In the U.S., the HTC First is an AT&T exclusive, but in the UK it’s going to be EE. No word on pricing or availability, but we are assuming it will become available soon after the U.S. April 12 launch.
The HTC First is the first and only phone to have the complete Facebook Home experience out of the box. Of course, people can still enjoy Facebook Home on other phones by downloading the app (starting April 12), but it will only be available on the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S 4, the One X, and the One X+, at least for now.
Recent reports from service providers in Canada and Australia revealed release dates for the HTC One are just around the corner. Canadian and Australian subscribers can expect to see the handsets in their areas on Apr 19th and 23rd respectively. Although pricing has not yet been released, buyers can expect to pay a slightly broader price range than those being charged in the US .
We are still waiting for updated release dates for Europe, and should expect to hear announcements trickle out from that region over the next few weeks.
With T-Mobile generating buzz after announcing its new Simple Choice Plans, it appears other wireless carriers are taking notes. During a company event Wednesday in New York City, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said he’s open to the idea of ditching contracts. McAdam has been monitoring what T-Mobile customers have been saying and even said that if Verizon customers started asking for no-contract plans, he’d consider getting rid of them. However, as the saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words”. While no-contract plans sound great, there is a potential downside. With T-Mobile’s new plans, removing contracts means customers have to pay anywhere from $5 to $20 per month per device over 24 months to make up for the lack of a contract.
If you were excited about that purple Galaxy S III we told you about not too long ago, we’ve got a bit more information for you. We originally reported that the device would be available exclusively on Sprint sometime in April, and the latest leaks are pointing to April 12th. It’ll be available for $99, which is in line with the other Galaxy S III models Sprint offers, but does involve a $50 mail-in rebate. Either way, it’s a bargain for one of the best devices of last year, especially in such an eye-catching color.
Who’s planning on picking one of these up when they’re available?
Not too long ago Sprint began updating its version of the Optimus G to Jelly Bean, and AT&T looks to be following suit. It’s almost a month late, but hey, better late than never. AT&T hasn’t officially announced the update, but many members on the carrier’s own community forums are beginning to receive the update, so it’s definitely happening. The update comes in at 336 MB and brings your device up to Android 4.1.2, Build E97020j. Anyone receiving that coveted update on their Optimus G yet?
Last week we told you that AT&T would be opening up pre-orders for the Galaxy S 4 on April 16th and would be coming with a $249.99 price tag. However AT&T wasn’t clear on whether or not that price tag would be for the 16GB or 32GB model. Well today they ended up shedding some light on the matter. The 32GB model will come with the $249.99 price tag and the 16GB will be $199.99. AT&T hasn’t given an official date for when the phone will be actually available but at least you’ll have some options when you pre-order. Paying an extra $50 for 16 more gigabytes may be worth it but you could always use that extra $50 for an SD card. Either way, it’s nice to have options. Which one are you buying?
There was a news story circulating the tech world today suggesting that both Verizon and AT&T were working together on an agreement that would split up Vodafone. Verizon would take back the 45% stake in US relations that Vodafone has in Big Red’s company while AT&T would take control of non-U.S. action. The deal would give AT&T a big boost in achieving a foothold in other markets. After the transaction Vodafone at $245 billion. It was confirmed by “usually reliable people” and would be complex to complete. However Verizon took to the internet to squash this rumor. They were quoted to say:
“Verizon Communications Inc. (“ Verizon ”) notes the recent press speculation regarding a potential merger with or purchase by Verizon of Vodafone. As Verizon has said many times, it would be a willing purchaser of the 45% stake that Vodafone holds in Verizon Wireless. It does not, however, currently have any intention to merge with or make an offer for Vodafone, whether alone or in conjunction with others.”
Make of it what you will, but it appears that Verizon and AT&T won’t be playing together. While it could be the standard boiler plate media response to get rid of media attention, Verizon has at least let us know where they stand on the 45% stake Vodafone has. It also looks like AT&T’s big break into other markets will have to come from somewhere else. So at this point in time it appears that nothing’s changed and that these “usually reliable people” weren’t so reliable. We’ll keep you posted if anything changes but don’t hold your breath.
Verizon has a new mid-range device coming soon and will offer the LG Lucid 2 for free on a new two-year contract. We reported the news yesterday and instead of the Lucid 2 being available in retail stores starting April 4, customers will only be able to order online with the phone making its way to physical stores in the coming weeks. The LG Lucid 2 is actually the Optimus F5 and for an entry-level smartphone, offers very reasonable specs.
4.3-inch IPS display at 960 x 540 (256 ppi)
1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor
8GB internal storage with microSD card support up to 64GB
We’ve already seen AT&T announce that they’ll start taking preorders for the Galaxy S 4 on April 16th, but if you’re just a really, really skeptical person, we officially have some information about AT&T’s version of the device from an FCC filing. A Samsung device with the exact same dimensions as the S 4 and AT&T’s LTE bands has gotten approval, so unless AT&T and Samsung have another 5-inch device lined up to show us, it’s a pretty safe bet that this is the S 4.
Are any of you picking up an S 4 on AT&T this month?