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Motorola Announces a New Stock Android Device…it’s Not Headed to Verizon

Sprint just got done announcing a pair of upper echelon Motorola phones in NYC:  the Photon 4G and the Triumph.  Both phones are pretty impressive spec-wise, and while one of them does look like a giant angled-corner coaster, we’re here to talk about something else that grabbed our attention.  Anyone else notice that the Triumph (that’s actually headed to Virgin) is running stock Android?  Who would have thought that we’d ever see something this clean from Moto ever again?

We all know how big a fan Moto CEO Sanjay Jha is of his MotoBlur, so why is it that smaller carriers like Virgin are worthy of a stock experience, but not the big dogs like Verizon, Sprint, etc.?  Sure, it might be Froyo and not Gingerbread, single core processor instead of dual-core, but wouldn’t most of us take stock 2.2 over skinned 2.3 any day?  This guy sure would.  

So what’s the deal?  Are carriers asking for skins so they can differentiate between the devices to customers?  Could be, but when was the last time you walked into a store and a VZW rep said, “Well you could have TouchWiz, Blur or Sense…”?  I seriously couldn’t name one.

One of our readers went as far as to call this a “slap in the face” to long time Motorola supporters.  And seriously, I tend to agree with that.  How long have we all been asking for a stock experience from these guys (both Moto and Big Red)?  The only one we’ve seen to this day was the same phone that brought their entire company back from the dead – the original Motorola DROID.  Now, I’m no marketing or sales guru, but don’t you usually try to reproduce products that have had enormous amounts of success in the past?  “If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it” sort of thing?

Oh, and to add to the pain, here is a quick comparison I tossed together of the new DROID Bionic (more leaked pics) next to the Triumph since they look ridiculously similar.  Almost the exact same form factor (smaller screen on the Triumph though), only there is no chance in hell that the one on the left comes skinless.  So sad.  Can you imagine what new Moto hardware would do these days with an untouched OS?  Think back to all of the amazing tweaks, overclocks, and ROMs we put the OG through…

And I know this is all just me preaching to the choir, but I wanted to get all of your thoughts on it as you all tend to have much more entertaining responses than anyone else in this Android community.  So, any thoughts on a stock Moto device that will never see a major carrier?

  • Nick

    Does anybody know how I can file a complaint with Motorola? I want them to know their customers are extremely disappointed. My upgrade period from my original Motorola Droid starts July 6th and I really have no reason to upgrade right now. The phone works fine and it runs CyanogenMod 7. As a matter of fact, I get better performance out of my OG Droid with Cyanogen than any of the current offerings at Verizon. I was thinking about droid x2 or waiting for droid 3 but after this news about the triumph, I think I’m done with Motorola. 

    I’m just going to wait and see which Verizon phones become supported by CyanogenMod. 

    I would like to point Motorola this way:
    http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/05/cyanogenmod-android-hack/all/1
    and please read the comments here:
    http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/09/motoblur-name-phased-out-due-to-public-feedback/

  • Anonymous

    1 Ghz processor, 4.1 inch screen with WVGA resolution, two cameras, 512mb RAM, if this phone had been here a year ago August I wouldn’t have left for Verizon.

  • BillyBOB

    Stock Android or GTFO! Verizon…..SHAME ON YOU! It’s time to set sails and see what other carriers can offer. FU BIG RED! 10 years of a loyal customer and it has to end like this.

  • I agree, this really does feel like a slap in the face. Why are the devotes, power-users, who pay a ton for monthly fees (via their 2 year, locked in contracts) get stuck with MotoBlur, when prepaid users get stock Android. Please don’t tell me that Moto really thinks that MotoBlur is offering the more faithful users a “premium” UI/skin. 
    – Sherwinator
    http://www.androidvideoreview.net

  • hell, I might just switch to Virgin.

  • This slap stings moto…..

  • d

    this might be the best looking android phone Moto has ever released. and of course, it’s not on verizon.

  • Anonymous

    The Triumph plan is also $25 a month including taxes, for unlimited data, texts and 300 min talk…. fml

  • Zeadaplaya

    hey hey hey dont let it get to you, patience young comrade, im on tmobile but still i mean come on comrade over 80% of the world right now cant even afford any of these android smartphones, so maybe you should be a little more thankful comrade.

  • This made my day, I recently switched from VZW to VM and have the Optimus V. It’s an OK Android device,but the monthly plans are what sold me. After reading this,VZW can Kiss my ass goodbye for good.For all the haters who say  “Get a real carrier”, I take my extra 75 bucks a month straight to the bank with a grin, and will pick up the Triumph on day one, with no contract and no VZW douche bags involved. Duces.

    • mocho

      i’m just waiting for the triumph to drop this summer and it will goodbye to big red. i’m sick of contracts and overpaying every month

  • I’m happy with my Nexus S 4G.  I don’t have to jump through hoops at the mercy of a carrier or manufacturer to get what I wanted all along.

  • I’m happy with my Nexus S 4G.  I don’t have to jump through hoops at the mercy of a carrier or manufacturer to get what I wanted all along.

  • Droid_Life

    Here’s a thought Motorola. Differentiate yourself from the competition by allowing users to customize the experience based on a pure g-vanilla OS which are truly less buggy and have a minimalist attraction, your over-visualized blur is giving us a headache.

  • Draggerlane

    . Os this is only my opinion and not based on facts but I think that the carriers have everything to do with the way phone are made and what is put on them. Motor has blur urchin has Denver etc. When they put in a order for a certain type of phone say the bionic is going to be stock or with blur well as verizons track record its going to have blur. And as for the bootloader as I can see those are going to other carriers and the carriers probably ordered them that way and as for verizon phones from them wil still be locked in my opinion but like I said this isn’t based off fact just an opinion and I am hoping I’m wrong on this one

  • jnt

    Virgin did this with the Optimus V as well – it’s the only one out of the Optimus One lineup that came “vanilla”.

  • As I said in my tweet, this is a slap in the face. Someone did make a good point earlier in the comments, though. Motorola is the supplier (as is Google), and Verizon (and other carriers) is/are the customer. Maybe Motorola has less control over this than we think. Still, even IF (a BIG if) that is the case, why couldn’t Sanjay arrange a meeting with Verizon and say “Look, we like to put Motoblur on our phones because we like to please you, our customer. But the end-user (people like you and me, a.k.a. the REAL customer who benefits/loses in the end) isn’t buying our phones because of the skin that you (Verizon) requested we put on our phones. We want to start selling phones on (insert carrier name here) because we honestly believe it’ll sell much better.”

    All they have to do to prove their point is show sales figures (easy to do!) from the OG Droid (even in its last 6 months of sale, as it put out good numbers until it was finally phased out) and compare that to the sales of many of its current high-end phones on Verizon now. There is a huge difference.

    I still see tons of OG Droids in people’s hands/pockets these days, but I rarely see phones like the DX (although it was a good seller initially), D2Global, D2, etc. I just don’t see those phones, even all of them combined, like I saw and still see OG Droids (and more recently Thunderbolts). I think I also saw more Incredibles than DX’s.

    That says something. The hottest selling Android phone on Verizon today is the Thunderbolt, despite its TERRIBLE battery, heaviness, and questionable build quality (for me anyway – I’ve had tons of issues with volume buttons, headphone jack, the power button, etc.) The Thunderbolt was locked but not the way Motorola phones are, and that means something.

    For every 1 super phone nerd (you and me), we each have a handful (if not more) of family/friends to whom we recommend devices. My dad, both brothers, mom, countless Facebook friends/acquaintances, and many co-workers have all come to me asking what phone should they get on Verizon. And of all of them who have asked me recently, I told them “The Thunderbolt” – and I DID warn them about the battery life. But it’s a GOOD phone that’s useable, and you can do what you want with it (many of my friends have rooted their Thunderbolts with the correct instructions provided by me – and I’ve rooted a few for my friends). NONE of this is possible on a Motorola phone. I haven’t recommended a Moto phone since over a year ago when I had my OG Droid. And every person I’ve recommended the Thunderbolt to (with one exception, who is a person who is waiting on a dual-core phone) have picked up the Thunderbolt per my recommendation.

    It’s hard to argue with the power of community and word-of-mouth.

  • Anonymous

    Not entirely pure:

    “The Triumph is also the first device to come preloaded with the carrier’s new Virgin Mobile Live 2.0 app, a social networking music application” Source: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19736_7-20070188-251.html#ixzz1Oo1XJBpM

    • It is just a Music app.  They put the same thing on the LG Optimus V, except it is an older version.  It is not skin over the stock launcher like Motoblur.

  • Bob

    Wow verizon is pissing me off.  Guess I’ll be rocking my OG for a while longer

  • EC8CH

    I really hope VZW has something big in the works for a late summer release, because there are a lot of OGD users whos contracts will be coming up and right now their lineup looks like $h!t compared to the competition.

  • B

    How well is the Nexus S selling for Sprint?

    My guess is that average user is attracted to the skins and the geeks will root their phones so their main concern is hardware.

  • EC8CH

    Frankly I could give a sh!t less what Moto does on VZW at this point…

    I just want that Samsung Galaxy S II on VZW story from yesterday to do another 180.

    • Inkster09

      Your not gonna like it on vzw I’m telling you.

      • EC8CH

        Y not?

      • Anonymous

        Bing……

        • EC8CH

          Frankly so long as it can be unlocked I don’t care what crap comes preinstalled.  GS II will have huge mod support.

  • Anonymous

    I’m with you on that. If VZW/Moto don’t get their act together, and soon, I’ll be moving my 5-line family plan to Sprint, and saving some beer money (at the least) in the process.

  • I’m less frustrated by Blur and more frustrated there hasn’t been a worthy replacement for my OG.  Now that I’m off contract, I’m anxious for dual-core 4G.  Now that I see myself write this, I wonder why I’m paying $30-40/mo more for Verizon’s network that I use 10% of.  Maybe it’s time for a change.

  • Davros

    DL just tweeted that moto said the Photon will be unlocked. Sooo, how does Sprint really compare to Verizon?

  • Did I just see that the Photon will have an UNLOCKED BOOTLOADER???

  • This is a cheap phone that won’t likely sell too much and prob will never see an official update, why dump money into to develop and get blur working on it? Its prob a D2 at heart with a different shell and no keyboard that they threw together in a month or so.

    • why would you say that?  The LG Optimus V on Virgin has been selling like crazy.  It was constantly sold out when they first released that phone.

      Plenty of people want smartphones but do not want the long term robbery of long term cell phone contracts.  The Optimus V is a lower end phone, but it is still a serviceable Android phone that performs all of the essential smartphone features.

      It may not play all of the greatest games, but that is where your Xbox/PS3/PC comes in.  There is no way any smartphone game can compare to a game on any of those 3 platforms.

  • I’m less frustrated by Blur and more frustrated there hasn’t been a worthy replacement for my OG.  I’m off contract now and I’m anxious for dual-core 4G.  Sprint scares me a bit, but with plans $20-40 less than VZ, might be time to try something else.

    • Inkster09

      I’m telling u as a person that went from vzw to sprint I really haven’t noticed a difference. Except when I’m in a basement I still get signal with vzw lol

      • Inkster09

        But with wifi everywhere and the 4g IRS a moot point

  • Anonymous

    FTA: “Are carriers asking for skins so they can differentiate between the
    devices to customers?  Could be, but when was the last time you walked
    into a store and a VZW rep said, “Well you could have TouchWiz, Blur or
    Sense…”?  I seriously couldn’t name one.”

    That’s because the majority of VZW reps have the IQs of corn flakes (that’s being generous) wouldn’t know what a skin was, much less recognize it by name. My god, when the Xoom was released most reps I encountered had no clue that Flash wasn’t available on it yet, and the SD slot wasn’t enabled.

    • Anonymous

      haha i walked into a verizon store in March as a rep was showing some lady how to put the SD card in. not only did he miss the SD slot and toss it down the SIM slot, but he argued with me for 5 minutes that the SD slow was enabled… until I went on the xoom he was showing her and brought up the specs that proved he was closer to a rice krispy than a corn flake intellectually

  • Triumphtly Slapped

    @Moto AND @VZW,
    Dear Motorola Mobility and Verizon Wireless,
    I am writing this both to you because you refuse to listen to your customers. Ever since the OG Motorola Droid that gave you both so much success and new life, your customers have been craving and dying for another device JUST like the DROID. This means a STOCK Android device, with nothing less than a 4.3 “QHD screen, OMAP4, 1GB RAM, lots of internal memory, great battery life, front & rear facing cameras, a loud speaker just like on the OG Droid, LTE, STOCK Android 2.3.4, AND an UNLOCKED BOOTLOADER.
    Its not hard to read or understand, so please get on your jobs that we gave you and keep you in. If you want to continue to carry on with your all of your corporate bullshit, I….along with my entire family and everyone else I know will take our money elsewhere to a company and hardware manufacturer that listens to the people. We are NOT interested or fooled by your “DROID” branded marketing/commercials.
    Maybe you two could listen if you weren’t up each other’s butts and concentrating on trying to make money off of your bloatware like the Blockbuster app and others.
    You look like amateurs in a business sense.
    You should should be embarrassed, then again, you use to sell nothing but crappy devices before the Droid1 days, so why stop right?
    Bye bye.
    – A seriously long time customer who speaks for the majority of the public you consider cattle-

    • this is why after my current contract ends, my family will not be renewing with Verizon and after 20+ years my family will not be getting Motorola phones in place will be HTC. 

      • Uh Yeah

        Sure man.

    • Open Un8

      For anyone interested, there is past precedent for telecoms trying to control what you can “attach” to their network and consolidate their monoply:

      http://goo.gl/LXkCR#http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hush-A-Phone_v._United_States

      As a mobile network, they feel these rules don’t apply anymore. Here is a summary of the more recent issues related to smart phones:

      http://goo.gl/AVu5K#http://www.cybertelecom.org/ci/cpe.htm

    • Inkster09

      I keep telling u guys over and over and over again Verizon will not EVER have vanilla android. Just feature phones running fake android. When will you vzw cult members wake up?

      • Inkster09

        WAAAAKE UUUUUP u vzw fanboy android wanting wannabes.

        • Inkster09

          Its not just Sanjay ja its ALL. Android phones on vzw!

          • Inkster09

            Look how beautiful that Motorola looks with vanilla android.

  • ChrisI

    If it’s a big enough deal to you all that Moto won’t give s stock device on VZ, ATT, or Sprint, then do not buy their products. Sites like DroidLife need to start a rebellion against companies that don’t listen to consumer demands, especially the developer’s world. You guys are the nuts and bolts of Android success; let your voices be heard by not purchasing from companies that don’t give you what you want.

    And just to get you more riled up: http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/rumor-mill-htc-pays-microsoft-5-every-android-phone-it-sells/2011-05-27

    • Inkster09

      Yes yes yes

  • Jasper

    Ive been using my OG Droid since the first day it came out, not one issue. Not one! and I have not seen a phone out yet that has made me want to upgrade. I probably will buy the Bionic just BC I want a 4G phone, but I am not excited about being forced into MotoBlur. Not excited at all.

    • Fd2blk78

      I jumped to the thunderbolt, but other than the 4g, would rather still be rocking my Droid, with GPA stock gingerbread at 1ghz. Never had the first problem with it.

    • Inkster09

      Why the bionic when nexus 3 will come earlier. I’m will to bet on it

  • caseyisajim

    Anyone want to buy my Intercept?  lol.

  • stanlet

    When some company starts offering dumb pipes, wide and fast wireless data coverage, and a lack of restrictions on devices I can use to connect, I will gladly ditch Verizon and hack up my own computing/connectivity solutions.  Not incidentally, I would also be willing to pay much more for this freedom than I currently pay and Motorola for a data plan, voice plan, and subsidized OG Droid.

    I’m willing to pay so much because I’m sick of having my hand held through all the different profit centers a bevvy of partnered companies wants to touch rather than paying a fee for a transparent service I can use as I see fit.  IMO, VZ and Moto are sealing their own fates in the long run.  I won’t trust them in a competitive environment even if they changed up!  Losers.

  • sob157

    they both eerily look similar to the d1.. time to clean house in the design department… Its like theyre doing sequel after sequel

  • Davros

    Maybe Sanjay isn’t the bad guy after all. Maybe he likes unlocked bootloaders and is trying to take away Verizon’s bargaining power by getting more users spread out over more carriers so Big Red can’t tell him what to do. OOhhh, I almost kept a straight face on that one 😀

    • Inkster09

      Lol

  • ApplesNAndroids

    Triumph looks more like the OG Droid than anything really. (minus keyboard)

    • No keyboard is a good thing.  The OG Droid keyboard is useless; a vestigial appendage.

      • Inkster09

        Wrooooooong

        • Inkster09

          Unless of course ur talking about nexus 3 lol

      • Hoosiercub

        To you maybe.. I wont get another device until I have a full QWERTY that is up to par with today’s standards and vanilla 2.3.4+

  • There is no Mobile Device God 🙁

  • Amenemhat1

    Looks kool. Too bad its not on VZW…

  • Serpico

    The Photon looks like is should have been a DROID branded phone. Perfect DROID’esk specs AND design in my opinion.

    • Anonymous

      because the Photon IS the original BIONIC / Etna…..

  • TRAViESO

    Moto CEO Sanjay Jha is trying to make his MotoBlur seem special by not having it installed on a cheap phone.
    LOL

    • Anonymous

      No don’t LOL. You’re probably correct. Jha seems to be overflowing w/hubris lately.

      • Anonymous

        Agreed. And if that’s true, then that makes me a Sad Panda.

        Like MotoBlur is only for Elite Devices. Making it seem like we want it. =(

  • NikonD300

    There is something we can do about this. Don’t buy Verizon or Motorola products and let them know why. Get rid of the bloatware and give us stock Android.

    • John

      true but it’ll never happen that way. EVER.

  • I feel the same way, Kellex. 

    OG was a huge hit and it was also an experience device which means it had to be vanilla. I feel that if my X could be unlocked and running CM7 that it would absolutely smoke some of these new phones out of the box. I mean, just using a few of the ‘roms’ that have been put together and it’s clear that Blur is killing the phone’s peroformance (at least in Froyo, GB is a different story, at least in my case). I thought Android was supposed to be about choice? I guess the choice remains with the carriers and manufacturers as to how we get the phones, rather than giving us the choice to make the devices what we want of them – some like stock ‘Andy, others just don’t care (which is sadly the vast majority). Kinda feel like I’m stuck with a device that only does what Moto and VZW want me to do with it and not much else…

  • Anonymous

    The triumph will be the reason I dump my thunderbolt.

  • Anonymous

    I would imagine the dev and support cost for Blur on that device plus lack of bloat revenue must eat into the profit margin so much the ROI just made it not worth it.  Now the question is how to get those variables to line up the same way for Verizon…

  • Everybody’s assuming that Motorola has control over this. They are a product supplier just like Google. Verizon is the customer. They are the ones requesting skins to distinguish the phones from each other. They are the ones that are locking down the bootloaders, etc.

    Don’t blame Motorola entirely on this one.

    • civildroid

      Even though I agree with you a little bit…its called MOTOblur. Not Verizonblur

      • Inkster09

        You my friend just don’t get it. Just say nothing please

    • Anonymous

      If that were true why can HTC make the official statement that they will NO LONGER lock bootloaders? 

      HTC has many phones sold by Verizon, which would lead you to believe that it’s not only Verizon.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s see… pay full price for a phone that will almost certainly never see Gingerbread (and we do not know whether or not it is locked, so we don’t know if the devs can save us from that fate), on a lousy Pre-Paid service that runs on the back of the lousy Sprint Network?

    No, I can honestly say that stock alone in this scenario is not enough to entice me.

    • Anonymous

      What you’re forgetting here is that its “full price” but it’s usually incredibly low.  I got the LG Optimus V when it’s full price was $149.  Go to Sprint and get the LG Optimus S (same phone, different shell and its skinned) and its $99.00… and a 2 year service agreement. 

      • Anonymous

        True… except they pulled features like the wi-fi hot spot feature out of the V when compared to the S.  And I don’t know… does FLASH run on the V?  I know it does on the S, and doesn’t on the M (MetroPCS).

        • Anonymous

          Flash won’t run natively on the V, but it was my understanding that it was Adobe’s processor requirement that was responsible for that.  Does it really run on the S?  They may’ve made an exception like they did with the OG Droid… But that’s really not hard to get around these days. 

          All I had to do to get the hotspot going was download Quick Settings from the Market on the V, though I highly doubt it’ll be that easy on the Triumph. 

          • Anonymous

            I guess if you can live the with the Sprint network, that is OK, but at the end of the day that (alone) is a dealbreaker for me.  Add on top of that the other drawbacks I mentioned (possible locked bootloader, potentially no updates, etc), it still is a non-starter for me… stock interface or not.

          • Anonymous

            I can see where you’re coming from, if Sprint’s coverage sucks for you.  Where I live it’s as good and as fast as Verizon (Western NC), so for me it’s a choice between $25 a month for a decent smartphone or $80+ a month for a high end smartphone. 

  • George Chahinian

    this is ridiculous. i feel like if moto released a stock gingerbread device on verizon’s network, both their stocks would shoot up like crazy. that’s all we’ve been wanting and asking for since the DX and D2 came out loaded with motoblur.

    crazy thing is, considering how much hackery the DX has gone through WITH the locked bootloader and motoblur in all but every aspect of the device, it’s still snappy as hell and still runs almost flawless for me just about every time i use it. now if it came with stock froyo on it instead of motosh*t and all the crappy bloatware, it would be a complete different ball game performance wise, and a LOT more people would have bought and NOT returned it.

    …just my 2 cents

  • Anonymous

    I miss my og….

    • yeah dude mines chugging along like a champ

      • Anonymous

        Mine started having processor issues… 8(

  • Now all virgins can rejoice about something they have and we don’t

    • Anonymous

      Virginity? :]

  • Ace87

    Stock is nice, but I would much rather be able to uninstall bloat wear. If they want to put it on fine, just give me the option to uninstall.

  • Brent Friedeman

    That’s is all I’m waiting for to upgrade.  A stock android phone.  That’s all I want……..and no, not the Sony phone.

  • I really don’t think the comparisons look that much alike :S

  • Dan

    Who cares?

    Just give us an unlocked bootloader and get cyanogenmod to run on it, what’s the OEM software matter then?

    • Exactly. I could care less about Blur and bloatware if there’s an unlocked bootloader to remove it.

    • Djstar2k2

      i feel u but not every one has the time or patients to wait or do that so why not give the ppl what they want. and the atrix or that photon will be unlocked

  • Anonymous

    Yet another reason I’m glad I’m on Virgin Mobile. 

    • Anonymous

      Also, does anyone know what Jha was smoking when he deicded to give this thing a front facing cam but not the X2?

  • Kierra

    Hardly anyone is giving out stock these days, I dont know why it seems like less work for the hardware companies. Why just point out Moto?? I like the new blur btw.

  • Yes…I would like some stock Gingerbread, hold the bloatware, with a side of 4G and dual core for dessert!

    What, too much to ask for? 

    • Romma1

      Yes… Next!

  • Kierra

    Frankly sir , I dont give a damn. Just give me my updates Moto as a informed consumer but not a techie I sincerely dont care. Oh I kinda dig the new Blur 🙂

  • Romma1

    Sweet for Virgin…

  • Sean27030

    great now just to let my contract run out and virgin I go…. 🙂

    • If you were an Islamic extremist, and martyred yourself, you could have 72 virgins!   Just sayin….

      I’ll be here wall week….tip the veal & try your waitress….

  • Kevlew70

    Verizon has too much at stake. They load the bloatware and the skins and lock the bootloader so you will be forced to use their crappy services. It just a monetary decision cant blame them for making it. But it really sucks for the consumer who wants this “open” environment Android is supposed to have.

  • Mr. Joe

    It’s not uncommon to see stock devices on carriers like Virgin.  In fact one of those kind of carriers has a Samsung Galaxy S device that runs stock as well.

  • kretz

    why can’t moto give vzw a stock android phone?! 🙁

  • Romma1

    Nice!

    • I think the biggest slap in the face was Motorola announcing their “Photon 4G” on Sprint today. Seriously!? It’s specs are everything I’ve ever wanted in the Bionic (except for unlockable bootloader, still not happening yet), and it has an intuitive kickstand (screen turns horizontally when opened).

      I’ll take 4.3″ with kickstand over 4.5″ no kickstand any day.

      • Anonymous

        Except of course the fact that it doesn’t have an LTE radio in it.  

        • Well, you know what I mean.

          • Anonymous

            yes, I do… but others forget that it seems that Motorola is having one heck of a time with LTE, whereas they don’t seem to be having issues putting out WiMax,  HSPA+ and even EVDO devices.