Cricket Wireless isn't wasting any more time turning up the volume on its Muve Music service, which adds all-you-can-eat music downloads to its talk, text, and data plan rates.
Almost two weeks after introducing the Samsung Vitality, its first Muve Music smartphone, Cricket is announcing the launch its second Android act, the ZTE Score. But this time Cricket won't be orchestrating the sales; Best Buy will.
Leap Wireless and its Cricket prepaid wireless service are ready to take the national stage.
Starting Sunday, Best Buy will begin selling Cricket in 1,300 stores around the country, and not just within Leap's region.
This marks the first major step for Leap in its effort to turn into a national brand. The company previously operated its network and served customers in select markets as a regional player, but last year signed a reseller agreement with Sprint Nextel to use its network around the country.
The expansion allows Leap to tap into a much wider audience of consumers hungry for more affordable wireless service. But it also puts the company in direct competition with other national players that offer similarly attractive prepaid plans, including T-Mobile USA, Virgin Mobile, and Boost Mobile. These brands are found in both their own stores and at major retailers such as Best Buy as well.
"This was a chance to build national retail into a larger role for us," Leap Chief Executive Doug Hutchinson said in a recent interview with CNET. "I'm looking forward to building that channel."
But with competition already stiff, it's unclear if Leap can keep up. The company is in the midst of turning itself around by focusing more on smartphone customers and truly flat-rate plans, much like fellow regional prepaid provider MetroPCS. But the company is still early in its turnaround, having lost more than 100,000 customers in the last quarter. … Read more
The AT&T Z221 is the latest prepaid flip phone to enter AT&T's GoPhone portfolio. A quad-band world phone, the ZTE-made Z221 has a 2-inch internal screen with a QVGA display (320x240 pixels) and a basic camera. The Z221 is a petite thing, just 3.8 inches tall, 2 inches wide, and .7-inch thick. It weighs 3.2 ounces.
There's a little more than meets the eye, with support for AT&T Mobile Music, mobile e-mail, and a Web browser. The Z221's battery life is rated at 3 hours talk time and around … Read more
ZTE may not be a recognizable brand in the U.S., but it is quickly becoming a major player in the handset arena.
The Chinese telecommunications-equipment manufacturer said today that it sold 35 million handsets in the first half of the year, representing a 30 percent increase from a year ago. Helping was its hit Blade smartphone, which debuted with the France-based carrier Orange but is now available in 50 countries and regions.
The numbers illustrate the increasing influence and power that Chinese companies have in the wireless business. ZTE earlier this year became the fifth-largest handset vendor, according to … Read more
Though still fourth among the top five mobile-phone players, Apple outshone its global rivals in the second quarter with skyrocketing shipment growth and a surge in market share, according to a new IDC report.
Released yesterday, IDC's report found that Apple shipped 20.3 million iPhones in the quarter, a leap of 142 percent from the 8.4 million shipped in the prior year's quarter. Among the top five vendors, Apple also saw the biggest jump in market share, capturing 5.6 percent of global mobile-phone shipments, compared with 2.6 percent a year ago.
Apple's growth rate rose despite the age of its iPhone 4, now more than a year old. The company is expected to release an update to its flagship phone sometime this fall, with many sources pointing to a September launch date. Despite its global success, some of Apple's future smartphone growth will depend on its ability to generate more business in developing markets, IDC noted.
Industry leader Nokia held onto its No. 1 slot, but its market share continued to plummet, sinking to 24.2 percent in the second quarter from 33.8 percent a year ago. Excess inventory in regions like China and Europe apparently triggered a drop in shipments. Stung by the iPhone and Android phones, Nokia recently reported a huge loss for the second quarter.
Over the long haul, Nokia's ability to bounce back will depend on its recent partnership with Microsoft and its ability to successfully move from Symbian to Windows Phone as its core mobile OS. The company's first smartphones running Windows Phone 7 are expected to reach consumers later this year.… Read more
Huawei Technologies said today it is "a little bit puzzled" by allegations that it was illegally using InterDigital's wireless patents.
Huawei was in the middle of what it thought were "good faith negotiations" with InterDigital when the claims were made, said William Plummer, vice president of external affairs for the Chinese company.
InterDigital, which develops and holds patents on a lot of valuable wireless technology, said yesterday that it filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission and a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Delaware, alleging that Huawei, along with … Read more
InterDigital is taking aim at Nokia, Huawei, and ZTE, claiming the companies are illegally using its 3G wireless technology.
The developer of wireless technologies said today that it has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, seeking a ban on the importation of 3G phones, USB laptop sticks, mobile hot spots, tablets, and other wireless components from the three companies. The company separately filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in Delaware.
Cue the Black Sabbath.
What else can you do if your obsessive colleague shows up to work in a homemade Iron Man suit? That's what Wang Xiao Kang did one day at telecom equipment maker ZTE's Shanghai offices.
It's not an easy thing to create an Iron Man suit, and Wang apparently spent months building his version of the Mark I version despite having no DIY experience.
Wang first made an LED-lit arc reactor and a repulsor arm, as well as a Mark III helmet using ethylene-vinyl acetate. He decided to focus on the early Iron Man suit, though, which was easier to mold.
After putting all the components together, coating the 110-pound suit, and adding a fan to the back part, Wang had spent some $460 and three months on his labor of love.
When Wang showed up to work in his Iron Man suit, his colleagues and boss apparently loved the costume. But the company security guard wasn't too pleased, and asked him to take it off.
Check out Wang's bodacious homage to Tony Stark in this vid: … Read more
Cell phone-maker ZTE showed three Android smartphones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year.
In addition to the Gingerbread-toting ZTE Skate, which we looked at earlier, there's the ZTE Amigo and the ZTE Blade. The Amigo has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a 3.2-megapixel camera--we'll known much more later when we get our hands on the device.
The third phone is one we saw at CES. The ZTE Blade it has a 3.5-inch touch screen and a 3.2-megapixel camera. Although it runs Android 2.1, ZTE says the Blade should be upgradable to Android … Read more