AT&T hosted a media event in New York City this week where it showed off some of its latest gadgets and phones. The company also gave New York-based reporters a chance to see the U-verse IPTV service in action during a demo.
Smartphones are hot and AT&T has recently added some sleek new phones to its lineup. These phones require a voice plan starting at $40 a month for 450 minutes, plus a $35 a month data plan. Unlimited text messaging costs an additional $20 a month. Device prices listed are for customers signing a two year contract. These prices may also include mail-in rebates.
From left to right in the photo: BlackBerry Curve 8900, available starting Friday May 22, for $199; Nokia e71x, the thinnest smartphone in AT&T's line up, sells for $199; Samsung Jack, which replaces the Blackjack II, is a Windows Mobile phone selling for $99; and the Samsung PropelPro, slider smartphone running Windows Mobile, costs $150.
In these tough economic times, not everyone has the cash to pay for expensive smartphones with pricey data plans. So AT&T is offering some budget-friendly phones for frugal wireless consumers. These devices are designed for quick messaging and are available with a nationwide voice plan starting at $40 a month for 450 minutes of talk time. Consumers can add data for $15 a month and unlimited text messaging for $20 a month. A combined unlimited messaging and data plan goes for the discounted price of $30 a month extra. Prices listed with the phones are for customers agreeing to a two-year service contract, and may also include mail-in rebates and discounts for ordering online.
From left to right: LG Neon (Not priced yet) has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and is meant to be a messaging device. The LG Shine ($10) is a slider handset, and the Samsung Magnet ($19.99) offers a full keyboard for messaging and e-mail.
The Plantronics Discover 925 Bluetooth wireless headset, which has been on the market for more than a year, is one of AT&T's most popular headsets, the company said. The device, which sells for about $130, has a nifty holder that is about the size of a lipstick case and that can actually charge your ear piece if it runs out of battery life.
AT&T now has five handsets that can be used with its AT&T Mobile TV service. This service starts at $15 extra a month and offers viewers 12 channels of live broadcast TV. AT&T uses MediaFlo's mobile TV broadcast network to offer the service. This is a shot of the Samsung Eternity, which costs $180 with a two-year contract.
AT&T has been upgrading its network in parts of its original SBC territory to offer a triple-play package of new IP-based services called U-verse. U-verse services include TV, high-speed Internet and telephony. The U-verse TV service is the largest installation of IPTV service in the U.S., and at the end of the first quarter of 2009, AT&T said it had a total of more than 1.3 million customers. Some of the highlights of the service include: full-home DVR capabilities, rapid channel changing, Internet-based widgets for weather and picture-in-picture program guide.
Because IP allows for two-way communication, AT&T has been able to develop interactive applications for its U-verse IPTV service, such as this Fantasy Football widget that allows viewers to access and interact with their fantasy teams while they're watching a game on TV.
AT&T announced this week that it will be expanding its subsidized Netbook offer nationwide. The company plans to sell mini-laptops from Acer, Dell, and Lenovo. The devices will go on sale this summer. AT&T hasn't announced pricing yet, but the devices will be subsidized and sold with a two-year service contract for AT&T's 3G wireless network. These mini-laptops offer much of the same functionality as bigger, bulkier laptops, but they have much less storage capacity as well as smaller keypads. But they are also much less expensive, averaging between $300 to $600.
AT&T was also showing off some of the applications that it has developed for Apple's iPhone. AT&T is the exclusive carrier for the iPhone and offers its YellowPages.com app for free in Apple's App Store.