Hot on the heels of our exclusive reports on Best Buy's plan to combat the Verizon iPhone and AT&T's new text messaging plans, we've got another tidbit for you. Aside from changes to their SMS fee structure, AT&T will also be changing up their activation fees. Beginning January 23, the fee on all activations, regardless of the type of phone purchased, will be standardized at $36. Also, the activation fee for additional FamilyTalk lines is being raised to $36 (it is currently $26.)
So now that we know AT&T will be changing their activation fees and SMS plans, we're wondering if talk plans might be getting changes as well. We're doing some digging, and if we find anything, we will let you know.
We just received a few very interesting tidbits in our tips box this evening as it pertains to the Verizon iPhone and how Best Buy is training their employees to encourage customers to stay with AT&T. As you can see in the document above, which we've confirmed is straight out of a Best Buy playbook, you can see that Big Blue is looking to talk down the Verizon model. What we haven't confirmed is the reason why--is Best Buy not going to be selling the Verizon iPhone at launch? If not, it would make sense that they'd wanna downplay the phone that they aren't selling so that they can continue moving phones that they actually stock.
Specifically mentioned is the fact that Verizon spent all of CES touting their 4G network, while the iPhone is a 3G device that will "still be puttering at EVDO speeds." Kind of odd, since the AT&T phone does the same (although AT&T's GSM is faster than Verizon's CDMA.)
We've got one more image out of Best Buy's playbook after the jump. Oh, and it looks like AT&T is gonna try and entice customer to stay by changing up the costs of their text messaging plans.
AT&T customers, get ready for new text messaging rates to go into effect starting next week. As the Verizon iPhone approaches, the company is looking to make their plans look a bit more attractive, and not so different from what Verizon will be offering. Above is an image leaked out of Best Buy showing that AT&T will have two text messaging plans going forward. The first is a new $10 per month for 1000 text messages (with each additional costing $.10,) while the second is the $20 unlimited text plan ($30 for family plans.) Going away are the $5/200 message and $15/1500 message plans. If you're a current customer on one of those plans, you are grandfathered in and can hold onto it, but new customers won't have those choices starting on January 23rd. Also on that day, AT&T will be raising activation fees.
We're not sure how much this will do to keep people from jumping ship, but it certainly makes the texting plans a little clearer. Also, be sure to check out how Best Buy plans to convince customers to choose the AT&T iPhone. War is upon us!
John Stewart lives in New York City, one of the areas with notoriously bad AT&T coverage. As seen in the video above, he is very happy about the announcement of the Verizon iPhone. As Stewart puts it "Those us in the iPhone community have sacrificed one thing for the ability to carry around every photo we’ve ever taken, or video we’ve taken, or song listened to, or have a compass. We have sacrificed the ability to make phone calls."
Verizon Wireless has finally scored the iPhone! The iPhone 4 will be available from Verizon on February 10th, and we wanted to know how the news affects you. Are you a Verizon customer who's been waiting for the iPhone to come to your network? Are you a fed up AT&T customer who is looking to switch ASAP? Maybe you're glad to see the announcement, but don't plan on buying until iPhone 5. Whatever it may be, hit up our poll and let us know.
We've come to the end of another year, and as we wave goodbye to 2010, we figured it was only fitting that we share the most popular stories published on Gear Live in 2010, as determined by our readers (we've also got the top ten most read stories regardless of publish date!) These are the ten stories that were read the most, and when you consider that fact, it's pretty surprising to see what made the list. Let's kick it off with our most read story of the year:
Fring App Brings Skype Video Calling to iPhone 4 over Wi-Fi and 3G:
Sure, Skype just formally announced video calling in the Skype 3.0 iOS app, but Fring brought us Skype video calls months ago! The thing is, Skype pulled that feature from Fring with the quickness, but that didn't stop this from being the most read story we published in 2010!
Best Buy is giving away free 8GB iPhone 3GS smartphones to customers today. Supplies are limited, and you can only get the deal in-store with two-year new or upgrade activation. Sure, the iPhone 3GS is a year-and-a-half old, but this is the first time we've seen any iPhone given away free with contract. With the holidays and all, you can certainly bet that any teens in your household would love to unwrap this one on Christmas morning. Speaking of which, be sure to peep our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide!
Microsoft's latest foray into the mobile space, Windows Phone 7, is now for sale throughout the US. How do these new devices fare? Should you throw your iPhone or Blackberry out of the window for a brand new Windows Phone? Or is this just another device for the history books? Well, we've given you our Windows Phone 7 review (as well as a review of the HTC Surround!), but if you wanted a second opinion, here's a list of reviews to help make up your mind:
- Engadget has a very in-depth review, going point by point over every feature of the phone, along with pictures and commentaries. They refer to their initial preview, saying that "it finally has the fit and finish of a fully realized product" and "there's a lot to like or even love in WP7". At the end of their review are also links to more reviews on the individual Windows Phone devices.
- Gizmodo follows in with another slightly less extensive review, in which they conclude with their stamp of approval.
- The New York Times has a fairly short review that asks several questions such as "will these battle plans help catapult Microsoft’s latest smartphone attempt into a relevant standing in this important space" and concludes by saying that "so far the new AT&T phones seems to have everything going for them".
- Apart from the written reviews, what I typically prefer are video reviews such as this one from MobileTechReview in which they go over every feature in this very in-depth 27 mins 2-parts review. They also have videos about the individual devices.
We'd love to hear from anyone who's decided to pick up a Windows Phone 7 device - what do you think?
Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's latest foray into the mobile space, is now available to all in the US. The company's primary partner is AT&T, and they have the Samsung Focus and HTC Surround (see our HTC Surround review and photo gallery) for $199 with a 2 years contract, with the LG Quantum launching in a few days. The phones are also available without a contract for $499. Meanwhile, T-Mobile has the HTC HD7 for $199, with the Dell Venue coming in later this year. Microsoft has stated that they will put $400 million towards advertising Windows Phone 7 as they hope to compete with the iPhone and Android phones this holiday season. Gartner predicts the company's share of the mobile space will climb above 5% by next year.
Read More | Microsoft
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