We've been wondering whether or not the gargantuan Samsung Galaxy Note would ever make its way stateside, and I believe we just got our answer. This tablet-phone hybrid device (or as I like to call it, a phablet) just passed through the FCC, and it's sporting AT&T 2G/3G bands.
If you need a refresher on what makes the Note so unique (aside from its massive 5.3-inch display), watch this:
And a quick look at the specs of the international version:
5.3-inch 1280x800 Super AMOLED HD display
1.4GHz dual-core Exynos processor
32GB built-in storage, microSD card slot
8MP rear shooter, 2MP front camera
Android 2.3.5 with TouchWiz
Keep in mind that these specs could change for the US release, but that's probably not likely.
You might remember mention of a new AT&T service called Toggle last month, a service which promised to allow enterprise users to access corporate email, calendars and contacts securely from whatever Android device they choose to purchase, while separately maintaining their personal data. AT&T's official Toggle app hit the Android Market today, heralding the beginning of the service, and bringing hugely useful functionality to enterprise users concerned with keeping their business and personal activities separate.
AT&T Toggle essentially allows users to operate in two different modes on a single device: a personal mode, which acts just like your stock device, and a business mode, which allows access to corporate email, calendars etc.
Poor AT&T. This is the second year in a row in which Ma Bell has been tossed under the knife with other carriers and came out dead last in terms of customer satisfaction. The survey, taken by Consumer Reports, examines voice, data, text messaging services, and customer care; the biggest hit came from... can you guess?... voice. Phone-based customer care also helped the company to achieve its bottom-tier ranking.
Surprisingly, the top position is held by regional-based carrier Consumer Cellular, a provider that, ironically enough, runs off of AT&T's network and focuses on senior citizens. Next in line was U.S. Cellular, followed closely by Credo, a small carrier that utilizes Sprint's network to do its bidding.
Amid the turmoil surrounding Carrier IQ, the company's VP of Marketing, Andrew Coward, has come forward in a series of interviews with a few clarifications.
For those not in the loop, the controversy around Carrier IQ is based on developer Trevor Eckhart's findings which indicated that Carrier IQ's software was indeed collecting a vast array of information, and his demonstration showing that said data could be read using a simple command – one that could be executed by any malicious app with access to logcat. This data includes location information, SMS messages, and key taps.
Before we dive into Coward's remarks on the issue of security (and why he says CIQ is not to be blamed for insecure logs), it's important to look at how CIQ actually functions on a device.
The Motorola lapdock for the original Atrix 4G is being blown out of the AT&T store starting today for $250 off its $300 list price. Yup, just $50 after an instant discount gets you a laptop shell with a 36Wh battery inside.
Plug your Atrix into it, and the dead frame comes alive with a desktop-grade Webtop experience (it's really a custom, though severely cut down, Linux flavor), including desktop Firefox and virtual access to your phone's screen and data while docked.
Now that the Atrix 2 is out, AT&T is likely seeing a huge drop of demand for the now obsolete OG Atrix, and nobody likes being stuck with a large stock of unsold and highly overpriced accessories of questionable value.
Led by law firms from Delaware and New Jersey - Sianni & Straite LLP, Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy LLP, and Keefe Bartels L.L.C. - the lawsuit "asserts that three cell phone providers (T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T) and four manufacturers of cell phones (HTC, Motorola, Apple and Samsung) violated the Federal Wiretap Act, the Stored Electronic Communications Act, and the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act." CarrierIQ is not named in that quote, but it is listed in the press release's title, so don't worry - the whole gang is included.
Our elusive friend the Galaxy Nexus has made yet another appearance at the FCC, gaining approval for GSM 850/1900 and WCDMA II/IV bands, indicating an impending AT&T release.
Update: A tipster has informed us that the GT-I9250T's 'T' suffix may indicate that the phone is not actually headed for the US, but for either Telcel in Mexico, or Telus in Canada. This speculation seems conceivable, given that previous Galaxy models with a T suffix went to one of the two carriers listed above. Again, this is merely (informed) speculation – since neither AT&T nor Telus have said a word about the Galaxy Nexus, anything is possible.
So yesterday, the FCC released a report detailing its feelings on the AT&T/T-Mobile. The FCC basically called it like it is and said the merger will reduce competition, raise prices, cost jobs, and AT&T will have to build out its network with or without T-Mobile.
Well, AT&T got wind of that report, and they are not happy. Today they responded with all the composure of a rejected middle schooler:
We expected that the AT&T-T-Mobile transaction would receive careful, considered, and fair analysis. Unfortunately, the preliminary FCC Staff Analysis offers none of that. The document is so obviously one-sided that any fair-minded person reading it is left with the clear impression that it is an advocacy piece, and not a considered analysis.
Thanksgiving is over, but you know what that means - Black Friday is now officially in full effect, and we're seeing some pretty good deals, some of which are getting snatched up in mere seconds (cough, $199.99 Toshiba Thrive).
One of such BF deals is the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc X12 with AT&T 3G frequencies for $319.99. The MSRP is listed at $549.99, and the price before today was somewhere around $370, so if you're looking for a slim and sexy Android Gingerbread device without signing a contract, this phone may very well be for you.
The Arc, which we absolutely loved at CES this year, features the following:
1GHz Scorpion CPU (MSM8255)
Adreno 205 GPU
512MB internal storage
4.2" 854x480 TFT display
8.1MP camera with F2.4 aperture, 720p recording, and Mobile Bravia Engine technology