AT&T is mulling a bid for Verizon's unused 700MHz A Block spectrum, reports the Wall Street Journal. The A Block would complement AT&T's own 700MHz spectrum holdings and could be used to bolster its LTE network. Last month, Reuters reported that T-Mobile is interested in the same parcel of spectrum. Verizon CFO Fran Shammo confirmed that it would sell its A Block spectrum for the right amount. The company paid $2.4 billion for the airwaves and the Journal believes Verizon will ask at least $2.75 billion to sell them to a competitor. With two companies pursuing the spectrum, it's more likely that Verizon will sell it.
The Federal Communications Commission today approved a key provision in Verizon Communication's attempt to buy Vodafone Groups stake in Verizon Wireless. The FCC said that it will be acceptable for more than 25% of Verizon's ownership to come from foreign investors after the deal closes. There is a limit on the amount to 25% because Verizon controls spectrum access licenses in the U.S. Due to the way the deal is structured, foreign ownership of Verizon Communications may at times exceed that percentage, but the FCC won't oppose it. This was the only approval Verizon needed from the FCC, though the deal still requires shareholder approval. Verizon Wireless is a joint venture that is 55% owned by Verizon Communications and 45% owned by Vodafone Group. Verizon Communications agreed in September to buy out Vodafone Group's stake in Verizon Wireless for $130 billion. Verizon will pay Vodafone primarily in cash and stocks. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.
Consumer Cellular today announced that it will soon offer the Apple iPhone 5s, 5c, and 4s. The devices, which can be paired with most of Consumer Cellular's service plans, will require down payments of $150, $100, and $50, respectively. Customers are then expected to make payments of $25 per month until the remaining balance of the phone is paid off. The iPhone 5s, 5c, and 4S will go on sale Friday, December 13.
GoSmart Mobile today announced the Coolpad Flo, an inexpensive Android smartphone that is available without signing an annual contract. The Flo runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and features a 4.5-inch display with 854 x 480 pixels, a 1GHz dual-core processor with 4GB of internal storage, and a 5-megapixel main camera. The Flo includes HSPA+ data, but no LTE. It also features a VGA user-facing camera; support for 32GB microSD cards; Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth radios; and an 1,880mAh battery. The CoolPad Flo is available for $99.
Twitter recently made a new version of its Windows Phone app available to smartphones running Microsoft's operating system. The app adds several new features, including notifications when there are new tweets from favorited accounts. The app also makes it possible to delete individual direct messages and makes various other bug fixes and performance improvements. Twitter for Windows Phone is free to download from the Windows Phone Store.
T-Mobile today said that it will "terminate all billing for premium SMS, except for charitable and political giving" as soon as feasible. The move is a response to customer complaints about the fraudulent billing practices of some premium SMS providers. T-Mobile says it has already ceased doing business with one of the largest such companies. This change does not impact T-Mobile's standard SMS service, nor does it affect purchases made via SMS through device marketplaces or applications. T-Mobile customers who believe they've been charged inappropriately for premium SMS services can request a refund from T-Mobile.
Google today released a brand new application for Android smartphones and tablets called Google Play Newsstand. The app is meant to replace Google Currents, a social newsreader that Google is retiring. According to Google, Newsstand is what Android device owners will use to consume digital newspapers and magazines, as well as online blogs and news sites. There are more than 1,900 publications available through Newsstand, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Time, Rolling Stone, Wired, Vanity Fair, and others. Google Currents users' content and subscriptions will all transfer over to Newsstand when the app is installed and opened for the first time. Content can be synced for offline reading, and articles will include imagery as well as embedded sound/video. Google Play Newsstand will be available beginning in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Australia this week, with other regions to follow.
A federal court of appeals today reversed the decision of a lower court and cleared the way for Apple to seek a ban on certain Samsung devices. A handful of Samsung devices were found to infringe on certain Apple patents at trial last year. Apple requested that the products be banned from import/sale in the U.S., but was denied that request. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said the lower court abused its discretion in denying Apple's request.
Google today made its Play Music application available to iOS devices for the first time. Google had promised to deliver the app back in June, but delayed the release for unknown reasons. The application lets iOS device users access and listen to their Google Play library from their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. iOS device owners who subscribe to Google's All Access service will be able to stream an unlimited number of songs, create custom radio stations from songs/artists, stream radio with no skip limits, get artist recommendations, and listen to curated playlists. Google Play Music's online service lets people upload up to 20,000 songs from their personal collection and then play them back on the web or through Android and now iOS devices. Music can be downloaded locally for offline playback. Google Play Music for iOS does not let iPhone owners purchase individual tracks or albums, though All Access subscribers can add tracks/albums to their online library for playback. Google Play Music can also be used with Google's Chromecast media streaming device for television sets. The app itself is free to download and use. All Access costs $10 per month.
Sprint today filed paperwork with the Federal Communications Commission seeking permission to acquire the spectrum licenses held by a company called Cleveland Unlimited Inc. At issue are 12 licenses that provide PCS coverage across portions of Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. If the transaction is approved, Sprint will gain 10 to 16.4MHz in 56 counties, giving it a total of 129.5MHz of spectrum in the coverage area. Under the terms of the agreement, Sprint would not gain Cleveland Unlimited's customers. Sprint says the spectrum will help it improve its network, expand deployment of new wireless services, and better meet growing consumer demand for mobile broadband. Sprint operates both CDMA and LTE services in the 1900MHz PCS band. Sprint recently indicated that it won't participate in the H Block spectrum auction, set to take place in January. It said it would pursue spectrum in other ways. Purchasing it from other companies is one such way toward bulking up its spectrum holdings.
Motorola has expanded the availability of its Moto Maker tool to customers of Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. Moto Maker lets people customize a Moto X smartphone online and have it delivered to their house. The Moto X offers a range of different back panels, accents, and screen-customization options. Motorola says there are more than 2,000 unique variations of the Moto X. Orders will be assembled at Motorola's Ft. Worth plant and shipped to most customers in four days. Moto Maker was an exclusive to AT&T customers for several months. Further, the price of the Moto X has dropped from $199 with a contract to $99 with a contract. Last, Motorola confirmed that the Moto X will be updated to Android 4.4 KitKat in the near future.
T-Mobile today announced that its MetroPCS prepaid brand will be available in 15 more markets beginning November 21, pushing the total to 45. Rather than operate on MetroPCS' actual network, new MetroPCS customers' devices operate on T-Mobile's GSM/HSPA+ network. T-Mobile says there are already 1.5 million such customers. Some of the new markets include Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Denver, Colo.; Louisville, Ky.; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Pittsburgh, Pa. In addition to the new markets, T-Mobile said all 45 of the MetroPCS regions launched this year have access to its LTE 4G network. T-Mobile has been building out its LTE 4G network aggressively this year.
The Federal Communications Commission today approved changes today that will eventually lead to interoperability in the Lower 700MHz spectrum band. The order addresses interference concerns by modifying the technical terms governing the power used in the D and E Blocks. Further, the FCC believes Channel 51 will not disturb B and C Block, and wants to modify AT&T's existing B and C Block licenses to account for changes proposed by AT&T earlier this year. The FCC said, "The terms of the voluntary agreement serve the public interest by encouraging efficient use of spectrum and enabling consumers to enjoy the benefits of greater competition. The standards developed by several wireless providers, along with the Competitive Carriers Association, will also give consumers more choice in using their devices with large and small carriers alike and will promote widespread deployment of mobile broadband services, especially in rural areas." AT&T and Verizon Wireless operated their LTE 4G networks in the 700MHz spectrum band, as do several smaller carriers. The smaller network operators petitioned the FCC to create these interoperability changes so that their devices will work on their own networks, as well as those of their competitors. AT&T responded by saying, "We are pleased to see the FCC moving swiftly to address these interference issues consistent with the negotiated solution. The action the Commission takes today, under continued leadership by Chairwoman Clyburn, is a critical step to achieving 700Mhz interoperability that will in turn foster industry investment and deployment in the 700MHz band to the benefit of U.S. wireless consumers."
Verizon Wireless hopes to purchase some B Block AWS spectrum from U.S. Cellular, according to paperwork filed with the Federal Communications Commission. Specifically, Verizon is eyeing 20MHz of AWS-1 spectrum in 53 counties in 14 Cellular Market Areas (CMAs) across parts of Illinois and Missouri near the St. Louis region. According to the FCC, if the transaction is approved, Verizon would own 62-117MHz of spectrum across these CMAs, 40MHz of which would be AWS-1. Verizon said it wants the spectrum to supplement its LTE network in the region. Verizon is using AWS spectrum (1700MHz) in addition to 700MHz for its 4G network. It has already begun deploying LTE in the AWS band in some markets. The companies did not place a dollar value on the transaction. The FCC has accepted the paperwork and will begin the review process.
Samsung today announced that the Galaxy S4 Mini will become available from the top U.S. network operators beginning in November. The GS4 Mini was first announced in May. AT&T, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless have all agreed to sell the phone. The Mini swaps out the S4's 5-inch FHD display for a qHD 4.3-inch display; it drops the 13-megapixel camera down to 8 megapixels; and changes out the quad-core processor in favor of a 1.7GHz dual-core processor. The user-facing camera rates 1.9 megapixels and the Mini includes many of the same imaging features found in its larger stablemate. The Mini also carries over the GS4's multitude of apps, such as S Translator, S Health, WatchOn, Samsung Hub, and others. The Galaxy S4 Mini has 8GB of internal memory (5GB accessible by users), 1.5GB of RAM, and supports microSD cards up to 64GB. It includes GPS and GLONASS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, and an IR blaster for the remote control app. Availability and pricing will be carrier dependent.
Nokia today announced its first modern tablet, the Lumia 2520. The 2520 runs Microsoft's Windows RT 8.1, rather than Windows Phone, though many apps are compatible with both platforms. The device features a 10.1-inch full HD display with Gorilla Glass 2, an 8,000mAh battery, stereo front-facing speakers, and Microsoft Office/Outlook. The 2520 shares most other specs with the Lumia 1520, including the same 2.2Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and connectivity options (including LTE). The Lumia 2520 has a 6.7-megapixel main camera with Zeiss optics and a 2-megapixel, wide-angle user-facing camera. The Lumia 2520 will reach the U.S. during the fourth quarter and will cost $499.
Nokia today announced several new applications that will appear on devices such as the Lumia 2520 and Lumia 1520. The new apps are meant to make the most of Windows Phone 8 Release 3 and the new hardware revealed by Nokia. Nokia Video Director, which is only being offered to the Lumia 2520 tablet for the time being, lets owners create, edit, and share customized videos. Nokia Beamer is a sharing tool that can be used to project the content from a Lumia smartphone screen to any HTML5 enabled screen. According to Nokia, this includes documents, maps, location details, and the camera viewfinder. Last, Nokia's Storyteller app automatically pairs pictures from the phone with HERE location data and creates a chronological picture journey on a map. Nokia Beamer and Storyteller will be preloaded on the Lumia 1520 and 2520. Nokia didn't say if or when these apps might be made available to older Lumia devices.
The Federal Communications Commission today rescheduled a spectrum auction that was originally planned to begin January 14. The new date for the auction has been pushed eight days to January 22. The FCC plans to license spectrum in the H Block, which includes the 1915-1920MHz and 1995-2000MHz bands. Companies interested in participating in the auction will need to apply by November 15. This auction is expected to draw interest from Sprint and Dish Networks, which own spectrum that abuts the H block, among others. The FCC was forced to revise the auction start date due to the partial government shutdown, which interrupted the FCC's operations.
U.S. Cellular today announced that it will offer the Apple iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c beginning November 8. U.S. Cellular didn't announce pricing details. It is already for sale from most other U.S. carriers.
U.S. Cellular today announced new service plans that allow both consumer and business customers to share data between devices. U.S. Cellular's plans support up to 10 devices (25 for business customers), which can be made from a mix of basic phones, smartphones, tablets, and modems/hotspots. Smartphones have a monthly device connection charge of $40, basic phones cost $30, hotspots/modems cost $20, and tablets cost $10. Shared data packages start at 1GB for $50 per month and range up to 10GB for $100. All the plans include unlimited voice minutes and messaging. Data-only plans are available for tablets and hotspots/modems that start at $10 per month for 1GB of data. The same monthly device connection charges apply. U.S. Cellular still offers basic phone users its Talk and Text Only Plans, which include 450 minutes and unlimited messaging for $50. U.S. Cellular's new shared data plans are available beginning today.
AT&T today confirmed that it is delivering the Android 4.3 system update to the HTC One. In addition to upgrading the operating system, the update adds Instagram to Blinkfeed, lets users lock the camera's focus, improves the gallery, makes improvements to Zoe, and adds the ability to include widgets on the lock screen. The system update can be downloaded and installed over the air.
U.S. Cellular has yet to properly rectify problems with its billing system that began earlier this year. In July, the company switched billing systems and immediately ran into trouble. Customers flooded the company with complaints. According to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, the issues haven't been resolved and are leading to double billing, erroneous billing, and other problems for customers. U.S. Cellular's Facebook page is full of customers lashing out at the company's inability to properly process billing and payments. In a letter sent to customers, U.S. Cellular said, "We are working to resume normal billing. However, these billing delays may cause you to receive multiple bills in a shorter period of time over the next few months. We have changed your due dates to allow you additional time to pay. We also are working individually with customers to handle account-specific issues." The company indicated that the issues may not be resolved until November. The problem has prompted Wisconsin consumer protection officials to launch an investigation.
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group and the Alliance for Wireless Power today announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding that they hope will lead to the creation of a smart wireless charging station. The Bluetooth SIG has issued a UUID to A4WP so it can be added to its baseline system specification. This will use the Bluetooth Smart radio standard to talk to an A4WP charging station and allow A4WP-certified phones to pair with the station and charge. The organizations say this will lead to quicker charge initiation, improved power control features, and let handset makers and developers create new apps that interact with the smart wireless charging station and devices that use it to charge. The organizations did not provide a timeline for producing a finalized spec or the charging stations.
Virgin Mobile USA today announced that it will offer the Apple iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c online and in stores beginning October 1. The new iPhones will be sold at full retail price without a contract.
T-Mobile today said that it plans to cease offering BlackBerry phones at its retail stores. It will continue to offer them online and ship them directly to customers. The company said that, "Keeping stock in the retail distribution system was inefficient," according to David Carey, T-Mobile's executive vice president for corporate services. Carey noted that there is little demand for BlackBerries and most purchases are made by businesses. Earlier this week, BlackBerry announced that it had signed a letter of intent with Fairfax Financial that could lead to a sale of the company to a consortium of private bankers. BlackBerry said it will take a $1 billion charge in order to write-down inventory of unsold Z10 smartphones and slash 4,700 jobs.
Google has updated its Android Device Manager service to enable users to remotely lock their Android device with a new passcode entered on the web. At launch, Android Device Manager allowed users to locate their phone, ring it, or erase it. The service is available now and works with any phone with Android 2.2 or higher.
Motorola today began delivering a system update to the T-Mobile variant of the Moto X that makes improvements to the camera and other functions. According to a change log posted by Motorola, the camera-specific improvements include changes to white balance performance, focusing in low-light environments, and faster switching between the main camera and the secondary camera. The update also brings improved accuracy and responsiveness to Touchless Control, better voice call quality, and other enhancements. According to Motorola, the system update will be pushed out by other carriers in the near future.
Google today revealed a new version of its Chrome browser for iOS devices. Google's updated mobile browser has a new look and feel that takes advantage of iOS 7's design changes. The app has a new settings user interface and it works better with other Google apps. For example, mail and email links clicked from within Chrome will launch Google Maps and Gmail, rather than the native Apple Maps and email apps (if the user prefers). It also carries over some bug fixes and stability improvements. Chrome for iOS is free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Apple today made iTunes 11.1 available for download. This latest version of iTunes is compatible with iOS 7, the new mobile operating system from Apple. iTunes 11.1 also introduces iTunes Radio, a feature that is part of iOS 7 and lets Apple customers stream radio stations. iTunes 11.1 is free to download and must be installed before customers can update their iOS devices from iOS 6 to iOS 7.
Google today is rolling out a significant update to its Google Wallet application for Android devices, reports AllThingsD. First and foremost, the new application will be compatible with more handsets. It can be downloaded by any device running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and up, and doesn't require NFC. Further, it will be available to devices running on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon's networks, where it was previously blocked. In addition to the expanded availability, the revised application offers a number of new features. For example, Google Wallet will let U.S. residents send money directly to others via their email address. Money sent from banking accounts or the users' Google Wallet balance will be free, but money sent from credit/debit cards will incur a small fee. The new Google Wallet also adds the ability to read and add loyalty cards based on the barcode or card number. Once entered into Google Wallet on the phone, the digital loyalty card can be displayed on the screen and scanned at check-out in stores. The app also works better with Google Search and Google Offers when it comes to finding deals. There are some limits to the app's capabilities, though. According to AllThingsD, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon subscribers will not be able to use Google Wallet's NFC functions to make in-store purchases. (AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon back a competing NFC-based mobile payment system called Isis, which is launching later this year.) The updated version of Google Wallet is expected to be available from the Google Play Store later today.
Sprint has acquired Handmark, reports AllThingsD. Handmark is a mobile app and services company perhaps most well known for its Pocket Express app for Palm smartphones. In recent years, Handmark has turned toward mobile advertising, and it is this expertise that attracted Sprint's attention. "As a long-time partner of Sprint, we've worked together on some of the mobile industry's most successful initiatives," said Handmark founder and CEO Augie Grasis. "Joining forces is a natural progression to our relationship and will help scale our mobile media business." Sprint will put Handmark's assets to use with its Pinsight Media advertising unit.
AT&T today announced its commitment to supporting band 12 with its LTE network and devices in the 700 MHz range. The move will make it much easier for smaller carriers such as U.S. Cellular and Cricket to move forward with their LTE networks in the Lower 700 MHz band. AT&T has previously only supported band 17 and offered band 17 devices, which do not support the lower-frequency blocks of the 700 MHz band licensed by the smaller carriers. Band 12 is a superset of band 17, covering both the lower frequencies used by the smaller carriers and the higher frequencies used by AT&T. Manufacturers have tended to focus more effort toward phones for larger carriers such as AT&T (with band 17), leaving smaller carriers with few band 12 phones that work with their LTE networks. Now that AT&T has committed to offering band 12 devices, more devices should be available to the smaller carriers. AT&T previously objected to supporting band 12, citing interference concerns. The FCC has been re-examining the issue of 700 MHz band interoperability recently, putting pressure on AT&T.
Apple today revealed more details about iOS 7, the next-generation mobile operating system for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. iOS 7 has been fully redesigned, representing the first major change to the platform since 2007. It adds hundreds of new features, including Control Center for managing radios and other settings; Notification Center for richer control over incoming alerts; changes to multitasking make it more visually appealing; as well as improvements to Siri that make Apple's voice-activated assistant more useful. Siri can search through Tweets, Wikipedia, the web, and the camera roll. The final version of iOS 7 will also include more ringtones and alerts; more ways to sift through, share, and edit photos in the gallery; and iTunes Radio for discovering and listening to new music. It will be available to the iPhone 5, 4S, and 4; iPad 4, 3, and 2; and iPod Touch 5th Generation on September 18.
Sony today unveiled two lens accessories for smartphones that put a new spin on the idea of improving the on-board camera. The Sony QX100 and QX10 are attachable lenses and also serve as stand-alone cameras. Both lenses connect to smartphones (Android and iOS) via Wi-Fi and, along with a companion app, can be used instead of the smartphone's built-in camera. The companion app uses the phone's screen as a viewfinder and offers some simple controls over shooting mode, zoom, point of focus, and others. The lenses can be mounted on smartphones with the use of clips, as well as used on their own. Both use Sony's EXMOR sensors and can be paired easily with devices via NFC. The QX100 has a 20.1-megapixel camera and offers 3.6x optical zoom while the QX10 offers an 18.2-megapixel camera and 10x optical zoom. The QX100 and QX10 lens-style cameras will be available later this month for $499 and $249, respectively. The come in black and white.
Google today announced that the next major version of Android - version 4.4 - will be named KitKat, after the Kit Kat candy bar made by Nestlé. Each major version of Android is named for a sweet treat starting with a successive letter of the alphabet. Only major versions get a new name. So while version 4.0 was dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich, versions 4.1-4.3 all shared the name Jelly Bean. Therefore version 4.4 is expected to bring more major changes compared to versions 4.2 and 4.3. Google has not announced any details of the new release, hinting only that it will "make an amazing Android experience available for everybody". Google and Nestlé have teamed up on a promo for the new software. Specially-marked Kit Kat bars will come with a code good for the chance to win a Nexus 7 tablet or Google Play store credit.
Microsoft today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire the Devices and Services division of Nokia for approx. $7.2 billion. Microsoft will also gain the Lumia and Asha brands, as well as Nokia's patent licensing agreement with Qualcomm. Nokia will continue to exist as a separate company, focusing on networks via its NSN division, mapping via its HERE division, and and Advanced Technologies division. Nokia will retain its brand and patents, but license them to Microsoft. Microsoft has recently moved to refocus itself on devices and services; this move advances that goal for the mobile devision and Windows Phone. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will move to Microsoft. Nokia has worked closely with Microsoft on Windows Phone devices since 2011, when the company ditched its troubled Symbian platform. Competing mobile OS makers Apple and BlackBerry have always made their own hardware. Google purchased Motorola in 2012 to shore up its Android strategy. The Microsoft-Nokia deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to shareholders and regulatory approval.
Sprint today reminded U.S. Cellular customers located in the St. Louis metropolitan area that it will shut down existing U.S. Cellular service on October 31. Sprint acquired some spectrum and assets from U.S. Cellular earlier this year. The shutdown will affect the customers, leaving them without service. Sprint is urging those who've not already switched to Sprint's devices and services to do so as soon as possible. Sprint says U.S. Cellular customers can port their existing number to Sprint, but they have to buy new devices, as their old ones are not compatible with Sprint's network. Sprint began notifying the customers in June, and is offering them incentives to update their device and service to either Sprint or Boost Mobile. Sprint intends to use the former U.S. Cellular spectrum in the St. Louis region to supplement its own network.
Google is delivering an update to its Google Hangouts application that enables video chats over AT&T's cellular network. AT&T modified its policy regarding which apps can and cannot connect video chats via its 3G and 4G networks earlier this year. At the time it said, "Throughout the second half of this year, we plan to enable pre-loaded video chat apps over cellular for all our customers, regardless of data plan or device; that work is underway and expected to be complete by year end." The update is being pushed out in waves through the Google Play Store. Phones with the updated app will be able to view live, two-way video conversations.
Apple has indicated that it opposes the Federal Communications Commission's mandate for interoperability in the 700MHz spectrum band. The FCC is weighing whether or not it should require all devices that use 700MHz spectrum to support all or most of the bands therein. AT&T and Verizon Wireless operate their LTE networks in Band Class 17 and Band Class 13, respectively, and Apple's iPhone works in both. The iPhone does not, however, support Band Class 12 in which smaller, regional operators, such as U.S. Cellular, operate. Smaller carriers have banded together and requested the interoperability measures, but the FCC has yet to act upon it. Apple's lawyers recently spoke to FCC representatives about the interoperability proceedings and called them unnecessary, problematic, and cost-inducing. AT&T also opposes the interoperability proposal. AT&T and others point to television channel 51 as the reason behind Band Class 17's creation in the first place, citing interference problems. A handful of interested parties met with the FCC to discuss the issue last month, but the FCC has not indicated when it may make a final ruling on the matter.
Virgin Mobile today announced the Reef, the company's first water-resistant smartphone. The Reef, which is made by ZTE, is certified IPX7, which means it is protected for up to 30 minutes in up to 3 feet of water. The phone has a 4.0 touch display, 1 GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture, and a 1-megapixel user-facing camera. The device runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and includes Virgin Mobile's ID packs. It runs on Virgin's 3G network and includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. The Reef costs $149.99 and does not require a contract.