Americans no longer have to splurge on the high-end Galaxy Tab Pro or Note Pro if they want a modern Samsung tablet — the more affordable Galaxy Tab 4 range is headed to the US. WiFi versions of the Tab 4 7.0, 8.0 and 10.1 should hit shelves on May 1st at respective prices of $200, $270 and $350. Travelers craving cellular data can expect LTE variants from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon sometime this summer. Pricing hasn’t surfaced for these 4G models, but it’s safe to presume that they’ll carry a premium over their WiFi-only counterparts.
The devices don’t carry the biggest bang for the buck. The Nexus 7 offers a sharper display and overall faster performance, for example. However, the two largest Tab 4 WiFi models cost significantly less than their Tab 3 equivalents did when new — they’re potentially good bargains if you’re not concerned about raw performance.
T-Mobile and MetroPCS on Tuesday confirmed the availability of the LG Optimus L70 and Optimus L90 smartphones. Both were announced earlier in 2014, and feature Android 4.4 KitKat with LG’s custom UI enhancements.
T-Mobile will carry the 4G LTE-ready Optimus L90 starting from April 30 with a full retail price of $228. Broken down over 24 equal monthly payments, users can expect to pay $9.50 per month. Specifications include a 4.7-inch qHD display, quad-core 1.2GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, 2,540mAh battery, and an 8-megapixel/1.3-megapixel camera combo.
The Optimus L70 is sold by MetroPCS for $49 after a $100 instant rebate; a limited promotion sees an extra $49 rebate to those who prepay their bill two months in advance. Specs here include a 4.5-inch (800×400) display, dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 4GB, a 2,100mAh battery, and a 5-megapixel/VGA camera combo.
Orange, T-Mobile and EE have managed to coexist together for a number of years now, despite them all being essentially the same company, and all selling similar services. While Orange and T-Mobile used to be large, established names in their own right, 4G darling EE has understandably become by far the most prominent brand of the trio. High-street stores once coloured orange or magenta have long been redressed to EE’s preference, and as of fairly recently, the online presence of the 3G-only providers has begun to be absorbed by EE. T-Mobile’s site now forwards directly to ee.co.uk, and although Orange’s homepage still exists, you can no longer purchase anything from it directly. Previously only of interest to “technofreaks,” as Vodafone’s CEO once put it, 4G is more or less mainstream. It’s only a matter of time before all major networks begin to retire old 3G plans in order to structure themselves more around 4G, and in EE’s case, this probably means putting Orange and T-Mobile out to pasture.
It took over two years for the EE as we know it to arise from the merger of Orange and T-Mobile. It was business as usual for both brands as they continued to operate separately under new umbrella company Everything Everywhere, but it was their combined, repurposed airwaves (and the blessing of Ofcom) that begat the UK’s first LTE network, months before the spectrum auction competitors needed for their own 4G services. EE was created and marketed as a completely new network selling only 4G plans, which were noticeably expensive at first. Since then, though, prices have dropped, nearly all other UK players have caught up, and most importantly 4G is no longer a buzzword. A much greater proportion of Brits are aware of 4G, and what’s possible with mobile internet that’s comparable in speed to their hardlines at home.
For other networks, launching 4G services was as simple as adding new tariffs. With EE being distinct from Orange and T-Mobile, though, the latter two brands have faded further into the background as they become less relevant to the market. EE aggressively expanding their LTE footprint, increasing spectrum allocation, signing high-profile MVNO contracts, and even having a go at own-brand hardware (as Orange used to) is the only news you’ll hear from a company that’s supposed to be representing three brands. EE absorbed Orange’s broadband business the day 4G launched, and you can bet upgrading 3G customers to 4G was, and still is seen as EE’s greatest opportunity. Much of this captive audience is yet to be converted, however. Of EE’s 27 million plus total customers across all brands, only around 2 million of them are 4G subscribers (as of January this year).
It’s not just a matter of migrating people to 4G plans, but also to a relatively new company. Naturally, Orange and T-Mobile would become less visible as the focus shifts to 4G, and not just because their customers are wanted elsewhere. Maintaining one website, one physical store format, and one brand in general is obviously much easier than doing the same with three, so it’s good business sense to make less work. All this is not to say 3G is going anywhere soon. It’ll be needed for many years to come as a fallback when 4G gets knocked out, and where it doesn’t exist. Some MVNOs, too, will no doubt exist solely to offer low-cost, 3G-only contracts. The retirement of Orange and T-Mobile could even be an opportunity for EE to build a new set of 3G tariffs by cherry-picking what’s worked best on either network.
Despite the reduced online presence of Orange and T-Mobile of late, you can still find out what they have to offer over the phone and in EE stores. They have an eBay shop, too, but this is heavily EE-branded — another example of how the identity of the 3G brands is slowly being superseded (when was the last time you saw anything but EE in your notification bar?). For now, they remain nestled under EE’s wing, but who knows how long they will survive, especially if customer numbers begin to dwindle as more move over to 4G contracts, with EE or elsewhere. There has to be a good few people out there about to finish up two-year contracts they signed for the flagships of 2012, namely the Galaxy S III and iPhone 5. How they, and others looking to renew or upgrade in the near future act will surely steer the fate of Orange and T-Mobile. Or, we should say it’ll have an affect on the timing — the machinery of their demise is arguably already in motion.
Matt Brian contributed to this report.
Filed under: Wireless
Via: The Guardian
Time for some quick Android news that will be in and out of your face before you know it. Evleaks gave us a nice little list of custom back covers for the Moto X+1 that show us the Moto Maker will have a ton of choices for the new device. New Google app icons rumored to be hitting our devices soon, and you can already download them courtesy of the awesome developers in our community. Enjoy the vid!
T-Mobile is at it again folks. They are just becoming the Robin Hood of carriers and I am sure the other carrier giants are hating them to extreme lengths. T-Mobile announced today that they want to put an end to those dreaded overages fees, and this adds to the already $40 Simple Starter plan, and Operation Tablet Freedom plans they announced last week.
Starting in May for your bill in June, overage fees will not be present for Simple Choice plans and the Simple Starter plan. Not only that, T-Mobile is pressuring other carriers to do the same thing, and a petition has been circulating to make this happen. You might have seen the hashtag #AbolishOverages floating around social media today, and John Legere has been reporting on how many signatures they have been collecting throughout the day. You can head over to Change.org to sign the petition.
T-Mobile’s UNCarrier plans keep on changing the game, and AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, are surely loathing the fact that T-Mobile keeps adding the pressure for them to do the same thing. So head over to the petition page to add to the list of signatures. Let us know if you do.
T-Mobile hasn’t quite been as UnCarrier as some would like. Despite the network’s turn toward overage-free service, there’s still occasional chances that you’ll pay extra for heavy use — especially if you’re on a grandfathered plan. That won’t be a problem for long, though, as the carrier will soon rude surprises on your bill from June onward. The move won’t deliver huge savings unless you regularly pay surcharges — and you’ll still have to deal with throttling — but it’s good to have some reassurance that your costs won’t get out of control in the future.
T-Mobile is calling on all wireless providers to put an end to the high fees that pain customers in the event of a data overage. T-Mobile president and CEO John Legere on Monday confirmed that effective June 2014 the carrier will no longer charge overage fees. What’s more, the outspoken leader has called on the other providers to do the same.
“Today I’m laying down a challenge to AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to join T-Mobile in ending these outrageous overage penalties for all consumers – because it’s the right thing to do. Overage fees are flat out wrong.”
If you agree with Legere and want to help put a stop to the fees you can sign a petition on Change.org.
The post T-Mobile ends overage fees, calls for other carriers to do the same appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Happy Friday Android friends. Time to talk a little bit of Android with you. So the Galaxy S5 is available right now in some countries. Only a couple more days before you guys in the States can get yours. The LG G3 got a screenshot leak of its UI, but LG still doesn’t want to talk about it. Silly OEMs. Enjoy the show!
I’m sure most people envy John Legere; the CEO of T-Mobile is basically the coolest company figurehead you could ever ask for, and to top it off, T-Mobile continues to do some amazing things with their offered services which are making the other American networks feel a bit nervous. We’ve seen Legere repeatedly wear attire with Batman logos which most executives wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole while in public, but exactly how cool is Mr. Legere? Well, HTC America thinks he’s cool enough to be gifted their new flagship smartphone, the HTC One M8. But not just any ordinary, silver One M8 either; specifically a HTC One M8 with 24 carat gold finish, as pictured above.
I assume some of us will now want to re-evaluate our lives and plan the best way to become John Legere. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of a gold HTC One M8 however; at the start of April, we got word that HTC would be bringing a gold-plated version of the One M8 to the Middle East. Suffice to say, the phone gifted to Legere is likely one of those gold plated devices, though the retail prices of these devices hasn’t actually been made known yet. Doesn’t stop me being jealous though…
Would you want a gold HTC One M8? Let us know what you think about the phone’s appearance in the comments.
It’s that time of year once again: Google and T-Mobile are streaming the Coachella festival live on YouTube. Tune in between April 11th and April 13th and you’ll see big-name musicians play without making a pilgrimage to Indio. Much of the experience will be familiar if you’ve watched before. However, there is a social twist to this year’s proceedings — if you’re in a Hangouts video chat at the right moment, you’ll have a chance to speak with artists like Chvrches and Zedd while they’re backstage. Yes, you may have a better time than fans who paid a premium to be there in person. We wouldn’t count on getting that VIP treatment, but it’s undoubtedly an added incentive to start streaming.
[Image credit: Viktor Rosenfeld, Flickr]
Source: Coachella (YouTube)