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CTIA 2012 kicks off soon: here's what to expect

CTIA 2012 kicks off soon: here's what to expect
CTIA 2012 is one of the biggest shows focusing on wireless technology for the year, and while we’ve already seen CES and MWC, this one here differs by putting a strong accent on the US market. First, the dates - the show of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association will be held in New Orleans from May 8th to 10th, with pre-show events scheduled for May 7th. This is a departure from the earlier tradition of holding CTIA in mid to late April, and gives more time for manufacturers to get devices ready. 

With the big shows like CES in January and MWC in February, CTIA would usually come too soon in April getting only the leftover announcements. Some products would make an entry at CTIA, but it would generally lack much of the fuss. Hopes were that moving to May would fix that, but Samsung might have spoiled that attempt. The Korean company scheduled its own Galaxy S III event for May 3rd in London, a gathering that will steal much of the spotlight.

In previous years, Sprint has traditionally been one of the best represented carriers - it used the show to unveil the original HTC EVO 4G, the first 4G US phone, in 2010, and in 2011 it brought the HTC EVO 3D. But this year, the carrier has already announced the HTC EVO 4G LTE, robbing the show of one potential launch.

And while we expect a couple of handsets to make their official entry at this show as well, in 2012 the focus might move from phones and specs to spectrum.

Spectrum: more is more

Carriers CEOs will gather for a roundtable discussion hosted by Jim Cramer.

Carriers CEOs will gather for a roundtable discussion hosted by Jim Cramer.

With CEOs from all four major carriers - Verizon’s Dan Mead, AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega, Sprint’s Dan Hesse and T-Mobile’s Phil Humm - in a round-table discussion with CNBC’s Jim Cramer feeling might escalate when it comes to the limited resource that is spectrum. Carriers have been struggling to lobby more airwaves for LTE and mobile data with the government, and CTIA seems to be the place where they’ll try to make their voices heard.

"You're going to be hearing more from carriers about the things they can do with more spectrum," CTIA CEO Steve Largent said. "We are falling behind because other countries are rolling out new spectrum for their wireless carriers and we don't want to fall behind."

The biggest news might come from T-Mobile, though, if the company reveals the first details around its upcoming 4G LTE network. We’ve seen T-Mo waltz around Sprint earlier, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the two carriers announce a joint effort for an LTE network. Sprint is in dare need of financials after spending billions on iPhone subisidies and its Network Vision program needs to move fast if it wants to catch up with Verizon and AT&T.

Some controversies over undergoing deals might also get attention. T-Mobile has already spelled its concerns over Verizon’s attempt to acquire AWS bands from major cable companies, but T-Mobile itself is shopping for additional frequencies from AT&T.

Devices: will we get surprised?

Verizon's Droid Incredible 4G LTE might arrive at CTIA 2012.

Verizon's Droid Incredible 4G LTE might arrive at CTIA 2012.

Let’s start with the good news - Verizon might be filling in its Droid army with a brand new Droid Incredible 4G LTE. The carrier put out a webpage about the device online, only to pull it shortly after. That was enough for the Internet to notice and here’s what you can expect of the Incredible 4G LTE:

- a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM,
- a 4-inch qHD Super LCD screen, 
- an 8MP camera, 
- Ice Cream Sandwich and HTC Sense 4.0,
- 8GB of storage.

Nokia might be catastrophically losing market share across the globe, but it did manage to warm up and rejuvenate its relationship with US carriers. First, the Lumia 710 on T-Mobile, and then the Lumia 900 on AT&T are both good examples of what the Finns to stateside. 

We can only theorize whether Nokia would bring any new devices to CTIA this year, but thinking about the match between the strong US focus of the show and the company’s ambitions for the US market, that seems like a possibility.

There were a couple of disappointments with CTIA 2012, though. One of the companies that we admire most for its designs, will skip this year's show. "Sony Mobile Communications will not be attending CTIA this year," Sony's PR rep, Chelsea Alexander, announced earlier. Well, hopefully we’ll see Sony back at CTIA next year.

Finally, despite stealing much of CTIA’s flair with its own Galaxy S III-centric event, Samsung has the potential to release phones faster than most if not all phone makers. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Samsung-branded devices make their entrance on US carriers at the show, but our guess is that those won’t be high-end devices. Some mid-range warriors would still be welcome, bringing more variety to the phone industry and variety is something we always appreciate.

We’ll be live at CTIA 2012!

Overall, that’s what we expect to see at CTIA 2012. The best part is that the show might (and hopefully will) surprise us, and we’ll be ready to bring you those surprises straight from the showroom floor. Former president Bill Clinton has a keynote about technology also, so that's something to look forward to as well. And yes, we’ll be at the show covering the news as it happens, but while we’re getting ready for a busy next week in New Orleans, let us know what you wish and expect to see at this year’s CTIA in the comments below.

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posted on 30 Apr 2012, 05:34 2

1. bloodline (Posts: 706; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)

I am confused. Why does the droid incredible have HTC Sense.

it looks like a motorla phone, what is going on here, have i gone full retard?

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 06:05 6

4. FAUguy (Posts: 78; Member since: 09 Apr 2008)

The DROID Incredible 4G LTE is made by HTC and has an updated version of HTC Sense.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 06:11 3

5. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)

Sense 4.0 to be exact. Still want to know whether that dual core is the krait or not. Because if not most people will go with the HTC Rezound because its cheaper and has a better screen.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 12:18 1

8. crankyd00d (Posts: 191; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

From a business stand point it can only be an S4, otherwise it would have no reason to exist since they already have the Rezound

posted on 07 May 2012, 21:23

24. remixfa (Posts: 14605; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

you would think that, but HTC did also release the Sensation and then the Amaze on Tmobile only a few months appart with nearly the same specs + beats audio and a minor upclock on the processor.

It should be an S4, but with HTC you never know.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 05:38

2. cGmC11 (Posts: 152; Member since: 02 Apr 2012)

All variant of the Galaxy SIII for the US market will be release on Sunday 6 May & a reworked Galaxy Note 10.1 with 2.0ghz Exynos & 2560x1600 screen. :-/

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 05:41 1

3. cGmC11 (Posts: 152; Member since: 02 Apr 2012)

...and the Motorola RAZR HD with Intel prosessor!

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 07:44

6. rockstarlive (Posts: 307; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

Finally gonna see what Verizon has up its sleeve. A rumored Casio cammando 2. A rumored htc one variant.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 11:24

7. MobileCaseReview (Posts: 242; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

I'm so excited to be taking my first trip to CTIA.

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 16:35

9. Leon101 (Posts: 90; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)

I wanna know if its true that Tmobile will get the Note which i hope so!!!

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 16:50

10. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

Verizon looks like it's gonna have a bad year. Hopefully the Incredible 4G will be as thin as the One S, or that might be a turn-off for some customers.

posted on 07 May 2012, 13:43

11. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)

I'm sorry Berz, looking at those specs now, I still don't see the Incredible 4G LTE is a version of the One S. They robbed too much from it.

I might remembered wrong on this too, cause it's been a long time. I remember the FCC leak for this phone to happen during or before the One series...

posted on 07 May 2012, 14:20

12. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

Yeah, you're right. It could be considered their version of it, but it really isn't. Under-clocked processor, different design, smaller screen and different screen technology, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't have the ImageSense chip the other members of the One series have. Pity, Verizon really needs something special, they've been offering pretty mediocre phones lately (aside from the Razr)

posted on 07 May 2012, 16:05

14. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)

I haven't seen the specs for the Razr yet, how's the specs on that?

posted on 07 May 2012, 17:12

16. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

Really haven't seen them? 1.2 GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor, 1 GB of RAM, runs 2.3.5 Gingerbread (soon to be updated to ICS) with a 1780 mAh battery, all packed in a 7.1 mm frame, third thinnest phone in the world I believe. Then there's the Razr MAXX, it's essentially the same thing, just with an incredible 3,300 mAh battery and a thicker profile (8.9 mm)

posted on 07 May 2012, 17:20

17. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)

Just saw the vs article between the Verizon devices, it seems that MAXX has better specs?

posted on 07 May 2012, 18:41

19. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

Which comparison? The one with the Incredible 4G LTE in it?

posted on 07 May 2012, 18:52

20. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)

Yeah, it's under featured stories. S4 probably is better than what MAXX runs, but overall, I think MAXX is still better. Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not too educated on mobile hardware tech.

posted on 07 May 2012, 19:19 1

21. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

It's kind of a trade-off. S4 is the fastest dual core processor out right now, it goes head to head with the quad cores. But some people say the Super Amoled screen the Razr has is better than the Super LCD the Incredible LTE has. Super Amoled has more vibrant colors, while the S-LCD usually has more realistic colors and better viewing angles. They both have the same resolution, but since the Incredible LTE has a smaller screen (4 inches to the Razr's 4.3) it has a higher pixel density which means sharper text and pictures. And supposedly the Incredible LTE has a better camera than the Razr. So, what do you want? A faster processor, better camera, and better viewing angles, and sharper text, OR; a huge battery, larger screen that's easier to type on, and more vibrant colors. Take note that they also run different interfaces. The Razr has Motorola's user interface, and the Incredible LTE has HTC's Sense UI. It all depends on what you want/need

posted on 07 May 2012, 15:08

13. rockstarlive (Posts: 307; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

It seems like there is a lot of mystery for this event. Heard tonight t-Mobile has some big announcement about LTE.. Sprint has something about their rollout of LTE .

The only phone I am interested is the Intel phone.

posted on 07 May 2012, 16:22

15. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5713; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

well we've got our Droid Incredible 4G LTE confirmation now i want to learn more about the Droid Razr MAXX HD. o:

posted on 07 May 2012, 18:34

18. redrooster13 (Posts: 110; Member since: 20 Feb 2012)

Is Motorola going to be there? Maybe an Atrix 3?

posted on 07 May 2012, 19:20 1

22. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

That would prove interesting

posted on 07 May 2012, 20:23 1

23. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5713; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

there's an Atrix 3 floating about out there. it's similar to what the Droid Razr MAXX HD is supposed to be.

posted on 08 May 2012, 00:14

25. redrooster13 (Posts: 110; Member since: 20 Feb 2012)

I just hope that it has an unlocked bootloader, but that probably isn't going to happen. :-(

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