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!
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!
The Google Nexus S is officially the next Google phone, as Google confirmed it this morning, throwing up a product page for the upcoming smartphone. What's so special about it? Well, for starters, it's the first phone to ship with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and Google says that owners of the Nexus S will be the first to receive future software and app updates. It's got a 4-inch WVGA display, tri-band HSPA (but no HSPA+ to take advantage of those faster T-Mobile speeds,) a 5 megapizel camera, front-facing VGA camera, and near-field communication built-in. It has 16GB of storage built-in, and 512MB RAM with a 1GHz Hummingbird processor. Other interesting tidbits include the contour display, which kind of shapes to your face, integrated VoIP support, and gyroscope.
You'll be able to purchase the Nexus S on December 16th at Best Buy locations for $199 with a two-year T-Mobile contract, or $529 unlocked. On December 20th, it'll be available in the UK at Best Buy UK and Carphone Warehouse.
If you wanted to get your hands on an aesthetically pleasing HTC EVO 4G, but for some reason were against Best Buy, then you'll be pleased to know that the elusive white HTC EVO 4G that was once exclusive to Best Buy is now making its way into Sprint retail locations everywhere, as well as other third party stores. The price will remain the same $199 contract after $100 mail-in rebate. While the front of the phone remains black, the white back will give you that exclusive look that you crave.
Taking a controversial page from Gamestop’s book, Best Buy and Target both are in the beginning stages of implementing a trade-in program for used videos games in exchange for store credit. Best Buy has revealed that it will start offering a trade-in program this week in 600 locations, and will begin selling used games “soon”.
Target’s Electronic Trade-In department is currently open in North Carolina, and will increase to 850 stores by December 2010. Unlike Gamestop where you can only trade in video games and their accessories to buy more video games and the like; Target comprises a much larger trade-in spectrum, allowing customers to trade in cell phones, iPods, and video games to receive store credit. This store credit can net you the many different items sold in Target, and is not just limited to digital devices.
This all comes much to the dismay of video game publishers, namely THQ CEO Cory Ledesma who recently discussed how used games “cheat” the video game industry. Despite this, it seems that Best Buy and Target intend to get away with some heavy duty cheating this holiday season.
Look for the Best Buy on Columbia Heights 3100 14th St NW to start accepting trade-ins by December.
Read More | Target
While the tablet industry hasn’t exactly skyrocketed yet, Best Buy is gearing for change this holiday season. With the Apple’s iPad being the pioneer for pushing tablets into the spotlight, other new tablets (specifically those powered by Windows 7) will be popping up soon this holiday season, and Best Buy is set to capitlize on the tablet surge. Shawn Score, the president of Best Buy Mobile stated “we will have a great assortment of them. It won’t be 32, but it also won’t be one, like we have today.” Score further stated that “like e-readers over the last couple years, we think customers will think of Best Buy for tablets and expect us to have the right ones.”
As of right now, entertainment giant Best Buy only carries the Apple tablet, but expect tablets from Samsung, Acer and Research In Motion to most likely grace Best Buy stores nationwide this holiday season.
Read More | Forbes
If you’ve pre-ordered a white HTC EVO 4G, don’t be surprised if you get a call from Best Buy today letting you know that your smartphone is ready for pick up. Apparently, despite having an availability date of July 11th, the white HTC EVO 4G made it to stores early, and Best Buy is cool with selling them as they come in. If you need some of that white smartphone goodness, you may wanna give your local store a call. In the meantime, where the heck is that white iPhone 4?
Looks like anyone who was hoping that Kinect would sell for a somewhat reasonable price may be a bit disappointed. After Gamestop priced Kinect at $149, and then took it down, we figured it may have been just a placeholder error. However, today, we also have evidence of Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Best Buy all pricing the upcoming wireless gaming peripheral for the Xbox 360 at the same $149 price point. Seriously, you can buy a brand new Xbox 360 Arcade console for that price today, so that is one expensive add-on. See for yourself:
Now we just play the waiting game for official word from Microsoft.