If you didn't get enough mobile news during the week, not to worry, because we've opened the firehose for the truly hardcore. This week brought a peek of GDR 3 for Windows Phone 8, confirmation that US Cellular's Belief Project is no more and the arrival of the Moto X on two more US carriers. These stories and more await. So buy the ticket and take the ride as we explore all that's happening in the mobile world for this week of September 2nd, 2013.
Moto X comes to Sprint and US Cellular
Following earlier arrivals at AT&T and Verizon Wireless, the Moto X from Motorola is now available for purchase at Sprint and US Cellular. Current Sprint customers will pay $200 for the smartphone on a two-year contract, whereas switchers from other carriers are eligible for a $100 discount -- a promotion that's common to the Now Network. Likewise, US Cellular is charging $200 for the Moto X on a two-year contract, and similar to Sprint, it's offering switchers a $75 discount. As for T-Mobile customers, company CEO John Legere expects the phone to be available this month, although previously leaked carrier documents suggest it will be available solely through Google Play.
[Sprint, US Cellular]
US Cellular discontinues the Belief Project
This may not come as a shock to those who keep a keen eye on US Cellular, but this week, the carrier confirmed that the Belief Project -- and many of its customer-friendly policies -- is no longer in existence. We first saw a highly visible sign of this in July, when a policy change dictated that customers must sign a new two-year contract in order to receive hardware discounts. Similar programs have also gone by the wayside, such as the carrier's phone replacement and battery swap programs, along with its 3-percent auto-pay discount. The Belief Project was launched nearly three years ago in an attempt to shakeup the industry, but more recently, the nation's sixth largest carrier is looking more and more similar to the nation's largest carriers. [Fierce Wireless]
Windows Phone 8 GDR 3 leaks with refreshed app switcher
Go ahead and take a gander at some of the improvements that are in store for Windows Phone, which come to us in the form of leaked screenshots and a hands-on video. Windows Phone Central reader xs2k recently came upon a leaked build of GDR 3, which purportedly came pre-loaded on a Lumia 920. The leak reveals new features such as an app switcher that allows users to close apps, a screen rotation lock option, and a Driving Mode that can be configured to ignore calls and texts. In addition, this leak provides substantiation to GDR 3 features that were previously rumored on Reddit. This leaked Lumia 920 also includes Nokia's own software improvements, known as Bittersweet Shimmer, which follows Nokia's recent Amber software release.
[WPCentral 1, 2]
Other random tidbits
- AT&T's prepaid subsidiary, Aio Wireless, is now selling the Galaxy S 4, which is available for $580 outright. [PR Newswire]
- Complementing the release of the Galaxy Note 3, Samsung is now bundling ten of its individual mobile SDK's -- including S Pen, Chord and Multi-window -- into the Samsung Mobile SDK. [Sammy Hub]
Must-read mobile stories
- Alcatel OneTouch Idol Alpha hands-on
- Alcatel OneTouch Hero hands-on
- Lenovo Vibe X stuffs 5-inch 1080p display, quad-core chip into slim and light body
- Samsung Galaxy Note 3 preview
- ASUS refreshes its Fonepad 7 phone / tablet with dual speakers, we go ears-on (video)
- Sony Xperia Z1: the new flagship with imaging at its heart (hands-on)
- Google's KitKat statue unveiling may have leaked a new Nexus phone (update: video removed)
- Google teases Android 4.4 as 'KitKat,' passes one billion Android activations (video)
- Microsoft to acquire Nokia's devices & services business for around $5 billion
- Acer announces 6-inch Liquid S2, 'first 4K-recording smartphone'