"It's official, T-Mobile's Sidekick 4G arrives on April 20," T-Mobile tweeted this morning. The G2x, meanwhile, will be available online on April 15 and in stores on April 20, T-Mobile also tweeted. It will sell for $199.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and two-year contract.
T-Mobile confirmed plans for the Samsung Sidekick 4G back in January, and provided more details last month. It features a 3.5-inch, 800-by-480 screen and is based on a heavily customized Android 2.2.1 and Samsung's TouchWiz. The screen slides up with a click to reveal the 5-row QWERTY keyboard.
Two and a half years ago, Sergey Brin, Larry Page and T-Mobile introduced the world to the very first phone, the G1. It was a good phone with a workmanlike design, decent keyboard, an average screen and lots of Google goodness built right into it. No one, least of all me, thought it stood much of a chance against the surging Apple iPhone.
For a solid year, the platform looked like a dud. But a funny thing happened on the way to the morgue.
Seven months later, T-Mobile unveiled the keyboard-less MyTouch 3G. As before, it was a nice looking, though slightly curvier, Android phone. It wasn't until the fall of 2009, more than a year after the G1 and Android's launch, that the platform got interesting. That was when Motorola started talking openly about the Droid. By casting aside just two letters and joining with the leading mobile carrier that didn't get the iPhone, Motorola and Google signaled their intention to make Android bolder, sexier and far more desirable.
"Sprint urges the United States government to block this anti-competitive acquisition," Vonya McCann, senior vice president of government affairs at Sprint, said in a statement. "This transaction will harm consumers and harm competition at a time when this country can least afford it."
AT&T surprised the tech community last Sunday when it announced plans to acquire T-Mobile for $39 billion. AT&T argued that the purchase will help stop the spectrum crunch and spur the companies's deployment of 4G service.
AT&T just announced it will buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. If the transaction gets approved by the government and closes in a year as planned, it will create the nation's largest wireless carrier by far.
While this is great news for both companies, it's an awful idea for consumers - and I desperately hope the US antitrust authorities rake this merger over the coals.
An AT&T/T-Mobile merger at least makes more sense than the silly T-Mobile/Sprint idea which was being bandied about. Both carriers use the same technologies: GSM, HSPA+ and LTE. While they're on different frequency bands, radios which use all of the relevant bands are becoming easier to build.
The merger neatly solves T-Mobile's long-term problem of not having enough spectrum for LTE, the 4G technology which will soon be a global standard. It gives T-Mobile's struggling parent, Deutsche Telekom, a gigantic cash infusion. And it lets AT&T once again position itself as the number-one carrier against Verizon Wireless, which leapfrogged AT&T technologically this year with Verizon's 4G LTE launch.
AT&T is ahead of T-Mobile on building LTE. T-Mobile is far ahead of AT&T on building HSPA+, a intermediate 4G technology that fits right between the carriers' existing 3G networks and LTE. Together, they could have a smooth and powerful nationwide network.
AT&T's press release for the merger backs this up. The combined carrier will be able to build out much more LTE Than AT&T could alone, by combining AT&T's 700 Mhz spectrum with T-Mobile's AWS spectrum.
For stockholders, this all sounds great. With reduced competition and the efficiencies of a combined network, the new company will probably be quite profitable.
For phone owners, tech lovers, and American consumers, this is a total disaster.
AT&T has just announced that they've come to agreement with Deutsche Telekom to purchase T-Mobile USA for $39 billion in cash and stock. Here in the USA, AT&T and T-Mobile are the two GSM wireless carriers, and combined, they currently serve 130 million customers. The deal still needs to be approved by the various regulatory agencies, and the companies have said they expect it to take just about a year before all is said and done. We're sure it'll al go smoothly, and we'll soon be left with just three major carriers in the US. Full press release after the break.
T-Mobile really wants you to know the Sidekick 4G is coming. In a new video, product manager Joe Fernandez shows off the phone's sliding mechanism and Android interface. We've captured some images from T-Mobile's video for your viewing pleasure below.
The new Sidekick interface is definitely based on Android 2.2 and Samsung's TouchWiz, although it has some unique Sidekick touches, like those links on the right-hand side of the screen. Samsung's "Feeds and Updates" social-networking widget appears in the video, though.
T-Mobile announced a new 10GB cellular data plan for heavy modem and tablet users today, but obsessive downloaders will pay a high price of $84.99 per month.
As wireless carriers have sped up their networks, data caps have remained firmly in place. The industry standard is 5GB, after which you're either charged overage or your speed gets choked down for the rest of the month. Fast new networks make it easier to reach that cap; we once proved that in an extreme circumstance, you can download 5GB with Verizon's new LTE network in 32 minutes. Of the major wireless carriers, only Sprint, on its 4G WiMAX network, currently offers a truly unlimited laptop modem plan.
Less than 5 percent of wireless data users exceed 5GB, T-Mobile spokesman David Henderson said - but it's not clear whether that's because they don't actually want more data, or if that's their limit.
RIP, Sidekick. T-Mobile's once-beloved e-mail phone will finally die on May 31, when T-Mobile and Microsoft pull the plug on the specialized data service that delivers Web pages, e-mails, and apps to the Sidekick line.
"It was a joint decision reached by Microsoft and T-Mobile," T-Mobile spokesman Tom Harlin said. "We think it's a natural order for products to be replaced by newer technology, and we've announced there will be a 4G-enabled, Android-powered Sidekick."
But here's the catch: Harlin refused to commit to releasing the new Sidekick before May 31, saying only that "in terms of the next Sidekick, we'll have more information in the coming weeks."
Originally known as the Danger Hiptop, the T-Mobile Sidekick was a huge breakthrough for affordable, easy-to-use messaging phones when it first came out in 2002. Seven more models came out through 2009, and the Sidekick built a reputation as a popular messaging solution for young people with prepaid accounts. T-Mobile stopped selling the Sidekick last July.
Dreading the hassle that comes with moving your contacts to a new phone? Don't despair. You can transfer your address book from your old phone into your new Verizon iPhone 4 in less than 10 minutes, you don't need a pen and paper, and in most cases, it's free.
Below are instructions for extracting your address book from most phones on the big four U.S. carriers—AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. There are only two things you need before diving in—active service on your current phone, and a Gmail account (unless you're already a Verizon Wireless subscriber).
The Galaxy S 4G is very similar to the existing Samsung Vibrant, a popular Android phone. It has the same 1-GHz Cortex-A8 processor, runs Android 2.2 on a similar 4-inch Super AMOLED screen, and has the same 5-megapixel camera. But it also has a front-facing 1-megapixel camera for video chat, that 4G modem, and a larger 1650 mAh battery, all of which the Vibrant lacks. Also, where the Vibrant comes pre-loaded with the movie "Avatar," this phone will come with "Inception."