sprint

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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9

Sprint's reports 4th Quarter losses

 

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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So awhile ago I picked up a nifty car mount for my Touch Pro 2 (on eBay) and lo and behold it has a cut out for the camera. It also swivels, so it is actually easy to get an almost completely clear visual path with the lens.

In short, this is how a Touch Pro 2 works as a in-dash video camera. On top of filming yourself driving through a blizzard, we suppose it's also good if you are in an accident or want to record some yahoo driving erratically.

And if you think I drive fast, I'm from New England and live New York ... that's how I roll.

Either way, it's kind of fun.

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For those who don't want to buy through Sprint or if you just have a ton of Best Buy gift cards available, this Saturday may be your day if you're in the market for the Sprint Touch Pro 2 (see review).

Rumor has it that the big ol' Best Buy is finally receiving the phone in stock for a Saturday launch. Forum user dbldwn02, who evidently works at the chain store, has seen the boxes with his very own eyes, so you know this has to be real [/sarcasm].

The bad and surprising news, if true, is that even after rebates you are still looking at a hefty $350 price-tag.  At least though those rebates are instant.

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This is actually been at this price for about a month now, but it was news to us, so perhaps news to you.

If you're looking for a cheap and halfway decent Windows starter phone, the Snap is completely free at Best Buy (down from $149, then $99) with a 2-year contract. See our full review for a refresh.

We'd say the phone is about worth that with a 2 year contract and it's actually a fun device, especially if you slap WM6.5 on it before that official release comes down the road.

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Good news, Sprint peeps. Gone are the days of the 20-cents per minute charge for forwarding your calls to a service such as Google Voice.

Our Sprint-loving pals at Precentral spell it out:

Conditional call forwarding uses the *28xxxxxxxxxx code, where the xxxxxxxxxx is your phone number. Note that your original number still rings before forwarding happens and you'll need to futz with your Google Voice settings if you want to send calls directly to voicemail before ringing your Google Voice number. There's plenty more information in this forum thread. Dial *38 to turn it off. Direct *72 call forwarding still costs you $.20 per minute.

That's it, folks. We'd still like to see Sprint drop the fee for direct call forwarding, however. But we all know how carriers feel about us messing with their voicemail.

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Well, many frayed nerves and hours hunched over one of the most popular Windows phones has finally paid off: The "unlocker" which we mentioned a few days ago has been completed, meaning users can now install custom ROMs to their beloved Touch Pro 2s, specifically Verizon, Sprint, U.S. Cellular and all other CDMA versions.

At least for Sprint, it sure beats waiting till "early 2010", eh?

Having this tool now, all the custom ROMs which are literally waiting in the wings (e.g. Energy, Mighty, CFay, Juicy, etc.) can be installed -- this includes WM6.5 and WM6.5.1 builds with all that custom goodness from your favorite 'Chefs'.

A big congrats to everyone for this achievement (donations are in order) and now if you pardon us, we're off for some ROM flashing ourselves! ...

Go HERE to grab the HardSPL!  Here for the SIM Unlock and here for support.

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Touch Pro 2 just to advanced and lightweight for you?  Never warmed up to Windows Mobile 5, 6, 6.1 or 6.5?  Does lack of 3G, a massive 128MB of RAM and nearly 3.6hrs of talk time sound amazing?

Then fork over $350 because have we the phone for you!  That's right, the Audiovox PPC-6601 is cutting edge technology for today's trendsetter and it is now available to order direct from Sprint.  (It was spotted on TV in this season's "Alias" making this device especially coveted for Abrams fans).

Impress your friends! Considering this phone is nearly an ounce heavier (7.35oz) than a Touch Pro 2, you will surely be the life of the party when you show up with this in your pants.  "Wow, is that the Internet...in your pocket?"

There is also a rumor that this phone will be getting a firmware update from Sprint to enable EvDO, a revolutionary new radio technology that will enable high-speed data transfer akin to your DSL line at home.  Some in fact have already "hacked" this onto their phones already.  We know Sprint won't disappoint with this update!

However, be warned. We are already hearing rumors of a replacement device called a PPC-6700 aka Apache with a revolutionary new OS from Microsoft.  Stay tuned...

Thanks Richardrk

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