Archive for the ‘Wireless Networking’ Category

iPad Coming to Verizon October 28

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

The iPad is coming to Verizon. It won’t have native 3G, but Verizon has figured out a way around that problem. You can buy an iPad/MiFi Mobile Hotspot bundle. The MiFi Mobile Hotspot allows you to use your Verizon 3G data to broadcast to 5 WiFi-enabled devices, including the iPad.

The iPads seem to track AT&T’s selection, sans 3G. You can get 16GB for $630, 32GB for $730, and 64GB for $830. The MiFi 2200 is included in the price, and requires a data plan. Even with the service agreement, the plans will be available month-to-month without an early termination fee. Verizon’s data plans are $20 for 1GB, $35 for 3GB, and $50 for 5GB. The overages stack in favor of the 3GB or 5GB plans though, with only $10 per additional gigabyte. The MiFi 2200 will not be included outside of Verizon, so don’t rush to the Apple store if you want the bundle. You can also purchase the iPad without the MiFi if you prefer. Verizon’s FAQ says to check verizonwireless.com/ipad for the non-bundled iPad pricing, but it currently just redirects to the announcement page.

With all the rumors of a Verizon iPhone getting stronger, this iPad option certainly seems to lend credence. Verizon figured out a clever workaround for the non-CDMA devices. The MiFi hotspot will get you on Verizon’s network, but will also require you pay for a data plan. A smart move on Verizon’s part, though not necessarily great news for its customers. Needless to say, the iPad is going to be flying off Verizon’s shelves. Christmas has come early for Verizon customers.

iPad Arriving at AT&T Stores October 28

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

AT&T has announced that it will carry the iPad in AT&T stores starting October 28. The iPad WiFi and 3G devices will come with the $15 and $25 data plans, with 250MB and 2GB of data respectively. The data plans are contract-free and come with free access to AT&T’s WiFi hotspots.

The iPad is currently only available at Apple stores and online, so this will be big for sales in the retail stores, just in time for Christmas. Since AT&T already sells the iPad, this news isn’t as big for consumers. Verizon managed to make an even bigger splash today. Details on Verizon’s announcement will be provided in another post though.

Are you more likely to buy an iPad now that it will be available in-store? I suppose if you don’t live near an Apple store or aren’t comfortable with online purchases this is pretty exciting news. Most of the die-hard Apple fans already have the iPad though, so I imagine gift sales will be where AT&T benefits from this.

AT&T logo

Sony Ericsson Announces LiveView

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Sony Ericsson

Sony Ericsson announced a new product today called LiveView. While at first glance it resembles an iPod Nano, it is something different. It is a mini viewscreen for your Android phone. Check out the video below.

As Marcus Hansson was describing the device in the video, I thought that it would work great as a watch. Sure enough he attached it to a wristband and made it one. Sony Ericsson already has a business-style watch, and this looks like it is more for the casual user. It could be useful in a variety of ways, and Sony Ericsson left it open to any Android app that wants to utilize it.

The LiveView features a 128 x 128 pixel OLED display. You interact with the device through the touch-screen on the edge of the display, and external buttons. In the video it is described as a widget available on an external device. This gives you an at-a-glance option for any program compatible with it, like the music player. It connects to your phone through Bluetooth with an app called LiveView.

Here are the specs:

  • 1.3” color OLED display, 128×128 pixels
  • Bluetooth and Micro USB connections
  • Compatible with most Android phones version 2.0 and above (Compability List: www.sonyericsson.com/liveview)
  • In Box: Clip, Wristband, MicroUSB charger, User guide

Here are some of the default features:

  • Music player control: Play, pause, next, previous track and volume adjustment, Track title display
  • Social Networking Services: Display Facebook and Twitter updates
  • Messaging: Display incoming texts and RSS feeds
  • Calls: Show caller ID, Mute ringer, View missed calls
  • Other: Calendar reminders, phone finder, view time and date

I can see a lot of ways this device would be useful. I think this device will depend on developer adoption though. If developers choose not to make apps that work with it, it might handicap the device somewhat. The default features included in the box by Sony Ericsson should make it worth a look though. There was no information on pricing, another thing that could make or break the device. I would hope this would cost less than a typical bluetooth headset, but we’ll have to wait and see.

LiveView will be available in selected markets beginning in Q4 this year. It will coincide with the launch of Eclair on the Xperia X10. You can read the full press release here.