The big news in the wireless business this week has been AT&T's upcoming purchase of Leap Wireless, which the FCC approved yesterday. The deal has been in the works since July of last year. That leaves AT&T in an interesting spot, since it now owns the CDMA-based Cricket Wireless, which directly competes with the budget-focused Aio sub-brand. Apparently AT&T prefers the more established brand, because the company said it will combine the assets of both under the "Cricket" name.
Like all of the current writers and editors for Android Police, I'm American. Which means that my understanding of cricket is something along the lines of, "like baseball, but more British." That gives me the vague impression that during the seventh inning stretch everyone stops to sing God Save The Queen and heads to the concession stand for tea. If you know more about the noble sport of cricket than I do, you'll be pleased to hear that Google just added support for scores and schedules to Google Now.
All joking aside, we know this is a big deal for sports fans in India, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, and several other countries.
You know what? There are entirely too many versions of the Samsung Galaxy S4. I feel like I've written this same story a half-dozen times, though that's probably because it's essentially the same software update across the Galaxy S4, S III, and Note II. In any case, if you're rocking Samsung's 2013 flagship on budget carrier Cricket, you might see an over the air update prompt today: it's your turn to get Android 4.3.
If you're in the market for a Cricket Wireless phone, the carrier is offering some downright fantastic deals at the moment. They're offering massive mail-in rebates of $200 off the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S III, and HTC One SV (in addition to their regular web discounts), delivered in the form of a Visa prepaid card. Thanks to a surprisingly low starting price, Samsung's Galaxy S4 is just $329.99 with the rebate - and that's not a contract price.
Samsung's newest flagship phone has infiltrated just about every US carrier already, but we can add one more to that list today. Cricket Wireless has started taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S4 with an expected shipping date of June 7th.
Cricket Wireless is a pre-paid carrier that operates partially on the networks run by Sprint, MetroPCS, and others (as an MVNO). Cricket does have its own CDMA towers on 1700 and 1900MHz in many areas.
Cricket Wireless wants you to know that they'll have the Samsung Galaxy S4, just like the big boys. They just don't have it yet. In a press release issued today, Cricket revealed its own special version of the Galaxy S4 (which is exactly like all the other LTE Galaxy S4 models), and it will be available to customers in-store, online, and at authorized resellers on June 7th. The cost for Cricket's unsubsidized phone is a wallet-searing $599.99, but those who are short on green can put $54.99 down and pay it off over a couple of years.
Last night, Cricket quietly added the Engage LT to its website for $179.99. Amusingly, with the current set of sales, it's the same price as its older and better brother, the ZTE Engage (no LT in the name). David posted about the ZTE Engage shortly before it released late last year. Neither phone is particularly interesting and both have lower-end specs with mid-range pricing.
Here are the relevant specs:
- Android 4.0
- 4" TFT WVGA (800 x 480) capacitive display (233 PPI)
- 1 GHz Snapdragon processor (model is currently unknown)
- 3.2 MP rear camera w/LED flash, VGA front camera
- 1 GB RAM
- 1900 mAh Lithium Ion battery
What makes the original Engage better than the Cricket-branded newcomer?
If you're a dedicated Cricket customer looking for something new and shiny (without breaking the bank), hang on to that Christmas bonus for a little while longer. The prepaid carrier announced today that the HTC One SV, itself only just debuting in the UK, will be available on January 16th. The mid-range ICS phone will run $349.99 on Cricket's non-subsidized 3G and LTE plans.
To refresh your memory, the One SV appropriately sits between the One S and One V models.
In a post to Google+ today, it was announced that Cricket's Samsung Galaxy SIII (otherwise known as d2cri) had received its first official CM 10.1 nightly, meaning Cricket-connected SIII users can enjoy the Android 4.2-based ROM with all the tweaks and features CyanogenMod fans have come to expect. Those who have followed the Cricket GSIII's progress toward an official nightly build will also be happy to learn that the device's camera woes have reportedly been solved.
Oh, open source files. You might not know it, but it's awfully hard to write words about kernel source going live on Samsung's website, something we do quite often here at Android Police. But, if you're into this sort of thing, you're probably not too concerned with what I'm saying, so much as the links to those files, which I have. And I'm going to make you scroll to get them!