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Verizon to activate new 4G LTE markets on May 19th

Verizon Wireless announced on Monday that it will activate its blazing fast 4G LTE service in Pensacola, Tallahassee, and Gainesville Florida; Montgomery and Mobile, Alabama; Fayetteville-Lumberton, North Carolina, and in and around Philadelphia on May 19th. Verizon currently offers two 4G LTE phones, the HTC ThunderBoltand the Samsung DROID Charge, two USB modems, and two 4G LTE mobile hotspots. Hit the jump for a release detailing Verizon’s LTE roll-out in Philadelphia, the largest market from today’s Read the rest of this entry

Samsung Exhibit 4G hits T-Mobile June 8

We first heard about the Samsung Exhibit 4G a few weeks ago and it looks like we’ll be seeing the mid-range offering hitting T-Mobile shelves on June 8. Dealer price is set at $325, but you’ll be paying less (and note the $50 rebate).

The Exhibit 4G features a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, 3MP rear camera, VGA front-facing camera and is also HSPA+ capable; it will be able to reach speeds exceeding 21mbps. Read the rest of this entry

T-Mobile betting $1,000 the Galaxy S 4G is faster than your iPhone

Broke? Think your iPhone is faster than Usain Bolt? T-Mobile’s so confident that the Samsung Galaxy S 4G is quicker than the iPhone that it’s offering $1,000 to anyone who can walk into one of its ten Seattle stores and prove otherwise. Your iPhone just has to win in two out of three throughput speed tests  — using an app provided by T-Mobile – and you’ll walk away a cool $1,000 richer. The Galaxy S 4G is sure to be some stiff competition, though. After all, it does pack HSPA+ with support for T-Mobile’s 21Mbps network. The offer is from Friday, April 29th until Sunday, May 1st. Hit the jump for more information from T-Mobile, including a list of participating locations.

[Via Into Mobile]

SPRINT CONFIRMS NEXUS S 4G DROPS MAY 8 FOR $200

The Sprint Nexus S 4G will drop on May 8, the carrier has confirmed, taking the existing Nexus S smartphone and giving it a shot of WiMAX goodness. Announced last month, the Nexus S 4G has the same 4-inch Super AMOLED “contour display”, NFC and 5-megapixel rear camera.

There’s also a front-facing camera, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth and A-GPS, along with USB 2.0 connectivity. Sprint has obviously left Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread alone, which means the Nexus S 4G will be first in line for future OS updates.

The Nexus S 4G is priced at $199.99 with a new, two year agreement. You’ll need a mandatory data plan, too, obviously.

Exclusive: Apple testing iPhone for T-Mobile USA

That’s right, you’re looking at photos of an iPhone prototype with T-Mobile USA 3G bands. The actual internal model is N94, and if you remember, the Verizon model is N92 while the standard GSM variant is N90. We have verified that the phone itself is running a test version of Apple’s iOS, much like the one we saw in those videos from Vietnam, and it includes internal Apple test apps like Radar and Apple’s employee directory app. Additionally, the front of the white iPhone pictured looks a little different from the photos of the retail white iPhone 4 that surfaced recently — specifically, the proximity sensor has changed on the retail version. Combined with the fact that it wouldn’t make sense to release an iPhone 4 on T-Mobile at this point in time, we’d wager that Apple is just testing the new T-Mobile-friendly radio with its current iPhone 4 hardware, possibly in preparation for integration in a future device. It’s also entirely possible the internals on this iPhone prototype are being disguised in an iPhone 4 shell, though we doubt it. Let’s see what happens with the iPhone 5 and if that makes it way to T-Mobile. If that AT&T acquisition gets approved though, the iPhone will eventually make its way to T-Mobile customers regardless.

Motorola XOOM and ATRIX 4G sales failures claims analyst

Motorola’s XOOM tablet and ATRIX 4G smartphone sales have reportedly “been disappointing” according to one analyst’s channel checks, with sell-through trends suggesting that the smartphone in particular has been impacted by cheap, $49 rivals. Pacific Crest’s James Faucette, quotes Forbes, claims the popularity of the iPhone 3GS and HTC Inspire – each of which undercut the ATRIX significantly in AT&T’s smartphone line-up – has meant sales were “well below forecast.”

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Motorola is yet to announce any official sales figures for either the phone or the slate. Both products scored reasonably well in reviews – you can find our ATRIX 4G review here, and our XOOM review here – though are perhaps suited more to technically advanced users than, say, the iPhone or iPad 2.

Of course, the XOOM is yet to hit retail outside of the US, which might partially explain for any mediocre sales. The WiFi-only version of the tablet is expected to arrive in the UK this week, while the 3G-enabled version is due in mid-April.

Verizon’s XPERIA Play crosses FCC with SIM slot – 4G or World Phone?

Sony Ericsson’s XPERIA Play has crossed the FCC in CDMA form, on its way to a Verizon launch in the US. The gaming smartphone seems to have a surprise onboard too, with a SIM card slot noticed alongside the regular CDMA radio. Of course, a SIM slot means one of two things: LTE or World Phone functionality.

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Verizon’s 4G LTE devices require a SIM card for network identification, though if Sony Ericsson has upgraded the XPERIA Play for the carrier’s LTE network then we’d be surprised that they haven’t made more of that fact in advertising the handset. Perhaps more likely is World Phone functionality, which would allow Verizon XPERIA Play owners to take their CDMA device abroad and use it on GSM 3G networks.

Otherwise, things look roughly in line with the GSM-only version of the XPERIA Play which we reviewed last week. Hopefully Sony Ericsson do some tweaking to the display before it arrives in the US, though, since poor screen brightness was one of our key complaints.

LTE iPhone 5 in time for Holiday 2011: Apple Rumor Roundup

With it looking unlikely that Apple will be bringing the iPhone 5 to WWDC 2011 in early June, speculation has returned to circling how the company’s hardware plans may shape up for the rest of the year. Rather than a June launch, there are suggestions that Apple will release the white iPhone 4 later in the spring and use that to prolong the handset’s shelf-life until a Q4 2011 refresh. That later date might allow for the inclusion of 4G LTE connectivity, in an attempt to better take on what’s expected to be a growing number of LTE-equipped Android devices.

 

According to Macotakara, Apple is yet to order components for the iPhone 5, and sources claim the fifth-generation smartphone will not contribute to the company’s fiscal 2011; that period ends on September 24. Their sources also claim an early 2012 release for the new phone, though AppleInsider joins several sites in suggesting Apple would be unlikely to bypass the 2011 holiday shopping season.

Meanwhile, as for iOS 5.0, TechCrunch claims that Apple has been hard at work integrating Siri technology into the new version, with the team brought over to Apple following the “virtual personal assistant” startup’s acquisition busy polishing the WWDC demos. It’s also suggested that Apple may open up the voice-control system to third-party developers. Last week an analyst suggested that Apple might use its new data center to run Siri-powered search, LBS and mapping services. Assuming a familiarity period following WWDC to allow developers to ready iOS 5.0 compatible apps and services, that could well mean that the iPhone 5 would launch simultaneously with the updated platform.

Finally, a Q4 2011 iPhone 5 release might allow Apple more flexibility in including LTE functionality, with Qualcomm’s newer-generation 4G chipsets available by that point. Apple claimed that the compromises inherent in first-gen LTE radios led them to bypass the technology in the Verizon iPhone 4; however, Verizon has also been vocal that it was its LTE network that attracted Apple’s attention, and has since said that Apple LTE devices are indeed in the pipeline.

HTC Inspire 4G To Finally Get Real AT&T 4G Access After FCC Filing

We reported last month about the HTC Inspire 4G controversy, where AT&T claimed the device did not support HSUPA while users believed the device’s HSUPA was intentionally disabled. The fog never did clear up on the matter except that AT&T backtracked later with news that some of their 4G devices would soon get an update to enable HSUPA. Today, the surfacing of an FCC filing document confirms such an update for the HTC Inspire 4G.

 

The FCC Class II Permissive Change filing document is dated March 8, but Test Reports from the FCC were not sent back to HTC until March 23, which may partially explain the long delay of getting the HTC Inspire 4G up to speed. The filing approves HSUPA and HSUPA+ connections for the device.

HTC Inspire 4G users can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that an update is on its way that should uncap data speeds for the device to enjoy its true 4G potential. However, when exactly this software update may be released is still uncertain.

[via Android Community]

AT&T: We’re not capping 4G uploads on Android. It’s not even on.

AT&T has finally responded to allegations that it caps upload speeds on the Motorola Atrix and HTC Inspire 4G. While a group of angry customers started a petition alleging that AT&T purposely sets speeds on Android 4G phones that are slower than 3G-capable iPhones, it’s actually because AT&T hasn’t turned on a feature that powers faster uploads.

In a response to a Better Business Bureau complaint about Atrix upload speeds, AT&T said that customers can

“be assured that AT&T has not ‘capped’ the upload speeds on the ATRIX. The ATRIX is a HSUPA-capable device, and we currently are performing the testing and preparations necessary to ensure that, when we turn this feature on, you will continue to have a world class experience.”

So what’s the difference? “Capping” is a willful move by carriers to limit the speeds that a phone can reach. Think of it as building a car capable of reaching 100 mph but programming it to never exceed 45 mph. What’s happening here is that AT&T is temporarily not letting Atrix owners utilize HSUPA, a feature that allows for faster data transfer speeds. This is more akin to having a car that reaches 45 mph only because it doesn’t yet have the part that will crank things up to 100 mph.

Angry AT&T customers may see that as semantics. Regardless of the reason, they’re still going 45 instead of 100, which can be important when trying to share photos or upload to YouTube. It also doesn’t help that iPhone users are whizzing by them at 70 mph. AT&T Android phones are moving slower than the iPhone because of a lack of software and network support that the phone is capable of running.

AT&T has not yet said when the HSUPA feature would be enabled on the Atrix, so users will have to ride in the slow lane until then. Read the full response at XDA.

Thanks, AT&T Fail!

 

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