Verizon today announced the upcoming availability of the Compaq Mini CQ10-688nr netbook. What makes this netbook special is that it will be the first to use Verizon's 4G LTE network so customers can stream videos, video chat, and download music, movies, and photos on the go without having to hunt down a Wi-Fi hotspot. Verizon says customers will also have access to HP's CloudDrive, a digital filing cabinet for uploading or downloading files.
Verizon Wireless needed a way to entice potential iPhone 4 customers to choose Verizon over AT&T, and offering an unlimited data plan was a heck of a carrot. It's also one that can't be sustained. Verizon CFO Francis Shammo confirmed as much when, speaking at a Morgan Stanley investor conference this week, he revealed plans to close the all-you-can-eat data buffet.
Don't know what to do with your old smartphone now that you've upgraded to a slick device sporting a Snapdragon processor? You could toss it in the garbage, though that won't earn you any brownie points with Mother Nature. Or you could take advantage of Verizon Wireless' new Trade-In Program.
"By using the Verizon Wireless Trade-In Program, you are disposing of your device in a simple, safe, and easy way! Look no further to trade in your used device...we accept all devices, regardless of wireless carrier or model," Verizon says.
Verizon Wireless set up a site where you can appraise your device, and if it has any value, you'll receive a gift card by mail. If it isn't worth anything, you can still send it to the company for recycling.
The death of the Microsoft Kin was a blow to us all, but if you find yourself simply unable to cope with this grief on your own, know that you have options. An intrepid member of the Kin community has setup a memorial site for the recently deceased feature phone platform, and gives visitors the opportunity to light a candle in memory of what could have been.
Many grief stricken visitors commented that the Kin will see far more fame in death than it ever did in life, and we are forced to agree. Regardless of whether or not the Kin was actually a decent phone, its death will go down in history as yet another blemish on a company that continues to struggle with its mobile strategy.
R.I.P Kin, born May 13th 2010, passed away June 30th at the ripe old age of 0.
Microsoft's pseudo-smartphone, the Kin, was just launched six weeks ago, and it looks like its days might already be numbered. In a statement Redmond has confirmed that the Kin phones will not be rolling out to Europe as planned, and the entire Kin team is to be integrated into the Windows Phone 7 team. This is also where Microsoft will be focusing their efforts.
The Kin was the spiritual successor to the Sidekick, and was in development for a number of years. The operating system was designed as vertical experience built around social networking. There were no games, and some features (like a calendar and IM) were missing. The launch was plagued by pricing issues. Both the hardware and the monthly service were judged as too expensive by many. Verizon Wireless charges the full smartphone data rate of $30 per month for the Kin phones.
There were rumors that only a few hundred Kins were sold, but Microsoft never confirmed that. At the end of Microsoft's official statement, they say that they "will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones." It's not clear if that means they will just be selling off inventory. Is it best that Microsoft cuts their losses, or should they have iterated the software before giving up?
Despite the cancellation of the Verizon Nexus One, Big Red is looking like a very Android-friendly carrier as of late. This is especially true given the news that the nation's second largest carrier is working with Google to deliver an Android-powered tablet. This has been confirmed by Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam. Elaborating further McAdam said, " "We're working on tablets together, for example. We're looking at all the things Google has in its archives that we could put on a tablet to make it a great experience."
Verizon did not disclose any sort of timeline or details for the tablet. In an interview with Bloomberg, Verizon's VP of corporate communications said more information about the Android-based tablet will be disclosed later this week. Do you think an Android tablet can compete with the iPad?
If you are going to be tracked no matter what, you might as well have some fun while it’s being done. To that end, Verizon Wireless has introduced an upgrade to VZ Navigator, version 5.0, which does just that.
According to 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.” This new version will be available right away for users of the BlackBerry Curve 8530, the LG enV TOUCH, the HTC Touch Pro2, and the Samsung Omnia.
New to version 5.0 are streamlined maps for faster navigation start-ups, enhanced points of interest, real-time traffic information and road alerts, and voice integration. Roadside assistance is available. And version 5.0 will also let you tap into social networks, such as Facebook, allowing you to share your location information with family and friends in real-time.
No surprise here--Verizon charges for the service: $9.99 per month for unlimited use, or $2.99 for one-day/24 hour use (on certain devices). Verizon says that download charges vary, and airtime or megabyte charges may apply when using.
A leak of new training materials today have indicated that Verizon Wireless will be making some changes to its plans starting January 18th. First off, Verizon is getting rid of the all-inclusive Premium Plan. Big Red is also dropping the prices of their unlimited plans by 30%. This actually places the cost for unlimited minutes below that of AT&T.
Verizon is making some changes to their data plans as well. The carrier is going to offer a new 25MB data package for $9.99 per month, but the full $29.99 data plan is still required for smartphones. The new cheaper data plan is geared toward so-called “Multimedia Phones”, which will now require customers to purchase this plan. This seems to be a category Verizon has just made up, and includes handsets like the Chocolate Touch, the enV3, Moto Entice, and Nokia Twist among others.
While we’re happy to see the big price drop in unlimited plans, the new required data plans for some feature phones is disappointing. Do you think it’s reasonable?
It’s no secret that Android is gaining momentum. The release of the Droid on Verizon and the upcoming Nexus One announcement have gotten people’s attention in a big way. A recent survey by ChangeWave shows us just how much Android’s star has risen in the last few months. With the millions Verizon has spent on advertising the Droid, this shouldn’t be too surprising.
In December, ChangeWave asked 4068 consumers that planned on purchasing a smartphone in the next 90 days which mobile platform they would like to purchase. They found that 21% of people planned to get an Android phone, up from only 6% in September. The iPhone still won out with 28%, but that’s down a few points from the last survey. Android’s 15-point jump seems to have also come at the expense of Windows Mobile and Palm’s WebOS, both down 3%. Blackberry weathered the Android storm well, and actually saw a small uptick in the December numbers.
Google’s brand and Verizon’s marketing seem to be combining to lure in consumers. While the iPhone isn’t about to be knocked off by Android, Palm is hanging on by a thread. Just a year ago Palm was the underdog darling of CES 2009, but they may have to pull another rabbit out of their mobile hat to make it to 2011.
When you’re ready to step up to the world of cellular broadband connections, there are lots of options. The removable PC Card, USB, and ExpressCard modems deliver great performance and work with pretty much any PC, but they’ll connect only one machine at a time to the Internet—that is, unless you can successfully set up connection sharing in Windows. And while we love the always-on nature of modems integrated in notebooks, their permanent association to a single machine makes the external cards seem positively promiscuous by comparison. Enter the MiFi 2200.
Inside this tiny device—it’s about the same size as a stack of six credit cards—is not only a 3G wireless modem, but also a Wi-Fi access point and a battery to power the whole thing. That’s right, the MiFi 2200 lets you and four of your closest pals connect to the Internet anywhere there’s a 3G cell signal. We tested the MiFi with two computers and a Wi-Fi-enabled phone and were pleased with the results. The battery-powered MiFi seems designed to work with PCs that are no more than 10 feet away. While we had signal further out in some test environments, we found it worked best up close.