This is Verizon’s first 5G smartphone

Hint: The phone may sound familiar.

 

Verizon’s first 5G smartphone didn’t start out as 5G device. But it will once the wireless carrier formally launches its next-generation mobile service.

The first smartphone will be Motorola’s Moto Z3, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg confirmed in an interview in the backstage of the CES 2019 keynote presentation area on Monday. But the catch? This originally launched in August as a 4G phone with the option of a Moto Mod attachment that would eventually give it a 5G capability.

36motorola-moto-z3

It turns out, the 5G Moto Mod will make the Moto Z3 the inaugural phone once Verizon turns on its mobile 5G service. A Samsung smartphone teased by Verizon and Qualcomm at the Snapdragon Tech Summit last month will be the second device. And while AT&T and Sprint have both said they will carry the Samsung phone too, Vestberg reaffirmed that it has an exclusive deal. That indicates the Samsung phone will likely come to Verizon first for an exclusive period before moving on to the other carriers.

While Vestberg declined to comment on the exact timing of the launch, you can sketch out the potential window. It’s widely anticipated that Samsung will launch a 5G variant of its Galaxy S10, which usually launches in late February around the Mobile World Congress trade show. Vestberg’s comments indicate that the service and the 5G Moto Mod will launch before then.

This would give Verizon an advantage as the first carrier to launch a 5G service with a smartphone. Carriers around the world have fallen over themselves to proclaim themselves as the first to 5G, which gives them bragging rights and helps cement the perception of network superiority. That’s become critically important as the competition for consumers heat up, since network quality remains a big deciding factor.

5G is all the rage at CES 2019, and is one of the dominant trends at the show. The next generation of wireless service is expected to bring a big boost in speed and network responsiveness, which opens the door to a better mobile experience, as well new areas of tech like streaming VR or telemedicine.

Vestberg has long proclaimed that Verizon would be the first to launch 5G. It rolled out a 5G variant of home broadband service in October, although skeptics claimed it didn’t count because it used non-industry standard technology. AT&T in December launched 5G mobile service, but customers in select cities can only tap into the network using Wi-Fi hotspots, and not smartphones.

Regardless of who’s first, it’s clear 5G is slowly turning from hype into reality, especially as broader deployments of the network are underway with many carriers around the world.  T-Mobile promises to have broader commercial service available early this year, and Sprint and LG are promising the first 5G smartphone. T-Mobile and Sprint promise to do even more together if they merge.


Source
Author: Roger Cheng
Image Credit
Image Credit

Why HTC is Only Accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum for its First Blockchain Phone

Taiwanese consumer electronics giant HTC has officially launched its first blockchain phone, which will be sold exclusively in crypto.

Called Exodus 1, the blockchain mobile phone of HTC is available to consumers at a fixed price of 0.15 Bitcoin (ETC) and 4.78 Ethereum (ETH), nearing the price of the new iPhone XS that has a starting price of $999.

The Exodus 1 is sold at around $975 based on the current price of Bitcoin at $6,500. However, as the price of BTC rises, the price of the phone will also increase substantially. BTC was valued at $10,000 less than four months ago, and if BTC reaches the $10,000 resistance level in the months to come, the value of the Exodus 1 could surge to $1,500.

Why Pegged to BTC and ETH?

The primary feature of the Exodus 1 is its security. It has been developed to operate as a hardware cryptocurrency wallet, allowing users to safely store digital assets in the local wallet of the phone.

In July, Samsung, the largest electronics manufacturer in Asia, revealed that mobile phones are significantly more secure in processing cryptocurrency payments than alternative devices and platforms such as desktop and the web because of the existence of a trusted ecosystem called the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE).

With TEE in place, which operates as a separate execution environment with its own memory and storage, it is not possible for hackers to breach into protected information stored within the TEE ecosystem in the event of a hacking attack or a security breach.

“This is why smartphones have an edge over laptops and desktops for cryptocurrency wallets: without the benefits of the hardware-based TEE, the keys are more vulnerable. There is a significant caveat: a naïve wallet developer might choose to simply store the keys on the normal internal storage of the phone, in which case there’s little additional protection from using the smartphone platform,” Joel Snyder, a senior IT consultant at Samsung Insights, explained.

Exodus 1 of HTC leverages this ecosystem along with several other security features in a mobile phone to create a secure environment for cryptocurrency users.

In regards to the decision of the company to sell the device exclusively in crypto with price pegged to BTC and ETH, Phil Chen, head of HTC’s blockchain initiative, told Hong Kong-based mainstream publication SCMP said that the company only intends to sell the device to the core audience that is the global blockchain community.

“Selling it in crypto only and being the first to do so means we are bringing this directly to the core audience and those who will want this device – the blockchain community. It reflects our belief in cryptocurrencies – in fact we had to recreate and overcome many processes internally, as well as find new distributors, so that we can achieve the goal of only accepting cryptocurrencies as the form of payment.”

Price Change

In the months to come, if the price of BTC and ETH rise or decline by a large margin, HTC is expected to adjust the price of its mobile phone to maintain a realistic price tag which its consumer base can afford.


Source
Author: Joseph Young 
Image Credit: Images from HTC Exodus