Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sprint EVDO and Macs - December 2006


This is an update on Sprint Support for Mac users. Last month, we reported that when Sprint rolled out EVDO Rev A, they left out a lot of Mac users.

As of December 7, 2006 things are a little better. Maybe this blog made a difference! The Pantech PX-500 Rev-A Card, now works with PowerBooks that have a PCMCIA slot (15 and 17 inch only)

Pantech PX-500 Mac PowerBook Compatibility

The solution isn't perfect -- activation and updates to the the card still has to happen on a PC. Also, you will need a Windows laptop to perform any firmware upgrades, PRL Updates or to see signal strength. But diehard Mac fans will live with that, in order to fly at Rev-A EVDO speeds.

Obviously, not every Mac can take advantage of Rev-A yet. Macs without PCMCIA Slots are left out of Rev-A goodness. For those folks, all is not lost, they can still use Sprint EVDO with the Franklin CDU-550, though it won't be at Rev-A speeds. Sigh.

This week, Sprint finally made available the long awaited Novatel U720, which we initially reported as being intel-mac compatible. That turned out to be an accidental discovery that Verizon's latest VZAccess Manager software installed drivers for the U720. Forensics show us that Verizon's upcoming version is called the Novatel V720 and is the same device. The same Verizon update also supports all the other Rev-A Cards for Mac users. Whoa. But wait! -- the update from Verizon is no longer available! Hmm. Wonder why that stopped being available... Could it be the power of EVDOinfo.com? ;-)

Even more interesting is the fact that Sprint's website reported the exact same information we published, days after we did. (See for yourself at this screenshot we saved).

What we do know, is shortly after it was posted in forums that the Sprint site says the device is erroneously Mac-compatible, the Sprint site started to have all references to Mac-compatibility removed. Hmmmmm. Since Sprint doesn't currently support Macs, they are waiting on Apple to push out a software update that supports the U720, until this happens, the U720 isn't Mac compatible (see latest info on U720 Mac Compatibility - EVDOforums.com)

Oh. Still no ExpressCard solution from Sprint.
Maybe in the next 30 days?
Can anyone say MacWorld?

Speaking of which, if you go to MacWorld, look us up at Booth 304
We'll have all the latest and greatest EVDO goodies to show off!