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All posts tagged "verizon"

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mini-Microsoft Weighs in on the Death of KIN

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Windows Phones" @ 02:05 PM

"Get out of the way Microsoft Bob, you have a replacement that Microsoft's Gen-Y employees can claim for their own! It's spelled K-I-N. KIN's demise can't surprise anyone. When I looked at the phone's features, I thought: alright, an incomplete Facebook experience that I cannot improve by installing new applications... and I pay $$ through the nose for a plan. But I've got a green dot and KIN Studio... maybe that will be enough to sell enough units to justify the Danger acquisition and the person-years of work behind getting KIN out. What the hell where all those people doing? I couldn't imagine anyone wanting the resulting iffy feature-phone at a smartphone cost, but KIN wasn't made for me. I was willing to let the market be the judge of KIN. Verdict? Guilty, guilty, guilty."

The Mini Microsoft blog is a treasure-trove of fascinating insider information about the company; having worked with (and for) Microsoft for years, I can see a fair amount of truth in the things written there. With KIN, sadly, Mini Microsoft seems right on the money. The comment replies to the post are also eye-opening...if even half of what's written is true, KIN was in trouble long before launch and should never have seen the light of day. Another good read on the subject is found over at Business Insider; it speaks to the sense of embarrassment felt by many at Microsoft Campus over the high-profile failure that KIN became. One thing is for sure: business schools will be studying the KIN debacle for years to come.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Verizon Pays Up For Early Termination Fee Suit

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Windows Phone News" @ 04:00 PM

"A California appeals court upheld a $21 million refund that Verizon Wireless will have to pay to some of its customers as a result of a settlement of a class-action lawsuit over its early termination fees, according to the lawyer representing the plaintiffs."

It looks like Verizon will be paying out over $15 million dollars to 175,000 former customers in the state of California, or about $87.50 per person. The appeals aren't finalized but should be in 60 days or so and then the checks will start flowing.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Microsoft Puts a Bullet in Kin's Head

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 02:33 PM

"Just six weeks after launch, Microsoft's Kin, the social phone we wanted to love, is dead. Microsoft is pulling the plug, sources close to Microsoft tell us. There won't be a separate Kin product anymore. Effective immediately, Andy Lees is shoving the entire Kin team into the core Windows Phone 7 team, so there will just be one big group to focus on Windows Phone 7."

And there you have it. After only a few months Kin, launched with much fanfare, has been terminated by Microsoft. You can look at this one of two ways: Read more...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Win an HTC Imagio, Courtesy of HTC USA

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Events" @ 08:00 AM

In a continuation of our re-launch contest, up for grabs is an HTC Imagio, a Verizon network phone, donated courtesy of the generous people at HTC. This is a really nice phone, featuring a 5 megapixel camera, a 3.6 inch 480 x 800 (WVGA) touch screen, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a 1500 mAh battery, a Qualcomm 528mhz CPU, 288 MB of RAM, 512 MB of on-board storage, a microSD card slot, and GPS. Oh, and that cool little kick-stand! I wish every device had a little kick-stand like that, it's great for watching videos while on a plane, etc.

Because this is a Verizon device, this contest is only open to people from the USA - sorry rest of the world! To enter to win, all you have to do is post a message telling me what phone you're using now, and in what way the HTC Imagio would be superior to your - how would it give you a better Windows Phone experience?

The contest will run until Friday, July the 2nd, at 3pm GMT -7. One entry per person, and a random drawing will determine the winner. The will will be notified via email and forum private message, and will have 72 hours to claim their prize.

UPDATE: The contest is now over, and the winner is looneytoone! I had asked how the HTC Imagio would provide a better experience than the phone you currently had, and here was looneytoone's answer:

"I am currently using a Droid. After working with Windows CE and Windows Phone, etc, I thought it was time to check out something with a "buzz" behind it and went to Android. Yet still, for some reason, I continue to follow and keep up with Windows. Has my Droid experience been good, yep! But I miss the connectibility with Exchange and other apps that I've gotten use to. Plus the camera rocks on the Imagio. I think I'd come back home if I won this great phone."

Welcome back looneytoone!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

ROM Upgrade For Verizon Touch Pro 2

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "HTC Windows Phones" @ 06:00 AM

Verizon has released a ROM update to the Touch Pro 2. It includes a new compact QWERTY on-screen keyboard, enhanced VZ Navigator performance, improved word prediction and more. The update is free, though like most ROM updates, I suspect this will wipe your devices memory, forcing you to reload and reconfigure everything.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Microsoft and Verizon Defend Kin Plan Pricing

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 02:12 PM

"Microsoft's new Kin phones are not truly smartphones, but Verizon Wireless is charging users a minimum monthly $70 service fee anyway -- $30 alone for data -- over a two-year contract. Microsoft and Verizon representatives defended the fee on Tuesday, partly because of the Kins' automatic cloud-based backup of video, pictures and other data."

I've been critical of the reality distortion field that accompanies Steve Jobs every time he presents, so I can't be any less critical when I see Microsoft and Verizon doing the same thing. Both Microsoft and Verizon are standing arm in arm and together defending the pricing plan they've come up with for Kin. Ultimately, technology pundits such as myself saying the pricing plans are too expensive only count for so much - which isn't much - and what really mattes is what the market says.

In a few months we'll be able to see how popular the Kin is - or isn't - and make some conclusions from that. I maintain that the sweet spot would have been somewhere in the $40 to $50 pricing plans for both voice and data, and even lower if it's part of a family plan, not the $70+ realm that Verizon has chosen. Price matters - it always has, and it always will. Time and time again, consumers will accept "good enough" technologies if they intersect with a price point that makes sense; netbooks are a good example of this principal in action. The technologies in Kin are interesting, but not unique, and only someone who doesn't know any better is going to pay $70 per month for a Kin voice and data plan. Microsoft blew a prime opportunity to capture an important slice of the market...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Microsoft's Kin: Dead On Arrival (in North America at Least)

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 12:00 PM

"Quite frankly, I haven't been this disappointed in a phone in a long time. The list of complaints and missteps far outweighs the positives this time around. The basic concept of a phone focused on social networking is not new, and has been done better by others (Motorola, Palm, HTC). The Kin Loop and Kin Spot are neat concepts, no doubt, but the execution falls far, far short of what others have been able to accomplish." - Eric M. Zeman, phonescoop

"The execution (or lack thereof) on these products makes us legitimately concerned about what the company will do with Windows Phone 7. We can only hope that the similarities between those devices and the Kin handsets don't stretch much further than the "Windows Phone" label, because in our estimation, Kin is one side of the family that needs to be disowned... quickly." - Joshua Topolsky, Engadget

I had the opportunity to hear from the Kin team (back then they were the Pink team) back in November at the Mobius 2009 event - in fact, that's one of the reasons I titled my post "Fascinating, But Little That Can Be Shared". We spent several hours with the Kin team, really diving into what they were doing, but couldn't say anything about it. I knew that the Kin wasn't for me - it lacked too many features I'd want, but I knew exactly who the Kin was for: someone like my younger sister. She's 25 years old (I'm 35), uses a Motorola KRZR and a paper dayplanner, works for a non-profit agency, and is cost-conscious. She's careful about what she spends money on and is heavily into Facebook and texting (like most people her age). A phone like the Kin - a phone focused on social networking and sharing with friends, is exactly the kind of thing she'd love.

"Real" smartphones - of any brand - are still too costly for many people. Data plans in North America are still quite expensive - I was overjoyed when my GSM carrier (Rogers) gave me the opportunity to grab a 6 GB data plan for $30/month - so I knew that the key to the Kin being adopted by the target market its aimed at would be the pricing. Microsoft went for an exclusive carrier partnership - we knew that at Mobius - so I thought "OK, they've obviously gone exclusive to ensure a killer voice + data plan". The reality? The pricing plan from Verizon has killed the Kin. Read more...

Monday, March 22, 2010

LG VS750 WM6.5 All-World Phone Coming To Verizon

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "LG Windows Phones" @ 10:00 PM

"We first heard wind of this Verizon-bound machine back in December, and now it's been spied by Mr. Blurrycam over at PhoneArena, apparently due for a mid-April release. The QWERTY slider is intended as a world phone, and its list of wireless support certainly sounds comprehensive: CDMA 1x/EVDO Rev A. 800/1900MHz, and GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/190MHz and UMTS/HSDPA."

Wow, every radio under the sun, save for WiMAX! In addition the VS750 will sport a 3.2" WVGA screen, a 3.2MP camera, and a Droid-like directional pad on the keyboard. Release date and pricing are still unknown, but given the countdown to WP7S, I'd expect LG and Verizon will want to make hay while the sun shines, so look for this soon.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

VZ Navigator 5.0 Announced by Verizon

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Mobile Operators" @ 07:30 AM

"Verizon Wireless, provider of the nation's largest and most reliable 3G network, today announced the launch of VZ Navigator® 5.0, the newest version of its award-winning map, navigation and local search service, which helps users find their way around town. Powered by TeleCommunication Systems, Verizon Wireless' VZ Navigator is a GPS-enabled service that transforms a wireless smartphone or handset into an all-in-one powerful navigation and communication device, enabling customers to find useful information and discover new places and destinations."

$9.99 a month (or $2.99 a day) will give you access to, well, something Google is giving away for free. But those who don't have an android phone to switch into for navigation may appreciate big V's offering. It runs on Win Mo (hence this post) and also on blackberry. The attractive part may be the traffic updates that are provided by the network in response to what actual users are experiencing. So heavy commuters who are perpetually late (But have enough time to power up a GPS for a route they know by heart) may be interested.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

US Carriers: Make Multiple SIMs a Reality!

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 03:30 PM

"These days, most of us use Bluetooth enabled car kits, and it is not necessary to have a second SIM card for safe vehicle use anymore. However ... many people have multiple phones. Smartphones are now quite prevalent, but sometimes you don't want to carry your most complicated phone everywhere you go. For instance, I like to carry a smaller phone on me during the weekends while on the road with my kids. The hassle now is to get my SIM card out of one phone and place it in the other. And we all know how frustrating it can be to do so. It would be so much easier to have a duplicate SIM card already placed in my second phone..."

Johan van Mierlo (and others, including myself) have had ENOUGH with the 1 SIM per number draconian rule of US carriers. It would be relatively easy for carriers to allow more than one SIM per number, which would be great for those of us with multiple devices that hate swapping SIMs in and out all the time. Mobility Minded is running a poll right now on the issue, and if you're wanting a second SIM to soothe swapping, I'd encourage you to vote!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Samsung Omnia II for Verizon Makes Appearance

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 06:00 AM

"We finally got a good, hard look at the Verizon-customized version of Samsung's Omnia II, and we've got good news and bad news: the good news is that the phone's a darker, more reasonable shade in person than it was in that press shot we'd seen before, but the bad news is that we've confirmed it's running 6.1. Anyone daring to release a 6.1 phone at this point is at serious risk of getting laughed out of the room unless they offer an upgrade path mere minutes afterwards"

The 6.1 default is a bit annoying at this point, so hopefully when this gets released a 6.5 upgrade will already be available online. That's wishful thinking of course, but it still might not be enough to sway users either way! Who is in the mood for some Verizon Omnia II action in the near future?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gizmodo Takes a Look at the Verizon HTC Imagio

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 10:54 AM

"Verizon's HTC Imagio is a touchscreen Windows Mobile 6.5 handset, or "Windows Phone," with a healthy, if expected, spec set, iiiiinnncluding!: a 3.6-inch WVGA screen, Wi-Fi, GPS, a 5-megapixel camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and microSD storage expansion (but sadly, no included card). It's also the first smartphone with V CAST Mobile TV, which is a Flo TV-based live streaming TV service that looks and feels a bit like digital cable, phone-ified. Accordingly, it has an adorable kickstand."

This $200-with-contract device - or $100 after a rebate - is a study in how flexible Windows Mobile is. So flexible, in fact, that HTC took out almost everything that Microsoft put into Windows Mobile 6.5. Start Menu? Replaced by HTC software. Home screen? Replaced by HTC software. Internet Explorer 6? Replaced by HTC software. I've never seen a device launch with a new operating system, then work so hard to cover up that operating system. Microsoft has a significant problem on their hands here when their biggest partner wants to make the device look and act nothing like Microsoft's vision for the software. I can't really blame HTC though - without their investment into TouchFlo3D (now dubbed HTC Sense I believe), Windows Mobile phones would have been even worse off.

MobileBurn Unboxes the HTC Imagio and HTC Pure

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 09:47 AM

It's Windows Mobile 6.5 launch day, and that means that the sites that were lucky enough to get devices are launching their content. Here we have Michael Oryl taking a look at the HTC Imagio on Verizon, and the HTC Pure on AT&T.

Monday, October 5, 2009

HTC Imagio Drops on Verizon Tomorrow

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 01:00 PM

"Although not a soul alive is shocked by the news, today Verizon Wireless announced it will be releasing the HTC Imagio - its first Windows Mobile 6.5 device - online starting October 6th. The Imagio, known to most by its codename Whitestone, will feature the following key specs: 3.6″ WVGA touchscreen display (resistive, of course), 5 megapixel camera with autofocus, Wi-Fi, EV-DO Rev. A, quad-band EDGE and 2100MHz UMTS/HSDPA for international roaming"

Tomorrow is the big day for those of you cursed with Verizon's fee-loving wireless service. If you want, you can own a HTC Imagio! The 5 MP camera makes for a nice digital camera quick-replacement, and at least with Big V's service you should have coverage in pretty much any rural area you probably don't want to be at in the first place!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Video Walk-through of the HTC Imagio on Verizon

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 03:04 PM

The device-formerly-know-as-Whitestone, now dubbed the HTC Imagio? Yeah, it's definitely coming to Verizon, and the video above is a walk-through of the device.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Whitestone Becomes Imagio

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 06:30 AM

"Two juicy nuggets emerged this morning from the Boy Genius Report's ninjas regarding the HTC Whitestone, the sort-of-but-not-really successor to the HTC Touch Diamond (insofar as it's a black slab sans keyboard): 1. Henceforth it shall be called the Verizon Imagio. (Sounds more like a "Harry Potter" spell, but whatever.) 2. It'll be released as part of the Oct. 6 Super Duper Windows Mobile 6.5 launch day."

The Whitestone looks like a nice device for those of you stuck on a carrier that hates carrying nice phones. Any Verizon-ites trading in something old and dusty for an Imagio?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Verizon Introduces Touch Pro 2, Priced at $199

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 10:30 AM

"Verizon Wireless and HTC Corporation introduce the HTC Touch Pro2TM, a global-capable smartphone designed for the busiest professionals and world travelers. The HTC Touch Pro2 features an extra-large 3.6-inch touch screen that tilts to an optimal viewing angle, an ergonomic slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and an advanced speakerphone with asymmetric speakers and advanced noise suppression to deliver customers a robust productivity experience. Created with the intuitive TouchFLO 3D user interface, data on the HTC Touch Pro2 can be easily accessed with just the touch of a finger."

Verizon has the Touch Pro 2 at $199 after $100 mail in rebate, so if you're on Big V and want to take advantage of an older yet ubiquitous network, you can order it in stores today.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Samsung Omnia Update Uncripples GPS On Verizon Models

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 10:30 AM

"New software for the Samsung Omnia that will give customers an additional option for navigation is now available. The open GPS feature allows customers to purchase or use free applications by adding them to the device. Customers can still use VZ Navigator with turn by turn directions that talk to you while driving and takes you to millions of locations throughout the U. S. and just recently parts of Europe."

Every so often Verizon tries to not appear so evil. Omnia owners on Big V, take advantage of this glimpse of civility!

Monday, June 29, 2009

PhoneArea Reports Samsung Omnia II Due Out In July

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 12:30 PM

"Shortly after Samsung announced its four new Omnia phones, a word quickly spread that Verizon had plans to carry the Omnia II. However, information about the release date was missing so it wasn't certain when to expect the successor. Now, thanks to a tipster of ours who claims to have contacted Verizon Wireless"

A bit of rumor here that the next version of the Omnia (CDMA variety) will be released by Verizon in July. Now let's just see if this comes true with July only days away!

Tags: verizon, july, omnia

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Verizon Offers Firmware Update for HTC Touch Pro

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Pocket PC Software" @ 09:00 AM

"Verizon Wireless has approved a firmware update for the HTC Touch Pro, which makes three major improvements. The update, firmware version 1.08, adds the long-awaited unlocked GPS support. previously reported that Verizon agreed to unlock GPS on the Samsung Saga, Samsung Omnia, and HTC Touch Pro. This is the first of three official updates that will make good on that promise, made last year. has confirmed that the update enables standard GPS functionality in Google Maps, as well as Windows Live Search for Mobile. In addition, the update adds Visual Voicemail support to the Touch Pro. The Samsung Omnia was the first device to add Visual Voicemail. But, like all other Verizon devices, Visual Voicemail will cost $3/month."

Some good news for those on the big V who like the Touch Pro. GPS is now unlocked, Live search, and Visual Voicemail. Not bad for those under Verizon's thumb of authority.

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