Samsung TouchWiz for US
Phones using Samsung's full-screen TouchWiz interface will finally reach the US in an official capacity soon, the company acknowledged today. Where the interface was previously available on Asia- and Europe-only devices like the Omnia and F480, the company now plans to introduce "several" devices to the US between late 2008 and early 2009 that carry the touchscreen software. The platform centers around a widget tray that can be customized with shortcuts to complete apps like a browser or media player as well as small, quick features like clocks.
Verizon at 68m-plus Users
Verizon today gave a sneak preview of its spring results and said it now has 68.7 million subscribers. The figure is a net increase of about 1.5 million users after factoring in turnover and allegedly gives Verizon a cellular brand lead. More customers are attached to the Verizon Wireless label than for any other in the US, the carrier claims. It also claims to have the least amount of "churn" (losing customers for new ones) and the largest 3G network.
Verizon VCast MP3
Following on the heels of Real's Rhapsody MP3 store, Verizon today expanded its VCast Music store to include both MP3s and the Rhapsody subscription service. The former lets users of Verizon's PC software as well as any MP3-supporting cellphone on the company's 3G network download unprotected songs that can be used as the customer likes; that includes loading content on to phones that wouldn't otherwise support VCast songs or to outside software and devices, including iPods.
Verizon on iPhone 3G Plan
Apple's decision to allow subsidized prices for the iPhone 3G is an admission that it needs to follow the traditional cellphone provider model, Verizon's chief operating officer Denny Strigl claimed at the second day of the Deutsche Bank Conference. The executive downplays the impact of the new cellphone on his own company and contends that Apple and AT&T are simply learning to accept a conventional practice that discounts the phone's up-front price rather than insist on splitting monthly phone revenues.
Samsung Glyde at Verizon
Verizon this morning unveiled its anticipated release of the Samsung Glyde. The carrier's CDMA adaptation of the European, GSM-based F700 scales the camera down to 2 megapixels (with autofocus and flash) but otherwise aims at providing an iPhone-like experience while also mending some perceived gaps from its US rival; like the LG Voyager, the Glyde includes 3G Internet over EVDO, a full HTML browser and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Samsung, however, drops the digital over-the-air TV tuner in favor of built-in GPS navigation.
Curve and Glyde for May 9
Verizon will launch two of its more anticipated high-end phones within a week, according to separate leaks. Reported sources for Engadget say the company's silver adaptation of the BlackBerry Curve 8330 is now set to appear on May 9th, more than a month after the company first revealed the phone with an unspecified launch date. The originally suggested $270 price will be intact after obtaining a contract and rebate. Subscribers will also have the option of picking up the device for $440 without an agreement.
Samsung Glyde in VZ System
The Samsung U940 has shown up in Verizon's internal system and reveals most important details about the device before its launch, according to a tip handed to Phone Arena. Already known to be called the Glyde, this slight downgrade of the international F700 is now understood to have a lower-resolution 2-megapixel camera but will have a more customized interface and features, including access to Verizon's in-house music and video services as well as VZNavigator for assisted GPS navigation.