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Device Update – SII on sale, SIII coming soon, mid-range Android and a QWERTY feature phone slider

Device Update – August 30, 2012

There’s a fair bit of hardware news to share so we’re not going to mince words. Well, maybe we’ll mince a couple…

Some of the device news for this week clarifies stuff we’ve already announced with firmer dates and more detail on device names, pricing and the like. We’ve got our share of new news to share too.

First things first…

Samsung Galaxy SII on sale

We’re knocking the price of the Samsung Galaxy SII down to below $400. Specifically to $390. The SII lost its pride of place as the top-end of the top of the line thanks to the Galaxy SIII. However, it’s still a powerhouse Android smartphone running a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor plus 1 GB of RAM and rocking a 4.5-inch Super AMOLED screen. With the recent OTA update it runs Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich as well.

Check it out and save a mint.

Samsung Galaxy SIII pre-orders: Shipment begins

If you pre-ordered the Samsung Galaxy SIII 32 GB Pebble Blue model in the first few minutes of the pre-order window opening, great news: Odds are good that your device is on its way to you now.

We received a small stock of SIIIs in the warehouse and are getting them out the door as quickly as is humanly possible. If you weren’t among the very first pre-orders, or if you ordered the 16 GB Pebble Blue or either capacity option of the Marble White Galaxy SIII, it’ll be just a little while longer; they’re in-bound to our warehouse. As soon as they arrive, our top priority is to get out the door and into your waiting arms.

We’ve got to applaud everyone’s patience thus far. We know how excruciating it is to wait for a hot new gadget to arrive. We’ll certainly keep everyone posted as stock arrives and shipments proceed.

Devices coming to Ting

HTC EVO 4G LTE

This is a super sweet smartphone with a 4.7-inch screen at 720×1280, runs Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich and is coming soon to a Ting near you. Like one more sleep soon. Stay tuned. You can sign up for device alerts by logging in to your account or creating a new one (no purchase required, of course).

ZTE Warp

We’ve received a lot of requests for an Android smartphone in the mid-range of the price scale; as it stands, there’s a pretty big gap in our lineup between $200 and $400. This is one of the handsets that will help to fill that gap.

ZTE doesn’t have the same brand cachet as the likes of HTC, Samsung or other top-tier smartphone manufacturers but it makes good phones, offers them at decent prices and doesn’t mess with Android by adding skins or a bunch of silly add-on apps.

The Warp offers quite a bit for your buck: a 4.3-inch screen at 480×800, a 1 GHz processor and 512 MB of RAM and a 5 MP camera.

We expect to have this device up for pre-order in mid September and it will come in at under $250.

Airave incoming

Hope for people whose home or office get an intermittent or non-existant mobile signal: we’ll be adding the Airrave to our list of available devices as soon as possible. We’ll have a blog post dedicated entirely to this subject as details come available. The Airave is a femtocell device that plugs in to your home router in order to push voice traffic over the Internet. Your phone doesn’t need to have Wi-Fi turned on (or have Wi-Fi at all, for feature phone users). The Airrave is intended to seamlessly hand calls over from the Sprint network to your femtocell and vice-versa. It appears to your phone as a typical mobile signal and behaves in a similar way.

LTE data devices

We’re working to add LTE-ready data devices to Ting. However right now, it’s out of our hands while Sprint and the manufacturers figure things out. We’ll keep our ear to the ground and continue to ask questions in order to provide updates. As it stands though, there’s no news.

Home Phone Connect

No timeframes we can talk about right now but we’re considering adding Home Phone Connect. With Home Phone Connect you can plug in an analog phone (including a cordless) and make calls from home using your mobile number. If you’ve considered ditching your landline for a mobile solution, this is a great bet. More details soon.

Feature phone update

We’re working hard to get a flip feature phone in as soon as possible. It’s an obvious gap in our device lineup that we’re eager to fill. The Optimus Ss that we brought in at a special price to fill the feature phone gap have been flying out the door. We can’t tell you right this instant what the feature phone solution is. Not because we’re being cloak and dagger but because we’re not sure ourselves. As soon as we have a solution though, we’ll let you know.

We’re also adding a slider QWERTY feature phone but details on that will have to wait for the next device update.

BYOD update

In more somber news, it’s official: the Galaxy Nexus is out of the running as a Ting device. Even with BYOD in the works. Google seems to be taking a page from Apple’s book (careful you don’t get sued!) in very carefully vetting the carriers that are allowed to carry the device. MVNOs don’t seem to exist in the Google hive mind. If we sound bitter… well, we’re not. We’re deeply disappointed though and we realize we have to make great efforts to ensure “virtual network operators” like Ting are in the running for the next pure Google device.

Announcing Ting dashboard 2.0 preview

Today our talented dev team took the wraps off the new Ting account dashboard. It’s available to preview now and will be ready to roll out to all users soon, following the preview period and some final tweaks.

To check out the new dashboard just click on the Dashboard Preview link in the right hand navigation panel of your Ting account page. We think you’ll be glad you did.

Upon hitting the Dashboard Preview link you’ll be dropped in to the brand new control panel that features easier to read usage gauges for minutes, messages and megabytes (reminiscent of Great Pokéballs… which it must be pointed out have a 1.5x better chance of catching a Pokémon than a standard Pokéball), improved individual device-level control, brand new individual device-level alerts as well as the option to disable voice, text messages, data or completely suspend the individual device in question when it hits the limits you’ve defined. We’ve also made it easier to see events like phone calls, text messages and data sessions by account or by device.

The new control panel also allows the option to change global account settings to turn things like call forwarding and international calling, text and picture / video messaging, tethering, 4G and more on or off at the account level. Any devices whose preferences you’ve already set will remain unchanged; these global preferences will be stored and applied to any new devices you add to your Ting account upon activation.

We’ve made it much easier to find your Refer a Friend details and we’ve made it simpler share Ting with friends via Facebook and Twitter.

We’ve cleaned up the Details streams which are now nested under each of the usage dials; click View Details under the Minutes, Messages or

Megabytes dials to see a full log of all activity on your account. We’ve made it easier to change your plan and we’ve done a lot of work to clarify bills. We’ll continue to tweak during this preview phase and we have a lot of plans to further clarify bills in the coming development cycles.

Log in to your account, click the Dashboard Preview link and have a look around.

Please let us know what you think by filling out the Ting account control panel redesign survey, embedded below and available here.

Ting Customer Q&A – LeAnn Barga

LeAnn Barga

Ting customer since: Aug 2012
Previous carrier: Sprint
Monthly savings with Ting: Approx. $40/mo

Where did you first hear about Ting?:

I believe I first heard about Ting from a friend online.

What was it about Ting that resonated with you and made you want to switch?:

I love that with Ting I only pay for what I use, and if I use more than what I “plan” I am not bombarded with exorbitant fees. I really also enjoy the personal customer service, especially from Sarah in marketing. She was very helpful in my switch.

Were you in contact with a mobile carrier before you made the move to Ting? How long was left? What did that translate to in early termination fees?:

I was still in a contract with Sprint, I had 7 months left and my ETF was $70.00

What kind of savings are you seeing with Ting, month over month?:

I am saving over 50% savings each month. With Sprint I paid $84.68 a month. With Ting I pay $42.07.

How many phones and/or data services do you have on your Ting plan?:

1

When you explain Ting to your friends, family and/or random passers by, what do you say?:

I explain that I am with an amazing cell phone provider, Ting and that I pay less than half of what I formally paid with my previous provider.

Are you happy you made the move to Ting? Care to elaborate?:

I am very happy that I made the move to Ting. Not only is the customer service great, I can view my usage in real time.

What should we be doing better?:

I had wished that I could have brought my existing Sprint phone with me to Ting, but I am really enjoying my new cell phone.

BYOD – coming soon to Ting

UPDATE: BYOD for Sprint devices will hit beta testing soon. The latest details are in our BYO(S)D – Moving ever closer to Ting blog post.

Bring your own device (BYOD) is one of the most oft asked for features for Ting customers both current and would-be. It’s always been on our list and we’re always working to be able to offer it. That work is beginning to pay off. We’ll be rolling out the first phase of our BYOD program in Q4 of this year.

We’d say we’re excited to announce BYOD but that sounds too PR-ish. We’d say we’re super stoked to announce BYOD but that’d sound like we’re trying too hard. I guess you could say we’re at a loss for words to express just how super excitedly stoked we are to announce BYOD.

Before we dive in to the details on our upcoming BYOD plan, we want to manage some expectations. First, we’ll only be able to do BYOD for devices that work on the Sprint network initially [CLARIFICATION: and both Boost and Virgin mobile devices are excluded]. BYOSD, if you will. That said, this is a vital first step toward a more fluid mobile world where devices can move between carriers. We’ll continue to push. Second, this is not a backdoor to get the iPhone on Ting. BlackBerry, push to talk (PTT) and a small list of specific handsets won’t be BYODable (hey, it’s a word now). At least not immediately.

That said, for the vocal Windows Phone devotees we hear from, this development means that many Windows Phone devices purchased from Sprint can be brought over to and used on Ting. It also means that the super sweet Android smartphone you bought from Sprint can have a home on Ting and that the perfectly serviceable Sprint handset sitting in your desk drawer can come along too rather than taking a one-way trip to landfill.

We’ve got to hand it to Sprint on this too; this a brave and forward-thinking step. We partnered with Sprint because they’ve made it clear that virtual operators are important. This kind of development demonstrates just how important.

We’re still a good couple of months away from being able to offer BYOSD. Consider this a heads-up; if you’ve been hesitating on making the move to Ting because you’ve got a perfectly good Sprint device you’d like to bring along, you need hesitate no longer. Well. You need hesitate only a little while longer.

We must point out though, the sooner you move to Ting, the sooner you save. You can buy a Ting device knowing that your current Sprint handset can be handed over to your partner, your mom or the kids when BYOD hits. Running the numbers on the Ting calculator you’ll see that even factoring the device purchase price in, Ting will save you money on mobile. That said, if you have a reasonably current Sprint phone you paid good money for and would like to bring to Ting, you’ll realize those savings even sooner.

Our focus is on providing awesome and friendly mobile service. We’d much rather let our customers buy their phones from whatever outlet they prefer or bring their existing mobiles to Ting when their contract expires. This is a huge step in that direction.

How BYOSD on Ting will work

If you have a supported Sprint device that’s not under contract (or if you want to pay the ETF fees to get out of your contract), you’ll be able activate it on Ting just as you would a device that you purchased from us.

Your ex-Sprint device will use your Ting account’s pooled minutes, messages and megabytes.

Which phones are eligible for BYOSD?

Any Sprint phone will be eligible with a few notable exceptions including the iPhone, BlackBerry and PTT devices we mentioned before [CLARIFICATION: Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile devices are also not eligible for BYOD]. The list of exclusions isn’t finalized but will certainly be much shorter than the list of devices that can be brought over.

The reverse is also true

Any device purchased from Ting can also be BYOD’d to Sprint. It’s always been this way.

Strangely, we’re happy about this too. There are people who have been reluctant to try Ting because while we don’t (nor will we ever) lock devices, there’s a perception that a Ting device can only be used on Ting. This BYOD development makes the leap of faith more of a hop and people are more likely to give us a chance when Sprint is there as a fall-back plan. We’re sure that once mobile users get a taste of “mobile that makes sense,” they’ll have no desire to leave. That said, it’s the safety net that some people need.

We’ve been pushing hard for BYOSD. There’s still a bit of a wait but Q4 isn’t that far away. We’ll continue to push in an effort to make this happen in the earlier part of Q4.

As always, we’ll keep you posted. Follow our Device Updates feed to get the latest news.

If you want BYOD on Ting, please take a moment to fill out the quick survey that’s embedded below.

Device Update: Announcing the Motorola Photon Q on Ting

Device Update – August 23, 2012

The hits keep coming.

We just added the Motorola Photon Q to our device line-up. Granted, it’s got a long pre-order lead time of six to eight weeks… but we were so excited to have what Engadget calls “…the best full QWERTY phone on Sprint’s network” that we just couldn’t hold off.

To ease the pain of the long lead time (or perhaps to dial it up a notch from uncomfortable to excruciating,) we’re also announcing that one of the pre-orderers will have the full device purchase price of $520 refunded on activation.

We sent a device alert yesterday afternoon on this very subject. Sign up for device alerts by either signing in to or signing up for your account (no purchase required) and you’ll be among the first to know as we add new devices to our lineup.

Looking forward

It’s no secret that device selection has been one of the single biggest challenges we’ve faced. We’ve talked about it at length here on the Ting blog. We get that even the most sane billing practices, the most helpful CS team, the most granular device-level control and plans that adapt to your needs all come to naught if we can’t offer great Ting-compatible handsets.

Fair to say we’re over the hump.

Our device selection has grown to the point that we’ll be redesigning our Devices pages in the coming month to accomodate all the sweet new devices we’re adding. While this is an historically heavy time for new device availability across mobile carriers, we’ll continue to push to get the latest and greatest devices on Ting.

We added the killer Samsung Galaxy SIII for pre-order a couple of weeks back and we expect those to start leaving the warehouse in pretty short order, within the three to four week timeframe we offered when putting the SIII pre-order page live.

There are still some challenges but fortunately, they’re of the “good problem to have” variety; demand outstripping supply. The not so good problem to have: a surprise supplier issue means we’re currently running low on stock of the Samsung M370.

$60 off the Optimus S in purple

To fill the gap left by the M370, we’ll be offering the LG Optiumus S in purple at $95; $18 more than the M370’s $77 ask and a full $60 below the original $155 sticker of the Optimus S. The Optimus S isn’t a top-tier smartphone but it’s a very capable device… especially if you were previously considering a feature phone. The Optimus S will be available on our devices page tomorrow and orders will ship in three to five days.

We do still have a feature phone in the Kyocera Brio at $70. We’re also doggedly pursuing other feature phone options and we expect the have a new option in stock in a few weeks.

Our last official Ting device update post detailed the phones that we’ll be able to offer soon. Including the Photon Q. We’re also adding another “hero” device in the HTC EVO 4G LT. Another with the LG Viper. We’ll be adding some slick smartphones at around the $200 mark too.

All this to say, we’re very happy with the way our device lineup is coming together. We hope you are too. We’re always eager to hear about the devices you want to see on Ting and as always, we’ll be proactive in letting you know what’s coming.

Keep apprised by following our Device Update blog category.

Ting Promo Codes

We all love getting a good deal. Grocery bills, cell phone bills, cable bills, you name it.
The great thing about Ting is that our business model allows almost everyone to save. And save they do!

We love that people are searching for an even better deal when joining Ting. We like having savvy, price-conscious customers that do their research before making the leap. Heck, we do the same thing before we buy!

We’ve noticed a fair few people searching for Ting promo codes online. Perhaps you heard about Ting and are looking for a promo code to use. Maybe you saw a Ting promo code somewhere offering a $25 or $50 discount off a device or $25 off Ting service but just can’t remember what it was. Whatever the reason, you were looking for a Ting discount code, you arrived here… and we’d hate to disappoint!

tingpromocode

We love when new customers sign up with a Ting promo code from our Refer a Friend program or to show support for a podcast that we sponsor. By the same token though, some customers who are sold on Ting may then go searching for the first coupon they see pop up on a Google search, whether it be from an affiliate or a Refer a Friend code. We then pay a commission or credit to that affiliate, who didn’t necessarily do anything to introduce or convert you to Ting.

That’s why we ask that, unless you’re coming to Ting via a friend referral or via a podcast we sponsor, you use the official Ting promo code to get $25 off a new device or $25 in service credit.

tingpromocode.ting.com works just like any other Ting coupon code or discount code you might find online. The only difference is, it ensures we’re able to keep rewarding the people that contribute to the conversation and to our success as opposed to giving that money to people who don’t.

If you already have a Ting promo code from a podcaster or a Ting Refer a Friend code from a friend or colleague, go ahead and use it. You’ll get your $25 off a device or toward Ting service and the person that gave you that Ting discount gets rewarded. We want to continue to keep rewarding the source that gave you that Ting discount code in the first place! If you’re just Googling for a valid Ting promo code to use before you make the move though, please use the official Ting coupon code: tingpromocode.ting.com.

Thanks for your help and welcome to Ting!