Tag Archives: EA

Track your friends with the new Google Latitude for Google Maps for Mobile

Fan of Google Maps? Use it a lot on your cell phones? Maybe you use Loopt to stay in touch with friends and family and check out what they’re up to and where they are? Well, starting today, Google’s new Latitude feature looks to steal their lunch. Google not only lets you see yourself on the map, but your friends as well (assuming they accept your invitation and opt-in to sharing their location with you). Google Maps for mobile with Latitude is available now for Android (it’s in the current RC33 update that’s being rolled out), Blackberry, Symbian S60 and Windows Mobile. The Apple iPhone version will be available soon as part of the Google Mobile App. And, if you don’t have a smartphone (uh, why are you even visiting this site?), you can even add the Google Latitude Gadget to your iGoogle homepage. If you use Google Gears or Google Chrome, the location of your desktop or laptop can be tracked, too. Pretty awesome stuff. Just don’t go askin’ any BGR writers to share their location, we’re pretty private people, you know.


Right on time: Fido launches the BlackBerry Pearl 8100

We said it, you doubted, we said it again and now it’s finally here – Fido has launched the BlackBerry Pearl 8100. That’s right – it’s 2009 and a wireless carrier just launched the Pearl 8100. Okay, so the 8100 is pretty much obsolete at this point and the fact that Fido has the nerve to ask for $400 month-to-month or $25 over 3-years is nothing short of absolutely insane. Hey, nothing is stopping you from bringing in something hot like a Bold or Curve 8900 instead. God knows you’ve earned it for being so patient during the long, arduous wait! Anyway, just like we said the data plans are as follows:

  • $15 – Unlimited personal email and IM
  • $25 – 500MB
  • $30 – 1GB
  • $60 – 3GB

Happy now, Canada?


T-Mobile tops JD Power Customer Service rankings yet again

It’s hardly a surprise at this point, given the carrier’s historical dominance, but it’s still worth noting. According to the almighty JD Power and Associates, T-Mobile has earned the highest possible ranking in their survey of customer service provided by the major cell companies in the US. T-Mobile, widely acknowledged as one of the industry leaders in providing spotty service exemplary customer service, has won the top honor 7 out of the last 8 years, losing narrowly to Verizon in last year’s contest. JD Power determined the following specifics about T-Mobz’ commitment to its customer base:

  • T-Mobile ranked highest among all wireless providers in Overall Customer Care Performance, above all its competitors and significantly ahead of the industry average.
  • In interactions between consumers and customer care representatives, T-Mobile ranked significantly above the industry average.
  • T-Mobile ranked highest in online customer service and walk-in interactions at retail stores.
  • T-Mobile scored well above other wireless carriers and the industry average with the lowest average hold times.

There ya have it. While the carrier’s 3G footprint is dismal, and general coverage lags well behind the rest of the pack, the company has been bringing some exciting devices into the fold as of late, and its continued commitment to distinguishing itself via the customer service route has proven effective.


EA looks to Wii for salvation

Electronic Arts reported its earnings yesterday and while things are hardly as catastrophic as, say, a company like Sony, EA did manage to fall short of projections. Revenue came in at $1.65 billion, short of the $1.90 billion projection and revenue for the fiscal year yielded around $4.2 billion compared to a projection of $4.68 billion. As a result, EA announced some big moves in an effort to slow the bleeding – 1,100 layoffs and the closing of 12 game studios. That’s the bad news of course. The good news is that EA finally plans to get on board and begin focusing major efforts on Nintendo’s Wii, the run-away leader as far as console sales are concerned. This might not be the best news Microsoft and Sony have heard all week as they will likely see several currently-exclusive titles hit Nintendo’s console, but an active EA presence on Wii will bring a new dynamic to the console. More importantly, it will give EA access to to a huge audience that had been previously untapped. How EA’s franchises will translate to the popular console remains to be seen but if there’s one thing that can boost EA’s revenue, it’s the Wii.


Garmin and ASUS announce strategic alliance, nuviphone G60

Garmin and ASUS have just announced that they’ve entered into a strategic alliance and have subsequently re-branded the Garmin nuvifone as the nuviphone G60. What’s more is that both companies have promised to deliver several devices in 2009 with another device slated to make a charming pirouette entrance at Mobile World Congress. With the entire nuvifone lineup obviously very navigation oriented, the million dollar question is what OS will the lineup will be running. Apparently a ASUS chairman said at today’s press conference that it has yet to decide which OS to use with the G60 and that “[ASUS has] expertise in WinMo, Linux and Android, but we believe the software is more important than the OS.” While the aforementioned statement seems on the surface to be an example of extravagant exaggeration, we suppose that there is some truth to it as the people who are going to be picking up a G60 aren’t going to be doing so because of whatever OS it ships with. Now if you have a good memory for these kind of things you’ll recall that it wasn’t too long ago that we though the G60 would for sure be shipping with Android based upon statements from Garmin’s Asian Pacific Marketing Director, but then again companies obviously reserve the right to change their minds at any time. Expect to see the G60 out by the end of this quarter – a daunting task considering it’s still OSless…


AT&T to scoop up divested Verizon Wireless assets?

As part of the Alltel merger, Verizon Wireless was required to divest nearly $3 billion in wireless assets as shown in the dark blue and red areas in the map above. According to the Wall Street Journal, AT&T is rumored to be one of three interested parties seeking to scoop up these soon-to-be-available markets. Other potential buyers include Providence Equity Partners LLC and a joint venture that includes the private-equity firms of Carlyle Group CYL.UL and Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts & Co. Because of its strong financial position, AT&T could easily out bid these other investment groups and walk away with the lion’s share of these markets. Regulatory approval may stand in the way of AT&T’s rumored plans as the purchase of the divestitures must be approved by the DOJ. It is unclear whether the DOJ would approve such an acquisition by an already large wireless carrier such as AT&T. As of the writing of this post, both AT&T and Verizon Wireless have declined to comment on the rumors. Until these rumors are debunked, the question remains whether customers in these divested markets would be better served by a larger and more experienced wireless carrier like AT&T or a smaller firm such as one of the aforementioned.


Sprint EOL list reveals target Palm Pre launch, plenty more

Sprint customers, have you found yourself wondering what Hesse & Co. have in store for you this year beyond the illustrious Palm Pre? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. While we can’t post the list itself, one of our ninjas came through with a tasty internal document that may shed some light on things for you. It doesn’t cover all of the handsets Sprint has in store for 2009 but it does shed some light on a few handsets we’re all eagerly awaiting. Note that this is an End of Life (EOL) list so the replacement devices may add an element of confusion. Some of the handsets listed below are already released, such as the Motorola i365 and the Samsung M220, yet they are listed next to dates in the future. This simply means that these handsets will fill any gaps left by the corresponding EOL device. As for the handsets on the list that are not yet released, the EOL dates represent the target death of the EOL handset (in the warehouse, existing store inventory will still be sold) and the target in stock-date at Sprint’s warehouses for its replacement. In other words, these replacement devices are projected to be in stock by the dates specified so a release on or around said date is most likely a safe bet. So without further ado, hit the jump and soak up all that Sprint handset goodness we’ve extracted from the EOL document for you.

UPDATE: To clarify a bit of confusion, the sheet shows a target in-stock date of 3/15 for the Pre. It also shows that it will be replacing the Palm 755P which has a projected EOL in late May. For comparison sake, the Treo Pro shows a target in-stock date of 2/15, replacing the 800W which has a projected EOL in April. For the Treo Pro, we know that the target in-stock date corresponds with the launch of 2/15. This could indeed put the Pre launch on or around 3/15, but we wouldn’t bet on it. Sprint wants to move their stock of Treo 755Ps before they get to the Pre, and if we were a betting bunch, we’d peg the Pre release closer to May/Early June than Mid-March.

Device Name – Projected Warehouse EOL – Replacement (if available)

  • Sierra Compass 597 USB – Early February – Sierra 598 USB
  • Motorola ic602 – Early February
  • LG 160 – Mid-February – Samsung M220
  • LG Rumor (blue) – Mid February – LG 265 Rumor II (target in-stock 2/15)
  • Motorola i325IS – Mid February – Motorola i365IS
  • LG Rumor (green) – Mid March – LG 265 Rumor II (target in-stock 2/15)
  • Franklin Wireless U680 USB – Early April
  • Palm 800W – April – Palm Treo Pro (target in-stock 2/15)
  • LG Rumor (black) – Mid April – LG 265 Rumor II (target in-stock 2/15)
  • Motorola i615 – Mid April
  • Samsung M520 Lumina – Mid April – LG LX370 (slider)
  • RIM BlackBerry Pearl (red) – May
  • LG LX400 – Late May
  • Palm 755P (blue) – Late May – Palm Pre (target in-stock 3/15)
  • Sanyo 6750 Eclipse (pink) – June
  • Palm Centro (berry) – June
  • Motorola Q9C – Mid June
  • Sierra 597E – July – Sierra 2-in-1 Aircard
  • Palm Centro (green) – July
  • Palm Centro refresh (black) – July
  • Motorola VE20 – July
  • HTC Touch Diamond – July
  • RIM BlackBerry 7100i – August – RIM BlackBerry 8350i

T-Mobile makes the Samsung Memoir official

T-Mobile has announced that they are going to be carrying the Samsung Memoir this month. We could never have guessed… A pretty little thing, the Memoir’s main selling points are is its 8 megapixel camera with autofocus, 16x digital zoom and Xenon flash. A virtual full-QWERTY keypad and aGPS make up the other goodies this phone offers along with Samsung’s TouchWiz interface. Now, the heart and soul of the Memoir is its camera and Samsung has made it easy for users to upload their pics to flickr, Kodak Gallery, Photobucket or Snapfish with the simple tap of the touchscreen. Thankfully this won’t be too much of a chore if you’re within T-Mobile’s funky 1700MHz 3G spectrum, but a lack of WiFi is going to make an awful lot of people sad considering that T-Mobile’s 3G network is currently as widespread as Eminem’s new album. Anyway, we’re quite excited to get some hands-on time with the Memoir — we love us some camera phones. Hit up the jump for a couple more pics and the press release.


Samsung Memoirâ„¢ Captures and Shares High-Quality Images
With Advanced Features and Touch Screen

DALLAS, and BELLEVUE, WASH. — Feb. 5, 2009 — Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile) and T-Mobile USA, Inc., today announced the upcoming availability of the Samsung Memoir™, a full touch-screen mobile phone equipped with an 8-megapixel camera and premium multimedia features, placing it among the highest quality imaging phones available in the U.S.

The Memoir, available exclusively from T-Mobile, is designed to look and feel like a customer’s current point-and-shoot digital camera. The built-in 8-megapixel camera with Xenon flash, 16x digital zoom and five shooting modes empower customers to capture exceptional photos and videos from their phone — whether they’re on the go, on a vacation or just hanging out around the house.

The touch-screen phone, enabled by Samsung’s TouchWiz™ user interface and powered by T-Mobile’s high-speed 3G network, makes sharing photos easy. Samsung’s new photo widget allows customers to post images taken with the Memoir directly to their favorite online photo sharing source, such as flickr®, Kodak® Gallery, Photobucket and Snapfish.

“With the 8-megapixel Samsung Memoir, T-Mobile customers can capture and share little slices of life in all their vibrant brilliance,” said Denny Marie Post, chief marketing officer, T-Mobile USA. “With the ability to share photos at your fingertips, the Memoir helps make those connections more meaningful by their immediacy.”

The Memoir’s full-touch virtual QWERTY keypad and multiple messaging capabilities, including text, multimedia messaging, instant messaging and e-mail, make staying connected quick and easy while on the go. The Memoir is complete with a music and video player and built-in Assisted GPS navigation, which allows customers to utilize location-based services including turn-by-turn directions. For hands-free use, the Memoir features stereo Bluetooth® technology, speakerphone and voice-activated dialing.

“This is the camera phone that will make people want to leave their digital camera at home,” said Bill Ogle, Chief Marketing Officer for Samsung Mobile. “When you combine the Memoir’s imaging capabilities, customizable menus and music player, not only is it a great phone, but the entertainment possibilities are unlimited.”

T-Mobile launches Motorola W223 Renew: Recession edition

The Motorola Renew isn’t exactly an unheard of device, but T-Mobile has gone and scooped ‘em up. Don’t expect to be taking 8-megapixel flicks here, as this is as low-end as you basically get. How low end? Well, how does $9.99 on a two-year sound? Yeah, it’s that inexpensive. There are some perks to owning a Motorola Renew, however. First of all, you’re looking at around nine whole hours of battery life — awesome. Second, the entire case of the phone is made from recycled water bottles and thus is 100% fully recyclable. Additionally, the box it comes in is also made from recycled material and the phone ships with a postage-paid envelope to a recycling center when the phone’s time on the earth is done. Not to get all gushy over the green aspect of the device, but as a final aside, Motorola has completely offset the carbon dioxide required to make, distribute, and operate the phone through investments in reforestation and renewable energy sources. Pretty damn cool, if we do say so ourselves.

Alright, you’ve got your tye-dye shirts on, incense burning, and Iron Man by Black Sabbath on repeat, but you’re still wondering how the phone is. If anyone remembers the Motorola L6 (the low cost SLVR or L8) you’ll know what we’re talking about it. The thing to remember is the cost of the handset and what you need in a phone. Would many BGR readers put up with possibly the worst display we’ve ever seen on a mobile device? Most likely not. Would most BGR readers get excited by nine hours of talk time? Probably so. The actual OS the Renew runs is Synergy (love it or hate it), but as old Moto junkies, we were rockin’ around that thing in no time. The Motorola system sounds even made us shed a single tear. In closing, we’d say that while this is certainly not the type of phone Motorola needs right now, it’s certainly not a bad option for the loved one in your life that just pisses you off because they don’t care what kind of phone they use. It’s available today from T-Mobile.