Tag Archives | T-Mobile

Finally, a Second Android Phone. And a Good One.

myTouchIt’s finally official: T-Mobile has announced it’ll ship the myTouch 3G in early August. It’s the phone that’s also known as the HTC Magic–the second phone based on Google’s Android OS, and the first one that looks to be an impressive handset rather than an intriguing proof of concept. (The G1, the first Android phone is pretty clunky from a hardware standpoint, with battery life that’s iffy at best.)

T-Mobile is playing up the idea that the myTouch will be more customizable than the iPhone, via skins, widgets, and other interface tweaks. I haven’t seen any of these features, but they sound like a logical enough to the question “So remind me again why I should buy this instead of an iPhone?” Which is a query which every non-Apple smartphone must answer explicitly or implicitly. Palm’s Pre does so in part through having a strikingly different form factor than the iPhone; the myTouch looks a bit like a chunkier iPhone (it has a removable battery) with a smaller screen and more buttons and a trackball.

Like TechCrunch’s M.G. Siegler, I’ve been playing with a phone that’s essentially identical to the myTouch from a hardware standpoint–the Google Ion, which Google distributed at its I/O developer conference last month. It’s a pleasing phone that looks good and fits well in the hand–one of HTC’s nicest industrial designs. I still think that Android is a promising platform that’s still in search of major unique benefits to consumers, but perhaps T-Mobile’s customization options will help. In any event, it’s good to see a second Android device come out, even though the OS will only live up to its potential once there are lots of Android phones.

The myTouch will sell for $199 with a two-year T-Mobile contract; that’s the same price as the Pre and the 16GB iPhone 3G S.

Here’s a quick photo of the iPhone 3G S and the Ion–the Ion is black, but the myTouch will come in black, white, or “Merlot.”

iPhone vs. Ion


Busy Summer Ahead for T-Mobile

The folks over at Tmonews have got their hands on a screenshot of a rollout list for June and July for T-Mobile, and by the looks of it it will be a busy month. While most of the news revolves around new phone models, one listing is for a feature that iPhone users have grown to love: visual voicemail.

However it will be done, or what devices it would be available on, is not yet known. But official support for the feature is set for July 16th, and training for employees would begin next month.

It’s likely that we’ll see this functionality on T-Mobile’s smart devices first and foremost, such as the G1, which can already do visual voicemail through a third-party application. I’m sure to compete with the iPhone, T-Mobile will definitely add it to at least the G1 — let’s face it, that’s the intention of the G1 for the carrier.

The phone lineup looks interesting too. The Sony Ericsson CS8 will be the first, an 8.1 megapixel (wow) camera phone launching on June 24, and would be followed by a 3G version of the T-Mobile Dash due on July 1st.

Two new Samsungs would be launched for the “back to school” shopping season, the t469 and t549, both apparently slide out keyboard texting phones (get why they’re the back to school phones? Those crazy texting kids.) due the 15th.

Finally on August 12, the high-end Windows Mobile-powered Rhodium will hit the shelves. Gee, this looks an awful lot like the iPhone with a slide out keyboard, don’t ya think?

It’s worth noting by the way that all these phones are 3G capable. T-Mobile is beginning the push to get its customers into the 21st century. About time, eh?

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NYT: T-Mobile to Use Android in Home Phone, Tablet

Google AndroidT-Mobile has been one of Google’s biggest supporters in the US when it comes to Android. Confidential documents obtained by the New York Times indicate that the carrier plans to take that partnership even further with at least two new devices due to launch in 2010.

The first of the two would be a home phone unit that would plug into a docking station and would have some type of additional device for data synchronization. It sounds very similar to the Hub that Verizon Wireless has begun selling recently.

As for the tablet, it is said to be a 7-inch device without a keyboard. While it’s exact specs are not known, it would likely act much like the netbooks that have seen increasing popularity in recent months.

Spokesperson Peter Dobrow would not confirm the report, but did share that the company plans to release “several” Android devices in the future. It will be interesting to see if T-Mobile’s gamble on Android pays off, if/when the OS takes off.

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T-Mobile’s Changes to Data Plans = Massive Rate Hikes

T-Mobile on Thursday switched some things around concerning its data plans, which in some cases could mean rate increases for some consumers. In addition, it launched its T-Zones replacement, web2go, and is adding a new download marketplace for consumers.

In some cases, the rate increases are rather dramatic. Here’s a rundown:

  • The $19.99 BlackBerry Internet plan jumps to $24.99 with 400 messages, $34.99 with unlimited messaging, at $39.99 without a voice plan, but no messaging (you can do this?),
  • The $19.99 “Total Internet” plan also jumps to $39.99,
  • Sidekick plans skyrocket: from $19.99 to $44.99 with 400 messages, and $54.99 with unlimited messaging.

These are horrific price increases. In every case, the cost of data on a T-Mobile plan is going to double in the least in some cases. The worst thing is while old customers will have their plans grandfathered, you bet the carrier’s going to likely force you to upgrade your plan when you upgrade your phone.

It used to be that T-Mobile was the leader in competitive data pricing. Now the carrier is like everybody else. I have family members on the service (I just switched to AT&T and went through ETF hell with T-Mobile, which I will talk about in a future post). The rest of my family were all staying for the cheap BlackBerry prices. That’s no longer the case.

web2go pricingis a little less clear, but Tmonews has some limited information. It is a replacement for T-Zones. A free version would be available to consumers to download and purchase content as well as view account information as before.

Two plans would be offered for phones that have connectivity as a secondary option – 50MB data and 200 messages or 100MB data and unlimited message, with a 20 cent overage fee per megabyte. All-in-one devices would have two unlimited data options, with a choice of either 400 messsages or unlimited messaging.

(Update: Hat tip to JT in the comments who does note I do have it slightly off here, I’ve corrected.)