NEW YORK (AP) — Sprint is introducing a new wireless plan that guarantees new and existing subscribers unlimited voice, text and data plans, in a move to differentiate its service from rivals AT&T and Verizon.
Sprint Nextel Corp. said Thursday that the plan, called the "Sprint Unlimited Guarantee," offers unlimited data for $30 a month on smartphones and $10 per month on traditional phones. Voice and text cost $50 for the first line and less for additional phone lines.
Sprint, the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, is now under the control of Japanese investment firm SoftBank. Softbank owns a 78 percent stake in Sprint after a $21.6 billion deal closed on Wednesday.
Both AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless have ditched unlimited data offerings to new customers. Late last year, the companies introduced shared-data plans that allow all of a family's devices to share a pool of monthly data usage.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said there has been a lot of chatter about when the company would "follow the crowd" and stop offering unlimited plans the way AT&T and Verizon have. The guarantee, he added, is a way of telling customers that "we are not going to pull the rug out from under you."
"We are distinctly different in our market position (from) AT&T and Verizon," Hesse said in an interview.
The "guarantee" in the unlimited guarantee only applies to the "unlimited" part, not the price. And while Hesse said Sprint has no plans to stop offering unlimited plans to new customers, it certainly can in the future, even if that's years from now.
Both AT&T and Verizon "grandfathered in" the unlimited data plans to existing customers before getting rid of them for new ones. But Verizon charges customers the full price of a phone if they want to upgrade to a new model and keep their unlimited plans.
The DynaTAC, also known as the "brick phone," was the first cell phone. <a href="http://www.retrobrick.com/moto8000.html" target="_blank">It was released in 1983</a>. The DynaTAC was a status symbol (made even more popular by shows like "Saved By The Bell" and the movie "Wall Street") in the 80's since it cost a whopping $3,995.
Simon, released by IBM in 1994, was arguably the first smartphone. <a href="http://www.androidauthority.com/ibm-simon-birthday-134255/" target="_blank">Simon could run third party apps</a>, keep track of a tasks list and perform a few other small capabilities that were highly impressive in 1994.
Nokia 3310 GSM
The Nokia 3310 <a href="http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_3310-192.php" target="_blank">was released in 2000</a> and featured such classic games as <a href="http://www.helpfulsheep.com/snake/" target="_blank">Snake II</a>. The 3310 is considered to be one of the <a href="http://press.nokia.com/2005/09/21/nokia-introduces-nokia-2652-fold-design-for-new-growth-markets-major-milestone-reached-one-billionth-nokia-mobile-phone-sold-this-summer/" target="_blank">best selling mobile phones</a> of all time, and is often <a href="http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/indestructible-nokia-3310" target="_blank">referred to as "indestructible."</a>
T-Mobile's <a href="http://reviews.cnet.com/smartphones/t-mobile-sidekick-color/4505-6452_7-21169039.html" target="_blank">Sidekick came out in 2003</a>. The Sidekick was extremely popular with teenage girls, as it was Paris Hilton's cell phone of choice. <a href="http://lifehacker.com/033639/paris-hiltons-sidekick-hacked" target="_blank">Remember when hers was hacked?</a>.
When the BlackBerry 7230 <a href="http://reviews.cnet.com/smartphones/rim-blackberry-7230-t/4505-6452_7-30469709.html" target="_blank">came out in 2003</a>, it was the epitome of cool business tech. The early Blackberry was the start of the "crackberry" becoming a symbol of the business world.
Just the thought of the Motorola Razr <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/id/7432916/page/2/" target="_blank">that came out in 2004</a> makes us so nostalgic! Who didn't have (or wish they had) a Razr back in the day? The Razr started a trend of super thin phones, and was <a href="http://www.motorola.com/blog/2012/04/24/motorolas-history-of-innovation-the-original-razr/" target="_blank">the best-selling flip phone of all time</a>.
The first iPhone, <a href="http://www.gsmarena.com/apple_iphone-1827.php" target="_blank">released in 2007</a>, changed the cell phone game forever with its touchscreen and applications.
In 2009, Samsung <a href="http://phandroid.com/2009/12/10/bell-gets-first-android-samsung-galaxy/" target="_blank">released the first Galaxy</a> on Google's Android operating system, making Galaxy one of the first touchscreen cell phones to compete with the iPhone.