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5 years ago

Another Quarter, Another 900k Subscriber Drop for Sprint (Updated)

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Nearly eight months after we first asked whether or not it was time to start the Sprint Deathwatch, we have another quarterly “earnings” report from the company. Results: Bad.

  • Loss of $344 Million / 12 cents a share
  • Loss of 901,000 subscribers.

That brings Sprint's total down to around 51.9 million subscribers, compared to 68.7 for Verizon and 72.9 for AT&T. Sprint's results are better than last quarters' results, when they lost over a million of 'em. CEO Dan Hesse is optimistic, of course:

“We are seeing signs of progress from our efforts to improve the customer experience, rebuild the Sprint brand and increase our profitability”

Sprint also hung on to their Average Revenue Per User (the evil god of ARPU) -- dropping SERO for Everything Plus likely had a hand in that. They kept their churn rate relatively stable. So that's something. Our advised next steps for Sprint:

Read [via]

Update: Hesse has just finished leading the call - some of that after the break.

Transcript from cellular-news:

The focus on retention is taking its toll on gross subscriber additions, or the number of new customers it is adding. Hesse is willing to tolerate the lower additions if they represent higher quality customers.
“We're working to improve the quality of the customer base,” Hesse told analysts Wednesday during a conference call.

Yeah, you read that right: Sprint is trying to make you a better customer. There's the uncharitable way to read that, which we think is fairly straightforward, and the charitable way. Charitable way: Sprint's getting more customers on their unlimited plans which guarantee them a higher per-month income for each customer (ARPU) because of added data and SMS on top of voice -- services we are willing to bet that most of Sprint's unlimited customers aren't using to their full potential.

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5 years ago

Samsung Omnia i900 Appears in White

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Samsung Omnia i900 Appears in White

We already showed you the Samsung Omnia hardware (full review coming soon), with its nice, brushed-metal battery cover. Here we see it again in with a white battery cover. Samsung also reports that they'll be continuing to improve the software end with more Today screen improvements. Here's to hoping they get that done quickly and that AT&T really and truly does pick it up, as rumored.

We like the brushed metal better ourselves, but options is options.

Read: CNET Asia [via]

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5 years ago

Verizon-Rural Cellular deal nearly done

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We dived into the convoluted Verizon-Rural Cellular acquisition earlier this summer, and it looks like the deal is finally going through, with a few conditions.

The FCC gave the OK for Verizon (now with more Alltel!) to buy RCC in a $2.7 billion deal, but one of the companies must sell off licenses and network assets in Burlington, Franklin and Addison, Vermont; Ferry and Okanogan, Wash.; and in Franklin, N.Y.

That was not unexpected, and it goes along with Verizon's plans to unload 15 percent of the Alltel customers it's acquiring, in order to satisfy that deal.

Via Engadget Mobile

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5 years ago

Tip of the Week: Create a 1-click shortcut to a new Email or SMS

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Some people in our forums aren't too happy with the seemingly extra step to launch an Email in WM6 i.e. where that "Delete" left key is now, there used to reside the "New" key.

While I'm not sure how to actually change that key to something different, there is another alternate solution (actually dozens! but we'll just do one): create a shortcut link to a New Email/Sms.

Read on to find out how!

To do this, you just create a link to "tmail.exe" found in \Windows. I use Resco Explorer.

  • Find the "tmail.exe"
  • Select "Properties" (Menu --> File --> Properties)
  • Shortcut Tab
  • Edit Target
  • Add "mailto:" (no quotes) to the command line

It should look like this: "Windows\tmail.exe" mailto:

Creating such a link will bring you to an Account selector, where you can choose your new message.

Want to get more sophisticated, like creating a new email from your Outlook account with the subject "Hey there" automatically addressed to Bob? Here are those parameters which should work:

Other optional parameters that can be added (leave out the "mailto:" part though and go in this order):

  • -to "personx@theiremail.com"
  • -subject "Insert subject here"
  • -service "Name of Account" (

Then throw the link to your Start Menu or use your favorite launcher. I've attached a pre-made link in this post here, for those less inclined.

Not sure if this works on every WM device out there, so post some feedback or your solutions!

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5 years ago

Review: iGrip Universal Fit Sturdy Swivel Mount

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5 years ago

Gaming Software Roundup

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Gaming Software Roundup

Once the first game was installed on a cell phone, it was only a matter of time before gaming applications became a staple feature. Gaming applications for the phone have come a long way since we played Snake on the old Nokia candy bar phones. There have been hits and misses along the way as developers try to offer entertaining and addictive games.

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5 years ago

Motorola's 'Last Stand' Alexander Phone is Windows Mobile

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What a strange, strange confluence of events. Not long ago, Malatesta and I were pondering during the podcast whether or not we'd ever see a Windows Mobile vertical slider again. We've also been wondering whether Motorola would be able to dig themselves out of the hole they're in (and whether their new Co-CEO could help). One thing that had been on our radar was this rumored “Moto-saver” the Boy Genius referenced awhile back, dubbed 'Alexander.' It was is to be an 8-megapixel wunderphone, but we figured it would run some variant of the OS found on the Ming or, as BGR guessed, UIQ.

We figured wrong, it turns out, as BGR comes through again with the details:

  • Yes, it runs Windows Mobile and we're going to guess it's 6.1. The screenshot at right looks to be 6.1 Standard with the modified sliding panels interface we first saw on the Napoleon.
  • the camera has switched from 8 to “5-8” megapixels
  • It'll have aGPS and NVIDIA for enhanced graphics
  • it should land Q4
  • It looks ...bad. That keyboard needs to have buttons thin enough to slide underneath the screen and it appears that Motorola's solution for that particular design issue is to make the keyboard stink.

We're more excited for the Napoleon than we are for this here Alexander, truth be told, but we're also willing to be proven wrong.

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5 years ago

Weekly Software Wrangle - Week 12

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Weekly Software Wrangle - Week 12

Better late than never (hopefully), it's time once again to rustle up some apps for this week's Software Wrangle. This week the featured new software for WM Standard is Mobiola Screen Capture and Diccionario Ingles - Spanish to English Dictionary and Phrasebook. Updated software includes Softick Card Export and Bejeweled. Free software is DashWire.

WM Professional new software is Cliquick and ppcStopwatch. Updated software includes SpoonAlarm and Spb Mobile Shell. Freeware is Pocket Lemmings.

Let's jump in to this week's Wrangle!

WM Standard: New

The first new WM Standard app is Mobiola Screen Capture v1.0.7 by SHAPE Services.

Mobiola Screen Capture allows you to show your device screen on your PC real-time; do snapshots, record videos, share it on Skype. Connects via WiFi, Bluetooth or USB.

Try it now!

Note: Trial version limits single connections to 5 minutes and has 7 days evaluation period.

Compatible with Windows Vista.

Features: - Shows SCREEN CAPTURE from your phone on PC screen real-time - Connects via WiFi(NEW!), Bluetooth or USB - Snapshot functionality - Record video with MS MovieMaker or other video recording apps using webcam driver component of the application - SHARE your SCREEN on SKYPE, IM and other video conference applications. Just select "Mobiola Video Source" as web camera in this applications

Get Mobiola Screen Capture v1.0.7 for $19.95 here.

The next new WM Standard app is Diccionario Ingles - Spanish to English Dictionary & Phrasebook v1.0 by Mobifusion Inc.

Diccionario Ingles is a very helpful reference guide for Spanish speakers who are learning English. The English word is described completely in English as well as in Spanish. For each word, find the English definition followed by the Spanish. It is perfect for those who want to learn both these global languages. English and Spanish definitions are presented in a very simple format. The definitions are given together so that a user need not look for the Spanish translation in another section. It includes hundreds of sample sentences and number of commonly used idioms and phrases. It can be particularly helpful for translations. The content of the dictionary includes:

Features: - Staff - Preface - How to Use this Dictionary - Pronunciation Guide - Spelling Table - A

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5 years ago

HTC on pace to move 1 million Touch Diamonds by mid month

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PC World reports this morning that everyone's favorite device manufacturer HTC is on pace to have sold 1 million Touch Diamonds by the middle of this month, and that it "is definitely able to reach its goal of shipping 2 million Touch Diamond handsets by the end of 2008."

And as if that weren't enough:

However, sources at the Taiwan handset industry speculated that HTC will eventually revise upward its shipping target for this year, and that HTC is likely to ship 2.5 to 3 million Touch Diamond handsets before the end of the year.

That said, as Dieter and Mal pointed out in their latest podcast, saying you've sold a million or so "units" doesn't necessarily mean that there are a million people walking around with Touch Diamonds. But, the Diamond's numbers are hardly anything to sneeze at, and we still have a little while longer before it's even released in the U.S

By comparison, Palm recently announced it had shipped 2 million Centros, and the iPhone 3G sold 1 million units in its first three days.

Via MoDaCo

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5 years ago

More Details on the CDMA Versions of Touch and Diamond

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Phone Arena has the full scoop on what exact new HTC hotness we can expect for Sprint and Verizon, but here's the short version:

Sprint's getting the Diamond first (HTC codename Victor) and it pretty much has the same specs as the Telus Diamond. Expected ship date, as we guessed the other day, is still Sept. 2nd.

Next up for Sprint is their version of the Touch Pro (HTC codename Herman). True to the 'Pro' in the name, we've got double the ROM (512) and a MicroSD card slot. Plus, of course, that keyboard. Expected ship date sometime in October.

Verizon is getting these devices as well, but interestingly they won't be identical. Both their Diamond and Raphael will have the slower, Qualcomm 7500/400MHz processor and lack other features like the accelerometer. The Big V's Diamond, however, will drop the 4 gigs of internal memory in favor of an honest-to-god microSD card slot. Verizon's stuff will come after Sprint gets their period of exclusivity, however long that'll be.

Big ups to Phone Arena for the info!

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5 years ago

Microsoft spent a half-billion on Danger

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How much is the Sidekick worth to you? If you're Microsoft, try $500 million, which is what it spent on Danger, the parent company of the uber-popular Teen texter (ask your kids).

The questions still remain of what Steve Ballmer & Co. plan to do with it (probably some sort of consumer device), and what kind of timetable they're looking at. (Hint: Not anytime soon.)

Stay tuned, folks.

Via Engadget Mobile

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5 years ago

Cheat: How to get the awesome Skyfire Browser today...

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For those who've been following the whole Skyfire browser trend, you'll know that to get the app you have to enroll in their beta testing.

What's worse is that beta testing is closed (invite only) and if you sign up now, there's very little chance of getting in on the glory.

Well, thanks to this little tip, you can bump your application up and get the download link now:

  • If you have never registered, just go here and enter in CNET100 in the code section
  • If you have previously registered, but did not get enrolled, go back and re-enter your info exactly (same number, same email, same name) and now enter the code: CNET100

You should see a screen that says that they've found your registration and you'll get an SMS link to download the Skyfire browser.

No telling how long this will last, so jump on it now! (Only U.S. based customers though, sorry)

Thanks rex (via our fourms, via ppcgeeks)

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5 years ago

How To: 2 Tips to Make Windows Media Player on WM Suck Slightly Less

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Understatement: Windows Mobile's default media player, Windows Media Player (WMP), isn't exactly iPod-class. One solution for this issue is to just give up on WMP completely and go with something like Pocket Tunes, currently our top pick for alternate music players (though we have more reviews of media players coming soon -- stay tuned). For some, however, having another media player isn't a great option due to either memory constraints or just plain personal preference. For you crazy folks, we offer two hints to make things a little better.

Hint the first: force WMP to actually remember your place in a track after you've exited WMP. This solution comes via a simple .cab plugin from XDA Wizard Wolfman-XP [via]. It's pretty much a necessity if you're using WMP to listen to audio books or, ahem, podcasts.

Hint the second: you've probably seen that there's a setting in WMP to allow for different skins, but on most devices there's just the default available and finding more is a hassle. Well buck up little camper: Chris Craft (aka Mr. 30 apps in 30 days) has collected his top 5 WMP skins here. We're fond of the $1.99 'Tweak' interface pictured above.

Bonus hint: make it known to Microsoft that the media situation is untenable and if they're planning on bringing that rumored Zune-like functionality they'd better get on it and right quick.

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5 years ago

Review: Prima Lateral Pouch Case for the Samsung BlackJack II

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5 years ago

Can customs seize your Windows Mobile device?

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A bit of hoopla was raised last week over border search policies disclosed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In almost every news story, the word "laptop" was used in the headline. And this is true. Your laptop can be seized and its information inspected for an unspecified amount of time, no suspicion necessary.

If you're visiting WM Experts, you're probably a fine, upstanding member of society, and a model patriot and benefit to the American way of life, blah blah blah.

But the next logical question is, "Can they take my Windows Mobile device?" Check in after the jump for the answer, and for some tips that could save you some time and embarrassment. (Though if you're looking for a way to completely sneak one past the government and cause some shenanigans, you're at the wrong place.)

Welcome back. So can The Man snag your phone and look at your data?

The answer is: Absolutely. Along with just about anything (electronic or otherwise) you have on your person.

From the Policy Regarding Border Search of Information (pdf link), dated July 16, 2008 (bold section emphasized by us):

CBP [Customs and Border Protection] is responsible for ensuring compliance with customs, immigration, and other Federal laws at the border. To that end, officers may examine documents, books, pamphlets, and other printed material, as well as computers, disks, hard drives, and other electronic or digital storage devices.  These examinations are part of CBP's long-standing practice and are essential to uncovering vital law enforcement information. For example, examinations of documents and electronic devices are a crucial tool for detecting information concerning terrorism, narcotics smuggling, and other national security matters; alien admissibility; contraband including child pornography, monetary instruments, and information in violation of copyright or trademark laws; and evidence of embargo violations or other import or export control laws.

The policy isn't new, and it applies to anyone entering the United States, citizen or not.

Handling the information

So customs can snag your device, copy your data or inspect it on site, and there's not a whole lot you can do to stop them from doing so. If they find probable cause that you're up to no good, they may "seize and retain the originals and/or copies of relevant documents or devices, as authorized by law."

And your data can be copied and shared with just about any other governmental agency.

Copies of documents or devices, or portions thereof, which are retained in accordance with this section, may be shared by CBP with Federal, state, local, and foreign law enforcement agencies only to the extent consistent with applicable law and policy.

Absent probable cause, they can only keep information regarding immigration matters.

Other provisions

Windows Mobile is primarily still a business device, and businesspeople tend to travel with sensitive information.

There are provisions for "business information," though it doesn't say much more than "We'll do what we can to keep your stuff from falling into the wrong hands." And it adds that "Depending on the nature of the information presented, the Trade Secrets Act, the Privacy Act, and other laws may govern or restrict the handling of the information."

But we don't recommend claiming that the photos you took of the, er, entertainment, on your - cough, cough - "business trip" to Tijuana are proprietary information.

Attorney-client privilege is also addressed. While claiming such can't keep them from being searched, it should bring an extra level of oversight in the handling of your data.

Correspondence, court documents, and other legal documents may be covered by attorney-client privilege.  If an officer suspects that the content of such a document may constitute evidence of a crime or otherwise pertain to a determination within the jurisdiction of CBP, the officer must seek advice from the Associate/Assistant Chief Counsel or the appropriate U.S. Attorney's  office before conducting a search of the document.

What can you do?

The easiest answer is, leave your laptop or WinMo device at home. But that's not much of an answer, is it?

Here are a couple of simple solutions.

1. The cloud: We love the cloud. We talk about the cloud all the time. Store your data in the ether, and you don't have to worry about someone snagging it off your device. (Who has access to it way up the sky is a whole 'nother matter, but that's for another day.)

2. The ninja-stealth move: We'll keep saying it until we're blue in the face. Backup software is your friend, and SPB Backup 2.0 is perfect for this one.

It's as simple as doing a full - and encrypted - backup of your device, and saving that backup to a storage card (which you should already be doing) or, better yet, somewhere in the cloud (though the 20-meg or so file sizes could be a problem there).

Then, before heading back across the border, do a hard reset and wipe your device. When you get back home, restore from the backup, and you're right where you left off. No muss, no fuss.

The caveat

This isn't a foolproof way to keep your data completely out of the hands of, well, anyone but you, nor is it meant to be. If Jack Bauer wants to make sure you're not using your phone to make his next 24 hours a living hell, he's going to do so. (And, yes, we're well aware that it takes more than a simple reformatting to make data irretrievable.) This is just the equivalent of keeping a screener from riffling through your underwear in your suitcase, looking for a shotgun.

That said, there isn't a whole lot of legal precedent for this sort of thing yet, so there likely will be some bumps in the road.

Look, we certainly don't endorse transporting anything illegal over U.S. (or anyone else's) borders. And we're all for catching terrorists before they strike. So please don't view this as a way to circumvent policies and procedures meant to safeguard all of us.

But your data, your privacy and your Fourth Amendment rights are priceless, too.

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