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Where did Ting’s refurbished devices go?

Let us address the elephant in the Ethernet. We don’t currently have any refurbished devices on offer on the Ting devices page. Even though we have plenty to address demand sitting in our warehouse.

If you had your eye on a refurb device from Ting and that device is no longer available, we’re sorry. Refurbished devices will be back as soon as possible.

The problem

A huge rush of orders for refurbs using a particular promo code alerted our team that something might be amiss. A blogger had suggested purchasing refurb smartphones from us for next to nothing and not activating the device on Ting. It started a flurry of purchases from buyers that did not smell like future Ting customers.

We’ve been pretty transparent with the fact that service (minutes, messages and megabytes) is where Ting makes money. As we sell devices at or below our own cost (even before promos) and we don’t deal in contracts or other mobile business as usual, we would take a significant financial hit if these refurbs were never activated with us.

The solution

The actions we’re taking are twofold: first, as I mentioned, we’ve pulled all refurbs from the Ting lineup for the time being. Second, we’ll be changing the way promo codes work for some transactions.

Promo codes will continue to work as they always have for most first devices purchases, offering a dollar off discount on the purchase price. However for select devices, including very inexpensive refurbs, a Ting service credit will be offered instead. This way we’re able to give the same dollar value discount but that discount is delivered upon activation as opposed to on purchase. It’s an incentive to activate and ensures that devices aren’t being sold at significant cost to us and never activated on Ting.

As soon as that chunk of code and backend connecting has been completed, refurbs will once again appear in the Ting lineup. Our dev team is hard at work on the code necessary to make this a reality. We hope to have refurbs back in our lineup before the end of this month.

Device Update – Let’s get back at it!

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.

LG Mach

Supersonic puns are almost too tempting here… but I’ll try to avoid sounding them all off.

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?

Further out

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.

No Nexus

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.

Device update: Focusing on feature phones and refurbs

After a string of additions to our mid-range and hero Android smartphone lineup, we’ve made some progress on the feature phone front too. We’ll be adding the Samsung Array (M390) to the lineup just as soon as we get them in the warehouse. We’ll also be adding the accessible flip feature phone that some customers have been asking for in the near future.

Both of these devices will hit the Ting devices page by the end of October. Sooner, supply chain willing.

Accessible feature phone

We finally have a confirmation on the model number for this guy. We thought it would be the Samsung M400… but when all our searches turned up a PocketPC device (the SCH-M400) we had some doubts.

Turns out, the Samsung M400 is indeed the accessible feature phone that will be available soon, but with the SPH precursor (SPH-M400).

This device features a large 2.4-inch inside screen with easily adjustable font sizes. It has a colossal keypad with large numbers, a dedicated 911 key and “in case of emergency” button that stores three contacts for quick dialling should the need arise. It’s also got a hands-free speaker button that pushes calls through the louder rear speaker. In addition, a text to speech utility will read off on-screen text including contact names, caller ID history, missed calls and also helps with menu navigation for the visually impaired.

More refurbished options

Given the popularity of the refurb devices we’ve been able to offer so far, we’ve redoubled our efforts to get more and better refurbs. Side note: What does redoubled even mean, really? Seems strangely unquantifiable given that it’s used to refer to a quantity… Don’t think I’ll be using that one again.

We ran a poll on Facebook asking if anyone was interested in the Kyocera Echo refurbished at about $60. This device is an odd one with its dual screens and quasi tablet mode. Voting so far suggests people aren’t really interested. If you feel differently or if you agree, cast a vote.

We’re planning to partner with a reseller of used and refurbished devices to expand our available product offering further. When BYO(S)D comes online we’ll be able to offer up used and refurbished Sprint devices for use on Ting too. That will mean a huge increase in the number of devices that we can offer for use on Ting.

When talking to potential partners, we’re very careful to ensure they understand what we’re doing and that they keep customer service as close to their hearts as we do. We can’t say who the third party we’ll be working with is until the ink is dry but rest assured, they’re really good at what they do.

In addition to adding to our device offering, this partner also offers a used device purchase program which means Ting (or really, any) device could also be sent in for some cash without the Craigslist / Kijiji / eBay hassles.

Device Update: New news for new as in new and news for new as in refurbished

In this week’s device update we’ve got a fair bit of news, as hinted in the headline. We’ve got a couple of new phones inbound to Ting and we’ve got a little more detail to share on the home phone solution and the refurbished devices we mentioned in last week’s update.

New as in new

LG Optimus G

We’ll be adding this device in mid to late November… it’s quite a device too. We’ve always liked LG’s handsets as they stay very close to stock Android and don’t make a bunch of unnecessary modifications to the operating system. While we know that tech specs only tell part of the story, what’s on offer here is very impressive: This LTE device has a 4.7-inch display at 768×1280, 32 GB of internal storage, 2 GB of RAM and a quad-core 1.5 GHz processor. It runs Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box. LG has already announced plans to release Android 4.1, Jelly Bean to this and select other devices in the near term too.

Price is as yet TBD but as always, we’ll offer it up for very close to our own purchase price.

Note that this is not the currently rumoured LG Optimus G Nexus… we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE

The Samsung Galaxy Victory is a powerful LTE-ready smartphone and it will hit the Ting lineup very soon. It steps in where the Samsung Galaxy SII lets off, that device having been removed from the Ting lineup for the immediately foreseeable future. It adds accessing the LTE network to its bag of tricks over the SII. The Victory is the entry level LTE-ready device in Ting’s lineup… but “entry level” is an unfair categorization for this very capable smartphone: The dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 4-inch WVGA display and the 5 MP camera belie the Victory’s price tag of around $300

You’ll note that we haven’t made a single pun in writing about the Victory. We’d call that a win. Wait a second…

Samsung Array M390

The Samsung Array (M390) will be available to order from Ting early next week. We’re excited to add this device to our lineup not only ensure our feature phone selection hits the major touchstones, it’s also a very nice phone in its own right.

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced feature phone whose main role in your life is to make calls and send text messges, this landscape QWERTY slider might just be the perfect bet. Aside from doing all the usual feature phone things, it also lets you link up with social media (Facebook, Twitter), send and receive emails and visit the data-sipping mobile versions of your favorite web sites.

New as in refurbished

We’ll be offering up the Samsung Transform Ultra and the LG Marquee as refurbished options this week. The LG Marquee just hit our devices page. This is a jump forward from the previously outlined timeframe for these devices and we’re pleased to be able to offer both up for under $100.

Other devices inbound

Home Phone Connect

We talked a little about this in our previous device update. Now it seems we’ll be able to add the Home Phone Connect to our list of available devices sooner than the originally stated six to eight weeks.

Home Phone Connect doesn’t get quite the attention of a cutting-edge smartphone. That said, we’re excited to be able to offer it up. This device lets you use your existing analog (landline) phones and acts just like any other Ting device on your account, using your pooled Ting voice minutes.

Home numbers can already be ported over to Ting, it’s just that now, the case for doing so is more compelling. Grabbing a Home Phone Connect and porting your home number could mean significant savings. If everyone in the family already has a mobile device and the home phone goes largely unused but you’re not ready to cut that cord entirely, chances are good that your home phone via Home Phone Connect won’t even push you out of your chosen bucket for voice minutes. If that’s true of your usage, that could mean cutting your home phone bill down to just the $6 per device fee that’s standard across Ting.

Pricing and exact availability are as yet TBD but we expect to add it to our lineup at $100 +/- about $10 in as soon two to three weeks. The variability in price comes from the fact that our own cost for Home Phone Connect isn’t 100% nailed down as yet.

LTE data stick(s)

We’re working to have at least one data stick and / or card in our lineup before the end of the year. Which data stick or card specifically is unfortunately unknown at present. Sprint is currently testing a wide array of LTE data sticks that we MVNOs can opt to offer up. We’ll provide more details as things become more clear.

We often ask our Facebook community which devices they want to see. If you want to get in on that voting, come on over! (one of us, one of us). We’re also doing a giveaway of one Samsung Galaxy SIII 16 GB for use on Ting. Just share this Facebook post linking to the Ting calculator and you’re automatically entered. This particular give-away ends Friday, October 12 at noon ET.

Device update: New refurbs, Home Phone Connect and a look at what 2013 will bring

As we said in our recent BYOD update, our trip to Sprint HQ in Kansas City was very productive. In addition to making progress on the important subjects of BYOD, new devices and refurbished devices, we also had a chance to talk through our device delivery. We’ll be talking about improvements in the warehouse and what they mean soon. In the interim though, here’s this week’s device update.

Device lineup – Short term

New refurbs available soon on Ting

LG Marquee

We’ll be adding the LG Marquee to our lineup as a refurbished device at under $100. Obvious biases aside (full disclosure: I work here) it’s a great price for a pretty sweet phone. It’s got a 4-inch screen, a 1 GHz processor, half a gig of RAM and 2 GB of internal storage which can be added to with an inexpensive microSD card. PC Mag went so far as to give it their Editor’s Choice award.

Samsung Transform Ultra

We’ve already got the Samsung Transform Ultra in our device lineup. We’ll be adding it in as a refurbished option too for less than half but a little more than a third the $205 price when purchased new. You do the math!

The big draw here is the full QWERTY keyboard, ideal for the heavy texting and emailing sets. With a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM running Android 2.3, Gingerbread it’s not the absolute cutting edge. However, it’s been very well received and we’re happy to be able to offer it up at at a price that can only be called compelling.

We’re looking to have both the Samsung Transform Ultra and the LG Marquee available in the next couple or few weeks, supply chain willing. We don’t currently see any reason this timeframe won’t be met.

Home Phone Connect

We’ll be adding Home Phone Connect to our lineup in six to eight weeks. This device connects to the cell network but lets you use your own analog phones, including cordless phones, to talk. When Home Phone Connect launches on Ting you’ll be able to port over your home (landline) phone number. I mean, you can do that too… but when Home Phone Connect launches on Ting, you’ll have even more reason to do so.

While it’s not officially supported, reports are that you can plug the Home Phone Connect into a standard phone outlet in your house and light up your existing home phone wiring. That way, any analog phone you plug in to an existing phone jack will work (assuming, of course, that your home phone wiring is in good shape).

Device lineup – Longer term

Windows Phone

We’re looking ahead to the device lineup for the first half of 2013. We’ll be adding a Windows Phone device running the latest version of the mobile OS within this time. Worst case scenario for Windows Phone on Ting: We’ll have the latest WP device sixty days after Sprint begins offering it. Best case: We’ll have it at the same time as it becomes available in Sprint’s lineup.


Rather than saying that we expect the next Nexus device will be available on Ting, instead we’ll say we don’t currently see any reason it won’t be available on Ting. It’s a small but important distinction. We’ll share more detail as soon as there’s more to share. If the rumor mill is true, the next Nexus will be made by LG and it’ll be a quad-core smartphone with 2 GB of RAM, a 1280x768px display and 16 GB of internal storage.


If didn’t make reference to the iPhone, the first comment on this device update would be asking about the iPhone. You know it and we know it.

We continue to make slow progress on the iPhone front. In this, the last quarter of the year, new partnerships are a low priority for Apple. Understandable given that they want to focus on the busy holiday sales period.

We do expect that next year, some form of iOS device will be usable on Ting. Alas, whether that’s the earlier or the latter half of the year we cannot yet say. Likewise, whether that means an other-than-the-latest iPhone becomes eligible for BYOD or whether we’ll be selling the iPhone directly (or both) is unclear. As always, we’re eager to share news as it becomes available… but we’re not interested in creating false hope. As we know more, you’ll know more.

Keep apprised of all our device news by following the Device Update category here on the Ting blog. You can also sign up for email alerts of new devices as they’re added or gain some insight into what we’re up to by creating a Ting account (no purchase required, of course) or by opting in for for device alerts and / or newsletters in your existing Ting account.