Hey guys, this is our very first SlashGear Weekly Roundup video. We highlight the top ten news of the week and hope this will be a good way for those to quickly catchup on the most important weekly tech news. Check it out after the jump and feel free to give us some feedback.
HTC has officially announced the HTC Merge, a phone we first heard rumors of so long ago we were beginning to think it had been cancelled. Headed to "multiple North American carriers" in Spring 2011, the Merge has a 3.8-inch WVGA touchscreen, 5-megapixel camera and slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
Samsung Epic 4G owners on Sprint may have to wait a while longer to update their devices to Android 2.2 Froyo. Sprint has stopped all over-the-air updates to the device and has taken down the download link for the update as well. These measures were taken after Sprint received several complaints from Epic 4G owners that the update wrecked their phones.
As expected, Sprint has officially announced its first Windows Phone handset, the HTC Arrive. A rebadged HTC 7 Pro, the Sprint Arrive has a 3.6-inch WVGA display, 1GHz Snapdragon processor and a slide-out hardware keyboard, and uses the carrier's EVDO Rev. A 3G network.
Sprint has all but confirmed that tomorrow's handset launch is a Windows Phone 7 device, with the carrier's latest tweet - "Wouldn't it be great to have your phone integrated with your home game console, like Xbox?" - highlighting one of Microsoft's platform's exclusive features. Sprint is expected to officially unveil the HTC Arrive, aka the HTC 7 Pro.
The HTC 7 Pro may well be headed to Sprint tomorrow - based on the carrier's broad teases earlier this week - but it seems it won't be keeping the same name. Sprint has apparently proved unable to resist a rebranding opportunity, and going by the new placeholder at sprint.com/arrive, it looks like the Windows Phone 7 smartphone will launch as the Sprint HTC Arrive.
Looks like Sprint hasn't learnt its lesson. The carrier blew expectations out of proportion for the Kyocera Echo, delivering an awkward dual-display Android handset with seriously niche appeal, and it's headed in the same way with a new teaser campaign building up to Thursday, February 24. "What do you think the next new Sprint phone will be?" the carrier asked via its official Twitter account; our money is on the HTC 7 Pro.
BillToMobile has just signed a deal with Sprint to allow the carrier’s customers to purchase items with their mobile phones. With this deal BillToMobile now has three of the four major carriers in the U.S.--their previous deals with Verizon and AT&T. T-Mobile is the only major carrier to not have a deal with the company thus far.
WiMax appears doomed in the US with Clearwire shutting down retail operations and LTE networks coming online as we speak. Sprint banked on a massive lead in the market for WiMax to offset the slower speeds compared to LTE and that significant lead didn't get Sprint where it hoped to be. According to PCWorld Sprint is now looking at the future of 4G and eyeing LTE.
Skype and Qik jointly announced at MWC 2011 that they plan on further integrating their technologies to help improve Qik's video calls on Sprint and T-Mobile devices and develop Skype's video calling solution for the Verizon LTE network. However, during the talk, Skypes's head of consumer product management, Rick Osterloh, hinted at the possibility of bringing Skype's video calling to AT&T devices. "Let's watch out for some announcements there," said Osterloh when asked about pursuing a relationship with AT&T as a video calling partner.