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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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January 15, 2006

More reviews of Palm Treo 700w

The reviews continue to come in for the Palm Treo 700w, Palm’s first venture into the Windows Mobile arena:

mobilepipeline: Review: Palm’s Powerful, Easy Treo 700w

Business Week: Treo 650 or Treo 700w?

MoDaCo: Treo 700w: Could it sway you from your Smartphone?

treocentral: Treo 700w

USA Today: Palm Treo 700w, with Windows Mobile, is likable

Technically Speaking: Two Days With the Treo 700w

jkOnTheRun: Treo 700w video review

Frankly, while they are generally positive, some folks still prefer the Palm OS and/or the Treo 650 that ran it. There are also some related stories as well:

Windows Mobile News points to Verizon Prevents Treo Use As 3G Modem via crippling Bluetooth.

jkOnTheRun has Several tips for the Palm Treo 700w phone.

Also see Windows Mobile News who is all over the Windows Mobile arena.

Posted at 10:39 am. Filed under Brands, Companies, EV-DO, Microsoft, Mobile Phones, Palm, Smartphones, Treo, Verizon, Windows Mobile

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January 6, 2006

Dueling reviews: Palm Treo 700w smartphone

One of the announcements that created the most buzz at the Consumer Electronic Show this week was the Palm Treo 700w smartphone which was launched in cooperation with Verizon Wireless for their high speed EV-DO wireless service. It’s the first Palm product using the Windows Mobile operating system from Microsoft which is a story in itself ([1], [2]). So how did they do? Frankly, it seems to be a mixed bag.

The Good:

Mobile Tech Review:

The Treo 700w will undoubtedly, like the Palm OS Treo 650, be one of the most popular smartphones on the market this year. It boasts the extremely popular Treo design and usability married to the power of Windows Mobile 5.0. If you’re a Pocket PC fan who always longed for that Treo look and feel, you may just find yourself in heaven. Palm and Verizon tell us that Verizon will be the only carrier to offer the Treo 700w for the first 6 months.

Sascha Segan at PC MagazinePalm, Verizon Release Treo 700w :

The Treo 700w looks and feels like Palm’s previous, popular Treo 650 – but it runs Windows Mobile 5.0 with plenty of unique Palm extensions.

Yardena Arar at PC WorldFirst Look at the Palm Treo 700w Smartphone:

The Treo 700w is almost guaranteed to please a growing number of mobile professionals who are tied to Microsoft Exchange Server, and the EvDO support is the icing on the cake. Palm may not have single-handedly solved all the problems of Windows Mobile–it’s still a convoluted operating system that frequently gets tangled up in itself–but the Treo 700w is a credible step in the right direction.

The Bad:

David Pogue at the NY TimesA Marriage Not Made in Heaven:

The first question, in Palm’s case, is: why? The answer is: corporate sales.

For years, Palm has stood by, gnashing its teeth and losing market share, as corporate tech buyers lived and breathed the credo, “Nobody ever got fired for buying Microsoft.” So maybe, thought Palm, it could join that party by offering its much-admired Treo phone with Microsoft inside.

The second question is: how?

From the beginning, Palm’s and Microsoft’s design philosophies were miles apart. Microsoft lived for long lists of features and 65 different ways to get at them, while Palm strove for simplicity and directness.

How on earth can these two approaches be reconciled?

As it turns out, not very easily. The Treo 700W ($400 with a two-year Verizon commitment) is a Frankensteinian mishmash. Some of its features are so inspired and well executed, you can’t help grinning, while others are so clumsy, you smack your forehead.

Walter Mossberg at the Wall Street JournalA New Palm Treo Uses Microsoft’s Software, But It Doesn’t Beat 650:

My verdict: Despite some nice new features, the Windows Mobile software is still inferior to the Palm software for one-handed use on the go. Its crucial email and phone functions are also weaker. And there’s a serious bug in its email software that affects individuals, though not corporate users. So the Treo 700w is neither as easy to use nor as powerful as the Treo 650. In addition, the screen on the 700w offers significantly lower resolution than the screen on the 650, and the new model costs twice as much — $400 versus $200.


Treonauts has a detailed review of what’s better and worse about the Treo 700w as compared to the Treo 650.

CNET notes both pluses and minuses as well for an overall rating of 7.6 out of 10.

Trying to sum up these rather different reviews, I’d say that hard core Palm OS fans are going to be disappointed, while Pocket PC and Windows corporate users are going to be enthusiastic.

Update 1/07: There’s another positive review from Wilson Rothman at Time Online:

Overall, the pairing seems to be a good one. Palm is bringing some of the warmth of the Palm OS to the coldly businesslike Windows Mobile platform, and getting a ride to the top of the corporate ladder in the process. My guess is that Palm will sell plenty of these, and that Microsoft will be happy about it.

Posted at 5:33 pm. Filed under Brands, Companies, EV-DO, Microsoft, Mobile Phones, Palm, Smartphones, Treo, Verizon, Windows Mobile

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