After posting a wider-than-expected quarterly loss, Leap Wireless may look outside of its usual mix of feature phones to boost sales in a market that continues to be fierce. To make things even worse, they’ve already been active in seeking a buyer for the company that’s failing to keep up to the competition. One area they plan on pursuing in boosting customer levels seems to lay in the market of smartphones – something that some of its rivals have been doing; like Boost Mobile. Although there is still no concrete information surrounding the potential of diving into this market, the prepaid wireless carrier has hinted their intentions to launch a BlackBerry device from RIM and also a smartphone running Google’s Android platform. It’ll definitely be interesting to see how things pan out and if there will most likely be some new plan offered by them with the advent of these devices. Boost Mobile already carries the BlackBerry Curve in its lineup and requires a slightly higher plan for owners to use. Still, it doesn’t compare to the costly ownership that postpaid customers pay for their smartphones.
According to a survey taken by comScore, as of the end of the 2009 fourth quarter, RIM had the largest market share of the mobile smartphone OS sold in the U.S. with a 41.6% piece of the pie. That is down a full percentage point from the beginning of the 3 month period. Gaining some strength is the Apple iPhone OS. The touchscreen device had 24.1% of the market last September, rising to 25.3% as the year ended. Windows Mobile finished the year third, with 18% of the U.S. smartphone OS market, down 1% from the end of Q3. In fourth place, webOS garnered a 6.1% slice which was a fairly large decline from the 8.3% share it held in September. And while Google’s open source Android OS finished in last among the top 5, its 5.2% market share at year’s end was more than double the 2.5% reading from the end of the 3rd quarter. While Android ended the year with great momentum thanks to the great reception given to the Motorola DROID, the momentum should continue in the current quarter with the release of the Nexus One. While the N-One itself has seemingly not performed to sales expectations, it has brought plenty of attention to the OS which could have helped the entire Android market continue to pick up marketshare at the expense of other platforms like Windows Mobile and webOS.
source: comScore via Mashable
Ever wish you could get those nice phone discounts that brands new customers get? Starting today (Jan 27th) T-Mobile is going to make that happen with their smartphone customers, as they can upgrade their smartphone each year and pay the same price that a new customer would. Furthermore, customers with voice & text phones may also upgrade to a smartphone after 1 year and also get new customer pricing. There will also be two Tiers of pricing, where Tier 1 “Early Upgrade Discount” requires you to have 1-11 months of service on an individual plan of $29.99 or higher, or a family plan of at least $49.99. The Tier 2 “Early Upgrade Plus” is for customers with 12-24 months of service on an individual plan of $29.99 or higher, or a family plan of at least $49.99…but smartphones will qualify for a full discount pricing at the “Early Upgrade Plus” Tier 2 level. So that is why you have to wait at least a full 12 months to take advantage of the smartphone discounts. Qualifying smartphones that are eligible for the full discount at the “Early Upgrade Plus Level” Tier 2 are: BlackBerry Pearl 8120, BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220, BlackBerry Curve 8320, BlackBerry Curve 8520, BlackBerry Curve 8900, BlackBerry Bold 9700, HTC Touch Pro2, Motorola CLIQ, Samsung Behold, Samsung Behold II, Sidekick 2008, Sidekick LX 2009, Shadow 2009, Dash 3G, G1, myTouch, and myTouch Fender LE.
If you’re looking to spend a small fortune to be one of the first Chevy Volt owners sometime in the next 12-18 months, then you’d be interested to know that the you’ll be able to have some limited control of the car via apps for Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone. While it wont make you 007, as you can’t drive with an app, you will be able to monitor its charging status, set a specific time to charge, honk the horn (just for fun?), check driving statistics, lock/unlock doors (alarm too), but most importantly you can start the car up. All of this is nice, but you’ll have to subscribe to the GM OnStar service for it all to work. In the mean time, owners of the Motorola DROID and BlackBerry Storm (v5.0) can download a demo version by visiting the OnStarMobileDemo web site in their phone’s browser, while iPhone users can get the demo from the App Store. Our only question now is where’s the support for Windows Mobile smartphones?
source: OnStarMobileDemo via Engadget
About a week ago, the Motorola DROID took on the BlackBerry Storm2 in a battle of top Verizon smartphones. Even though the video is a week old, we thought that those of you trying to decide which phone to buy might appreciate seeing this smackdown in action. And while we don’t want to give anything away, check out the speed of the browser on the device that won the browser speed test. This alone might help you come to a decision. Anyway, in this corner we have the Storm2 9550 and in the other corner, it is the Motorola DROID. Let’s get ready to Rummmmmmmmmble.