Cingular

Free service with purchase of iPhone?

Free service with purchase of iPhone?

Would you pay $499 or $599 for an iPhone if you got 18 months of service for free? That's the question Cingular/ATT seems to be pondering. Apple is putting pressure on Cingular/ATT not to discount the much-anticipated device, and the wireless giant is looking toward alternative strategies to do just that. This certainly would be a bold move by the newly-acquired provider Will this be a preview of things to come from the Cingular/ATT merger? Only time will tell.

This latest rumor comes from CNBC's Jim Cramer. He belives that Cingular/ATT is trying to sway users of Verizon Wireless to make the switch by offering them free long-term contracts when they purchase one of the year's hottest phones. Let's just keep hoping that this type of competition pays off for the average consumer.

Buy the Apple iPhone and get 18-months service free [via: MYiPhone]

SlashGear Exclusive: Helio replies to Cingular’s MySpace Announcement

SlashGear Exclusive: Helio replies to Cingular’s MySpace Announcement

Earlier today I wrote about Cingular's launch of their own MySpace integration app which, for $2.99 a month on top of your regular bill, lets you browse, search, upload pics and read/respond to messages on the popular social networking site.  At the same time, I got in touch with Helio to get their response to the news; remember, MySpace themselves were claiming Cingular would be "more expansive" than Helio's service.

Justin Ried, Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications at Helio, told me: 

"In a short 7-months since launch, Helio has consistently been a step ahead of other carriers, launching custom services first like MySpace Mobile, GPS-enabled Google Maps for mobile and gifting & begging. And we're continuing to build on our position of innovative leader in the wireless space - all so our members can stay in touch with their friends better, easier and in unique ways"

Helio Drift - Google MapsHe goes on to explain how Helio's new MySpace application, available to download within the next sixty days, will boast features like enhanced camera integration for real-time sharing of photos on your profile, click-free access to alerts, friend requests, event invites and messages from the cellphone's idle screen, improved functionality for editing your profile from your Helio including changing headlines, relationship status and images, all using a completely rebuilt cellphone UI with custom styles, improved graphics and animations.

Will this be enough to maintain Helio's growing popularity?  It's a cliché and a cop-out to say something like "only time will tell", so I won't.  Instead, how about some facts and a couple of presumptions: the Helio Drift, especially in its limited-edition Frost White form, is a sexy, competent handset that succeeds for the greater part due to Helio's integration of services and hardware.  The route Cingular is taking - adding MySpace into its broad range of cellphones - means that the experience is only as good as the least capable handset; if I were Helio I'd be concentrating hard on picking the very best-of-breed to really showcase the services on offer. 

Cingular gets a slice of the MySpace pie

Cingular gets a slice of the MySpace pie

A little over a week ago I wrote that, with Helio's exclusive contract with MySpace expiring all too soon for the MVNO's liking, other network operators would be wanting a piece of the social networking pie.  In response, Helio is planning a dedicated app for its subscribers that will make MySpace interaction faster and cleaner.  Today, with the news that Cingular will be the first competing carrier offering MySpace on its cellphones, it might want to get that software out the door asap.

For $2.99 on top of a regular monthly package, Cingular subscribers will be able to upload photos taken on cellphones, read and respond to MySpace e-mails, update blog entries and view and search for friends direct from their handset.  Running as a Java app, with 30 popular handsets compatible on launch and a further 20 supported in the following few weeks, Cingular will also be adding online video support sometime in 2007.  MySpace has already put the boot in, claiming that Cingular's version will be "more expansive" than Helio's offering.

Call me a crusty old cynic, but how many people actually interact with MySpace via their cellphones, and how many would want to do that?

Cingular to offer MySpace on cellphones [Reuters]

HP bring HSDPA on-board with new nc6400 notebook

HP bring HSDPA on-board with new nc6400 notebook

The number of cellular-enabled notebooks keeps growing, with HP latest on the bandwagon as customers realise that far easier than tethering their cellphones to their laptop is to have some sort of mobile data capacity on-board.  Taking advantage of Cingular's UMTS/HSDPA network for up to 3.6 megabit speeds, the nc6400 has a tri-band modem that will not only work in the US but can also take advantage of GPRS and EDGE services elsewhere in the world.

Vista capable, the nc6400 has a 14.1-inch widescreen display, Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and comes with an integrated Intel graphics chip as standard, although an ATI Mobility Radeon card is a paid option.  It starts at $1,599, with Cingular's unlimited BroadbandConnect service coming in at $59.99 a month.  Further international add-on plans are also available, with $109/mo getting you 100 megabytes worth of use each month in Canada and Mexico, or $139 for 100MB in more than twenty-four countries worldwide, with both plans including unlimited domestic use. 

HP [via Laptoping]

Cingular Phone LG CU400: 3G Push-to-Talk

Cingular Phone LG CU400: 3G Push-to-Talk

Starting on Tuesday, Cingular began offering LG’s CU400, the 3G Internet and video phone. This CU400 is the first phone from Cingular that support a push-to-talk function allowing you to speak with up to 30 people.

The phone also supports the ultra fast UMTS data transmission for downloads, music clips, and email. With Cingular video service, you can watch video, TV, news, and more. The phone comes with 4x zoom & video VGA camera, Bluetooth, MPEG4 and RealVideo support, MobiTV & MobiRadio, Quad-band world phone with domestic UMTS, and more. It weights only 3.27onces with 3.36 x 1.89 x .90 inches. The talk time is up to 5 hours with up to 12 days standby time. The CU400 is now available from Cingular for $230 at retail or $30 with a two-year agreement plan.

LG CU400 marks first 3G push-to-talk Cingular phone [via electronista]

Cingular’s BlackBerry Pearl 8100c – unboxing

Cingular’s BlackBerry Pearl 8100c – unboxing

There are some people out there who, when they get a new toy, hurriedly rip away the packaging in a mad dash to get to the prize inside.  For others, there's the joy of the unboxing - peeling away the layers of user guides, accessories, crappy case and multiple strata of molded cardboard, enjoying the journey to whatever it is that has maxed out their credit card.  Last week we showed you Cingular's incarnation of the BlackBerry Pearl; today we bring some unboxing photos, courtesy of the Pinstack.com forums.  Enjoy!

Cingular Pearl unboxing

Cingular’s Pearl 8100c in the wild

Cingular’s Pearl 8100c in the wild

So it's not a photo of the Pope kicking a squirrel, but it is one of the first in-the-wild shots I've seen of Cingular's version of the Blackberry Pearl 8100c.  As you can see, the Pearl has gained a shiny silver, carrier-branded chin and some slightly altered key-labelling.  Other than that, it's the same Pearl you know and maybe love.

Live Shot: Cingular Blackberry Pearl 8100c! [RIM Blackberry Forums; thanks to Gina-Lisa for the tip!]

TeleNav GPS arrives on the E62

TeleNav GPS arrives on the E62

One of the more annoying features of the Garmin sat-nav unit I use is its unwillingness to put up with my human foibles.  Spelling mistakes, mis-pressed letters, all are held against me, and the Nuvi's main method of punishment is saying something along the lines of "that location doesn't exist, you moron."  Thankfully the TeleNav software, which Cingular has today announced for the Nokia E62 smartphone, has so-called "Fuzzy Search", seemingly detecting and filling in addresses according to current or commonly-used locations, as well as automatically correcting for mistakes in spelling or name-structure.  Check out further details after the cut.

Hands-On with Samsung’s BlackJack smartphone

Hands-On with Samsung’s BlackJack smartphone

Our cellphone-obsessed sister site, SlashPhone.com, has scored an exclusive hands-on session with the delicious Samsung BlackJack, only available on the Cingular network.  There's a sneak preview of some of the photos here; for the rest, plus Vincent's first-impressions, you'll just have to click over there yourself!

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