Whether or not Microsoft's KIN handsets have GenUpload appeal or not, one thing just about everyone outside of Verizon agrees on is that the carrier has priced the featurephone's data plans too highly. Ideal time for Sprint to leap in with some massively impressive prepaid offerings, using its Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile acquisitions to target the youth market, those looking for affordable, contract-free unlimited service, and even those wanting cheap BlackBerry BIS support (from $35 all-in, voice and text included).
Sprint have announced their Q2 2009 financial results, and while there are glimmers of hope in the shape of ongoing prepaid customer growth and stable post-pay revenue, the take-away figures are a loss of 257,000 customers over the three month period and a net loss of $384m on revenues of $8.1bn. That revenue is down 1-percent from Q1 2009, and down 10-percent on Q2 2008, though Sprint did manage to pay off $700m of debt (although it still owes $16.4bn).
Sprint have announced that they are acquiring Virgin Mobile USA for $483m, bringing the pre-pay MVNO under the Sprint umbrella but maintaining it as a separate brand. Virgin Mobile USA uses Sprint's CDMA network for its access, and will join Boost Mobile as Sprint's key entry-level line-up.
Virgin Mobile USA have announced a pay-as-you-go mobile broadband service, which will be exclusively available through Best Buy Mobile. Broadband2Go uses a Novatel Wireless EVDO Rev.A USB modem, and offers contract-free data from as little as $10; however, there are limits over how that data access can be used.
Virgin Mobile has followed suit with every major carrier (and apparently the American automakers too) in the rush to offer deals to consumers in this time of economic crisis. Virgin has announced a new Unlimited minutes plan for $49.99 and "Pink Slip Protection" which waves up to three months of phone bills if you lose your job. Pretty sweet deal for those of you who shy away from contracts and aren't concerned with having the latest and greatest phones.
Virgin Mobile have rolled out a pair of new Kyocera handsets, in the shape of the Kyocera X-tc and the Kyocera JAX. The former is the more interesting of the two, having a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, stereo Bluetooth support and a 1.3-megapixel camera, while the JAX brings up the budget end with a compact body and "real music ringtones".
It's been a long time coming, but the Ocean 2 has finally launched and should be reaching customers' hands this weekend. Along the way, network Helio has been acquired by Virgin Mobile, and we've seen devices like the iPhone 3G, T-Mobile G1 and various high-end feature phones all crash the market. The stakes are undoubtedly higher, and the question is whether the Ocean 2 is too little, too late; we'll have the SlashGear review for you soon, but first off here's the video unboxing and some first impressions.
Toshiba helped us kick off the week with the announcement of their new TG01 Windows Mobile smartphone: on paper it sounds perfect, with a high-res touchscreen, super-skinny body and all the wireless connectivity you could feasibly ask for, as well as being the first device to deliver NVIDIA’s 1GHz Snapdragon chipset. Check out our hands-on photos and video demos, as well as Toshiba’s own GUI demo, and then try and explain to me why I still can’t get as excited about the TG01 as I think I ought to be.