LG Flex pre-orders start January 24th for AT&T customers, hitting 20 European countries next month

Image to scale

We’ve previously reported AT&T picking up the LG Flex, a massive phone with a curved display and tough reviews, and today the carrier officially announced plans for pre-order sales.

Starting Friday, January 24th, AT&T customers will be able to pre-order the LG Flex with its 6″ curved display for $299 with a two-year contract.

“We’re proud to offer the LG G Flex, our first smartphone with a curved screen, in the U.S. and add the device to the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president – Devices, AT&T. “We offer smartphones and devices to fit every lifestyle. There’s nothing quite like the LG G Flex to enhance viewing video and images. The unique design is great when using your thumbs to type a message and at the same time, delivers a great experience for video enthusiasts. Combined with AT&T’s premium network, the nation’s most reliable wireless service, you have an unbeatable combination of features and value.”

AT&T also says customers can purchase the device using its EDGE program: “Customers also have the option of paying $26.74 per month with AT&T Next 18 or  $34.75 per month with AT&T Next 12.” The hardware is quite different from other handset offerings with a power/volume toggle on the backside just under the camera in addition to the ability to “tap” the display on and off.

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With T-Mobile? AT&T will give you $450 to switch … kind of

Photo: Fox
Photo: Fox

AT&T has announced incentives worth up to $450 for T-Mobile customers who switch to their service. The move is being made in response to T-Mobile’s Uncarrier offers, after AT&T recently said that it too expected to move toward separating device and service charges.

Proving the old adage that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, the deal of course comes with strings. First, $250 of that is the maximum you’ll receive in return for trading in your existing T-Mobile handset. To get the full $250, you’ll need a recent handset in good condition – in which case you’d almost certainly get more selling it privately …  Read more

LG Flex coming to AT&T and T-Mobile soon

The Ev-er reliable @evleaks’ latest leak? Some images of the LG Flex with some markings of the US GSM carriers. That’s right, if you are a T-Mobile or AT&T customer, you’ll soon have some ‘flexible’ options when it comes to Android phones.  Sprint? Yeah there too.  Verizon? Fashionable late as usual. Read more

WSJ: Sprint could purchase T-Mobile USA next year

(via Flickr)

Almost two years to date since AT&T pulled its bid for T-Mobile USA, rival carrier Sprint is reportedly preparing its own offer to purchase the fourth largest carrier in the US.

That’s according to a The Wall Street Journal report which claims Sprint is currently looking into regulatory concerns that could be voiced if the third largest US carrier acquired the company which runs the fourth largest US carrier.

Sprint hasn’t yet decided whether to move ahead with a bid. Going forward despite regulators’ concerns would be highly risky. Any pursuit of a bid by Sprint could be aimed at testing antitrust officials’ reaction to a deal, and a bad reaction could put an end to the effort.

While Justice Department denied AT&T’s bid for T-Mobile in 2011 after a year long effort, it’s certainly possible a Sprint/T-Mobile merger could prove otherwise considering rival carriers AT&T and Verizon’s position in the market.

As the WSJ report notes, Verizon leads with 95 million postpaid subscribers and AT&T has 72 million subscribers, but such an acquisition would keep Sprint in a distant third place with just 53 million postpaid customers.

Both Sprint and Verizon have proved capable of adding competition in an an industry with so few key players. Sprint has long boasted its unlimited data offer for customers while T-Mobile famously reinvented the 2-year upgrade model with options soon adopted by the competition.

Unlike the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile acquisition bid two years ago, Sprint and T-Mobile operate with different technologies. The former company relies on CDMA technologies while the latter company is built on GSM.

Huawei to finally exit US market after years of Cyberspying accusations

huaweilogo

After years of accusations of being proxy spies for Chinese military and intelligence agencies, Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei says his company is exiting the US market. In an interview provided to French journalists, the CEO of the worlds largest telecommunications equipment provider says his company will no longer fight to stay in the US market.

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Head of Samsung Mobile leaves company, NYT reports

(via Wired.com)

(via Wired.com)

Samsung’s chief product officer for its mobile devision, Kevin Packingham, has parted ways with the company, The New York Times reports.

Packingham, a former Sprint Nextel vendor, was responsible for leading the company’s mobile team during the notably successful launches of the Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy S 4 Android phones on all the major US carriers. Packingham cited Samsung’s aggressive advertising campaign for the Galaxy smartphones as a key to making their respective launches successful for both Samsung and the carrier stores.

Samsung Mobile confirmed the departure to NYT:

“Kevin Packingham has departed Samsung Mobile,” said Ashley Wimberly, a Samsung Mobile spokeswoman, in a statement. “We thank Kevin for his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Details surrounding Packingham’s departure are vague at this point, and a successor to the two-year Samsung Mobile chief has yet to be announced. Read more

Republic Wireless launching Moto X for $299 off contract in November

Moto-X-Republic-Wireless

Normally available for around $600 unsubsidized, Republic Wireless announced today that it will soon begin offering the Moto for just $299. That’s the carrier’s no contract price and just $100 more than most carriers are charging for the device on the usual two-year contract:

The Moto X will retail at $299 (plus taxes and surcharges) from the Republic Wireless store. That’s right – we took the hot, new Moto X, added Republic’s great Hybrid service and priced it at $299 with no contract required. That’s a price that’s, like, impossible to match anywhere in the industry. How did we do it? The phone is $299 because we are footing the bill.  Period.  This is NOT a $299 phone.   Take a quick look around the web and look at “no contract” pricing for the Moto X.

The device will be available on two of the carrier unlimited plans that start at just $5 a month, but customers will have the following plans to choose from: Read more

Sprint’s quad-core LG Optimus G now on pre-order for $199 with contract

AT&T’s LG Optimus G

Sprint just announced customers could pre-order the LG Optimus G starting today for $199.99 with a new two-year contract or eligible upgrade.

So, what’s so special about this particular LTE Android smartphone? Well, it has a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor. It also features a 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus display, 2GB of RAM, 32GB built-in storage, NFC, and a 2,100mAh battery.

Unfortunately, this powerful handset boasts the aging Ice Cream Sandwich OS. There is also no mention in the announcement of an upcoming upgrade. Take a look at 9to5Google’s hands-on review of the AT&T version for a full spec refresher.

Oh, but we must note the LG Optimus G’s cheese shutter. Yeah—you heard that right. The smartphone’s camera is voice-activated by words like “cheese” and “smile”—eliminating the need for a shutter button. Um, interesting?

AT&T folks should keep an eye out for availability too, as the competing Sprint carrier previously said it would open the pre-order gate Nov. 2.

Sprint’s press announcement is below. 

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Google Play Store carrier billing goes live for Verizon customers

We knew that Google Play carrier billing would be available “in the coming weeks” for Verizon customers when Google confirmed on Twitter earlier this month. Today direct billing is officially rolling out to Verizon users with the new payment option now available form the Google Play store billing page pictured above (via AndroidPolice). Direct carrier billing is already available to most other Android users in the U.S. on AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. No word yet on whether or not Verizon will employ the rumored $25 limit for direct billing. Read more

Samsung bringing NYC fans to exclusive Kanye West performance at this Wednesday’s Galaxy Note II event

Samsung is about to officially launch its new Galaxy Note II this week in the United States at a press event in New York City on Wednesday. We know T-Mobile and Sprint will launch the device this week, and AT&T and Verizon sometime in the near future, but today Samsung confirmed we would also get a performance from Kanye West following the presentation. Samsung’s Facebook page is offering its NYC fans a chance to attend the performance. It did not provide details on how to enter, but it said to stay tuned to its Facebook page for more details. We will be live at the event to bring you updates as they happen.
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