Market/App Store Fragmentation: How Many Do We Need?

Google has theirs (of course), Verizon has one, HTC might get one, Opera just launched one earlier this month and today, Amazon launched theirs. Depending on your carrier and your phone, you could have three or more market applications for your phone. With the launch of Amazon’s Appstore today, this got me to thinking…do we really need all of these different marketplaces?

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Is Verizon Wireless interested in buying Sprint? – CEO says No

As soon as the news broke about AT&T buying T-Mobile for $39 billion, the speculation started on the possibility of Verizon Wireless purchasing Sprint to leave us with 2 carriers in the US.

Daniel Mead, Verizon Wireless CEO, says there is no interest and he will not oppose the AT&T buyout of T-Mobile. Ahead of the CTIA Wireless Conference yesterday, Mead said “We’re not interested in Sprint. We don’t need them.” He went on to say that they do not want to be distracted from their goal of being the most profitable wireless operator in the US.

Mead expects that the deal between AT&T and T-Mobile will be approved by US regulators. If he is right AT&T will have approximately 130 million subscribers as opposed to around 100 million for Verizon Wireless.

This will not be the first time a CEO has said “No” and then months later it actually happened. Don’t be surprised if some day we are left with 2 carriers in the US.

[via reuters]

CTIA – Day 1 Keynote with FCC Chairman

Alright folks, CTIA has officially been kicked off!

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, as CTIA Chairman of the Board, opened up the show.  He congratulated the efforts of everyone involved in the relief efforts of the Japan disaster and spoke on the explosion of the smartphone market, particularly Android phones. He also spoke on the importance of not being distracted while driving and announced a Sprint initiative to install software on Sprint Android phones that will lock down phones while driving. Hesse did a pretty good job as chairman spokesperson of being unbiased towards his own company, only mentioning Sprint or Sprint programs a few times.

Today’s keynote featured FCC chairman Julius Genachowski as a guest-speaker. Genachowski talked about the US’ new leadership in the wireless industry, the importance of expanding wireless spectrum and access to high-speed data access, and bringing next generation enhancements to America’s existing 911 system (texting, picture and video sharing/uploading). One thing he made a point of not discussing was the pending buyout of T-Mobile by AT&T.

Also, present were the CEOs from AT&T and Verizon (Ralph de la Vega and Dan Meade, respectively), with T-Mobile’s Philipp Humm notably absent. Along with Hesse, de la Vega and Meade were grilled on-stage by CNBC’s Jim Cramer. During the questioning, the US’ competitive wireless position in the world, the recent AT&T and T-Mobile buyout, and 4G were all mentioned. There was also some friendly jabbing back and forth between the CEOs, much to the amusement of the spectators.

So far, no announcements but stay tuned, the day is young! If you’re interested in checking out the full keynote, hit the link below.

[full keynote via bgr]

Android will dominate Apple in the tablet war

The media seems convinced that Android tablets will not be able to keep up with the IPad. One article even refers to them as dead on arrival. After seeing the success of the Android OS in mobile, it is clear that it is only a matter of time before Android will dominate Apple in the tablet war.

Lets review how it all went down with the phones. Google’s first Android phone, the G1, debuted in late 2008. Anybody looking back in the summer of 2009 would probably say that it was not looking good for Android’s chances in putting a dent into the IPhone market share. The software was still young, needed work, and it did not have the backing of a major carrier. Flash forward to November 2009 when the Droid debuted with Android 2.0 Eclair on Verizon Wireless. About 1 year later the reports were showing that the Android OS had topped Apple’s IOS in the US and in many other parts of the world. How did they do it? They did it with multiple manufacturers blitzing the market with a tremendous amount of support from Verizon Wireless with the Droid brand.


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HTC Thunderbolt – Let the Rooting Begin!

htc-thunderbolt1

Yes you heard right. The HTC Thunderbolt for Verizon is in the hands of the public for less that 48 hours, and it’s already been rooted. See the quote below from The Root Thread over at XDA in the HTC thunderbolt > Thunderbolt Android Development section.

Chat at irc.andirc.net #thunderbolt

or use webchat

3/17/2011 11:35pm

We have perm root.

3/17/2011

We have write to /system on two production devices, from from the store. We do not have a working recovery yet, no release will be done until then.

3/16/2011

A kind soul with a release Thunderbolt dropped by AndIRC tonight. Jamezelle and I were able to confirm Temp Root still works. I will be posting directions for it (nothing special, likely many ways to be done) tomorrow.

We did not have a chance to finish perm root testing before he had to hit the sack (can’t blame him, its late). Hopefully we can get it tomorrow.

So i suggest subscribing to this thread so you can be updated as to the progress of the root of this brand new LTE device!

Enjoy!

Amazons Wireless Site offers $179.99 HTC Thunderbolt

With a contract of course. But really, how is this not an awesome deal? If you go straight to VZW you’ll paying $250 w/contract. Who knows how long this deal will last. So if you’ve been on the fence about getting your drink on for St Pattys Day tonight, or getting the so fresh, so clean (Outkast reference, sorry) HTC Thunderbolt, tell me whats more important? Yea, it’s a toss up really, I know. I can guarantee you this though, if you don’t buy it, someone else will.

image

[via intomobile]

Verizon HTC Thunderbolt getting unlimited LTE data plans

Verizon thunderbolt

If you’re going to be grabbing an HTC Thunderbolt tomorrow at Verizon, you’ll want to check out the unlimited data plan for a smooth $30 as well. This may only be here for a short time, because we know how most carriers, including Verizon really, feel about it (they want unlimited to die). So when you grab a Thunderbolt, grab the unlimited data plan, because it’ll turn your new device into the most powerful MiFi device you can get at a fraction of the tethering costs when compared to the data plans for the actual MiFi hotspot devices.

Just in case you start tethering 8 devices to it though, you may want to keep a few charging cables handy where ever you stop.

Click here to see the full Press release below.

HTC Thunderbolt – Read the User Manual Online

Here’s a great way to get primed for Verizon’s first LTE phone: check out the user manual online, HERE. (Be advised, it’s a 339-page .pdf.) You know you want to. I’ll probably even read through a little of it myself. I’m not a customer of Big Red, but what the heck…why not?

Many of you out there have been waiting semi-patiently for this device to hit the retail stores. Might as well whet your appetite, and read all about the functionality of the Tbolt. You will be ready, March 17th 2011 it shall be yours……muahahahaha!

Also a quick note – Remember, VZW says there is no pre-ordering available. So if you want the new Thunderbolt, you might want to be first in line, waiting for them to unlock the doors, Thursday morning. I’m not sure about all stores, but I received some information that a local Verizon Wireless retail store here will only have three (3) in stock on St. Pattys Day.

[Source Verizon]

Verizon Wireless waives $35 activation fees on Motorola XOOM and Galaxy Tab for month to month contracts

For those looking to purchase the 3G Motorola Xoom or the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Verizon Wireless will no longer be charging the $35 activation fee. This is effective as of March 1st and will be for month to month contracts. Upon purchase of your new tablet you will see the standard activation charge of $35 followed by a credit for the same amount on your Verizon Wireless bill.

As you can see in the image above this is supposed to be for a limited time. Lets hope it lasts a little longer then that.

[via engadget]

HTC Merge gets hands on video at SXSW 2011

The HTC Merge was seen not long ago making it’s way through the FCC with Verizon logos, and now we see it making another appearance at SXSW 2011 where intomobile was able to grab a good hands on look at the QWERTY keyboard Android device.

At first glance, you’ll see that it’s essentially an HTC Desire Z with a slightly different body design. The fact that it had Verizon logos at FCC also places this device among brothers with the Droid family, but would be seen as a mid-range smartphone. The pics in this hands on however show the Merge without any carrier logos, so we don’t really know where it’ll end up. The HTC Merge has the following features;

  • 5 megapixel camera with LED flash
  • Qualcomm 800MHz processor
  • 3.7 inch display

It’s very likely given the specs that this device won’t go for anymore than $100 with a 2 year contract, especially when you can get an HTC Thunderbolt for $199.99 at Wirefly. In any regard, have a look at the video below to see it in action.

YouTube Preview Image

Click here to see the gallery of images below.