We've received a few emails over the last few days from readers asking about switching to AT&T Next so that they can get the new iPhone 6 on Friday for no money down. AT&T has been notifying some customers who are mid-contract that they can switch to a Next plan at no charge, doing away with contracts going forward. Of course, there are those who are still under AT&T's grandfathered "unlimited" data plan, but others simply want to know if programs like AT&T Next and Verizon Edge are worth it, or if they're rip-offs. The thing is, early upgrade plans like Next and Edge basically allow you to divorce the act of owning and paying for a phone, from paying for cellular service. If you play your cards right, you'll actually come out ahead financially, and you'll be able to upgrade to a new device whenever you want. Let's walk through a scenario of buying a phone with AT&T Next.
All currently available mainstream plans feature two components: a data charge, and a line charge. We will ignore the data charge aspect from here on out, because it's the same regardless of what plan you choose.
AT&T Next offers you a lower monthly line charge ($15 less for data plans under 10GB, $25 less for 10GB and over) in exchange for them not giving you a large subsidy when you buy your phone. Next plans never involve a contract, and you can get out of them at any time, penalty free, by paying off the balance you owe on your phone.
Dubbed Ubuntu Edge, the phone will be able to boot into PC mode when docked, with a monitor featuring the full-fledged Ubuntu desktop OS. 128GB of onboard storage is also in the mix, something that the next iPhone is also purported to have. Other key specs include a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass 720p display, instead of the Corning Gorilla Glass used in many smartphones today. Early backers can now opt for the day-one price of $600 and then, after initial sale goes public, the price will jump to $830 when the devices launches in May 2014. Here's the full run down of the Ubuntu Edge specs and a video preview:
Read More | Indiegogo
For fans of the WWE wrestling game series, Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 is set to get some DLC, a first for the series if we aren’t mistaken. You’ll be able to download a few new
sports entertainers, plus you’ll finally get to dress Chris Jericho up in his new spandex attire that he has been sporting for the last few months. For those wondering, no, Randy Orton’s new hideous tattoos aren’t included, thankfully. Here’s what you get if you are on the Xbox 360, for 400 Microsoft Points:
- Ted DiBiase Jr.
- Charlie Haas
- Evan Bourne
- Alternate outfit for Chris Jericho
But guess what? If you are on the Playstation 3, you get some extra goodness. For $4.99, you get all of the above, plus:
- A new un-named Superstar
- Masked alternative outfit for Kane
- Christmas-themed attire for Kelly Kelly and Maria (a bit late on that one)
- Alternate red and black outfit for Edge
- Alternate purple outfit for MVP
Read More | WWE
Remember Motorola‘s 5-megapixel ZN5 cameraphone? It seems that T-Mobile REALLY wants you to have one: they just announced that beginning on Black Friday and going through Sunday they’ll be offering a $100 mail-in rebate on the $99 phone (with a two-year contract). Free is an amazing price considering you’re getting a 5-megapixel autofocus quad-band phone which includes a xenon flash and WiFi capability. We’re pretty sure these guys will fly off the shelves – at least for one weekend.
Read More | FierceWireless
Motorola‘s 5-megapixel ZN5 cameraphone arrived online and in select corporate T-Mobile stores this morning. Unlike most camera phone’s, the quad-band ZN5 takes high resolution photos using Kodak Imaging Technology – including autofocus, low-light optimization, and a real Xenon flash. Once you’ve snapped a picture, it can be instantly sent via MMS, WiFi or Bluetooth – or you can store it on 350MB of internal memory which is expandable up to 4GB via microSD.
With a price as low as $99 with a 2-year contract, we think this will be a popular new choice; however, the phone lacks support for T-Mobile’s new 3G network, opting instead for EDGE, which will certainly make some think twice before signing up.
Read More | Motorola
We’ve been trying not to stir the iPhone rumor pot too much lately, but it seems like details are starting to come out that we believe may just be legitimate. Ryan over at Engadget heard a few things from a trusted source that match up with a couple of things we’ve heard, plus he got a few things we weren’t sure about.
For starters, we had heard that the 3G iPhone would likely be just a tad thicker than the current model, which seems to match up with what we read. Physically, Apple may be doing away with the two-toned back color of the iPhone, opting instead for a smooth black finish. The headphone jack will no longer be recessed into that hole of frustration, and lastly, the thing will have full-on GPS.
Engadget is saying that the next iPhone could ship as early as July. We are thinking it could be as early as June. We know for a fact that there is at least one person here in Seattle who has one, and that the person doesn’t work for Apple. Apple typically doesn’t seed these things outside of their organization until they are in the last phase of testing. That leads us to believe that these are just about ready to launch. What do you think? This is all a bit too exciting for us, as we die a little inside with each day that passes where we have to use EDGE on our iPhone.
Read More | Engadget
We’ve all been expecting Apple to release a 3G version of the iPhone at some point during this year. It turns out, it may be coming sooner rather than later. Ken Dulaney, analyst for Gartner, is saying that he has heard from sources over in Asia that Apple has placed an order for 10 million 3G iPhones. Even more interesting is that these would be 10 million on top of the current 10 million that Apple hopes to sell of the current iPhone version in 2008. If this is true, we’d expect to hear about it within the next few months. Maybe around the time that the iPhone 2.0 firmware upgrade is released, hmm?
Dulaney also mentioned that the 3G version of the iPhone may use an OLED screen, which would result in an improvement in battery life. Hey, if Apple went with EDGE for the current iPhone due to battery issues, it would make sense that in their leap to 3G, they’d try and conserve as much battery life as possible, right?
While we won’t know for sure when we will see a 3G model of the iPhone, I personally believe it is a safe bet that we will be seeing one within the next few months. The iPhone is nine months old, and while it is still a marvel, 9 months is a long time to go in the cell phone industry without seeing an upgrade. Apple also knows that 3G is a glaring omission from the current model. After all, there was a collective groan heard around the tech world when it was introduced back at MacWorld 2007 due to it’s lack of 3G. Even 14 months ago it was a huge letdown. Too much time has passed since then.
Bottom line, if you are in the market for an iPhone, but aren’t in the “need to have it now” mindset, you may want to wait a while.
Etymotic is out with some new earphones this time around at CES. Developed specifically for gamers, the EDGE (an acronym for Enhanced Definition Gaming Earphones) Acoustics line of earphones has been created to give gamers an edge (har har) by using spatial cues to make them more aware of what’s going on around them within a game. The earphones have a microphone and send switch, so they eliminate the need for separate microphones on the desk and are also compatible with most standard VOIP hardware.
Etymotic’s HF2 earphones are based on their ER4 model, but feature a microphone with a mic and a send switch plus a 4 barrel plug making it fully compatible with the iPhone. Retailing at $179, these earphones look to be a great value and will be available soon.
Last on the list from Etymotic is a Bluetooth headset with a detachable boom. Because the boom extends almost all the way to the wearer’s mouth, it broadcasts 28 to 30 decibels - still within the safe range of volume but a lot easier to hear for the person on the other end of the line. The headset will be available soon for an MSRP of $129.