10
Feb
IMG_8096_wm_thumb1 (1)

First it was a mystery. Then it was the 14th of February. After that, it was indeterminately postponed. And now, Android Central is reporting that the Thunderbolt will finally launch on February 24th.

This lines up perfectly with Droid Life's earlier speculations, though of course, it's always possible that Verizon will push the date back yet again. Because, you know, it's not like anyone is eagerly awaiting the carrier's first 4G phone or anything.

10
Feb
wm_IMAG0143

The Thunderbolt just can't come soon enough, can it? It seems we've been talking about this beast forever, and Best Buy even officially announced pre-orders, but the uncertainty regarding the actual release date has been killing us. Is it the 14th, the 24th, or something else?

And now it's not the only thing killing us - a tip confirmed by 2 sources points to a whopping $749 full retail price of the Thunderbolt, at least judging by the information currently in Best Buy's systems.

09
Feb
atrixdock

AT&T’s announced pricing for the Motorola Atrix Laptop Dock left much of the community scratching their heads. $500 for a gutless laptop? Though the docking capability is innovative, many were put off and vocal of steering clear of the Atrix altogether. Forbes reached out to AT&T for some commenting and were delivered this message from VP Mike Woodward:

“With all the integration between the phone and the dock, you can do more on an Atrix than you can on a netbook,” Woodward explained.

09
Feb
Motorola-Cliq-XT

With many Cliq XT users threatening to walk after Motorola’s Eclair update fiasco, T-Mobile is feeling quite sympathetic. In an effort to prevent more customers from cancelling and subscribing elsewhere, T-Mobile is now offering Cliq XT users some form of compensation through their Customer Loyalty department. Due to the proposed confidentiality of the memo the exact incentive is unknown. Cliq XT users are encouraged to call and find out what’s the best they can get to remain loyal to the purple T.

09
Feb
Google-Nexus-S1

Vodafone has officially announced they will be launching a black and white Nexus S on contract in 24 countries worldwide. Vodafone, which was one of Google's first carrier partners for the Nexus One, has listed the device as "coming soon" on their website. This should bump Nexus S sales a bit in the UK as up until now, the Google-branded handset was only available in the UK unlocked.

vodafone_nexus_s_white

At this point, we do not have any details on a price or probable launch date, but look for this device soon.

08
Feb
verizon_lte_4g_commercial

Verizon is about to add another card to its deck - at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, the carrier intends to announce VoLTE, which will enable voice calls to be routed over their fancy new LTE network. This opens the door for simultaneous voice and data usage, a feature AT&T customers have been bragging about for ages now. Additional benefits include superior call quality between VoLTE-enabled phones, though legacy 3G users will be left behind with no improved call clarity.

08
Feb
thunderbolt_wirefly

Our pals over at WireFly have done an unboxing video of a production Thunderbolt, and at 7 minutes long, it provides a good look at what customers can expect to find in the box. See for yourself:

Notable points:

  • 32 GB microSD card pre-installed (8 GB of ROM, for a total of 40 GB of storage)
  • Kickstand
  • SIM card required for LTE
  • Dual-LED flash
  • 4.3" 480x800px LCD
  • Android 2.2.1
  • 8 MP camera around back, 1.3 MP in front

Although they just barely play with the phone while it's powered on, they mentioned in an email that "This phone cranks." They also mention that WireFly will be selling the device "soon." How soon that is is up for debate though, especially in light of today's delay.

08
Feb
alt

Some internal document sent somewhere at some point today was captured by someone and then sent on to Droid-Life, and the news it contains isn't going to be making anyone particularly happy:

thunderbolt-delay

Here's the deal: the Thunderbolt won't be launching on the 14th (next week). Amazon and Best Buy apparently had it wrong, and Amazon has since updated its page to reflect that unknown launch date.

The Thunderbolt's Mobile Hotspot feature has also been pushed back, but I would assume this is merely to accommodate the device's new release date.

07
Feb
Low_Res_Simul-Task_Mode_viewing_Facebook

Turns out the rumors were true - Sprint and Kyocera have partnered up to build the Echo, the world's first dual-screen phone.

The two 3.5" 800x480 screens offer 4.7 inches of real estate when combined, and can be used as:

  • One huge display ("Tablet Mode")
  • Combined displays, where one screen can show a keyboard while the other displays the email app ("Optimized Mode")
  • Two individual displays with each running a separate app ("Simul-Task Mode")
  • One single display, with the second hidden underneath ("Single-Screen Mode")

Unfortunately, the rest of the Echo's specs aren't nearly as innovative - its battery is puny (1370 mAh, though Sprint will include a spare), it doesn't have a front-facing camera, and there's no 4G connectivity to speak of.

07
Feb
sprint-logo

Nope, a 3D phone really isn't what Sprint has up its sleeves (despite the speculation) - though the device it plans to unveil later today will, apparently, feature some amazing screen tech.

This morning, the Wall Street Journal reported that Sprint's big announcement will involve a Kyocera-manufactured device called the "Echo," which features two 3.5-inch displays connected by a "pivot hinge." To be honest, I had a hard time believing the rumor - it sounded like the stuff of dreams (at least with the current state of technology) - but it looks like my fears were unfounded, for a search for "echo" on Sprint's site brings up the following result:

kyocera-echo-sprint-leak

While the link below the promising text doesn't open an actual product page, it does lead to the following gem, which makes the possibility of an official unveiling tonight even more likely:

2011-02-07 17h28_03

Guess we now know why Sprint didn't have anything to show off at CES (excluding the Shift 4G), eh?  

Sources: Sprint, WSJ via Engadget

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