AT&T made waves on Thursday morning with the announcement of its new Mobile Share Value plans, offering a large segment of its customers cheaper data plans just in time for the holidays. Perhaps unsurprisingly, T-Mobile was chomping at the bit to issue a response. CNET received an email from T-Mobile marketing executive Andrew Sherrard in which Sherrard said that AT&T’s new Mobile Share plans are confusing, expensive and miss the mark. More →
AT&T wants subscribers to have a merry Christmas this year. It also wants some of the people who have been fleeing its network in searching of cheaper smartphone plans to stay put. As such, the carrier on Thursday announced a brand new set of service plans that are far more consumer-friendly. AT&T is still making plenty of money on them, of course, but several of the plans offer significant savings compared to the older plans they replace. What’s more, the new plans finally — FINALLY — take smartphone subsidies into account to an extent, and they automatically drop in cost by $15 per month once your phone is paid off. Or, if you bring your own phone or opt for one of the carrier’s AT&T Next plans, your service is $15 cheaper per month from day one. More →
Here’s a sign of just how much burning hatred T-Mobile and AT&T have for one another: They’re willing to engage in a public social media fight over one single customer. The Next Web notes that AT&T customer Jay Rooney took to Twitter this week to voice his frustrations with AT&T and asked the carrier why he shouldn’t switch to T-Mobile to take advantage of its free international data roaming plan. AT&T warned Rooney that switching to T-Mobile would be “scary” and took a shot at the carrier’s much-maligned wireless network. T-Mobile hit back and asked AT&T whether its “kindergarten panel” wrote its jokes. In the end, Rooney said that he’d visit a T-Mobile store and would ask about switching to its services.
It looks like Apple isn’t the only vendor suffering from a supply shortage this holiday season. According to WPCentral, the inventory of the AT&T Nokia Lumia 1520 is much smaller than expected, and many customers who had previously been assured that their orders would arrive on Friday are now receiving emails that say the Lumia 1520 is now experiencing shipping delays. WPCentral called several AT&T and Microsoft Stores to gauge whether this problem was more widespread than its readers who first reported the delays, and found many locations had only acquired a few 1520s for launch. More →
The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLU) has announced it has partnered with various investment firms that have stakes in AT&T and Verizon to demand more transparency from the two carriers when it comes to government spying. To convince AT&T, the ACLU has partnered with The New York State Common Retirement Fund and Trillium Asset Management LLC. The Verizon shareholder proposal was jointly filed with Trillium Asset Management LLC, Park Foundation and Clean Yield Asset Management. More →
Even though it’s questionable whether selling smartphones exclusively on one carrier really helps out vendors, many companies keep signing exclusivity deals for their high-end devices anyway. As CNET reports, AT&T has been the master of reeling vendors into exclusivity agreements over the years, highlighted most recently by its snagging of Nokia’s flagship Lumia models and the Moto X’s Moto Maker customization options as exclusives for a limited time. More →
Early iPhone users weren’t the only ones who wanted Apple to expand the iPhone’s reach beyond AT&T. Per Reuters, author Fred Vogelstein claims in his new book Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution that late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs was positively itching to bring the iPhone to more carriers after feeling frustrated by AT&T’s purportedly slow progress in improving its data network. More →
Maybe Google, Microsoft and Apple would be less upset about how the National Security Agency’s data surveillance tactics are hurting their reputations if the government compensated them with regular payouts. The New York Times reports that the Central Intelligence Agency is paying AT&T more than $10 million a year for access to “the company’s vast database of phone records, which includes Americans’ international calls.” AT&T’s huge trove of call records goes beyond its own customers and also includes phone calls made through the carrier’s network equipment. More →
It looks like AT&T will be the first to strike with Samsung’s camera-centric Galaxy S4 Zoom on November 8th. We were less than impressed when we checked out the Zoom earlier this year, with its relatively low-resolution 4.3-inch display that comes in at just 960 x 540 pixels and its 1.5GHz dual-core processor. However, the device’s main attraction is undoubtedly its 16-megapixel, 10x optical zoom camera that will be appealing to people who want to take quality pictures with their smartphones. The camera captures video at 30fps in 1080p or 60fps at 720p, and features a built-in Xenon flash. AT&T is offering the phone for $25 a month on its AT&T Next installment plan but customers can also buy the phone with a two-year contract for $199.99. AT&T’s announcement video and full press release follow below. More →
Apple might have stayed quiet on opening weekend iPad Air sales, but AT&T wasn’t quite as shy. The carrier didn’t announce any specific activation numbers, though mobile boss Ralph de la Vega did say that Apple’s iPad Air drove iPad activations up more than 200% compared to last year’s iPad launch weekend. “iPad activations on AT&T increased more than 200% over the past three days compared to last year’s launch weekend, driven by consumer excitement around the new iPad Air and the popularity of AT&T Mobile Share, which lets customers add an iPad to their existing data plan for just $10 a month,” de la Vega said in a statement. “We also saw strong demand for AT&T Next, which offers customers an iPad for $0 down on the nation’s fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network.”
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 →