I recently posted the 2009 Holiday Guide for smartphones and in that guide posted about just one smartphone from each carrier. There are more selections than just one though and now that most all of the announcements for the holidays have been made I thought you might like to know what the choices from each carrier are, along with the subsidized and non-subsidized prices so you can make an informed choice. Most people find a carrier that works for them with the best coverage in their local area so they look first to their carrier for a smartphone rather than looking for the a smartphone and then switching carriers.
Smartphones and Cell Phones
It seems everyone in business has a smartphone today to keep connected to the office and enjoy their time away from the office. Matthew Miller provides you with news, commentary and in-depth reviews of the latest in mobile phones sporting iOS, Android, Wi
Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.
Today is the launch of the Motorola DROID and HTC DROID ERIS on Verizon and James has the DROID in hand. Kevin is triple booting his netbook and the new Moblin 2.1 OS looks slick enough for me to give a try on my MSI Wind soon too. We also chatted about the success of integrated smartphone platforms compared to licensed platforms.
Readers here know how much I enjoyed using the HTC Hero and now we see HTC coming out with its 3rd version of the Hero and IMHO the third time is the charm. I had a chance to hold and play a bit with the HTC DROID ERIS (Verizon's version of the HTC Hero) and I could not put it down because the form factor is so compelling. It is wrapped in black soft touch material, it is narrow so it feels like a phone, it is thin, it is dense, and it has curves that make a supermodel envious. I have not yet used a Verizon DROID, but every review I read stated the keyboard was not that great so the HTC DROID ERIS without a keyboard and much more pocketable form factor may be the Android device of choice on Verizon. Amazingly, HTC was able to pack in their awesome Sense UI into the ERIS at this low $100 price point and you may just see me at Best Buy tomorrow, 6 November, picking this one up and adding a Verizon line to my mobile collection.
I have tried cases with my iPhone devices in the past, but kept going back to an InvisibleShield or BodyGuardz plastic skin because I didn't want anything adding bulk to my iPhone 3GS. Silicone cases are very popular today, but I have never been happy with them since I carry my phone in my pocket and they tend to cause the phone to stick in my pocket and gather lint. OtterBox recently launched a couple of new hybrid silicone cases that add a hard plastic shell to a silicone case so you can slip your iPhone in and out of your pocket while also gaining a decent level of protection with minimal addition of size. The OtterBox Commuter and Commuter TL series cases are available now for the iPhone 3G and 3GS. Their Defender series adds the most protection, but add too much bulk for me to accept for daily use. Check out my image gallery of the OtterBox Commuter and Commuter TL Series cases.
I really don't like to link to posts that have over the top headlines just to gain hits and try not to do that myself, but I just had to respond to this UK Crave blog post titled, The iPhone is the worst phone in the world. After reading the post and then thinking about my experiences with my iPhone 3GS on both AT&T and T-Mobile I really think the author meant the iPhone/carrier combo is the worst in the world. Every issue, other than battery life, that they mentioned was carrier related and not due just to the device. You see, with AT&T I too experienced constant dropped calls in full signal areas and massive data issues in areas saturated with iPhone users. Then, with T-Mobile I never have had a dropped call on my iPhone and data has been solid, although it is only EDGE data on T-Mobile.
I know the latest smartphone market share data shows both Windows Mobile and HTC down over the last year, but there is one HTC Windows Mobile device that has me quite excited and if it comes to the US with support for T-Mobile then I will buy it. HTC today officially announced the HD2 for Europe and Taiwan with a US major carrier release (unnamed) to occur in early 2010.
Canalys posted their 3rd quarter 2009 figures and as you can RIM had an amazing year going from 15.2% to 20.6% of the global market share (an increase of 40.8%). A bit surprisingly to me, Nokia actually saw a 6% increase in its market share too while Apple predictibly increased 6.7% over the year with the iPhone 3GS release helping. Windows Mobile suffered quite a bit with a 33.1% drop in market share over the past year and with the release of the minor 6.5 update I don't see that trend changing much over the next year either.
Many of us believed that Palm was on the ropes and getting ready to go down for the count at the end of 2008, but they came out swinging at CES with the announcement of the Pre and WebOS. Motorola was a leader in the mobile phone business for years, but has not done well in the smartphone space and in early 2009 we heard they would be looking to Android in the future. The Motorola DROID is the talk of the town at the moment and the Motorola CLIQ just started selling at T-Mobile this week. Will 2009 go down as the year that Palm and Motorola showed us all they were back and ready to compete?
I was spending the day at the Ferries 2009 conference in Seattle and towards the end of the day tried to send some text messages and make calls home to pick up my daughter, but nothing seemed to work. My T-Mobile data connection worked just fine, but both voice and text services were down. I then checked out Twitter and heard from others around the US that were experiencing the same thing. This service outage appeared to last for about three hours for me and everything is back up and running just fine.
Sony Ericsson has been known to make some compelling smartphones that had sleek, solid designs at high prices, like the XPERIA X1 I purchased and then returned earlier this year. Today we see the announcement of their first Google Android device, the XPERIA X10 and I have to say this device is lustworthy with its 8 megapixel camera, custom Mediascape interface that is highly focused on media (a weakness in all other Google Android devices), Timescape technology that recognizes connections between contacts, content, and media, and much more.