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February 28, 2008

Sprint trumps the competition in US cell phone price war

Verizon Wireless was the first to announce a $99.99 unlimited voice plan followed by AT&T and T-Mobile, and now Sprint aims to undercut them all:

Sprint Nextel upped the ante in the $99.99 all-you-can-eat rate plan battle Thursday by introducing a service that includes unlimited voice as well as unlimited data and slew of premium services.

Called “Simply Everything,” the plan will give customers unlimited voice as well as unlimited data, text, e-mail, Web-surfing, Sprint TV, Sprint Music, GPS Navigation, and push-to-talk service for $99.99 a month. The company made the announcement during its fourth-quarter earnings call, in which the company also announced heavy financial and customer losses.

The new pricing plan is available to existing and new customers on both Sprint’s CDMA network as well as its Nextel iDEN network starting on Friday. Current customers will not have to renew or extend their contract to switch to the service.

Family pricing is $5 off on the second Simply Everything line, $10 off on the third and so on up to five lines. So how does it stack up compared to the competition?

Clearly Sprint’s offering offers customers the most bang for the buck. But some analysts have warned that if Sprint significantly undercut or added more services to the bundle for the same price that they could start a price war in wireless.

That may be bad news for the carriers, but customers won’t be complaining. There’s more in Sprint’s press release, but one worry with all this low price goodness is that Sprint’s poor financial condition will be exacerbated by the price war and throw a real crimp into WiMax deployment.

Posted at 9:44 pm. Filed under AT&T, Companies, Mobile Phones, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, WiMax

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February 19, 2008

Say goodbye to HD DVD

Sony’s Blu-ray won the high definition DVD format fight when Toshiba threw in the towel today on its HD DVD format:

Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has undertaken a thorough review of its overall strategy for HD DVD and has decided it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders. This decision has been made following recent major changes in the market. Toshiba will continue, however, to provide full product support and after-sales service for all owners of Toshiba HD DVD products.

“We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called ‘next-generation format war’ and concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop,” said Atsutoshi Nishida, President and CEO of Toshiba Corporation.

Toshiba will begin to reduce shipments of HD DVD players and recorders to retail channels, aiming for cessation of these businesses by the end of March 2008. Toshiba also plans to end volume production of HD DVD disk drives for such applications as PCs and games in the same timeframe, yet will continue to make efforts to meet customer requirements. The company will continue to assess the position of notebook PCs with integrated HD DVD drives within the overall PC business relative to future market demand.

Longtime Toshiba ally Universal Studios also announced that they would become exclusively Blu-ray and you can expect everyone else to follow suit except for a few exceptions like LG Electronics who said that they will continue to ship dual format players for a while.

Posted at 7:44 pm. Filed under Blu-ray, Companies, HD DVD, LG, Sony, Storage, Toshiba

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February 11, 2008

Netflix chooses Blu-ray

There’s yet another nail in the coffin of HD DVD as Netflix announced that in the future they would only stock Blu-ray high definition DVDs:

In what can only be classified as yet another crushing blow to the embattled HD DVD camp, rent-by-mail giant Netflix has just announced its intention to only stock Blu-ray titles in the future. Netflix justified its decision by pointing out the fact that most Hollywood studios seem to be converging solely around the Sony-backed format — a fact that’s all too familiar to Toshiba and friends. With both Blockbuster and now the ‘Flix having eschewed HD DVD for BD, it’s gonna get harder and harder to even find a place to rent those former discs in the first place, let alone one that has a decent selection.


Posted at 1:12 pm. Filed under Blu-ray, Companies, HD DVD, Sony, Storage, Toshiba

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