Every weekday afternoon, CNET Update delivers the top tech stories of the day. The show keeps a close eye on emerging trends, hot devices and new apps. And it's all in less than three minutes.
In today's show, Microsoft's got the hots for Nook, LG has its head in the cloud, and we're battling pigs in space! (space! space! space!):
Microsoft is investing $300 million in a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary that will handle digital and college business. With this investment, expect the Nook to become a stronger player against the Kindle and iPad.
A … Read more
U.S.Cellular and Alltel Wireless have joined up with Wal-Mart to take on the cell phone frontier of big-box retail distribution.
U.S. Cellular, a regional carrier out of Chicago, and Alltel, based in Little Rock, Ark., will begin selling select phones under the U Prepaid brand in 18 states some time in May.
U Prepaid, a pre-existing Alltel brand, will kick off at Wal-Mart with four phones: the Android-powered Samsung Repp, LG Attune/LG Exchange and LG Saber feature phones with QWERTY keyboard, and the simpler Samsung Chrono.
Customers will ride either U.S. Cellular or Alltel's … Read more
After recently adding four devices to its Android lineup, Alltel is becoming quite proud of its smartphone roster. So proud, in fact, that it issued a press release today simply to talk its Android devices up a bit more.
It took the wireless provider longer than some of its competitors to get started, but now the snowball is growing. Alltel kicked off the year with the LG Axis and most recently began offering the Samsung Gem and the HTC Merge. With price points that start at nearly free, customers have multiple manufacturers and user interfaces to choose from.
It's worth pointing out that almost all of Alltel's products are running Android 2.1 or higher, which is an impressive fact that not many other carriers can boast. Even with most of the specs bordering on midrange at best, at least they have access to much of the Android Market's applications.
Alltel Wireless announced today that it will begin taking preorders for the Merge on March 28, with pricing set at $124.99 with a two-year contract.
Highlights of the dual-mode phone include world-roaming capabilities, Android 2.2 with HTC Sense, a 5-megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording, and a full QWERTY keyboard. You can find out more about the smartphone in our hands-on blog.
The 3G, candy bar Android smartphone sports a 3.2-inch touch screen, a 3.2-megapixel camera, an 800Mhz processor, and Swype on the virtual keyboard. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a load of Google services are also present, as is a microSD card slot.
We're not too impressed that the Gem packs Android 2.1 Eclair, considering that the more advanced Android 2.2 Froyo has been available for over six months.
Still, the rock-bottom price will make up for … Read more
Alltel has just announced the LG Axis, the carrier's version of the LG Ally that was previously released on Verizon Wireless.
Like the Ally, it has a 3.2-inch touch-screen display in addition to a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. It unfortunately ships with Android 2.1, which is a little behind current firmware. Features include a 3.2-megapixel camera and of course the usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. It will be available for $89.99 after rebate.
Well, that didn't take long.
Earlier this morning, HTC revealed that it would bring its budget-friendly Android phone, the HTC Wildfire, to regional providers in North America in Q4, and now we have our first carrier announcement.
The Wildfire is available now from Alltel Wireless for just $29.99 with a two-year service agreement and mail-in rebate. Since it's more of an entry-level model, you won't get some of the higher-end features, such as a large, high-res touch screen, but you do get a 5-megapixel camera, Android 2.1 with HTC Sense, full wireless options, and social … Read more
AT&T has gotten the final "ok" from the government to buy spectrum licenses from Verizon Wireless, which Verizon was required to divest as part of its acquisition of Alltel.
The Federal Communications Commission approved AT&T's $2.35 billion purchase of the wireless licenses from Verizon Wireless on Tuesday. The FCC said the deal did not raise competitive risks.
Verizon is selling the licenses to AT&T as part of a deal it struck with the Justice Department. Verizon agreed to give up the licenses as a condition set by antitrust regulators in … Read more
It seems like only two weeks ago when we last heard from J.D. Power and Associates (Oh look, it was). Now the organization that just can't stop giving out awards has done it again with Verizon Wireless, ranking the carrier the highest among wireless providers in five regions across the United States. According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Wireless Call Quality Performance Study, Verizon did particularly well in limiting dropped calls, failed connections, and late or failed messages.
More accurately, Verizon scored highest in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and the Southwest. In the West region, … Read more