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Tag: GSM

SpareOne Emergency Mobile Phone at CES 2013

Posted by Andrew at 12:46 PM on January 17, 2013

SpareOne Emergency PhoneModern smartphones are expensive, relatively fragile and battery-hungry. Consequently, they’re pretty much useless in any tough emergency situation. Todd talks to Christian Scheder of SpareOne about their solution to the problem.

The SpareOne emergency phone is a mobile phone that runs off a standard AA battery rather than a rechargeable one more usually found in a mobile phone. While this gives 10 hours of use from a single battery, the benefit in an emergency is that the battery can simply be swapped for another. Further, Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA batteries have a storage life of 15 years so this phone can be stored with batteries for up to 15 years, ready to go. The SpareOne is supplied in a waterproof bag that further protects the phone during storage and any wet emergencies.

The phone takes standard GSM SIMs for ordinary calls but the SpareOne can also call the emergency services even without a SIM card. If you are interested, the SpareOne is available now for $99 from the website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Samsung Bests Apple in Worldwide Smartphone Sales

Posted by J Powers at 8:05 AM on October 28, 2011

Samsung Electronics overtook Apple in Q3 in smartphone sales worldwide. Shipping 27.8 million smartphones, Samsung took 23.8 percent of the market. This is a report by Milton Keynes, a UK based strategy analyst reported.

This was a large overtaking, as Apple shipped 17.1 million smartphones (14.6 percent). But this is not surprising. As Apple says, they are in it for quality, not quantity. With Samsung smartphones, you have a bigger choice:

  • Samsung Galaxy S

    Samsung Galaxy S

    Samsung Stratosphere (Verizon [CDMA/LTE], 1 GHz processor, Android 2.3, 5 MP rear, 1.3 MP front camera) $149 with contract

  • Samsung Galaxy S II Epic (Sprint [CDMA/WiMax] or AT&T [GSM] , Android 2.3.4, 1.2GHz dual-core, 8 MP read, 2 MP front face camera) $199 with contract
  • Samsung Fascinate (Verizon [CDMA], Android 2.1, 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor, 5 MP camera) free with contract
  • Samsung 4G Android (T-Mobile, 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird, 5MP rear, VGA front facing camera) $99
  • Samsung Captivate (AT&T [GSM Quad Band, UMTS Tri-band], 1GHz Cortex A8 hummingbird, Android 2.2,  5 MP camera) 0.01 cent
  • Samsung Vibrant (T-Mobile [GSM & AWS Dualband], Android 2.2,  1 GHz Cortex, 5 MP camera)
  • Samsung Mesmerize i599 (US Cellular, Android 2.1, 5MP camera) $49
  • Samsung Showcase (C-Spire, Galaxy S series, CDMA, Android 2.2,  5 MP camera, Super AMOLED display) $99
  • Samsung Galaxy Prevail (Boost Mobile, Android 2.2, 2MP camera, microSD), under $200
  • Samsung Showcase i500 (C-Spire, Android 2.2, 5MP camera) $99

It shows which carrier in the US carries each phone. Carriers on other continents will have these phones tailored to their networks. Since the majority of the world works in a GSM / LTE standard, you can guess which phones you might get in your area.

Although Apple just introduced the 4S, with CDMA and GSM support, it’s still a limited flavor phone. The lower end model 3GS only comes in GSM. You still have a limitation on CDMA with Voice and Data at the same time.

So with that all said, you can see how Samsung can overtake Apple. More choices with more carriers. The C-Spire carrier is in Greenland.

In the end, an Apple iPhone might still have quality, but we are in a world where phones are disposable. People can switch their smartphone every year – I even know people that get a new phone every 4-5 months. They just can’t keep a phone for longer.

Sprint May be Getting iPhone5. Not Definite Yet [RUMOR]

Posted by J Powers at 10:54 AM on August 24, 2011
Sprint Networks

Sprint is rumored to get iPhone5. Will it happen?

The upcoming iPhone5 in October might have a new twist to it. Sprint-Nextell might be joining the ranks as a phone carrier. This would be in addition to AT&T and Verizon to carrying the phone in the US.

I say “may” because it’s unconfirmed just yet. The Wall Street Journal reported that it will be happening. They got their information from “people familiar with the matter”. Yet, news leaks sometimes can be misleading.

Other iPhone5 Rumors

  • iPhone4 will get an 8GB model, replace 3GS as low-end device
  • dual-mode iPhone will let you switch from CDMA to GSM networks.
  • 4G LTE - No word if dual-mode LTE – WiMax
  • 8 Megapixel camera, Front facing VGA camera with no light.
  • A5 processor running dual 1 GHz.
  • Thinner and lighter phone
  • Longer and wider screen – Same size phone
  • Turns into Bumble Bee, everyone’s favorite Transformer (OK, maybe not. But wouldn’t that be cool?)

LTE vs WiMax

If Sprint does get the iPhone5, we could see a full iPhone war come October. There is one problem to this – Sprint is primarily a WiMax 4G service and iPhone is rumored to be LTE.

Sprint had put in measures to try and buy out Clearwire and add LTE into their service. Even if that happens, Sprint will have to do some fast work to make the iPhone 4G usable in the US.

We then have to ask the question: is T-Mobile also getting the iPhone? Not to mention the underdog carriers (US Cellular is one of the top underdogs in the Midwest, an iPhone 5 would mean local competition, too).

How iPhone5 Could Affect Android

Android has done a good job in clouding the market. Whereas iPhone only has 1 model with 3 memory size options (16, 32, 64 GB) and 2 color options (Black or White), Android comes in many sizes and shapes. HTC, LG, Motorola (obviously) and Sony- Ericsson all make different types of Android smartphones.

Still, with an iPhone 5 in all four US carriers could put a new dent into Android sales. A lot of people may make the switch because it’s an iPhone.

Once again, this is a rumor, but if true, could give Apple a bigger market share. Sprint users might have a bad experience for the first year simply because the carrier has to adapt to the phone, instead of vise-versa. If it does happen, I might finally switch off to another carrier for the first time in 13 years…

So Is The iPhone A Good Phone?

Posted by tomwiles at 3:44 AM on July 21, 2010

When the iPhone came along in 2007, many people were immediately disappointed, including me, that it was tied at the hip to AT&T. In retrospect, that set the stage for what was to follow.

Immediately many iPhone users began to complain about poor signal coverage and dropped calls. It seems that everyone assumed that the iPhone itself as a phone was as good or better than any other phone – after all, it was an Apple device, implying that it had to be good.

Fast-forward to now. The iPhone 4 comes out, and immediately some users began to complain about the new antenna design and the “ground out” effect that happens on some phones when certain areas of the external metal antenna comes into contact with human skin, resulting in signal attenuation.

Apple’s immediate reaction was to come out with a statement saying they had checked in to the issue, and discovered to their dismay that every iPhone ever sold had a signal calculation problem. Ooops, the result was that every iPhone going back to the original model happened to be displaying too many signal strength bars for a given signal level. So sorry, the calculation error meant we weren’t following the exact AT&T signal strength calculation specifications. Gee Whiz!!! We have a download that will fix that optimistic display signal strength problem and make it more realistic.

I have no doubt that there was an honest calculation error. The bigger question that remains is this – how do various iPhone models stack up to other specific phone models on the same AT&T network? Does anyone actually test these things in a scientific way? It’s well known that different phone models exhibit different performance levels in the same specific signal areas. Some phone models will work in marginal signal situations where other phone models fail to perform at all.

For some time, I’ve had a sneaking suspicion that the iPhone has never had top cell phone performance. AT&T has likely taken a lot of bashing over the past few years that it might not have entirely deserved.

Verizon puts each new phone model through an extensive testing and certification process before they will sell them for use on the Verizon network, thus ensuring that each new device will meet a certain minimum level of performance. This way the Verizon brand and network performance reputation is protected from the bad word-of-mouth that a marginally performing device would likely generate.

If a CDMA version of the iPhone exists, and the rumors are true that it will eventually show up for sale at Verizon, this has to mean that it’s already being tested. Will the CDMA iPhone pass the Verizon tests?

Perhaps more importantly to some, are the iPhone CDMA testers with their black horn-rimmed glasses hanging out in bars shouting “Can you hear me now?” into mysterious phone models disguised to look like Droids? Is there an app for that?