Hm, maybe that "disgruntled investor" knew something we didn't: Sprint's earnings on their profits were way, way down this past quarter. A 90% drop is bad news, indeed. MocoNews does note that Sprint is still making money on data, which surprises me a little because their rates for unlimited data are bargain basement compared to the other carriers.
If you ignore the costs of merging with Nextel and paying severance to all the people they've laid off as a result of that merger, they actually beat estimates - but costs is costs, and last quarter costs were way up.
Income was $19 million for the quarter compared to $291 million a year ago: Earnings per share fell by 90 percent year on year to 1 cent.[...] There was good news on the data side though: Total data service revenues increased 40 percent year-on-year and 4 percent sequentially.
If you've been hankering for a device somewhere between a UMPC and a Smartphone, the HTC Advantage is finally available in the US for reals - supposedly it's also available on the retail store shelves at Circuit City.
I like the idea of the Advantage, kinda sorta. But if I'm going to carry around something that chunky, I'd want a full keyboard.
Verdict: Do Not Want.
If you were holding out hope that HTC would finally get its naming act together, stop it. The Kaiser, also rumored to be called the AT&T 8925, is now also known as the HTC TyTN II. When AT&T will release the super-device is anyone's guess.
Also in the realm of super-devices is the HTC Polaris, which is supposed to be something like the HTC Touch on Steroids (insert Barry Bonds joke here). A few extra buttons, a faster processor, 3G, GPS, FM Radio, VGA screen, 3 Megapixel camera, and a kitchen sink.
Lastly: an update to the HTC Touch, an update I do not approve of, by the way. Half the reason the Touch is so awesome is that it's so small and thin. The real hassle with the Touch is definitely not dialing numbers, it's that there isn't a decent full screen keyboard built-in.
A lot of people were pinning their Windows Mobile 6 for the Treo 750 hopes on a wireless conference in Australia. Well, the announcement came - and it was that Palm was going to provide Windows Mobile 6 to Australian Treo 750 users. Move along, nothing new here. Told ya so! Not here, though, but in the TreoCentral TreoCast.
Except I lie. This time, Palm has provided dates. Check it out (emphasis below mine)
But unlike all of us hoped, it's indeed a local launch in Australia ([but not] yet)! Hutchison 3 customers in Australia can download the free update from mid-August from Palm's Australian website. Other customers will be able to download the update from early September.
So "mid-August" for some Aussies, and "early September" for "other customers." Are those other customers other Australian customers, or just any old "old customer" like, um, AT&T customers. Lord I hope so, because I'm getting sick of waiting for the official release, which by all measures is ready to go.
Mike points me to this little nugget over at GigaOM:
["disgruntled investor"] Whitworth sees WiMAX as “a drain on the company’s overall cashflow” and “too speculative an investment,” according to an unnamed source in the WSJ. (In double PR talk that could easily be Whitworth himself.)
Lord knows that Sprint has set a high bar for their WiMAX rollout - 100 million people covered by the end of 2008. The interesting question, though, is whether or not Sprint's investment in WiMAX is as "speculative" as Whitworth makes it out to be. GigaOM points out that Sprint is actually spending less on WiMAX than it would on upgrading its 3G or has on integrating Nextel. So it could be that WiMAX is actually a really safe bet - if it fizzles, it would be a smaller "sunk cost" than other wireless standards.
Or maybe it's just institutional memory. Sprint used to be fond of saying they have "the only all-digital nationwide network that was built from the ground up," so perhaps they want to do it all over again with WiMAX. And who can blame them for wanting a fresh start after all the hassles they face with Nextel's crazy network.
Add Sprint's plans to Google and the crazy 700MHz auction and suddenly 2008 looks to be the year when my dreams of Wireless Net Neutrality are either realized or dashed. My money's on "dashed," but that's just because I know this industry all too well.
PalmInfoCenter has more photos of the Gandolf, this in the PalmOS flavor. A few new pieces of information:
It does, in fact, have a touchscreen (at least in the PalmOS variety)
It's thicker than we thought. Also confirmed: it's ugly as sin
It's much thinner than previously expected, though it does appear to be a bit taller.
It looks like it uses the standard Treo "Athena" connector instead of mini-USB
All in all, it looks like it belongs to the low-end Zire family of Palm devices - meaning this is likely the long-sought-for low cost Treo.
As far as what this means for the Windows Mobile version of the Gandolf, well, this looks different than the other spy-shot we got - take a look at right. When I posted that rumor, I wrote that I expected the Windows Mobile version to be Standard-Edition (read: no touch screen). This new shot is definitely a touchscreen version. I sincerely hope that Palm is planning on making the PalmOS version the thick monster at top and the Windows Mobile version this slightly-better looking one at right.
There's a lot of money to be had selling to the low end crowd, so I don't really want to rain on Palm's parade. ...but here's the precipitation anyway: this new shot isn't what I wanted to see.
The anonymous source provided a set of images below of the Treo 800 as well as a short video clip (coming later). He says the screen is a touchscreen and is smaller than the display on a Treo 650. He goes on to describe the keyboard as "very smaller" (sic) than the Treo 650 and 680 and that the keys are a soft translucent plastic. The source also says the overall form factor is smaller and thinner than a 650.
Over at TreoCentral we just posted our 25th podcast, which I mention here because it contains in audio form a couple things I've been meaning to discuss here in text form: my impressions of Windows Mobile 6 on the Treo 750 and the Google Phone / Google Spectrum stuff. Check it out here: TreoCentral TreoCast Episode 25.
The short version: Windows Mobile 6 on the 750 (actually the 750v in my case) is a dream. Fully impressed. Google's moves lately - I'm sort of confused by it all, but cautiously optimistic. Basically Mike and I agree with Cringely on this one.
By embracing diverse application development approaches and partner business models, Microsoft participates in a world of choice in which individuals and organizations can pursue their goals based on what uniquely inspires them, including open source.
Now the title and the graphics make you think "Microsoft's going open source? LIES." And you're right, there is something a little "off" about the copy. Some reading around, though, and it becomes clear that the site is about helping *other* open source projects play nice on Windows products. So it makes perfect sense that Microsoft would go to a Linux conference dedicated to talking about things like Linux Smartphones. Microsoft wants those open source app developers to know that if they want their app to be *used* on devices people in the US actually *buy*, Windows Mobile won't reject open source code like a failed kidney transplant.
...On another "Linux and Windows Love" note, remember Silverlight, the "Flash Killer" that also might just serve (this is just me riffing here, so don't read too much into this) as a great basis for Photon's UI? Well back in May some developers got it working on Linux in one weekend of coding. So Silverlight, when it's finally released, will work on Windows XP, Vista, Windows Mobile, Mac OSX, and Linux. "Flash killer" indeed.
It might. The processor is faster, as is the data speed (EVDO Rev A). Given the general reaction to my review, I was the only one who complained about battery life, so maybe the faster processor and data won't really be an issue. They keyboard is slightly different, too, so maybe even that won't be such a hassle.
Quite a month for you, eh Verizon? Sorta takes the sting away from turning down the iPhone.
I've done my best thus far to avoid making jokes about Microsoft being the Borg, or an Evil Empire, or whatever. I'm only human, of course -- once I posted a sweaty photo of Steve Ballmer. Normally, though, I find cheap shots like "Micro$haft," well, cheap.
However, this story over at Linux For Devices demands the the cheap shot encapsulated in the above photo. The Windows Mobile Team is apparently planning on setting up camp outside LinuxWord next week. That's fine, everybody likes to visit the competition and see what's going on. But Microsoft's folks will be giving away free chicken wings and beer. If I know anything about Linux Developers, I know this: the only thing more tempting than a "free as in beer" joke is free beer. It's totally below the belt, Microsoft.... bravo.
So come on, Linux Developers, come to the Dark Side. We have free beer here. Also, as Mike Hall notes, they'll give you the "Windows CE kernel source code and development tools for FREE." Free source code. You know you want it. You don't understand the power of the dark side, but with some wings and a couple drinks in you, you probably could.
I think it's safe to say this: with The Missing Sync, Version 4, Windows Mobile has better Mac syncing than it does with either XP or Vista. ...There's a caveat with that, of course, in that the Missing Sync is forced to use Apple's horrendous Sync Services (so there's some weird bugs sometimes) and device support is sometimes a little tricky since Microsoft and their many manufactures don't exactly document all their custom changes. Mark/Space does a great job overcoming those hurdles, though, and I've been pretty happy with the Missing Sync overall.
I mean, really, look at some of the new features:
Support for devices running Windows Mobile 6
Sort, search, annotate, export call log history on the Mac
View/search SMS message history on the Mac
Address Book integration for call log and SMS data
Encodes and downloads video for mobile viewing
Imports video from device separately from photos
SyncMinder™ device management
That's in addition to the standard PIM data sync and the already good iTunes and iPhoto integration. The Text message support is really neat, but Treo users, who have their own fancypants threaded text, should note that Missing Sync can't grab those.
Engadget Mobile gets the goods in the form of a fuzzy image purporting to show Verizon's product releases for, well, for this month. Take a look at the righthand column there to see a whole lot of shiny: The Moto Q9M, the Samsung i760, and the UTStarcom XV6800.
That last bit surprises me, I wonder what UTStarcom has over Verizon that they're able to keep themselves between Verizon and HTC? "UTStarcom xv6800" is so much lamer than the Sprint branding for the 6800: HTC Mogul. Seriously, try this: say "UTStarcom XV6800." Did you feel your index finger creeping upward to push up your glasses? Was you voice a little more nasal than usual? Did a pocket protector magically beam itself into your pocket? The answer for all of the above, I suspect, is "just a little, yeah."
But I digress. All three are worthy devices. Of course, all three are going to be overshadowed by the Kaiser when it finally hits, integrated GPS will do that.
Let's have some site news, because there's site news to be had:
A little reminder to look to the right of this post, see that, that's a contest where we are giving away 25 bucks a day in the form of a WMExperts Store coupon to some lucky winner.
Thanks to Herculean efforts by Marcus, we're ditching our Blog's built-in comments in favor of integrating the forums into the blog. This means that you don't have to wait for your comment to be approved and it also means that I don't have to wade through pages of spam to find your comments. We'll probably do some further integration (i.e. putting a posting field directly on the article page) later, so if you see some mess today, please pardon it.
If you haven't yet, you'll need to register in our forums in order to comment. If you're already registered at TreoCentral or Phone different, relax - we're all friends here and you're therefore already registered.
Aw, heck, one more. If you are like me, you're a former PalmOS Treo guy, so maybe you want your Windows Mobile forum but you still miss your old friends back at the TreoCentral forum. No problem, kid. We now have an überforum set up, which combines WMExperts, TreoCentral, and Phone different. Don't worry too much about those dirty iPhone users, they don't bite. Find the combined forums at http://forum.smartphoneexperts.com.
It's all over tonight, folks, say goodnight to the little MVNO that almost could. Some interesting tidbits:
Here's a PDF of what they're auctioning off as part of their bankruptcy hearings (via Wired). Fun bits: More office equipment and computers than you can shake a stick at, a heapin' helpin' of intellectual property (mostly that neat content they created plus trademarks), and a popcorn machine.
Surprisingly, it doesn't look like current Amp'd customers will be moved to Verizon, but to Prexar Mobile. Who? what? where? ...basically all of the standard questions apply here. I guess the best place to get started is their webpage: http://prexarmobile.com/. They're promising a "seamless transition," anyhow.
In 17 weeks, we got 100K subscribers, and little problems in billing and collections suddenly became bigger problems. It wasn’t just customers with bad credit, but it was customers with high credit who just weren’t being billed at all. [...] I think Verizon Wireless got a bad rap out of this for no reason. Verizon did a lot to help us through the hard times. I do believe Verizon got the bad end of the stick on this.
Embedded below: one of my favorite Amp'd commercials. Not embedded below - this absolutely Not-Safe-For-Work-but-hilarious-nevertheless commercial. Their whole "Try Not To Die, Amp'd Mobile is Coming" is looking a little bittersweet these days.