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Samsung fights dirty with misleading claims against HTC – who may have replied in kind

Jon Gold | April 19, 2013
A scandal in Taiwan as Samsung fesses up to paying for negative reviews of HTC products, plus U.S. carriers changing their tune and a sudden return to hype for forthcoming Motorola devices

As to the rumor itself -- given the success of the plastic Galaxy S3 and upcoming Galaxy S4, it seems strange to think that Samsung would switch gears in such a dramatic way just because a few geeky reviewers oohed and ahhed over the HTC One. But then, I wouldn't have though they'd try to pay people for phony reviews either, so who knows?

Speaking of stuff nobody seems to know -- what to make of Motorola's future releases? First, we kept hearing about the Moto X phone that was going to launch at Google I/O, then Google CFO Patrick Pichette damped down expectations, and now Eric Schmidt is telling everyone that Google's new hardware arm is gearing up to release "phenomenal" new products.

Schmidt, at an All Things D event, described "phones-plus" on their way from Motorola.

Yes, Eric, but plus what? Drinking straws? Jet engines? Guess we'll have to wait and see. I'm not looking for a huge mobile hardware announcement at I/O, but I'm getting to the point where it wouldn't be a complete surprise, either.

The standard pattern of pay money, get stuck into two-year contract, rinse and repeat has been a fact of life since smartphones hit the market -- but that's (slowly) changing.

The biggest news, of course, was T-Mobile's announcement of drastically restructured plans and fees -- no more contract lock-in, unlimited talk/text/Web and installment payments for new phones -- announced late last month. Verizon, however, said this week that it would adopt a limited version of the installment plan for device upgrades -- you'll have to pay full retail price, but you can spread the cost out over a period of months.

Oh, and Big Red also pushed back upgrade eligibility to 24 months, up from 20 months previously. Less cool.

 

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