Why Is My Android Phone So Much Different Than Yours?

“I didn’t know that I had an older operating system until I compared it with my friends,” Roark says. “They said my Android Market looks very different from theirs.”…

Like Roark, many Android customers are discovering that their new smartphones do not have the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system. Despite state-of-the art hardware and design, many new Android phones are shipped with older versions of the firmware, cutting off consumers’ access to newer features and apps that require the most recent versions.

Ah, the perils of fragmentation. This is a problem that’s only going to get worse and, despite the dreams of some pundits, there’s very little Google can do about it. This is what so-called “open” begets.

In this case, why would Verizon dole out an upgrade that provides free GPS navigation when they can sell it to him for $10 a month? And that’s even assuming the guy’s phone can run the latest Android. It’s a mess, and getting messier.

I wonder what Google’s new mouthpiece Tim Bray thinks of this? I’m sure he’ll have a good little corporate response after he figures out the difference between the mobile internet and an app store.

Verizon briefs staff on iPad. Desperation ensues.

To achieve an instant bargain over the 3G iPad, a MiFi requires both $50 and a two-year contract; it costs $270 without. Verizon’s plan costs twice as much per month at $60

Over a two-year contract Verizon’s cost (50 + (24 * 60)) is $1,490. AT&T’s cost, since there’s no contract, would vary those same two years, but the worst-case scenario (130 + (24 * 30)) is $850.

The only way Verizon can sell the above scenario to anyone not looking to share a connection with up to five devices (i.e., 95% of consumers), is if the buyer doesn’t realize AT&T requires no contract and charges half Verizon’s monthly rate. Pretty shaky strategy, guys.

A Desperate Verizon To Men: You’re An Absolute Candy-Ass If You Don’t Buy A Droid.

The macho image in advertising is pretty heavily used for truck commercials, and maybe power tools. They’re low in how functional the product actually is, and high in how much of a he-man you’ll look like using it.

Now I guess the macho image applies to smartphones as well (sorry, “robot phones”). After all, what man looking to overcome his inadequacies wouldn’t be drawn to these:

  • Crush a rock
  • Punch a hole through a steel wall
  • Run apps with axle-greased ease

There’s more, but be warned only Neanderthals need apply.

Male or female, the first thing I look for is a mind at work. I can only hope no more men will be swayed by this crap than women are swayed because a product is pink, or has a mirror. This kind of “macho” advertising makes me ashamed of my gender.

Posted via web from The Small Wave.

iPhone helps AT&T continue subscriber gains on Verizon

To put the total in perspective, more new customers came to AT&T for the iPhone than the total number of new subscribers gained by Verizon with all handsets during the September quarter.

Amazing stat.

Verizon says they’d obviously “be interested” in the iPhone, since they want to “broaden the base of choice” for their customers. Where was all this desire to broaden choice when they were clamping down on hardware, not allowing WiFi, disabling Bluetooth, etc.?

Now that the iPhone is kicking their ass they’re all about “choice”? Spare me, please.

Posted via web from The Small Wave.

Dear Verizon Propaganda Machine: You Forgot Your Own iDon’ts. [UPDATED]

iDon’t have 85,000+ apps.

iDon’t do 3G voice and data communication simultaneously.

iDon’t avoid nickel-and-diming customers with extra fees.

iDon’t have good battery life.

iDon’t have the highest customer satisfaction rating for smartphones.

iDon’t have a platform that’s not fragmented.

iDon’t acknowledge my platform’s “app marketplace” has rejected apps.

iDon’t refuse to put a second, proprietary store on my own branded devices.

iDon’t tout easy and well-known data sync between desktop and mobile.

iDon’t have a mobile OS with consistently superior reviews.

Everything iDon’t

iPhone (and AT&T) does

Today

[Updated iDon’ts:]

iDon’t allow leaving the USA (no support for the international GSM standard).

iDon’t like beautifully designed devices.

iDon’t like the flexibility of portrait/landscape keyboards.

Posted via email from The Small Wave.

Dear Verizon: I Found Two Maps That You Forgot To Mention

Perhaps you’ve seen the Verizon ads spoofing Apple’s iPhone commercials with the tagline “there’s a map for that.” Or maybe you’ve read one of the million posts that started the night they debuted. Using that tagline, while showing coverage maps for Verizon and AT&T, Verizon could kill two birds with one stone: attack AT&T while digging at the iPhone.

It’s not a bad tack when you consider the iPhone is gaining ground at a phenomenal rate, even in the face of Verizon’s many 2-for-1 Blackberry giveaways. Frankly, they needed an ad not just against AT&T, but the iPhone as well.

Still, it won’t work no matter how many pundits applaud the ads. You see, there are two maps Verizon doesn’t bother to mention.

Map #1: AT&T iPhone WiFi Hotspots


Above is the map of available AT&T WiFi hotspots. These provide free WiFi access to iPhone users, the device even logs you in automatically when you’re in range.

This is a great smartphone advantage from AT&T because:

  • WiFi is a lot faster than a 3G network.
  • WiFi uses much less power than 3G, extending your battery life.
  • Your plan’s 3G “data clock” is not running, you’re on free time.
  • You can use VOIP apps to make calls that avoid using your calling minutes.

Available at airports, Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and many other places, I make use of AT&T wireless with my iPhone every single day. It’s a huge value-add to AT&T’s smartphone equation.

Good luck finding Verizon WiFi hotspots for your smartphone. if the phone’s on WiFi it’s not on their network, and they don’t want it off their network. Watch VCAST videos, buy (cheesy) ringtones, buy (crappy) apps, etc. from their network. Heck, it’s hard enough even getting a phone from Verizon that has WiFi; they’d rather you not use it even in your home.

Map #2: Verizon iPhone Coverage Area

Above is the map showing Verizon’s coverage area for the iPhone.

No wonder Verizon wants you to select a network first, then a phone. After reviewing the wannabe and knock-off smartphones they offer, most people would choose an iPhone, which Verizon can’t provide. So instead Verizon says “Just believe our network ads and go with us, then select one of our inferior devices, never leave our network, and let us nickel-and-dime you with charges.”

Compare devices, people. It matters. If you fall for Verizon’s line, then later realize you want out, too bad; there isn’t an app for that.

Posted via email from The Small Wave.

Verizon Still Believes In Dictating Hardware Terms. Morons.

The latest buzz is that Verizon is not going to sell the Palm Pre anytime soon (or maybe any time at all). Sure, the Pre has had its issues. The keyboard is criticized as being cheesy, the SDK isn’t much, there are no apps to speak of, and it’s only on Sprint. All told maybe 800K have been sold, which is not particularly impressive.

Still, some felt that when the Pre was available on Verizon sales may take off. Ah, but they forgot that Verizon is still partying like it’s the hey day of U.S. carriers. They still want to dictate terms to hardware manufacturers and force their own services upon users:

Another snag is that Verizon wants VCast, its applications and mobile media download service, to be featured heavily on its phones. This is in direct conflict with Palm’s app store, according to these sources.

Verizon is clueless. A potential decent phone is being ignored by them because they can’t use it to push their crap services? Isn’t that an indication of a hopelessly out of touch company with a certain disdain for their customer base? Yep, that’s Verizon alright.

Posted via email from The Small Wave.