sprint

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Sneak Peak at Sprint's HTC 7 Pro

Our friends over at Phone Scoop were able to snag a few minutes with Sprint's first Windows Phone 7 device, the HTC 7 Pro. No release information was passed on but the first impression sounded good.

The device is built by HTC, which is even more obvious when you slide open the keyboard and see the screen tilt at an angle from the sliding QWERTY, similar to the way the old HTC Touch Pro 2 tilts.

The only complaints noted by Phone Scoop was that the keyboard was a little stiff and the screen rotation was a little slow. It was noted that this was a pre-production model so I'm sure there are still a few bugs to be ironed out.

They did mention that the 7 Pro felt solidly built and compact enough to fit easily into a comfortable pair of pants. Still no mention of a release date or pricing but with the phone carrying the Sprint logo and design tweaks, we may see this sooner than later.

Regardless, it does sound like Sprint customers will be please with their first Windows Phone 7 device.

Source: Phone Scoop

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Well, there's no direct evidence to support this, though we've heard rumors internally that this was coming real soon in addition to this new tidbit: MS_Nerd is reporting that Sprint will begin pre-orders for the much anticipated Sprint 7 Pro on Wednesday,  December 8th.

Notice that's exactly 30 days after AT&T and T-Mobile begin to sell their stock, so either someone is making a good connection or we see a reasonable pattern here. It also sort of jives with the FCC certification recently that suggests a 7 Pro release is getting quite close. Combined with Sprint and Microsoft being cozy recently at Sprint's Developer Conference and we think CDMA D-Day may be fast approaching.

No word on actual release date, though we can guess.

Update: BGR is reporting that this pre-order is happening, but only for Microsoft employees. That's certainly a new one on us, though perhaps it has to do with those 89,000 devices they have to give out. We also think that a public pre-order can't be to far behind this one.

Source: Twitter (@ms_nerd)

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As if we needed more proof that Sprint is embracing Windows Phone 7 (as opposed to Verizon), it looks like Microsoft is getting two sessions at the Sprint Developer Conference in Santa Clara, CA tomorrow (October 26th).

First session is just an overview with the second concentrating on building apps for the new OS. Heck, they even gush a bit saying "We are very excited to be partnering with Sprint to deliver some great Windows Phone Experiences.". Combined with that earlier FCC device approval news and things are looking up for Sprint users.

Source: Synergist

 

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Though we just saw pre-production hardware a few weeks ago in New York City, looks like HTC may have being coy with us when they didn't reveal much about the 7 Pro (including the fact it couldn't turn on). Engadget just uncovered the FCC documents showing that some "HTC CDMA Windows Phone device" has approval to be sold here in the U.S. We don't know for sure that it is the 7 Pro, but that's the best guess right now. No sign of 4G WiMax though, which could be a missed opportunity.

What's more interesting is the report from Microsoft that CDMA won't be done till early 2011, though they seemed to hedge on how early, implying that it may be closer than expected. If this is the case, perhaps we're looking for something only 3 months away which is the usual distance between FCC and when the device is in stores. Lets hope, as you CDMA folk will be surely pining for this beaut. Alternatively, this could be some other unknown CDMA Windows Phone device as well. Hmm...

Source: FCC; via Engadget

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Here it is folks.  Looks like HTC snuck in a little surprise as this is the so far unseen HTC 7 Pro, featuring that all too familiar and wonderful sliding (and tilting) keyboard and it's coming to Sprint this spring.

The device will reportedly feature 16GB of storage, has a 3.6" screen, presumably a 1Ghz processor. No confirmation on 4G, but we wouldn't doubt it.

Overall it's a solid device, with a great keyboard. This is the device many of us have been waiting for, so kudos to Sprint and HTC on this design.

Anyone else getting excited?

 

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Back in June, Microsoft announced that they were working on another Mobile OS for enterprise devices based on Windows Mobile 6.5. Steve Ballmer stated that "In the next six months we will release a new embedded OS called Windows Embedded Handheld, based on Windows Mobile 6.5 technologies ..."

Today, just over three months since Microsoft's announcement, Sprint and Motorola announced they will be releasing the first mobile enterprise handheld device, running Windows Embedded (which features WinMo 6.5.3).  The Motorola ES400S will be available for as low as $499.99 and will offer integrated voice and data capabilities.  The ES400S is expected to be available by the end of October.

Specs on the Motorola include:

  • Customizable Motorola Enterprise User Interface (MEUI) makes business-critical information and functions available with one key press. Includes enterprise-specific enhancements like photo annotation
  • Enterprise-class security including built-in Biometric fingerprint reader
  • Durable construction to withstand dust, drops and bumps, with certifications for MIL-STD 810G, for a 4-foot drop, and IP42 sealing specifications
  • 3-inch VGA touchscreen
  • 3.2 MP camera with red line aimer for easy barcode scanning and one-button push-to-scan for one- and two-dimensional barcode reading
  • Wi-Fi/802.11 a/b/g with Enterprise Security
  • 1 GB ROM/256 MB RAM
  • CDMA EVDO Rev. A for domestic service and HSPA/GSM for international roaming
  • VoIP ready
  • GPS
  • Battery: 1540 mAh standard battery and 3080 mAh extended battery (sold separately)

Call it a re-incarnation for Windows Mobile or a stop-gap measure until Windows Phone 7 can transition into enterprise devices but it's nice to see Windows Mobile still hanging around.  You can find the full press release from Sprint here.

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By now, we're hoping that the news has sunken in, you've sobered up, gone back to your job and reacquainted yourself with your current beater-of-a-smartphone, sporting technology nearly a year old. The fact that there will be no Windows Phone 7 devices for CDMA (Sprint, Verizon, etc.) till "first half of 2011" was quite a blow, wuddinit?

This obviously puts a monkey wrench in a lot of our holiday plans and, like some of you, we're considering alternates e.g. getting an AT&T account (ahem, while keeping our Sprint SERO plan on the side).

But what are your plans? Switching carriers? Hold out with Sprint/Verizon till spring 2011? Going with Android, like so many Windows Mobile "power users"?

Take the poll and sound off in comments, we're curious and you need to vent!

 

Since there will be no CDMA Windows Phone 7 devices till mid 2011, what are your plans?Market Research

 

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Well, the other shoe just fell: there will be no phones featuring Windows Phone 7 on Sprint in 2010 as well.

Reason? It's Microsoft, not the carriers.  

According to an interview with CNet with senior product manager Greg Sullivan:

We had to make some trade-offs,...Even Microsoft doesn't have unlimited resources. We had to prioritize doing fewer things, really, really well.

For the worldwide market, the vast majority of phones are GSM phones, so we focused on GSM first and then plan to deliver an update that will have great CDMA support in the first half of 2011,That's device availability in the first half and we're very confident of that. That's probably a conservative estimate.

Evidently, Microsoft made this decision earlier this year but are just now going public with it, perhaps to give Verizon a little respite from their public announcement today, which seemed to sell-short Microsoft's new mobile OS.

So that's that folks. Yours truly is also crestfallen, so guess I'll get an AT&T account in addition to Sprint. I suppose we can call the hounds off of Verizon, eh?

[Thanks, Stephen, for the tip!]

 

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File this under: whoa, don't even know because there's so little to go on

Reportedly what you see above is Sprint's first Windows Phone 7 device from none other than LG and it's supposedly 4G ready. Those cats at WebOS World say "Our source had only a quick opportunity to take a this snap."

Indeed.

Really, that's all the info given. That's assuming what you see above is even a phone, or from Sprint, or running Windows Phone 7.

Going for a huge stretch, we could even postulate that this is the LG 'Apollo', something we reported back in January (with a bunch of other erroneous information) But back then that device seemed unrealistic and today it doesn't seem all that more real either. Then again, Sprint has wowed us before with the likes of the HTC EVO and heck, the HTC HD7 rumored specs aren't that far off from these, so who knows. A refresh on those supposed 'Apollo' specs from January:

  • Launching: August/September 2010
  • CPU: Qualcomm QSD8650; 1.3GHz
  • CDMA + GSM (aka a World Phone)
  • EvDO + HSDPA
  • Device Size: 115 x 57.5 x 11.2 mm
  • Memory (RAM/ROM): 1GB/1GB
  • External Storage: MicroSD (up to 32GB)
  • Screen Size/Type: 3.8-inch capacitive AMOLED “Multitouch Supported”
  • Screen Resolution: WXGA 1280 x 720 px
  • Camera: 10-megapixel with flash and autofocus; HD 720p video@ 30fps
  • ZOMG Lasers

Well, we'll wait here for some more definitive evidence before we go do a happy dance.

[WebOS World via Mobility Digest]

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Awhile back, we noted that SERO (Sprint Employee Referral Offer) on Sprint was dead and was replaced instead with 'Everything Plus'.

Both plans were attractive for their low price points (SERO was $29.99 a month for 500 anytime minutes, unlimited data/text; 'Everything Plus' was higher at $59.99) but a new twist was instantiated by Sprint: no 'high end' smartphone were allowed on old SERO plans (EP plans are okay). These devices included Palm Pre, Pixi and all Android devices. In fact, the only exempted smartphones were Windows Mobile devices and old Palm Garnet phones e.g. Centro.

It was safe to assume though that when Windows Phone 7 comes out on Sprint, it too would be restricted on SERO, meaning current customers would have to migrate to higher plans, in most cases literally doubling their monthly bill.

Good news though: Starting on October 1st, Sprint is offering 'SERO Premium' to current SERO customers. For an extra $10 a month you can use any previously restricted phone on your SERO account, in addition to getting unlimited GPS Navigation (previously $10 a month in of itself) and 'Any mobile anytime'. For 4G phones (Android EVO and Epic at this time, though we can expect one from Microsoft), users would have to pay another $10, which is similar to that extra $10 that all 4G customers have to pay. While this results in an increase to current customers, it sure beats doubling their costs and we applaud Sprint's move here to continue to grandfather in long time customers.

Current SERO  --> SERO Premium (10/1/10)

$29.99 --> $40 (3G restricted phones)

$29.99 --> $50 (4G restricted phones)

Of course we should note that Sprint has not specifically exempted Windows Phone 7 from this list yet, partially due to their silence on any upcoming WP7 offerings. But we know Sprint is committed to multiple Microsoft devices and there is no reason to think that they won't be exempted.

In short, current SERO customers, hold tight: when Windows Phone 7 launches and Sprint gets some devices (we'll know more on October 11th), you can migrate your current plan over and still enjoy those amazing savings from Sprint. Now shows us your WP7 wares Sprint like, nao plz!

[Read more from Sprint directly here]

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Sprint SERO Plans Not Changing 7/10: Part XXI

Ugh.

So if you have been following our long and convoluted posts from the last 2 days about Sprint, you may know that Sprint is is not increasing data plans nor re-categorizing smartphones/pda into more expensive plans. This was despite some hysteria earlier that suggested this would be the case on July 13th.

However, the plot thickens but only for SERO plans (all regular subscribers can go back to CuteOverload)

Basically, on July 10th Sprint is reportedly soft-launching their new SERO system renamed "Everything Plus", followed by a hard-launch (new website) on July 13th.

What are the changes?

  • Everything Plus 500 is going to be $59.99
  • Everything Plus 1000 is going to be $79.99
  • Simply Everything for $99.99 will still be an option

It's like the old SERO plans except you get GPS Navigation included and charged more. Much more. Signing up may also be more strict i.e. you might actually have to know a Sprint employee. The gall!

The upshot? Current SERO subscribers will be "grandfathered" in and there are reportedly no special requirements for the upcoming Treo 800w (unlike the Samsung Instinct), meaning it should be compatible with older SERO plans.

Should you believe it? The people who posted the info are long time members of HoFo and seem to have all the details.

We'll get back to you July 11th with our verdict. Now lets us enjoy our raging BBQ.

Via HowardForums

Special thanks to fgkay & MinistrOfJustiz for the tips

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If you've been following our ongoing coverage of the Sprint SERO program, you'll know that it was ended a few weeks ago and replaced with "Everything Plus".

While not as cheap as the old plan, "Everything Plus" is no slouch either, offering 500 anytime minutes plus unlimited...everything (Text, Internet, PictureMail, Nights & Weekends, Sprint Navigation) for $59 a month.

The problem is that up till now you needed a Sprint employee's email address and their last 3 digits of their employee number. A significant challenge without actually knowing someone at Sprint!

Problem solved! Sprint has always had a wink-nod approach to these special referral programs and this one is no different as Vice president of strategy for Sprint, Russ McGuire has posted all the info you need ;-)

So you or someone thinking of signing up with Sprint, maybe picking up a new Treo 800w or that $99 Touch (c'mon, there's like at least 5 of you) then you'll definitely want to do the above.

(Of course as we write this, the site is down. Figures.)

via GearDiary

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Hope you were smart and heeded our story last week, as we stated Sprint's much appreciated super-duper-secret awesome pricing plan has come to an abrupt end today.

Those going to the Sprint SERO (www.sprint.com/sero) site are now redirected to their Everything Plus system, which is still an exclusive employee referral program but somewhat less crazy-cheap..

The catch now is you need to actually have their email and last 3 digits of their employee ID--much harder than the old generic email system of yore, eh?

The benefit for new users? The plans are still very competitive:

  • Everything Plus 500 is going to be $59.99
  • Everything Plus 1000 is going to be $79.99
  • Simply Everything for $99.99 will still be an option

The older plans started at $30 and $50, so the increase is significant but at least you now get unlimited Sprint TeleNav and some Sprint TV offerings (pretty pointless on WM devices we suppose).

As previously noted, older SERO customers are 'grandfathered' in so you're all set. You should also be able to order new phones and get the discounts without having to change plans.

Sweet.

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17

Sprint Samsung Intrepid hands-on

Here was the big surprise today! The Sprint Samsung Intrepid is basically the Jack but for CDMA.

The keyboard was pretty good on it, though there is no space between the keys, so it is a bit cramped. The screen is a bit odd at that resolution, but it seems to work. The Start menu has four rows, allowing it a lot to fit on the screen.

The device was speedy to use and seemed like a nice middle of the road front-facing QWERTY device. Will it beat out a Treo Pro? Tough call, but I do like the minimalist look of the Treo Pro better. Still, this seems like a compelling device and Samsung has been quite successful with this line so far.

This particular Windows phone will be available Oct. 11 on Sprint.

More pics after the jump!

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Sprint announces the Samsung Intrepid

Sprint this morning announced the addition of the Samsung Intrepid to its Windows Mobile lineup as a follow-up to the Ace. Here's what's we know thus far:

  • Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional.
  • 2.5-inch touchscreen at 320x240.
  • WiFi b/g.
  • 3.2MP camera.
  • World Phone.
  • Microsoft's Tell Me service is on board!

Other rumored specs were a 528MHz Qualcomm processor, with 512MB ROM/256MB RAM.

The Intrepid will be available Oct. 11 for $149.99 after contract and rebate.

Full presser after the break.

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WP7: What are the carriers up to?

Windows Phone 7 is, likely, just over a month away from hitting the store shelves in Europe and just over two months away from seeing the light of day in the States . We've seen manufacturer devices, app development, and (obviously) development of the OS itself over the past several months.

The one thing we haven't seen much from is the wireless providers. Who's getting what and how much is going to cost us when it gets there? While the "how much" is well in the shadows right now, we do have some idea on the "who" with respect to wireless providers. Here's how we see it breaking down.

AT&T: Billed as one of the "premiere launch partners", AT&T appears to be in a position to offer the largest selection of Windows Phone 7 devices. We've heard rumors of HTC (T8788 or HD7?), Samsung (Cetus), and LG (C900 and GW910) devices headed to AT&T. Our count shows as many as four Windows Phone 7 devices hitting AT&T's shelves this Fall.  Unless something changes over the next two months, AT&T will be at the forefront of Windows Phone 7.

T-Mobile: We are confident that T-Mobile will have a Windows Phone 7 device on the shelf at some point and the HTC Schubert has been quietly rumored to be that device. 

Verizon: Verizon and Microsoft may not be on good speaking terms these days after the KIN adventure. Rumors are that Verizon is simply not interested in Windows Phone 7 and a leaked "end of life" report has Verizon removing any existing Windows Phones from their line-up by March of 2011. Coupled with the signs that Verizon doesn't have any Windows Phones on their2010/2011 product road map, we won't be shocked if Verizon shifts their smartphone focus from Windows Phones to Android or Blackberry.

Sprint:  Listed as a launch partner when Windows Phone 7 was announced back in February (but that was a non-binding agreement), Sprint could go either way with Windows Phone 7.  They could keep everything under wraps and surprise everyone with a Windows Phone 7 or simply taking a "wait and see" approach (as they did with Android). Fared Adib, Sprint's Vice President of Product Development did say back in February, "Sprint and Microsoft have had a 15-year-plus relationship together. And we believe that the Windows Phone 7 Series will continue that relationship into a new decade." Our guess, Sprint will let Microsoft work out the kinks with Windows Phone 7 and eventually have a Windows Phone 7 device in their line up.  Maybe the Dell Streak Lightning?

Granted all this is speculation and the carriers still have plenty of time to throw in a few twists before Windows Phone 7 hits the shelves. 

We still have the nagging questions of "when will the carriers get these phones?" and "how much will they cost?". The OS was just released to manufacturers and best guess is still seeing mid-to-early November for availability. Pricing points are still anyone's guess. 

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Sprint Snap gets updated

Well, this one snuck under our radar.

Sprint released an software update for the HTC Snap last month. Last month being July.

The software provides several enhancements to the Snap including resolving issues where the Snap gets stuck in vibrate mode and does not save ringtone settings.

You can download the software update over at HTC's Support Site. Thanks goes out to member Palm_forlackofchoice for alerting us to this update.

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AT&T tapped fastest mobile network

AT&T has been tapped the fastest mobile network in the nation by PC Magazine. The publication took a snapshot of six mobile network providers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, Cricket, and Sprint 4G) in eighteen cities. Voice quality, dropped calls and coverage areas did not enter into the equation.

The testing conducted focused on mobile internet performance. Approximately 1,000 rounds of testing was conducted in the test cities totaling more than 10,000 individual tests. The results were totaled to reflect the national leader as well as regional leaders in network speeds.

AT&T led the way nationally as well as in the Southeastern, Central and Western regions. T-Mobile was tops in the Northeast. To see how your carrier ranked in this study, you can find the full report here.

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A lot of hay has been made of Sprint and their new 4G network based off of WiMax, especially with the imminent launch of the HTC EVO.

But the fact remains, in terms of 4g technologies, WiMax may be the first but it's far from the default choice by many carriers in the U.S., let alone world-wide. Some feel this may be a dead-end for Sprint in the long run and if it's one thing Sprint doesn't need, it's another dud (cough, Palm Pre, cough).

Thankfully, Sprint was smart enough to leave options on the table.

To the point, Sprint has "...issued a "next generation network" request for proposal (RFP)" on their current fiber and they're looking at LTE:

"There's nothing that prevents us from... moving to LTE," said Kevin Packingham, senior VP of product and technology development at Sprint, speaking at the LTE event here. "We're doing a technology evaluation and making a decision on our core network and how we want to evolve that going forward."

And what about ol' WiMax? Looks like Sprint could have its cake and eat it too as they don't consider the two technologies "mutually exclusive". One could envision WiMax being deployed as a "hotspot" technology where LTE more ubiquitous. Of course, timing is everything and that could snag them a bit. But options are always good and at least Sprint didn't totally paint themselves into a corner. We hope.

[Light Reading via Electronista]

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Verizon makes top grade

Strategy Analytics has released the highlights of its 2010 First Quarter report for U.S. Wireless carriers. Verizon gets overall top marks with AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, and MetroPCS finishing out the top five carriers.

The grading took into account six reporting categories; subscribers, net adds, churn, service revenue, data percent of service revenue, and ARPU (average revenue per user). While Verizon led the way in more categories, there were other stand outs.

AT&T received top marks in Net Adds (1.857 million) where additional subscribers outweighed losses. Sprint led the way with regards to the Data Percentage of Service Revenue (35.3% of $6.432 Billion).

Clearwire skews the data by earning 100% of their revenue from data but they are a data service provider. U.S. Cellular (ranked overall 6th) led the way in Average Revenue Per User at $52.42 per user.

Strategy Analytics is due to release their full report next week but it's clear that the wireless industry is doing well and their report will give each of the top six carriers something to hang their hat on.

Follow the break for a graph showing how all the U.S. wireless carriers fared.

[via: boygenuisreport.com]

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