The Moto X is a very solid option for anyone interested in a good Android phone, particularly for people who want to custom-design their devices in terms of colors, engravings and other features. And now interested buyers can custom-design their own Moto X through the Moto Maker system and have it shipped to their doorstep for just $99 plus a two-year contract from AT&T. As 9to5Google notes, other outlets such as Amazon and Best Buy have also cut the price of the Moto X to $99 but this is the first time buyers have been able to get the customizable version of the device at such a low price.
Sorry, John Legere: Your “uncarrier” crusade isn’t hurting AT&T yet. AT&T on Wednesday posted solid results in its third-quarter earnings report with $0.66 earnings per share on consolidated revenue of $32.2 billion, thus beating Wall Street expectations for $0.65 EPS. Among the highlights for AT&T in Q3 were net postpaid subscriber additions of 363,000, including 178,000 smartphone subscriber additions. The carrier’s continued strong wireless performance helped push up its wireless revenues by 5.2% year-over-year from Q3 2012. AT&T’s average revenue per postpaid user also increased from Q3 2012, as its $66.20 postpaid ARPU marked a 1.5% increase from the year before. AT&T’s full press release follows below. More →
AT&T on Sunday announced a deal with Crown Castle that will see the nationwide carrier lease the rights to 9,100 of its cell towers and sell another 600 towers. The carrier will receive a huge up-front cash payment of $4.85 billion and Crown Castle will have exclusive rights to operate each of the leased towers for the duration of the contract. AT&T will be able to sublease capacity on each of the towers in question for a minimum of 10 years, and its $1,900 per month per site rent cannot increase by more than 2% annually. The average lease term is 28 years according to AT&T, and Crown Castle will have the option to purchase the leased towers for $4.2 billion at the end of the lease. AT&T’s press release follows below. More →
AT&T is making a play to offer data on its tablets without forcing users to subscribe to a data plan. AllThingsD reports that AT&T announced a $5-per-day cellular data pass for tablets at GigaOm’s Mobilize conference on Thursday. Wi-Fi only tablets make up the vast majority of sales for AT&T, but by offering users limited, affordable options to access data without making a long-term commitment, AT&T hopes to tip the scales back in favor of data-enabled tablets. The $5 option gives the user access to 250MB of data for 24 hours, and a $25 option grants 1GB of data for use at any time over a 3 month period. AT&T senior VP Chris Penrose added that including data on a tablet costs less than ever before for the vendors, and eventually hopes to “see tablet manufacturers build just one tablet” rather than building Wi-Fi-only models and LTE models separately.
Wireless carriers are constantly shaking up their service plans and it looks like AT&T is the latest to try something new. The carrier on Friday confirmed that it is doing away with individual data plans for new customers in favor of its Mobile Share Plans, which bundle unlimited talk and text with a variety of data choices from as little as 300MB per month to as much as 50GB. As stated on the AT&T Consumer Blog, beginning in two weeks on October 25th, new customers will only be given the option to sign up for Mobile Share Plans with a new contract. Any current subscribers will be able to stick with the old plans though, even when upgrading to new devices. For those who are considering a switch to AT&T but who aren’t interested in a shared plan, there’s still time to jump on board before the old plans are dumped once and for all.
AT&T customers anxiously awaiting the next big Samsung devices can finally breathe easy — the Galaxy Note 3 phablet and Galaxy Gear smartwatch will be available online at att.com and in AT&T stores on Friday, October 4th. The major carriers have been taking preorders for the new Samsung Galaxy devices for several weeks now, but AT&T had yet to announce an official release date for the phone and smartwatch until now: The Galaxy Note 3 will cost $299.99 on contract or $35 a month with the AT&T Next plan, and the Galaxy Gear will run for $299.99 as well. Both go on sale this Friday.
I remember when I used to be excited about LTE. It was going to be a super-fast wireless technology that would deliver broadband speeds over the air and make the Internet faster for millions of people who are stuck on low-end connections. How naive I was! In all my enthusiasm for LTE I’d forgotten that America’s largest two wireless carriers would inevitably find a way to make their LTE services borderline useless. More →
AT&T announced on Tuesday that it has begun offering 4G LTE service for Google’s Nexus 7 tablet. AT&T’s 32GB model will feature Wi-Fi and 4G LTE data, but unlike the other 32GB models from Google, this one will include an AT&T SIM card. Other than that, the AT&T Nexus 7 is identical — it has a 7-inch display with 1920 x 1200-pixel resolution, a quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, Adreno 320 graphics, a 5-megapixel camera, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, optional 4G LTE, HDMI output, NFC, wireless charging support and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The Nexus 7 with an AT&T 4G LTE data plan is now available on the Google Play store for $349. AT&T is also offering “a $100 AT&T bill credit” to users who sign a new two-year service contract between now and December 31st, 2013, bringing the final cost down to $249.
Mobile phone companies have been duking it out for years in order to convince potential customers that each of their services have something more to offer than the competition. Sometimes these advertising battles result in genuinely funny commercials — other times, the ads perform so poorly that they have to be pulled. T-Mobile has never had the market share of its much larger competitors, AT&T and Verizon, and the carrier’s recent aggressive attempt to sway consumers its direction might have been too much. More →
LG really surprised me with the Optimus G in 2012, and I was hoping history would repeat itself with the brand new LG G2 in 2013. The company has always built good phones, but the Optimus G was an unexpected class leader with cutting-edge specs, sleek software, solid performance and fantastic hardware made mostly of glass. It was an awesome smartphone. When LG unveiled the smartphone’s successor last month though, it raised a lot of eyebrows. The vendor spent a surprising amount of time focusing on trivialities like the phone’s volume and power buttons, which have been moved to the back of the device, and it really failed to wow us with exciting new features. But now that the G2 is hitting store shelves in the U.S., is there more to this phone than meets the eye? More →
It’s good to see companies pay tribute to the victims of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. That said, if you’re going to do it, you’d better make sure that no one can interpret your tribute as cheap product promotion. This is the mistake that AT&T made on Wednesday when it posted a picture of a smartphone recording a video of the 9/11 Memorial lights shown from across the Hudson River alongside the caption “Never Forget.” Just hours after AT&T posted the picture on its Twitter account, it issued a formal statement saying that it apologized “to anyone who felt our post was in poor taste.” The company went on to explain that “the image was solely meant to pay respect to those affected by the 9/11 tragedy.” The image that AT&T originally posted on its Twitter account follows below.
If Walter White is an AT&T subscriber then he’d better start sweating. The New York Times reports that AT&T has been working very closely with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to hand over 26 years worth of its customers’ call records. The Times says that while the DEA requests and acquires call records through standard subpoenas, the agency’s close relationship with AT&T may be unnerving to some privacy advocates. More →
T-Mobile has made a habit of needling AT&T ever since John Legere took over as CEO but the company may have pushed things to a whole new level this week. AllThingsD reports that T-Mobile is suing prepaid AT&T subsidiary Aio Wireless because it’s allegedly using T-Mobile’s “trademark” magenta color in its logo. In its complaint, T-Mobile accuses AT&T of setting up Aio earlier this year as a way to counter its “UNCarrier” initiative and of trying to confuse consumers by giving Aio a magenta logo that it says is strikingly similar to the hue of T-Mobile’s logo. More →