Mobile payment providers. Yeah, I'm already getting a little sleepy thinking about them, too. Let's face it, they're not the most exciting topic in the world, but whenever we talk about how people spend their money, you know there are lots of companies out there eagerly eying the potential of various new payment technologies with great interest. Among such companies are cell phone carriers, and the reason why should be obvious: smartphones with NFC are ideal platforms for next-generation payment systems.
Last week, the CyanogenMod team launched the first CM9 nightly builds for the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and Motorola XOOM. As of today, the following devices also have CM9 nightly builds available:
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi and I/O Edition (download: p4wifi) - yay for the latter, as it seems Samsung completely abandoned it - I believe mine is still running 3.1 with no updates in sight.
HTC has just unveiled its new 2012 One flagship series of phones, at least one of which T-Mobile USA is going to introduce in the United States this spring - the HTC One S. Of the three variants announced today, the One S is the thinnest - it's only 7.95mm thick. In fact, it's so thin that T-Mobile has never carried another phone that could beat it in that department, which it was quite happy to highlight this afternoon.
Wow, what a year 2011 was for T-Mobile. We watched as AT&T tried to purchase T-Mobile USA to no avail, while Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T all launched the iPhone 4S and made progress towards their own respective LTE networks.
In fact, the latter two items hurt Magenta so much that its revenue dropped 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. Ouch. Don't underestimate the underdog, though; T-Mo has a plan.
Remember back in December when Verizon announced its plans to buy a truckload of spectrum licenses from several cable companies? T-Mobile does, and they're not happy about it. The fourth-largest US carrier told the FCC that the deal would allow Verizon to "accumulate even more spectrum on top of an already dominant position."
Verizon fired back with the time-honored legal defense of "Well, why not? Nobody else is using it!" In a response to the filing, Verizon claimed that the deal would make use of spectrum that is currently going unutilized by the cable companies.
T-Mobile and Samsung announced just moments ago that the Galaxy S Blaze 4G that was unveiled at CES earlier this year will be available beginning in "late March," priced at $149.99 (after $50 mail-in rebate card) for two-year agreements with qualifying voice/data plans. The S Blaze 4G will be a T-Mobile exclusive device, and will evidently include T-Mo's 4GPro App Pack, meaning the phone will come with apps like Dropbox, Evernote, Square, TripIt, Camscanner, and LinkedIn preloaded.
T-Mobile is evidently planning a huge sale in celebration of Valentine's day, offering all phones (plus the Springboard tablet and G-Slate) free for one day only this Saturday, February 11th. The deal will apply to current and new customers with Value or Classic Plans. Customers looking to take advantage of the sale will need to pay the 2-year subsidy, and will receive a full reimbursement via mail-in rebate card.
Update: The sale was apparently extended by an extra day through end of Sunday due to downed systems and busy stores that couldn't handle demand.
Back in December of 2011, the T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant was canned by the CyanogenMod team due to a 911 emergency dialing bug that was considered crucial and unfixable:
Earlier today, when I read comments from Motorola executive Christy Wyatt over on PCMag explaining that lagging software updates could be blamed in large part on hardware variation, my first response was "really?" Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Motorola has iterated so much hardware in the last year that it has actually promised to cut down on the number of versions of Android handsets it will make.
Specifically, Wyatt made a point of the obvious fact that when Google releases the source code for Android, the only devices it will readily compile on fall into the "Nexus" category.
T-Mobile UK just announced the plan to kill all plans for our brothers and sisters across the pond. It's called The Full Monty and it's everything that you could possibly want in a mobile plan - unlimited calls, texts, data, and tethering all for one price.
The plan has four different variants, each of which is mostly differentiated by applicable devices. Here's a quick overview of what it looks like:
If you notice, the most affordable plan is also the one available on the widest variety of devices, but it also has one hindrance compared to the other choices: it only offers 2,000 talk-time minutes to networks other than T-Mo.