The Nexus One may not be selling as well as Google had hoped, but its hard to deny, its creating a lot of buzz in an industry that seemed to ignore anything that doesn't come from Apple. One might make the argument that the biggest barrier to the Nexus One’s success is its partnership with T-Mobile, and more specifically, the steep selling price of the device itself, even for those willing to enter into a contract.
At $379 for the vast majority of T-Mobile customers, and $529 for those wanting the phone without a service plan, you are pretty much limiting yourself to the money is no object crowd, along with the geek community.In a move no doubt intended to help boost sales in other market segments, Google has announced it is dropping the price of the Nexus One for T-Mobile subscribers by $100 making the cost a mere $279 per phone. This was the price being offered to new customers, but is now being extended to its existing subscribers as well.
T-Mobile customers who purchased the phone at full price will be issued a $100 credit, and the new price is already in effect. Is $279 enough to make you want a Nexus One? Or is T-Mobile still the deal breaker?
Like most new phones, Google’s new baby the Nexus One is getting off to a rocky start. Numerous people on the Nexus One support forums are reporting spotty 3G service in areas that are supposedly blanketed with 3G. With the smallest 3G footprint of the big four US carriers, you can bet T-Mobile users know exactly where they can find that high-speed goodness.
Specifically, users say that the phone will switch back and forth between 3G and the slower EDGE data in 3G saturated areas. The more unlucky are reporting no 3G at all. Some users have even gone so far as to put their Nexus One SIM card in another T-Mobile phone to prove that Google’s new device isn’t connecting to the available 3G network. There are even some pics of other T-Mobile devices with 3G right next to a Nexus one rocking EDGE.
Just today we’re getting word that T-Mobile and Google have acknowledged a possible issue affecting a “small number” of customers. T-Mobile says to hold tight while they look into it. Anyone out there have a Nexus One? Any issues?
It looks like the pricing details for the Nexus One Android phone have been leaked. Gizmodo is reporting that the handset will indeed be sold by Google, unlocked for $530. T-Mobile will subsidize the phone down to $180 with a two year contract, but it will still be sold through Google. So clearly, Google will not be selling the phone at cost or giving it away as some had speculated. This bit isn’t all that surprising, assuming the information is correct.
What is strange are some of the rules for purchase. First, there’s only one plan, the $39.99 Even More + Text + Web for $79.99 total cost. If you are on a family plan, Flexpay, SmartAccess, or KidConnect plan, you must purchase the phone for the full $530 unsubsidized price. Only 5 Nexus One phones can be purchased per Google account. Not that that would stop you from making more accounts. Weirdly, you also have to acknowledge in the terms of sale that the phone is made by HTC, not Google.
Finally, if you opt for the subsidy and cancel the account before 120 days have elapsed, you have to pay the difference between the subsidized and unsubsidized price. If that isn’t workable, you can return the phone to Google. This charge is authorized at the time of purchase. If these details turn out to be accurate, are you interested? More importantly, do you buy that this is the real deal pricing?
Relying on an anonymous tipster, Engadget is reporting that the Nexus One will come equipped with Android 2.1, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.1 2.1 (and A2DP Stereo Bluetooth), a digital compass, an accelerometer, a 5-megapixel camera with a 2X zoom, 512MB of memory, and a 4GB Micro SD card. It will be able to handle JPEG, GIF, and BMP images; MP3, MIDI, XMF, iMelody, Ogg Vorbis, and WAVE audio; and MPEG-4, H.264 AVC video. No word on what talk and standby times are. The Nexus One will be for use only on GSM/EDGE systems (and will be quad-band). (Engadget posted a full set of specs, if you too can’t wait for Christmas morning.)
But, it probably matters little, because there’s not going to be one under your tree, now or any time soon. Engadget also reports that the initial round of sales of the Nexus One will be by “invitation” only. Whose to get the invites Engadget doesn’t know. But they do say that T-Mobile, at some point in the future, will be offering the Nexus One for sale.
In the wake of a major service outage a few weeks ago, fourth place US carrier T-Mobile may be shopping around for investment money from another US cell provider. Compared to the other US carriers, T-Mobile has a very small 3G footprint. Recognizing a need to expand, rumors indicate that parent company Deutsche Telekom is courting the likes of MetroPCS, Clearwire, and even AT&T.
Any of these investors would receive a small stake in T-Mobile in exchange for investment to expand their network. MetroPCS is of particular interest as the smaller carrier uses the same odd 1700Mhz 3G frequency that T-Mobile does. Collaboration with AT&T would be risky due to possible anti-trust allegations. AT&T is the only other GSM carrier in the US.
Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile UK was recently forced to merge with Orange UK. Could their US arm be headed in the same direction?
This certainly isn’t the kind of publicity the fourth place cell carrier in the US wants. As of now, the entire nationwide T-Mobile network is down. Complaints began flooding twitter and forums this afternoon from all over the country. Users are reporting that their phones show the expected signal, but no calls or data are available. Curiously, calls routed through Google Voice are working as expected.
When the complaints reached a fever pitch shortly ago, T-Mobile released a statement. “T-Mobile customers may be experiencing service disruptions impacting voice and data. Our rapid response teams have been mobilized to restore service as quickly as possible. We will provide updates as more information is available,” said a T-Mobile representative.
We at MaximumPC have confirmed for ourselves by ringing a few associates on T-Mobile. Sure enough, the angelic voices of our friends and neighbors were replaced by a busy signal every time. This matches reports from elsewhere. Hopefully details will emerge later on the exact cause. If you’re a T-Mobile user, can you confirm you have no service?
T-Mobile, alongside Chinese telecoms manufacturer Huawei, has completed the first tests of a long-term evolution (LTE) self-organizing network (SON).
Huawei brought the SON technology to the table and integrated it with T-Mobiles already existing Enodebs to create a new type of network functionality, automatic neighbor relation. This essentially implements a network “buddy system” where base stations work together to modify the network topology in real-time for the best network-wide performance.
"As a pioneer in the development of next-generation mobile network, T-Mobile marked the next step in testing future technology with our test network in Innsbruck (Austria),” said Rüdiger Köster, technology director of T-Mobile Austria.
Mobile data networks have been slammed with criticism as they have failed to keep up with the epic demand of smart and cell phone growth. This technology is important to create scalable mobile networks that meet the demands of future devices and services.
There’s a lot of wisdom in 60s rock ballads. Take The Lovin’ Spoonful, for example: “Did you ever have to make up your mind? Pick up on one and leave the other behind?” So it goes with cell phone contracts. It’s not just the agony of being locked into a one- or two-year deal, it’s also having giving up on what might have been. T-Mobile hopes to lessen the pain a bit with a contract-free unlimited plan.
In most cases if you are uncommitted cell phone providers won’t do you any favors. Its either pay-as-you-go, or a restricted prepaid monthly allotment of minutes with big penalties for going over. T-Mobile, however, will give you unlimited voice, text messaging, and web surfing for $79.99 a month. This is a 20 percent discount over the standard unlimited monthly fee. But, and there’s always a catch, you have to bring your own phone to the party. T-Mobile will also offer a $50 per month unlimited option for those who only want voice.
Reuters reports that neither Verizon or Vodafone weren’t impressed by T-Mobile’s move, and have no plans to follow suit.
Remember when T-Mobile's G1 was being billed as a potential iPhone killer? Powered by Google's Android platform, the open-source mobile OS was supposed to usher in the end of the iPhone OS era, and who knows, maybe someday it still will. But it won't be on the G1 (otherwise known as the HTC Dream), the chunky alternative that misses the mark of mobile greatness. But while the G1 might leave a lot to be desired out of the box, power users who aren't afraid to take matters into their own hands have the ability to significantly enhance the handset's capabilities.
On the following pages, we're going to show you how to hack your G1 the easy way so you can do things with your phone that other G1 owners only wish they could, like install apps to an SD card. And for you old school traditionalists who like to get your hands dirty, we'll also show how you to root your G1 the old fashioned way and wade through all the necessary code step-by-painstaking-step. After it's all said and done, we'll cover some of the most popular third-party ROMs and tell you which one we're rolling with.
Are you ready to hack? Grab your G1 and hit the jump to get started!