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We originally heard about this story in September, but Verizon made the announcement yesterday. They have chosen Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology for their 4G network. This isn’t something to worry about immediately, but Jupiter Research estimates that 24 million people will be using that technology by 2012. Testing, though, will begin next year.
November 27th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | 4 Comments
At around 7:30 this morning, we were e-mailed a press release regarding Verizon Wireless. We see these all the time. Sometimes they’re newsworthy, sometimes they’re fluff pieces. We assure you this is not fluff. Verizon has announced that “it will provide customers the option to use, on its nationwide wireless network, wireless devices, software, and applications not offered by the company.” You mean…third party apps? We’re not sure what kind of fever the execs at Verizon have come down with, but we’re willing, for the moment, to forgive them for past sins.
November 26th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | 1 Comment
Well, hello there, Verizon. So you think the LG Voyager is so good that people will want to turn in their iPhones for your offering? Fat chance, but we appreciate the effort. Yes, the Voyager is a bit more versatile than the iPhone, and runs on a faster network. But we’re not quite sure there is anyone out there who wants to pay an early termination fee and eat at least some of the cost of the phone. Then again, they’re going for over retail price on eBay. Makes you wonder. (Remember, too, that this is an authorized Verizon retailer, so this shouldn’t reflect on the company, but rather the independent retailer.)
November 26th, 2007 | Consumer Issues, Verizon Wireless | 5 Comments
The more we read about this issue of a Verizon monopoly in Vermont, the more interested we become. Now, we’ve seen that Verizon is turning on new towers, which is good, and they are trying to divest some of their interests in the area, which is also good — in theory. From what we gather, both through news reports and Vermonter friends, it appears that Verizon isn’t exactly divesting any of its hot commodities. Instead, it’s in the process of selling their DSL service in Vermont to Fairpoint Communications. So while we like divestment in this case, it seems lopsided for them to sell off DSL, a dying technology, while they hold better Internet technology in FiOS, which, given the potential monopoly, will likely become available in Vermont within the next year or so.
November 20th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | 1 Comment
As we’ve mentioned, Verizon’s purchase of Unicel isn’t going over too well up in Vermont. Senator Bernie Sanders has been the most vocal, demanding that Verizon provide coverage throughout the state if they’re allowed to be the only carrier. So, in a seeming response, Verizon has announced that they will turn on 12 new cell towers in Bennington County by the end of the year.
November 9th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | No Comments
So we have all of our quarterly reports in, and Verizon has decided to take advantage of that with some pats on the back. For the 12th straight quarter, they’ve maintained the lowest churn rate in the industry. Their 1.3 percent rate (1.0 percent for postpaid) ranks the best among “Carrier X” (AT&T, 1.7 percent, 1.3 percent postpaid), “Carrier Y” (T-Mobile, N/A overall, 2.3 percent postpaid), and “Carrier Z” (Sprint, 2.9 percent overall, 2.0 percent postpaid). Since quarterly reports are pubic, we’re not sure why Verizon chose to make the other carriers anonymous. However, we’d like to point out an inaccuracy in the company’s reasons why it has the most loyal customers.
November 6th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | 7 Comments
Back in August, Verizon made a play to expand it’s network coverage by acquiring Ramcell, a regional service provider. Ramcell owns Unicel, which is Verizon’s main competitor in Vermont. The union would mean a virtual monopoly in the state, and as we found out last week, that’s probably not going to fly. So Vermont senator Bernie Sanders is on the task, speaking out against the deal as-is. He wants a few conditions met before approval, some of which could be deal breakers.
November 1st, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | No Comments
The NBA season got underway last night, starting another 82 games of excitement. While all the hoopla has been about where the Lakers will trade Kobe Bryant (aside: we betcha he stays in L.A.), Verizon is making a splash of its own. Partnering with ESPN Mobile TV and MediaFLO, the nation’s No. 2 wireless carrier will offer more than 70 games this season through its V CAST service. And yes, you’d be getting the entire game, real-time. You’ll be the envy of the train ride home; while everyone else uses their BlackBerry to answer e-mails, you’ll be watching Tracy McGrady slamming one home.
November 1st, 2007 | Prepaid Services, Verizon Wireless | 5 Comments
If you’ve ever checked out the user comments on our Verizon Wireless review, you might have noticed a lot of griping about the 99 cents per day access fee that goes along with their INpulse pay-as-you-go plan. Well, those gripes might get a bit louder today. Verizon has introduced two more prepaid plans to better fit a larger number of subscribers, which sounds good on the surface. The catch: There are access fees for both of these new plans, and they ain’t cheap. We’re talking $1.99 and $2.99 per day. So, tell us Verizon, what are you going to give us for a minimum of $59.70 or $89.70 per month?
October 31st, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | No Comments
We heard earlier in the week about Sprint’s locked phone settlement, which we said would set a precedent if it accomplished nothing else. Well, it appears that the precedent scared Verizon into settling a similar suit. Of course, Verizon denies any wrongdoing, saying that 1) they don’t lock phones with software, and 2) the settlement doesn’t mean that the plaintiffs’ claims have any merit. Mmhmm. It’s just another example of extreme posturing in the wireless industry.
October 31st, 2007 | Google, Verizon Wireless | 1 Comment
So remember when we were asking whether Google’s mobile development would be a physical phone or just an operating system? New developments suggest that it is the latter. The company is reportedly in talks with Verizon to “work together on mobile-phone software and services.” If the reports are true — the information is coming from leaks, not directly from either company — it would signal no bad blood between Google and Verizon, who fundamentally oppose one another on the rules of the coming 700 MHz spectrum auction.
October 30th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | No Comments
So if Sprint Nextel is going to announce customer losses this quarter, where did they all go? To Verizon, of course! The telecommunications superpower added 1.7 million subscribers in the third quarter, roughly a half-million more than rival AT&T. That gives keeps Verizon in the lead for postpaid customers, 59.4 million to AT&T’s 52.7 million. AT&T, though, has more overall subscribers when you count those of the wholesale variety and prepaid accounts, which give AT&T the edge 65.7 million to 63.7 million.
October 24th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | 4 Comments
Yesterday was not a good day for the Verizon legal department. First they dropped their appeal of the open-access provision in the 700 MHz spectrum auction. Now they’ve settled a suit in New York over their deceptive offering of “unlimited internet” mobile packages. Apparently, “unlimited” really meant “a limit set by us, but not known to you.” And when people broke that threshold, their service was terminated. This is going to cost Verizon over one million dollars — a million to the customers it had wronged, and $150,000 to the State of New York.
October 24th, 2007 | 700 MHz spectrum, Verizon Wireless | 2 Comments
A month ago, we railed against Verizon for their appeal of the open-access provision of the 700 MHz spectrum auction. They later filed for an expedited hearing, given our proximity to the auction date. That was shot down by the courts, though. Now Verizon is using that as their reason to drop the appeal completely. Though it might not have mattered. Legal experts imply that they would have lost the appeal anyway, since the courts don’t routinely supersede the FCC.
October 23rd, 2007 | Consumer Issues, Verizon Wireless | No Comments
We spend a lot of time ripping on Verizon around these parts. And why not? They’re trying to stack the chips on their side, and we’re flailing aimlessly just to get one or two of them back for the consumer. No, they’re not Big Brother or anything radical like that. They’re just exploiting regulations created before the widespread use of cell phones. We’re just trying to keep the stories balanced. And so, courtesy of Ed Foster’s Gripe Line, we bring you some Verizon billing issues. Be wary of these if you plan to sign up for Verizon’s phone/Internet/cable FiOS plan. They plan to bundle that with wireless next year, so it becomes even more of an issue.
October 18th, 2007 | Consumer Issues, Verizon Wireless | 1 Comment
We stumbled upon this story and couldn’t let it go to rest. It appears that Verizon actually deducts your plan minutes when it places sales calls to you. We’ll let that sink in for a minute, then repeat it. Okay. When Verizon calls you to sell you upgrades to your account, minutes are being deducted from your account. Excuse us? We know we seem appalled at many aspects of the cell industry, but come on. This is beyond absurd. We can understand being charged if you did something wrong to warrant the call, but this is a sales pitch…from the company providing your phone service!
October 17th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | 2 Comments
GPS-enabled handsets have become a boon for travelers. No more will your passenger have to search an unnavigable map in order to find where you’re going — or even where you are. Services like Verizon’s VZW Navigator pick up your location and give you turn-by-turn directions to your destination. Yeah, it’ll cost you, but that’s one service we think is totally worth it. Now they’ve teamed up with AAA to provide even better GPS functions. You can easily find AAA-approved points of interest, as well as receive emergency roadside assistance.
October 16th, 2007 | Consumer Issues, Verizon Wireless | No Comments
Much hoopla has been made during the past five or so days regarding Verizon’s move to sell call data to third parties. Hey, they want to make a few bucks in advertising, and advertisers are frothing at the mouth for Verizon’s data. It will help them better target ads, which should lead to fewer dollars wasted and better conversion rates. However, this is coming at the cost of their customers’ privacies. What if we don’t want their stinkin’ advertisements?
October 15th, 2007 | Consumer Issues, Verizon Wireless | 1 Comment
Oh, Verizon. We were once fond of you because of your superior network coverage in our area. Now, though, we’ve grown beyond sour. Whether it’s their abhorrent contract, or them challenging the open-access provision in the 700 MHz spectrum auction, they’ve been really low lately. Now we’re hearing that they plan to sell customer call data to third parties unless their customers opt out. Yeah, subscribers can avoid this practice, but we wonder how readily accessible they’re making this opt-out policy.
October 5th, 2007 | 700 MHz spectrum, Google, Verizon Wireless | No Comments
So it appears Google is really serious about this 700 MHz spectrum bid. Don’t get us wrong…we always thought Google was in this thing. But before, it seemed more of a position of aloofness. They talked about what they want, saying “yeah, maybe we’ll bid; it’s a possibility.” Now that Verizon has challenged the FCC rules, though, Google is a bit ticked. They’re telling it how it is: Verizon wants to squash competition and basically own the airwaves.
October 4th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | No Comments
We’ve stayed rather mum on Verizon’s prepaid offerings, mainly because, beyond the $1 per day access fee, they’re rather unremarkable. So rather than harping on the access fee (which sucks big time), we just kind of left their prepaid division alone and focused on their (sometimes shady) business dealings. However, news has come from marketing chief Mike Lanman that the company plans to overhaul their prepaid services over the next month, with a hope to make them available by November. Yes, Verizon is actually catering to a market that doesn’t sign their lives away. We checked ourselves for a fever just now, to make sure we weren’t hallucinating, and no, we’re fine.
October 3rd, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | 1 Comment
Hey, look! It’s an iPhone with a slightly smaller viewable screen! But it’s the LG Voyager, and it’s coming soon to Verizon. Yes, we’re now seeing the first viable “iPhone killer,” though we’ve come to despise the term over time. Anyway, it’s a touch-screen, just like the iPhone, but unlike the iPhone it has a hidden compartment. Concealed there is a full mechanical keyboard and a large, non-touch screen. A novel idea by Verizon and LG, we have to say; they basically copied the iPhone, and then fixed one of the major complaints about the Apple device. Unfortunately, there are not legions of people loyal to products released by LG, so this clearly won’t sell as well as the iPhone, at least not initially.
October 2nd, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | 1 Comment
So it’s come to this. Verizon corrects a horribly consumer unfriendly policy, and we’re ripping them for it. The news: Verizon will now allow you to change rate plans mid-contract without having to extend said contract. There are two sides to this. First, it’s good because Verizon is actually empowering the consumer, even if only slightly. It’s bad, though, because it took this long to get something as simple as this done. Imagine how long it’s going to be before their contracts don’t bar us from filing a class action suit.
October 1st, 2007 | 700 MHz spectrum, Verizon Wireless | No Comments
This whole thing is turning into a massive mess. First, Verizon challenges the FCC auction rules, basically saying that the open-access rules aren’t proven to be effective, and even unlawful. Then, reports abound that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is working to change the open-access provision, “coincidentally” coming on the heels of a meeting with Verizon. Now Frontline, another potential auction bidder, wants Verizon and their slimy tactics barred from bidding. Why? Because Frontline alleges that Verizon has violated FCC lobbying rules.
September 21st, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | 2 Comments
We’ve long been a fan of CDMA technology. Yeah, it has its drawbacks, like phones that can’t be unlocked and things like that. But overall, we feel it provides superior quality, both in voice and data, over GSM. It appears, though, that Verizon Communications and Vodafone, joint owners of Verizon Wireless, are set to move on to the next big thing in wireless technology: Long Term Evolution (LTE). According to representatives from the companies, this will put them on the long-sought path to 4G.
September 20th, 2007 | AT&T, iPhone, Verizon Wireless | No Comments
“We have the better network.”
“But we have the better phone.”
If you want the gist of AT&T and Verizon’s little battle since the release of the iPhone, there you have it. The companies have continued to release information — sometimes contradictory to each other — that states their service is doing just fine, iPhone or no iPhone. It’s a silly ordeal, really, almost like a bunch of 5th graders competing over who has the better tree house (we totally had the best one when we were in 5th grade). Yesterday, Vodaphone, co-owners of the Verizon network, and AT&T released separate statements regarding the price cut of the iPhone.
September 20th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | 2 Comments
We must admit a bias: We’re huge baseball fans. Specifically, we love the New York Yankees as much as life itself (1.5 back of Boston, wooo!!!). So it brings us much pleasure to deliver the news that Verizon is introducing a cell phone recycling program that will benefit domestic violence survivors. This goes hand in hand with the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation, a charity the Yankees manager has run for quite a few years. Torre himself grew up in an abusive household, so it’s nice to see that he is giving back now that he has the means.
September 19th, 2007 | iPhone, Verizon Wireless | No Comments
Verizon wireless will not be outdone. So what if their biggest rival has the “it” phone? Verizon will cherry pick figures and pass them off as proof that they’re better, iPhone or not. The latest in this tactic comes from the LG Chocolate’s sales numbers. Verizon claims to have sold 3.4 million of the phones over the past year, which is just shy of Apple’s goal of one million iPhones per quarter. Apple met that goal earlier this month for the third quarter of 2007.
September 14th, 2007 | 700 MHz spectrum, Verizon Wireless | 6 Comments
We knew that Verizon, AT&T, et. al, wouldn’t like the 700 MHz spectrum auction rules. They badly want that piece of the pie, though, so they’re doing the American thing: filing suit. They find that the open-access provision and all the conditions thereto “exceed the commission’s authority and were unsupported by substantial evidence and otherwise contrary to law.” Yes, companies will say anything when they get desperate, and they’ll do anything to cover up their blatant play for even more power. They want your money, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it.
September 12th, 2007 | AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless | No Comments
Patents can be a great thing. They ensure that big bullies don’t shake down someone who creates something, leaving them with nothing to show for their innovation. However, patent laws in the US are absurdly outdated. The best indicator of that is that there are companies whose only reason for existence is to horde patents and sue people who use similar technology. This is how we feel towards NTP, a technology-licensing company (read: patent hoarder). They sued Research In Motion, creator of the BlackBerry, a few years ago. The case lasted four years and ended with a $612.5 million settlement. NTP is now seeking damages from AT&T, Verizon, an Sprint for their use of a supposedly patented e-mail system.
September 4th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | 1 Comment
How many of you have grandparents with cell phones? If we put up a poll, we’re more than willing to bet that most would say “no.” There are a number of reasons for this, but it seems that no company has really taken any initiative. Verizon apparently saw this inefficiency and has taken steps to correct it. The Coup is a phone recently launched by the company, and it is geared right to seniors. In addition, they have launched two new America’s Choice plans to fill the typical calling needs of a senior.
August 31st, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | No Comments
We’re surprised that it took the No. 2 wireless company this long to catch on. Finally, after AT&T and Virgin have introduced contact backup plans, Verizon has joined the party. It’s called Backup Assistant, and it works in the exact same manner as its competitors. All of your contacts, e-mails, etc. are stored on a secure website, ready to be retrieved whenever you need it. Yes, it costs $1.99 per month, just like its peers. Also like its peers, it’s definitely overpriced.
August 30th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | No Comments
It’s the end of August, and every college football fan is gearing up for the coming season. Problem is, the games are on Saturday, a day many of us spend out of the house. Back when we were in college, this wasn’t a problem; football by day, party by night. But now, it seems that weekends should be spent out doing things. But we still want our college football (go Rutgers!). The people at Verizon feel your pain. The remedy they’re offering: a partnership with MediaFLO USA that will bring you 100 games over the course of the season — plus 20 bowl games.
August 29th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | No Comments
First it was AC/DC. Now Verizon has announced that they’ve teamed with Universal Music Group to get their customers exclusive Bob Marley ringtones. So this isn’t exactly like the AC/DC deal, where you can’t get their songs on iTunes but can on Verizon’s VCast. This is a purely ringtones thing, as no other cell carrier offers songs by the most famous name in reggae. So, Verizon customers, which song will it be? If we had service from them, we’d go with “Get Up, Stand Up.”
August 22nd, 2007 | Consumer Issues, Verizon Wireless | 3 Comments
It’s stories like this that make us think: Why didn’t we think of that? After all, we’re always looking for ways to get out of cell phone contacts, because they’re close to being pacts of slavery. But it appears that former Verizon subscriber Corey Taylor has thought of an idea to beat them all: faking his own death. Yes, the consultant from Chicago had a buddy fax Verizon a forged death certificate, thereby eliminating Mr. Taylor’s obligation to pay Verizon any further money. That is, until they inevitably picked up on the hoax.
August 17th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | No Comments
Verizon wants you to know that they’re not selling you just any piece of junk phone. No, they’re rigorous in their testing so that you get only the best in quality products — or at least that’s what they’re claiming with their improved cell phone testing lab. The lab, once a mere cramped office, now fills an 11,000 square foot wing of Verizon’s headquarters in Bedminster, NJ. And the Verizon phone you have? It’s gone through as many as 100 test to ensure that you’re not getting a clunker.
August 16th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | No Comments
Just yesterday, we griped about Verizon’s universal software. A point was made in the article regarding Verizon’s sub-par Mobile Web application and its inferiority to something like Opera Mini. Verizon has taken steps to improve the application, having introduced Mobile Web 2.0 this week. Predictably, it still doesn’t pass muster.
August 15th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | 1 Comment
The other week, we had to borrow a friend’s phone to make a quick call. Naturally, after the call was over we were inclined to sift through the phone’s features, just to see how cool it actually was. After about four minutes, we handed it back to our friend with a less than excited look.
August 15th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | No Comments
A word you never want to hear in the wireless industry is “churn.” As it implies, churn is customer turnover, which is a big killer of profit. Not only does the company lose the business of one of its subscribers, but it also has to spend upwards of $800 to recruit a replacement. So one of the keys to getting ahead in the industry is to retain as many of your subscribers as possible. For the 11th straight quarter, Verizon Wireless leads the pack in that department, reporting a 1.3% churn rate for the second quarter of 2007.
August 10th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | 1 Comment
We’re not sure about you, but we sure think that this practice of big wireless carriers buying out small, regional carriers seems a bit like AT&T and the Bell system of last century. But, it’s the latest trend for AT&T and Verizon: Buy smaller carriers to boost your network and number of subscribers. It makes sense from a business standpoint when you put it like that. We can’t help but view it another way, though. Consumers previously covered by Ramcell — those in southeast Kentucky and western Oregon — now have fewer options for their cell phone provider.
August 2nd, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | 1 Comment
Ever look for the timeless AC/DC song “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” on iTunes? Or how about “Highway to Hell” or “Back in Black”? Heck, you can’t even find the super-hit “You Shook Me All Night Long.” Why is that? Besides being generally slow to embrace the digital music era, AC/DC and their representatives feel that iTunes has taken far to large a piece of the music distribution pie. But they’ve struck an agreement with Verizon that suits their tastes.
July 30th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | 1 Comment
Monkey see, monkey do. That’s always how it seems to be in the wireless industry. If Verizon does something, you’ll see a similar move made by AT&T, and vice versa. A few weeks ago, AT&T bought Dobson Communications in an effort to expand its network. Today, it has been announced that Verizon will purchase Rural Cellular Corporation.
July 27th, 2007 | 700 MHz spectrum, Verizon Wireless | No Comments
If AT&T supports a supposedly consumer-friendly provision, well, Verizon can’t be far behind. Previously vehemently opposed to open access requirements on the 700 MHz spectrum (“There’s enough competition”), Verizon has changed course and now supports an open access spectrum. Don’t confuse this for a genuine desire to see more devices on the market; for the most part, this was a forced move.
July 25th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | No Comments
It seems crazy, right? But the numbers are in: Verizon subscribers are texting maniacs. The 10 billion texts sent and received from their subscribers is a company record, and we’re sure it has to be an all-time monthly record. Of course, AT&T does have more subscribers, so they conceivably could have it, but we’re even having a hard time wrapping our heads around the 10 billion figure. There were also 200 million multimedia messages sent to and from Verizon customers, which means a nice chunk of change for Verizon: $50 million (200 million messages at 25 cents a pop).
July 24th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | No Comments
So remember that whole thing about Qualcomm being sued over patent infringement on their third generation chips. That really slowed business, since companies were relying on handsets using the technology in question to answer AT&T/Apple’s iPhone. Instead of just sitting back and taking the decision, though, Verizon has chosen to be proactive. They’ve struck a deal with the patent suit victor, Broadcom, that will allow them to use the technology — with a licensing fee.
July 23rd, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | 1 Comment
You know, we’ve long praised Verizon for their consumer friendly practices, which includes suing rogue telemarketers using their network. However, these actions are now in question, as Verizon themselves have been taken to court over similar rogue practices. You see, in order to send faxes advertising your products, you have to obtain permission from the recipient. Apparently, Verizon did not take this vital step, and are now out $6 million in settlement and over $2 million in attorneys’ fees in this case.
July 23rd, 2007 | Amp'd Mobile, Verizon Wireless | 1 Comment
Update: They’re shutting down at 12:01 a.m. on July 24. Port your number today!
Know how much cash Amp’d Mobile has as of today? Try $9,000. Yes, it’s looking that grim for the Verizon MVNO, who filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back in early June. Of course, Verizon isn’t too happy about this, and they’re pulling out all the stops to get Amp’d's network shut down permanently. Can you blame them? We know we wouldn’t want some bums — who have no means to pay at the moment — mooching off our stash.
July 16th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | No Comments
A snippet of industry news for you: Vodaphone is reportedly considering a takeover of Verizon Communications, worth about $160 billion. As you may know, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodaphone — which is one of the leading service providers in the UK. They are currently split 55-45 in favor of Verizon. That could change in many ways over the next month or so.
July 12th, 2007 | 700 MHz spectrum, Verizon Wireless | No Comments
So what does the company with the largest national cellular network do the day after this rumor starts appearing? They fire back and call the whole ordeal unfair. You know, because they don’t have enough power already. They need it all, and if it’s at the price of consumer freedom, well, consumer freedom be damned. Of course, we’re being a bit harsh on Verizon Wireless right now. But we’re a bit peeved that they simply can’t accept rules that would allow for new innovation and greater competition. The underlying problem is that they don’t see it that way.
July 5th, 2007 | Verizon Wireless | No Comments
Now available on Verizon phones: Get It Now access to e-mail. If you have a Get It Now phone and WAP access, you can check your e-mail on your phone, so long as you’re using Yahoo, AOL, AIM, Verizon.net, or Windows Live Hotmail. Or, you will be able to. Seems that only a few handsets can access this feature now, but Verizon promises that it will be available on more and more handsets in the coming weeks and months. But for right now, it’s only ready to go on the LG enV, the MOTORAZR V3m, the MOTORAZR V3c, the LG VX8300, and the Chocolate by LG.