Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Google Introduces and Links to the T-Mobile G1

I almost forgot all about the Tmobile G1 coming out. Then I happened to go to Google to perform a search, only to discover a homepage link Introducing the T-Mobile G1. 

This Google page invited visitors to Experience the G1, with a link to the T-mobile G1 page, and also offers helpful links to learn about the Android and Google Mobile.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Google G1 Phone Set to Be Released October 22

Google is set to release it's first cell phone in less than a month, and one has to wonder if the hype and sales will come anywhere near that of the Apple iPhone. T-Mobile will sell the G1 for for $179 with a 2 year contract. The phone looks similar to the iPhone with a large touch screen, but also has a slide out keyboard and features Google's mapping and email programs. 

To begin things, the phone will only work in large towns like New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, where T-Mobile has it's larger, faster wireless data network, as the phone won't work on the older, slower networks. The data plan for the phone is $25, which makes it less expensive than most data plans out there. 

The Android software makes it's debut on this phone, which will be a major selling point as this phone makes its debut, which should open up many more possibilities and enhancement for users. This should bring the iPhone some major competition, and hopefully bring prices down and users can enjoy the battle between Google and Apple, and whichever other companies decide to join in.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Verizon Wireless Announces New Month to Month No Contract Plans

Verizon has made what's bound to be another popular move that will bring in more customers, and keep more of their current customers who may be considering going to another service, by now offering month to month cell phone plans with no contract. 

Customers can purchase a phone at full price, or bring their own phone, and use it on a month to month plan with Verizon, and have the option to cancel at the end of that month and be free of any early termination fees. Current Verizon customers who are still under a contract plan are also eligible to switch to the new month to month plan, but must still fulfill their 1 or 2 year contract they're currently under. This new plan is somewhat of a middle point between the normal 1 and 2 year contracts that most carriers currently have, and prepaid phones that are also popular. 

Now instead of going prepaid, and instead of locking into a long term deal, people can have a month to month plan without having to worry about buying minutes and keeping up with prepaid cards and buying minutes. This plan should be popular, as it's a much needed middle point, and Verizon is making a smart move by once again delivering more options to current and potential customers.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

T-Mobile G1 Set to Launch as the First Google Android Phone

As you may know by now many sources are reporting that the First Android Phone ( aka Google G-Phone) will be launched as a T-Mobile phone, possibly in November 2008. The G1 is also known as the HTC Dream and is being described as skinny and banana like. It is expected to be "fatter than the iPhone" but a skinny phone nonetheless, a sliding Sidekick-like phone without the more cumbersome design that characterizes a lot of the Windows Mobile Smartphones. 

This will be a formidable competitor from both the Windows Mobile applications and Apple design team, with many perhaps a little too excited about the prospects for Android domination.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Motorola Rokr Named one of Worst Gadgets of All Time

When we started this blog almost 2 years ago, the Motorola rokr E1 for Cingular was our most popular phone. Of course this was way before the Apple iPhone and people wanted a phone that could play iTunes. Cingular (remember back before the AT&T name change) was a hot provider and Motorola had a good track record with the Razr and other recent phones. 

Well now it has been a couple years and people can say in retrospect the Rokr was a lousy phone. So lousy , in fact, that Switched just listed it as the 6th Worst Gadget of All-Time. Wow, not just a bad cell phone, but one of the worst gadgets overall.

Friday, August 01, 2008

T-Mobile Now Features Parental Control on Family Plans

T-Mobile has announced their new "Family Allowance" feature on their family plans. Launching in August, this new feature will allow parents to control and limit their kids cell phone usage, and will cost 2 dollars to use. The feature allows parents to log on to the T-Mobile site, and set the minutes and texts used per month on a line, the number of downloads such as games and ringtones, etc. When the monthly allowance is reached, parents will receive notification, and can handle it from there as they see fit. This feature will give parents with uncontrollable kids a lot more control, as the kids who cant seem to stop texting, or the kid who goes hundreds of minutes over their limit causing sky high phone bills, will now find themselves cut off if they go overboard. This should be a popular feature, as every kid 10 or over, and maybe even younger, seem to have a cell phone in their pocket, checking it every 5 minutes for a new text, and we know they're not keeping track of minutes or messages, so now there is a better option rather than the big fat phone bill arriving, parents go through the roof over usage charges, and the kids phones are taken away until they're 18, etc.

Early Termination Fees on Cell Phone Contracts are Now Illegal in California

In a huge story that could eventually change the entire cell phone industry, a California judge ruled that early termination fees are illegal and violate state law. The tentative preliminary judgement orders Nextel/Sprint to pay $18.2 million in reimbursements and to stop trying to collect another $54.7 million from California customers (some 2 million customers total) who have canceled their contracts but haven't paid the termination fee. 

Now of course, the ETF's are big money for carriers, and they will no doubt fight this one tooth and nail, but it's definitely one big step in no longer having to worry about early termination fees. We've reported that AT&T began prorating their early termination fees, and then how T-Mobile also got on board prorating their ETF's, which were the first signs that customers will no longer put up with paying hundreds of dollars simply because they want to end their service. 

Now this is 1 ruling in 1 state, but now that the news has been spread, this could cause a major movement to get similar rulings in all states and on all carriers. It's been speculated that the new era coming in may be one where cell phones themselves are higher priced, but are unlocked and customers will be free to use the service they choose with it. Most of us have been in this position, locked into a company with horrible service, but hopefully this one ruling will start something that will benefit customers nationwide, and take a little unnecessary power away from phone carriers.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Using a Cell Phone is Probably Still Pretty Safe

Every so often there is a news story about cell phone safety or lack thereof. Sometimes we are told it is unsafe to drive ( and driving with ANY distraction is reasonably unsafe) while on the phone and we need to buy hands free devices or some other accessory. 

Then there are all kinds of other safety warnings and risks involved with using a cell phone or life in general. But the number 1 health scare with cell phones has always been the risk of cancer. Once again there is another news story about some doctor making a warning but not much scientific evidence. I like this response: Why Your cell phone is probably not going to give you cancer Makes a lot of sense to me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Top 10 Most Popular Cell Phone Plans for July 2008

This is just a short post about about an article on the UltraCellsaver Blog. Over there they had a post on the top 10 most popular cell phone plans on their website. It appears that AT&T wireless is very popular. Many cell phone customers are looking to upgrade their plans. 

The newer unlimited wireless deals offered by the major carriers also look like they might be a hit. Check it out : Top 10 Cell Phone Plans

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

T-Mobile Now Has Prorated Early Termination Fees Too

A few weeks back, I posted about the news that AT&T introduced prorated early termination fees, and speculated in that post that other major carriers would probably be jumping on the bandwagon as not to be outdone by AT&T. Well it didn't take long, as T-Mobile is introducing their own prorated ETF plan.

Rather than AT&T's method of reducing the cost each month, T-Mobile will drop its $200 fee to $100 during the last 3-6 months of a contract, during the last 3 months it drops to $50, and for customers with 30 days or less left on their contract, they will either pay $50 or the amount of the last month of service, whichever is less. 

As I mentioned before, the cellular industry is definitely listening to unhappy customers who feel they shouldn't have to pay a huge termination fee even if they've kept the service for over half the length of the contract. Now that two of the biggest cellular companies are on board with prorated ETF's, there's no way that this won't be a standard practice with any major carrier before long.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

T-Mobile Introduces Unlimited Family Plans

Beginning today, T-Mobile now offers new unlimited family plans. The new plans will require the first phone on the plan will have to subscribe to T-Mobile's $99 unlimited everything plan, which includes voice minutes, text, IM, etc. 

After the first phone, each additional phone will cost $49 per month, but will also feature unlimited everything. These plans will simplify things for families that want to go all out with no limits on their cell phone usage. Some families have 5 or more phones even on their plans these days, so going through and picking different options for each phone can be a hassle for some, so T-Mobile is laying out this simple deal that gives customers everything without hassle, in this very straight forward approach. 

With more and more people using cell phones as part of their daily life, unlimited service is basically they only way to go if they want to avoid sky high usage charges.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

AT&T Prorated Early Termination Fees Begin Today

In a move that will no doubt make many wireless customers happy, and also probably bring AT&T more business, the company began it's policy of prorating its early termination fees. This means that every month in a 1 or 2 year contract, the fee starts at $175, and will drop by 5 dollars each month. This makes perfect sense, as it just makes sense that someone who has had their phone for months or even over a year, should not have to pay the same termination fee as someone who just got it a month or so ago. 

ETF's have been a huge hassle and a huge problem for just about every carrier, and I personally have felt the wrath of horrible EFT setups, to the point where even if a carrier wasn't delivering the service properly, there was just no way out without getting nailed with a huge fee. Well at least now, AT&T is taking the steps necessary to give their customers some more options and flexibility. Not only are the ETF's now prorated, but AT&T also offers other options for customers who don't want to deal with termination fees or contracts at all, such as the ability to buy a phone at full price and going on a month to month service plan, bringing your own GSM device, buying an AT&T sim card, and going on a month to month plan that way, or of course going with an AT&T GoPhone and using their prepaid service. 

It's good to see a carrier realize that the hard nose approach of making people pay big money with little to no understanding in these situations, will simply not work and most customers will end up angry and leave the service for good. Hopefully the other big carriers will offer similar cancellation terms soon.

Monday, May 26, 2008

ATT Launches the Pantech Breeze for More Traditional Users.

AT&T has launched the Pantech Breeze, which is actually a step backward in the world of the latest cell phones constantly outdoing the previous model. Apparently AT&T and/or Pantech have realized that there are some cellular users out there who prefer to stick to basics with their phone. 

Easy to use, gets the job done, no complications...well that is exactly what the Pantech Breeze brings to the table. A traditional clam shell style (a style that is fading some with all the new styles now available,) big easy to see numbers, one touch keys (for camera, speakerphone, and 3 contacts,) a simple interface, and large text on the screen. This phone could be a great choice for senior citizens who are in need of a cell phone, or maybe even users who just prefer a simple sell phone without the bells and whistles that most of the technologically advanced phones feature today. 

The Breeze may open some doors for people who have held back on getting a cell phone, although they still may be in need of some mobile communication.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

T-Mobile Adds Message Blocking Feature to Block Text Spam

For any of you who have received unwanted advertisements, texts form unknown numbers, or maybe just bombarded by someone you know that sits around and texts you 100 times a day and wasting all your monthly messages, T-Mobile has added a feature that can filter out phone numbers or even words in a subject so they won't reach your phone. This feature will be highly useful with the ever growing problem of text spam now reaching cell phones. 

The other major carriers will most likely also have to feature some sort of blocking option, because spammers are hitting cell phones more, and more and more customers will be refusing to pay for messages they didn't want, and even those customers with unlimited texting plans, will no doubt become fed up with constant spam texts, just as email users are already fed up with spam attacks that have gone on for years. 

For T-mobile customers, instructions on how to use the text blocking feature can be found on the T-Mobile Website.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Are Unlimited Cell Phone Plans the Future?

Judging by the flurry of recent marketing, the major cell phone providers are banking on Unlimited wireless phone plans. When I added a new phone to my Verizon Wireless account and upgraded my plan, the new $99 a month Unlimited plan was pushed heavily. I have also seen commercials for AT&T and a T-Mobile plan that includes unlimited text messages. Interestingly, Sprint was apparently the first carrier with the idea until Verizon decided to "stick it" to them

Sprint thought they could be better by being different, but all the other carriers have now come out with the same deal AND better prices. I used to work in the wireless department of an electronics store. This was 7-8 years ago when Verizon was new ( we offered Bell Atlantic Mobile previously). During a meeting with our Verizon rep, another salesman said that he never understood the concept of charging for "air" and wondered why we couldnt just have flat rate plans. Apparently we can, and it appears we have competition to thank.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New Cell Phone Blog

We have decided to start the new Cell Saver Blog. We wanted a company blog hosted on our own site mostly for updating company news and updates on our main sites. Blog.ultracellsaver debuted on April 20. The blog you are reading now will be free to publish broader wireless news and be less self-promotional in nature.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Verizon Introduces New Messaging Only Plans

Verizon is taking note that many cell phone users these days, actually don't use the phone for talking much anymore, if at all. The popularity of text messaging and mobile IM services has sky rocketed over the years, so Verizon is giving the people who text more than talk some options. Verizon is introducing new plans that will cost $34.99 per month, and will include unlimited text, IM, picture, and video messaging, with a per minute voice rate .40 cents a minute. Blackberry and PDA users will have plans for $54.99 per month, with .25 per minute voice rate. 

Both plans feature the option to add mobile E-mail to the plan for an extra 5 bucks. These new plans make a lot of sense, because I personally know people that hardly EVER use their phone to talk, but text every second. It's similar to how there are some people that absolutely hate texting, and would rather talk on the phone, well now both types of users will have phone plan options to suit them. This move may also bring Verizon more business, because I"m sure there are people out there who hate their current plan, and are paying a lot for minutes that they never use. Now Verizon gives those people the option to switch to their service, and pay for what their using the most. 

I predict we'll see the other carriers jump on board rather quickly, and offer similar plans, so their customers can also have more flexibility with their phone plans, and not be forced to pay for minutes they don't need or won't use.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Google and Samsung Team-up for Two New Android Phones

Well, it looks like Google and Samsung are coming out with 2 new Android phones. This should be interesting. According to various sites and sources, Google and Samsung will have 2 new phones coming out. One will be a higher end model in the class of a BlackBerry wih QWERTY and other expected smartphone features. Another cheaper phone will come out later. 

Samsung will manufacture the handsets but the cell phones will not have the Samsung label. They will be Google G-Phones. Others have long speculated about what Google will mean for the wireless industry. We will see.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Top 10 Valentines Day Cell Phone Picks- Hottest Phones of 2008

A lot of people, especially men, have trouble finding the perfect gift for that special someone on Valentines Day. Cell Phones are becoming a pretty popular option. While this can be a great gift idea, Guys will probably want to add some flowers, jewelry, or chocolate ( though you COULD get a Platinum Razr or Verizon Chocolate phone :))

Based on trends, predictions, and industry sales figures, we present the top 10 cell phones for Valentine's Day 2008. Note: One good thing about ordering cell phones online is you usually get free 2day Fedex shipping. These are the top 10 cell phones as of February 2008:

1. T-Mobile
Motorola RAZR V3 Gray with myFaves

Slim Aluminum Shell
GSM Band
VGA Digital Camera with Self-timer and 4X Zoom
Bonus Bluetooth Set
Free Today w/ Carrier agreement

2. AT&T (Formerly Cingular Wireless)
Motorola KRZR K1

Metallic Gloss Finish
Soft Touch Keypad
Crisp Photos from 2.0 megapixel Digital Camera
MP3 Player
Free Today

3. AT&T
BlackBerry Pearl Smart Phone

Super Slim Shell
Smallest Lightest Blackberry
MP3 Music Player Builtin
Free Today

4. AT&T
Samsung BlackJack II i617

Stylish Design
Smart Phone with Windows Mobile 6
3G Broadband Cellular Data
Advanced Bluetooth Technology
Free Today

5. AT&T
BlackBerry Pearl Red

Stylish Red Shell
Smallest Lightest Blackberry
MP3 Music Player Built-in
Free Today

6. AT&T
Motorola RAZR Black V3

Exclusive Black Aluminum Shell
Big Display, Dual Color Screens
VGA Digital Camera with Self-timer and 4X Zoom
Bonus Bluetooth Set
Free Today

7. Sprint PCS
Motorola Stone RAZR V3m

Half inch thick Aluminum Shell
Watch on-Demand Sprint TV
1.3 Mp Digital Camera takes stills or video
Built-in Music Player
Free Today

8. Sprint
Palm Centro Onyx Black

Palm Smartphone
Broadband Acess
Digital Camera can take long video clips
Bbluetooth Wireless Technology
Free Today

9. AT&T
Sony Ericsson W580i Black Walkman Phone

Just 1/2" thick
Music Player w/Shake Control and Track ID
Camera/Camcorder photos can be sent to your blog
Streaming Stereo Bluetooth Wireless
Free Today

10. T-Mobile
Samsung Blast with my Faves

QWERTY keyboard
Supports 5 kinds of messaging
Color Display shows over 260,000 colors
Builtin MP3 Player and Bluetooth Wireless
Free Today

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Verizon Wireless Set to Raise Text Message Prices to 20 Cents.

Verizon Wireless began spreading the word today that it plans to raise its domestic text messages will be raised in March from 15 cents per message to 20 cents per message, in an effort to push purchases of the company's messaging bundles. 

The move to raise texting prices is similar to a move Sprint made three months ago. I myself am a Verizon customer, and I have the 250 text for 5 dollars plan on my own and my wife's phone, and was recently considering dropping the text package, as we really don't use what we're paying for already, but it appears Verizon is going to put the squeeze on customers who use very few messages, and may try to save a few bucks by paying per message, as they continue to raise message prices. 

In 2006, Verizon, along with most other major carriers, raised prices from 10 cents to 15 cents, and now we get yet another raise, making it even more difficult to figure out if bundled text or per message billing will be the better way to go. It will be interesting to see if other carriers, possibly smaller up and coming carriers begin to offer cheaper rates on texting in order to pull some customers from other carriers who are tired of basically being forced into buying packages, spending more, etc.

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Future Of Cell Phones

I always like thinking about the future of cell phones and wireless communications. I have had an interest in telecommunications for about 15 years now. It is increible the way technology changes the world. I remember going on the World Wide Web before AOL was around and lugging around a bulky Motorola DynaTAC phone.

Just a few years ago I wanted a "Smartphone" that would provide some of the punctions of my PC and work with Verizon Wireless. I ended up with something that was bulky, expensive ( MSRP $699), and rather disappointing. Now in 2008 you can find handsets that do a lot more for a lot less money. And they will actually fit in your pocket!

When I think of how much things have changed in a few short years, I always wonder what the future holds for wireless.