BlackBerry 10 coming to all four major U.S. carriers

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Jan 132013
 
RIM BlackBerry

A number of Canadian carriers have now announced that they will carry BlackBerry 10 devices when they launch. The same happened this week in the U.S. where all four major carriers made similar announcements. First, a report by Reuters indicated that AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon would all carry the upcoming devices. Then came confirmation from Sprint that it would also offer at least one device in 2013.

At least two carrier executives expressed cautious optimism about their upcoming launches and the devices themselves:

  • T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere: “We’re extremely optimistic that it’s going to be a successful product and our business customers are extremely interested in it.”
  • Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam: “We’re hopeful its going to be a good device,” adding, “We’ll carry it.”

AT&T Chief Marketing Officer David Christopher confirmed that they would support the platform and handset executive Jeff Bradley added, “It’s logical to expect our current (BlackBerry) customers will have the best BlackBerry devices to choose from in the future.”

For its part, Sprint only indicated that it “plans to bring BlackBerry 10 to our customers later this year. We will share more details soon.”

Research In Motion is now working with more than 150 carriers across the world and many have now confirmed that they will offer BlackBerry 10 smartphones shortly after their launch.

Read more: Reuters and BGR

Sprint to offer two Windows Phone 8 smartphones this summer

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Jan 102013
 
Sprint

After teasing that Windows Phone 8 devices were coming soon, Sprint earlier this week shed more light on the launch. The company revealed that it would launch with two Windows Phone 8 devices, one from HTC and one from Samsung, sometime this summer.

“Sprint has had a strong relationship with Microsoft for many years so we are excited to reinforce our commitment to the Windows 8 platform by sharing the details and timing for our first Windows Phone 8 smartphones,” said Fared Adib, Sprint senior vice president, product development and operations. “These smartphones combine a robust new operating platform with the benefit of Sprint’s unlimited data plans. There is no doubt these phones will quickly become an extension of your PC experience right in the palm of your hand.”

While Sprint’s press release is light on details about the devices, Sprint’s director of device delivery Ryan Sullivan indicated that they would be new devices. “They’ll be current,” he said. “We’re working for current product launches, and not necessarily to launch on six-month-old hardware.”

Today, Sprint only offers Android, BlackBerry, and iOS devices. Sullivan hinted that Sprint could even offer devices powered by the Firefox and Tizen operating systems in the future.

Read more: Sprint and PCMag

Sprint teases Windows Phone 8 is coming soon

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Jan 062013
 
Sprint

Sprint is the lone major U.S. carrier not to offer at least one Windows Phone 8 device. That may be about to change. It has launched a new support page that promises that “Windows Phone 8 is coming soon!”

It had previously indicated that it would do so sometime in 2013 but never provided more specific timelines. “Sprint and Microsoft are partnering to bring Windows Phone 8 to Sprint’s customers – operating on its 4G LTE network – next year,” the company had told PCMag last November. With CES 2013 just around the corner, it’s quite possible that we will know more this week.

Sprint does not have a very extensive history with Windows Phone. It only ever launched the HTC Arrive back in early 2011.

What Windows Phone 8 device would you like to see Sprint launch?

Read more: Sprint (Source: The Verge)

Will HTC announce HTC M7 flagship smartphone at CES 2013?

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Jan 022013
 
HTC

There is little to go on but a tweet from the usually reliable @Football4PDA indicates that HTC may announce its next flagship device, known so far only its HTC M7 codename, at CES 2013. An earlier rumour suggested that the announcement would instead take place at MWC in late February.

The tweet also suggests that the HTC M7 could come with software buttons rather than hardware ones.

A launch by HTC with the rumoured Sprint and Verizon would give it a head start over other flagship devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S IV and the Sony Xperia Z.

Earlier reports have suggested that the HTC M7 will be powered by a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and Google Android with HTC Sense 5. It will come with a 4.7-inch or 5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) SoLux display, LTE connectivity, and a rear 13MP camera.

Read more: @Football4PDA [via Twitter]

Japan’s SoftBank acquires 70% stake in Sprint

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Oct 152012
 

SprintJapan’s SoftBank announced over the weekend that it plans to acquire a 70% stake in Sprint, the third largest wireless carrier in the U.S. The deal is worth US$20.1 billion, including US$8.0 billion of new capital for the carrier. Together, the two carriers will have 96 million subscribers.

SoftBank Chairman and CEO, Masayoshi Son, said, “This transaction provides an excellent opportunity for SoftBank to leverage its expertise in smartphones and next-generation high speed networks, including LTE, to drive the mobile internet revolution in one of the world’s largest markets. As we have proven in Japan, we have achieved a v-shaped earnings recovery in the acquired mobile business and grown dramatically by introducing differentiated products to an incumbent-led market. Our track record of innovation, combined with Sprint’s strong brand and local leadership, provides a constructive beginning toward creating a more competitive American wireless market.”

The deal should give Sprint a leg up against larger competitors AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Not only should it be able to accelerate its 4G LTE network deployment but it also will also be able to look at future acquisitions.

The deal has already been approved by both companies’ boards. Pending the necessary approvals and closing conditions, the merger should close sometime in mid-2013.

Read more: Sprint

Motorola announces Motorola PHOTON Q 4G LTE for Sprint

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Jul 282012
 

Motorola PHOTON QMotorola this week announced the Motorola PHOTON Q 4G LTE, the successor to last year’s Motorola PHOTON 4G. It will be Sprint’s first 4G LTE device with a QWERTY keyboard and world phone capabilities.

“When we talk to people who love their QWERTY smartphones, it’s evident this segment is passionate about their keyboards,” said Mark Shockley, senior vice president, Go-to-Market, Motorola Mobility. “Motorola PHOTON Q offers a class-leading keyboard and an amazing big screen so you can see and do more with your smartphone.”

Motorola PHOTON Q 4G LTE specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Cellular connectivity: LTE / CDMA EV-DO Rev.A / UMTS/ GSM
  • Other connectivity: GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
  • Display: 4.3-inch qHD (540×960) ColorBoost LCD
  • Input: Five-row, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 8GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP with 1080p video capture
  • Front-facing camera: HD
  • Battery: 1,785mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 126.49 x 66.04 x 13.72 millimeters / 170.10 grams

The Motorola PHOTON Q will be available from Sprint “within the next few weeks.” Pricing was not announced.

Read more: Motorola

HTC EVO 4G LTE now available from Sprint

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Jun 022012
 

Sprint HTC EVO 4G LTEWith shipments delays behind it, Sprint today launched HTC EVO 4G LTE, a “revved up version of the original,” on its site and most retail locations. It missed its original launch window because U.S. Customs delays over an Apple patent infringement ruling by the ITC.

HTC EVO 4G LTE specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.0 with HTC Sense 4.0
  • Cellular connectivity: LTE
  • Other connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, NFC
  • Display: 4.7-inch HD (1280×720) super LCD
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP AF with f/2.0 lens and LED flash
  • Front-facing camera: 1.3MP with 1080p video capture
  • Connectors: 3.5 mm headset jack
  • Battery: 2000mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 134.6 x 68.6 x 8.9 millimeters / 133 grams
  • Other: Kickstand, Android Beam, HD voice-capable, Beats Audio

Sprint is offering the HTC EVO 4G LTE for US$199.99 with a two-year contract.

Read more: Sprint Wireless

U.S. Customs begins releasing HTC smartphones

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May 212012
 

HTC EVO 4G LTEOnly days after its imports began being held up by U.S. Customs, HTC yesterday announced that imports of some of its smartphones have resumed. A brief statement indicated that the company was not sure of the status of each device being held up but that some are once again entering the U.S.:

Each imported HTC model must be reviewed by Customs and will be released once Customs officials have completed the inspection. Some models have gone through inspection and been released to our carriers customers. We don’t have the status of each specific device model at this time, but we are working closely with Customs. We remain confident that this issue will be resolved soon.

The news was followed by Sprint announcing that the HTC EVO 4G LTE would begin shipping “for arrival on or around Thursday, May 24” to those who had pre-ordered it on its website. The national launch details are still not confirmed. It will provide further updates “as additional details are available.” It had originally planned to launch the HTC EVO 4G LTE on May 18th.

HTC developed a workaround after it was found by the U.S ITC to infringe on an Apple-owned patent. It looks like the workaround has been validated with the result that the ban is now being lifted.

Read more: HTC and Sprint Wireless

Samsung outlines U.S. carrier Android 4.0 Galaxy upgrade plans

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Apr 242012
 

SamsungSamsung has posted new details about its Android 4.0 upgrade plans for devices offered by U.S. carriers. The list does not provide specific timelines and Samsung warns that “this list may be altered as updates are confirmed or released.”

AT&T leads the pack with six devices, including the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Note, and Nexus S, scheduled for updates. Sprint and Verizon both have two devices up for updates. Samsung and T-Mobile USA are still “in close communication” to determine which devices will be updated.

The following Wi-Fi-only devices are also scheduled for updates: the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 Wi-Fi, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi.

It should come as no surprise that both the original Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab are not listed. Despite an outcry about its decision, Samsung has yet to reverse its stand on providing updates for these devices.

Only one update is currently available. It is for Sprint’s Nexus S 4G (SPH-d720).

Read more: Samsung (Source: Ubergizmo)

Sprint launching Galaxy Nexus on April 22nd

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Apr 162012
 

Galaxy NexusSprint today announced that it will launch the Galaxy Nexus, its first Android 4.0 smartphone with 4G LTE capability, on April 22nd.

“Galaxy Nexus is a beautifully designed smartphone that combines the Pure Google experience with the speed of Sprint’s upcoming 4G LTE network,” said Fared Adib, vice president – Product Development, Sprint. “It represents the cutting-edge features and applications that customers expect and pairs perfectly with Sprint’s unlimited data plans to let our customers enjoy their wireless experience without worrying about overage charges or throttling.”

Specifications-wise, it looks like it will be the same as the Verizon model with 32GB of onboard memory:

  • Processor: 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4460 dual-core
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.0
  • Cellular connectivity: 4G LTE
  • Other connectivity: GPS, 802.11 a/b/g/n dual-channel Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC
  • Display: 4.65-inch Super HD AMOLED (720 x 1280)
  • Input: Capacitive multi-touch
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 32GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP with LED flash and 1080p video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 1.3MP
  • Connectors: 3.5mm headset jack
  • Battery: 1,850mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 135.5 x 67.94 x 9.47 millimeters / 144 grams

The Sprint Galaxy Nexus will come with a US$50 Google Wallet credit for customers who activate by May 22nd. This is US$40 more than the usual Google credit – a nice perk.

Sprint will offer the Galaxy Nexus for US$199.99 with a two-year contract. Pre-orders begin today at www.sprint.com/nexus.

Read more: Sprint Wireless

Sprint announces HTC EVO 4G LTE

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Apr 042012
 

Sprint HTC EVO 4G LTEAs widely expected, Sprint and HTC tonight unveiled “the next evolution of the award-winning HTC EVO family”: The HTC EVO 4G LTE. It will be Sprint’s first HD Voice-capable smartphone and makes Sprint the first carrier to announce plans for a U.S. HD Voice network to be deployed starting in late 2012.

“Sprint has a long history of leading the wireless industry in innovation, and the debut of HTC EVO 4G LTE marks another chapter in that innovation story,” said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. “Once again, we are partnering with HTC to deliver the benchmark Android device for the year with the next generation of our award-winning EVO brand. We know our customers will appreciate the focus on audio and voice quality with EVO 4G LTE, including the addition of Beats Audio and HD Voice capability.”

Sprint HTC EVO 4G LTEHTC EVO 4G LTE specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.0 with HTC Sense 4.0
  • Cellular connectivity: LTE
  • Other connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, NFC
  • Display: 4.7-inch HD (1280×720) super LCD
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP AF with f/2.0 lens and LED flash
  • Front-facing camera: 1.3MP with 1080p video capture
  • Connectors: 3.5 mm headset jack
  • Battery: 2000mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 134.6 x 68.6 x 8.9 millimeters / 133 grams
  • Other: Kickstand, Android Beam, HD voice-capable, Beats Audio

Unlike the HTC One X, its close cousin, it features an aluminum chassis with an anodized black finish and a bright red kickstand.

Sprint will offer the HTC EVO 4G LTE for US$199.99 with a two-year contract. It will be available sometime in Q2 with the specific availability date to be announced later. Sprint will take pre-orders starting on May 7th.

Read more: Sprint

More Sprint HTC EVO One pictures

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Apr 042012
 

On the heels of a leaked press image yesterday, Android Life has managed to spend a bit of time with the Sprint HTC EVO One. It has confirmed a number of specification details and obtained new pictures (including one of the red kickstand) along with their initial impressions .

Rumoured Sprint HTC EVO One

Specifications mentioned include that it runs Android 4.0.3 with HTC Sense 4.0, a 4.7-inch 720p display, Beats Audio, a front-facing 1.3MP camera and an 8MP rear-facing one described as “one of the best cameras” seen on a mobile device.

Rumoured Sprint HTC EVO One

Sprint and HTC are holding a “collaboration event” later today. Both Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and HTC President Jason Mackenzie will be in attendance and it is likely that the two of them will formally announce the HTC EVO One.

Read more: Android Life

Sprint’s HTC EVO One revealed?

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Apr 032012
 

Sprint is widely expected to announce its version of the HTC One X as the Sprint EVO One as early as tomorrow. An alleged press image obtained by PocketNow and specification details have surfaced ahead of the event. It is likely to be the first (or among the first) devices to support its new LTE network.

Rumoured Sprint EVO One

According to Android Central, the Sprint EVO One will be somewhat different from the HTC One X. It will reportedly sport a 4.7-inch AMOLED display rather than Super LCD, come with 16GB of internal memory, a 2MP front-facing camera (rather than 1.3MP) and pack a much larger 2,650mAh battery. It could also feature a kickstand.

All will hopefully be confirmed later tomorrow!

Read more: PocketNow and Android Central

Microsoft testing dual-core Snapdragon Windows Phone 8 device?

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Feb 292012
 

Microsoft Windows PhoneWith rumours already suggesting that Windows Phone 8 will support multi-core processors, it should not come as a surprise that Microsoft has begun testing the 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset. According to The Verge, Microsoft is working on getting at least one Windows Phone 8 device ready for release by the end of the year.

The report adds that Sprint is interested in this device and has already shared its LTE specification with Nokia, suggesting that this device would be launched as a Lumia model. Sprint may also pass on the current crop of Windows Phone 7.5 devices and wait for this new device.

Asked about potential Windows Phone Snapdragon S4 devices, Qulacomm would only say that it has a “strong” relationship with Microsoft and that it has been “amazed” by Microsoft’s use of the Snapdragon capabilities. It also confirmed that “there’s no structural problem” preventing Windows Phone from running multi-core processors.

Microsoft could launch Windows Phone 8 by the end of the year but most devices using it are not expected until early 2013.

Read more: The Verge

CES 2012: Sprint announces first LTE devices including Galaxy Nexus

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Jan 102012
 

SprintAfter announcing its initial LTE deployment plans last week, Sprint yesterday announced its first three LTE devices, the Galaxy Nexus and LG Viper smartphones and the Sierra Wireless Tri-Network Hotspot.

“The first three products that will run on the Sprint 4G LTE network exemplify the cutting-edge technology our customers can expect from Sprint as we progress with our 4G LTE rollout,” said Steve Elfman, president of Network, Wholesale and Product Development for Sprint. “Galaxy Nexus packs industry-leading features and the best of Google into a beautiful design while LG Viper 4G LTE continues Sprint’s commitment to green devices that don’t sacrifice speed or technology. These products combine with our unlimited data pricing plans to give Sprint customers a powerful wireless experience.”

Unlike Verizon’s version of the Galaxy Nexus, Sprint’s will support NFC with Google Wallet.

Pricing and specific availability details of the Galaxy Nexus and the other devices will be announced closer to their respective launch dates.

Sprint intends to launch some 15 4G LTE devices in 2012 including handsets, tablets and data cards.

Read more: Sprint