Uncarrier CEO John Legere was Uninvited from AT&T’s big CES 2014 bash for developers on Monday when staff running the event threw him out after he crashed the party. Legere, who is known for publicly taunting AT&T on Twitter, on stage at events and when any other opportunities arise, says he attended AT&T’s CES party on Monday night only because he wanted to see the headlining act, Macklemore, perform. When people began to tweet pictures of themselves with Legere at the party, however, the event staff was made aware of his presence and they approached him. More →
While companies like HTC (One max) and Nokia (Lumia 1520) are launching monstrous new devices that stretch the definition of a phablet to new heights, literally, Asus is taking a slightly different approach to expanding the popular category. AT&T on Monday announced from CES 2014 that it will soon launch the Asus PadFone X, a convertible device that stuffs a manageable 5-inch phablet into a perfectly sized 9-inch tablet. The phone itself includes a full HD display and Android 4.4 KitKat but when docked, it powers the larger tablet, which also features 1080p resolution and has its own battery. More →
LG’s banana phone is coming to America. AT&T announced on Monday from CES 2014 that it will launch LG’s first curved smartphone, the G Flex, sometime in the first quarter this year. The news is in line with earlier rumors, which also noted that T-Mobile will release the G Flex in 2014. LG also announced on Monday that Sprint will carry the G Flex in Q1 as well. While the curved 6-inch AMOLED display is the star of the show on LG’s latest phone, the G Flex also features a 2.26GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel camera, a 3,500 mAh battery and Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2. Pricing isn’t yet available but AT&T’s full press announcement follows below. More →
In a novel move that wasn’t entirely unexpected thanks to a report from back in 2012 but is still very intriguing nevertheless, AT&T on Monday announced a new program called “Sponsored Data” that could potentially have a huge impact on the U.S. wireless market. In a nutshell, AT&T’s Sponsored Data product allows companies to pay for the data used by specific apps so that the data consumed by those apps will not apply to AT&T subscribers’ monthly data limits. So, for example, a developer might offer a promotion where data used by its app is free to end users for a month, or Netflix might let AT&T customers stream the first episode of House of Cards season 2 without having to worry about how an hour of streaming might impact their data caps. Businesses can also use this new service to pay for data consumed by their employees while using enterprise apps. More →
AT&T on Friday announced a new initiative to try to steal business away from T-Mobile, but T-Mobile’s outspoken CEO was unfazed. In a series of messages posted on his Twitter account and retweeted from other Twitter accounts on Friday afternoon, chief T-Mobile executive John Legere fired shots directly at AT&T and its CEO for the carrier’s attempt to buy back the business Legere claims it lost to T-Mobile. “#Randall – you gave us cash & spectrum AND we took your customers with #Uncarrier moves, do you really think you can buy them back?” Legere wrote, speaking directly to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and referring to the breakup fee AT&T had to pay out following its failed attempt to acquire T-Mobile in 2011. More →
2013 may be behind us but it looks like some of the smartphones that debuted last year aren’t quite ready to retire just yet. In a new post from serial smartphone leaker @evleaks, two new marketing renders of LG’s G Flex “banana phone” have been pictured, one that includes a mention of T-Mobile and a second that shows AT&T as the carrier. Neither company has confirmed that it will carry the G Flex at this point but considering @evleaks’s track record, we can likely expect LG’s first phone with a curved display to debut very soon. Beyond the vertically curved 6-inch AMOLED screen that offers minimal durability enhancements and little else, the G Flex’s key specs include a 2.26GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel camera and Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2.
It’s official: T-Mobile has gotten under AT&T’s skin. AT&T announced on Friday that it will offer T-Mobile customers up to $450 per line when they switch to AT&T, a stunning preemptive strike that’s being done in response to a rumor that T-Mobile plans to pay off subscribers’ early termination fees when they switch from another carrier. The $450 payout will include the standard $250 that switchers can receive when they trade in their old device as well as an additional $200 payout specifically aimed at T-Mobile subscribers. The company’s full press release follows below. More →
Late last month, a rumor surfaced that T-Mobile planned to absolutely wreak havoc on the wireless industry this year by offering to pay off subscribers’ early termination fees if they switch from another carrier. This rumor may have sent shock waves through AT&T because an unnamed source tells GeekWire that AT&T is planning to offer $200 to any subscriber who switches from T-Mobile… and only from T-Mobile. GeekWire says that the $200 bonus “would be in addition to up to $250 of the trade-in value of the switcher’s old device, under AT&T’s existing trade-in program,” so it sounds like AT&T really, really wants to limit T-Mobile’s ability to take away its customers. If AT&T does go through with such a move, then it wouldn’t be surprising to see Verizon shortly follow suit.
It appears that Samsung has yet to plug the leak, because once again news regarding the Galaxy Note Pro has surfaced, this time in the form of a carrier for the oversized tablet. According to @evleaks, AT&T is the first provider to agree to carry the 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro, a tablet which shares many of its specs with the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition). Those specs include a 2,560 x 1,600-pixel LCD display, a 2.4GHz quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM, 8-megapixel rear camera, a 9,500 mAh battery and Android 4.4 KitKat. The previous leak revealed that the tablet will launch internationally in the first quarter of 2014, but there was no word as to whether the U.S. would be a part of the initial rollout. If this new report is to be believed, chances are good that the tablet will indeed hit U.S. shores in the near future.
Data caps. The mere mention of the phrase is enough to send shivers up the spine of any smartphone user. While there is a glimmer of hope that carriers might someday be forced to raise caps or even eliminate them entirely, data caps likely aren’t going anywhere anytime soon for Verizon Wireless and AT&T subscribers. Luckily, however, there are tools to help subscribers better manage their data usage. Carriers themselves offer tools that help users analyze data usage and they also notify customers as they approach their data caps, but a new free tool made available by the CTIA takes things a step further by helping smartphone and tablet users learn which iPhone, iPad and Android apps consume a large amount of data and which apps are more cap-friendly. The “Know My App” site allows users to browse through a list of popular apps or search by name, and it also shows how concerned people should be based on how high their data caps are. A link to the site follows below in our source section.
Verizon and AT&T have long insisted that the majority of their subscribers face no danger of going over their monthly data caps, but that may be about to change. The New York Times reports on a new study published this week showing that average monthly mobile data consumption in the United States has surged over the last year, going from an average of 690MB per month in 2012 to 1.2GB per month this year. If data usage keeps growing at this pace then next year the average wireless user will consume around 2.4GB per month, which is well over many subscribers’ monthly data caps. More →
A new AT&T patent awarded in mid November describes methods through which the Internet service provider may track the privacy-related habits of customers and assign them a “Subscriber Reputation Score” (SRS) which could be used to limit access to file-sharing or P2P sites for repeat pirating offenders. The patent, discovered by Torrent Freak, basically explains a means of regulating traffic inside a network by following patterns for users and monitoring Internet-browsing habits with a specific focus on pirated content. More →
Does it seem just a tad ridiculous that a company that regularly crows about its strong revenue and earnings growth is also complaining about the “unaffordable” burden of smartphone subsidies? Monday Note’s Jean-Louis Gassée certainly seems to think so, which is why he’s penned a long rant about AT&T and other wireless carriers being “shameless” in their “whining” about the costs of subsidizing smartphones. Gassée’s argument is very simple: Smartphones are helping carriers post significantly higher average revenues per user (ARPU) than they’d be posting otherwise, which more than makes up for the burden of subsidizing the devices when selling them to their customers. More →