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Verizon offering low price, contract encumbered Nexus 7 for $49.99

Posted by wicked March - 13 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

verizon_nexus_7_deal

Verizon is making the Nexus 7 tablet from Google available for only $49.99 to users willing to sign-up for a 2-year agreement. That may be a good deal for users short on cash, although it is unclear just how much savings, if any, the deal represents. Verizon is also offering the Nexus 7 for $349.99 off contract, the same price that the device can be purchased from Google Play.

If you really want to go through Verizon or want to take advantage of purchasing a Nexus 7 over time via a 2-year contract, hit the source link.

source: Verizon

Come comment on this article: Verizon offering low price, contract encumbered Nexus 7 for $49.99

T-Mobile pondering more regular smartphone upgrades

Posted by wicked March - 27 - 2013 - Wednesday Comments Off

t-mobile

Waiting for the end of a two year contract before you can ditch that old handset can be a frustrating experience. It’s even more annoying to find out that a better smartphone launched just a few months after you signed a new contract.

Well those days may one day be behind us, as T-Mobile is contemplating a new “anytime upgrade” club.

This new concept could allow customers to upgrade their handsets up to twice a year in exchange for a “very small” membership fee. Nothing is set in stone yet, and it’s not known whether this fee will appear as either a monthly or annual subscription. T-Mobile is also thinking about throwing in some insurance for your smartphone with the optional club membership, so it could be a phenomenal deal for smartphone enthusiasts.

I can see the “anytime upgrade” club being a hugely popular option for consumers who are really into their tech, especially considering how many high end handsets are released each year these days. But swapping handsets every six months certainly isn’t for everyone.

Hats off to T-Mobile though, first introducing simplified data plans this month, and now trying to offer consumers more choice when it comes to handsets. T-Mobile is certainly trying to become more consumer friendly, and I can’t fault the company for attempting to innovate.

Like I said though T-Mobile hasn’t finalised anything yet, and this concept may never actually be implemented. Never the less, I’m interested to hear your opinions on the idea. Would you happily pay a little extra each year on your contact in exchange for more regular handset upgrades?

The post T-Mobile pondering more regular smartphone upgrades appeared first on Android Authority.

The evolving mobile device plan: how prepaid plans are changing the mobile game

Posted by wicked January - 22 - 2013 - Tuesday Comments Off

T-Mobile unlimited prepaid 4G

A few recent developments have woken us from our 2-year-plan slumber. We’ve been exposed to a very inexpensive unlocked phone in the Nexus 4, and T-Mobile has decided to stop subsidizing phones. If we can get a great unlocked phone for a reasonable price, or a cheaper rate plan with an unsubsidized phone, why shouldn’t we?

Are we able to end our dependence on carriers? Would a contract-free world be better for the customers? Who wins and who loses in the current situation?

The status quo – pay the piper

Our current mobile way of getting a new phone is simple, really. We go to the store, we pick out a phone, we pay someone a bunch of cash, then we pay monthly. That’s not really different from the new way of thinking, but more on that in a minute. Right now, this has an unwelcome catch: the two year contract. That’s 24 months of your digital life tied down to one carrier. You can pay to get out of it, but there’s a heavy fine.

Then there is the upfront cost. You may go in thinking that phone is $199, but there’s more to it than that. From the start, you’re paying more than you thought. That $199 turns into $350 really quick with the taxes, fees, plan cost, etc. you typically pay for when starting a new rate plan. So, let’s take stock so far; $350 and you’re locked in for 24 months. Sound about right?

How about that rate plan you just purchased? Not bad at $79/month, but consider what you’re getting into. Not the data or unlimited text, but the cost. How quickly will $79 become $95 with insurance and hidden fees? Just what are those fees? I mean, shouldn’t the plan cover all of that? It seems it should, so once again we ask ourselves just what we’re getting into here.

wireless-carriers

Nexus 4 – a different way

The current state of Nexus 4 availability sheds light on the issue of rate plans. The Nexus 4 was a pickle for consumers, as it was only available unlocked and via the Play Store. It came with no LTE (kinda…), and wasn’t available on a carrier right away. This particular device was only available one way, via one source, and sold out in minutes across the globe.

Two things can be taken from this debacle: we like good devices cheap, and we are willing to get away from contracted service. While Google… or LG, or whomever we blame this week… may have underestimated the demand for this phone, it’s a mistake i’m sure will not be repeated. The Nexus 4 had everything working against it, and it still outperformed expectations. We didn’t like that LG made it, and we didn’t like that it had no LTE, and we hated the fact it was only available on the Play Store. Still, it made a very pointed scar across the face of mobile rate plans.nexus-4-comparison

 Is prepaid worth it?

An interesting conundrum, prepaid is. On one hand, you stand to save quite a bit of money with your monthly plan. On the other, you must buy the phone straight away with no subsidy from your carrier. The decision on which is best is unique to each person, so we’ll examine it apples to apples.

A tale of two plans

In this exercise, we’ll purchase a Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which is available on most carriers. In our first example, we purchase the device unlocked at $699. We will select the $60/monthly prepaid plan from T-Mobile. Over the course of two years, our cost is $2139.

Purchasing the same device subsidized from Verizon with an upfront cost of $299, we select the $70/month “Share Everything” plan. An additional cost of $40/month to connect our new smartphone to this plan brings the monthly cost up to $110. Over the course of our contract, we will pay $2939. This does not factor in the various charges and taxes associated with a contracted plan, so factor in an additional $200 or so.

Cost vs. Value

To be fair, you’re not getting the same service with both. The Verizon network is much better, so that is something you should factor in. Always check to see who has the best coverage in your area, as it may be similar from carrier-to-carrier. Your needs are what matters, both financially and with the network. There is also the point that this is for a single person, and a family plan via Verizon may save you some cash over those same two years.

However, the absence of hidden fees is the best thing about prepaid. I can count several examples across many carriers where, during the course of my contract, there were mysterious charges and subtle rate hikes to my plan, with no explanation or warning. One month my bill would be $110, the next $127. No apparent rhyme or reason, just random upcharges.

Freedom is an important factor, also. On prepaid, I have the freedom to switch carriers for any reason I like. I can also travel to another country and use my phone by simply switching SIM cards. I recently went on a trip to Japan, and was told by my carrier that my Galaxy Nexus would not work in Japan, as it’s a CDMA phone and Japan operates on a GSM network. When I returned, there was an extra $235 in charges for international roaming and data usage. Had I been with a prepaid phone at the time, I could have switched SIM cards and had no charge for simply having my phone on while using the camera.

T-Mobile is leading the way

An interesting thing happened recently: T-Mobile took charge of the mobile carriers. We’re not talking the network, or how many cool devices they have on offer. We’re talking about your plan, and more importantly, how much you pay.

Looking at the two examples listed above, it’s clear that while you may not be paying full price for your phone up front, you’re definitely paying for it over the course of your contract. All the carrier did was diversify your investment. Without a subsidized plan, you come out ahead. In fact, even if you wanted to buy a new Nexus device each year, you’re still breaking even.

t-mobile logo Axel Schwenke/Flickr

T-Mobile has recently decided to stop all subsidized phone plans. It seems T-Mobile believes that explaining the overall savings to their potential customers will get them to choose wisely, and we can expect them to go after AT&T’s customer base. As AT&T is the only other major carrier operating on a GSM network, it’s easier for their expiring contracted customers to bring their devices to T-Mobile and save some cash.

Will prepaid work?

Do you like saving money? If you answered yes, then it will work. The money saved will keep people around, plain and simple. For most consumers, saving a few bucks and having the ability to play games or check email on the go is good enough. Access to LTE is a distant afterthought, as most people don’t even have access to that service yet.

On the other hand, AT&T’s CEO hinted that the market is just not interested in paying full price for a device. That may point to a lack of education (or a lack of willingness) on our part. Depending on how the question was presented, those answers could be unreliable. I think education on the matter will open a few eyes, which is why T-Mobile’s plan for educating consumers is the X-factor.

Will phone prices go through the roof?

If this trend catches on, consumers will begin to pay closer attention to what the actual cost of a device is. Right now the cost is an afterthought, or a marketing ploy to show you how much you’re “saving” by choosing a contracted, subsidized device. As the Nexus 4 proved, a device priced very competitively will fly out the door, so it actually behooves manufacturers to lower the retail price. If the Note 2 was $449 instead of $699, I am comfortable in speculating we’d see a whole lot more of them than we do now.

Does prepaid work for carriers?

It could, but that would require a shift in thinking on the part of consumers. Carriers are comfortable in simply locking you into a contract and solidifying income. Their business model is based on that formula. A shift to prepaid is a risky scenario, and one that will really test the mettle of a carrier. Do you think Sprint, which has a very spotty network in a lot of key markets, would be comfortable in people being able to leave at will?

Sprint

Recently, the CEO of Verizon said he’d support a Verizon move to a system much like T-Mobile in the future. When someone of that stature applauds and openly wishes to follow suit on a radical industry change, that tells you this thing has some legs. While everyone is using T-Mobile as a bit of a crash test dummy, the positive attention should tell us that the subsidy model is probably not favorable to carriers either. Another interesting remark is that Verizon could move to a prepaid or unsubsidized model “very quickly.” We can surmise from that comment how nimble the structure of plans and subsidies is.

Is unsubsidized fair?

When we consider who needs to be happy in this equation, and that would be you and I for anyone keeping score, the answer is yes. We save money, we get similar service, and have much more freedom. On the other hand, this all has the potential to eliminate competitive practices. If the industry leveled the playing field quickly, someone has to lose.

A switch to unlocked exposes the networks, and it would be unfair to a weaker network like Sprint (and maybe even T-Mobile) if everyone were to switch to this model of unlocked, unsubsidized phones. Everyone is working hard to switch over to LTE right now, so throwing a wrench in the machine could stop a few engines.

Vodafone Logo

Are there any other options?

In Europe, they have a really interesting model of “leasing” phones. You pay for the phone and plan in one monthly fee. At the end of your contract, you have a few options: turn the phone in and get another, or hang on to it until you find one you like. Both Vodafone and O2 offer this option, and it seems to be a good option for those who simply don’t want to pay anything upfront. On the other hand, you never really own the device, so you’d have to be careful not to modify or otherwise change the phone.

Conclusion

I can personally attest to how great prepaid is. While I didn’t get a huge upgrade in terms of network, I am saving 77% on my monthly mobile bill. That is a number that simply can’t be ignored. I’m a rare case in terms of amount saved, but not in regard to decision making.

Prepaid puts the control in your hands, where it belongs. It’s time we stop holding the carrier on high and start demanding more from them. The carriers are here to serve us, and if they can’t deliver, we deserve the right to move to someone who will. When your current contract is up, give an unsubsidized phone the once-over. When it comes to service, stop worrying about device specs and start crunching numbers. I am willing to bet you see the potential to save money, and money saved is sanity earned.

Related Posts

AT&T offering $100 credit for signing 2-year contract with HSPA+ Nexus 7

Posted by wicked January - 15 - 2013 - Tuesday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

Android Central

But perhaps signing a 24-month deal on a 6-month old device isn't the smartest of moves

A "special offer from AT&T" has just showed up on the Play Store listing for the HSPA+ Nexus 7 that shows a $100 credit offer for signing a service contract with your new tablet purchase. Similarly to the deal offered by T-Mobile on the Nexus 4 early-on, Google seems to be making small carrier partner deals to try and get some people locked into contracts with their devices even from the Play Store. This deal stipulates that if you sign a 2-year contract of at least $14.99/month (which gets you 250MB of data,) you'll receive a $100 service credit to put towards that data for a few months.

This may seem like a great deal up-front — as is the case in most contract situations — but when you think about it this really isn't. You're signing up for 2 years of service to save $100 on a device that's already 6 months old, which in the long run means very little considering the cost of data for these plans. Most users will likely want at least 3GB of data, which will run you $30 a month (before taxes/fees.) Taking the true cost of ownership into mind, getting basically 3 months of free service in return for being forced to pay for another 21 months seems a bit less of a great deal — especially when considering you're still having to pay the full $299 for the tablet.

If you're an existing AT&T customer, you're far better off adding the device to your current MobileShare plan. If you're interested in having just the tablet separate, you're going to be better served by AT&T's own prepaid options that let you use data one month at a time and have the same monthly rates. Remember, the HSPA+ Nexus 7 also supports T-Mobile's frequencies, which opens up even more choices as well.

Source: Google Play; AT&T
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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IMG_0005-645x250

UK mobile users could not have had it better, as the communications regulator Ofcom is set to alter the general conditions that will dissuade operators from indulging in any mid-contract price hikes. The attitude of the operators is expected to be toned down a lot with Ofcom’s proposed approach, which will be favorable to general users by allowing them to exit their existing contracts under certain conditions.

Ofcom is expected to further strengthen the cause of the consumers by prevailing upon the contractors, and thus avoid springing surprises on the customer as far as price increases go. The right to cancel contracts rests with the customer, though a blanket ban on increasing prices in fixed contracts is ruled out.

Not less than 1,600 consumers’ complaints are what prompted the authority to modify the terms and conditions set for mobile, land line and broadband services.

The operators, however, have not been left in the lurch completely, with options to raise prices keeping in mind the vagaries of inflation over a period as long as a whole year. Customers still have the right to cancel contracts if proof of “material detriment” is obvious on the part of the contractor. However, this is still a grey area that leaves most customers seething silently at their helplessness. A credible argument put forward by mobile groups is that they are just passing on the increases they are burdened with and that are imposed upon them by their wholesalers.

Ofcom, on its part is working on the best rule modifications that will give the consumers a better deal when it comes to price hikes being enforced while they are still within the contract period. By June of this year, Ofcom proposes to tighten the rules and offer the consumers a fair deal.

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T-Mobile blocks tethering for new Full Monty customers

Posted by wicked August - 9 - 2012 - Thursday Comments Off

 

T-Mobile UK has confirmed that new customers signing up to its Full Monty contract would not be eligible for unlimited tethering on their device. The Monty plan was launched back in February of this year which offers customers unlimited calls, texts and data (including tethering) for £36 per month. While customers who previously signed up for this deal are still able to enjoy the unlimited tethering, new customers won’t be so lucky.

When a UK T-Mobile representative was asked why the sudden change in their plan, they gave no reason and simply stated: “We don’t have anything more to share.”

My assumption is that T-Mobile probably thought it would be a good idea at first until the free tethering started to eat up too much of their bandwidth. I don’t blame them as “free” tethering has always been such a sore subject on any carrier.

source: Techradar



T-Mobile US set to introduce unlimited calling add-on

Posted by wicked March - 12 - 2012 - Monday Comments Off

Good news for T-Mobile US customers today. It hasn’t been long since T-Mobile UK launched its truly unlimited “Full Monty” tariff  and it seems that the US network are set follow its lead. Starting from the 4th of April this year, T-Mobile US customers will be able to add unlimited calls to any US network for a flat charge of $10 on top of their current plan cost. There is no minimum contract required so customers can add and remove the service as appropriate.

The news comes from our friends over at TmoNews where a poster from the forum took the time to scan in the promotional material they received in the post. It’s great to see more flexible, unlimited services being offered through the big networks and hopefully this move will spark a price war which can only be a good thing for the consumer!

Take a look at the image below for full details and be sure to let us know your thoughts on this new offering in the comments below.

source : TmoNews

 

 

 



Sprint Running Early Upgrade Buyout Program

Posted by wicked February - 9 - 2012 - Thursday Comments Off

Sprint is planning on initiating a program for customers to buy out their current contract by paying a fee in exchange for an early upgrade. The program effectively resets their early upgrade eligibility and with the applicable Upgrade Now fee, customers will also have to commit to another 2 year contract. The program will run from 2/12/12 to 04/14/12. Details after the break.

Non-eligible customers:

  • Customers that have upgraded less than eight (8) months ago
  • Corporate Accounts
  • Customers in collections
  • Airave and tablet accounts
  • iDEN devices

The fee will be based upon the remaining term of the customer’s account.

Customers that have upgraded devices between 9-11 months ago would have an early upgrade fee of $165.

Customers that have upgraded between 12-14 months ago will have an early upgrade fee of $125.

Customers that have upgraded between 15-17 months ago will have an early upgrade fee of $95.

Customers that have upgraded between 18-21 months ago will have an early upgrade fee of $55, with anything beyond that period simply incurring the standard $36 upgrade fee.

This is surely good news for Sprint users!

Source: SprintFeed



Verizon officially announces pair of XYBOARD tablets

Posted by wicked December - 6 - 2011 - Tuesday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

Verizon Motorola Xyboard

Verizon this morning officially announced it will carry the Motorola Xoom 2 and Xoom 2 Media Edition as the XYBOARD 10.1 and XYBOARD 8.2, respectively. Both tablets will launch with Android 3.2 Honeycomb but will be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The XYBOARD tablets also both feature 1.2 GHz processors, 1GB of RAM and have Gorilla Glass on their displays. They each have 1 5MP rear-facing camera and a 1.3MP shooter up front.

No actual release date was announced, just "this month." As for pricing: The XYBOARD 10.1 will be available in a 16GB version for $529.99, a 32GB version for $629.99, and a 64GB version for $729.99. The XYBOARD 8.2 will cost $429.99 for the 16GB version and $529.99 for the 32GB version. Also,  you'll have to sign a two-year contract with a (minimum) $30-a-month data plan. However, Verizon will take off $100 and throw in $50 worth of accessories if you also buy a new Droid RAZR on contract. 

Full presser's after the break.

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HTC Rezound is Available Now at Verizon for $299

Posted by wicked November - 17 - 2011 - Thursday Comments Off

 

It is finally here! The HTC Rezound has touched ground at Verizon all for the relatively “standard” $299. If you are not getting a new contract or using an upgrade, you are looking at $649.99. In addition, as usual, you must connect a 4G Verizon data plan to get the $299 price. More specifically, Verizon claims that their lowest data pack is $20, but when you click to see a full list of plans, $20 is no where to be found.

Monthly Data Allowance Monthly Access Fee Rate After Allowance
Pay per Use
(for basic phones only)
$0.00 $1.99 per 1 MB
75 MB3
(for basic phones only)
$10.00 $10.00 per 75 MB
2 GB2 $30.00
5 GB $50.00 $10.00 per 1 GB
10 GB $80.00

With the Galaxy Nexus “promotional material” set to be released in stores on November 17th, the HTC Rezound might be getting overshadowed. However, the specifications shown below, not to mention the free Beats, might be able to lure you away from waiting for that Galaxy Nexus. Which new “superphone” are you getting? Tell us via the comments at the very bottom.


Key Features

      Verizon 4G LTE Network
      Beats by Dr. Dre™
      Beats™ Headphones
      Front and Rear-Facing Camera
      720p HD Display
      Enhanced HTC Sense


Specifications

Camera

  • 8 MP auto focus, f/2.2, 28mm wide-angle lens, 2 x LED flash; 2 MP front–facing camera, 1080p camcorder

Video

  • Image & Video Formats Supported: JPG, BMP, GIF, PNG, H263, H264, MPEG–4, WMV

Communication

  • Next Generation HTC Sense™
  • MS Exchange, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Windows Live Hotmail, POP3/IMAP
  • Advanced Speech Recognition

Bluetooth

  • BLUETOOTH v3.0

Dimensions

  • Size: 5.08” x 2.58” x .54”
  • Weight: 6oz

Operating System

  • Android Gingerbread

Display

  • 4.3” super LCD screen, 720 x 1280, HD 720p

Battery

  • Rechargeable lithium–ion battery 1620 mAh
  • Usage: 404 minutes (typical)
  • Standby: 261 hours (typical)

Memory / Processor

  • Memory: (FLASH/RAM): 16GB eMMC/1GB DDR2, 16GB micro SD
  • Processor: Qualcomm® MSM8660 1.5 GHz, Qualcomm MDM9600 for LTE

Source: Verizon Wireless

Related posts:

  1. Samsung Galaxy Nexus (Prime) and HTC Rezound (Vigor) Show Up In Verizon’s Device Management System
  2. HTC Rezound vs HTC Vivid
  3. HTC Rezound Flyers, Leaked Vid Appear Before Official Launch



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