T-Mobile, 3, Sneaking Their Way Into Selling U.K. iPhones: Report

Oct 19, 2009

While Orange and Vodafone have managed to wrest the iPhone's exclusivity away from O2 in the U.K., T-Mobile and 3 are still out in the cold. A report from the Telegraph indicates the pair are looking for a way to offer iPhones to their customers, despite this.

According to the report, both 3 and T-Mobile are searching Europe for "contract-free" Apple iPhones. Basically, it sounds like they are looking for unlocked iPhones they can use in their own networks, so as to prevent their customer from bolting to one of the other networks to get access to the iPhone.

T-Mobile had already been reported as offering unlocked iPhones to high-value customers, but this is the first time that 3 has been reported as doing so as well. Prior reports said that T-Mobile was limited this to 150 units a week to avoid too much publicity.

With this move, however, every U.K. carrier would have access to the iPhone. The inclusion of Vodafone and Orange already pointed to a possible price war, now what?

Makes you U.S. residents wish AT&T's big competitor, Verizon, had a GSM network or LTE already set up, doesn't it, so it could acquire the iPhone more easily.

READ MORE - T-Mobile, 3, Sneaking Their Way Into Selling U.K. iPhones: Report

Droid Does, But Will It?

Verizon is pulling put all stops with its new Android commercial, which highights what the iPhone doesn't do, in an ad that tells you exactly what the iPhone doesn't do, like "iDon't allow open development, i'Dont run simultaneous apps." And at the end of the ad: "Everything iDon't, Droid Does."

Besides the fact that Verizon is bashing the iPhone big-time, it seems like this would put to rest, at least for now, any rumors that Verizon will be picking up the iPhone anytime soon. Why bash something you are considering selling? As I said previously, I don't think Verizon will pick up the iPhone until LTE becomes a reality.

Unfortunately, while Android, and specifically the phone Droid, AKA Sholes or Tao can do a lot that the iPhone can't, the main thing for many users is a couple of things the company doesn't mention.

  • iDo have 85,000+ apps
  • iDo have the iPhone OS
It's not just about topping the iPhone; it's about topping the iPhone OS. And there's no way around the fact that you see apps being developed for the iPhone that don't appear anywhere else, and that's a big difference.

Meanwhile, Verizon really should have picked on these iDon'ts:
  • iDon't have tethering, despite promises (and Verizon should make sure Droid does have tethering)
  • iDon't make phone calls well (when the average of dropped calls in NYC is 30%, that's pretty bad)
  • iDon't let apps in the App Store, for nonsensical reasons
  • iDon't have HSPA 7.2 in many places (if at all, sorry 3GS owners)
It's doubtful Droid will be an iPhone killer. But will it make an impact? Many who have seen the phone like it, so we'll see what it does, in November, according to the ad.

READ MORE - Droid Does, But Will It?

First iPhone 3.1.2 Firmware Jailbreak Released, For All Devices

"Geohot," who was the first to jailbreak the original 2G iPhone (albeit with a bit of hardware tweaking) and also the first to jailbreak the iPhone 3GS has released the first jailbreak for the latest iPhone firmware, 3.1.2. The iPhone Dev Team still hasn't completed a jailbreak for the iPhone 3GS on the last firmware (except for previously jailbroken iPhone 3GS's).

Unfortunately for Mac users, it's Windows only for now, but I suppose that's what Boot Camp is for. At any rate, the .EXE for the jailbreak, dubbed "blackra1n," is downloadable here (click the Windows icon). Assuming you've already updated to 3.1.2, here's how it works:

Step 1: Start blackra1n. It might be necessary to run the app in "XP Compatibility Mode" on Vista or 7 but I didn't see an issue.

Step 2: Click on “make it ra1n”:

Step 3: Wait for the phone to automatically reboot.

Step 4: You should see “blackra1n” in your iPhone app list . Run “blackra1n”, download "Cydia" and install it.

Step 5: Reboot your iPhone. You should now be running a jailbroken version of firmware 3.1.2 on your iPhone or iPod touch.

Of course, your mileage may vary. No notes from the iPhone Dev Team yet about their opinion on Geohot's latest "blackra1n" version.

READ MORE - First iPhone 3.1.2 Firmware Jailbreak Released, For All Devices

Apple Sued Over iPhone Case Cracks

I first wrote about the cases on the iPhone 3G showing hairline cracks very soon after the 3G model was released. Nothing really happened after that; the story seemed to peter out, despite the large number of complaints on various forums.

However, now a lawsuit has been filed, mostly over the 3G reception issues which plagued the device until the 2.1 software update, but with the addition of accusations that Apple is ignoring the issues with hairline cracks afflicting the device's case.

The lawsuit was filed in a New York district court by Avi Koschitzki. What's interesting is that when trying to find out more about Koschitzki, I find that he's also been the defendant in a recent lawsuit (.PDF) involving his company, Out of the Box Promotions --- or rather, how he allegedly defrauded his partner in that company.

The complaint alleges numerous acts of misconduct on the part of Koschitzki, including using an Out of the Box credit account to credit his personal debit card and using company accounts for personal matters, such as sending items to his home, shipping furniture from China, and purchasing items at Home Depot and other retailers. Additionally, the complaint alleges that Koschitzki used the defendant company Kosch Design, LLC (hereinafter Kosch Design), doing business as "Out of the Box Group," which he formed without Hellman's knowledge, to divert orders from current customers of Out of the Box to Kosch Design, and undermined the confidence of potential customers of Out of the Box by informing them, falsely, that the company was financially unsound and would not be able to fill their orders.
In and of itself, that doesn't say anything in particular about this new lawsuit, where Koschitzki is the plaintiff rather than the defendant, but it should raise some suspicions.

With regard to the 3G issues, the lawsuit says:
"Based upon information and belief the 3G iPhones demand too much power from the 3G bandwidths and the AT&T infrastructure is insufficient to handle this overwhelming 3G signal based on the high volume of 3G iPhones it and Apple have sold."
In terms of the cracks, the lawsuit continues:
"Although Apple was and is aware that the iPhones were and are defective, and that consumers have experienced repeated instances of cracked housing, Apple has nevertheless allowed the defectively designed iPhones to be sold to the public."
The lawsuit seeks class action status; it was filed on Nov. 4th and names AT&T as a co-defendant.
READ MORE - Apple Sued Over iPhone Case Cracks

Windows 7 OEM Versions About 50% Cheaper Than Retail

Newegg on Tuesday posted pricing for OEMs versions of Microsoft's much-hyped upcoming Windows 7 operating systems. The pricing shows around a 50% difference between retail and OEM pricing for full (not upgrade) versions, bringing the full software below the price of an upgrade version.

This is OEM software, however, so there are a bunch of caveats. First, it's supposed to be sold for pre-installation on a new personal computer for resale. The system builder is supposed to provide tech support. That means, if you install it yourself, you can't get any support from Microsoft.

The license does not allow transferring the operating system from one PC to another. That doesn't mean you can't do it, but it does mean that technically you can't do so legally (and you'd probably have to call for re-activation as well).

You have to do a full install as well. There are no upgrade versions. Personally, I prefer a full, clean install anyway, but that's just me. It would mean having to restore all the programs and data that were loaded on the computer, but that's not a big deal for many (just time-consuming).

Also, the OEM versions do not supply both 32- and 64-bit versions on the DVD. They only supply one of them, which is, once again, not really that big a deal.

Here's a pricing comparison:

Windows 7 Home Premium
Upgrade: $120
Full: $200
OEM Full: $110

Windows 7 Professional
Upgrade: $200
Full: $300
OEM Full: $140

Windows 7 Ultimate
Upgrade: $220
Full: $320
OEM Full: $190

To make things still better, Newegg is offering pre-order discounts of from $5 to $15 until Oct. 20th.

READ MORE - Windows 7 OEM Versions About 50% Cheaper Than Retail

Samsung i5700 Spica gets video demo

The Samsung i5700 Spica (aka Galaxy Lite) may still be some way off – early 2010, in fact, if the rumors are to be believed – but that hasn’t stopped some pre-production units arriving into hands early. ai.rs have managed to acquire a device and, after masking what we’re assuming is a carrier logo, have made a video preview.

samsung i5700 spica

Video demo after the cut

The Spica has an AMOLED touchscreen, like its I7500 sibling, but – in this pre-production model at least – less space for software. In fact, Samsung have allowed just 100MB for apps, something we’re hoping will be rectified before the Spica’s release.

Otherwise, the lime green battery cover has been replaced by a far more sensible – and fingerprint resistant – matte black panel. More sensible, certainly, than ai.rs’ choice of music for their video.

[via HDBlog.it]

READ MORE - Samsung i5700 Spica gets video demo

Google Voice voicemails end up in public search results

I think there are lots of us out there who have left a voice mail at one time or another and wished after we left it that we hadn’t said something in the message. At least we can typically rest assured knowing that only the person we sent the message too would get it. If you use Google Voice, your voice mails may have been indexed and offered up in public search results.

googlevoice sg

Engadget reports that at least some of the voicemails left on Google Voice accounts have turned up in the search results. You reportedly have to type in a special search query “site:https://www.google.com/voice/fm/*” and get a few pages of returns. It appears that most of the returns are gibberish test messaged left by early users or testers of the service.

However, a few of the messages in the results appear to be from users that would no doubt be angered to find what they thought were private messages online for all to see. As of now, the only official word from Google is that it has changed how shared messages are indexed and made available to the public. Presumably that change will prevent this from happening again.

READ MORE - Google Voice voicemails end up in public search results

Original Blackberry Storm 9530 to get improvements via new firmware

When Blackberry first unveiled its touchscreen only Storm it was hard to get away from the ads and commercials showing the new device off. Once the reviews came out and people realized that the Storm was one of the worst Blackberry devices ever, those who purchased were left with a handset that wasn’t up to the typical Blackberry standards.

blackberrystorm sb

Word is coming in that the original Storm will be getting updates via a new firmware version. The update is said to add a better browser for surfing the net and flick scrolling. The new Blackberry Storm 2 is due to hit market before long, so it’s nice to see RIM throwing the adopters of the first Storm a bone.

The update will make the Storm and Storm 2 virtually identical in software according to a Verizon rep cited by Phone Arena. The difference will be hardware like the Wi-Fi the Storm 2 gets and a sleeker design.

soruce: .slashgear.com
READ MORE - Original Blackberry Storm 9530 to get improvements via new firmware

CoolIT unveils slick OMNI Universal Liquid Cooling kit for AMD video cards

Any computer enthusiast or hard core gamer will tell you that heat is the enemy of performance. This is especially true when you start overclocking your CPU and GPU looking for added performance. Those really into overclocking look to liquid cooling or even more exotic methods for their computers. CoolIT has announced a new universal liquid cooling system for AMD video cards called the OMNI.


The liquid cooling system is designed to maximize the performance of the new video cards from AMD like the HD 5750 and HD 5770. In addition to allowing the video cards to run cooler, the OMNI is also quieter making for less noise in the work environment.

The system is factory sealed and maintenance free. Exactly how much cooling performance the OMNI provides is unknown as is availability and pricing at this time. The biggest downside to aftermarket cooling devices like this is that they will void the warranty on your video cards.

soruce: .slashgear.com

READ MORE - CoolIT unveils slick OMNI Universal Liquid Cooling kit for AMD video cards

When will Verizon Wireless get the iPhone?

iPhone 3GS SlashGear 02 r3media 272x204 customThe surest way for someone to generate attention is by making an Apple prediction. Apple has a cult following, and its product development and launch strategy is famously secretive, so the fact that your source is the lunch counter guy across the block from the Hon Hai factory in Taiwan won’t be discovered (or may even be considered authoritative!). Financial analysts are often the worst offenders – we have been promised an Apple tablet more times than I can count, assured that an iPhone nano was on the way, and where’s that iPod touch with a camera?

However, market analysts like me (and fellow SlashGear columnist Michael Gartenberg) rarely talk about specific products before they’re launched. Often, that’s because I can’t: vendors frequently tell me what they are working on ahead of time under non-disclosure agreements. Another reason that I don’t make specific predictions is that I simply hate being wrong: my job depends on my being both trustworthy and generally accurate, and I’m not about to jeopardize that for a bit of extra attention in the press.

However, for my first SlashGear column I thought I’d make an exception, since there is one question I get asked more often than any other, by clients, journalists, at birthday parties, dinner parties, at the supermarket, and even when I’m trying to pray in the synagogue: when is Apple going to bring the iPhone to Verizon Wireless?

Apple has a contractual exclusive with AT&T that expires… at some point in the future. The exact contract length was never made public, but at the time the iPhone was first launched in 2007, journalists were quoting unnamed sources that it was a five year exclusive, which would keep the iPhone an AT&T exclusive through 2012. More recent articles have said that it is actually a three year exclusive, without even quoting “people familiar with the matter.” I have my own sources, but I don’t think it matters when the exclusive ends – the contract isn’t the only thing keeping the iPhone an AT&T exclusive.

Thanks to U.S. regulatory environment and frequency allocation issues stretching back to the Reagan/Bush administration (and on through the Clinton and W Bush eras), every national U.S. carrier runs a different mix of technologies, often on different frequencies. AT&T runs a GSM/HSPA network while Verizon Wireless runs a CDMA/EV-DO network. The technologies are not compatible, so the iPhone quite literally will not function on Verizon Wireless’ network; this is not a matter of SIM locks or contractual exclusives – it just won’t work. Now you can certainly create a phone that has multiple radios in it to talk to whatever network you want to use, and HTC, RIM, and Samsung (among others) have done so, typically for phones aimed at business travelers. However, Apple is not likely to reengineer the iPhone to work on CDMA. Apple is a software company that delivers its user experience in hardware packages. Apple focuses on user interface simplicity and design, putting a lot of energy and effort behind just a few hardware platforms, and then sells them as broadly as possible. (By contrast, RIM is an engineering-driven company that brags about writing its own radio firmware to eke out potential performance gains.)

AT&T’s underlying GSM/HSPA technology is used broadly throughout the world, fitting Apple’s business model nicely, while CDMA/EV-DO is used primarily in North America and South Korea. CDMA is also a technology without a long term roadmap at this point; for 4G deployments, Verizon Wireless is moving to LTE, while the other big CDMA carrier, Sprint is already rolling out a competing (and incompatible) technology, WiMAX, with its partner Clearwire. Happily, AT&T is also moving to LTE, as are many European operators, so at some point there will almost certainly be an LTE iPhone and that iPhone will work on Verizon Wireless’ LTE network. It’s worth noting that the 700 MHz spectrum that Verizon Wireless is using for its LTE network was purchased with open access requirements built in – in other words, the carrier will not be able to lock LTE devices to its network.

So the question now hinges on when Verizon Wireless will have its LTE network up and running. Verizon Wireless is planning a 2010 rollout – hey, that’s just next year! Not so fast. It will take several years before Verizon Wireless has completed its rollout. After all, if you’re interested in Verizon Wireless for the quality of its network, you aren’t going to want a phone that only works in a dozen cities and doesn’t have the same coverage that Verizon Wireless’ CDMA network is known for. We also need to wait for the LTE chipsets to mature enough for Apple to bet on them. The first chips for any new technology are buggy or power hungry or both. It’s not just the chips; the antennas for prototype LTE phones using 700 MHz (the frequency Verizon Wireless and AT&T will be using) are currently almost as thick as the iPhone itself. The chips and antenna technologies will certainly improve I the future, but in the meantime, can you imagine Steve Jobs approving an iPhone with an external antenna? I can’t.

Based on my discussions with Verizon Wireless, with chipset providers, and with Apple, my best guess for when all these stars will align is somewhere around 2013 or 2014. At that time you should be able to buy an LTE iPhone that will work on either AT&T or Verizon Wireless.

But not Sprint.

source: slashgear.com

READ MORE - When will Verizon Wireless get the iPhone?

free counters 
HTML Hit Counter