Amazon had one final trick up its sleeve during today's Kindle event, showing off a new Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE wireless built-in. The 8.9-inch Kindle tablet offers the same features as the base Kindle Fire HD 8.9, but packs in an AT&T 4G LTE modem and 32GB of storage space. Additionally, Amazon has worked in a killer deal for this model, as buyers can opt to pay a yearly $49.99 fee for 250 MB or 4G data per month. They'll also receive 20 GB of additional Amazon Cloud Drive storage and $10 in Amazon Appstore credit. 250 MB of monthly data may not sound like much, but it's an incredible deal at $50 per year. The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 with 4G LTE Wireless starts at $499. That's $130 more than the 32GB non-LTE model, but it's still much less than $$739 32GB iPad + Cellular tablet. You can order the Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE now, and it'll ship November 20th.
Read More | Amazon Kindle HD 8.9" 4G LTE
AT&T stopped offering unlimited data plans for its cell phone customers long ago, but allowed those who already subscribed to such a plan to be grandfathered in. However, recently it's become very obvious that, grandfathered in or not, AT&T wants you off of the unlimited plan, and that they'd annoy you with slow data speeds in an effort to nudge you towards a tiered plan. Some users were seeing their speeds throttled down after using just 2 GB of data on their "unlimited" plans. After enough people complained, and enough press covered it, AT&T has finally decided upon what the throttling rules will be for unlimited data customers. If you have a smartphone that works on our 3G or 4G network and still have an unlimited data plan:
- You'll receive a text message when your usage approaches 3 GB in one billing cycle.
- Each time you use 3 GB or more in a billing cycle, your data speeds will be reduced for the rest of that billing cycle and then go back to normal.
- The next time you exceed that usage level, your speeds will be reduced without another text message reminder.
- If you have a 4G LTE smartphone and still have an unlimited data plan, the same process applies at 5 GB of data usage, instead of 3 GB.
So, there you have it. If you have an unlimited 3G data plan, then you can use up to 3 GB of data in a given billing cycle before your speeds are throttled down to super-slow for the remainder of the cycle. Once a new cycle begins, the process starts again. As for you unlimited 4G LTE AT&T customers, you get 5 GB instead of 3 GB. Kind of horrible, since 4G LTE is supposed to let you get faster data speeds and all the advertisements around it show customers using it to stream movies and TV shows, and yet AT&T is saying if you do that a couple of times, then for the rest of the month your data speeds will be nowhere near what 4G LTE is advertised as.
We give you a first look at the upcoming Sony Xperia ion, the first Sony 4G LTE smartphone, in this episode. The Xperia ion features a 4.55-inch high definition touchscreen display, 12 megapixel camera, and a 1.5 GHz dual core processor, and brushed aluminum metal backing. It can shoot 1080p video with the rear camera, and 720p video using the camera up front. The phone will ship with Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and is also Playstation-certified, which means you can play Playstation games right on the phone, or on your TV with the dock. Hit the video for the full scoop on the Xperia ion! This video was recorded at CES 2012.
Today AT&T is pushing forward with its 4G LTE deployment, lighting up 11 new markets with super-fast mobile broadband. Cities included in this rollout, which just so happens to double AT&T's LTE footprint, include New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Boston. This brings its number of LTE-covered markets to 26, reaching 76 million people. That sounds great, but it's still nowhere near Verizon's 200 million people covered by its own 4G LTE network. Also, devices. AT&T is lacking in 4G devices. However, that's nothing that a little CES love can't fix next week.
Read More | AT&T
Whenever there's a major release of Android, Google likes to partner with a manufacturer on the release of a reference device for the platform, and it looks like the Nexus 4G may be that device for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich when it ships later this year. We aren't totally sure that Nexus 4G will be the name of the device, but it will be the fourth-generation Nexus phone that Google fills to the brim with all sorts of goodness. What can we expect from this one? Well, how about a 720p display for starters, with a dual-core 1.2 GHz or 1.5 GHz Snapdragon processor? 4G LTE support point to this one being a Verizon Wireless device (althought it may also launch as the first AT&T 4G LTE device,) and things are rounded out by 1 GB RAM, 1080p video recording, 5 megapixel rear camera, 1 megapixel front camera, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich goodness, all in an ultra-thin package.
Yeah, we know how good this sounds. Just remember, it's a rumor for now, and if it comes to fruition, don't expect to see it until around the September timeframe, right in line with the iPhone 5.
Read More | BGR