Our team hit New Orleans for CTIA Wireless 2012 just this morning, but we've already seen plenty of new products and services that match up to our predictions for this year's show. MasterCard sought to clean up online shopping with Paypass Online, a one-stop digital manager for all your debit and credit cards. Samsung continues the smartphone "race to the bottom" (we mean that in a good way) with a new AT&T 4G LTE Windows Phone that costs just $50, and HTC races in a different direction--inward -- thanks to a new compact Android smartphone for Verizon that somehow packs in a 8-MP camera and LTE support. Of course, it wouldn't be New Orleans without a few surprises. You'll have to keep reading to see what we found.
$50 Samsung Focus 2 with AT&T 4G LTE
The good news is that the Samsung Focus 2 is pretty cheap for a smartphone with 4G LTE. For just $50, this Windows Phone comes with a 4-inch Super AMOLED display for wide viewing angles, a 5-MP back-facing camera, and a feather-like 4.3-ounce weight. The bad news? None so far.
MasterCard Paypass Online: Many Cards, One Digital Wallet
While some card companies want to let you pay for items with your phone at the cash register, MasterCard is hard at work to help you shop online. AT CTIA 2012, the behemoth card company showed off Paypass Online. Want to shop online from your smartphone or laptop but hate entering card numbers, expiration dates, and safety codes? With all the details from your individual credit or debit cards loaded into PayPass Online, snagging that book from Amazon or picking up a new pair of shoes from Zappo is reduced to a single click.
HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE (Verizon Wireless)
Now that the HTC One S has set the bar for compact-but-feature-rich designs, expect other phones to follow suit. Case in point: The HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE for Verizon Wireless, announced on Day 1 of CTIA, presumably so other phones can clear out of its way. This 4-inch Android 4.0 stunner packs a 1.2-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, sharp 8-MP camera, 1080p video recording, built-in NFC chip, and a 960 x 540-pixel qHD display.
Video Sharing App Color Coming to Every Verizon 4G LTE Phone
The makers of an app called Color inked a deal with Verizon to include the photo-and video-sharing service on each of the carrier's 4G LTE smartphones. The perk? Thanks to the app, users will be able to share 30 seconds of high-quality video over the number one carrier's blazing fast data network. Hey, folks like sharing pictures with Instagram. Why not share more video too?
Clarion Debuts Next GATE In-Car iPhone Controller
If your car doesn't have a smartphone-friendly dash system, you're missing out. For iPhone owners, Clarion's Next GATE in-car smartphone controller is here to help. Put this 7-inch slate in your car, stick it to the windshield, and you'll get a hub that lets you access digital radio and traffic via your iPhone's Bluetooth connection. To make sure you never touch your iPhone while you drive again, there's also support for hands-free calls and playback from your Apple phone's on-board library.
Moshi iGlaze Versacover for iPad
Move over, Smart Cover. The iGlaze Versacover is a simpler, more versatile, and better protective cover for the iPad. Packing some cool origami tricks, the iGlaze pops and flexs into different positions lettings users select between two portrait perches, one for watching video and another for typing. Plus the back of this contorting cover is magnetized and doesn't flop around. Looking at you again, Smart Cover.
New Sexy and Double X iPhone 4/4S Cases from Musubo
It wouldn't be New Orleans without a little bit of raunch. iPhone case maker Musubo debuted a suite of sensual cases with names like "Double X", "Ripple", "Eden", and, yes, "Sexy". Granted, the Eden line appears to be named for its arbor-themed back plate, but take a look at the Sexy line's elliptic pattern and tell us you don't think of the oblong holes found in risque stockings. Nawlins!