Our apologies for the two week lull in device updates. A member of the team decided to get married and had the gall to take a two week honeymoon. This team member also happens to be the one that tends to the blog. It also happens to be me.
Let’s not beat around the bush (also, let’s agree that’s the last well-worn cliche that will appear in this device update).
Actually, one more cliche: There’s good news, which is most everything that follows this sentence, and there’s bad news, which is down the bottom of the page. It relates to the Nexus and we’re sorry.
New devices coming soon
Home Phone Connect 2
This device isn’t so much sexy as it is entirely logical. Especially, we’d argue, on Ting. Home Phone Connect 2 lets you plug in an analog phone, including cordless base stations, and ditch the landline phone bill without ditching the landline phone or phone number.
The Home Phone Connect 2 acts like any phone on your account, sharing pooled minutes. If your home phone rarely gets used, there’s a good chance it won’t even push you into the next bucket for Ting minutes meaning your landline phone would effectively only cost the Ting standard $6/mo..
We’ll be adding Home Phone Connect to our device lineup and begin shipping as early as next week.
Samsung Galaxy Note II
We have the option to offer the Samsung Galaxy Note II. While this “phablet” certainly isn’t for everyone (most specifically, it’s not for people who wear skinny jeans and / or are opposed to carrying around a man bag / purse) but its devotees are quite, well, devoted.
We asked the Ting Facebook community whether this is a device they’d be interested in. The response was largely no, but there were enough ayes that we’ll be adding it to the lineup. We’ll order a small quantity and see how they do.
Aside from the polarizing form factor, the fact that it’s over $600 when purchased without a large subsidy (and the requisite contract) makes it a bit of an anomaly in the Ting lineup. However, in the Ting lineup is exactly where it’ll be in the next couple of weeks, supply chain willing.
LG Eclipse AKA LG Optimus G
The LG Eclipse 4G LTE, better known as the LG Optimus G, occupies a bit of a weird spot. It’s awesome with its huge 4.7-inch IPS display at 1280×768. plus its 2GB of RAM, and S4 quad-core processor plus a 13 MP camera and, of course, super fast network speeds on the LTE network. However, people aren’t getting too worked up about it. We’d argue they should: It’s a killer handset… and we’re not just saying that because it’ll be in our device lineup soon. It should be available for pre-order soon, shipping before the end of the month. As always, these timeframes are supply chain willing.
The LG Mach is an interesting device: It’s very capable with its 1.2GHz dual-core processor, LTE capability, 4-inch touchscreen and slide-out five-line QWERTY keyboard. However, at below $350 it fits in nicely, offering an excellent choice in between the mid-range Android devices and the top-end superphones in our lineup.
We should have this device available in the next two to three weeks at less than $350. Do I even need to address the supply chain at this point?
Windows Phone 8 devices
We’ll add two Windows Phone 8 devices by the second quarter of the new year. We will do everything we can to get these devices sooner rather than later. We can’t say which specific WP8 devices these will be at present but they’re coming.
The bad news
Leading with bad news was not a fun blogpost make. That’s why we’re stuffing it down here at the bottom of this entry.
After many, many positive signs that made it look like Google and its manufacturing partners for the Nexus line would be making their next flagship device MVNO friendly, it seems that’s not the case.
We’re trying to track down someone at Google so we can grill them ask the pertinent questions. We’ll be pulling together a full Nexus vs as it relates to Ting and other MVNOs as soon as we have a more solid understanding of exactly what is happening and why.
Tri-band LTE hotspot delayed until 2013
Manufacturing issues mean that we’ll have to wait until 2013 to offer a tri-band (LTE, 4G WiMAX and 3G as the fallback) hotspot. We do expect to have LTE-ready data sticks and other such devices in the near term. However, the do-it-all hotspot we’ve been waiting for is still a way out.
A new manufacturer has been tapped and the as yet unannounced device is expected in the first quarter of 2013. Sorry we can’t say anything more about it right now.