Verizon plans to disable the HTC Thunderbolt’s hotspot feature after what they called a “promotion” for free tethering ends. Tethering, the feature on smartphones that allow customers to use their carriers as internet hotspots for notebook, desktop and tablet computers, in the opinion of Verizon, is a service that is chargeable.
Many find the fee to be ridiculous, as some sort of backdoor way of charging customers an extra fee–piling on top of the relinquishing of unlimited data plans. It appears as yet another way for Verizon to skim money off the top. They are crossing a boundary. No longer does it seem like they have the customers’ best interests in mind. Rather, Verizon comes off as trying to increase their bottom line.
Tethering is a feature that every Android device is born with. To truncate the customers ability to tether, or charging them for the practice comes off as over the top. Many Verizon Wireless and AT&T customers feel that they’re rights are being stepped on.
Tethering in its simplest definition is a usage of data. Because customers now have to pay for that data, ranging from $30-$80 dollars for an allocated amount of bytes, they should have the right to decide how they use that data. Verizon and AT&T believe that they can charge the data you already payed for by adding an extra charge to Tethering.
Verizon has confirmed that on July 7th they will abandon unlimited data plans for smartphones.
This announcement is hardly surprising. The news had been rumored about for quite some time now, despite what little specific information was available. Verizon confirmed those specifics with their announcement today.
Verizon data plans will now cost a fee–rising in price per GB or KB. For $30, Verizon customers can get 2 GB. If you wanted to go to 5 GB, that’ll cost you $50. 10 GB? $80. Users that go above the limit they register with will be charged a penalty of $10 per GB of over-usage.
It is important to note that this plan will only be introduced to new Verizon customers. Existing customers can keep their old plans–even allowed to upgrade their phones without any problem. This, however, does not apply to Verizon’s new policy of charging for unlimited LTE Hotspot usage. New and old customers alike will be charged for that service, roughly $20 per 2GB.
Google’s newest mobile device, the Nexus 4G, is expected to pack quite the punch. Google is hoping to reach the outer limits of mobile technology and pound out some real success against all other competitors. It will sport the long-awaited Android 4, the most fresh mobile OS out there. The device will feature the “monster-sized” 720p HD resolution button-less touchscreen, officially pushing the Nexus 4G to supernova status. That’s just the paint job. Look under the hood and you’ll see the equivalent of a “souped-up diesel”.
The Google Nexus 4G will feature a next-generation dual-core 1.2GHz or 1.5GHz CPU by Qualcomm, that according to a source with BGR (Boy Genius Report). Additionally, it is expected to run the 4G LTE, have a camera on the front and the rear and a GB of RAM.
The carrier for the device is still unknown. The Nexus One had some trouble with Verizon in the past, though I am sure that will not be an issue this time around. One can expect AT&T to be on board. Verizon will probably join the fray not much later.
Also, even though Jonathan Geller of BGR wrote that “[its] going to be an absolute beast”, we still have to come to the realization that this model may be just one of the many devices that will come out in the coming months sporting the new Android 4 OS. That being said, the Nexus 4G may temporarily be a precursor to later Android models and the like.
However the Nexus 4G leaves little doubt to what amounts to another step forward in the smartphone industry.
Apple has unlocked the iPhone 4 and it is now available for purchase. The starting price for the the device is $650. The 32 GB model will be sold for $750. For the first time ever, U.S. buyers will be able to purchase the unlocked phone. In the past, this benefit had only been available to other countries.
The iPhone 4 will be available in two colors–black and white. The carriers for the device will be AT&T and T-mobile. If users want to avoid said carriers, there are ways to do this. If you are able to go with a regional GSM carrier, that may be an available option–though it is important to verify if GSM is available in your location. Another option would be to go with carrier locked CDMA-based iPhone 4 with Verizon. Both options would open users to 3G speeds, so those of you who are unwilling to participate in AT&T’s growing enterprise cannot be harmed for opting out. AT&T plans to purchase T-mobile soon, so options are getting slim nonetheless.
For users that will stick with AT&T, it is important to note that a microSIM card will not be in the unlocked iPhone. Therefore, you will have to hope that AT&T provides one to you–it remains unclear if they plan to offer prepaid microSIMs. The unlimited talk and text plan will cost you $85 a month. Its counterpart, T-mobile, will offer a similar plan for $70 a month. T-mobile does not offer prepaid microSIMs. A solution around not having a microSIM is as easy as going to an AT&T store or T-Mobile store and having a representative cut down a regular-size SIM card to microSIM specifications.
If you plan on getting an unlocked iPhone 4, it may be a little tedious to set-up and will no doubt affect those that have to get over the learning curve for such processes. However, if that’s not the case for you, enjoy!
Wal-mart will sell Apple’s iPhone 4 for $147 at all its locations. This deal will only be around for a limited time, ending at the end of the month.
The deal is only for the 16 MB iPhone 4 and requires a two year contract. The 32MB iPhone 4, a retail value of $299, will not be included in the deal. The iPhone will be available for both AT&T and Verizon Wireless customers. However, the devices will be returning to their regular retail value of $199 after the July 1st deadline. If interested in the deal, there may be some relevant information yet to come out about the availability of the mobile devices.
A spokeswoman for Wal-mart, Tara Raddohl, indicated that there is imbalance in the amount of AT&T devices to their counterpart Verizon Wireless. Currently 2,200 Wal-mart stores sell the AT&T devices while only 600 provide the model for Verizon Wireless. Ms. Raddohl says that the imbalance will be addressed soon. She also indicated that the Walmart stores selling iPhones are the only ones participating. Therefore, it is important to make sure your local Wal-mart sells them. The deal is not available on the Wal-mart website.
Originally, I believed the cut price to be a result of an announcement for the iPhone 5 at the WWDC. Previous iPhone models usually were released by this point in the year. However such an announcement never occurred. Indeed, when iPhone 5 is released the value of the iPhone 4 should fall to its discounted price–a policy that has been in place for previous models since its onset.
Alas, this is only a Wal-mart decision. Wal-mart hopes to maintain their image as a business that can provide discounted products to its customers. Providing discounted Apple products, with their obvious popularity, will help garner more attention and add to that reputation.