In a recent interview, Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo said that due to competition from other carriers, Verizon’s subsidized prices are expected to drop within the next 2-3 years. Shammo said, “I’m a believer that over the next two to three years subsidies will start to decrease just because of the ecosystem.” Value-priced smartphones are becoming more prevalent in the competition, which is why it makes sense for Verizon’s move to lower subsidy costs. Shammo also mentioned that Verizon will start producing devices without CDMA radios built into them as voice technology moves towards LTE radios (VoLTE), thus averting more subsidy costs.
T-Mobile has said they plan to move exclusively to Value-Plans which has caused competitors like AT&T and Sprint to keep their eyes on the progress T-Mobile makes using these plans. It’s no surprise that Verizon plans to do the same. Carriers usually see a decrease in profit when they sell in higher volumes because of the subsidy costs. By cutting these costs, Verizon and the consumer both benefit; the consumer will have more affordable devices at their disposal while Verizon eliminates losses and generates more revenue.
T-Mobile launched the Samsung Galaxy S III around the same time as other carriers, but due to its 4G LTE network not being deployed until this year, there was no LTE support. That’s about to change now after the Galaxy S III was spotted passing through the FCC with T-Mobile LTE support. Known as the Samsung SGH-T999L, consumers can anticipate its arrival on March 27th. The phone will also have support for HSPA+ over the 850, 1700, and 1900MHz bands, including LTE Band 17 which is utilized on AT&T smartphones. In other words, T-Mobile customers who unlock this upcoming version of the Samsung Galaxy S III, could use it on AT&T’s network.
Ever since Facebook added voice messages as part of their Messenger service, we knew that the next eventual step would be voice calling or VoIP. They already start VoIP through Messenger for iOS users in the U.S., but nothing was available for Android users until now. The latest Android update added it, but only for our friends up north in Canada. Canadian users can now make calls over WiFi or their mobile data connection to other Facebook friends in Canada or even those in the U.S. provided they are on iOS. They can also start and name group conversations.
At some point in the future we will probably only need a data plan from our mobile providers and Facebook is making it that much closer. Utilizing VoIP on our mobile phones makes sense, but it probably won’t take off until the major carriers stop forcing us to have calling plans.
Twitter has announced that it will no longer continue supporting TweetDeck on iOS and Android devices. Twitter says that this is due to a desire to focus more on its web applications and the Chrome-based version of TweetDeck. As a result, the mobile versions of TweetDeck are scheduled to be discontinued in May 2013.
Previous rumors pinpointed March 7 for the release of the Verizon LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (SCH-i925). Samsung just dropped us a line confirming the date and the price will be $599 for both in stores and online. It’s basically the same Galaxy Note 10.1 WiFi-only version we reviewed last year, but with the addition of Verizon Wireless LTE connectivity. It sure is a hefty price to pay, but the good news is you won’t be on a contract, and if you’re on their Share Everything plan, you can can simply add it for only $10 extra per month.
Have you ever wanted to get in on that certain paid app, but didn’t quite want the feeling of you know… having to deal with paying for the app. This is especially the case when many of the paid apps out there can quickly wear off in novelty and users out there are pretty much stuck with what they paid for. Well Canadian start-up Mobiroo has the solution for you: a paid subscription for all-you-can-download apps. Taking a page out of other subscription services like Gamefly or Netflix, users pay a mere $2.49 monthly in order to access and download a variety of paid apps out there, thanks to some savvy agreements and licensing deals between Mobiroo and various developers out there. Oh and best of all— there’s no time commitment for the service, so users are free to cancel at anytime without penalty.
Naturally the list of titles associated with the service is fairly limited for now, but you can expect the list of paid titles to grow as the service gets more and more popular. If you’re interested, hit past the break to get more deets about the services. You’ll certainly be glad you did.
Remember that leak of Android 4.2.2 (JDQ39) we saw over the weekend for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus? Well thanks to a little help from XDA member oldblue910, the download is now available for you to install. Now it’s unlikely that this is the final version of the build, but that doesn’t mean you can enjoy a little 4.2.2 goodness. You don’t need to be rooted, but if you are, you need to be running 100% stock Android 4.1.1 (JRO030) in order to apply the update.
Koushik Dutta, developer of ClockworkMod’s popular Carbon – App Sync and Backup app, announced via Google+ today support for devices that have full device encryption. The new functionality also means the app can work with “Desktop Backup Password” protection, which is used to protect adb backups. In answering questions posed by fellow Google+ users, Dutta indicates he is planning to add cryptfs support in recovery in an upcoming update.
Exciting news for those of you on the edge of your seats in anticipation for the Galaxy S IV release! @evleaks claims to have first hand leaked images of the new handset, along with an impressive list of specs for your oogling pleasure.
Reports have surfaced that LG might be positioning the F-series in the US as early as April 2013. The LG Optimus F5, to be dubbed the “Lucid 2”, will be offered by Verizon Wireless as a mid-range device.
This will provide an affordable LTE solution for consumers. The Lucid 2 will feature a:
- 4.3-inch qHD (960 x 540) display
- 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon Krait CPU
- 5-Megapixel rear camera with 1080p video capture
Take this, coupled with Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2, and you are looking at an impressive feature list for a low-range device at an affordable price.
Source: Unwired View
Two days ago we told you that Google was readying Play Store gift cards for folks in the UK. Well it appears that they were closer than we thought as they’re now available. A reader of Eurodroid sent in a picture showing Play Store gift cards in the £10 and £25 varieties at a local Tesco super market. No sign of the £50 card yet, but hopefully soon. So if you’re living in the UK and need gift ideas for the Android lover in your family, you’re in luck. UK readers, let us know if you’re seeing these in your stores!
We have good news for for HTC fans on a mid-range budget. HTC is reportedly adding its high-end Ultrapixel camera and Blinkfeed into their mid-range phones. According to Phil Roberson, CEO of HTC UK, “…BlinkFeed is sitting on top of the core of sense – and that will start to roll out as we go through the year. Wherever the technology is possible, we’re looking to take as much of the technology and enrich all of our customers.”
It’s been awhile since we’ve heard anything major out of the Cyanogenmod team, but if you’ve been itching for something new to flash, you’re in luck. They’ve just announced that CM10.1-m2, which is a build more stable than a nightly but still not quite a full stable release, is available for a handful of devices. Popular devices like the Nexus lineup, Galaxy S III, and HTC One X are among the first to get the builds, but others are sure to follow.
If you like to stay on the more bug-free types of ROMs, this is going to be one you’ll possibly want to test drive. If you’re the type who has to flash something new every day… well, you were going to try this one out regardless. Be sure to post your bug reports to help get the kinks worked out for the final builds.
source: CM Blog
If you’re the kind of person that likes to tinker around with hardware as much as software, the brand new SmartBot is going to hit the top of your wish list pretty quickly. It’s a small robot that’s powered completely by your smartphone. It uses your phone’s screen, camera, LED lights, etc. to do pretty much everything. The phone sits in a small docking portion of the robot and goes from there. The application for SmartBot even has a little happy face to complete the combo.
SmartBot also has plenty of ports for add-ons and extensions for things like motors and electromagnets and so on, and currently offers support for accessories like a gripping claw, a trunk, and even an adapter for LEGO pieces. It’s even got NFC under the hood. The creators of SmartBot, Overdrive Robotics, even have a full SDK for making apps and games with the device. And for only €160.00 (about $208) you can preorder one of these nifty little gadgets for yourself. Shipping starts in April, so you’ve still got a month to decide. Hit the break for an amusing little teaser trailer that just might convince you to buy one.
After a petition on whitehouse.gov to legalize cell phone unlocking reached 114,000 signatures (100,000 signatures are required for a response), the White House issued an official response today. The petition was started after a decision by copyright regulators made it illegal after January 26, 2013 to unlock your cell phone and use it on a different network even after your contract expires. From the official statement:
“The White House agrees with the 114,000+ of you who believe that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties. In fact, we believe the same principle should also apply to tablets, which are increasingly similar to smart phones. And if you have paid for your mobile device, and aren’t bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network. It’s common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice, and important for ensuring we continue to have the vibrant, competitive wireless market that delivers innovative products and solid service to meet consumers’ needs.”