Title says it all. Till Monday, you can grab yourself a new HTC Surround or LG Quantum (no Focus, sorry) for a low one-cent with a new contract. You'll have to "add to cart" to see the price: LG Quantum, HTC Surround. Of note is that the Surround is the #2 best selling phone, followed by the LG.
Part of Amazon's running deals, including a few other phones like the LG eXpo. Seems like a great deal to us.
In the on going saga of the Venue Pro, Dell finally had to come clean on the matter. Faced with shipping delays, lack of availability and Wi-Fi connection issue (can't connect to secured networks), the hardware maker is not off to a great start despite much customer anticipation.
The Wi-Fi issue stems from an error during production, which seems sort of obvious at this point. Devices purchased at the Microsoft store can be exchanged for new ones starting at the end of next week. Likewise, some of the Venue Pros were sold with mislabeled batteries, stating that they were "engineering" i.e. not for retail versions.
No word on whether production can or will be ramped up or whether you'll be able to get your hands on one anytime soon. We already mentioned the delay at Clove UK and it seems that at least for a few months, Venue Pros will be tough to come by. Hopefully Dell can get this all figured out as the Venue is one slick looking device.
Holding out on a Windows Phone 7 device until the holiday savings hit? Your wait is over.
AT&T is offering a $100 discount on select phones that includes the Samsung Focus and HTC Surround. As with most offers, there are a few catches.
The offer requires online activation on qualified rate plans $39.99 or more with a two year agreement. The iPhone, Gophones, netbooks and other devices are not eligible but we did add both the Focus and Surround to a shopping cart and their price dropped from $199.99 to $99.99.
There was no indication on AT&T's site on how long this promotion will last. Oh, and as an added bonus, you get free two-day Priority Shipping on your order.
Finally some decent looking AT&T ads are showing up on TV and the internets. What's nice is that these commercials focus on the phones themselves, demonstrating some of their unique capabilities. One shows the awe inducing screen of the Samsung Focus the other the great speakers of the Surround (see review) While short, they're at least headed in the right direction.
Now if AT&T could only get some Focus's in stock! Let us know what you think in comments.
Looks like a good morning for Samsung users! Taking that diagnostic menu one step further has allowed folks to figure out how to tether their Samsung WP7 devices, in addition to (the less exciting) MAC ID address.
The hack is pretty straightforward, though it will hose your Zune-over-3G sync option (leaving Wi-Fi sync intact). Overall it sounds like a good solution, so long as you don't run over your cap (2GB for most on AT&T).
Registering may fail on the first attempt, but try a second time and it should succeed.
Open your phone and dial “##634#” then press call. You’ll go into the Diagnosis Menu (going forward this icon appears in your programs so you don’t need to dal that again). This is just a phone dialer with a little icon and note on top.
In diagnosis mode (phone dialer) dial “*#7284#” and a dialogue will pop up letting you change the settings from Zune to modem or “Modem, USB dialog.”. You want to go with “Modem, Tethered Call”. It will restart you phone after a few seconds. Once it restarts, connect to your PC over USB and drivers will be installed on your computer. Now go to your connections on your PC and you’ll see that a Samsung modem was added.
On your PC you need to change the setting for the Samsung modem. If you set it to prompt for user name you’ll be able to put in the login info. This is all it is:
Lately, there has been a lot of talk about how updates will work on Windows Phone 7. Now there's talk about talk about talk in Ars Technica's latest article on the subject. Much of this we find amusing but not too illuminating. Still, we'll take a crack at why some of this is wrong and misguided.
"We want everyone on the same version of the OS." He continued, "Updates will be available through the Zune desktop or over the air." Larger updates would be handled through the Zune software while minor updates would be handled OTA.
One complaint we've seen in regards to Windows Phone 7 is when people have tried to set up Wi-Fi on their secured home network. In short, there is no easy easy way to grab your MAC address for configurations that require it.
Luckily in this case, the Samsung Focus is different from the others by having a diagnostic screen that reveals this info. The directions are easy enough, as described by Mobility Minded, reminiscent of older tricks from Windows Mobile:
Go to the Phone section (as if you were going to make a call)
Enter ##634# and select “Call“
It did not call anything. There should now be a “Diagnosis” option on the top of your screen;
Go to Diagnosis and a keypad comes up and enter *#1234# –It should bring up a menu that includes the WiFi Mac Address
We thought it was a cool honor by Microsoft, even if technically some AT&T stores broke the embargo and allegedly sold some devices on Sunday (curses!). Anyways, we had a chance to speak with Richard about the whole thing, including how it happened and about his phone choice (Focus), and about camping out at 1am in front of the store, in anticipation. That's right folks, he has us beat for dedication.
Take a read after the break for six short questions with the only person who can say "First!" here at WPCentral!
We ran across a Tweet concerning the Marketplace and Windows Phone 7 apps this morning that raised some concern. Apparently there is a website out there, Winmobile7, that according to their "About" page:
"WinMobile7.AppHab.com is the place to discover and share the latest and best Windows Mobile 7 apps through social recommendations as well as reviews from users and our editorial team."
Sounds like an innocent blog that reviews apps right? Well the concerns from the Twitter posts is that not only does the site review apps but it also contains download links for the .xap file that is residing on Microsoft's servers.
Even if you download the .xap file, it's going to take some effort to get it installed to your Windows Phone 7.
You will need the developer tools and device that is unlocked for development. While the developer tools are free, you have to be a registered developer to get an unlocked device. You CAN however download the .xap and rename it as a .zip and look at the structure of the app, though we're 99% sure that the real "code" of the app is compiled/encoded/encrypted.
Not many will be able to do much with this downloadable file. That is unless you're a developer looking to download free apps from other developers. Still, one has to wonder why it's so easy for a third party site to provide download links to Marketplace apps.
Thanks Tim for the heads-upand help on this
Update: Microsoft had let us know that they were aware of the situation and were preparing a response. While we haven't seen a official response from Microsoft, in checking back with the site in question, the Marketplace download links have been removed from the app reviews.
Oh uh, this is not good. With reports of Wi-Fi issues, shipping engineering devices and just general shortages, Dell is not off to a good start with the Venue Pro. And things may have just become worse. According to Clove UK, one of the first sites to offer pre-orders for the device, they're now expecting delays of stock till January. Yup, that's a full 8 weeks away (give or take). We're also told that people who pre-ordered are receiving email notifications of the expected delay.
Is Dell checking their production for errors or are they just having supply issues themselves? No word yet though we're reaching out to Dell for answers. All of this is a shame really since besides the Samsung Focus, the Venue Pro is one of the most anticipated and coveted devices by our readers (see our poll). The bigger question now is: What does this mean for the U.S.?
Dell isn't the only one with problems: my HTC HD7 still hasn't shipped from Amazon despite a pre-order and is not expected to ship for at least a week or two (luckily I have another HD7 already). Anyone else experiencing these delays?
It's already rough enough for a lot of our international readers who will read about an app only to find it's not listed in their localized Marketplace. Or even worse, they don't have a Marketplace of to call their own (hi Sweden!). In Australia they do have their own Marketplace but as Long Zheng reports, there's a 101% transaction fee on top of every app purchase with a credit card.
This has to do with where the transactions are processed (Singapore) and that whole international banking situation. Australians are encouraged to use carrier billing as an alternative until, hopefully, Microsoft fixes the situation. Long Zheng is quick to point out he doesn't think Microsoft is doing this on purpose (and they don't seem to benefit from it) but nonetheless, it's just bad when a $0.99 app costs you $1.99.
Pageonce, the personal finance application, has finally launched in the Marketplace (see our earlier coverage here, including video demo). The free program is similar to Microsoft Money of years past, offering account monitoring, transaction insights, bill tracking, spending history and real time alerts (hello!). Most reports are very positive so far with the biggest complaint being that the available database is too small, meaning your bank for financial institution may not be listed. Yet. We're hoping as Pageonce grows, so will their partners.
You do have to sign up for an account, though it's very simple and basic, allowing you to do it right on the account. We'll do a more focused review in the coming days. If you tried it, hits us up in comments with your thoughts.
Much like how technically the number of applications in the Marketplace doesn't really matter (though you can glean some info from it), how well Microsoft did or did not do on Monday, in terms of raw sales, seems to be a moot a point in the long run. Unless of course you're looking to ask rhetorical questions for major publications. Such was the case yesterday where lots of headlines were phrased "Was the launch a bust?" "Did it underwhelm?" "Is it really a huge success?" etc.
Fact is, we don't know, they don't know and no one will know for awhile. This is understood by everyone. Citing anonymous sources who claim to know that "40,000" devices were sold was passed around as evidence, trumpeting headlines despite not knowing the authenticity of the claim. It's the equivalent of journalist trolling (the use of "?" is always a sure sign). Sure, there were very few lines if any. Sure it was a Monday (launches do better on Fridays) and we now know that stock was quite low (here and here), not even lasting the day at a lot of AT&T and T-Mobile stores (we heard reports of anywhere from 2 to 12 Samsung Focuses per retail outlet).
Did anyone really expect iPhone like masses to appear? No. The only thing to consider is that Microsoft is in this for the long run. This is day #1 of what will be a multi-year process. Two things to remember about Microsoft: they have lots of money and they are suborn when committed to entering a market. Lets revisit this six months from now where adoption rates will be better understood, where the OS has had a chance to build public awareness and real figures make their rounds, shall we? Yes, it's fun to speculate, but everyone in this business knows one day tells you very little e.g. the Palm Pre sold very well for Sprint its first day, fast forward one year and they're sold to HP.
One of the challenges of buying a new Windows Phone is finding accessories for it. Most notably, finding a case that fits. Whether you've purchased the new HTC HD7, Samsung Focus or the HTC Surround more than likely the case for your older Windows Phone is going to be too small. One case style that seems to work the best are those fitted for the HTC HD2.
I choose the Samsung Focus for my Windows Phone and have been using the SPE Top Case for the HD2. The Focus fits nicely in the case with just enough wiggle room to make placement and removal easy. The case itself is well built and I like the brown leather.
SPE makes another case that works well with the HTC Surroud, the SPE Side Case for the HD2. The Surround fit in the side case nicely and the case was comfortable to wear. While the Focus fit the Side Case, due to the thinner form factor, the Focus bounced around alot in the case.
The new Dickey Side Case for the HD2 worked well but some may not like the Velcro closure or belt loop (as opposed to a belt clip). Then there's always the Golla Cases that have plenty of room to carry your Windows Phone, a few credit cards and cash.