Verizon User

August 28, 2008

Verizon nabs the Blitz: someone has thought of the children

Filed under: enGadget Mobile — verizonuser @ 6:43 pm

by Paul Miller, posted Aug 25th 2008 at 9:52AM
http://www.engadgetmobile.com/2008/08/25/verizon-nabs-the-blitz-someone-has-thought-of-the-children/

This one has been in the works for a while, but Verizon has appropriated UTStarcom’s TXT8010 my-first-QWERTY phone for tweens and dropped it onto an unsuspecting market with the new “Blitz” moniker. The slider phone will run you $70 with a two year contract, is available now, and includes a few perks like VCAST Music, a microSD slot, 1.3 megapixel camera and stereo Bluetooth to keep your jaded child interested.

The Verizon Wireless BlitzTM has a square form factor that makes this handset funky and unique. Geared to the younger messaging and music fanatic, this compact device sports a full QWERTY slide out keyboard and one touch access to a 1.3MP camera. Customers can also sync their favorite tunes from their computer, and with up to 4 GB of expandable memory, they’re in charge of their music.

Now for the fun stuff
Younger customers who are interested in texting, music and pictures will love the cool form factor and quick access to the features most important to them. And Mom and Dad will appreciate the affordability!
􀂄 Speed Texters – The Verizon Wireless BlitzTM appeals to the teen crowd looking to “speed text” or send one message right after another. The full QWERTY keyboard and My Messaging Key makes texting fun & easy, and the cool form factor will keep them excited.
􀂄 Music Lovers – Take note! The Verizon Wireless BlitzTM lets customers sync music right from their computer to the phone via the included USB sync cable. Customers will never miss a beat of their favorite songs when on the go.
Break it down for the customer
Qualifying every customer during the sales process ensures that we reduce returns by getting the right phone in the hands of the right customer. Here are a few situations you may see with this device.
“I want a phone that can take pictures, play music, instant message, but is different and has some character.”
Check this one out. The all new Verizon Wireless BlitzTM allows you to Instant Message using your AOL, Windows, or Yahoo messenger accounts. With a 1.3MP camera and the self portrait mirror on the back, you can take pictures like never before. You can even sync your favorite songs from your computer, and listen to them with a Stereo Bluetooth headset. All these cool capabilities in this unique compact square device will help you stand apart from the crowd.
“I always text message but tapping out letters on my phone is a pain. I was wondering if you had something with a keyboard, but that’s still cool.”
We’ve got you covered. The Verizon Wireless BlitzTM has a cool new shape and its slide out QWERTY keyboard makes texting a snap. But it does more than just text, it also does Mobile Email, Mobile IM, and Picture Messaging. So you don’t have to just text them, send a picture with your text instead.

At a Glance

Easy messaging, music, and pictures make the BlitzTM an exciting new item.
Check out the following features and capabilities:

– Slide out QWERTY Keyboard
– Speakerphone
– 1.3 MP camera
– Text/ Mobile IM / Picture
– Mobile Email
– Up to 4 GB microSD™
– Sync music from computer via USB sync cable
– Stereo Bluetooth® capable
– VZ NavigatorSM
– Chaperone-enabled
– Ringtones, Wallpaper, Games and more

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Klausner says “not so fast,” sues Verizon and LG over visual voicemail

Filed under: enGadget Mobile — verizonuser @ 4:57 pm

by Chris Ziegler, posted Aug 26th 2008 at 8:15PM
http://www.engadgetmobile.com/2008/08/26/klausner-says-not-so-fast-sues-verizon-and-lg-over-visual-voi/

So patent holding firm Klausner Technologies figures it has this whole litigation thing down to a T at this point, having already sued a who’s-who of companies having anything to do with visual voicemail in the past and ultimately coming away with a whole bunch of lucrative license agreements for its efforts (eleven, to be exact). Needless to say, any new company that tries to break into the game at this point is probably going to get treated with the same warm, fuzzy love, and Verizon and LG are experiencing that firsthand. Klausner has announced that it has filed suit against both companies in Texas federal court, presumably in response to Big Red’s recent launch of the refreshed Voyager featuring visual voicemail software on board. Given the track record Klausner has, guys, you might just want to cut to the chase here and pay up.

BlackBerry Storm 9530 for Verizon gets boxed

Filed under: enGadget Mobile — verizonuser @ 7:16 am

by Chris Ziegler, posted Aug 27th 2008 at 9:59PM
http://www.engadgetmobile.com/2008/08/27/blackberry-storm-9530-for-verizon-gets-boxed/

So we might not have a physical device here, but these packaging renderings are pretty solid evidence of exactly what BlackBerry fans on Verizon — particularly those jealous of the Bold — can expect in a few weeks’ time. It looks like RIM’s first foray into the scary world of touchscreens will be officially branded the 9530 Storm, will be global (it includes a SIM card, after all), and will feature an 8GB SanDisk microSD card preinstalled. Wondering what happened to the Thunder name? Turns out that’ll apparently be reserved for the version of the phone launching on Rogers up in Canada and on Vodafone across the pond. Those Storm users on the screen there sure look happy, don’t they?

When it rains, it pours: Verizon XV6800 gets hooked up with WinMo 6.1

Filed under: enGadget Mobile — verizonuser @ 12:08 am

by Chris Ziegler, posted Aug 27th 2008 at 9:13AM
http://www.engadgetmobile.com/2008/08/27/when-it-rains-it-pours-verizon-xv6800-gets-hooked-up-with-winm/

We’re not sure if it’s coincidence or if there’s some concerted effort to push out overdue Windows Mobile 6.1 updates all of a sudden, but for whatever reason, Verizon’s XV6800 is joining the AT&T Tilt this week in offering an official upgrade package for the first time. Could’ve come a little quicker, honestly — Sprint beat ’em out the door by a country mile — but let’s just thank our lucky stars that it finally happened, shall we?

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

A stroll through the MVNO graveyard

Filed under: enGadget Mobile — verizonuser @ 12:04 am

by Ryan Block, posted Aug 26th 2008 at 2:10PM
http://www.engadgetmobile.com/2008/08/26/a-stroll-through-the-mvno-graveyard/

Back in the early days of Engadget, everyone — including us — thought mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) were totally poised to be the next big thing. And why not? You get to be a wireless carrier without having to operate your own infrastructure (which is by far the most expensive, difficult part). Just what the doctor ordered for the big, stodgy wireless carriers, each struggling to balance differentiating themselves while trapping their customers in their walled content and services gardens.

Little did we all know that the differentiation most of these MVNOs had in mind was slapping their lame brand on some existing phone that people could get sooner, cheaper, and often with a better plan on one of the major carriers. Even Helio, the one MVNO that managed to keep gadget nerds’ attention for more than 30 seconds, couldn’t ride the Ocean to the land of success, writing off its half-billion dollar 2.5 year run for $39m in Virgin Mobile USA stock.

Let’s take a look at the last five years in dead American MVNOs. For a graveyard of well over billion dollars, you’d sure think it wasn’t so damned shabby.

Amp’d Mobile
Began service: December, 2005
Ended service: July, 2007
Network: Verizon
Amount invested: reportedly $350 – 400m+
Backgrounder: Despite backing by MTV and Universal Music Group (and a ton of VCs), CEO Peter Adderton managed to run this MVNO straight into the ground in little more than a year. It didn’t help that the people running Amp’d couldn’t get thousands of their “customers” to make good on their bills, strangling what little income the company did have. Way to go. Amp’d’s mobile content still lives on, though — ever catch Little Bush on Comedy Central?

Disney Mobile
Began service: June, 2006
Ended service: December, 2007
Network: Sprint
Amount invested: $150 million (Mobile ESPN and Disney Mobile combined)
Backgrounder: The second half of Disney’s dynamic duo of doomed MVNOs, Disney Mobile targeted families looking to hook up their kiddies with phones that could be easily tracked, monitored, and locked down from afar. Unfortunately for Mickey and the gang, the service came online just as virtually every major carrier got hip to the trend and started offering family-friendly features and services of their own. Combine that with a selection of outright dismal phones, and failure in the marketplace was pretty much guaranteed from the very first rendition of “It’s A Small World”.

Helio
Began service:
May, 2006
Ended service: June, 2008
Network: Sprint
Amount invested:
$560m+
Backgrounder:
Perhaps the only MVNO we saw with a cogent business concept: sell US users all the crazy, über-sophisticated South Korean phones they’ve been missing out on. Unfortunately, they never fully nailed the phones (which few phones they did sell over the years), skipping an obvious opportunity to sell proper smartphones. And the MySpace mobile / don’t-call-it-a-phone marketing didn’t really help them win over the power-user set — nor did the iPhone. Naturally, we’re sorriest to see Helio go, but we won’t deny that the company had a number of serious, if ultimately preventable flaws.

Mobile ESPN
Began service: November, 2005
Ended service: December, 2006
Network: Sprint
Amount invested: $150 million (Mobile ESPN and Disney Mobile combined)
Backgrounder: It’s hard to say what exactly doomed ESPN’s foray into the phone game: its first handset’s staggering launch price of $499, the anemic selection of devices, or the fact that a sports television network probably has no business trying to offer cellphone service in the first place. Mobile ESPN’s claim to fame was a selection of sports-themed media and services for its handsets, offerings that could be added just as easily to… oh, any phone on any carrier. In fact, that’s exactly what ESPN has gone on to do, bundling its brand through Verizon’s contact stack — a much less pricey venture, we bet.

Sonopia
Began service: April, 2007
Ended service: April, 2008
Network: Verizon
Amount invested: $21.5+ million
Backgrounder: Sonopia billed itself as an “MVNO of MVNOs,” offering small business, organizations, and individuals the opportunity to create their own virtual networks running on Verizon’s backbone and get kickbacks for every subscriber they managed to sign up. Problem was, the business model failed somewhere — let’s be honest, it’s probably pretty tricky to get people to sign up for an Omnicron Delta Kappa cellphone, especially when a RAZR is the best model offered — and the company went into hiding in April of this year. As of now, Sonopia’s CEO claims that it’s waiting out the storm for a market friendler to virtual networks while pursuing some opportunities outside the US, but we think they could be met with considerably more resistance pulling VC cash the second time around.

Voce
Began service:
November, 2005
Ended service: February, 2008
Network:
AT&T (Cingular)
Amount invested: Unknown
Backgrounder: We don’t know what’s more memorable about Voce — that they thought they could get away with reselling AT&T service for hundreds of dollars a month (with a $500 starting fee), or the fact that they double-billed their customers right before totally shutting down their service, call centers, and subscribers’ phones completely and totally without warning. If Voce were a person, we’d pin it down and slap it around like a bully.

XE Mobile
Began service:
April, 2006
Ended service:
December, 2007
Network:
AT&T (Cingular)
Amount invested:
Unknown
Backgrounder:
You know, to this day we still don’t really know what the hell XE Mobile was all about. They were supposed to be catering to the college student demographic — but really, who isn’t?

Regional MVNOs worth a mention
Embarq: Shortly after Sprint tapped spin-off Embarq’s head Dan Hesse to become its own CEO in early 2008, the decision was made to shutter the wireless service. Not many were surprised.
Qwest: Former Sprint MVNO that, after years of quiet service shuffled out of the wireless space earlier in 2008 after giving up its wireless business to Verizon for a “quadruple-play” offering.

Co-written by Chris Ziegler.

August 27, 2008

Motorola’s Blaze ZN4 and Rapture VU30 in the wild

Filed under: enGadget Mobile — verizonuser @ 11:50 pm

by Chris Ziegler, posted Aug 26th 2008 at 9:29AM
http://www.engadgetmobile.com/2008/08/26/motorolas-blaze-zn4-and-rapture-vu30-in-the-wild/

Hey, Verizon customers, you’re feeling a little warm to the touch over there. Could it be that you have — be still our hearts! — Motorola fever? As Motos go, Verizon’s currently signed up to get two of the hotter upcoming models in the next few weeks, the ZN4 Blaze and the VU30 Rapture, both of which have been spied in the wild once more (looking basically ready for retail launch this time around, may we add). The VU30 is a fashion flip that takes some cues from its GSM-based U9 cousin featuring a glossy translucent shell, fat external display, and according to the latest rumors, a September 9 release date. The Blaze meanwhile looks more or less the same as the last time we saw it, leaving us to wonder what possessed Motorola to keep rolling with that eyesore of a giant, red-ringed medallion on the hinged lid. It’s also rumored for a September date with destiny, though the exact day is unclear at this point — and honestly, Motorola, if you want to push that back a month or two to make the badge less obnoxious, be our guest.

Samsung i770, u810 pictured for Verizon

Filed under: enGadget Mobile — verizonuser @ 11:43 pm

by Chris Ziegler, posted Aug 27th 2008 at 10:49AM

Don’t worry, you throng of dual-band Samsung smartphone fanboys and girls out there — Verizon hasn’t forgotten about you. It’s been a little while since we’ve heard anything about the i770, but a new slide shows that Big Red’s positioning it (or trying to, anyway) for Q3 availability, which just happens to be the very quarter that we’re currently in. It features GPS, quadband GSM (which is strange — typically Verizon’s dual-band devices only do GSM on non-North American bands), WiFi, a 2-megapixel camera, EV-DO, and possibly biometric security, though that particular feature is currently marked down as “tbd.” Next up in the global stable is the u810, a stylish clamshell with a microSD slot, 2-megapixel cam, and not bloody much else — not really a great choice for the globetrotting businessperson, so Verizon might have the frequent pleasure traveler in mind here.

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