Well, it certainly is not the BlackBerry Storm but the LG enV Touch must rank high up on the Verizon Wireless ladder as it is seemingly getting the same pre-order treatment. Starting today, Best Buy Mobile is launching a pre-order sale for the upcoming LG enV Touch. A mere $50 deposit will guarantee that you can walk out of Best Buy holding this upcoming touchscreen QWERTY clamshell on its June 5th launch date. We are not sure that this handset warrants such “first day sellout hysteria” status but if have five sawbucks burning a hole in your pocket, then what do you have to lose? Those felling a bit more adventurous can try their hand at scoring an enV Touch extra early from Verizon Wireless. Several members over on Howard Forums have reported success in ordering the handset early from telesales and at least one or two have already received the phone. Hit the jump for the first unboxed picture of the enV Touch courtesy of 91ZCpe.
A few of our Verizon Wireless ninjas came through this morning and hit us with some information about some of the Verizon’s BlackBerry rumors that have been floating around. Here is what we’ve got:
- The BlackBerry Storm has not been forgotten by Verizon. A new version of the 4.7 OS (.148) is indeed undergoing testing right now. It looks as if this version will pass testing and Storm owners will be getting their much needed update soon. If you know where to look of course, you can already snag it.
- The Pearl Flip 8230 has made its appearance in Verizon’s inventory system. The handset is reportedly running OS 188.8.131.52 and both silver and purple versions are being toted around by some lucky Verizon Wireless employees. No exact launch date but the launch is reportedly imminent.
- Last but not least, we got confirmation that the Storm 2 is indeed on the fast track will be launched in the very near future. Our source places the launch in early July, though we highly doubt that will be the case.
Rumors have been flying around over the past day or so regarding the enV Touch launch and we just confirmed that the handset will indeed launch with Verizon Wireless on June 5th. The update to the almost two-year-old Voyager will feature some much needed improvements including a 3-inch internal display with on-screen keyboard, external 3-inch screen with 800×480 resolution, 3.2 megapixel camera with Schneider-Kreuznach lens and a 3.5mm headset jack. The side-opening clamshell will also include EVDO Rev A connectivity, a document viewer, HTML Web Browser, microSDHC support and will measureÃ‚Â 4.52H x 2.16W x 0.66D. According to our ninja we are indeed looking at $149.99 after a $70 mail-in rebate on a 2-year contract — definitely doable.
Our ninja came through for us again and we got our hands on the launch details for the highly anticipated enV3 for Verizon Wireless. The enV3 will feature a 2.6 inch internal display, 1.5 inch external display, QWERTY keyboard, 3 megapixel camera with flash and video recording capability, microSD expansion up to 16GB, Bluetooth, GPS, 2.5mm headphone jack, HTML web browser, and support for the whole suite of Verizon-specific services including V CAST Music with Rhapsody, V CAST videos, VZ Navigator and Visual Voice Mail. The enV3 will retain the small form factor of the enV2 measuring a mereÃ‚Â 4.11″ (H) x 2.13″ (W) x 0.65″ (D) and weighing 3.77 ounces. We should see a launch on May 29th in all channels for $129 after a $50 mail in rebate and a two year contract, $199 after a $50 mail in rebate and a two year contract, or $299 for full retail. Hit the jump for the slide with the detailed specs and some additional images of the handset.
Remember that funky swiveling Nokia handset that we told you about back in April. Well, it looks like it is more fact than fiction as it just hopped, skipped, and jumped its way through the FCC.Ã‚Â The Nokia model RM-526 sports dual-band CDMA/EV-DO, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, has the boxiest form factor ever and runs software version VN_2040T13_VZW_108. Notice anything familiar? Looks like our ninja was spot on and we may actually see this handset hit Big Red sometime this summer.
As expected, the Samsung Alias 2 is now available from Verizon Wireless. The dual hinge clam shell with dynamic electronic ink keypad will set you back a mere $79 after a $50 MIR/online discount with a 2-year contract. A 1-year contract will cost you $149 after a $50 MIR/online discount and full retail is $259. If you need more than one Alias 2, the phone is part of Big Red’s classic buy-one-get-up-to-four-free offer. Just a word of caution as the additional free handsets do require a 2-year commitment. If anyone heads out to his or her local Verizon Wireless store and picks up this bad boy today, give us a shout in the comments with your first impressions.
Wondering what happened to the Storm OS .141 update we said should have dropped late last month? We had heard rumors of some problems with the OS but over the weekend we got word from a trusted ninja that the much anticipated OS .141 has failed Verizon Wireless’ testing. Oh. No. Too many glitches remain, so this update is supposedly dead in the water. There is no word yet on a new OS version nor any expected release date for a future update. The big question now is what RIM and Verizon will do with the Storm. Will we see another 4.7 version go through testing, will both companies ditch 4.7 and roll out an OS 5.0 update or will development on the Storm be shelved in lieu of the rumored Storm 2? In any case, at this point we really better start to see some movement soon.
A funny thing happened on the way to acquisition. The two largest carriers in the US, Verizon Wireless and AT&T, have commanded and conquered some smaller carriers and are now seemingly sharing the spoils. As already reported, AT&T announced on Friday that it will purchase a substantial portion of Verizon’s divested Alltel assets. On the same day, AT&T also announced that it will be selling certain portions of Centennial communications to Verizon Wireless as AT&T seeks final regulatory approval for the its acquisition of the small, rural carrier. Verizon will pony up $240 million for Centennial assets that include nearly 120,000 current subscribers in five service areas across Louisiana and Mississippi. In the end, we have AT&T buying assets from Verizon and Verizon buying assets from AT&T while T-Mobile and Sprint are nowhere to be found.
One of our Verizon ninjas just sent through the latest Verizon Wireless rebate sheet covering May 11th to June 4th 2009 and it reveals a few upcoming handsets. We’ll tell you all right now though — there are no big surprises this month unfortunately. First up, an official confirmation of the upcoming env3 which will be available in slate blue and the familiar maroon. We already knew this update to the env2 was coming and have seen plenty of blurrycam shots. Though its presence on the rebate sheet does not confirm a launch within the rebate period, it does suggest that the env3 is not too far from getting official. Also new to the rebate sheet but known to be launching soon are the Samsung Alias 2 expected on May 11th and the MiFi 2200 portable EV-DO router available May 17th. Noticeably absent is the Voyager 2, rumored to be officially called the envTouch due to Plantronics owning the trademark on the Voyager name. This rumor is somewhat substantiated by the disclaimer at the bottom of the rebate sheet stating, “VoyagerÃ¢â€žÂ¢ is a trademark of Plantronics, Inc. used under license by Verizon Wireless.” Hit the jump for the full rebate sheet.
Speaking at Ericsson AB’s annual capital markets day in Boston on Thursday, Verizon Wireless CTO Tony Melone candidly discussed the future of Verizon Wireless’ network. As has been discussed before, Verizon is on a fast track to roll out LTE over 700MHz. The carrier plans to begin “phase four” trials in a few select markets by the end of 2009, deploy the 4G service commercially in 2010 and rapidly accelerate expansion in 2011 and 2012. As Big Red begins the adoption of LTE, what will happen to its current CDMA and EV-DO offerings? According to Melone, Verizon’s CDMA/1xRTT network is very stable for voice services and will remain in place until 2018 or even 2020. The EV-DO network will have a much shorter life span with its current 3G technology being replaced quickly by LTE. No mention of GSM so it looks like those rumors of Verizon Wireless moving to GSM on the way to LTE are indeed false.