Tag Archives | Verizon

A Really Big Droid

Engadget’s Joanna Stern got her hands on Verizon’s upcoming, unannounced Droid X. With a 4.4″ display, it looks like a handful indeed, and a neat one–Verizon and Motorola’s answer to Sprint and HTC’s EVO 4G. I don’t expect supersized phone displays to completely take over–too many people want a smaller device-but I’d love to own a phone with one someday. Wonder if there’s even the slightest chance of Apple unveiling an iPhone 4XL?


Verizon Plans FiOS IPTV Service

Verizon is in the early phases of deploying an Internet Protocol television (IPTV) system in a move to bring its FiOS brand to the Web, according to a well-placed source within the company. The service will extend beyond PCs to gaming consoles.

While I was was not given any timetable for the service’s arrival, Verizon is operating under a sense of urgency. “We are late to the game,” my source told me. Internal testers at Verizon are already using the service, including software for Sony’s PlayStation 3. A Verizon spokesperson said that the company did not comment on “rumor or speculation.”

“Verizon is a clear leader in video entertainment innovation, and as such, we are always looking at new ways to transform and enrich the user experience,” the spokesperson said. “Consider all of the features and services that FiOS introduced first: widgets; online video programming, including HBO Go, EPIX and last week’s announcement that we’ll be launching Turner networks online in June; social media (Facebook and Twitter) and Internet Videos (YouTube, Dailymotion, etc.) on TV, and more…”

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AT&T-iPhone: Five Year Exclusive Confirmed

Sitting around waiting for a Verizon iPhone and checking the Web every five minutes to see if it’s here yet? You might want to chill. Engadget’s Nilay Patel is reporting about a 2008 legal document that confirms that Apple’s original 2007 agreement with AT&T involved five years of iPhone exclusivity. Contracts, of course, are fungible things. So it’s not inconceivable that we’ll see a Verizon iPhone of some sort before 2012.  But if it takes another couple of years–or more–before the iPhone lands on Verizon, now we know why…


Palm Prices Plunge

Wow. When I wrote about Palm’s Pre Plus on Verizon one month ago, it was $150 (after a $100 rebate) on a two year contract, and the Mobile Hotspot feature was $40 a month. Now the Pre Plus is $50, and Mobile Hotspot is free. (The Pe Plus’s little sibling, the Pixi Plus, is $30.) The price cuts make the nifty Pre Plus one of the best bargains in smartphones–maybe the best buy.


Verizon’s Getting Ready for the iPhone, Just in Case

If the iPhone is really no longer an AT&T exclusive in the new year as many analysts are now suggesting and/or predicting, at least one carrier doesn’t want to get caught with its pants down. Verizon Wireless says it has made the changes it would need to make to its network in order to handle what would obviously be a new surge in data traffic.

Better to be safe than sorry, I guess?

Quite a surprising statement considering the company is spending quite a bit of money putting down Apple in its “Droid Does” ads that we’ve all been getting peppered with for the past two months plus. But in a way it’s not because Verizon has watched as AT&T’s network problems have become a serious liability to the company, “Operation Chokehold” notwithstanding.

“Absolutely, I think we could handle it,” Verizon Wireless CTO Anthony Melone told BusinessWeek in an interview. Now, lets not get the story twisted here: Melone is not saying there is any deal yet, but its pretty much common knowledge that the two sides have at least discussed possible partnerships in the past.

Verizon has gone the opposite way of AT&T over the past several years in investing in network infrastructure, spending about $19 billion on the network itself over the past three years. As Gizmodo points out, AT&T’s spending since the iPhone launch on the network itself has actually decreased.

With Verizon readily talking about it’s iPhone readiness, I wonder if T-Mobile USA will start making overtures as well. The carrier has been mentioned much more often recently as a logical next carrier for the device, as it would take minimal changes (adding TMUS’ 1700MHz band to the 3G chip of the iPhone) for it to work.

Going to Verizon — and CDMA — requires a much more involved rework of the device. Going to be an interesting 2010 in iPhoneland, that’s for sure.


Department of Misleading Headlines

Scott Moritz, at TheStreet.com:

Um, read the story, and you’ll find it presents no evidence that Apple is contemplating a T-Mobile deal. All you get is an analyst speculating that Verizon isn’t going to get the iPhone soon, and speculating that if Apple wants to end AT&T’s iPhone exclusivity it might logically cut a deal with T-Mobile. But it’s all guesswork.

The analyst says that he expects that a Verizon iPhone will appear only in 2011, and that it’ll use a 4G LTE data connection rather than Verizon’s current EVDO network. Sounds logical enough. If you assume that Verizon’s current spree of iPhone bashing means it’s not going to announce an Apple deal immediately, it feels more and more likely that Apple and Verizon will skip the dead-end technology an EVDO iPhone would bring and jump directly to an LTE model. And it’s going to be 2011 before an LTE iPhone makes sense.

Or so I think. I cheerfully concede that I could be wrong. Which is why this post isn’t titled “No Verizon iPhone Until 2011…”


Apple Fights Back Against Verizon Ads

Nobody likes being compared to a misfit toy. So it’s not surprising that a couple of new iPhone ads feel like indirect responses to Verizon’s recent iPhone/AT&T attack ads (here they are in a John Paczkowski post at All Things Digital).

Unlike Verizon and AT&T’s own salvos so far, Apple’s are snark-free. (I’m not sure if there’s any secret explanation, but Apple’s Mac ads are about 90% snark and its iPhone ones are relentlessly upbeat.) The new iPhone spots just point out an excellent feature of the AT&T network that’s easy to miss unless you know it’s there: You can make a call and use the Internet at the same time. Which I do frequently, and which I’d miss if I switched to Verizon…


Droid Arrives Next Week

droidVerizon has stopped teasing us about its upcoming Android-based Droid phone and made it official: The Motorola phone goes on sale a week from Friday. It runs Android 2.0, has a slide-out keyboard and a 5 megapixel camera with flash, and comes bundled with a 16GB MicroSD card. It also has a beta version of the first edition of Google Maps to do turn-by-turn navigation. (Imagine what’ll happen to the navigation industry if every phone version of Google Maps does that for free.)

Droid is $199 on a two-year contract after a $100 rebate, which is pretty much the price it needs to be to be competitive with the iPhone 3GS.

Here’s a video from Google on Android 2.0, which looks like it’ll be a significant advance on the nice-but-sorta-spartan first version of the OS:

I haven’t seen a Droid in the flesh yet, but early buzz on the phone is exceptional. The only truly great next-generation smartphones to come along so far are the iPhone and the Palm Pre; on paper, at least, it sounds like there’s a chance the Droid will join them.


The Droid Revealed, Sorta

Phone ubersite The Boy Genius Report has its hands on Verizon/Motorola’s upcoming Droid phone–in non-final form–and says it’s not only the most impressive Android phone to date but also the most impressive new phone since the iPhone. The site hasn’t posted a review, but it’s got a photo gallery up. Like many (most?) smartphones, the Droid looks a lot like an iPhone at first glance. But its big screen slides up to reveal the physical QWERTY keyboard that the iPhone lacks, and probably will always lack.

I’ve grown reasonably adept with the iPhone’s keyboard, but still find physical QWERTY desirable–I’m still looking for a smartphone with input as good as what I had on my Psion Series 5 more than a decade ago, and I’ve said that my ideal phone might be a Palm Pre that ran the iPhone OS. Also, the one thing that almost nobody remembers about on-screen keyboards is that they take up space; the iPhone will never be a top-notch pocketable word processor, because you can only see a little bit of your document as you type. Phones with physical keyboards can devote all their pixels to information rather than virtual keys.

Boy Genius says they like the Droid’s keyboard, and while it’s impossible to judge a tiny keyboard based on a photo alone, there’s nothing about the first views of the Droid’s keyboard that’s alarming. It could be good…