Google Pulls Fake “Siri” for Android App From Market

Google has pulled an application which represented itself as Siri, Apple’s /voice command software, from the Android Marketplace.

The company used the Siri icon connected to Google’s Voice Actions program to make users think the app was a port from the iOS version of the same program. To compound potential confusion, the app developer’s name is “Official App” Users could easily believe they were installing an official version of the Siri app for the Android platform

New Sprint ad campaign focuses on unlimited data

Sprint Nextel will continue to promote its unlimited product offerings with a new ad campaign called “All Together Now”

This marketing move is in response to other carriers like AT&T and Verizon that have now scrapped their unlimited data plans and have gone to tiered pricing, and T-Mobile that threatens to throttle speeds of users that exceed a certain bandwidth limit.

Mobile carriers are dealing with increased data consumption due to smartphones and faster networks. The trend in scuttling unlimited data started with AT&T and now has spread to Verizon which is also switching to tiered pricing, and T-Mobile that is throttling high data usage.

As wireless users’ data demands continue to grow–fostered by advanced smartphones and faster networks–carriers have found themselves trapped between unlimited data offerings and overtaxed data networks. As a result, many are charging subscribers based on the amount of data they use, or are throttling users’ speeds after they download a certain amount of data. AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) kicked off the rush last year by charging $15 per month for 200 MB and $25 per month for 2 GB. Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and T-Mobile USA have both warned that they will throttle the speeds of high-traffic users. Verizon has hinted it will move toward tiered pricing sometime this summer.

However, Sprint, it appears, isn’t immune to users’ data demands: The carrier in January tacked on an extra $10 per month fee for unlimited data for smartphone users. Sprint also has indicated that tiered pricing may be in the future, but indicates that it will always differentiate itself from other carriers with competitive pricing.


Google Unveils Redesigned Android Market for Smartphones

Two months ago Google revamped the Android Market. Now Google is upgrading it’s Android Market app as well. Google reports that the new Market app is more effective in showcasing top apps and games. It has a new, improved user interface and a more streamlined download and purchase process. It also allows developers more opportunity to merchandise their apps. This update should push out to devices running 2.2 or greater in the next 2 wdeeks.

As listed in the picture above, a new home screen showing featured content. Once a user selects content to download or purchase, the Android client will list other content available from the same developer, increasing the chances for cross-selling of products.

Verizon Unleashes New Prepaid Plan – Unlimited for $ 50 a Month

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) launched a major new service dubbed “Verizon Unleashed,” which offers prepaid unlimited wireless calling, texting and data for $50 per month. The service is a direct attack on the unlimited offerings of Sprint Nextel, Boost Mobile brand, as well as regional carriers like MetroPCS and Leap Wireless.

Verizon Unleashed offers unlimited talking, texting and mobile Web access for $50 per month. Right now the service is available on three feature phones, which range in price from about 40 dollars to 99.

The plan has launched in parts of Southern California and Florida, east of Panama City. These are areas of heavy competition with other prepaid carriers that offer unlimited plans.

“The plan appears to fit well with going after the Boosts and Virgin Mobiles of the world without compromising Verizon Wireless postpaid subscribers, since it appears that there are only three devices to choose from and those devices appear to be all feature phones,” Henderek wrote. “In addition, the plan does not offer data roaming and comes with a Catch 22 where customers must maintain a balance of at least the total of their monthly bill or calls will cost 25 cents per minute and data 99 cents per day.”

Verizon last year tested a $50 prepaid monthly unlimited plan across the Southeast. The tests covered 11 states.




Every Microsoft Employee is Being Given a Windows Phone 7 Device

Andy Lees Sr. Vice President of Mobile at Microsoft sent an email to all employees reporting that they will be given a Windows Phone 7 device as the device rolls out in the markets in which they work. An excerpt of the email is below:

“With all the buzz, a lot of you are asking how you can get your hands on a phone and get more involved. So, I am thrilled to announce that a new Windows Phone 7 will be made available to every Microsoft employee as we launch in each market around the world. The process will vary based on your market, your carrier, and your launch date so stay tuned for more information closer to launch.”


AT&T is Reportedly Ordering 8 Million Windows Phone 7 Devices

Altimeter analyst Michael Gartenberg is reporting, via twitter, that based upon information from a reliable source, that AT&T has ordered 8 million Windows Phone 7 devices. What’s not clear is whether that is a single order, or how much AT&T expects to acquire and sell over the lifetime of the model.

In comparison to the iPhone, this is equal to the number of iPhones that Apple moved in Q2 2010.

In any event this is a significant number for a brand new mobile phone platform. Microsoft is definitely not expecting a repeat of the Kin.


Windows Phone 7 Technical Preview is Out

The Windows Mobile platform is in great need of an overhaul, and Microsoft is taking great pains to make sure they do a lot of things right this time. After the recent Kin failure, the pressure is on to deliver a product that will help them gain market share. Since Windows Phone 7 is a complete rewrite of their mobile phone OS, not just an upgrade, it signals a necessary break from it’s past history.

» Read more

Samsung Galaxy S Phones Land at US Carriers

Samsung has a version of it’s Galaxy S smartphone on all four major US carriers. It is also bringing the device to regional carrier US Cellular.

» Read more

iPhone Trade-In Volume Jumps Almost 1,000%

Users of earlier generation iPhones are trading in their phones at record levels. Gazelle, a consumer trade-in service says that the large number of trade-ins by iPhone users is to fund the purchase of the new iPhone 4 when it hits the market. They also state that the trade-in traffic for older iPhones is up nearly 1,000% from last year at this time.

Users of older iPhones are trading in their Apple handsets in record numbers and most if not all are planning to use the proceeds to purchase Apple’s new iPhone 4. » Read more

Motorola Announces 2GHz Android Phone

Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha recently made an announcement that is getting lots of attention from Android phone watchers. During a recent presentation in Chicago he indicated that Motorola will be producing a 2GHz Android smartphone. This phone is expected to hit the market before the end of the year.

A 2GHz chip doubles the speed of the fastest phones available now. The HTC EVO and the iPhone 4 each use a 1 GHz processor. Motorola is aiming the new device at the business market, where such horsepower could be used for a host of new mobile business applications. » Read more

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