Best Buy Mobile offers Instinct HD for $200
Samsung's recently launched Instinct HD handset is now being offered by Best Buy Mobile for less than the $250 price that Sprint is charging. The electronics retailer prices the Instinct HD at $200 after a two-year activation and instant rebates.
Samsung InstinctQ images
Some of the first photos of Samsung's InstinctQ smartphone have been leaked, a report claims. The device is notably Android-based, helping to spread the platform beyond devices from HTC. Newly revealed in the photos is the presence of a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, the first such in the Instinct series, which has normally depended on touchscreens to provide text input.
Sam Instinct S50 Q Dated
Samsung's two new successors for the Instinct line have been given more tangible release dates today through tips from an anonymous source. The claim by Phone Arena has the Instinct S50 shipping in mid-September. It's considered the true successor to the original 2008 Instinct and should have sleeker lines as well as a 5-megapixel camera.
Sprint Instinct S30 coming
The Instinct Mini will be known as the Instinct S30 when it arrives as a Sprint device in North America, Samsung announced in Korea on Tuesday. The Instinct successor sports the same-sized 3.2-inch touchscreen as the original and, as expected, will make its official debut at the CTIA wireless show which kicks off in Las Vegas on Wednesday. No other official hardware specs are known about the phone, though it does look rounder than the model it is expected to eventually replace.
Sprint delay Instinct Mini
A new, previously unseen handset, the Samsung Instinct Mini, is coming to wireless provider Sprint, BGR says in a new leak. Little is known about the new phone, other than that it will be sold alongside current Instinct models and will be available in two colors: copper or graphite. The phone will only support EVDO Rev 0 data networks, however, and is due for a release at the carrier on April 19th. More information about the new phone is expected soon, and may surface as early as next week at Mobile World Congress in Spain.
Palm Pre Best Buy Leak
Sprint may give Best Buy the lone exclusive for the Palm Pre outside of the carrier's own stores, a slip to webOS Arena claims. A "credible source" states that Best Buy Mobile stores will be the only retailer outside of Sprint itself to carry the smartphone for its first 60 days on sale, temporarily curbing availability during an expected initial rush. The move is unconfirmed but would echo a similar approach for the Samsung Instinct, which was Sprint's fastest-selling phone ever on launch in June.
Sprint pink Instinct
Sprint on Tuesday announced the release of the Samsung Instinct in pink, accompanying it with a $30 price drop to $100 for both this and the original black model. The price drop is offered for a limited but unspecified time with a two-year contract and with a $100 mail-in rebate.
Pro 850 coming to Best Buy
A few leaked digital inventory screen images at an undisclosed Best Buy store location reveal that a couple of smartphones will soon be available at the chain store under the Sprint banner. The first is the Palm Treo Pro 850, which, according to the inventory photos, will retail for nearly $700, presumably not subsidized by a contract from Sprint. The Treo Pro 850 should feature built-in Wi-Fi connection, a GPS sensor, 320x320 resolution touchscreen, full QWERTY keyboard, as well as a 2-megapixel camera.
ATT on No Android
AT&T is investigating Google's Android platform but ironically won't adopt it as it isn't sufficiently open, company wireless chief Ralph de la Vega tells the San Francisco Chronicle. He acknowledges that the carrier has considered adopting an Android-based phone but that the mobile operating system needs more third-party software to be open enough for it to be an option. Although open-source, too much of the current software feature set is limited to what Google offers, the executive says.
Samsung Delve Leak
Relatively small national carrier US Cellular will have its own full touchscreen device by the end of the year, a leak stemming from BGR would suggest. The Samsung Delve would be cosmetically very similar to the Instinct at Sprint but would have physical call/answer buttons instead of touch-sensitive controls on the earlier phone; it would also carry Samsung's stock TouchWiz interface with widget support in place of Sprint's custom-designed software. A full HTML web browser is still part of the design.
ORACOM intros haptic W30
Korea‘s ORACOM on Thursday announced it will soon launch a digital music player, the W30, that features a haptic user interface for its 240x400, 3-inch touchscreen. Like in the Samsung Instinct cellphone and numerous other devices, a haptic interface simulates pressing a real button when users press a virtual key on the touchscreen, often making a sound and vibrating the device via a built-in gyroscope.
Klausner Sues VZW and Goog
Klausner Technologies today grew the scope of its licensing claims by suing multiple other companies it believes are treading on its patents for a visual voicemail system. The company claims that software developed by Google, LG, Verizon and six other firms are violating patents from 1992 onwards for a system that permits listening to voicemail out of order through a graphical interface.
ZN5 and Tocco on T-Mo Nov
T-Mobile is planning to escalate its competition significantly in November with not just its primarily iPhone rival the HTC Dream but also two other devices, a release schedule leak at TmoNews shows. The carrier is now believed to be picking up Motorola's ZINE ZN5 on November 3rd as one of its best camera phones, with a Kodak co-designed five-megapixel camera. It will lack support for T-Mobile's 3G but will have Wi-Fi for faster short range access. No word has been given as to whether it would support the provider's HotSpot@Home VoIP calling feature.
JD Power Support Quality
Verizon has just edged out long-time champion T-Mobile in its ability to help cellular customers, according to the results of a new JD Power study. The research group gave the second-largest carrier the nod for a high score of 103 in the survey, which tracked both carriers' ability to provide an actual solution to a given problem on the phone, in person, or online, as well as the amount of hold time for phone help. Verizon is said to be especially noteworthy for resolving many more of its problems the first time where rivals sometimes require multiple sessions.
Sprint Q2 2008 Results
Sprint on Wednesday continued a succession of negative quarterly results by reporting that it has lost 901,000 subscribers in the spring quarter, dropping its subscriber base to 51.4 million from 52.8 million in the winter. The losses are less than the one million lost in the winter and are said to be helped by two percent churn, or subscriber turnover; the amount is the lowest the company has experienced since it merged with Nextel in 2004. The company primarily attributes the softer fall to more easily understood plans and also claims to have a better customer mix, with more of its customers spending extra money on service for unlimited data options like the Simply Everything plan.
Samsung Q2 2008 Thrives
Samsung today said it prospered in the spring quarter based primarily on its cellphone and LCD businesses. The Korean company says it sold 45.7 million phones between April and June, a 22 percent boost over spring 2007. Many of these phones were also mid-range or premium models, with over one million Soul 5-megapixel cameraphones being sold; sales of pricier 3G phones jumped 41 percent, the electronics creator says.
Samsung Instinct for Bell
Bell Canada today said it would be the first carrier outside of Sprint to carry the Samsung Instinct. The touchscreen cellphone will keep the same custom interface designed by the US carrier and will be Bell Canada's most direct answer to the iPhone 3G's appearance on Rogers with similar features. Bell's version of the phone should have the same EVDO Revision A-based 3G Internet access, true GPS, and full HTML web browser as the American model.
Sprint Forcing All In Plan
Sprint may be shifting all its customers who want discounted data to opt into all-in-one plans that in many cases cost more than what they originally had, say reports from subscribers attempting to renew their contracts. The US carrier already requires a $70 monthly Simply Everything plan for the Samsung Instinct to use both its voice and data features but is now reportedly asking owners of Palm Centros and other data-centric phones to accept the same plan when they renew service, in many cases increasing the costs of using the phones regardless of the customer's actual intent.
Instinct Fastest Selling
Sprint today boasted that the Samsung Instinct is its fastest-selling device ever for the company's 3G network. The company notes that the touchscreen device is "breaking records" for first-week sales and touts that Samsung has had to step up production of the phone to meet a surge in demand; there are ongoing but allegedly temporary shortages of the Instinct at various locations in the US, according to Sprint.
Samsung Instinct Ships
Sprint today began shipping the Samsung Instinct, the carrier's primary challenge to the iPhone 3G. The close cousin of the Europe-oriented F490 is now known to be launching with a number of the same features as the Apple device due three weeks later, including full 3G Internet access (here through Sprint's EVDO Revision A network), true GPS navigation, and the last-minute addition of Exchange mail support despite using a non-smartphone operating system.
Sprint Mobile E-mail Work
Sprint today hoped to close one more perceived gap between the Samsung Instinct and the iPhone 3G with the launch of Mobile Email Work. The service gives users access to messages from Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes servers without requiring a smartphone that already has built-in support. Like the more specialized clients, mail is pushed in real time to the phone while messsage deletes or replies are synchronized with other computers accessing the same mailbox.
Samsung Instinct Price
Sprint today made the surprise announcement that the Samsung Instinct will sell for $130 on its June 20th launch date. The two-year contract price comes just over a week following the introduction of the rival iPhone 3G and significantly undercuts both the Apple device as well as an internal memo at the carrier which had suggested the same $199 subsidized price as for the iPhone. Sprint's price notably comes after an unusually steep $100 mail-in rebate and points to a more expensive price for the touchscreen phone outside of the deal.
Sprint Simple Cell Plans
Sprint this afternoon has introduced changes to its cellphone plans it hopes will bolster its network. The US provider says it now has just two basic talk-only plans that offer 450 and 900 minutes of talk time at $40 and $60 respectively. Subscribers can add $10 per month to get unlimited messaging and also get access to a $90 plan at the same level that adds unlimited calling. The existing Everything plans are intact and give unlimited access to all of Sprint's subscription services, including data, navigation, and streaming media for the same amounts of minutes (including unlimited) at $70, $90, and $100 per month.
Instinct counters iPhone
Apple's announcement of a $200 iPhone has AT&T competitors looking to match the feature-packed device in price and expectations, with Sprint on Wednesday circulated internally a memo noting a $199 price point for the Samsung Instinct, after rebates. The phone normally costs $449, but will be subject to a $150 instant rebate for a two-year contract, as well as a $100 mail-in rebate for the Instinct. This provides Sprint with a high-end touch-screen competitor for the iPhone.
LG Dare Spied
Verizon's first all-touchscreen media phone has been spotted late yesterday in a working form and has accompanying new details to match. The LG Dare, also known as the VX9700, is now believed to have EVDO Revision A cellular data that should help it compete against both the Samsung Instinct on Sprint as well as the updated iPhone and other competing devices on AT&T's 3G network. The phone should also support Real's Rhapsody music service and use microSDHC cards for 8GB or more of storage.
Samsung Instinct Ship Date
Sprint today gave the Samsung Instinct its official ship date. The phone is now due to launch on June 20 and will represent Sprint's first attempt at a direct competitor to the iPhone, with a custom-designed interface that emphasizes media playback. Sprint also touts the device as its first non-business phone to support EVDO Rev. A Internet access and integrates GPS, on-demand voicemail, and access to Sprint's Internet video streaming services.
Sprint Q1 2008 Results
Sprint this morning reported its results for the first quarter of 2008 and has revealed continued severe losses in its cellular business. The carrier says its net revenue declined nine percent year-over-year to $9.3 billion and that it lost a total 1.09 million wireless customers in the most recent period. The company says the poor results were "expected" but that it's continuing to rework its strategy, including more focused advertising, cost reductions, and larger strategic decisions. Its news last week of a team-up with Clearwire for nationwide WiMAX also points to a turnaround, according to the company.
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.
3G iPhone Smaller Lighter
The next generation of Apple's phone should include a significantly smaller phone that may replace the existing model, according to claims by Taiwan Economic News. The paper echoes recent rumors in claiming that the device will use a plastic backing in place of aluminum but also contends that the device will be significantly smaller than the original, with a 2.8-inch screen replacing the 3.5-inch model used today. The combination of a lighter material and smaller frame is said to reduce the weight to between 3.9 and 4.2 ounces from the initial model's 4.8.
Instinct from CTIA
Sprint unveiled the Samsung Instinct phone at CTIA 2008 on Tuesday, which is very close in appearance and function to Apple's iPhone. Unlike the iPhone, the Instinct's touchscreen features vibration feedback that replicates physical button presses. Common features between the two include a 2-megapixel camera and full-size headphone jack. Samsung added assisted GPS support, voice commands, and a USB tethering mode for data as well as microSD card storage.
No prices are announced yet, but shipments start in June.