Verizon wants President Obama to intervene in smartphone patent wars

There is no question the patent wars plaguing the smartphone and tablet industry is out of control. Verizon’s chief counsel, Randal Milch is now asking President Obama to step in. He wants a blanket statement from the President making clear that he would not allow any decision blocking imports of consumer wireless devices. He would rather see the parties enter into a license agreement.

The real question is if the President has the authority? It happens to be one peculiarity of the ITC that allows rulings to be waived by the President.

Unfortunately Verizon’s perspective is to provide new phones and tablets, and the blocking of imports hinders that. They want everything to be settled with licensing fees, but that is not the solution either. Licensing fees add to the costs and slows innovation. The real problem is the patent system. Patents are given out for just about anything, and the entire system needs to be overhauled.

Ultimately Milch’s request is a start. It could help burst the patent bubble so we can get back to pure innovation.

[via wsj]

Verizon Wireless to bring 4G LTE to a bunch of new cities on September 15th

Verizon Wireless continues to expand its 4G LTE coverage at an amazing pace. It seems like every month approximately 20 cities/counties are added. 4G LTE is already covering over half the country for 160 million users in 117 cities. The next wave will take place on September 15th and includes the following areas:

  • Fargo, ND
  • Moorhead, MN
  • Rockford, IL
  • Moline, IL
  • Rock Island, IL
  • Bloomington/Normal, IL
  • Champaign/Urbana, IL
  • Springfield, IL
  • Mansfield, OH
  • Canton, OH
  • Lima, OH
  • Iowa City, IA
  • Davenport, IA
  • Bettendorf, IA
  • Blacksburg, VA
  • Las Cruces, NM
  • El Paso, TX
  • Wichita Falls, TX
  • Austin, TX
  • Shreveport, LA
  • Reno, NV
  • Santa Barbara County, CA.
  • San Luis Obispo County, CA.

4G signals might already be available sporadically in these areas as they are already most likely conducting tests.

For those of you in Cleveland, OH and San Francisco, CA you will be happy to know that expansions for these areas are scheduled for September 15th as well.

Verizon Video unveiled – All the shows you want for $10 per month

Verizon has officially unveiled its Verizon Video package offering on-demand access to a wide variety of content.

The Video package provides unlimited, on-demand access to TV shows from all major networks, live and recorded sports and entertainment, news and weather.  Through Verizon Video you will receive over 100 channels with over 250 full episode shows each month.

The list of channels is impressive including CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, Animal Planet, BET, Cartoon Network, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, Discovery, E!, Lifetime, MTV, Nickelodeon, Planet Green, Spike, SyFy, Telemundo, TLC, Univision, USA Network, Vh1 and others.

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LG Enlighten for Verizon unveiled and ready to make an appearance on August 25th

The LG Enlighten (VS700) is finally ready to make its Verizon debut this Thursday August 25th, and it will eventually make the rounds to Sprint, US Cellular, and CellularSouth.

It comes with Gingerbread, an 800MHz processor, a 3.2-inch (480 x 320) screen, a 3.2MP camera, 150MB internal memory, and a 2GB microSD card.  Okay, this phone is nothing to brag about, but for $100 it will appeal to a certain segment. Something tells me this will be offered for FREE before the holiday season, which will make it even more appealing.

One more picture after the break.

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Verizon reveals end-of-life plans for some phones and announces Motorola DROID 3 is backordered

With technology moving at the speed of light, no phone can stay in the market forever. We are always yearning for fresh blood, and the above document confirms some end-of-life information for some Verizon Wireless devices.

First off, the Motorola DROID 3 seems to be out of stock. This obviously has nothing to do with the end for the newest DROID, but it it is good news that sales seem strong. One other newer device is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 gray version, which will have constrained supplies for the next few weeks.

As for the end-of-life and other supply issues we have the following:

Samsung Continuum – might already be done since a lot of the supply has been depleted.

Samsung Galaxy Tab – supply is limited so if you want to grab one, you better get to your local store now. It will end by September / October.

Motorola Citrus – will be done by late August / early September

Motorola Droid 2 Global (Blue and Whilte) – done by August

[via androidcentral]

Reminder: Verizon Wireless brings 4G LTE to 15 additional cities today; Now covers more than half of the U.S.

Verizon’s 4G LTE continues to expand, and it is hard to believe that they now cover more than half of the United States with today’s rollout. If you live in the following 15 cities, it is time to dropping some cash on a shiny new LTE phone at your local Verizon Wireless store. The Bionic is almost here and ready to handle all of your data needs.

  • Tucson, Ariz.
  • Fayetteville/Springdale/Rogers, Ark.
  • Bakersfield and Salinas/Monterey/Seaside, CA.
  • Fort Collins, Colo
  • Frederick, Md.
  • Worcester, Mass.
  • Omaha, Neb.
  • Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • Albany, Ithaca and Syracuse, N.Y.
  • Altoona and Johnstown, Pa.
  • Memphis, Tenn.
  • Provo, Utah.

Verizon is also expanding its 4G LTE network in Washington, D.C.; Tampa, Fla.; Atlanta, Ga.; Baltimore, Md.; Boston, Mass.; Lansing, Mich.; New York, N.Y.; Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; and Salt Lake City-Ogden, Utah.

Full Press Release after the break:

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Saygus VPhone finally goes through Verizon Wireless’s open development initiative

We first told you about the Saygus VPhone back in 2009, but never heard a thing about it until now. It should have been on the market by June 2010, but it took way longer to get approved than anyone expected.

Verizon’s open development program (ODI) was designed for machine-to-machine devices like power meters and thermostats, but 9 phones have been approved before the VPhone. The fact that it took this long to get approved shows you how difficult it is for mobile phone companies to pass through the carrier labs.

What does any of this mean? You will be able to buy the phone and use Verizon Wireless’s network, but it won’t be supported by them. That means it will be free of bloatware so it will be the closest thing to a Nexus device.

Unfortunately the specs are nothing to rave about. As for what Android version, we have no idea, but wouldn’t be surprised if it is a Froyo device. Hit the break for the rest of the specs.

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Google to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion which is a serious blow to Apple and Microsoft’s legal army

We recently reported about Motorola and their large patent portfolio. Some even thought that Motorola would use them to hurt other Android manufacturers, which we now know was never going to be the case because Google is going to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion or a 63% premium over Friday’s closing price.

Google takes care of two major things with this purchase. They picked up a slew of patents that could finally slowdown Apple and Microsoft from their cowardly attacks, and they now have a true manufacturing partner to take Android to “infinity and beyond” as Buzz Lightyear would say.

In case you are nervous that Android will be closed off to other manufacturers, that won’t be the case. Android will remain open, and Motorola will continue to run as a separate business.

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Leaked Verizon Memo Details Smartphone and Tablet Holiday Releases

Ah leaks, you gotta love ’em, especially if you’re in the press like we are. ;) Regarding Android, our latest leak comes from Verizon Wireless, from which IGN was able to get a memo detailing several holiday releases of upcoming Android smartphones and tablets (it also had Blackberry and budget phones on there, but we care not about those).

Items of note and their release dates contained within this memo include:

  • The dual-core Motorola Droid Bionic has a release date of September 8th.
  • The Samsung Stratosphere — rumored to be their version of the Galaxy S 2 — also has a release date of September 8th.
  • A Motorola Xoom tablet is also scheduled for release on September 8th.
  • The HTC Bliss Gingerbread smart phone has a release date of September 29th.
  • The HTC Vigor — the Thunderbolt replacement — has a release date of October 5th.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Tab P8 with a 4G radio. The specs are yet unavailable for this tablet, but it has a general “November” release date.

Lots of juicy tidbits there for Android fans, to be sure. Which one of these will be competing for your hard-earned cash come the holiday season? If you’re a Verizon customer, you sure won’t be wanting for choice, that’s for sure. We’ll bring you more info on these devices as we get them.

[via IGN]

American Express and Verizon Wireless team up to bring mobile payments to smartphones and tablets

American Express and Verizon Wireless announced they will integrate Serve, a next-generation digital payment and commerce platform, on many Verizon mobile smartphones and tablets. Verizon customers will be able to make payments and redeem offers for goods and services from their mobile phones or tablets using Serve.

Serve authenticates the mobile number which allows customers to make a purchase on-screen with only a few clicks. It is currently accepted by the millions of merchants in the United States who accept American Express.

You will be able to redeem mobile offers from participating merchants with credits automatically appearing in your serve account. The two companies are also working with Payfone to support Serve checkout on Verizon Wireless devices.

Full press release after the break

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