Many users, upon booting up their brand new EVO LTEs over the past few weeks, were confused to find that Google Wallet would stick in the "adding prepaid card" dialogue, often returning an error message which encouraged users to try again later. It soon became apparent that this issue was limited to the EVO LTE, as it was discovered that modifying the device's build.prop to identify as a Galaxy Nexus returned the app to full functionality.
Although I've dropped a phone a total of about three times in my life, and although manufacturers are continually touting more and more durable glass, polycarbonate plastic, and even metal that's 3x stronger than stainless steel, there lingers in the back of my mind the question of what may happen if and when that fateful day comes – the day when I finally drop my phone onto an unforgiving concrete, asphalt, or otherwise hard surface.
While the Galaxy S III pre-order frenzy started early last week, we've yet to see the device going for anything less than retail price. Now, however, Amazon Wireless and Target Mobile both have the AT&T variant for $150 with an updgrade. Normally we see the best deals reserved for folks looking to sign a new contract, so this is definitely the exception to that rule.
Wirefly has also joined the game and started accepting pre-order for the Sprint variant of the device, albeit for the slightly higher price of $180 for both new contracts and upgrades.
In a Bluetooth SIG listing (a trade certification group), LG has officially confirmed the existence of the E970 and LS970. The former is possibly headed for AT&T (it has AT&T GSM and LTE bands - which could mean Rogers as well) and is packing a quad-core Qualcomm S4 Krait chip, complete with the latest Adreno 320 GPU goes toe-for-toe with the Galaxy SIII in GLBencmark. The 1280x768 resolution is something of an oddity - why the extra 48 pixels?
Well, we knew it was a possibility, and given Google Wallet's painfully slow adoption rate (by carriers and payment processors), rumors today from NFCTimes that the service's sole remaining partner Sprint is coming up with an alternative aren't exactly surprising.
NFCTimes says the service will be called "Touch," and will utilize a "secure element" system like Wallet (a physical chip) in order to securely process mobile payments. Likely by necessity, this would mean the end of support for Google Wallet on Sprint handsets released after the launch of the new "Touch" service.
If you're still looking to get your hands on a Sprint-branded Galaxy Nexus, Amazon has a deal for you – Amazon Wireless is offering the Galaxy Nexus right now for $49.99 if you open a new account. This is a great discount, cutting a full $100 off the last deal we saw.
It's worth noting that customers looking to activate a new line or upgrade an existing line can expect to pay $99.99 or $149.99 respectively for the Now Network's debut LTE device.
Sprint customers now have one more self-service option when managing their account online. A couple of days earlier than its official launch, the carrier has begun allowing users to change their phone number online, thereby avoiding the $15 fee charged when switching numbers via phone or in-store.
Inside Sprint Now indicates that while this feature is being labeled a "benefit," it may actually be a cost-cutting maneuver, executed in an attempt to reduce the number of calls to customer care, thereby saving some money.
Here in the United States, we've all been witness to an historic "second" this week (as opposed to a first) in the unified launch of the Galaxy S III, untainted by carrier modification, on all four of the major US wireless providers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile).
Now, you'll probably say "but David, the Galaxy S III is the first smartphone to launch as the same model on all four major carriers!" and you'd be right.
Alongside Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, Sprint has announced that it, too, will be carrying the next Galaxy in just a few short weeks. As far as we can tell, the device will be unbranded aside from the standard Sprint logos, but we've yet to confirm this (Sprint has not provided images).
Yesterday, we'd heard from Samsung that the device would be coming to five carriers in the US, and with Sprint's announcement, we're now up to all five.