As the holiday season draws closer, a plethora of mobile phones have been announced; some have even hit the streets already while others are due out well before the all-important Thanksgiving deadline. Despite the array of devices that will soon be available, choosing between them is proving to be somewhat more complex as they all look and work in very similar ways.
T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS are getting married. The deal, announced today, will result in a merged entity – to be called T-Mobile – that has 42 million subscribers and a far stronger overall spectrum holding. The new T-Mobile will still be the fourth largest U.S. carrier (Sprint is third with 56+ million subscribers) but the other benefits of this deal are more significant.
Does what came first really matter? Apple touted the need to replace its 10+ year old 1-inch plug because this dated technology is too big for the sleek new iPhone 5. It’s clear that the old 30 pin plug could use updating, but what really drove the change to happen now? Was it the need to reinvigorate the lucrative “i” accessories market or did the change in iPhone form factor truly drive the need? What is certain is that the change will have a resounding impact on the Apple accessory market over the coming years.
Motorola went BIG and small with the launch of the new RAZR HD, RAZR Maxx HD, and RAZR M on September 5. The big question is; will it be enough for them to grow their share among the market leading Verizon Wireless subscriber base with the iPhone 5 rumored for release this month? While the initial Droid RAZR sold fairly well, Motorola is looking to re-capture the hay-day of the 2009 DROID launch.
As expected, today Nokia launched the next generation Lumia device, with an upgrade to Windows Phone 8. Two new devices were launched, the Lumia 820 and 920; both logical step-ups from the existing 800 and 900 that are on the market today and with relatively similar form factors. But to simply consider these devices to be “upgrades” is to miss the point of the new devices. Both support significant new innovations, including wireless charging, vastly improved camera and superior displays.
Following on the heels of Samsung’s Music Hub premium streaming service launch last month, Nokia announced on Tuesday that it is bringing its “Nokia Music” free streaming music service to the U.S. Unveiled nearly a year ago at the “Nokia World” event and in conjunction with the Lumia 710 and Lumia 800 device launches, Nokia Music’s U.S.
Last week Samsung launched its Music Hub streaming service in the U.S., limited initially to select Samsung Galaxy S III devices. Music Hub premium version ($9.99 monthly) includes: upload of owned music library and storage up to 100 GB with Scan & Match Cloud Locker; storefront and streaming access to 19+ million tracks (assets from mSpot acquisition partner 7digital); personalized/custom radio; and recommendation engine capabilities.
Google Fiber officially debuted last week in the Kansas City area after a long testing phase as the Internet giant has begun taking pre-registrations. In essence, Google is taking telco and cable companies head on with a value proposition to build a super fast (allegedly 100 times faster than any other U.S. ISP’s average broadband speeds) fiber infrastructure in return for a $300 installation fee, which can be paid at once or in $25 installments, per household. Google then complements the fiber solution with three service package options.
AT&T has joined Verizon Wireless in offering a shared data plan option for its customers. Not surprisingly, the plan is similar in nature, based on the premise that the voice and messaging minutes should be unlimited, while the data component is offered in various buckets (1GB for $40 scaling up to 20 GB for $200). But are these plans simplifying the purchase experience or further complicating it?