Friday, December 7, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide for the Tech Enthusiast

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Choosing the right holiday gift can be tricky. What if your mom already owns a pair of monogrammed oven mitts? What if that band T-shirt you get for your “Big Uncle Steve” runs a size or two too small?

To help relieve the pressure this holiday season, we’re providing you with eight foolproof gift ideas.

1. Custom Cell Phone Case
With brands like Zazzle and Shutterfly, you can customize a cell phone cover for your mom with your face on it (or, if Mom prefers, a puppy).

2. Straight Talk Home Phone
Cut ties with your phone company and save money: get the Straight Talk Home Phone for the family and enjoy unlimited nation-wide calling for just $15, or unlimited international calling for just $30. And with no contract, land line, activation fees or internet required, it’s a great way to tell your family you want to keep in touch without breaking the bank.

3. Cell Phone Pants
DELTA415 Wearcom™ jeans: These pants let you navigate your touchscreen no matter where you are, without wasting valuable time on pocket-to-out-of-pocket transfers. 100% cotton with a durable polymer film, these pants were modeled after a fighter pilot’s G-suit. For the fashionista (or tech maverick) in your family.

4. Samsung Galaxy Precedent
With access to over 150,000 Android apps, touchscreen, Blue Tooth, and more, it’s time to upgrade from the brick. The Samsung Galaxy Precedent is going for just $69.99 this holiday season, with free shipping and a $20 gift card. This phone has all the features for just $45 a month unlimited.

5. Headphones
60.7% of people listen to music on their cellphones every day. This means that there’s a better than 50/50 chance that your dad will appreciate the gift of headphones. Those are better odds than guessing his slipper size.

Headphones can range in price from $10 to over $300 dollars, but our mid-priced pick are the Noontec  Zoro headphones, which run about $75. Crisp, clear sound for under a hundred bucks.

6. Straight Talk Minutes
Want your friends to call you more? Drop a hint by gifting them a Straight Talk plan, from 30-day unlimited to one-year unlimited (talk, text and picture messages, and mobile web access). Unlimited plans equal unlimited fun.

7. Free Hands Gloves
Free Hands keep you toasty—and connected. With removable finger caps that can be held back by magnets, you’ll never answer your touchscreen phone with your cheek, elbow or chin again. Great for the person in your family that can still text up a storm in a sub-zero snowstorm.

8. Photojojo Phone Lens
Have a photo snap-happy family member? Help them up the ante with a Photojojo phone lens. Lenses are available for iPhones, Androids and tablets in four variations: fish eye, wide angle, telephoto and macro. Made from aluminum and premium optical glass, this lightweight lens will allow the photographer to leave their cumbersome camera bag at home.

Surpassing Verizon, TracFone notches 1.1M net adds in Q4

By Mike Dano

Feb. 9 2011 - 6:03 pm - América Móvil's TracFone MVNO service netted a whopping 1.1 million new subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2010, finishing the period with a total of 17.7 million subscribers.

TracFone's net adds put it in the same league as some of the nation's Tier 1 wireless carriers. For example, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ [1]), the nation's largest wireless carrier, recorded 955,000 total net customer additions in the fourth quarter, ending the period with 102.2 million "total wireless connections."

Such a comparison isn't completely fair, however. TracFone doesn't operate its own wireless network--instead, as an MVNO, the company essentially piggybacks on the networks of Verizon , AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T [2]) and T-Mobile USA, reselling their services under TracFone's brands, which include Straight Talk, Net10 and others. Thus, TracFone's net customer additions are also counted by its host carriers under their "wholesale" column.

Nonetheless, TracFone's stellar growth is notable. The company has grown its U.S. subscriber base from 14.4 million in December of 2009 to 16.7 million in September 2010 to 17.7 million at the end of the fourth quarter of last year.

As for TracFone's subscriber metrics, the company's minutes of use skyrocketed 219 percent year over year, from 94 in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 300 in the fourth quarter of 2010. TracFone attributed the growth to its Straight Talk unlimited service. TracFone's average revenue per user grew from $10 to $14 during the same period while its churn remained relatively unchanged at around 4 percent.

Read the full story here.

Great Coverage!

Straight Talk uses one of America's best networks, so you're assured of great coverage, fewer dropped calls and clear connections.

Whether you talk, text or send and receive data, Straight Talk's got you covered.

Click here or on the map for a closer look.

CTIA-The Wireless Association's statement on usage and cost for mobile phone calls

WASHINGTON, DC CTIA-The Wireless Association® issued the following statement today in response to the OECD Communications Outlook report on usage and cost for mobile phone calls:

The headline from the recently released OECD Communications Outlook report reads that Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden have the lowest prices for mobile phone calls among OECD countries, while the highest prices were found in Canada, Spain, and the United States. But since U.S. consumers enjoy the lowest per minute rates of all of the OECD countries, what today’s OECD report really shows is that some international comparisons just don’t make sense – especially when built on flawed assumptions.

The real story is buried on page 275 of the OECD report which states:

“It is important to note again that the OECD calling pattern in the basket can be significantly different than common calling profiles in a specific country. For example, the high-usage OECD basket includes 1,680 outgoing voice calls per year while users in the United States average 9,600 minutes of voice calls (combined incoming and outgoing) per year. In this case the basket provides the cost of buying exactly the calls and messages in the OECD basket rather than what may be considered a ‘typical’ bundle in the market.”

Read the full article here.