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6 years ago

Sprint to Lay Off 8000

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Sprint to Lay Off 8000

Not to be outdone by Microsoft in tossing out bad news while they're hoping the rest of the country is still busy wondering just what smartphone the president of the United States is using, Sprint just dropped this press release about how they're going to save $1.2 Billion (with a B) in labor costs.  That's one way to write a press release headline, another way is to not hide the sad truth: They are going to lay off 8000 workers by March 31st.  The layoffs will come at all levels and in all areas, so basically nobody's safe (though we guess CEO Dan Hesse will stick around a little while longer).  We wish these folks the best of luck finding new work.

Sprint also cops to the fact that of the big 4 in the US, they're the only carrier to have lost net subscribers quarter after quarter, but they do point out that they're happy about the Palm Pre and how it may save their bacon.  We're impressed with the Pre to, Spint, but you're going to have to do a little better than that.  You've dropped subscribers, the physical infrastructure behind your network (which you now lease), and now a bootload of employees.  There's getting down to your fighting weight and then there's wasting away, we're starting to worry (again) that we're looking at the latter.

 

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6 years ago

AT&T MicroCell -- Femtocel with 3G Data -- Coming soon

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We've mentioned home signal extenders such as Verizon's Network Extender and Sprint's Airave and now it appears AT&T is joining the femtocell bandwagon with their 3G MicroCell. While pricing and availability aren't indicated on AT&T's site, we do know that it will cover up to 5,000 square feet, allow up to four simultaneous, secure voice or data connections, and will require a broadband connection to operate. It is also only compatible with 3G phones. This may end up being an advantage because similar cells offered by Sprint are limited to 2G coverage.

Another feature, according to the AT&T site is "Unlimited nationwide calling: With the 3G MicroCell, you have the option of unlimited minutes in the home or on any 3G MicroCell* with a 3G MicroCell service plan." We don't know if this is an additional cost feature or if the MicroCell will require a monthly fee to use period. Sprint charges for the Airave device ($99.99) and also charges a $4.99 monthly fee. Verizon eliminated the monthly fee but their Network Extender is a more costly device ($250).  It will be interesting to see what the final pricing details for AT&T turns out to be.

[Read: Engadget.com]

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6 years ago

Windows Mobile Outsold the iPhone on Q32008

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Everyone is raving about the sales the iPhone is making and it deserves its props, but its still not putting up Windows Mobile numbers. In fact, during the third quarter of 08 apple only shipped about 4.4 mill iPhones while Windwos Mobile put out a healthy 5 mil.  Now, part of the the drop in the iPhone sales is that they may have finally reached all the markets they hadn't yet with the iPhone 3G, so they may be coming close to some kind of geographic saturation. 

It's still a close race, but then again close only counts in horse shoes and hand gernades -- not bragging rights. Will Windows Mobile be able to maintain its lead? We'll have to see if WM 6.5 can stir up some excitement -- but frankly even though we know it's software that makes a phone good, we're guessing the average consumer still looks to hot new hardware -- so both Microsoft and its manufacturers will have to do their part.   via mobiletopsoft 
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6 years ago

WMExperts Podcast Episode 43

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6 years ago

Windows Mobile 6.5 Spotted on the Exeda

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Windows Mobile 6.5 Spotted on the Exeda

Various leaks of Windows Mobile 6.5 seem to be popping up everywhere. Now it's appeared on the funny looking Compulab Exeda, the crazy little guy that runs Windows Mobile and Android. OK, the phone's not really a looker. But it's the interface we're after here. What we're seeing is a different take on that honeycomb interface, so we're pretty much expecting some variation of that when the real thing's released.

It's possible that this is still an alpha build of the OS, but we're still expecting an official announcement about 6.5 (and all those cloud services) soon at Mobile World Congress. Will the syncing be seamless like Microsoft says? Or will we have just another skinned Windows Mobile phone in our pockets? Let us know what you think in the comments

Via Engadget

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6 years ago

Sprint Treo Pro: Delayed to Feb 15th--even more confirmed.

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Update: MobilityToday got their hands on the above sheet to confirm our earlier post.

So after Sprint's trigger-happy posting of the Treo Pro, we received word from Sprint on the snafu:

"Sprint inadvertently posted information on Sprint.com regarding an upcoming product, Palm Treo Pro, this morning. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Sprint looks forward to welcoming this exciting, new device into our portfolio as soon as it has been approved through our customary testing process. We will share details on the correct availability date as soon as the standard testing of both the device and its interaction with our network has concluded. Thank you for your interest in Sprint products."

And now we're hearing that the release date has been pushed back to Feburary 15th.  This makes sense if they still need to finish testing and make possible changes to the radio/ROM.  It also coincides with the rumored Palm Pre release date, which we now think may be a confusion with the Pro ;-)

We suppose your orders will continue to be on "backorder" till this is resolved.  We'll keep you posted if we hear anything different.

We can also now confirm memory: 128mb RAM/512mb ROM; but out of that only 42mb RAM and 360mb ROM is available for use.  This puts the Treo Pro's RAM pretty low in comparison to other WM devices, including the Pro's GSM cousin who has 70mb RAM available.

Thanks dannzeman, entropism & Codyppc!

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6 years ago

Verizon launches 'Network Extender' femtocell

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We've been expecting a femtocell from Verizon, and now it's available and it's called the "Network Extender."

While the principle is the same as Sprint's AIRAVE — the router-looking piece of hardware uses your broadband Internet connection to spit out a short-range cell signal — the pricing is different. Instead of paying, say, $100 for the hardware, then a monthly fee for the service, Verizon's Network Extender costs $250 up front, with no monthly fees.

We're all for paying more up front to forgo the monthly shakedown. You'll save money in the long run. But we keep coming back to the same ol' argument when it comes to femtocells. If you're already paying for service on a company's network — and Verizon arguably still has the best — why would you want to pay more for a signal that you're supposed to have in the first place?

So, any of you Verizon chaps going to shell out for this?

Verizon Network Extender [via BGR]

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6 years ago

WM6.5: Successfully ported to (CDMA) HTC Devices

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Well, that didn't take too long...

Just days after the succesful port of a very early release of WM6.5 on various GSM devices, Conflipper over at ppcgeeks has released a kitchen that opens the door for a ton of  CDMA devices (Touch, Diamond, Touch Pro, Mogul).

Now, be warned: this is pre-release, early build stuff for WM6.5, meaning a lot of "things" are broke--so your help is needed. 

Also, we should be on the lookout for a newer WM6.5 build around January 26th...so sit tight.

Having said that, here's what to expect...

Read on for the nitty-gritty details!

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6 years ago

Align your touchscreen automatically

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Align your touchscreen automatically

I've gotta admit I've never really understood (though I'm sure I'll be corrected in the comments) just why a touchscreen has to be manually aligned after a hard-reset. For as high-tech as our phones are, its accuracy relies on my steady hand? That's no good. I certainly don't have a surgeon's touch, thanks to all the caffeine, nicotine and a few other -ines that got me through law school late nights blogging.

But, like with so many things in life, the folks at XDA Developers have us covered with AutoAlign Screen, which conveniently enough, will automatically align your screen. As XDA member azharsunny puts it, you'll save time, precisely calibrate your screen, and keep you from digging out that stylus. 

The cab files currently are for the HTC Touch HD & Sony Ericsson Xperia X1, HTC Touch Pro and HTC Touch Diamond only.

Edit: Looks like some people are having problems with the app. Be sure to back up your phone before first (which you should have done anyway). Consider yourselves warned.

Via pocketnow

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6 years ago

Touch Pro ROM Update on the way + GPS Fix?

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We caught word just a few days ago about a HTC Diamond ROM update for Sprint and worldwide, but now it look like the Touch Pro is getting ready for one too.

Evidently, Alexandr Skaryd from XDA had a conversation with HTC Europe about the GPS lag problem.  The crux of the convo is below:

Dear Mr. Skaryd I just wanted to get back to you in order to see if you have gotten the GPS working better. I would also like to inform you that there will be a ROM upgrade available in the near future (1.19). Please feel free to get back to us at any time if you have any further questions or queries. Kind Regards Dave Montanya HTC Europe

The bigger news is that HTC appears to be aware of this GPS lag and one can hope that this upcoming ROM addresses this problem.

In case you don't feel like waiting though, head over to M're undefined , who has a very detailed post explaining a "hack" you can do to improve your GPS.  Not suprisingly, it partially involves turning off aGPS, amongst other things.  Check it out, it seems to be working for folks.

[ ppcgeeks & pocketnow]

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6 years ago

AT&T Re-Structuring Data Plans

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AT&T Re-Structuring Data Plans

We've been hearing rumblings that AT&T has restructured data plans and believe we have finally deciphered things where it's understandable. If you are currently using a MediaNet plan, they are being discontinued and replaced with an Unlimited Data/Messaging Plan that will run $30 a month. Instead of having a variety of MediaNet flavors to choose from (Basic, the Works, MediaNet 200, MediaNet 1MB), you have one data package. The common line of thinking is that this move was done to compete with Verizon's data plans. It appears that there are some additional incentives for customers on AT&T's Family Plan as well.

There is one word of caution, these plans are intended for use with non-PDA phones (Motorola Razor, Samsung A737, etc.) that have internet and messaging capabilities. For Windows Mobile devices, AT&T requires their PDA Data plan which, coincidentally, also runs $30 a month. We bet that some of you may be paying more than $30 for the AT&T PDA plan (heck, some of us are!). In other words, it might be worth a call (and some savings) to AT&T and see if you are on the current $30 PDA Data plan and if you're not -- get on it.

[Read: Engadget Mobile]

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6 years ago

The Straight Story on President Obama's Smartphone

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We ourselves have reported that it was possible that President Obama may need to ditch his BlackBerry for a Windows Mobile device, the Sectera Edge.  It's actually pretty slick, with one-button access to switch between hyper-secure and non-secure modes.  Plus, unlike BlackBerrys, its email isn't routed up through Canada -- something that would be an absolute no go for presidental missives.

Well, here's the rub: we were wrong to call it a Windows Mobile device, turns out that it's a Windows CE device.  The difference?  Windows CE is the OS that underlies Windows Mobile.  In essence it's a modular framework -- you can pick a little of this, a little of that, hit "Go" and kapow -- you have something like Windows Mobile, or a set-top DVR, or an embedded system for a smart car.  (Ok, it's not that simple, but that's the gist of it).  It's also quite a bit more secure than, well, darn near anything else out there on the planet.  PCMag has a great write up on it if you're interested.

So that's the first thing.  The second thing -- nobody outside the White House knows if this is his new smartphone.  That's right -- all the reporting you've seen claiming that "Obama gets to keep his BlackBerry" or that this Edge is his new device is based on assumption.  Near as we can tell, a bunch of tech-blogs like us were speculating about the Sectera Edge and it trickled its way out to the political blogosphere and then into the mainstream media and somewhere in that chain the "Maybe" part got stripped out.  Turns out that "Maybe" part is, you know, kind of important.

It also appears that Obama may be dual-devicing it, as he may get to keep his actual BlackBerry for personal, non-president-related email.

Above, CNN manages to get the story right, showing the relevant part of the press conference where the administration says "He's keeping his BlackBerry" (for shame, btw, because "BlackBerry" is not synonomous with "Smartphone") and that it's secure.  CNN then goes so far as to show a short demo of the Sectera Edge, but rightly admits that the White House is staying mum on what exact device Obama will have on his hip.

Here's the short version: He's got something and we don't know for sure that it's the Sectera Edge.  Either way, you'll likely never get to have one yourself, no matter how hard you (ahem) hope.

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6 years ago

Touchflo 3D vs. SPB Mobile Shell

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Touchflo 3D vs. SPB Mobile Shell

One of the attractions to the new HTC line-up is TouchFlo 3D. There is no argument that graphically, Touchflo 3D is a eye catching application. While it may be pretty to look at, how functional is it? Before Touchflo 3D hit the market, one of the more popular Today Screen alternatives was SPB's Mobile Shell. There are some reservations over Touchflo 3D's usefulness and SPB Mobile Shell might be a viable alternative for those HTC owners who are looking for something different. Could Mobile Shell hold it's own against the animated graphics of Touchflo?

We decided to compare these two applications and as Michael Buffer so aptly put it, "Let's get ready to rumble!" (key techno dance music please). Read on after the break to see how they measure up against each other.

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6 years ago

Windows Mobile: It's 'Automagic' - and its cloud services may come free

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If you haven't yet read Dieter's excellent "Smartphone Round Robin: HTC Fuze, Windows Mobile, and Choice" post yet, do so now. It's required reading for the following:

Believe it or not, Microsoft hasn't forgotten that for all of the hardcore work we do with Windows Mobile, it's still the little things that count (and about which we most often gripe).

Andy Lees, senior VP for Microsoft's mobile side, recently sat down with The New York Times for a heart-to-heart.

“Everyone who is a business person is also a human being,” he said. “We want also to do human things like photos, music, communications, IM, texting and social networking.”

We also get a glimpse of things to come, most likely with the birth of SkyMarket/Box/Line, and undoubtedly with Windows Mobile 7 (and Windows 7). And the word Lees is using to describe how everything's going to work: "Automagically."

“What should happen,” he said, “is when you take a picture it should automagically arrive on your PC and be in the cloud. I should be able to fix the red eye on the PC and have it automagically go back and fix the red eye everywhere else.”

Lees also goes on to say that a most of the services Microsoft will be offering should be free. “I don’t think anyone is going to make money on synchronizing data,” he said. “It is simply what people will come to expect.” Huzzah!

NYT: Can Windows Mobile Get The Magic Back?

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6 years ago

WM6.5 pre-Beta ported to HTC Fuze/Raphael

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And the WM6.5 leaks-n-ports are starting....

Looks like Da_G, famous for his kitchens, has released his "very beta" port of WM6.5.  He say very beta because he expects bugs and even gives a list of known issues already, so this is only for the brave of you who absolutey must have the latest.

Officially, this build is 5.2.21139.5.0.0 for you number counters and you can find the thread/download right here.

It does have the Pro version of "Chrome" which is also known as Sliding Panels found on WM Standard, so that should be fun.  We should mention that this build of WM6.5 is built off of one ROM that is X-months old--so we don't know how much of this stuff is new, what has been left out, or what has been added since.

Hopefully once someone gets some actual screen caps, we'll post 'em here.

[via XDA]

 

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