Sprint Nextel said Thursday it will offer the touch-screen HTC Hero Oct. 11, making it the second U.S. carrier to support the Google-backed Android operating system.
The third-largest U.S. mobile operator had famously said previous versions of the Linux-based OS weren’t “good enough,” but firmware updates have apparently made Android good enough for the Sprint brand. The Hero is a feature-packed device that could be seen as a viable alternative to AT&T’s iPhone 3GS.
Internet companies that want a piece of the telecom market are getting a sympathetic ear from federal regulators.
At an Aug. 27 hearing in Washington, the Federal Communications Commission signaled that it’s preparing to scrutinize the data services and software available on the most sophisticated mobile phones and whether wireless carriers are inhibiting competition. The FCC will “look more broadly at all of the elements that affect the mobile marketplace,” Chairman Julius Genachowski said during the meeting.
There’s a lot of hyperbole about the expected growth of smartphones over the next three to five years, especially when you consider that in 2009 smartphones represent just 15% of total mobile phone sales. But, the X factor that’s changing the game and creating one of the hottest new trends in technology is smartphones evolving into an application platform.
The smartphone has arrived where it is today by taking the mobile phone and adding a qwerty keyboard plus “push” email and calendar functionality. But, the success of Apple’s iPhone App Store has demonstrated is that simple, functionality-focused applications can unlock a wealth of additional usefulness in the smartphone. Now, the race is on, as mobile vendors and application developers elbow each other in the ribs to gain an advantage in this potentially massive opportunity to capture audience, influence, and revenue.
An 18-year-old pleaded guilty to reduced charges Thursday in Vermont’s first “sexting” case, in which he allegedly directed two teenage girls to videotape or photograph themselves performing sex acts and send him the results.
Isaac Owusu, of Morrisville, was sentenced to up to two years in prison but will serve 90 days after pleading guilty to two counts of committing a prohibited act and one count of lewd and lascivious conduct.
Sexual assault charges originally lodged against him were dropped as part of the plea, as were two counts of promoting a sexual recording.
The deal was offered in part because the state Legislature recently passed a law decriminalizing sexting.
“We respect the process in Montpelier,” said Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan. “We understood their point. We heard what they said. And as a result, we dismissed what is called the ‘sexting’ (charges).”