A quick look around the just opened Flatbush, Brooklyn location of
New York — Best Buy plans to put a major promotional effort behind the launch of the HTC One smartphone.
This will be part of a greater investment in mobile-phone advertising and promotion during the next 12 months, said Allister Jones, head of marketing for Best Buy’s connectivity business group.
Best Buy will be the smartphone’s exclusive indirect-channel launch partner.
New York — Smartphone maker HTC promises its largest rollout ever when its premium One Android phone, touted by HTC Americas president Mike Woodward as “the best phone ever made,” goes on sale beginning in March in more than 80 countries, including the U.S.
The 4G LTE Android 4.1 phone does not reflect “just another set of incremental improvements,” added HTC president Jason MacKenzie during a press conference, here.
Seoul, South Korea — The Optimus G Pro smartphone launched by LG is the company’s biggest-screen phone to date with 5.5-inch IPS display, the company’s first smartphone with full-HD 1080p display, and one of the industry’s first LTE smartphones with quad-core 1.7GHz CPU.
HTC’s OneX+, available in the U.S., already sports LTE and a Tegra quad-core 1.7GHz CPU. LG’s phone sports Qualcomm’s quad-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 processor.
Chicago – Wireless carrier U.S. Cellular outlined its 2013 timetable for expanding its 4G LTE network, which will expand by the end of the year to reach 87 percent of the population within its service area, up from a current 61 percent.
At the end of 2012, LTE reached 58 percent of the population within U.S. Cellular’s footprint.
Providence, R.I. – Nortek, owner of multiple commercial and residential technology brands, signed a definitive agreement to acquire 2GIG Technologies, a privately held supplier of residential security and home-automation products.
The acquisition will “further our investment in home security” and “position us to participate in the lower end home-automation market,” Nortek senior VP/treasurer Ed Cooney told TWICE.
Washington — Wireless carriers are shedding low-income subscribers who get government-subsidized cellular service now that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has tightened the rules to reduce waste, fraud and abuse.
In January 2012, the FCC reformed the Lifeline subsidy program to require Lifeline customers to certify eligibility with carriers every year. Subscribers had to recertify by Dec, 31, 2012, and carriers were required to report the results to the FCC by Jan. 31, 2013.
Portland, Ore. — MVNO Consumer Cellular, which targets the 50-plus age group with no-contract postpaid service, signed up its 1 millionth subscriber, and to celebrate, it’s giving away $1 million to employees and charities.
Consumer Cellular’s 750-plus employees will split a portion of $500,000 based on tenure, and another $500,000 will be split evenly between the Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Meals on Wheels Association of America and Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.
Miami — Blu Products, which was founded in 2009 and sells cellphones in more than 40 countries, has launched two new unlocked Android smartphones for the U.S. market.
The models, both priced at less than $200, are the Blu Studio 5.3 II and Blu Tank 4.5, each with dual-core 1GHz Cortex-A9 processor, 3G HSDPA connectivity, Android 4.1 OS and 1080p HD video playback.
The former features a 5.3-inch screen, and the latter features a 4.5-inch screen.
Reston, Va. – The Android OS remained the dominant OS among smartphone users in the U.S. at the end of 2012, but Apple’s iOS share is creeping up at a slightly faster pace, ComScore reported.
For the three-month period ending December 2012, an average of 53.4 percent of smartphone users ages 13 and older used the Android OS, up 0.9 percentage points from the average for the three-month period ending in September (see table).
Waterloo, Ontario – Sales of the BlackBerry Z10, the first phone equipped with the BlackBerry 10 OS, are strong and outpacing launch sales of any previous BlackBerry phone, the company said.
“In Canada, yesterday was the best day ever for the first day of a launch of a new BlackBerry smartphone,” said president/CEO Thorsten Heins. He said first-day sales were 50 percent higher than the first-day sales of any other BlackBerry phone in BlackBerry’s history in Canada.