Without a contract, the XOOM is $799.
Windows Phone 7 users have been waiting four months (and counting) for the first update to their phones’ OS, all presumably hoping not to make it to five. And if a new piece of information proves correct, Microsoft will release that update just before the five month mark – by the end of March.
Microsoft news maven Mary-Joe Foley reports that French web site FRogz.fr believes the first Windows Phone 7 update – aka NoDo – will be made available to users sometime in the second half of this month. Her own sources confirm, saying that a day in the week of March 21st is the latest target date.
Of course, if March passes without NoDo, it won’t come as much of a surprise to users who’ve been anxiously awaiting copy/paste, improved Marketplace searches and general fixes since late October; several reported release dates have come and gone – the latest being March 8th – without so much as a transmitted byte.
But Microsoft is facing a bit of a brick wall here, as Verizon and Sprint are expected to release Windows Phones soon, and NoDo is reportedly required for CDMA compatibility.
Considering Windows Phone up ‘til now, though, wouldn’t it be fitting if the update arrived on April 1st? Just sayin’…
The Motorola Atrix 4G is now available from AT&T for $199 with a two-year contract. But Amazon Wireless is offering the new 4G Android phone for $70 less: $129 at checkout with free shipping for new customers, $149 for an upgrade.
The Atrix 4G is a mobile powerhouse, with a dual-core 1GHz Tegra 2 CPU from nVidia (like the Motorola XOOM), UMTS, HSDPA, HSUPA, and HSPA+ data connectivity, 16GB of flash storage, 1GB of RAM, and an array of wireless technologies including 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1.
There’s also an optional Laptop Dock which uses the Atrix as its CPU, giving you an 11.5-inch screen, full keyboard and touchpad.
Well, it’s March 4th and still no HTC Thunderbolt; yet another rumored release date crossed off the calendar.
But it does appear that release is fast approaching. Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said that the LTE smartphone will launch “very shortly,” and product literature is beginning to show up at Verizon Wireless stores.
And GottaBeMobile says a few chatty Best Buy employees pegged the new-new-new launch date as March 10th. We’ll see.
One interesting item appears in those in-store product materials: Video Skype. We’re not sure if this will require LTE or if it works over 3G as well, but this is noteworthy feature to say the least.
Motorola caught a fair amount of flak when pricing for its XOOM Android 3.0 tablet was announced a few weeks go. Off contract, the 10-inch tablet is $799; with a two-year Verizon Wireless service agreement, the price falls to $599. Given its feature set over and above the 1st Gen iPad, this price – while high – was at least justifiable.
But with this week’s iPad 2 release and its unchanged pricing model, I wonder if it’s only a matter of time before Motorola and Verizon are forced to lower the XOOM’s price to compete. Or if they’ll be smart and lower the price simply as a wise business practice.
The XOOM has a fast dual-core processor, 30GB of onboard flash storage, dual cameras, HD video recording, HDMI-out, a range of wireless technologies, and a sleek, slim design. Against the original iPad, this was impressive, and (arguably) worthy of a price bump over a comparable year-old Apple model. But the new iPad 2 offers all of these features, yet sells for less.
The XOOM goes for $799 unsubsidized. A comparable 32GB iPad 2 with built-in 3G can be yours (on March 11th) for $729 and without a service commitment.