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FreedomPop to Release Intel-Based Wi-Fi-first Smartphone in 2016

2016 looks like it’s going to be a great year for FreedomPop. Earlier today, they have announced their plans of launching a smartphone designed for their Wi-Fi-first service. Having partnered with Intel, the smartphone will be using SoFIA chipset platform. After obtaining strategic financing from Intel Capital, FreedomPop is set to offer a smartphone line that will be carrying their branding. With the funds, they are excited to release the first smartphone sometime next year.

Based on recent interviews, the FreedomPop branded smartphone will operate under Android’s operating system. Although there wasn’t a specific name mentioned, the company has promised that the device will be manufactured by a recognized OEM. The company is aiming at offering these smartphones at a budget price tag, almost similar to Xiaomi’s line of phones with a $99-$199 price range on an unsubsidized basis. Despite its affordable price tag, FreedomPop aims to provide these smartphones with as much high-end specs as they could. And considering SoFIA platform was designed for entry-level smartphones, this partnership could work really well.

Under the SoFIA platform, devices can seamlessly switch between cellular and Wi-Fi networks. At the same time, it can sense whenever there is a poor network connection. When this happens, the platform automatically disconnects from a weak Wi-Fi signal before the call gets dropped. Users then can enjoy an uninterrupted connection despite an unstable signal.

Another advantage of the platform is that the speeds of the device may be controlled from the device itself. This gives FreedomPop consumers to enjoy faster speeds with different speed boosts offered by the company. Lastly, SoFIA allows the network to white-list specific apps per device so it is able to interact through sponsored data agreements without the need to access the server of a carrier.

It’s important to note that FreedomPop is not the first to offer Wi-Fi-first connection in the mobile industry. As a matter of fact, Motorola has partnered with Republic Wireless to provide specialized hardware for this specific feature. Yet despite this, the features offered by FreedomPop is not too different.

For its part, partnering with FreedomPop is a great move for SoFIA. Through this partnership, Intel will be able to make a name for itself in the mobile industry. And since FreedomPop intends to sell the device throughout the world, it could be equally advantageous for Intel too. The device could be available not just in the US but throughout Europe by next year.

On the part of consumer, this new smartphone could be a great way for them to save money on phone bills. With a Wi-Fi-first smartphone, they’ll be able to enjoy the great features it offers at a cost-effective deal.

Source: Fierce Wireless

3 comments:

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  1. "The phone will use Intel's SoFIA chipset platform and be launched on the network of FreedomPop's second U.S. carrier partner, which it plans to unveil in 2016."
    "We're going to sell the phone in any market we have," he said, which next year will be markets beyond the United States and UK in both Europe and outside of Europe. As a result, the phone will not be designed for Sprint's network since it needs the global reach of GSM."
    Source: Fierce Wireless yesterday.

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  2. I just tried the latest version of their app on my FP F3. It's been 6 months since they mentioned knowing about its echo problem...and they still haven't fixed it yet.

    Anyway, this phone is guaranteed to flop.

    The fact of the matter is that there's no longer a pressing need for $100+ mainstays (not even for general usage) when even brokephones can run Kitkat now.

    What's worse is that it won't be available until its BYOD alternatives have had another few months to devalue. By then, even the yet-to-be-conquered $25 niche (resting between the $10 Zinger and $40 Moto E) might not be vacant anymore.

    IMO, the only way FP's phone could ever start off competitively in the current prepaid phone market would be if they managed to release an unlockable, 1.5ghz quad-core phone with 1.5-2GB of RAM for no more than $60. On the other hand, the odds of that happening are zero to none.

    The reality is that this phone will never be a good deal compared to cheaper, unlockable, entry-level GSM devices like the $40 Maven.

    On the bright side, it's a good thing most apps and users can still make do with a $10-$40 budget phone. The upcoming Black Friday sales will either keep their prices down or lower them even more. There's absolutely no reason not to splurge on one of them instead.

    Heck, I've even got a $10 Sunrise from Wally World just in case BF fails to deliver. It's AT&T, LTE and a removable battery for $30 or bust. FP just can't beat that.

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  3. Freedom Pop is trash. VoIP is trash. Give me real cell service not gimmick service. Verizon and AT&T all day and everyday.

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