Smartphones with 4G connectivity grew from 6% in the fourth quarter of 2010 to 35% in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to a report from The NPD Group. HSPA+ “4G” accounted for 22% sales, however, leaving LTE and WiMAX technologies with a much less impressive share of the smartphone market. Older HSPA+ technology was the only 4G offered by AT&T up until recently, and it is still the only 4G technology offered by T-Mobile. The firm also counts AT&T’s iPhone 4S among the 4G phones sold last quarter, giving the category a significant boost. LTE-enabled handsets, on the other hand, accounted for just 7% of the smartphone market, while WiMAX made up only 6%, dropping from its third-quarter high of 10%. Verizon’s HTC Thunderbolt was the most popular LTE handset in the fourth quarter last year, while Sprint’s HTC EVO was the most popular WiMAX device. Read on for NPD’s press release. More →
AT&T’s 4G LTE service will soon expand to 12 new markets, with the next phase of the roll-out concluding early this coming summer according to the carrier. Specific launch dates for AT&T’s LTE service were not provided for any of the new markets announced Monday morning, however the company stated that 4G service will begin to go live in the new regions starting next month. New markets that will see 4G service launch between April and early summer include Staten Island, New York; New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; St. Louis, Missouri; Cleveland, Canton and Akron Ohio; Naples, Florida; Bloomington, Lafayette and Muncie, Indiana; and Bryan-College Station, Texas. AT&T’s press release covering Cleveland and the surrounding Ohio markets follows below. More →
Apple is reportedly preparing to launch a new iPhone later this year that will include an embedded 4G LTE radio. Citing unnamed sources within Taiwan-based smartphone manufacturers, DigiTimes on Monday reported that Apple’s next-generation iPhone is “very likely” to include integrated 4G LTE connectivity. The new smartphone, which the website says will launch in the second half of 2012, is expected to drive the number of LTE-equipped handsets sold in 2012 to between 45 million and 50 million units, up from earlier projections of between 25 million and 30 million handsets. Apple’s next-generation iPhone is expected to feature a faster processor and a larger display compared to the current-generation iPhone 4S. BGR exclusively reported late last year that the new iPhone will also include a completely redesigned antenna system and case, possibly featuring unibody aluminum architecture, and that it would launch this coming fall. More →
Apple began running out of pre-order iPad inventory less than 24 hours after pre-sales first began. Now, it looks like all of Apple’s initial iPad stock has been depleted. The company’s online store currently shows an estimated ship date of March 19th for every available iPad model, including the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB Wi-Fi models and each of the three iPad Wi-Fi + 4G versions for AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Apple unveiled the new iPad this past Wednesday at a press conference in San Francisco. The latest version of the wildly popular tablet features a Retina Display, a dual-core Apple A5X processor, an improved 5-megapixel camera and a slightly redesigned case. Early pre-orders will become available on Friday, March 16th. More →
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh announced that they have discovered a means of wirelessly transmitting data thousands of times faster than current standards, PCMag reported on Wednesday. The team is led by Hrvoje Petek, a physics and chemistry professor at the university, who has theoretically found a way to transmit data between devices in the terahertz frequency. Petek’s discovery of “a physical basis for terahertz bandwidth” could potentially be used to leverage the “portion of the electromagnetic spectrum between infrared and microwave light” and transmit data at rates 1,000 times faster than today’s wireless standards, which are limited to the gigahertz frequency. “The ability to modulate light with such a bandwidth could increase the amount of information carried by more than 1,000 times when compared to the volume carried with today’s technologies,” Petek said. “Needless to say, this has been a long-awaited discovery in the field.” More →
A quick glance at Apple’s online store tells us that customers who want to place orders for an AT&T 4G iPad won’t be receiving them at the same time the iPad makes its debut. Shipping times have already fallen to March 19th from March 16th, something we all guessed would happen by the fact that Apple’s entire site and online store ground to a halt yesterday. Verizon 4G iPads will still be delivered on March 16th, though we believe that will change soon as well. Apple’s new iPad starts at $499 and will be available to purchase in stores on March 16th.
UPDATE: It looks like only 16GB and 64GB AT&T 4G iPads are sold out in white for the time being. The 32GB version will still ship for delivery on the 16th, as will each of the three models in black.
AT&T wants customers who are still using 2G phones to upgrade to the company’s faster 3G and 4G networks, MarketWatch reported last week. The carrier is in the process of sending notices to customers asking them to upgrade their devices. “Your current, older-model 2G phone might not be able to make or receive calls and you may experience degradation of your wireless service in certain areas,” AT&T said in the letter. Mark Siegel, an AT&T spokesman, said the company is looking to use some of the 2G spectrum for newer technologies. “We’re simply urging them to upgrade to a new device if they want to,” he said. Siegel confirmed that the carrier sent notices to customers in the New York metropolitan area and may soon send them to other customers. He noted, however, that the program was voluntary and only affected a small number of subscribers. He also noted that most 2G phones will continue to work. “We are still supporting the 2G network,” Siegel said, although he did state that customers who continue to use 2G cell phones that operate on AT&T’s 1900-megahertz band will eventually lose service.
Apple’s highly anticipated iPad 3 will reportedly be in short supply until some time in the second quarter according to a new report. Industry watcher DigiTimes on Thursday cited anonymous sources within Apple’s supply chain in claiming that the high-resolution 2,048 x 1,536-pixel display panels being supplied to Apple by Sharp may be in short supply. Initial shipments are expected to be limited as a result, and production supposedly won’t be ramped up until some time in the second quarter. Apple will unveil its next-generation iPad 3 at a press conference on March 7th and the tablet is expected to become available soon after. Reports suggest the iPad 3 will feature a high-resolution 9.7-inch display, a quad-core Apple A6 processor, embedded 4G LTE and a slightly redesigned aluminum case. More →
AT&T on Monday announced a new plan that will let developers pay for the data used by their apps and services. The data consumed by apps that make use of this new feature would not apply toward a user’s data cap. The new service was pitched as a way for content providers to ease customers’ growing concerns over wireless data usage, however one public interest group sees the feature as a slap in the face to AT&T subscribers. “This new plan is unfortunate because it shows how fraudulent the AT&T data cap is, and calls into question the whole rationale of the data caps,” Harold Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge, said in a statement. ”Apparently it has nothing to do with network management. It’s a tool to get more revenue from developers and customers.” Read on for more. More →
T-Mobile on Tuesday revealed from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that it is abandoning plans to update its current HSPA+ network with speedier HSPA+ 84 technology. The nations’s No.4 carrier currently supports theoretical maximum download speeds of 42Mbps across much of its HSPA+ network. T-Mobile had previously announced intentions to upgrade its back end to double its theoretical download ceiling to 84Mbps, however in light of its recent announcement that it will adopt more modern Long Term Evolution technology for its 4G network, the carrier has decided that its resources are better spent on LTE. According to The Verge, T-Mobile will utilize the same 1900MHz spectrum it had intended for HSPA+ 84, and refarm it for LTE. More →
Mobile World Congress hasn’t officially begun yet, but clearly someone forgot to tell HTC. The company is currently in the midst of a huge press conference during which it unveiled its new flagship “HTC One” brand. Among the devices announced is the mid-range HTC One S, the thinnest smartphone HTC has ever built. BGR exclusively revealed details surrounding the One V last November, but we’re more excited about this phone than ever now that wHTC has painted the complete picture. Read on for more.
HTC on Sunday unveiled a trio of new smartphones at Mobile World Congress, capped off by the flagship of flagships: the HTC One X. BGR took the wraps off of this stunning smartphone back in November, and the details within our exclusive report are now confirmed. The One X features a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor clocked at 1.5GHz, a 4.6-inch 1,280 x 720-pixel high-definition Super LCD 2 display, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 1.3-megapixel front facing camera for 720p video chats, 1GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal eMMC storage (AT&T version has 16GB), embedded 4G LTE and Sense 4.0 atop Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich — and it’s all packed into a case that is just 9.27 millimeters thin. The phone also includes Beats Audio across all multimedia apps, not just HTC’s music player, and 25GB of free Dropbox storage for two years, which includes several iCloud-like Sense features such as auto-uploading photos. Read on for more. More →
Google on Friday filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to sell its entire stake in Clearwire. The Mountain View-based company spent $500 million in 2008 to acquire a 6.5% stake in Clearwire, and now the search giant is now looking to sell its share for $47 million, less than a tenth of the original investment. Clearwire was the first company to roll out a 4G network in the U.S., however the WiMAX technology the network was built around failed to gain widespread adoption, with every major carrier instead deploying or looking to deploy 4G LTE service. Even Clearwire’s largest shareholder, Sprint, announced plans to launch a 4G LTE network in mid-2012. According to the SEC filing, Google will exit Clearwire in an effort to rebalance its investment portfolio. The sale is expected to close by the end of March. More →