AT&T to start taking pre-orders for the Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC Windows Phone 8X on October 21st

Only a few days left before US citizens can start pre-ordering Nokia’s latest and greatest Lumia 920 and HTC’s stylish Windows Phone 8X on AT&T’s network. That’s at least what the latest rumors are claiming. October21st is apparently the date. Just 8 days ahead of the official Windows Phone 8 launch so the carrier is expecting you to lay down your hard earned money on a device before even knowing all of the OS’s features. Sounds a bit ridiculous but Microsoft is the only one to blame here unfortunately. Don’t worry though; Amazon will probably have some pretty good deals on that day similar to the free Nokia Lumia 900 offer a few months ago.

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Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile to carry Windows Phone 8 devices this fall

The three major US carriers have pledged support for Microsoft’s recently unveiled Windows Phone 8 platform and announced that they will carry Apollo based devices by the end of the year. An AT&T spokesperson had the following to say:

“AT&T plans to carry a new line of Windows Phone 8 smartphones launching later this year. The unmatched leader in Windows Phone – offering the very first 4G LTE Windows Phone smartphones in the U.S. – AT&T is home to the most robust Windows Phone portfolio of any carrier.”

Verizon will also finally get off its lazy butt:

“We have said publicly that we will support the Windows Phone 8 platform,”

While T-Mobile issued an official blog post on the matter:

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Nokia Lumia 900 launching March 18th for 99 alongside Titan II for 199

Looks like US residents on will still have to wait a few months before getting their hands on the Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II. The latest inside info revealed today points at a March 18th launch date for both handsets on AT&T. The good news though is the Lumia 900 will be sold at the relatively low entry price of $99 on a 2 year contract while the Titan II will go for $199. This shouldn’t surprise anybody especially those of you who have watched Stephen Elop presentation earlier this month in Las Vegas. The man clearly stated that Nokia will be really aggressive in terms of pricing with the Lumia 900 once it’s introduced on the market later this year.

Rumors are also circulating about an other Lumia 900 SKU (Lumia 910 or Lumia 930) which is said to feature a 12Mp camera and be available on other operators in the US shortly after AT&T’s exclusivity deal ends (in May)and there’s also the European version which is said to come out shortly after. I’ll have lunch with Nokia next week to discuss the Lumia 800 and its issues but will obviously try (probably in vain..) to get some info about all of this.

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HTC Titan II LTE Windows Phone announced

I guess that this one came out of nowhere… HTC has just unveiled the HTC Titan II which is the first LTE Windows Phone to be officially announced today. Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop have also hinted a more LTE device announcement coming shortly (mainly the Lumia 900). So what is exactly the HTC Titan II and how does it compare to the regular Titan ? Well not much has changed besides the MDM9200 LTE multi-modem which sit next to the same APQ8055 clocked at 1.5Ghz. The 8MPix F2.2 camera has also been swapped with a 16Mpix F2.6. sensor (greatly exceeding the 12Mpix limitation of the MSM8255 so HTC alongside Qualcomm must have done so driver changes there. But it’s a downgrade in terms or Apreture) and a non-removable 1730Mha battery. The HTC Titan 2 is only headed to AT&T in the coming months. Check out the full press release after the break

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AT&T to showcase Qualcomm powered Windows 8 4G LTE tablet next week

AT&T’s 2012 developer summit which is taking place in Las Vegas right before CES is full of interesting session this year. One in particular session caught my attention because it is related to Windows 8 and Qualcomm’s SoCs.

A Metro Style Hemi™ – Windows 8 tablets super charged with 4G LTE – 3:30 – 4:15

Attend this session and see how to transform the higher speed and lower latency of LTE into an amazing user experience. First, learn from Qualcomm about the power of their Snapdragon chip, and how developers can tap into the Snapdragon Developer Program to create rich Windows 8 apps that help deliver differentiated consumer experiences that capitalize on LTE’s potential. Then see how the intuitive elegance of Windows 8′s Metro-style application design has been layered over this horsepower. Finally, hear how standalone applications can be transformed on this powerful platform, converting independent programs into streamlined, integrated live tiles. Opportunities abound in this session for developers of connected apps; discover how AT&T and Microsoft are working to make developing connected applications easier.

Based on this description it’s safe to assume that AT&T and Qualcomm are going to showcase a working Windows 8 tablet powered by a Snapdragon S4 Krait SoC next week and I would assume that we are also going to hear some things related to Win8 tablets out of CES in the following days. The wording of this description also confirms that AT&T is going to be a windows 8 launch partner in the US same as for Windows Phone (there’s also a Nokia dev session on the same day..but we already knew that the AT&T version of the Lumia 800 is a go).

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AT&T getting ready to sell a Nokia Windows Phone early next year

According to Glenn Lurie, head of Dallas-based AT&T’s tablets unit, the company is close to finalize a deal with Nokia to start selling a Windows Phone handset from the Finnish manufacturer next year.

We look at every promotional period separately and decide what we’re going to spend our dollars on and what we’re going to put our efforts in,[...]“But nothing to announce there on that yet.

This piece of information can also be taken as a confirmation of the recently rumored LTE version of the Nokia Lumia 800 that we heard of earlier this week.

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Nokia Lumia 800 LTE coming to AT&T next year and Nokia Champagne

You simply can’t stop the rumors and today’s headliner is about an LTE version of the Nokia Lumia 800 that AT&T is supposedly going to offer next year. Besides that nothing else is know at all. It is speculated that it will be running Windows Phone 7 Tango because the current OS version, according to “highly educated bloggers”, doesn’t support LTE even tough baseband support has for the most part nothing to do with the OS and is primarily a Radio/Driver thing (also remember that the OS base band support was fully described on the company’s own site for a few hours more than a year ago before it was taken down, LTE was apparently already in there).

Anyway it is highly probable that all Windows Phone handset launching in early 202 will be running Tango which is, from what we currently know, a relatively small update adding universal search to the OS and language support to some countries. A Nokia Champagne handset running 7.10.8711 has been spotted by the I’m a WP7 app last month. No info on what this device may be though. Back to the rumored LTE Nokia Lumia 800: the only way for it to be LTE compatible is by adding a MDM9600 multi-modem radio in addition to the MSM8655 SoC powering the device (just like the HTC Thunderbolt). Now where’s my salt ?

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AT&T to allow Intrenet Sharing on Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash

..if you pay for this option in your data plan. In line with what was always communicated by Microsoft, Internet Sharing will be made available on the AT&T Samsung Focus S and Samsung Focus Flash as long as you have this payed option enabled on your monthly data plan. I’ve noticed a lot of confused people in the past few days because of the lack of tethering on the Nokia Lumia 800 review samples and would lik to remind them that it’s up to the carrier (and OEM if you by your phone unlocked) to enable the Wifi Hotspot / internet sharing feature in Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. T-Mobile just did this in Germany for the Samsung Omnia 7 (you can download the firmware from here) and HTC has it available on its unlocked HTC Radar and HTC Titan handsets in Europe.

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Nokia SeaRay spotted on AT&T network

Some eagle eyed folks have spotted the Nokia SeaRay being used on AT&T’s network via the DSLReport speed test results. This is far from being a shocker given that there are probably quite a few SeaRay handsets currently being used and tested worldwide prior to its upcoming launch this fall. The good news though is that if you are an AT&T users that you can now most probably expect it under you Christmas tree this year.

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AT&T CEO disappointed by Windows Phone 7 sales but confident about Mango

Speaking at the D9 conference, AT&T’s CEO Ralph De La Vega noted that Windows Phone 7 devices haven’t sold as well as Microsoft and the carriers expected (I wonder why…crappy marketing maybe?). Fortunately for Microsoft, De La Vega quickly followed up by saying that the Nokia partnership could help the platform’s adoption if the Finnish mobile manufacturer can bring compelling products to the market (on time ?).

Mango’s new services and additional features are also something that the carriers CEO sees as good thing for the future of the platform.

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AT&T working actively with Microsoft on the future Windows Phone 7 devices and Mango launch

In an interview with PC MAG, AT&T’s senior vice president of mobile devices, Jeff Bradley, revealed that the mobile operator was soon going to launch the updated HTC HD7S but was also “really actively” working with Microsoft and the OEMs on the upcoming launch of new Windows Phone 7 devices sporting the new chassis specifications and Mango.

“Mango will be the next event. With the timing of when [Windows Phone] came out and the timing of Mango, it didn’t leave a natural period in between when we could introduce an interim round of devices,”"We’re working very, very actively with the ecosystem and Microsoft.”

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Get 3 Months of Zune Pass offered when you buy an AT&T Windows Phone 7 phone

Amazon Wireless, AT&T and Microsoft are offering 3 Months of Zune Pass ( value $45) if you either a buy a Samsung Focus, HTC Surround or LG Quantum which are now offer for only one penny (links below). This is not much but still better than nothing (Some other carriers around the word like Telstra in AUS have been offering free Xbox 360 consoles..). The users will then have to go to the Zunemusicnow website to get the free pass. The offer will last until June 26.

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Samung Focus touchscreen bug after NoDo update

I just came cross this video on YouTube which shows what appears to be a serious touchscreen bug affecting the Samsung Focus handsets updated to NoDo and the latest I917 firmware. I personally can’t reproduce this on the Omnia 7 and from the comments it definitely seems to be a Focus only bug when three fingers touch the screen. If I had to guess I would say that the newly introduced feature that prevents the capacitive buttons to be pressed when 2 fingers are already in contact with the screen is probably the cause of today’s issue. Video after the break:

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Enable HSUPA on the Samsung Focus after updating to Nodo

First lest start with the basics: HSDPA = High Speed Downlink Packet Access / HSUPA = HSUPA = High Speed Uplink Packet Access. Now, according to the buzz out there some Samsung Focus owners who have just recently received the NoDo update today (which includes an updated firmware) noticed that their device data connection was slower and found out that HSUPA was effectively disabled on the handset (was it ever enabled before anyway? I’ve seen people say that it has always been disabled). Now don’t ask me how having a slightly slower upload bandwidth can be noticed by the end user especially when 90% of the time data is being downloaded on the phone and the uplink requests are just a tiny fraction of the download packets, because from the tests I’ve just done on my Omnia 7 this has zero effect on the device’s download speed and is not noticeable at all when browsing (I ran bandwidth benches with HSUPA on/off) . Anyway this is mainly a placebo effect but just in case you want to enable HSDPA/HSUPA on the Samsung Focus hit the break:

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HTC HD7S with Super LCD announced, LG Optimus 3D renamed LG Thrill 4G

This just came out of nowhere…AT&T and HTC have just announced an updated version of the HTC HD7 (which was only available on the now soon to be defunct T-Mobile US). So, what’s new in the HTC HD7S? Well it will come pre-loaded with the latest NoDo version of Windows Phone 7 and will also feature a 4.3inch Super LCD panel (this is a first as there was no SLCD panels of this size manufactured before). AT&T is also going to carry the LG Optimus 3D which is renamed as the LG Thrill 4G. Check out the full press release after the break:

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AT&T HTC Inspire 4G launching on February 13th

AT&T has just announced that it will start selling the HTC Inspire 4G on Sunday February 13th for $99 with a 2y/contract (why on Sunday?). The Inspire 4G is essentially just an AT&T branded version of the European HTC Desire HD so if you a looking for the best HTC device on the market this one’s for you even though this isn’t really a 4G phone (HSPA+ isn’t 4G as far as I am concerned. LTE and WiMax are…). Interestingly the handset is launching on the same day that Samsung is announcing the Samsung Galaxy S 2 and Samsung Tab 2. Full Press Release after the break:

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AT&T HTC Inspire 4G shows up in print ad. Looks nearly identical to the Verizon HTC Thunderbolt

HTC is really on a 4G roll this year with the imminent launch of the HTC Thunderbolt LTE handset on Verizon and what appears like a new 4G handset  headed to AT&T: the HTC Inspire 4G. As we can see in the picture above the Inspire 4G looks like an HTC Thunderbolt but without the front facing camera (it actually looks identical to the HTC Desire HD) and will most probably only be an HSPA+ device like the T-Mobile G2 / Desire Z given that AT&T doesn’t have LTE yet (MSM8255 inside I bet). I”m guessing that both device will be officially unveiled tomorrow in Las Vegas.

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Dell Venue Pro headed to AT&T?

A new variant of the Dell Venue Prohas apparently passed the FCC certification not long ago. what’s interesting this time is that it apparently supports WCDMA Band II and V which means that it could be head to AT&T (or Rogers, Telus etc..). I wouldn’t get to excited yet if I was you given the current drama surrounding the T-Mobile Dell Venue Pro launch and also the fact that many device that pass the FCC certification never hit retail stores (or are just European variants of the handsets).

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Free Windows Phone 7 develepoment webcast hosted by AT&T

Hsuan-hua from AT&T’s developer progrma just informed me that the company is going to host a free Windows Phone 7 devlepoment webcast on Thursday, November 18, 10:00-11:00 AM Pacific Time. Here are details:

Who Should Attend:
Developers and IT managers responsible for developing and deploying Windows Phone 7 applications

Join Us to Discover:
•Overview of the programming model available for Windows Phone 7
•How developers can work with the application Lifecycle
•Integration points with Windows Phone
•Mapping options for Windows Phone
What You Will Learn:

•Which programming API is best for their application
•The three application navigation models available in Windows Phone 7
•How to build a great user experience with tombstoning
•Ways to customize their application for Windows Phone 7
•How to leverage the Bing Maps control in applications

Presenter: Rob Cameron
Rob Cameron is an Industry Architect with the Communications Sector in Microsoft focused on Windows Phone 7, Silverlight, XNA, embedded and Mediaroom. Rob has worked with the product team since October to help customer and partner early adopters get ready for Windows Phone 7. .

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