As 2008 comes to a close, here are the six tech marvels that are ready to explode into ubiquity. And after a year of almost-breakthroughs -- fast-but-spotty 3G; cheap-but-slow netbooks -- we deserve them. After all, this is the future, isn't it?
According to a survey of almost 60,000 people — more than half of them iPhone owners — AT&T was rated the worst wireless service provider in the United States.
Sprint today unveiled an ad campaign for the HTC EVO, a mobile phone that uses 4G high-speed wireless technology. The effort kicks off with an ad dubbed "Firsts," which makes the claim that Sprint is the first national cellular carrier to offer a 4G phone. In 30- and 60-second TV spots, a voiceover takes viewers through a timeline of "firsts," like the first train, the first airplane, and the first space shuttle, among other inventions. The technologies advance until the HTC EVO is revealed. The voiceover concludes: "First isn't later, it's now. What will you do first with EVO, the first 4G phone?" Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, handles.
Advertising for the Sprint brand, part of Sprint Nextel, has been featuring its next-generation 4G wireless network for a while now as Sprint rolls out the service in partnership with its Clearwire affiliate. The 4G network operates faster than the current 3G network. On Wednesday night, Sprint will begin to pull out as many stops as it can to give 4G a big splash as it brings out a cellphone from HTC, known as the Evo, that Sprint calls “the first 4G phone.”
As we move into the second week of the iPhone-left-in-the-bar saga, the plot is moving from a technology news story to a legal one — and entering a cul-de-sac of speculation. As I reported today with my colleague Brian Stelter, late Friday evening the authorities in San Mateo County, in California, seized computers belonging to Jason Chen, the editor of the technology blog Gizmodo. The computers are part of an investigation surrounding the iPhone 4G left in a bar that Gizmodo paid $5,000 for, and then published pictures of on its Web site.
AT&T said Thursday that it will invest an additional $2 billion in its network in 2010 to make sure it keeps up with the growing demand from new smartphones and other 3G data devices, such as the Apple iPad, on its network. During its fourth quarter 2009 conference call, Chief Operating Officer John Stankey said AT&T plans to spend between $18 billion and $19 billion in 2010 upgrading its wireless and backhaul networks to handle the onslaught of new traffic. This is roughly $2 billion more than the company had invested in the previous year. Specifically, Stankey said AT&T will add 2,000 new cell sites and upgrade existing cell sites with three times more fiber links than it had in 2009. This will increase capacity for the backhaul network that connects the cell towers to AT&T's main network. The backhaul portion of the network is a critical component to AT&T's network. With these upgrades in place, Stankey said the company will be able to easily upgrade in the future to 4G wireless technology.
We stopped by the LG Electronics booth at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to talk to Josh Lovison, practice lead for gaming and mobile at IPG's Emerging Media Lab. For all the talk about 3-D TVs, widgets, e-readers and tablets, Mr. Lovison thinks the most disruptive technology on display at CES is one that has been talked about a long time, but is quickly coming to fruition: 4G mobile networks.