sprint

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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22

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 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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Well, the always expensive Sprint Touch Pro 2 (originally $350 w/contract; see full review) has been reduced to a somewhat more fair $199 ($150 instant discount, $100 MIR).

Makes sense. The phone is running WM6.5  (albeit a very good build with Sense 2.5) and is hitting its 6 month stride.

Still, with the T-Mobile HD2 running for $99 (see here and here) with comparable pricing plans, that $199 still seems a bit steep. But hey, if you've been holding out for the TP2 and don't mind having a non-Windows Phone 7 device in six months (we hear there are a few of you), then go for it! [Phone News]

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Not to sound too repetitive, an update is available for Microsoft's Bing app for those using a Windows Phone on the Sprint, AT&T or T-Mobile network.  The new version is  5.1.2010 and you can get it by choosing the "Update Available" menu option in the old version or by pointing your mobile browser to m.bing.com/download (yeah... I know it's different than the twitter post but it's what worked for me).

No specifics on what the update covers but just off hand, it looks like a maintenance update.  If we discover anything different we'll pass it on. [via: Twitter.com]

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While the Sprint Touch Pro 2 ROM update, featuring Windows Mobile 6.5 and Sense 2.5, has turned out to be a pretty big hit amongst users, there is one little nagging issue that has changed with the new configuration: no more LED alerts.

Before under 'Sounds and Notifications', the user was able to enable/disable whether LED alerts would be used for email, text, voicemail, missed calls, etc. In addition, you could specify how long the duration for said blinking shall occur. This feature was a recent change found on many HTC devices and was something that we all greatly appreciated.

So why did Sprint/HTC decide to disable the feature with the latest update? Improve battery life? Make everything more "simple"?  They simply made a mistake? No one knows but it is quite annoying.

Luckily, MightyMike and Mr.X have found a solution, all packed up in a simple .cab file. Just download, install and soft reset and those LED alerts will now be available to enable and configure. You can get the download and read more about it here or scan the MS Tag below.

[MightyROM.com]

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In an effort to lure new customers, Sprint announced their new 'Sprint Free Guarantee' program today.

Essentially, Sprint is now guaranteeing a full, 100% return on every penny you spend with them when opening a new line of service within 30 days.

Up till this point, Sprint and the other carriers would refund the cost of the phone and the early-termination fee (ETF) but the customer was still responsible for the monthly plan, taxes, various fees and the cost of any content or premium services used during their trial period.  Sprint is now breaking from that model and will refund basically everything the customer spends with them, including taxes.

Seems to us a smart move for Sprint who has a history of poor customer relations, something that has dramatically improved in the last year. Plus, for the first time in recent memory, Sprint has a "wow" device with their recently announced HTC EVO, their first 4G Android device launching this summer--this change in their policy can only improve their chances of gaining more new customers and improve those quarterly losses.

We now look to AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile to offer similar incentives....

[Sprint Press Release]

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For those of you on Sprint with a Touch Pro 2 who haven't gone the custom ROM route, the Windows Mobile 6.5 update -- at long last! -- is finally here.

The official rundown of features is:

  • Upgraded OS to Windows Mobile 6.5
  • Added HTC Sense UI enhancements
  • Improved Social Networking integration
  • Includes a variety of minor bug fixes

Our big question: Are we talking Sense 2.5 (as in the HD2 ROM) or what?

As usual when flashing ROMs, be sure to have a battery charge of over 50 percent, and be sure to read all of the instructions. Then report back what you find! [HTC | Download link ] Thanks, Joe!

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For all of you who have kept on us about the Sprint Touch Pro 2 Windows Mobile 6.5 update, well, good on ya. We now may finally (FINALLY!) have an answer, courtesy of a post at ppcgeeks. What you see above purportedly is an internal Sprint memo that points to March 19 as the day of days. "Sense UI enhancements" are mentioned, but it's still anybody's guess as to whether we're talking Sense 2.5 or what. So stay tuned, folks. [ppcgeeks]

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All but confirming what we've been telling you for what seems like forever, a  "Sprint Small Business Catalog" mailer posted at PPCGeeks shows the Touch Pro 2 "software update coming in March." Seeing as how we're about a third of the way through the month, we should be seeing it any time now. Or not. We're not going to count our chickens on this thing until the update's in hand.

And the question remains: Will we see Sense 2.5, like on the HTC HD2? Or just the regular flavor? [PPCGeeks]

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While AT&T and Microsoft had positive earnings reports last month, Sprint joins Verizon in having "not-so-great" news with their latest earnings report. While Sprint has had eight consecutive quarters of improvement in customer care satisfaction and first call resolution, the company continues to record losses in customers and net operating revenue.

Customer losses for the 4th Quarter included 69,000 retail customers, 148,000 net wireless customers and 540,000 post-paid customers. This is up from the losses last quarter where Sprint reported losses of 135,000 retail customers, 545,000 net wireless customers and 801,000 post paid customers. Sprint did see it's first gain in CDMA subscribers in six quarters, gaining 3,000 post-paid customers.

While Sprint's subscriber losses seem to be stabilizing, their revenue losses seem to be increasing. Sprint reported a consolidated net operating revenue of $7.9 billion, a net loss of $980 million (up from a $478 million loss last quarter). Sprint does report a free cash flow of $666 million, the highest in company history.

Sprint notes in the report that they are continuing to build on their 4G network. The 4G service is currently available in 27 markets, serving 30 million customers people.  Sprint hopes to expand that to additional markets building the coverage to 120 million people by the end of 2010.  With the Virgin Mobile merger complete, a handful of new phones heading to market and an increase in 4G coverage, Sprint may be able to turn things around in 2010.

via: mobile.engadget.com

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File this under confused.

Verizon user QMeli907 got his third Touch Pro 2 replacement and immediately noticed some changes to the housing:

It's different then my other TP2's that I've had since October. The bezel on the one I received today is a gunmetal grey color, rather than the plain gloss black. Its a very nice touch. Although it makes the face look better, when looking at the TP2 from the side, my old back case and the new front bezel colors clash. Just my two cents.

He's also running a rough version of Android (no radio function though), so don't let that distract you from the housing changes.

So what's up with the change?  It seems to be a mistake as kern417 notes:

yeah thats definitely wrong because in the img003 you can see the display on/off button has a power sign on it, but for verizon tp2s you have to use the end key to turn it on/off.

Yeah, all of that raises more questions than answers.  Anyone else with one of these? Care to shed some light in the comments?

    

 

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7

HTC releases Sprint SMS fix...

Well, it was leaked yesterday and HTC briefly had it up, then pulled it, leaving us in a tizzy.

Evidently though, today is the day to grab the "official" fix for the dreaded future-SMS bug, whereby SMS messages were coming dated from the year 2016, coinciding with the New Year (see our epic earlier coverage for full context).

This fix updates rilphone.dll, which is the key component that interacts with Sprint's SMS server.  In that sense, it is different from the "ziggy" patch, which simply enabled a function that time-dated received messages using your device's clock.

If you are happy with the current "ziggy" patch, there is no immediate necessity to download this patch.  Then again, some prefer to have their SMS messages dated by the server, not their device, so this update makes sense.

What about Verizon, U.S. Cellular and others? No word yet, but we'll keep an eye out.  Also, no word on the Sprint Snap either.

Get the updates here:

Touch Pro 2

Touch Pro

Touch Diamond

[Thanks to all who sent this in]

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If you're the kind of person who just has to wait for official fixes to come out, well, fine. We understand. And official fixes are starting to trickle out for the 2016 SMS bug that we helped bring to light.

HTC has hotfixes for the Sprint Touch Diamond and Touch Pro that in all liklihood do the exact same thing our workaround does. But if you need the HTC stamp of approval, well, here you go.

Edit: The links to the CAB files are being squirrley, so just use the ones above.

Edit 2: Odd. Now the HTC pages are borked. Hang in there, guys.

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So you're sitting back, enjoying your the new Windows phone you received over the holidays. Downloading apps, emails, and sending text messages to your hearts content on that "unlimited" data plan? Did you know that there may be a restriction on your "unlimited" plan? Restrictions, if violated, could result in your service being terminated?

We checked the fine print with the four major carriers in the U.S. market and found some interesting language as it relates to unlimited packages. Language that many may not be aware of and we felt it important to pass it on. A public service announcement of sorts. Ease on past the break to see what limits are in place.

 

 

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Now let's try to wrap our minds around this one ... Sprint is going to be announcing a Windows Phone that makes use of WiMax, which is the technology behind Sprint’s 4G network. The logic behind this theory is that Sprint has an event scheduled for January 6 with announcements by Dan Hesse (Sprint’s CEO) and Steve Ballmer (Microsoft’s CEO). Also, Sprint and LG have been sending out invitations to an event scheduled for the following evening; giving possible insight into the identity of the device manufacturer. InformationWeek points out that the January 7 event is being hosted by Brooke Shields, and states that a celebrity of that magnitude isn’t brought in for a small announcement.

To this point, we haven’t seen ANY WiMax-capable smartphones hit the market. We’ve seen rumors every now and again, but nothing solid. If Microsoft could be the first to market with this technology, even over Palm and its current exclusivity with Sprint, this could be a major coup for Microsoft.

[InformationWeek via Boy Genius Report]

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