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 →
AT&T subscribers looking for a new Lumia smartphone who don’t want to pony up $300 for a killer camera — or $200, if you live in one of the markets BGR exclusively revealed to be running Lumia 1020 sales right now — the carrier will soon have a great new option for you. Nokia’s Lumia 925 smartphone will launch next month at AT&T for just $99.99 on contract, the same price Nokia’s Lumia 920 and Lumia 900 debuted at last year. Spec highlights include an 8.7-megapixel PureView camera, a 4.5-inch AMOLED display (334 ppi), a dual-core Snapdragon processor and a 2,000 mAh battery good for 6.6 hours of continuous video playback per charge. Preorders for the Lumia 925 begin on August 28th and the phone will be available online and in AT&T stores beginning September 13th. AT&T’s full press release follows below. More →
Motorola is dead, long live Motorola – a Google company. A new chapter in Motorola’s long and storied history has begun. The smartphone maker’s pre-acquisition roadmap has now run its course and everything we see from here on out will have been developed under Google’s watchful eye. The first such smartphone is the Moto X, which BGR absolutely loved when we reviewed it earlier this month, and it can finally be called the first real “Google Phone.” The Moto X represents Google’s vision of what an Android smartphone should be, and it also marks the first time a smartphone will be made to order right here in the U.S. thanks to Motorola’s “Moto Maker.” The Moto Maker is now live and the handset is also available AT&T’s site as well as in stores starting at $199.99 on contract.
The smaller, cheaper version of HTC’s flagship smartphone now has a home at Ma Bell. AT&T announced on Monday that it will start selling the HTC One mini on August 23rd for $99.99 with a two-year service agreement. The HTC One mini features a 4.3-inch 720p HD display, a dual-core 1.4GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, 4G LTE, 16GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, an 1,800 mAh battery and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. The device also comes with a lot of the key features that the HTC One has, including the BlinkFeed user interface, HTC’s Zoe camera technology and BoomSound speakers. AT&T’s press release follows below. More →