Looks like Facebook will be readying video chat on their service, similar to what Google has done with Google Chat within Gmail. Even cooler, though, is that an eagle-eyed developer just sent us information saying that he found code within the latest iPhone OS 4.0 beta that suggests that this video chat service will be embedded into the iPhone software, ready for use by the next iPhone (iPhone HD? iPhone Pro?) Of course, take this info with a grain of salt. As we all know by now, the upcoming iPhone will have a front-facing camera, which is perfect for video chatting with others who also have the device. Even more interesting, though, is that since it is tied to Facebook, you should—in theory-be able to video chat with users of other phones that have front-facing cameras (like the Sprint EVO 4G) if they also build in the Facebook video chat service.
Now this all sounds great - but we seriously hope that video chatting isn’t limited to Facebook contacts. Let’s bring iChat to the iPhone, finally.
We’ve seen all the iPhone Pro leaked shots, and so we all know that the thing is coming. At&T has given further credence to the most leaked phone in history, as they’ve notified employees that the next iPhone will launch in June. According to BGR, they’ve heard the same, and they are saying that it won’t even be that late into the month of June. We like it, and we know Apple wants to get this thing out the door—but we haven’t even seen it go through FCC approval yet.
Read More | BGR
So the iPhone 3G has been discontinued, and now Wal-Mart has gone and lowered the price of the iPhone 3GS down from $197 to $97—a full $100 drop. The change gives credence to the rumor that Apple will be dropping the price of the iPhone 3GS to $99 with two-year contract, and that the 3GS will take the place of the 3G as the entry-level iPhone device. As we stated previously, we thought it would behoove Apple to keep the 3G around as the free with contract phone, then use the 3GS as the $99 device, and finally use the iPhone Pro as the flagship model. We think that would be a good price structure to take on Android, but hey, we aren’t Apple—let’s see where this all ends up.
In the meantime though, as enticing as a $97 iPhone 3GS might sound, just wait to see what gets announced at the WWDC 2010 keynote first, m’kay?
Read More | Wal-Mart
Each year before a new iPhone is introduced to the masses, the older models become a bit more scarce, and all signs are pointing to a price and inventory shakeup within the iPhone world. As you can see in the image above, the iPhone 3G model is not able to be selected for purchase from the Apple Store online. The change happened sometime in the last day. In addition, AT&T stores are no longer able to order more iPhone 3G stock. At this point, it looks like the current entry-level iPhone model is going to be phased away. It’s interesting, because we would have been willing to put money (not a lot, mind you) on the notion that Apple might keep the 3G going, and drop it down to being free with two-year contract.
Update: Looks like Wal-Mart has dropped the iPhone 3GS to $97, so apparently the 3GS will take the place of the 3G as the entry-level iPhone device!
Now Hong Kong looks to be getting into the iPhone Pro rumor mill and leak game, as it appears that a white casing for the next iPhone has been uncovered. In the past, with the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, the phone has been available in black and white models, with the white only being available on the back casing—the black front of the phone has been consistent across all models. So if these images are accurate, Apple may be readying their first all-white iPhone. We should be finding out for sure on June 7 at WWDC.
Hey, look here—turns out AT&T and following Verizon in the decision to raise early termination fees for smartphone customers. The new fee will be a whopping $352 if you opt to cancel your contract early, although for each month of active service, that will decrease by $10. Technically, AT&T says this change is for customers who select “advanced, higher-end devices, including netbooks and smartphones.” Hold up, so now netbooks are higher end devices? The most ridiculous part of all this is that today the current ETF is “just” $175, so this is a marked and significant increase. If you are instead opting for a basic feature phone, the ETF will actually be less, dropping to $150. Now, if you are a current customer, your contract won’t just flip over, but you can bet your bottom dollar than when you next upgrade your phone, or if you pick up that iPhone Pro next month, you’ll pick up the new terms. A conspiracy theorist might say that this is AT&Ts method of locking customers in, what with the iPhone heavily rumored to be hitting Verizon this fall. Interested in seeing how the company is spinning this one? Click on over to their “open letter to valued customers” that we have linked below.
Read More | AT&T
The folks over at DigiTimes are reporting a bunch of specs for the yet-to-be-announced iPhone Pro (iPhone HD?), which should be available sometime next month. Current word on the street is that the phone will boast a 960x640 high-resolution IPS display with fringe field switching. If this turns out to be the case, then the 3.4-inch display will pretty much be one of the most impressive screens seen on a phone, and things like direct sunlight will be less of an issue—definitely one advantage over OLED. The actual display is said to be about 33% thinner than what you’d find in previous generation iPhones, including the current iPhone 3GS, which leaves more room internally for a larger battery. The phone should also rock a 512MB memory module from Samsung, which is double what you’d find in the 3GS right now. Lastly, DigiTimes is saying that the processor will bea 1GHz Hummingbird model, and not the Apple A4 chip. We’ve heard so many conflicting reports on that one, and really, the whole thing has yet to be confirmed by Apple—so just take the whole thing with a grain of salt.
Apple is expected to reveal the next iPhone at WWDC 2010 on June 7th.
Read More | DigiTimes
A few days ago we were hearing whispers that AT&T might be bumping up the upgrade eligibility dates for current iPhone customers in anticipation of the next model (iPhone Pro? iPhone HD?) At the time, I logged in to my account, and saw that my upgrade date had not changed, and that it was still going to be sometime in July. Earlier this morning I logged in again, and as you can see, my upgrade eligibility date is now June 23, 2010. The only reason I could see AT&T making this change, which they’ve been doing on a massive scale for current iPhone owners, is so that they will be able to get upgrade pricing on the next model. The benefit there of course is they get to lock them in for another 2-year contract at a time where the iPhone may be coming to other networks. Either way, this is definitely a step in the right direction, compared to last year’s AT&T iPhone upgrade debacle, where the company caved to subscriber pressure for upgrade eligibility to the iPhone 3GS from the 3G.
Okay, so we already know that Android 2.2 is gonna run 450% faster than 2.1, but we’ve just got even more awesome news about the ‘Froyo’ update by way of TechCrunch. It looks like Android 2.2 will also bring with it option for USB tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot support. In other words, you can use your phone’s 3G (or 4G if you are rocking the Sprint HTC EVO) signal to get your laptop, iPad, or whatever other device online, either by USB or Wi-Fi. Now, we’re guessing that the carriers get the ultimate say over how this will work and what it might cost, but hey, having the options built right in to Android is a major step in the right direction.
Read More | TechCrunch
Sprint has finally made their plans for the launch of the drool-worthy HTC EVO 4G public knowledge. The company’s first 4G smartphone will go on sale on June 4th for $199 after mail-in rebate. Before rebate, you’ll be paying $450, but if you pick it up at Best Buy (you can pre-order from them now) you get the rebate instantly with no waiting.
As a refresher, the HTC EVO 4G is an Android-powered phone that has WiMAX built in. That, alongside the 1GHz Snapdragon processor are what account for the phones tremendous speed. It also has an 8 megapixel camera for taking photos and videos, and a 1.3 megapixel camera on the front that will allow for video conferencing. Oh, and it has a ridiculously huge 4.3-inch touchscreen.
Aside from the typical Sprint unlimited plan, this phone has a mandatory $10 per month fee for the 4G access. The nice thing there is that, with that plan, you don’t get any bandwidth cap on 4G or 3G access. Seriously, truly unlimited. The other major feature that the EVO 4G sports is the ability to act as a 4G hotspot for up to eight other devices. As it turns out, that is an option that will cost $30 per month. Still, though, when you consider that $30 per month to tether up to eight devices at a time to the speedy Sprint 4G network, that isn’t really that bad at all.
Read More | Sprint HTC EVO 4G