Items tagged with Cellphones

It was revealed several months ago that the U.S. Marshal Service secretly uses spy planes equipped with devices that mimic cell towers to scan for and harvest cellphone information on a mass scale. Now it's being reported that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) played a key role in helping the Justice Department develop the technology that's capable of scanning data from thousands of cellphones at a time.Let's back up a moment. As originally reported by a number of news outlets, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was clueless of the spy program that the Department of Justice (DoJ) won't even admit exists, at least not formally. However, the DoJ did defend the legality of the program... Read more...
In a one-city crusade, San Francisco attempted to pass an ordinance requiring retailers to post warnings to consumers about the potentially dangerous levels of radiation coming from their cell phones. It didn’t get far, as a judge blocked the 2011 ordinance before it could take effect, and now, Reuters reports that the city has backed down from the measure. The city had already lost in court against the CTIA, and the permanent injunction against the ordinance was part of a settlement. The CTIA had posited that such an ordinance would violate its free speech rights and would mislead consumers about an issue that currently doesn’t appear to have consensus among the scientific community.... Read more...
Just about every company out in Las Vegas this week has a cellphone with their name on it. Okay, that's probably stretching the truth a good amount, but there isn't a shortage of new phones at CES, that's for certain. Acer is also introducing a new piece this week, the Liquid Mini. This phone's designed to be a fun, colorful, stylish one. It will ship in a variety of colors, including jet silver, royal blue, piano black, lime green and pink. It's curved around the edges, much like the other phones in the Liquid series. It has a multi-touch 3.2" display, Android 2.2, a 5MP camrea, DLNA certification, and integrated Acer clear.fi media sharing. The company isn't quite ready to announce a price,... Read more...
The cell phone has almost become an extension of the human body as of late. Whether it's texting, tweeting, Facebooking, web-surfing, picture-taking, it has become more and more evident that Americans use their phone to do just about anything and everything. Ubiquitous would be a word that comes to mind but that doesn't quite capture the situation completely.  Remember a day not long ago when bringing a cellphone into a restaurant was considered rude?  Now, if you took a poll at literally any public establishment, all hands would go up if folks were asked "who has a cellphone on them?" As 2010 is coming to a close, the folks at Online MBA have calculated and visualized the drastically... Read more...
After disappointing sales of its nuvifone, we reported back in September that Garmin was considering its options with its smartphone unit. Now, Reuters is reporting that Asus plans to end its mobile phone agreement with Garmin, thereby paving the way for Garmin to exit the smartphone business altogether. A company official for Asustek said more details will be available Tuesday. Although the smartphone market is enjoying huge growth, the Garmin Asus partnership hasn't delivered the volumes either company had hoped for. If you'll recall, the nuvifone was initially met with much anticipation and hype. However, that excitement dwindled as the smartphone faced one delay after another and other offerings... Read more...
Well, what do you know? It's the executive shuffle in the mobile world! It sure looks like fun, and according to All Things D, the same man that designed last month as the head of Nokia's MeeGo division is now an employee of Palm. It seems like a round-robin of high-level executives, but we aren't too surprised. Ari Jaaksi has a track record in the industry that few others have, and Palm is definitely in need of top-tier help if they hope to seriously rival Android, iOS and the other great smartphone platforms on the market. It's unclear if Ari Jaaksi's departure was simply to fill a role at Palm, but it's likely that the two were in talks beforehand. With Palm under HP now, the company has more... Read more...
Worried that you'll lose your phone? Worried that you have no way to trace it or wipe it if it were to vanish before your very eyes? Apple has a solution for that called "Find my iPhone." It comes with each new iPhone so long as you activate a $99/year MobileMe service, and it lets users track their phone via GPS and remotely disable it if a thief were to swipe it. But no other phone nor carrier offers an exact alternative to that. Until this service became live. Verizon Wireless has just announced a new facet of their Total Equipment Coverage Program called Mobile Recovery, and it's a new application designed to run on WebOS, Android and BlackBerry smartphones. Nearly all of VZW's major smartphones... Read more...
Windows Phone 7 is almost here. The holidays are rapidly approaching, and Microsoft has long since maintained that WP7 handsets would be on sale prior to 2011. As the time draws near, we are seeing more and more leaks and hints of what Windows Phone 7 will actually look like. Take this video for example. It popped up on YouTube over the weekend featuring the unannounced HTC Mondrian, which looks like a scaled down smartphone that may occupy the mid-range smartphone sales space. According to the ad, it will be a Windows Phone 7 handset and will launch on AT&T. No surprise there considering that it has been confirmed that WP7 will be a GSM-only platform (meaning no launches on Verizon Wireless... Read more...
It simply had to happen sooner or later. Usually, when it comes to U.S. carriers, they each follow one another. If one does one thing, the other follows suit. Generally, these are minor things. Unlimited calling plan introductions, unlimited texting, etc. But tiered data pricing is a fundamental shift in how mobile data is distributed, and AT&T started that shift when it switched over from a simple $30/month unlimited mobile data plan for smartphones to a tiered plan that introduced new limits and new (albeit cheaper) overage plans. Analysts were quick to point out that the rest of the U.S. phone industry would probably follow them down that same path, regardless of whether consumers were... Read more...
Mobile phone penetration has been steadily increasing worldwide for many years, so much so in fact, that recent data suggests there will be more than 5 billion wireless subscriptions by the end of this year. Wow, that’s a ton of Razrs. Another interesting tid-bit—the average age an American receives his or her first cell phone is 8. There are many more wild details listed in this infographic from the Cell Phones Blog. Be sure to check out the section on SAR, or specific absorption rate. Embed this Image on Your Site: [Via: Cell Phones Blog]... Read more...
Five billion. That's a lot of faces, a lot of eyes, and a lot of ears. It's also a lot of humans talking amongst one another, and according to a new iSuppli report, that's the number of wireless subscriptions that our planet is home to. Almost, anyway. The report estimates that the grand total of wireless subscriptions in the world will surpass the 5 billion mark this month, which equals nearly 75% of the world's population. Imagine that. 3 in 4 people, with a cell phone. It's also too crazy to believe. Dr. Jagdish Rebello, senior director and principal analyst for wireless research at iSuppli, had this to say about the impending milestone: "If the importance of an event can be measured by the... Read more...
Microsoft never really has had much luck in the phone market. Not the mobile OS market, mind you, the phone market. Recently, Microsoft attempted to reach the "tween" market with the launch of the Kin. The Kin lineup initially consisted of two phones on Verizon, both of which required pricey $30/month data plans just like a proper smartphone. Needless to say, sales were terrible considering the value proposition, and two months into their life, Microsoft pulled the plug. Kin no longer lives, and neither do hopes of Microsoft ever trying again. Or, at least that's the current plan. Tivanka Ellawala, the chief financial officer of the company's Mobile Communications Business, recently told investors... Read more...
There are plenty of pre-paid wireless options out there. It seems like every direction you turn, there's another MVNO offering you more cell service. But your post-paid options are fairly limited in the U.S. Get ready for a big change, though. Walmart announced this week that they were introducing a new post-paid cellular service (which won't actually be an MVNO; T-Mobile will handle the dirty work), but unlike convention carriers, Walmart will not require a signed contract. No credit checks, no 2-year agreements. Just unsubsidized cellphones at reasonable rates, and monthly fees that are definitely worth considering. Walmart Family Mobile will lease service from T-Mobile USA, and it will launch... Read more...
When you think about Garmin, you probably think about one major thing: GPS. Here's something you probably don't associate with Garmin: smartphones. But regardless, they're in both markets right now. The original nuvifone was announced with a huge amount of hype behind it, but it was delayed for around a year while the iPhone came out and stole the thunder of every other smartphone on the market. Since, Garmin has teamed up with Asus to create the Garmin-Asus partnership, but the phones that have shipped under that label have seen a lukewarm reception at best. The problem is pretty obvious: Garmin just doesn't have any credibility in the smartphone realm, and moreover, they're competing with flagship... Read more...
And just like that, it's done. Rumors were flaring over the past couple of months that Nokia's existing CEO was on the hot seat. We guess those rumors weren't wrong. It's being reported that a search for a new Nokia CEO had been ongoing since at least May, and it seems that Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo's replacement has now been found. The timing could not possibly be stranger. Nokia World, which is Nokia's annual gala to showcase new software and hardware, is scheduled to take place in London next week. Just days after that, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo is scheduled to depart (September 20th). Going out... So, who will replace him? A Canadian from Microsoft, yet the headquarters and corporate culture will remain... Read more...
Are we seeing a shift in the mobile trends of America? For years, things have been moving along with little change. If you wanted a cheap(er) phone, you bit the bullet and signed a 2-year long-term agreement to stick with a carrier. It was either that, or suck it up and go prepaid, albeit with a far less featured phone. But now, prepaid options are becoming a lot more enticing. Pricing pressures have forced phone prices downward, making it more affordable to offer more handsets for less money, and not on contract. Now, even Verizon Wireless is getting involved in order to keep pace with the competition. Starting Sept. 28th, the carrier will be offering prepaid data for smartphones at $30/month.... Read more...
There's some interesting findings coming from a new report on the wireless industry in America this week. The analysis, which was published by the Government Accountability Office and is pointed at the U.S. Government, found that four major network operators control 90% of the entire U.S. wireless market. That's a huge chunk, and it looks even stranger when you consider that 60 mobile virtual network operators also operate in this space. 90% goes to 4 carriers (T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint); the other 60 carriers fight for that final 10%. Sounds like something else we've heard about lately... The report also found that cellphone pricing on plans has fallen a whopping 50%... Read more...
Nokia still has some ways to go before they can reasonably compete with the iPhone 4 and the many other Android 2.x smartphones that are shipping today, but one area where no one has really considered the competition going is price. Pricing hasn't been a huge focal point for smartphones in America; most are just assumed to start at around $200 on contract. But that means these phones are upwards of $500 in terms of non-contract pricing. Nokia is about to change the expectations with the touch screen-based 5250. This sleek new handset is just €115 without any carrier subsidies, which means it would almost certainly be free on contract if it were offered as such on a U.S. operator. The phone... Read more...
ntel and Nokia aren't too similar. One focuses on cellphones, one focuses on processors. But both are major corporations with major faces in the technology world, and both stand to learn a lot from working with one another. In fact, they already have. The two have worked together in order to create MeeGo, which is the combination of Maemo and Moblin. That has gone over quite well in the press, and early MeeGo builds are already drawing lots of positive attention. And now, we could be in for a lot more Intel + Nokia. Why? Because the two have just established a new joint research laboratory. Intel Corporation, Nokia and the University of Oulu will be working together, with one of the first objectives... Read more...
It's not that this phone in particular will make you dump your iPhone and come running, but it's yet another newcomer that can add some needed competition to the handset space in America. ZTE is a huge, well known company in Asia, and they do have some business here in North America as well. But up until now, it has been pretty impossible to find a ZTE mobile phone on a U.S. carrier. Verizon Wireless has just announced that they'll be bringing a ZTE handset to their airwaves for the first time, and now that this relationship is established, we're hoping that even more ZTE phones end up on VZW. The Salute is shipping today, and while it's a simple phone, it's hopefully just the first of many.... Read more...
The biggest problem facing prepaid mobile carriers isn't the pricing. In many cases, their pricing is far better than the major postpaid carriers. But aside from a lack of marketing at times, the phone selection is the biggest obstacle. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon manage to land the best phones, and when consumers want the best devices, they simply don't have anything to offer at prepaid stores. But that's beginning to change. Boost Mobile has been offering an attractive $50/month unlimited plan that includes talk, text and Web, and now the company is offering a touchscreen phone with slide-out QWERTY keyboard for the first time. The Samsung Seek is probably Boost's best phone yet,... Read more...
It already happened in the home, and now it's happening on college campuses everywhere: landline phones are vanishing. With the proliferation of cellphones, it has made it harder and harder for landline services to prove necessary. Even VoIP-based services such as digital phone from a cable company or Vonage seem limited in use, with the only true benefit being cheap/free calling overseas. But with the iPhone able to handle cheap Skype Out calls now, even that point is becoming moot. There's no question that landline use has been declining in the home while mobile use has been on the rise, and it's only a matter of time before the landline as we know takes a very secondary position in our hierarchy... Read more...
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