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Even though AT&T is working on acquiring T-Mobile, if you live in Seattle you will want to continue reading this post. This weekend, T-Mobile stores in the Seattle area are going to hold a speed contest. If you own an Apple iPhone on either Verizon or AT&T, you can win a quick $1,000. It’s a brilliant marketing strategy because it gets customers of competing carriers to open the door to T-Mobile and to have a look at the latest Android 4G phones. It will be interesting to see if T-Mobile can convert anyone who owns an iPhone over to an Android device since we know that speed isn’t the only reason consumers select one device over another.
To win the cash, your Apple iPhone needs to beat the T-Mobile Galaxy S smartphone on the T-Mobile 4G network. The rules clearly state you can’t use the WiFi option on the iPhone, it must be on the 3G network. Additionally, the rules state, “Speed challenge consists of three tests of the Galaxy S 4G versus the iPhone based solely on download speeds as measured by the Application; participants will be eligible to receive $1,000 if their iPhones are faster in two out of the three tests.”
I am sure some of the gadget blogs will create some good 3G routines which you can use to get your iPhone ready for the competition!
I wonder what odds Vegas gives to a 3G phone beating a 4G phone in terms of download speed.
T-Mobile, the company that might be acquired by AT&T for $39 billion, posted on their Facebook page that tonight beginning at 9pm Pacific (that’s midnight for you Yankees fans and 10pm for all of your hook’em horns fans), they will provide web-only specials on two of their 4g smartphones. There are some questions on the Facebook posting whether the deals will be valid for existing customers or only for new customers – no official reply as of yet.
It looks like T-Mobile currently has three 4g smartphones: the myTouch 4G, Samsung Galaxy S and the T-Mobile G2.
TalkAndroid is also reporting that, beginning tomorrow, T-Mobile will offer two new unlimited plans. T-Mobile will offer a $59.99 pre-paid unlimited Even More Plus plan and a $79.99 unlimited Even More plan for two-year contracts.
What I’ve noticed in my shopping research as I look to get a new phone (although this LG Optimus isn’t bad!) is that Amazon and other online shops offer much better deals than going directly through the carriers especially if you want the latest and greatest Android smartphone.
AT&T (NYSE: T) has announced plans to acquire the United States edition of T-Mobile for $39 billion. The transaction will be made up of $25 billion in cash plus the balance in AT&T common stock. The announcement notes that the price could vary slightly to make sure that Deutsche Telekom receives at least a 5 percent equity ownership interest in AT&T. Both boards have approved the deal – now it will get some U.S. government review.
The cash portion of the deal will be financed from new debt and cash on the AT&T balance sheet.
Couple notes from the acquisition release:
- “With this transaction, AT&T commits to a significant expansion of robust 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) deployment to 95 percent of the U.S. population to reach an additional 46.5 million Americans beyond current plans”
- “As part of the transaction, Deutsche Telekom will receive an equity stake in AT&T that, based on the terms of the agreement, would give Deutsche Telekom an ownership interest in AT&T of approximately 8 percent. A Deutsche Telekom representative will join the AT&T Board of Directors.”
People I talked to at SXSW who use T-Mobile seem to like the service but I rarely hear of people using T-Mobile. Typically I hear of AT&T, Verizon and Sprint as carriers when I talk to our customers and/or startups showing me their mobile apps.
Update: I like Brett Nordquist’s comment, “Congratulations to Apple for bringing the iPhone to T-Mobile.”
Update 2: CNBC money guy Jim Cramer noted, “Tacit admission that $T needed more infrastructure to handle its business…”
Shortly after the first iPhone hit the market, I purchased one and returned it just 20 days later. The device was lovely except that in my Manhattan apartment I had no phone coverage. I decided to switch to Sprint and frankly I can’t remember the last time I had a dropped call or poor coverage. I’ve used my phone with Sprint across the U.S. and the coverage has been great – even at SXSW where there have always been fears about poor AT&T coverage (apparently this year provided better coverage).
One of the reasons I am fearful of switching carriers to get an Android device is because of the coverage issues. I have no idea how strong T-Mobile or Verizon is in the area I live and the locations I visit.
The Wall Street Journal has a very interesting set of diagrams which plot good and bad cell reception around the NYC metro area. The Wall Street Journal created the diagrams from data on dropped and unsuccessful calls compiled by the Nielsen Co., which sends out equipment-filled vans to make 140,000 test calls a year across the five boroughs, Long Island, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut.
Apparently the NYC metro region has a success rate of 97% which is lower than other major cities. “Typically, they’ve (the carriers) overinvested in New York,” says Nielsen analyst Roger Entner. “It’s the media and investment banks they want to keep happy.”
Unfortunately the Nielsen report doesn’t break the data out by carrier. I guess cell service today is similar to the early days of cable/dsl – too many people wanting to share the pipe and the service providers weren’t adding more pipes quick enough. Now we are all pushing mobile usage to the highest levels ever recorded and carriers are working to keep up with customer demand – both in quantity of devices and usage from each device.
You can find all of the WSJ diagrams here.
I’ve finally started the hunt for the replacement to my Samsung ACE WinMo mobile device. From what I’ve seen, I think an Android device is what will suit my needs best. As a deal hunter level 7, here’s a list of the best deals that I have found to-date on the latest Android devices. Naturally I should have attended Google IO which would have provided me with a free EVO that I would have used unlike the many attendees who got a free $700 gift from Google after they sold their phones on Craigslist.
You can pre-order the HTC EVO 4G at Best Buy or Radio Shack for $199 with no rebates. There appears to be a $10 coupon floating around that can be used at Radio Shack to bring the price down to $189. There’s also talk that if you are a current Sprint customer without a plan (like me) you can get a $70 renewal credit which would bring the price down to $129. It’s important to note that the EVO requires an extra $10 monthly fee for the 4G data service.
The Incredible is also a hot Android device – just check out our Incredible review for all of the device details. The Incredible is available at Wirefly for $149 but is backordered 2-3 weeks. The device is available directly from Verizon for $199 and you might be able to apply the coupon code DEALPRO to save 10%. Verizon is currently showing a ship date of June 16, 2010. If you are on the “new every 2″ plan with Verizon, the Incredible is available for approximately $150.
I’ve received several calls over the past few hours that there are outage and service down issues currently with mobile provider T-Mobile. I haven’t been able to reach a close friend of mine this evening – all I get when I call him is a fast busy signal. He just sent me the following message from T-Mobile customer service:
Important message for T-Mobile customers
Some T-Mobile customers may be experiencing intermittent service disruptions impacting calls and messages.
Our rapid response teams have been mobilized to restore service as quickly as possible.
There is a thread on the T-Mobile support forums noting, “Issues began at approximately 5:30 p.m. Eastern time.” The forums say that it could take as long as 24 hours to get service restored.
Update: T-Mobile says that all service has been restored. You may now continue making your calls and telling the world on twitter that you had a turkey sandwich for dinner.
I currently own a Samsung Ace mobile phone which runs Windows Mobile and is on the Sprint network. I love the phone – it does everything I need a mobile to do. Sure it doesn’t have a huge screen and it hasn’t helped me pick up any women like the iPhone apparently does, but it works great. I use the awesome Skyfire mobile browser for the web and unlike many, I don’t use Twitter or Facebook on my phone.
My contract with Sprint is coming to an end soon and I am considering what my next mobile device might be. I haven’t had much time to read any reviews of the latest devices. I do see a ton of advertising on television for three specific devices: Palm Pre (Sprint), Droid (Verizon), and the MyTouch3G (T-Mobile). I’d like to share my thoughts about what I’ve learned about the three devices solely based on the television advertising. I have never used any of these devices.
Continue reading “Commercial Smackdown: Pre vs. Droid vs. MyTouch3G” »