Are you sitting down? Assuming you're reading this on your PC, I would imagine that you are. Unless, of course, you have a standing desk, in which case I urge you to sit down. We've seen it pop up on the web but haven't really heard anything about its price. This time, however, it looks like it made an in-store appearance at Walmart and brought a price tag along with it.
For those who have been paying attention, it's pretty clear that the mobile space is exploding, thanks largely to the rapid adoption of Android, iPhone, and, to a lesser extent, Windows Phone 7 devices. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Best Buy is planning to expand their stand-alone Best Buy Mobile brand by 600-800 locations over the next five years.
Best Buy's been a fairly major player in the Android space, often offering phones at a steeper discount than the carriers in order to attract new customers.
Well, seems like Google wasn't lying when they said they would continue to work on providing carrier billing as a payment option in the Android Market, announcing the addition of the feature to Sprint handsets, alongside T-Mobile and AT&T. With three out of four major US carriers down, will carrier billing be coming to Verizon any time soon?
The feature has long been the request of many customers across all carriers, particularly internationally.
2 of T-Mobile's most exciting devices that are arriving this month, the dual-core LG G2x and the Samsung Sidekick 4G, have just gone live on Wirefly's pre-order site. Wirefly, one of the largest online mobile retailers, is sweetening the deal on the G2x by $50 compared to MSRP and on the Sidekick 4G (pick black or pink) by $20.
Both devices come with free activation for the pre-order period and, of course, ship for free as well.
The XOOM's currently nonfunctional microSD card slot has likely turned off many a potential buyer, but – if you're willing to take your chances with unofficial software from the Android dev community – the problem has finally been solved.
The solution comes by way of an update to Tiamat, a custom kernel from XDA member bigrushdog. Installation is more or less identical to any other kernel, but if you need instructions, knock yourself out:
It seems like everyone is interested in getting into the cloud music game lately, doesn't it? Clearly Sprint wanted to jump on that bandwagon as well, because this morning it announced a new music service, powered by RealNetworks, called Sprint Music Plus.
SMP will reportedly be a one stop shop for all of your music, ringtone, and ringback needs, with playlist support and a full media library, both of which can be managed from the mobile device or the web interface (which I could find no trace of, so I'm assuming that this can only be accessed from within a Sprint account).
AT&T has kind of introduced two new LG Android powered smartphones into its lineup, set to appear on April 17th - the LG Thrive and LG Phoenix. I say "kind of" because, well, they're the same phone. The Thrive is a prepaid variant, while the Phoenix is a contract-only device.
Left: Thrive; Right: Phoenix
They're not really anything to brag about, but here are the specs:
- 600MHz processor
- 3.2 Inch screen
- 160MB of user memory, 2GB SD card
- 3.2MP Camera
- Android 2.2
I guess it's not too bad when you consider the off contract price of $180 for the Thrive (okay, yes it is.
Did we mention it's coming to T-Mobile? And it'll be sporting an HSPA+ radio to take advantage of T-Mobile's 4G network. Unfortunately, it won't be available until this summer.
Earlier, Mobile Bulgaria (which, as of this writing, is down) stumbled upon a Vodafone product page for HTC's upcoming dual-core Android handset, the Sensation (aka the Pyramid).
Boy Genius Report dropped a piece of information this afternoon confirming a long-standing suspicion that the Motorola XOOM will soon be available on America's most budget-friendly carrier, Sprint - and it'll be packing a WiMAX 4G radio.
The tip came via Sprint store employees, who found XOOM case SKUs in the Sprint inventory system, along with an actual case in an accessory shipment, as shown below.
Pricing has not yet been made public, but expect some kind of subsidy to be available with a 2-year agreement.