Sprint has just launched a new plan for single line users to get a precious unlimited data package. $60 will get you unlimited talk, text, and data for a month, which is a full $20 cheaper a month than T-Mobile. AT&T and Verizon will give you 1 GB for $80/ mo, so they are hardly comparable to this new version of Sprint we’ve been seeing lately. In order to be eligible for this discount, however, you must have a device that’s compatible with the network, purchase one at full price prior to starting the plan, or use Sprint’s monthly payment and upgrade plan.
Just yesterday we heard rumors that Verizon was planning on launching a new app store for Android devices with the help of other wireless carriers and manufacturers. This wasn’t actually the first time that Verizon tried to make its own app store work (remember Vcast Apps, anyone?), but their last attempt was unsuccessful, to say the least. Despite that rumor, it looks like Verizon can see the writing on the wall, and they’re claiming they have no intention of creating any more app stores.
A Verizon spokesperson said they don’t want to bother creating another app store, saying the carrier has “been there, done that.” It’s very clear that consumers don’t want or need a carrier app store, so good on Verizon if they’re being truthful about this.
T-Mobile is launching a new campaign starting next week that aims squarely at Sprint customers. Taking some jabs at Sprint by pointing out how their customers have “suffered” and had to put up with both “the Framily” and the “slowest nationwide LTE network.” T-Mobile is offering a free upgrade to unlimited data for one year when existing T-Mobile customers refer someone to the Uncarrier. Although focused on Sprint, the offer applies to both AT&T and Verizon customers as well. The free upgrade will apply to both the new T-Mobile customer that ports their number over and the existing T-Mobile customer that served as the referral source. If a T-Mobile customer already has an unlimited Simple Choice plan, T-Mobile will give them a $10 per month credit for one year.
Despite shuttering its previous attempt at providing an app store for Android and Blackberry users, Verizon appears to be eyeing the possibility of opening a new one to challenge Google’s dominance for Android users. This time though, sources indicate Verizon is talking with other players and carriers in an effort to put together an “industry coalition.” With Android installed on over a billion devices around the world and the operating system continuing to grow in dominating the market, it should be no surprise that a company wants to get in on the action of selling apps to users.
Earlier today, Sprint announced the Sharp Aquos Crystal, and the announcement of “App Pass” came along with it.
App Pass gives users access to premium apps and games for $4.99 per month. They will also throw in a $5 credit for each month to spend on in-app purchases. Apps such as OfficeSuite 7 Pro, Camera Zoom FX, and Minuum Keyboard are included as well as games from Gameloft and Oceanhouse Media. If users want to try it out before committing, Sprint is offering a 14-day free trial run.
HTC has announced the release of their latest device in the Butterfly line of devices. Going by the long name HTC J butterfly HTL23 in Japan through KDDI, the device is really the HTC Butterfly 2. That easier name is how it will be marketed through Chunghwa Telecom in Taiwan, CSL in Hong Kong, and other carriers in South Asian markets. Regardless of what it is called, it is probably a device that many people outside those markets wish HTC would make available on a wider scale as it combines some of the best features of the HTC One (M8) and the HTC One (E8) with a sprinkling of upgrades.
As expected, Sprint went ahead and announced the Sharp Aquos Crystal, which is the first device to come out of the Sprint and Softbank merger. It will of course be available with Softbank in Japan, but it will also be available exclusively at Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA.
The Sharp Aquos Crystal features a 5-inch edge-to-edge 720p (1280 x 720) display, a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, 8 MP rear camera, 1.2 MP front-facing camera, 2,040 mAh battery, Sprint Spark network, and Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
A software update is rolling out to HTC One (M8) owners on T-Mobile. The build is 2.22.531.5 and it contains Google’s Android 4.4.3 update. HTC has even bundled in the security fixes found in Android 4.4.4 in addition to everything that the labeled version of Android has (which is really just bug fixes). For HTC’s proprietary software, a slew of applications and futures have been improved.
T-Mobile has updated their family plans to allow customers to add up to 10 lines to a single account. These plans are an improvement over the carrier’s recently introduced family plans, so they unfortunately carry some of the same restrictions.
With the new additions, the first line costs $50, the second line costs $30, and lines 3 – 6 cost $10 each. After line 6, each line costs $20 up until you’re capped at 10 lines. So, with these new plans, 6 lines would cost just $120 each month, but 7 lines would jump up to $140 and 10 lines would be $200. It’s still pretty competitive and would cost less than the same plan on other carriers, however.