Z is now available on the carrier's website in both black and purple. We were previously under the impression this was just the pre-order date, with wide availability following tomorrow, July 17th. The device appears to actually be ready for purchase, though. If you jump on it now, you get free overnight shipping and a Sony Bluetooth wireless speaker. These are limited time, online-only offers.
Whether or not you want to partake in T-Mobile's "Uncarrier" experiments, they're obviously having an effect on the wider American carrier landscape. Today AT&T announced plans to counter T-Mobile's JUMP! upgrade/trade-in plan with one of their own, called Next. The Next plan will allow similar installment payments on new phones with no money down, and users will be given the option to trade in their existing phone and begin paying off a new one.
If you're one of the lucky few with a T-Mobile-branded Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, there's an update headed your way. It's based on Android 4.1.2, just like the last one was, but it adds one notable new feature: LTE. Yes, the tablet's latent LTE radio has been enabled with this update.
The new version of the software is starting to hit devices today, but mashing the update button won't help. It's going to be arriving in waves until all tablets have gotten the notification around July 19th.
T-Mobile has made quite a splash with two new policies unveiled at last week's "Boldest Moves Yet" event. The JUMP! plan combines a trade-in program and insurance policy that lets you upgrade your phone every six months for a $10 monthly fee, and the Simple Choice Family Plans have some great values for families looking to save some cash on multiple lines. Both are live as of yesterday - you can start shopping on T-Mobile's website, or walk into your friendly neighborhood retail store.
Sometimes making the jump to the next version of Android introduces more cons than pros. This reality caused T-Mobile to pause and take a step back the last time it started to roll out Jelly Bean to the LG Optimus L9. Users complained of excessive battery drain and difficulty receiving calls, among other things. It's been a couple of months since that debacle, and now the carrier is ready to try again.