Archive for November 2008
Verizon is going to launch the Samsung Omnia on December 8, just in time for the holiday season, according to Boy Genius Report. The phone is going to cost $249.99 after $70 mail-in and will come with Wi-Fi. Verizon is taking pre-orders starting November 26 both online and tele-sales. To recap, this phone is a touchscreen phone with 5Mpxl camera. You can read the review here.
Reuters is reporting that Nokia is working on launching an MVNO in the Japanese market. Nokia plans to launch the service in the early part of 2009 with leased lines from NTT DoCoMo. Nokia hopes to compete in the tough Japanese market by providing high-end phones. Currently this market is dominated by Japanese handset makers like Sharp, NEC and Matsushita Electronics and Nokia has only 1% of the market. While other details are still missing, I believe that Nokia will provide a customized, seamless experience based on Symbian and tighter integration with its network.
[Via Boy Genius Report]
Verizon Wireless and RIM had promised there would be ample Blackberry Storm devices for all customers. However, that was not the case. This morning I went to get the phone at 6:30 am to wait in queue. I was about the 25th in queue. Shortly, before 7 am the store manager was out with a writing pad informing people after about the 15th person or so that they were not going to have enough on hand, another shipment was on its way and he would take down the customers’ phone numbers and call them when it was in. Even then you were not guaranteed the phone. You had to make it out to the store within 15 minutes of receiving the phone call otherwise you were out of luck. So, what gives? Well, Boy Genius Report had some early information yesterday saying that Verizon would not be able to meet the demand. Apparently, according to Verizon, it was RIM’s fault that they were not able to ship enough devices. To me, that just is the Big Red pointing a finger at the manufacturer for its inability to estimate the demand and not having a strategy in place to meet the rush for the device. I have been with Verizon for a while, but right now, I am really pissed at them for bungling perhaps their best opportunity to take on AT&T and Apple iPhone. No matter what success the Storm has, I think, this experience will forever be associated with the launch and perhaps hard to live down for Verizon Wireless and RIM to a degree. And I thought I had it bad, until I read the plight of one of our reader who was lied to twice and is very annoyed at Verizon right now. You can read about his encounter here.
AT&T has been riding the iPhone craze to becoming a leader in the telecom space. However, that exclusivity will not last forever. So, they are looking ahead and trying to be pro-active about their future success. The iPhone development was unprecedented in that the phone was made without AT&T input. They were luckly in that Steve Jobs and company did a fantastic job with the phone. Can you imagine what it would have looked like for AT&T and the rest of the mobile space if iPhone had bombed. It has allowed AT&T to take a $900 million hit on profits while still growing through its voice and data plans.
However, AT&T has learnt from this experience and has decided not to rest on its laurels. Here is an interesting article from CNN Money on what AT&T is doing to keep its leadership position. One of the technologies they are working on is to transfer videos from the iPhone to TV with just a flick of a finger on the iPhone. Now, that would be cool. However, it is going to take some time for that technology to be available.
I am certainly glad that AT&T is taking some concrete steps to insulate its future. I get a feeling that AT&T is looking in its crystal ball and is not liking that it is so tied to the pipes and spectrum. It see Apple capturing a share of revenue through its app store to which AT&T has no access. It also sees that its capital-hungry investments in infrastructure which has laden it with huge debt could become millstone around its ability to grow. Finally, it sees that mobile phone carriers are fast becoming utilities which can have far-reaching consequences. It recognizes the signs of time and wants to diversify into being able to provide a complete experience to the user while at the same time reducing its dependency on the spectrum and other capital intensive investments.
Remember the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic phone that we talked about a while back. That very same touchscreen phone has been reviewed with bunch of videos on various features of the phone by MobileBurn. The author had initially panned the phone based on his earlier encounter with it. However, once he got his hands on it and was able to play with it, he changed his mind and now thinks that this phone is a great phone and is going to do very well. You can view one of the videos below. For others click the link above.
[via Engadget Mobile]
Considering that we are just a day away from the much awaited Blackberry Storm, here are two in-depth reviews of the Blackberry Storm from Boy Genius Report and Engadget. Just be warned these are truly in-depth review. So, if you intend to read them, make sure you have plenty of time on hand to take notes because that is what you will need to get a good understanding of all the features in the device. In summary, though, according to Boy Genius Report:
Here’s our honest to god non-biased conclusion… this is the best phone to ever touch Verizon Wireless so far. If you’re a Verizon Wireless subscriber and a dumb phone won’t cut it, you’d be pretty air-headed to not pick this bad boy up above any other smartphone in Verizon’s lineup.
Engadget took a slightly different route in that their review is sprinkled with comparisions to iPhone. And this is what Engadget has to say about the phone:
The selling points are easy: the phone is gorgeous to look at and hold, it’s designed and backed by RIM (now almost a household name thanks to their prevalence in the business and entertainment markets), and it’s packed with features that, at first glance, make it seem not only as good as the iPhone, but better. The only hitch in this plan is a major one: it’s not as easy, enjoyable, or consistent to use as the iPhone, and the one place where everyone is sure they have an upper hand — that wow-inducing clickable screen — just isn’t all that great.
So, as I said, if you are indeed planning on getting this phone, decide the features that are important to you, read the reviews, take notes, and then make the decision.
NEC has unveiled a very classy looking touchscreen phone called the N-01A. This smartphone comes with a large 3.2 inches touchscreen and has a nifty feature. You can twist the screen in two different angles to use it in 3 different modes. The first mode is called the Touch Style wherein you interact with the touchscreen. If you want to send text or view the TV using the built-in 1Seg tuner, you twist the screen 90 degrees into the Share Style. Finally if you want to make a call and communicate, you twist the screen 180 degrees into the Communication Style. As if the screen with its 854*480 resolution with WVGA support is not enough, its other features are sure going to make this phone a hot item this holiday season in Japan:
- 7.2Mbps HSDPA connectivity
- 5.2Mpxl camera
- microSDHC (TM) (8GB) support
- high-quality virtual 5.1ch surround SRS SOUND
The phone is set to release this Friday, November 21, on the NTT DoCoMo network as the DoCoMo Prime N-01A. So, if you are thinking the Blackberry Storm is something to lust for, you have to see this baby to believe.
AT&T is going to launch the E71 smartphone from Nokia, as the E71x, according to Boy Genius Report. The phone which is direct competitor to the Blackberry comes with a full QWERTY keyboard, like the current versions of the Blackberry. The phone is rumored to cost around $150 with 2-year contract.
There has been rumors floating around the blogosphere that Walmart is going to carry the Apple iPhone 3G. Today, Boy Genius Report was able to confirm that Walmart will indeed be carrying the iPhone 3G. However, there is a catch. The phone will not be available until after Christmas, beginning December 28, that too only at select stores. All told there will be 2500 locations where the phones will be available. Also, the phones will be available at 69 Sam’s Club stores too. However, the pricing is not known yet. So, it would be interesting to see if the price will be discounted or not.
LG & Prada announced the availablity of its much talked about Prada II phone. The phone specs have been known for some time and have not changed. You can read them here. Along with the phone, LG & Prada also released a bluetooth enabled watch called the Prada Link. The watch can show incoming phone numbers and text messages. The phone retails for €600 ($755) while the watch is priced at €299 ($375) and both are available only in Europe for now.