While Verizon can boast the most retail customers of any U.S. carrier, they reported a $653 million loss for last years fourth quarter. With the announcement of the losses, Verizon also announce it plans to reduce it's work force by 13,000 employees during the course of the year.
Verizon did report a boost in their customer base by 2.2 million wireless subscribers but overall wireless revenue dipped 3.9% earning only $11.5 billion (that's with a B) during the quarter. Verizon did see an 31% increase in revenue generated by wireless data services.
The losses have been attributed to a decline in the land-lined customer base and the costs associated with employee lay-offs.
By Tim Ferrill, Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 11:56 pm EST
So the iPhone Fanboys Gadget Blogosphere have received their fabled Apple Tablet, known hitherto as the iPad (hit up The iPhone Blog for complete coverage). Featuring a 9.7 inch capacitive display, a 1GHz Apple A4 processor, 802.11n WiFi, and flash storage of 16, 32, or 64GB; the iPad hardware falls somewhere between cell phone and notebook computer.
From the software point of view, the iPad is running a modified version of the iPhone OS. As of now, that means it has most of the same shortcomings as the iPhone including but not limited to lack of multitasking and support for Adobe Flash. To be fair, however, the iPad does support copy and paste (snicker).
What does this mean for the WinMo faithful? The market for devices in the dark void between cell phones and Laptops has been steadily heating up for years, but it seems to be hitting the boiling point in 2010. Already this year we’ve seen Microsoft announcing the slate form factor at CES and Apple releasing the iPad; and that’s not even touching on the major push that Netbooks are getting right now. Even on the Windows Mobile front we’re starting to see devices starting to push the obnoxiously large boundary with the HD2.
Looking at the hardware numbers that have been bandied around in the last week or so in regards to “Seven”, it’s not hard to speculate that perhaps Microsoft already has an eye towards devices with similar hardware running a Windows Mobile based OS. Could Ballmer and Co. be taking a hard look at MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices) running Windows Mobile 7? We’ve seen attempts at this in the past, but nothing that ever hit the big time. Here’s hoping that Mobile World Congress 2010 in Barcelona is the turning point in the evolution of Windows Mobile.
We saved the best (and penultimate) episode of our Smartphone Round Robin mini-podcasts for last — Windows Mobile, baby! Once again hosted by our pal Mickey Papillon of The Cell Phone Junkie, all your favorite Smartphone Experts editors talk about what they saw during our time together. Listen in below!
Enter nanoGroove, a full-fledged (though not officially endorsed) GrooveShark client that adds some nice bells and whistles. Although it costs a one-time license of $4.99, we think it's a fair price for a nicely polished application such as this.
Here are some of the features which it's free GrooveFish cousin is lacking
Supports multiple resolutions (including 320x320)
GrooveShark Playlist support
Power button disables screen (keeps music playing, saves battery)
We've had no problem running it on our Touch Pro 2 or Treo Pro and of course you can't beat the sound quality of GrooveShark (it kills Pandora in that regard).
If we had any complaints it would be that the UI has a few extra steps than is probably needed (like having to refresh to pull down your playlists) and it is a little confusing to get songs to actually just play (first you search, then you add to the player, then you switch to player, then you hit play).
Going through the .inf file (responsible for identifying the driver, associating the device with USB) he was able to find a few lines of code that, for the first time, specifically reference a phone.
In fact, there are three hardware Product IDs associated with the 'phone' class in addition the the three current Zune players (see above image).
Zheng also contemplates whether this is just part of a larger integration with Windows Mobile and his tentative conclusion is 'no' stating
Whilst it is possible there might be system-wide Zune integration into Windows Mobile 7, this particular driver references specific hardware IDs that are locked to a vendor (Microsoft) and product which under USB body regulations cannot be masked, thus this has to be Microsoft devices.
That's right folks, it looks like we are looking a three-pronged strategy from Microsoft:
Well, it looks like maybe the folks at ShapeServices, who make IM+, are going to do something about it as a "lite" version is floating around. More importantly, it appears to be free.
The main difference between "full" and "lite" is the latter doesn't have that "push" feature for IMs, GPS-MyLocation, Facebook chat or Twitter.
However, it still supports AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo!, MSN, ICQ, Jabber and MySpace (hah!). In addition, there's a green bar on the top that scrolls about the "full version" with an arrow to download it. Overall, not to shabby.
To prevent that from happening in the future, they purposefully leaked another ROM, v2.02, the famous "landscape in Manila" version. They were trying to out the leaker and they knew no one could resist leaking that upgrade, even if it wasn't complete yet.
We were told, from one of our most trusted sources, that
...its a trap, they have a certain Serial and IMEI of the device that it was suppose to be for...
Yup. According to our source, Manila 2.5 with landscape was a 'Canary trap' by HTC (thanks BigDiesel07 for the reference).
HTC is getting aggressive in trying to prevent further leaks, especially ones that are related to high profile devices. Whether they will be successful or not remains to be seen, but they are actively trying to find where these leaks are coming from within the company and they will use subterfuge to do it.
So if we see a reduction in the future of "new builds", you can point to that moment as the turning point. Then again, you sure can't fault HTC for wanting to cut down on the leaks and protect their property. Just part of the biz.
An easy answer for the change could be that's what T-Mobile ordered. But that's no fun, is it? A better guess is that in testing Windows Mobile 7 on it -- remember that we're all assuming it's getting WM7 -- a need for more memory was discovered. Either way, it's not a huge bump up, but we're not the types to turn down free RAM. (Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)
Of all the other smartphones and all the other operating systems we've looked at over the course of the third annual Smartphone Round Robin, none is as similar to Windows Mobile as Android. That's a little odd, as Windows Mobile at its core is rapidly aging, and Android is one of the newest players of the bunch. But it's true.
With Windows Mobile you get a high customizable operating system, with myriad options available to manufacturers, carriers, modders and end-users. We're constantly preaching the benefit of custom ROMs, chopped up from official releases and recompiled into smaller, faster packages. Android? Same thing. It's available on most major carriers, in several form factors (though front-facing QWERTY keyboards haven't really materialized), and with multiple versions of the operating system.
So is Android merely Windows Mobile's brother by another mother? Will its rapidly rising market share (and mind share) swallow up Windows Mobile and everyone else in its way? Let's talk about that a little after the break.
Quietly, amidst the multiple HTC Touch Pro 2 releases, Samsung refreshed its Omnia line with a slew of new Windows Mobile devices. The Samsung Omnia II is a black-slab, touchscreen device hone that sports a 5-megapixel camera and a hefty 8 gigabytes of storage memory. Verizon picked it up late last year.
Our initial impression has been positive. Our main concern was the customization that Samsung has installed on the Omnia II. Not only does the Omnia II have Samsung's TouchWiz user interface, Samsung also also tweaked the interior Windows Mobile screens and menus.
Follow the break to see if this customization makes or breaks the Omnia II.
Here's one that will blow your mind. Evidently, Verizon is or was planning on releasing the Palm Treo Pro.
Yup, that device from last year, featuring Windows Mobile 6.1, WiFi and EvDO Rev A. from what we're told is making its rounds on Verizon (or was).
From the photos above, you can see the following:
Verizon plugin for email
Verizon network plugin
That is newer firmware than the Sprint version (1.11.30F) and we're told it features CE OS 5.2.20765 (Build 207126.96.36.199).
Our thought? Hard to make sense of it. The firmware and photos don't really lie, but since there is no branding anywhere on the device it's hard to judge. Plus, there's that whole 'Why in the world would Verizon get this phone now!?' issue.
Ah, but we will share what we think is the official explanation:
...through my conversations with folks at VZW, it was made clear to me that this unit would not ever be officially released. Verizon has a number of them, and they are for sale (if you know how to get at them), but they will not be seeing any acknowledgment or release
So we'll just leave these here for you to discuss amongst yourselves.
Oh and sorry to 'anonymous' for losing these in our mailbox form a few weeks ago. Blame Phil.
Edit: The more we think about it, the more flashbacks we're having with the Motorola Napoleon--a device branded by Verizon, never officially on sale, but was still sold to a few select customers. Verizon...you truly have some strange policies!