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Sprint Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5 are Getting Updates Today

Posted by Kellex July - 6 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5 on Sprint are both receiving minor updates today that include “Reactivation Lock updates.” That’s it, though, there isn’t anything included, at least according to the changelogs posted to Sprint support. 

The Galaxy Note 4 will end up on software version N910PVPU3BOF5, while the Galaxy S5 will end up on G900PVPU3BOF6.

Yep, that’s it.

Via:  Sprint [2]

Sprint Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S5 are Getting Updates Today is a post from: Droid Life

UK’s Dixons Carphone enters USA with Sprint

Posted by wicked July - 6 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

sprint-logo

UK retailer Dixons Carphone has struck a deal with Sprint to expand into the USA and will open and manage 20 Sprint-branded stores as part of a pilot programme that could see up to 500 US stores opened. If the pilot is successful, Dixons Carphone will invest up to $32m (£20m) for a 50% stake in the joint venture during the second stage of the programme.

The deal is the first major expansion programme since Dixons and Carphone Warehouse merged to form Europe’s largest retailer in Dixons Carphone last year. Sprint is the third largest wireless provider in the USA and the partnership is expected to see Dixons Carphone expand heavily into the USA for the first time in several years.

Andrew Harrison, Dixons Carphone deputy chief executive, said:

“This is a very exciting venture for us, and is a significant step in growing our business in the US.

We bring specialist knowledge and skills to this partnership and will be looking to deliver innovation and outstanding customer service under the Sprint brand.”

News of the deal saw Dixons Carphone shares increase 1.5% to 465.10p at close of play on Friday but the move into the USA does come with historical risks the company needs to be wary of. Both companies have previously attempted to expand into the USA and while Carphone Warehouse had some success, Dixon’s last efforts failed spectacularly.

Sprint Phones in Video:

Dixons bought US electrical store chain Silo for £210 in 1987 but within a few years, it was losing £22.4m per year and was eventually sold to Detroit-based Fretter for $45m (£29m) in 1993. In comparison, Carphone Warehouse had a successful partnership with Best Buy through Best Buy Mobile, which ended in 2012 when the latter bought out Carphone’s stake for $1.3 billion.

While Best Buy Mobile was a success, the joint venture between the two in Europe failed miserably, with all 11 Best Buy stores in the UK shutting down once it became apparent that the big store format just wasn’t going to work. With Dixons Carphone now the largest retailer in Europe, it’s hoped that the company’s size and scope will allow its latest attempts to crack the US market to be a success but this remains to be seen.

T-Mobile’s JUMP! On Demand Leasing Program: How It Actually Works

Posted by Kellex July - 2 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

Smartphone leases seem to be the hot topic of the moment, thanks to a public battle between the CEOs of T-Mobile and Sprint. They also seem to be confusing to many, including those in this industry. What’s the difference between T-Mobile and Sprint leases? Do you own your phone or not on a lease? What happens at the end of your lease? Can you buy the phone or do you have to return it? How do upgrades work? Is a lease a good or bad thing? There is a lot to talk about here.

To try and make this all as simple as is possible, we are going to take some time to go through T-Mobile and Sprint’s lease plans, hopefully to give you some sort of comparison of the pros and cons of each. Since T-Mobile’s appears to be a decent deal for those who like to upgrade often, we’ll start there. 


The Basics

With T-Mobile’s JUMP! On Demand (JOD), well qualified buyers can grab a new smartphone with $0 out of pocket upfront, then pay for that phone with equal monthly payments on an 18-month lease. With JOD, you also get to upgrade up to 3 times per year without having to pay anything upfront, which means no upgrade fees. You do have to trade in your current device each time, though. If you ever make it to the full 18-months, you can pay off the rest of your phone or trade your current phone back in for a new one and start the cycle all over again.

Keep in mind that you also have to pay for service, which happens to be a postpaid Simple Choice plan priced at $50, $60, $70, or $80 per month.

Your basic bill would boil down to the monthly payment on your phone lease plus your Simple Choice cost.

Who is this program for?

First and foremost, this is for people who want to use the newest phones at all times without having to pay full retail, but also don’t mind a monthly phone payment. This is for people who like upgrading up to 3 times per year. With that said, if you don’t want to upgrade but once every two years (well, 18 months), this plan will also work for you because it actually ends up being cheaper than the regular JUMP! program and comes close to being a monthly device payment plan.

You see, you don’t have to pay the $10 participation fee like you do with regular JUMP!, but you can upgrade 3 times per year (if you want). That’s a significant savings. Just keep in mind that at the end of 18 months, if you choose to keep a phone, you’ll have to pay the difference in your total payments and the full retail cost of the phone to own it outright. Thankfully, if you go that route, there isn’t a weird mark-up – you pay exactly the total of what the full retail is of the phone you are buying.

What’s up with payments? Do they count towards the cost of the phone?

That’s exactly how it works. Each payment you make counts towards the cost of the phone you are leasing. Let’s say you choose the Galaxy S6, which costs $28.33 per month. After 18 months, you would have paid $509.94 toward that phone. If you decide to keep that phone when 18 months is up, you would then pay the difference in that $509.94 and the full retail cost of the phone ($679.92), which is roughly $170. You could then walk away with your phone, owning 100% of it.

But wait, why would I keep a phone for the full 18 months with this program?

I don’t know why you would do that. The whole point of this program is for you to upgrade all of the time and have new phones without ever having to pay for anything upfront.

Maybe you don’t want to pay that ridiculous $10 per month fee to be a part of the regular JUMP! program, yet love the phone you have, so you are in JOD? That could be an option. With JOD, you could just pay a normal monthly payment without extra fees, never take advantage of the upgrades, then just swap out at 18 months, all while saving $180 in JUMP! participation fees.

What phones are available in JUMP! On Demand?

Currently, the iPhone 6, iPhone 6Plus, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy Note 4, and LG G4, but T-Mobile says more will be added over time.

How do upgrades work?

When you are ready to upgrade, all you have to do is walk into a participating T-Mobile store, hand them your current phone, and sign a new 18-month lease on a new phone. You don’t have to pay anything upfront or to upgrade. You just have to make sure your current phone is in good condition.

Keep in mind that most phones are going to carry different costs. So as you jump from one phone to another, your monthly cost could change. For example, T-Mobile is currently running a $15 promo monthly price for the iPhone 6, but should you jump to another phone like the Galaxy S6, your monthly payment will jump to $28.33 from $15.

Sprint’s CEO thinks this is shady, but it’s not. It’s promo pricing.

You can do this up to 3 times per year.

tmobile jump on demand

So why are people complaining about you never actually owning a phone with this program?

Well, that’s one of the typical complaints you also see with people who debate leasing a car vs. buying one. It’s up to you to decide if you care about ever actually fully owning a phone or if you would rather just keep swapping out for new phones all of the time.

With a lease program, the hope is that you will continue to swap for new phones all of the time to get you to continue to swap and sign 18-month agreement after 18-month agreement. It could be a never ending cycle that keeps you with T-Mobile. For example, if you pay for a phone for 6 months, then swap it for a new phone, you will sign another 18-month lease on that new phone, which then wipes out the 6 months of payments you just coughed up. So as you continue to swap and swap and swap, you also continue to make payments upon payments that never actually add up to you owning anything outright. Can you live with that?

Again, you have to decide if you are the type of person who wants a new phone all of the time without paying full retail or if you are the type of person who wants to feel like they spent their money on something and actually own it in the end.

I typically look at phones like cars – they are a monthly expense, but one that I don’t typically hang on to for long. If I want a new car every couple of years, and I’ve accepted the fact that this is going to be a monthly bill for the rest of my life, I would lease one. If I want a new phone every few months without having to fully pay them off, leasing is also probably the best choice.

What about phone insurance?

Actually, this is one of the better parts to JUMP! On Demand. You see, with the regular JUMP! program from T-Mobile, T-Mobile forces you into paying an extra $10 per month to be able to upgrade at any time, with that $10 cost also covering the price of Premium Handset Protection and Lookout Mobile Security. With JUMP! On Demand, you don’t have to pay that extra $10 fee to be a part of the program and upgrade whenever you want. So, if you are the type of person who never buys handset protection, then with JOD, T-Mobile isn’t forcing you into paying an unnecessary $10 each month. But, should you want some protection, you can add it on for $8 per month.

So in the end, even if you wanted Premium Handset Protection, it’ll only cost you $8 per month instead of $10. You are saving $2 per month with JOD over the regular JUMP!.

What if I cancel mid-way through?

Since you signed an 18-month lease, you would have to pay the remaining payments and return the device to T-Mobile. If there is good news here, it’s that you don’t have to pay T-Mobile for the remaining value of the phone, only the remaining payments.

Where can I sign up for JUMP! On Demand?

At this time, only in participating T-Mobile stores.

Wait, isn’t this basically just like me signing a good ol’ wireless contract?

Actually, yes, it is. However, this is a little different in that your wireless service and phone payment are separated into separate columns on your billing statement. So even though you are signing up for 18 months worth of payments (which means 18 months of service in reality), you know that at the end of that 18 months, you can wipe out the device payment portion if you choose and just pay for service.

Our biggest gripe with contracts in the past was how carriers were hiding subsidy costs in their service prices and would charge them even if you owned your phone outright. With JOD, you don’t have those hidden subsidy costs necessarily.

So is it worth signing up for?

Well, if you like upgrading a lot, then yeah, it probably is. It’s certainly a better deal than the regular JUMP!, which forces you to pay an extra $10 a month that many of you would rather hang on to. It doesn’t cost anything upfront or to upgrade.

The only spot some of you will hesitate at is that whole “never actually owning” a phone part. So you have to decide if you would rather swap out for new phones all of the time and just accept life with a phone payment, or if you want to end up owning phones outright. And even if you do want to own them outright, this is still probably a decent deal, since you can pay for the phone at the end of 18 months anyway.


And that’s it for now. As we see other areas to tackle, we will do our best to add to this post. Questions?

Sprint’s All-In plan is up next.

T-Mobile’s JUMP! On Demand Leasing Program: How It Actually Works is a post from: Droid Life

Sprint CEO calls out the Uncarrier and Legere as a “fake show”

Posted by wicked July - 2 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

sprint-carrier

When it comes to being bold and edgy, T-Mobile CEO John Legere constantly takes the cake. Legere isn’t afraid to move beyond the typical PR responses and jabs that we see from companies like AT&T and Verizon,and it’s his loose cannon personality that has at least partially attributed to T-Mobile’s recent reputation as the “cool” carrier. As it turns out, however, Legere isn’t the only one in the business willing to speak his mind.

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure has now responded to Legere calling Sprint’s new All-In plans a “Swing and a miss”. Taking to Twitter, Claure fired off several tweets making his stance on the uncarrier pretty clear:

@JohnLegere I am so tired of your Uncarrier bullshit when you are worse than the other two carriers together. Your cheap misleading lease imitation is a joke.

You trick people to believe that they have a 15 dollar iPhone lease payment when it’s not true. You tell them they can upgrade up to 3x but you don’t tell them the price goes up to 27 dollars when they do.

You say one thing but behave completely different. It’s all a fake show. So its really #Tmobilelikehell.

Whether you agree with Sprint’s CEO or feel it’s just an angry response to T-Mobile’s aggressive marketing techniques, there are at least some that feel that Legere’s bad boy-esque attitude is more of a gimmick to make the company seem edgy. One thing is for sure though, the wireless industry has certainly changed a lot since the uncarrier initiative began, and for the better.

Even if Claure’s response seems more like a childish tantrum than anything, it’s still at least semi-refreshing to see another CEO in the wireless industry not afraid to get a little dirty and move beyond the PR-speak. Either way, it’s time to grab the popcorn and sit down — We imagine a direct response from Legere isn’t too far off and we’ll be sure to update this post when it happens.

Uncategorized

As you all know by now, Sprint introduced a new plan this week called “All-In” that’s basically them trying to usher back in the subsidy model of wireless carrier pricing. They bundle the price of a phone with service, just like wireless carriers have done for years but are now moving far away from. Of course, leave it to Sprint to try and re-invent subsidies when no one wants them. Not only that, but the plan included this insanely offensive and quite sneaky video streaming data “limitation” that they have already (sort of) backed away from. It’s mostly a mess of a smartphone plan that also includes a human being having to deal with Sprint’s network on a day-to-day basis.

To make matters more comical, T-Mobile CEO John Legere took to Twitter yesterday to share his thoughts on the plan. He, as you could have guessed, thinks it’s a “miss” and that you should all #sprintlikehell from it. Again, shocker, John Legere is talking sh*t about a competitor. That’s not the story here.

This became a hilarious piece of news when Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure actually responded to Legere’s Tweet in full meltdown mode. Here, take a look. 

Yikes. So let’s talk about what Claure is attempting to say and why he’s mostly clueless.

T-Mobile’s new JUMP! On Demand program allows you to lease a phone at a set monthly amount with the option to upgrade phones at up to 3 times per year. Claure keeps referring to this as a “fake” deal that starts you out at $15 per month on a phone before then jumping you up to $27 per month when you upgrade. He thinks this is “misleading” and that Legere is trying to “trick” people. Except, well, T-Mobile isn’t doing that at all.

That $15 per month price is a limited time promotional price for the iPhone 6. T-Mobile is 100% clear about this. Look at the chart below that they sent us with pricing for all of the phones included in this JUMP! On Demand plan. See, “limited time.” And also, the rest of the phones included in the plan are priced if you took the full retail of the phone and divided it by 24 payments (even though the lease is for 18 months). This isn’t a trick. It’s as clear as can be.

jump-on-demand-phones-pricing

T-Mobile kicked off a new plan and is doing a short-term promotional deal on the iPhone 6 at $15 per month to try and get people to buy in. Almost every company does this sort of thing. It’s called marketing. So yes, if you upgrade from that phone, your next phone won’t be $15, it will be whatever the regular price is for the phone you upgrade to. Why? Because that is a promotional offer on the iPhone 6 to generate some buzz for this plan. If you buy a Galaxy S6 and upgrade in a month to a Galaxy S6 Edge, your payment will be different, but only by a couple of dollars because only the iPhone 6 is on the promo deal. This is all pretty simple.

Marcelo Claure, I get that you are frustrated, but dude, if you are going to come to battle, at least know what the hell you are talking about first. Don’t bring this weak sauce.

And now we wait for Legere to respond…if he even thinks it’s worth it.

Update:  Here is the response from Legere. And hey, thanks for the retweet!

Sprint will open 20 new US stores in partnership with Europe’s Dixons Carphone

Posted by wicked July - 2 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

sprint-store-338

Sprint has been in the headlines recently, with the news that its CEO, Marcelo Claure, is paid handsomely, that the carrier’s unlimited All-In plan launched with some limits after all. Sprint did get some brownie points for responding swiftly to the video streaming cap, removing the measly 600kbps limit, albeit by slipping in that streaming traffic would be managed when the network became congested. Now, it seems that Sprint is looking at re-invigorating its retail stores strategy by partnering up with Dixon’s Carphone to increase the number of its physical stores. 

Sprint will work with Dixon’s Carphone Connected World Services (CWS) division on a pilot program that will see 20 new Sprint stores opened in the States. While Sprint will own and staff the stores, CWS will manage the nitty-gritty of sales strategies and best practice, leveraging its experience of selling handsets in European markets. In essence, the new stores will be similar to current Sprint branded 3rd-party stores. As mentioned, this is a pilot program, which, if successful, will see more CWS managed Sprint stores opening around the U.S. Both companies will fund the start-up costs of the pilot program equally, with 50 percent ownership interest.

“Sprint is going to offer customers a greatly enhanced experience in buying wireless products and services,” said Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. “We are partnering with the world’s leading wireless retailer to improve the customer experience in our stores. Dixons Carphone has the expertise and capabilities to accelerate this important part of our transformation journey.”

Sprint has been aggressively expanding its physical presence in stores, most recently by opening up outlets in 1,435 RadioShack locations.

Full Press Release:

Sprint Announces Retail Agreement with Dixons Carphone – Europe’s Leading Wireless Retailer

Dixons Carphone to work with Sprint on a pilot to build and operate approximately 20 new Sprint retail stores

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), July 02, 2015 – Sprint (NYSE:S) and Dixons Carphone today announced a commercial relationship that pairs Sprint with a premier European consumer electronics retailer renowned for innovation in wireless retail sales. The relationship is expected to accelerate Sprint’s retail transformation, and is the latest inventive move to grow its number of retail stores.

As part of the arrangement, in coming months Sprint will work closely with Dixons Carphone Connected World Services (CWS) division on a pilot program to build and operate about 20 new Sprint stores in select U.S. markets. These Sprint stores will operate similarly to the third-party retailers who operate Sprint-branded wireless stores across the U.S. Sprint will own and staff the stores while CWS will manage them. CWS will also apply its expertise and best practices across all of Sprint’s sales channels.

Dixons Carphone is Europe’s leading specialist electrical and telecommunications retailer and services company and is recognized as a global retail innovator with world-class retail expertise. In a former joint venture with Best Buy, the company helped launch Best Buy Mobile.

This agreement is the latest in Sprint’s strategy to expand its distribution and provide shoppers with a better customer experience. Earlier this year, Sprint quickly and cost-effectively doubled the number of corporate-owned stores by opening Sprint at RadioShack in 1,435 locations, which are currently undergoing renovation. Sprint has also launched Direct 2 You, a one-of-a-kind service that brings a personalized sales experience directly to customers whenever and wherever they want – for free.

“Sprint is going to offer customers a greatly enhanced experience in buying wireless products and services,” said Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. “We are partnering with the world’s leading wireless retailer to improve the customer experience in our stores. Dixons Carphone has the expertise and capabilities to accelerate this important part of our transformation journey.”

“We are delighted to be working with Sprint and to be a part of a transformation in their business that is already making impressive headway,” said Andrew Harrison, Dixons Carphone Deputy Group Chief Executive and CEO of CWS. “This is a very exciting venture for us, and is a significant step in growing our CWS business in the US. We bring specialist knowledge and skills to this relationship and will be looking to deliver innovation and outstanding customer service under the Sprint brand.”

If the pilot stores prove to be successful Sprint and Dixons Carphone will establish a joint venture to open and operate a substantial number of new Sprint-branded stores across the U.S. The two companies will equally fund the start-up costs of the joint venture and each will initially have 50 percent ownership interest.

Come comment on this article: Sprint will open 20 new US stores in partnership with Europe’s Dixons Carphone

marcelo_claure

Marcelo Claure is not the man to mess around with in the wireless industry. Why? Because he will directly call bullshit on you. That is exactly what Sprint’s CEO did to John Legere of T-Mobile following the latter’s tactics becoming all too much to handle.

On Wednesday evening, Legere took a jab at Sprint because of its recent All-In flub that required some changes. In addition to tweeting that the carrier had swung and missed with its new plan, Legere linked to an article from Re/code that highlights disappointment with Sprint.

Claure was not happy.

marcelo_claure_john_legere_tweet_exchange_070215

The Sprint CEO, who is among the highest paid compared to his competitors, launched a series of tweets replying to Legere, claiming that T-Mobile’s new JUMP! On Demand program is a ripoff. Claure says that the program is a trap and Legere’s company has failed to inform consumers that continuously upgrading raises the monthly price. T-Mobile’s business practices, according to Claure, is a “fake show.” The best part from Claure’s tweets comes down to a single word: bullshit. He was so fed up in his very first tweet that he told Legere that T-Mobile’s Un-carrier tactics are “bullshit.”

For those of you unable to keep track of the conversation’s reverse layout, we have organized Claure’s brief rant:

“I am so tired of your Uncarrier bullshit when you are worse than the other two carriers together. Your cheap misleading lease imitation is a joke. You trick people to believe that they have a 15 dollar iphone lease payment when it’s not true. You tell them they can upgrade up to 3x but you don’t tell them the price goes up to 27 dollars when they do. You say one thing but behave completely different. It’s all a fake show. So its really #Tmobilelikehell”

Legere has yet to issue a response to Claure but that will not remain for long. We are guaranteed to see him say or do something over the top to get back at Claure’s frustration becoming apparent.

All I have left to say is that #Tmobilelikehell does not roll off the tongue as well as #sprintlikehell.

Source: Marcelo Claure (Twitter)

Come comment on this article: Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure tells John Legere that T-Mobile’s Un-carrier tactics are “bullshit”

Sprint removes shady 600kbps streaming video cap from its new All-In pricing plan

Posted by wicked July - 1 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Sprint store Dallas News

Just yesterday, we told you about Sprint’s new All-In pricing plan, which aims to take the confusion out of signing up for a new phone plan. For $80 per month, consumers would receive unlimited talk, text, 4G LTE data, a leased smartphone, as well as video streaming speeds capped at 600kbps at all times. The thing is, Sprint placed that small throttling detail in a footnote on the bottom of the announcement page, which many users would have likely skipped over if they became interested in the plan.

Late last night, Sprint released a statement claiming that due to consumer feedback, the carrier has made the decision to remove the 600kbps streaming limit for videos.

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure explains:

At Sprint, we strive to provide customers a great experience when using our network. We heard you loud and clear, and we are removing the 600 kbps limitation on streaming video. During certain times, like other wireless carriers, we might have to manage the network in order to reduce congestion and provide a better customer experience for the majority of our customers.

Don’t get us wrong, this is great news for Sprint customers and the wireless industry alike, and we applaud Mr. Claure for making the decision only a few hours after the plan launched. It should be noted, however, that during certain times, Sprint will still need to “manage the network” to reduce congestion for other users. That’s not the news we particularly wanted to hear, but at least we know that the carrier is listening to what users have to say.

So now that the restrictions are (almost) all gone, are you planning on signing up? Let us know what you think.

Sprint’s HTC One M9 Gets Android 5.1 Today, LG G4 Gets Minor Update

Posted by Kellex July - 1 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Earlier in the week, HTC told us to expect an Android 5.1 on the Sprint One M9 come July 1. This morning, they delivered on that promise. The update will arrive as software version 2.6.651.11.

Sprint didn’t bother to list out much in their changelog, only that this is 5.1. I would imagine HTC might sneak in some camera improvements and other little tweaks to Sense. If you get the update, be sure to let us know.

Meanwhile, the LG G4 is receiving a minor update that improves “Reactivation Lock” and lands as software version LS991ZV5. 

Via:  Sprint [2]

Sprint’s HTC One M9 Gets Android 5.1 Today, LG G4 Gets Minor Update is a post from: Droid Life

sprint_all_in

Well, that didn’t take long. After announcing its ‘All-In‘ unlimited talking, texting and data plan that inexplicably included a 600kbps cap on video streaming, Sprint has decided to mostly remove the limitation.

Sprint’s CEO, Marcelo Claure, has tweeted that Sprint heard the complaints feedback of its customers about the 600kbps streaming cap, with the result that the limitation has now been removed. He went into a little more detail in Sprint’s press release though, stating that:

“During certain times, like other wireless carriers, we might have to manage the network in order to reduce congestion and provide a better customer experience for the majority of our customers.”

It isn’t all good news then. When the data network gets congested, Sprint will throttle the speed of your video streaming connection. But, that’s got to be better that a straight-up 600kbps cap right from the start, hasn’t it? You have to commend Sprint for acting quickly on the issue, but you also have to wonder how the marketing people could have ever thought that the 600kbps cap was acceptable in the first place?

Still, the issue is mostly done and dusted now. I wonder how much Sprint will throttle video streaming when the network is congested? If you are planning on joining Sprint’s All-In plan, let us know your experiences with streaming video.

Source: Sprint

Come comment on this article: Sprint heeds customer feedback and removes the 600kbps video streaming limit on its All-In plan

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