Buying a smartphone used to be a relatively straightforward experience. You’d simply walk into your local carrier and fork over some cash for a new device and, more often than not, a new 2-year contract.
But over time, carriers got tired of subsidizing pricey smartphones, a sentiment which quickly ushered in the era of installment pricing. Today, buying a new smartphone or upgrading to a new device can be an exercise in frustration thanks to a dizzying matrix of installment plan pricing options.
To help alleviate the frustration, AT&T today announced a welcome change to its smartphone purchasing plan that promises to make the overall upgrade experience much simpler.
Cable companies that have long milked cable subscriptions for profit are worried about how they’re going to replace that cash among new generations of cable-cutters. But maybe, just maybe, they won’t have to.
DSL Reports has spotted a trend among ISPs that at first glance, looks pretty good: AT&T and Bend will both remove their broadband caps if users also bundle TV and home phone. It looks like a deal for customers — no fee to remove data caps! — but really, it’s an out-and-out money grab.
Would you like to pay less for your monthly phone and internet bills? Of course you would — but you shouldn’t assume the same tactics for negotiating lower bills will work across all different carriers and ISPs. Expert shopper Kyle James has written a post over at WiseBread that gives you the lowdown on different strategies to use at some of the major ISPs out there including Comcast, AT&T and Verizon. More →
Are you an AT&T subscriber who would like to see your carrier offer unlimited talk, text and data deals like Sprint and T-Mobile do? You can already get an unlimited data plan from AT&T right now, but only if you’re a DirecTV subscriber. Barring that, your next best option is to switch to Cricket Wireless, an AT&T prepaid subsidiary that’s now offering unlimited talk, text and data for just $70 a month. For the record, this is better than T-Mobile’s best offer of $95 per month for unlimited talk, text and data. More →
AT&T customers, you’re being selfish. You’re not already spending enough money each month on your wireless bill, and it’s time to stop being so greedy with your hard-earned cash. Instead of saving your money or putting it to work for you using one of the life-changing apps we told you about recently, you should give it to AT&T because, well, just because.
The nation’s second largest carrier saw an opening earlier this week when Verizon’s new smartphone upgrade fee went live. So, beginning immediately, AT&T will charge users a bogus $20 fee to upgrade to a new phone instead of the bogus $15 fee it had been charging. More →
When you think of Google’s major rivals, you typically think of Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and maybe even Amazon. But what about AT&T? A new report from The Information claims that AT&T is actually working developing a new smartphone with the help of Cyanogen, the company that last year vowed to “take Android away from Google.” It looks like AT&T and Cyanogen had been courting Chinese manufacturer ZTE to make the device, although recent trade sanctions leveled against the company put its future involvement in the project in doubt. More →
If there’s one thing T-Mobile loves to do, it’s trolling rivals. Whether this trolling comes in the form of Twitter feuds with rival CEOs or silly skywriting stunts, T-Mobile just can’t help ridiculing its rivals in ways that are equal parts amusing and juvenile. The “Un-carrier” is at it again this week and is pledging bombard AT&T and Verizon with graffiti of customer complaints that will be written outside their stores with magenta chalk. More →
Let’s get this out of the way: Netflix should not intentionally degrade the quality of its videos for subscribers who use Verizon and AT&T, especially if Netflix is not being transparent about what it’s really doing.
In case you haven’t heard, Netflix has been limiting video streams over AT&T and Verizon’s mobile networks to just 600 kilobits per second, which is the kind of speed you expect from a 3G connection and not a 4G connection. This slow delivery rate ensures that the picture quality on the video is far below what you’re used to getting when you watch Netflix over your home Internet connection, and Netflix should have at least told its customers up front about how it slowed down their streaming rates on purpose.
That said, let’s not let AT&T and Verizon off the hook. More →
You know what incumbent Internet service providers don’t like? That’s right: Competition. They especially don’t like it when that competition comes in the form of government-funded municipal broadband projects like the one that’s been a big success in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The good news for incumbent ISPs about such municipal broadband projects, however, is they can be constrained or shut down with the help of effective lobbying operations.
In case you don’t know, Comcast and AT&T have very effective lobbying operations. More →
“Buy one get one” sales at carriers are very common. They’re great for promoting sales of smartphones as they grow a bit long in the tooth, or in the event that sales start to slow. For example, AT&T is currently offering a BOGO sale on the iPhone 6, which launched last September and, according to a number of estimates, is in the midst of a quicker-than-normal slowdown.
What isn’t nearly as common, however, is seeing a carrier offer a flagship smartphone for free when it hasn’t even launched yet. More →
AT&T and Intel are working to test how drones work on the LTE networks used by mobile devices.
The companies will be working to solve major issues in the space, including connectivity, according to a statement released Sunday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. More →