Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This Week's Smartphone News

Ok here is what happened this week:

ATT buying T-Mobile - in one of the wackiest strategies - ATT makes an attempt to enlarge their spectrum to afford them the ability to develop a stronger LTE product and bolster network availability for 3G. The AWS spectrum which T-Mobile has is valuable space which ATT does not have have currently. In getting this frequency spectrum, AT&T can deliver a national 4G band which will not contend with existing traffic on their existing UMTS Bands 850 and 1900 Mhz. Currently 3G is shooting out over the 1900 I believe so that there is a penetration problem right now with buildings for the high speed data. Verizon is using 700 Mhz which it has clear use of and lower frequency often allows better building penetration to allow use of the 4G indoors with more success.

ATT - release of LG Thrill: this is ATT's holy grail device with dual core TI Omap 1 Ghz with dual channel dual memory and 3d. This phone may have a high density display since prelim specs show an 800 x 480 QVGA resolution. It will have the potential for HDMI 1080p video out with 2d and likely 720 p for 3d output. Of interest is that this ATT handset has the ability to hit the AWS 3g band which should offer exceptional 3G speeds which are not currently available for most ATT users in US (thanks to T-Mobile's network).

Verizon - sitting pretty with the Thunderbolt now released and we are now waiting for VZW's dual core android - the Droid Bionic. Slated for April 21st release, this motorola branded set will have an nVidia Tegra 2 processor with 1 Ghz Clock. It also has a 1980 mAh battery so it would seem that the manufacturer knows it is going to be a power hungry device. Sadly there is a likely bottleneck in the design as there is not a dual channel memory scheme so the dual core procs may not yield full potential. The qHD display is a plus (960 x 540) as is the HDMI 1080p output.

T-Mobile - not daunted by the potential acquisition - as a matter of fact, if the deal does not go through, ATT still pays US T-Mobile $3billion so what the hell... T-Mobile will build out a new HSPA+ network with potential speeds in the 21 Mbs download range. Remember they have that AWS spectrum to push their 4G to the masses. No phone release news at this point but likely soon. T-Mobile announced the new LG T-Mobile G2x which appears to be similar to the AT&T Thrill minus the 3d.

Sprint - well after yesterday's CTIA announcement the tech community is busy writing about the EVO 3d. This devices sports the Qualcomm snapdragon dual core clocked at 1.2 Ghz with the ability to separately clock the cores which is hoped to conserve battery life. This is not as sexy as the dual channel memory architecture of the OMAP processor which is in the LG Optimus 3d (ATT Thrill) but may yield more usability with its 1750 mAh battery. This device also has the ability to to display 3d without glasses like the LG Optimus and HTC has done a great job with the desktop app which allows scrolling through the apps on a carousel in 3d. Of course 3d camera for video and still and HDMI out 2d at 1080p and 3d at 720p. The display is also the next gen qHD (960 x 540) so both of these out gun the Droid Bionic. Finally sprint has partnered with Google in allowing the use of a ported number for Google Voice - what will the world come to next right?

On the tethering front, the news that ATT has sent notification to users regarding wireless hotspot fees has popped up. That means jailbreaking your iphone alone will not prevent you from having to pay for your tethering. ATT messaged users who were using their iphones for tethering without an appropriate tethering plan (about $20/mo with limitations). As far as we know, the other three carriers with android phones have not notified users that they will be billed after the feature is unlocked upon rooting. Will this be coming soon as well?

Oh and the iphone 5? Pushed to Q3 now is the word, possibly to distance the Verizon iphone event...what will it contain? Don't know yet, what do you think?