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.