According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, the FCC has approved Softbank’s bid to merge with Sprint, and by extension Clearwire. The process started last year when Softbank and Sprint announced plans for the merger. Sprint also announced plans to acquire Clearwire using cash from the Softbank deal, as part of a strategy to increase their 4G LTE footprint in the U.S.
Since then, Softbank had to fight off a competing bid from Dish. Ultimately, Sprint stockholders approved the Softbank offer of $21.6B giving Softbank a 70% stake in the new company. With FCC approval, the companies will now be able to complete the merger and start moving forward with their develop Sprint into a much larger carrier, capable of competing with Verizon and AT&T.
We still don’t know too much about the mysterious Motorola X phone, but as we get closer and closer to the speculated August or October unveiling— we’re starting to get a better idea of what to expect from the device. The gang at Phone Arena recently got a tip on a XT1056 model, which seems to be unique from other Moto devices as it looks to feature around an estimated 4.5 to 4.7-inch display, (seemingly stock) Android 4.2.2, 16GB of internal storage and a removable battery— matching up with what we’ve heard previously. More importantly— this device features “5G WiFi” and is believed to have been tested on Sprint’s 4G LTE network, giving us the clear indication that this is the same model that recently tried its darnedest to tip-toe past us through FCC hallways.
Of course this mystery XT1056 unit could be some sort of other Motorola unit that’s in the works, but we’ll go ahead and speculate that yeah… we’re probably looking at the X phone.
source: Phone Arena
Sprint’s 4G LTE coverage map just got a little more crowded. The network added 22 new markets today, which includes Miami and Tampa, FL. In addition, Sprint announced they have plans to expand LTE to a number of cities in Texas, Wisconsin, Washington and Michigan. Sprint plans to provide 4G LTE to 200 million customers by the end of the year. Sprint was late to begin with, offering LTE a year after AT&T and Verizon began.
The addition of these 22 markets will bring Sprint’s total to 110. By comparison, AT&T offers LTE in 278 markets, and Verizon in 497. You can view check out all of the cities that will be getting Sprint’s LTE after the break.
HTC insider and developer @LlabTooFeR has been on a roll tonight, just moments ago hinting that the HTC One Mini was headed to T-Mobile this summer, and now dropping another hint that the HTC Butterfly S will not be headed to Verizon like its predecessor, but will more likely see a launch on Sprint’s network.
The Butterfly S is going to be announced on June 19th and will feature the same 5 inch, 1080p display as the Butterfly (or Droid DNA on Verizon) an updated Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, an improved processor, HTC’s excellent UltraPixel camera, and the new Sense 5. No word on price, but it will presumably cost around the same amount as the One.
Sprint has announced an official release date and pricing for its latest self-branded ZTE Vital smartphone; you’ll be able to snag the 5-inch smartphone for $99 (after a $50 mail-in rebate) starting June 14th. The Vital isn’t going to compete with the flagship phones of 2013, but for customers who want something with a larger screen without breaking the bank, its an excellent phone.
The Vital is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and has a 5-inch 720p screen, 13 megapixel camera, a nice 2,500 mAh battery, and of course support for Sprint’s LTE network. It’s also running a relatively clean version of Android 4.1, so if you have a problem with OEM skins and you’re a Sprint customer, keep an eye out for this device in a few days.
Radio Shack is unveiling a new deal that will allow customers to trade in their old devices for an in-store credit toward the purchase of any Samsung device.
There are a few caveats, however. The Samsung device you are getting in return must be branded by Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint, and the amount of credit you receive for your trade-in varies by device and the accessories that you trade in along with the device. According to Radio Shack, the only two devices that will get you a $300 credit are the Samsung Galaxy Note II and the AT&T 64GB iPhone 5. You also have to sign a new 2-year contract with the purchase of your Samsung phone.
The deal ends on July 7th, so if you’re looking to get a new phone, you may want to take advantage of this program.
Source: Radio Shack
ZTE seems to be looking to make a pretty big splash very soon in the U.S. phone market, as information and pictures of the ZTE Vital have leaked. The device will have a 5-inch HD display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 13MP camera, and will ship with Android 4.1. Other features include 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage (expandable via microSD), NFC capabilities, and a strong 2,500mAh battery. The phone is going to have to compete with the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4, but if Sprint can offer this one at the right price, they may have a hot one on their hands. Check out the video after the break.
Fans of CyanogenMod 10.1 who also happen to own a new Samsung Galaxy S 4 or HTC One will be glad to know the CyanogenMod team has been hard at work making some new variants available and they have cleaned up some of the download pages to make it a bit easier to find the files. The newest variants include AT&T versions for both the Galaxy S 4 and the HTC One. Nightlies for the Galaxy S 4 had previously been made available for T-Mobile and Canadian versions of the device. Apparently AT&T support only required a patch to a previous build.
As all four of the big US carriers board the 4G LTE train it would be only a matter of time before a comparison study involving them came to be. While Verizon has the upper hand in the LTE market with roughly 95% of its 3G network covered with LTE speeds, AT&T is quickly rolling out its LTE service. They’re doing that while maintaining their quick 4G services as well. However as carriers focus on their LTE services the use of 3G networks are still prevalent. So the handoff between 3G and 4G networks is important.
A Galaxy Note II was used to measure the LTE speeds while an iPhone 4S was used to measure 3G speeds as both those devices are offered on all four networks. Hit the break to see how everyone ranked.
Hot of the heels of its unique Hydro smartphone, Sprint has announced the brand-new Hydro Edge for the general public. Developed by Kyocera, this new Jelly Bean-powered toy features a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon chip, a 4-inch impact resistant display and a 5 megapixel camera . Additionally, this new device will be fully waterproof and have a Smart Sonic Receiver unit.
And now for the news prospective customers have been waiting on: the Hydro Rise will land in Sprint and Boost Mobile stores sometime this summer. Unfortunately, Sprint hasn’t come out with the exact release date or the pricing just yet, but we should expect to receive further information on the Hydro Edge as we get closer to whenever it is the phone’s release date will be.