They say "talk is cheap" - and these days it seems like every major US wireless carrier is claiming to have the fastest 4G (of course 4G is a highly debatable marketing term that describes three vastly different networks, but that's fodder for another post altogether). It's relatively easy to tune all of the marketing hype out but, when presented with some solid numbers, it gets easier to pay attention. PC World has tried to give us some raw data to work with in their profiling of the data speeds on the four major providers.
We have learned from a number of trusted sources that the much-anticipated HTC Thunderbolt will launch this Thursday, March 17. We have also learned that online retailer Wirefly will be offering pre-orders starting at midnight (PST) tonight. The site's Thunderbolt page has not yet been updated to reflect this, but they announced it via their Facebook page. Verizon's first LTE smartphone lists for $249.99, but Wirefly is promising a "special price" for their customers.
Sprint's just announced that the upcoming Kyocera Echo will be released on April 17 and will sell for $199 (on a two-year contract, of course). Customers will be able to reserve the dual-screen flippity doo starting March 26.
The novelty phone sports two displays, each 3.5" with a resolution of 800x480. It has a 1GHz single-core Snapdragon processor and will run Android 2.2 Froyo at launch. While innovative designs are always welcome, an overhyped unveiling (featuring illusionist David Blaine) and ho-hum specs have led some to ridicule Kyocera's latest Android device long before its release date was announced.
Remember that new version of Flash we reported on this morning? Yeah, well it's still scheduled to roll out on March 18th - one week from today - but thanks to BBCrackman from My Droid World, you can download a leaked copy of version 10.2 now.
Just as promised, it (finally) includes support for Honeycomb, meaning you can now watch South Park, Conan, or any other Flash video on your XOOM.
There's no doubt about it - we've come a long, long way since the HTC Dream (whose relatives include the G1, myTouch 3G, and DoCoMo HT-03A) was released. Since that fateful October day, we've seen all kinds of crazy Android-powered gear, from snow goggles to handsets sporting more raw horsepower than a netbook. We've also been treated to heaps of community-created mods, including custom ROMs like CyanogenMod and MIUI as well as mind-blowing hacks of other sorts, such as 1.5GHz overclocks and apps that essentially manage your phone for you.
AT&T points out that the speeds were not "capped," but are simply not HSUPA-capable. While this does accurately reflect that the carrier was not intentionally throttling data speeds, it seems to only distract from the fact that, on the customer's end, the result is the same.
I won't lie: I have no qualms about calling shenanigans on this one, especially considering the recent Nokia/Microsoft alliance. So with that said, let's proceed to examine what is, most likely, the latest entry in the Android Photoshop fail series:
Indeed, it appears that Nokia and Google have overcome their differences and created an almost button-less, Deezer-running Android phone for the masses... or so says Orange. Reality, of course, begs to differ.
Way to pour salt on your customers' wounds there,
Verizon authorized Verizon retailer: pictures have surfaced of a new flyer arriving in customers' homes (obtained by Droid Life) that shows the HTC Thunderbolt with the words "Now Available" beneath it. No, this isn't an unexpected dream come true for Verizon customers, it seems like a flub by an authorized dealer (it's unclear to us which one) that certainly can't help calm the restless natives.
Have you ever been annoyed by SMS spam that attempts to convince you to pay for new Paris Hilton ringtones or something else you probably don't want? It appears that Verizon Wireless has too, as they have filed a federal lawsuit outlining a fraudulent SMS scheme that targeted its customers.
Among the violations that the scammers allegedly performed on Verizon customers:
- misappropriating approved short codes for unapproved “shadow” campaigns that did not comply with Verizon Wireless’ consumer protection and disclosure policies
- blocking certain IP addresses from accessing the websites associated with these shadow campaigns
- re-directing visitors to shell websites, preventing Verizon Wireless and its auditors from finding the shadow campaign websites in the normal course of monitoring Premium SMS campaigns for compliance
Customers who think they might have been on the receiving end of this scheme and think they might be entitled to a refund can visit www.premiumsmsrefunds.com to get the full scoop.
Yesterday, we heard that yet another (unconfirmed) HTC Thunderbolt "release date" was a big dud, but today, we have some even more disappointing news for eager LTE customers: Verizon chief technology officer Tony Melone said that customers will have 4G phones in their hands "by the end of the second quarter." Yes, that would mean by the end of June - probably not anytime soon. While Melone intended to highlight their pursuit of excellence in this interview, I think most of us can already hear the collective groan from Verizon customers who have been anticipating the upcoming HTC Thunderbolt.