Korean wireless carriers deny Nexus S handset, say iPhone remains safe

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Date: Friday, December 31st, 2010, 09:04
Category: iPhone, News

Korean cell carriers are turning service for down the Nexus S handset both because of Google’s control but also because of Apple, insider tips said late Thursday. According to The Korea Times, both KT and SK Telecom are reportedly upset that Google’s insistence on a pure Android experience won’t let them promote their own proprietary apps and services. Google’s control of the marketing for the Android 2.3 flagship also wouldn’t give them the marketing angle they would like.

The iPhone is also cited as a reason for the lack of any plans. Even SK Telecom, which has often had Nexus S maker Samsung’s blessing as the anti-iPhone carrier, reportedly doesn’t believe that the official Google phone would have any effect. “The Nexus S won’t make a huge impact enough to break the current iPhone stronghold,” an anonymous official from the carrier said.

KT has still said it has “no plans,” though its position may be mixed. Most of its smartphone performance is based on the iPhone, even though it was the only carrier to sell the Nexus One in Korea. The Android device has sold at much lower levels, at 50,000 units since July, but KT is believed willing to keep talking with Google to “recover ailing corporate ties” with Samsung. The electronics chain has allegedly been abusing its dominant position to retaliate against KT for iPhone competition, such as by withholding better phones and dictating harsh marketing requirements.

The absence of HDMI video out and a microSDHC slot were similarly cited as factors in a Korean market that often favors feature-heavy devices, but it’s not certain how likely this might be given that the iPhone has thrived without either. Samsung’s Galaxy S has sold very well in the country despite the absence of an HDMI port.

The similarity between the Nexus S and the Galaxy S may ultimately be the main factor, as the Nexus S’ primary advantages are mostly limited to its newer, unmodified OS, its front-facing camera and its support for NFC wireless.

If you have any experience with the Korean wireless marketplace and want to hurl your two cents in, let us know what you think in the comments.

Sprint MiFi 4082 unit picture leaked, device anticipated around CES

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Date: Friday, December 31st, 2010, 05:19
Category: Accessory, News, wireless

sprintlogo.jpg

Because MiFi units are always useful…

Per Electronista, a forum post late Wednesday on sprintusers.com provided the first look at the finished version of one of Novatel’s first 4G routers, the MiFi 4082 for Sprint. The hybrid WiMAX and EVDO router spotted by SprintUsers veteran r0fl shows an at least superficially upscale design with a brushed metal effect and chrome trim. Its design still adopts the familiar pocketable shape but has extra indicators for signal strength and what may be the presence of 4G speed.

The 4082 is believed to be shipping by January 30 and could be unveiled at CES next week. Novatel is likely to have an LTE counterpart to the 4082 for Verizon and other carriers using the more widely adopted 4G standard, but significant details haven’t emerged to date.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.