After such a long wait, the Nexus 7 is finally ready to make its Verizon Wireless debut. For the better part of a year now, Google has offered an affordable tablet with cellular radios tucked away inside that the US's largest carrier refused to activate (granted, there were ways to get around this). But now, the Big Red and the Nexus 7 are cuddling up just in time for Valentine's Day.
Remember when we reported that T-Mobile was suing AT&T because the marketing for the Aio budget carrier used a shade of purple that was too close to T-Mobile's (literally) trademark magenta? Yes, that is a thing that happened. And apparently at least one Texas judge thought it was a valid complaint, because a federal court has ruled that Aio did, in fact, infringe on T-Mobile's corporate trademark.
Here's the PR statement that T-Mobile issued after the ruling:
AT&T's prepaid offering Aio Wireless is a nice way to access the carrier's network without having to make an expensive two-year commitment. Now the carrier has announced the availability of two additional Android phones. The Moto G is available for $149.99 (though it doesn't yet appear on the site). It is joined by the ZTE Sonata 4G, which goes for $79.99. The latter, while less impressive, is an Aio exclusive in the US.
The Motorola direct price on the Moto G is great, but some carriers have opted to sell the phone even cheaper in an attempt to lure customers. US Cellular is following Verizon's lead today in offering the Moto G for just $99.99 off-contract. It's live on the US Cellular website right now and will be in stores February 10th.
The Moto G is $179 from Motorola as an unlocked GSM device, so you're saving a fair amount if you don't mind sticking with USC.
Update: The OTA has started rolling out to devices. If you're a Verizon HTC One owner, it's time to check your phone. But be advised - the rollout is staged.
An HTC product manager announced this morning that Verizon had approved the Android 4.4.2 update destined for its version of the HTC One. The OTA is on its way, though we don't yet have a date. Nevertheless, Verizon has now uploaded a document detailing what to expect in the update.
While it may not be within the 90 days HTC originally promised, executive director of product management Mo Versi announced on Twitter this morning that the Verizon edition of the HTC One has had its 4.4 OTA update approved by Verizon, and that it will begin rolling out shortly.
HTC One Verizon Owners! We have received technical approval for the OS 4.4 + Sense 5.5 update today. Expect the OTA out shortly.
AT&T's prepaid brand, AIO Wireless is already a pretty cheap alternative to the big post-paid carriers, but now the carrier is reducing the cost of plans, and adding more data to some of them. It gets even better, assuming you're okay with setting up recurring payments.
Aio has three main plans that now clock in at $40, $50, and $60 per month. The cheap plan hasn't changed in price, but it now has 500MB of data per month instead of 250MB.
You may have noticed that AT&T and T-Mobile are in a bit of a spat at the moment. T-Mobile offers early upgrades with no-contract financing plans, and AT&T does the same a few weeks later. T-Mo woos people with credits towards early termination fees, AT&T gives a whopping $450 of credit ($250 for trading in a T-Mo phone, $200 for transferring service) to former T-Mobile customers. But it looks like the gravy train has run out of fuel - CNET reports that the promotion is over.
Full disclosure - Ting is my mobile provider of choice. I may write about the constant tug-of-war between the big four American carriers, but at the end of the day, I refuse to sign a two-year contract with anyone, and T-Mobile has precisely zero coverage in the drastically non-urban corner of the US that I'm from. Thankfully, I have options. Ting is celebrating its two-year anniversary this week, and it's doing so by slashing its data prices.