Print 96 comment(s) - last by PrezWeezy.. on Nov 20 at 7:42 PM

Verizon this week defended its commercials in court, calling AT&T's lawsuit against them ridiculous. It says that for AT&T "the truth hurts."  (Source:

The commercials seem to be working -- in recent months Verizon's image has soared, while AT&T's has sank, according to YouGov, which tracks brand reputation.  (Source: Apple Insider)
The nation's largest wireless provider fires back in court

AT&T and Verizon, the nation's second largest and largest telecoms, respectively, are at open war.  With Verizon's new Droid phone looking to challenge the iPhone as the reigning media smartphone, the pair wage battle in the court room over Verizon's commercials which depict AT&T's poor 3G coverage.

It has been reported that in some areas, such as New York City, that AT&T's call drop rates are as high as 30 percent -- or that it merely has no 3G service at all.  However, AT&T does have broad coverage under its older EDGE network, and it claims that Verizon's ads are deceptive.  AT&T's argument basically boils down to a claim that the average viewer is fooled to believe that the Verizon commercial's maps represent total coverage and not 3G coverage -- despite several textual and audio clues.  Thus it claims the commercials are misleading and damaging.

Initially AT&T only sued over Verizon's "There's a map for that" series, which introduced Verizon's rich red map and AT&T's lacking blue map to viewers, all while poking fun at Apple's iPhone slogan ("There's an app for that").  AT&T recently expanded the suit to include Verizon's new Christmas themed ads "The Island of Misfit Toys".

Verizon has flatly refused to stop airing the commercials, and to AT&T's dismay, the dispute seems unlikely to be resolved until well into the holiday season.  AT&T had hoped to quickly get Verizon's ads pulled from TV.

In court this week Verizon filed new documents, according to Engadget, which blast its competitor, saying that the lawsuit is a weak attempt from a player that just can't compete.  States Verizon's filing, "AT&T did not file this lawsuit because Verizon's "There's A Map For That" advertisements are untrue; AT&T sued because Verizon's ads are true and the truth hurts."

Continues the filing, "In the final analysis, AT&T seeks emergency relief because Verizon's side-by-side, apples-to-apples comparison of its own 3G coverage with AT&T's confirms what the marketplace has been saying for months: AT&T failed to invest adequately in the necessary infrastructure to expand its 3G coverage to support its growth in smartphone business and the usefulness of its service to smartphone users has suffered accordingly. AT&T may not like the message that the ads send, but this Court should reject its efforts to silence the messenger."

As it sees its hopes of a favorable court ruling in jeopardy, AT&T has tried to set the record straight among its own customers, writing them a letter asking them to ignore what it perceives as lies in Verizon's ads.  It writes that the Verizon commercials are "so blatantly false and misleading, that we want to set the record straight about AT&T's wireless data coverage".  In the letter, the company highlights what it sees as abundant mixed coverage on its older EDGE and new 3G networks.

Regardless of whether AT&T's dreams of silencing Verizon's commercials come true, evidence indicates that the damage has already been done.  In recent weeks Verizon's brand image has soared while AT&T's has sank, according to recent surveys market researchers at BrandIndex.  The surveys looked at whether customers would recommend the respective telecoms to their friends.  AT&T scored less than a -2 in the most recent study -- indicating not many customers would recommend getting an AT&T phone.

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By bradmshannon on 11/17/2009 6:49:08 AM , Rating: 2
I just picked up a Droid for my dad. Wow, that phone is amazing. I would MUCH rather own a Google phone than an Apple phone! Google believes in free!

RE: Droid
By Brandon Hill on 11/17/2009 6:58:58 AM , Rating: 5
I would MUCH rather own a Google phone than an Apple phone! Google believes in free!

And how much did you pay for that Droid? ;)

RE: Droid
By dajeepster on 11/17/2009 7:10:22 AM , Rating: 2
well... I paid $200 for mine AR. I don't now how AT&T's service is, but switching from Sprint to Verizon was a definated improvement. Better signal quality and less dropped calls/conversations so far. I was with Sprint/Nextel for 6 years.

RE: Droid
By Brandon Hill on 11/17/2009 7:51:34 AM , Rating: 2
It was a rhetorical question :)

RE: Droid
By bradmshannon on 11/17/2009 7:55:15 AM , Rating: 3
You pay for the phone, not the OS ;)

RE: Droid
By MrPoletski on 11/17/2009 11:03:15 AM , Rating: 2
Therefore you don't have to use Safarti!

RE: Droid
By sprockkets on 11/17/2009 1:43:55 PM , Rating: 2
Therefore you don't have to use Safarti!

Oh wait, Google's browser is based on WebKit, that evil browser from Apple! Oh crap, can't use it now!

RE: Droid
By foolsgambit11 on 11/17/2009 5:12:56 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry, I didn't realize WebKit was an Apple product. I could have sworn it was an open source project originally started by *nix developers. Apple has their own implementation of it that they use in Safari, but webkit itself is not a "browser from Apple".

RE: Droid
By sprockkets on 11/17/2009 5:30:50 PM , Rating: 2
Apple took KHTML, created by KDE as a foundation. Believe me, I tried again Konqueror with KHTML even in KDE 4.3, and it still can't render web pages correctly.

There was a bit of a spat btw them and KDE and it basically needed to be forked since Apple wanted to take it in another direction, but now WebKit is the new KHTML and KDE is using it from now on.

Without Apple pouring into the project, it really wasn't useful. Now Epiphany, a GNOME browser (previously based on Gecko, and now on WebKit is lightning fast), , Konqueror, and of course Google Chrome and Google's Mobile browser, a few BB phones (Storm and Storm 2 I believe), Palm Pre are all webkit based.

RE: Droid
By jhb116 on 11/17/2009 6:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like you just proved his point. Based on you're own post Webkit is not an Apple product which refutes your first post. It seems that your first post should have been more along the lines that Safari and Google are based on the same lineage.

RE: Droid
By sprockkets on 11/17/2009 10:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe it is splitting hairs, but again, without Apple, there would be no WebKit, and no other browser would want such a dated KHTML either.

If you could try KHTML, you would see many typical websites just not even render entire parts of the page, or do JS right. It just wasn't ready for prime time, and this is a browser that's been out for around 7 years.

RE: Droid
By gigahertz20 on 11/17/09, Rating: 0
RE: Droid
By theunit on 11/17/2009 8:49:07 AM , Rating: 2
You could always pay for the first month, then cancel the data plan. Or you can buy the phone of your choice off ebay or amazon. But I feel you, I didnt get a curve, because of that reason.

RE: Droid
By heulenwolf on 11/17/2009 12:01:16 PM , Rating: 2
If you pre-buy the phone on a CDMA network, how do you get it activated? Just walk in to Sprint or Verizon store and pick which plan you want? I ask because I've never tried nor heard an account of how it works. I know with GSM networks they send you a SIM card and you're set. How does it work on Verizon or Sprint? If they're the big evil we all make them out to be, wouldn't they apply the same plan restrictions for activating a phone you already own that they do for a phone you buy through them? Could you walk in with a Droid and just a "Nationwide Voice Plan" with no additional data plan, for example? Has anyone out there tried this?

RE: Droid
By wookiness on 11/17/2009 1:03:34 PM , Rating: 3
For Sprint and VZW you just take it into a local store and they can hook it up for you.

Verizon Wireless will require a data plan for any smartphone whether you bought it there or not, you cannot remove the data plan while a smartphone is active.

RE: Droid
By heulenwolf on 11/17/2009 2:40:54 PM , Rating: 2
That's too bad - I guess they really are the big evil. Not only can you only use their approved and modified devices on their network, but you can only pay to use them the way they want you to.

I use and iPod Touch + a separate phone with a voice plan right now and live pretty happily without a cellular data connection and the associated fees. I'm near WiFi alot and would rather save the $360/year in data plan fees, use cellular data sparingly on an as-needed basis, and stick to WiFi for data needs most of the time. It sounds like that's simply not possible with VZW. With Sprint's lower fees maybe I'd consider the full data plan when my VZW contract is up next year. In the mean time, I'm not enough of a mobile data fanatic to justify the plan costs.

RE: Droid
By bradmshannon on 11/17/2009 9:01:19 AM , Rating: 2
We used a family plan, which helped with the cost some.

RE: Droid
By Jedi2155 on 11/17/2009 4:34:23 PM , Rating: 2
That's how I'm paying for my T-Mobile G1. My family has 1000 minutes with 5 lines + G1 Data Plan ($25) for only $115/month.

RE: Droid
By ExarKun333 on 11/17/2009 11:29:41 AM , Rating: 2
Thats why you buy a smartphone, silly. The data plan!

RE: Droid
By threepac3 on 11/17/2009 12:02:35 PM , Rating: 2
Haha. Exactly.

RE: Droid
By Soldier1969 on 11/17/09, Rating: 0
RE: Droid
By PrezWeezy on 11/17/2009 2:24:01 PM , Rating: 2
That's to get the "discount" instead of paying full price. You can buy the phone for its full retail price and not get the service plan. At least that's how it works with all other phones. Unless Google built in that stupid "must be online" piece like they want in their OS.

RE: Droid
By kkreiger on 11/17/2009 3:32:43 PM , Rating: 2
There are Plenty of such phones.Buy any unlocked nokia phone based on S60 with GPS capability.

You can preload nokia maps and use it as a GPS without any data plan.

some examples.


RE: Droid
By The0ne on 11/17/2009 4:58:02 PM , Rating: 2
My 8525 was free and without a data plan when I signed up with AT&T at the time the phone came out. Paying $39/month total. But yea, it's very far a few that offers like this come along.

Have never once paid for a phone yet and don't plan on it :D Free is always nice hehehe

RE: Droid
By lecanard on 11/17/2009 5:51:00 PM , Rating: 2
You are aware that using GPS with the map application requires a data connection to google maps, right? No data = gimped phone.

RE: Droid
By scotth501 on 11/17/09, Rating: -1
RE: Droid
By dsx724 on 11/17/2009 9:32:02 AM , Rating: 3
Radiowaves don't really do much other than increase the temperature of things around it. 2.4GHz is below infrared which is below visible light, and way below UV light. The only down side to a high SAR is possibly low battery life I would imagine. and Yes aGPS sucks.

RE: Droid
By Bateluer on 11/17/2009 4:23:26 PM , Rating: 3
Your information is inaccurate. The Droid is rated at 1.1 W/KG by the FCC.

For comparison, the iPhone 3GS is rated at 1.19 W/KG.

RE: Droid
By Motoman on 11/17/2009 10:37:39 AM , Rating: 3
I was *this* close to just ordering a Droid online, but decided to be prudent and check out a couple things...

1. Despite articles on the intarweb, including here on DT, Verizon does not support tethering on the Droid.

2. The keyboard is bad. The entire keyboard is flat, with the buttons perfectly square and butted right up against each other with no space in-between. While that's "better" than an on-screen keyboard, it's vastly inferior to other phones that have been around forever that have raised buttons with space between them. The keyboard on my ancient LG Envy is wonderful to use...the Droid one killed the deal for me.

Hopefully the Droid 2 has a better keyboard. Or maybe somebody else will create something very much like the Droid with a better keyboard. For now I guess I'm staying with my Blackberry and it's cramped keyboard, smaller screen, and tethering capability.

RE: Droid
By bradmshannon on 11/17/2009 2:18:51 PM , Rating: 2
I was a long time Env user and I now have the Touch. I wasn't sure about the keypad either at first, but I liked it.

Tethering is coming on Verizon...

RE: Droid
By Motoman on 11/17/2009 2:46:40 PM , Rating: 2
My wife now has an Env Touch...I like it. The whole Env line should be the model for others to follow from the keyboard standpoint.

RE: Droid
By kmmatney on 11/17/2009 6:28:36 PM , Rating: 2
I would agree on the keyboard. I played with a droid for about an hour yesterday (my father-in-law bought one). One thing I didn't like it that you forced to use the pull put keyboard in landscape mode (at least by default). The screen is also not as responsive as the iPhone, and overall the phone is a little harder to figure out. The screen resolution is amazing, though. As an iPhone user, I really missed using multitouch to zoom in and out and web pages, but you can probably get used to the zoom buttons, and many websites zoom in correctly with a double-tap (although sometimes this didn't work correctly).

The screen is already awesome, I can can see this phone being really nice after a few updates (e.g. making the screen more resposive) and once a few more apps are out there.

One thing we could not figure how to do is to save location on the google map application.

RE: Droid
By kmmatney on 11/17/2009 6:33:31 PM , Rating: 2
Also, one big problem we had with the Droid is that is would not connect to the wireless LAN at my father-in-law's house. My iPhone doesn't have any trouble, but the Droid couldn't hook up (using WPA encryption). It works fine using 3G, though (and the Verizon network does seem faster than AT&T). We are still working on the Wifi problem...

RE: Droid
By highlandsun on 11/17/2009 11:02:59 PM , Rating: 2
On the initial release of the G1, this was a limitation of both the wifi device driver and the Android UI. On a subsequent release the wifi driver was fixed but the Android UI still has no support for WPA-EAP. However, if you root your phone you can edit the wpa_supplicant.conf file and manually add the config for any type of network and use it without the Android UI. That's what I've been doing on my phone... Also the Android UI actually edits the wpa_supplicant.conf file in-place, and disables networks it doesn't know how to handle when you attempt to connect. So the trick is to turn off wifi, then edit the .conf file, then enable wifi, and then use the wpa_cli enable_network command to enable your WPA network, and then the wpa_supplicant will authenticate and everything else will work from there.

Also, the adb command in the Android SDK can be used to establish a session with the phone. It also has a ppp command but as-written it is mostly useless. I've posted a patch for it that allows you to establish a ppp session between a PC and the phone over USB cable. That way you can tether and then either use the phone's network from the PC, or use the PC's network from the phone, as needed. I posted the details here:

RE: Droid
By djcameron on 11/17/2009 11:00:01 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing is free.

RE: Droid
By sprockkets on 11/17/2009 2:11:30 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the OS is also free. Nobody pays Google for it, just like Symbian. The only paid OS left is WinMob.

I don't find it a big deal, but just keep in mind, that Google is giving the OS away for free in exchange for data harvesting of your email, browsing and other stuff on your phone.

Never forget the 1st law of Thermodynamics in lamen's terms, "There's no such thing as a free lunch."

RE: Droid
By PrezWeezy on 11/17/2009 2:26:45 PM , Rating: 1
Really? OS X is free now?

RE: Droid
By sprockkets on 11/17/2009 2:30:37 PM , Rating: 2
Does Apple sell OSX, mobile or otherwise to any OEMs? No.

It kinda goes without saying, buddy.

RE: Droid
By Sazar on 11/17/2009 5:02:56 PM , Rating: 2
I thought Apple Operating systems could only be installed on THEIR systems and therefore they would not be selling them to OEM's or otherwise.

On the flip-side, you CAN buy the OS off the shelf, therefore Apple DOES sell OSX, just not to OEM's.

So basically, what are you saying?

RE: Droid
By sprockkets on 11/17/2009 5:40:57 PM , Rating: 3
If HTC, Motorola, or anyone else wants to build a phone, they can either

1. Get Android for free
2. Use Symbian from the Symbian Foundation (now free)
3. Pay a license for each phone sold for WinMob

No OEM can build a phone or a computer with OSX since the person, Apple, who makes it, will not license it to no one.

So, if you had a choice of building a phone on an horribly outdated OS like WinMob or on Android or Symbian for free, which would you chose?

Motorola dumped WinMob for Android
Sony Erickson dumped WinMob and went back to Symbian
Nokia is using Maemo
HTC appears to be replacing WinMob with Android, but will most likely still keep WinMob around.
LG is embracing WinMob and not Android
Samsung I believe is making their own Linux OS called "Bada"

RE: Droid
By PrezWeezy on 11/20/2009 7:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, almost all HTC phones are WinMo, Samsung uses WinMo for several phones, as well as a few others.

The fact is the makers will make whatever people want. Which is why EVERY time there is a new phone OS released they start jumping on it to see if it sticks. If it does they continue, if not, they go back to what was selling well.

RE: Droid
By skyward on 11/17/2009 5:21:10 PM , Rating: 2
Verizon did pay Google for the OS. Why do you think we only see Android 2.0 on Verizon. To say that Google have a free OS is not true. If it free then why Google will tell other wireless companies able Android 2.0 and not have to lie about it.

RE: Droid
By sprockkets on 11/17/2009 5:49:51 PM , Rating: 2
Because Android 2.0 just came out and no other phones yet support it?

The original G1 most likely cannot upgrade to it, but the newer mytouch perhaps can, and so can the HTC Hero. No official word yet about who can upgrade.

Verizon didn't get Android 2.0; Motorola did.

Think about it for a moment from this angle: How can Google charge for Android when they allow you to download it for free, seeing as how everything on it save the proprietary Google apps is GPL licensed? You can even make your own custom ROMs, so long as you do not integrate those Google custom apps.

Remember, Google is not in it for selling hardware; they want as many as possible to run this OS because that means more ad revenue and more data harvesting from the Google Gmail account and such that you use on the phone. That's how Google works.

Why else would Google still pay Mozilla 50 million dollars a year to be the default search engine and home page while they have their own browser? More ad revenue!

RE: Droid
By skyward on 11/17/2009 8:33:59 PM , Rating: 2
You don’t understand how it works. HTC and Samsung don’t know Android 2.0 was available. Both HTC and Samsung think that the only cdma Android was Android 1.6 and that was too late to the game. That why they had to custom Android 1.5 to work with cdma. They have no idea Android 2.0 ready to go. They only talk about Android 2.0 after the Droid. From the people I know in the wireless business, Google told them that Android 2.0 is not ready and that it was still being built. That was only one month before we know Motorola Droid have Android 2.0. Mostly Motorola pay Google for being first and Motorola show it to Verizon. And you know what happen. And the fact is Google knows Verizon will get the Android 2.0 because they will have to work with Verizon to make it network ready. Verizon will pay for Android 2.0 because they don’t want it to happen again like the IPhone or Pre. Like you said Google is in it for the money. If they can sale the rights to be first, they can and will.

RE: Droid
By sprockkets on 11/17/2009 10:24:16 PM , Rating: 2
That makes sense, but is this then just the exception to the rule?

RE: Droid
By skyward on 11/17/2009 5:23:23 PM , Rating: 1
Verizon did pay Google for the OS. Why do you think we only see Android 2.0 on Verizon. To say that Google have a free OS is not true. If it free then why Google will not tell other wireless companies able Android 2.0 and not have to lie about it.

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