Apple’s CEO Tim Cook sees no real threat from Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet. On Apple’s earnings call on Tuesday, Cook dismissed the Kindle Fire and noted that the iPad’s share continued to gain market share even while numerous Android tablets entered the market. “We’ve seen several competitors come to market to try to compete with the iPad,” Cook explained. “Some had different form factors, different price points. And I think it’s reasonable to say that none of these have gained any traction thus far. And in fact, as all of those competitors were coming to market, our share actually went up, such that in the June quarter, according to IDC, we were responsible for three out of every four tablets sold.” Read on for more. More →
Among the firms losing hope in Research In Motion following another dismal earnings report, Ticonderoga Securities is telling investors to be cautious with RIM. Analyst Brian White fails to see the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, and suggests that competitors — Apple, in particular — are beating RIM to the punch. “In our view, the fall of RIMM with its ‘too-little-too-late’ BlackBerry refresh will continue to add to Apple’s momentum that we believe could be off the charts with the iPhone 5 launch,” White wrote in a note to investors on Friday. Read on for more. More →
Nokia’s head of North American sales Chris Weber sat down in an interview Business Insider recently and explained how the Finnish company will regain its market share in the United States by writing “one of the greatest turnaround stories in history.” Weber said that Nokia will release a number of new smartphone models running Microsoft’s Windows Phone Mango operating system and will compete with Android by pricing several of them lower than the cheapest Android models. Weber reconfirmed that Nokia is still on track to release its first Windows Phone handset this year, likely the SeaRay device we’ve seen leaked, but said the majority of its phones will begin to land next year. Business Insider also said that Nokia is deeply integrated with Microsoft’s plans for a complete tablet, PC and mobile phone ecosystem, which loosely suggests Nokia may have a tablet in the works, too. More →
Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse has been a staunch opponent to AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. He has already proclaimed that the merger would “stifle innovation” in the U.S. wireless market, and now he’s stepping up his game. “Clearly, purely, we want to win and block the merger,” Hesse told Bloomberg in a recent interview. Reportedly, the CEO is working with 18 state regulators to stop the deal, and has even been speaking to CEOs of large U.S. tech firms to get others to speak out against the acquisition. Hesse says he wants the best for the entire industry, not just for Sprint. “The industry just won’t be as innovative and as dynamic as it has been,” he said. “It’ll gum up the works when everything has to go through these two big tollbooths, one that’s called AT&T and one that’s called Verizon.” AT&T’s CEO, Randall Stephenson, has argued the opposite. Stephenson says the merger will improve reliability on his network and will result in net job growth. Despite AT&T’s backing from major industry players such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Qualcomm, Hesse isn’t giving up. “An underdog is not thinking about the point spread; they’re thinking about winning the game,” Hesse said. “We can win this.” More →
Sprint’s already been very vocal about its opposition to AT&T’s planned purchase of T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom, but on Tuesday the carrier officially asked the Federal Communications Commission to step in and block the purchase. In its 377-page filing, Sprint argued that the acquisition would make AT&T the nation’s largest carrier with a total of 118 million subscribers and a 43% grip on the postpaid market. The carrier added that Verizon and AT&T would earn 78% of all wireless revenues and the “Twin Bell” duopoly would have an 82% grasp of the postpaid market, making it difficult for other carriers such as Sprint to compete. AT&T, meanwhile, has argued that the acquisition will create jobs, will not stifle competition, and will help deliver high-speed wireless broadband to 97% of U.S. residents. More →
The Public Utilities Commission in California will investigate AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The Golden state is one of three states that Sprint has asked to investigate the deal — the other two are West Virginia and Louisiana. “We believe a thorough investigation will reveal the negative implications for pricing, choice, and innovation critical to California’s economy,” Sprint’s public affairs manager, John Taylor, said. “Sprint is pleased that the commission will open up a proceeding to investigate the proposed takeover of T-Mobile by AT&T.” AT&T originally filed its informal notice with California’s Public Utilities Commission on May 3rd, and Sprint protested the filing on May 19th when it asked for a review of the merger. The regulators will consider three options, one of which is a choice to notify AT&T that its purchase is not “pre-approved” after the standard 30-day time period after an application is submitted. Sprint has opposed the acquisition from day one, and its CEO Dan Hesse said the deal would “stifle innovation” in the U.S. wireless market. More →
The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet on Wednesday to discuss AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom — and AT&T’s competitors won’t be sitting quietly. According to The Wall Street Journal, Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse, Viktor Meena of Cellular South, and Larry Cohen, president of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), will all be in attendance. Competitors are expected to grill AT&T’s Randall Stephenson on the deal that Hesse has said will “stifle innovation” and competition in the U.S. wireless market. While there are rumblings that AT&T has more money for lobbying than Sprint and other competitors, the nation’s largest wireless carrier, Verizon, will not be in attendance. “We are concerned this is an excuse for the government to insert itself into the marketplace,” Thomas Tauke, Verizon’s executive vice president of public affairs, policy, and communication, told The Wall Street Journal. Verizon’s concerned that AT&T could bow to government pressure on net neutrality regulation in an effort to get the acquisition passed. Sprint thinks the deal is bad for other reasons, and one spokesperson said the carrier will “explain [that it thinks] this takeover of T-Mobile is bad for consumers, bad for innovation and bad for the economy,” and added that Sprint sees the deal as a “job killer” that will create a “vertically integrated duopoly.” Meanwhile Stephenson has argued that the deal — over time — will actually be a “net job grower,” and that there’s already plenty of competition in the U.S. wireless market. Similarly, Cohen of the CWA, has called the deal a “victory for broadband proponents.” Earlier this month the Department of Justice assured the public that it will perform an “in-depth” investigation of the deal.
Speaking to The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, an anonymous Federal Communications Commission official said “there’s no way the chairman’s office [will] rubber-stamp” AT&T’s $39 billion acquisition of Deutsche Telecom-owned T-Mobile USA, and that the approval process will be “a steep climb at least.” The FCC official went on to say that the FCC has not even started to evaluate the deal and that it will be scrutinized and denied or accepted based on whether or not it will be in the best interest of consumers. Similar deals have been doubted before, though, and the WSJ points to the merger between XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite radio, which FCC chairman Kevin Martin said would be a high hurdle to approve back in 2007. Current FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Tuesday during his speech at the CTIA Wireless 2011 trade show, which we live blogged, that “healthy competition produces greater innovation and investment, lower prices, and better service.” AT&T’s purchase of T-Mobile is seen as likely decreasing the amount of competition in the U.S. wireless market, with just three major carriers competing for customers. But Genachowski has yet to comment on the acquisition proposal. As we said in an earlier editorial, T-Mobile customers could come out on top with this deal — if it ends up being approved. More →
Though not entirely unexpected, it turns out Apple’s second-generation iPad tablet will be released before the BlackBerry PlayBook hits store shelves in April. This could be a crushing blow to RIM and its PlayBook, which has already fallen under heavy scrutiny for not measuring up to Apple’s iOS offering according to bloggers, analysts and members of the press who have spent time with the tablet. Apple on Wednesday announced that its new iPad 2 will become available in stores and online beginning March 11th, a full month before the PlayBook is expected to launch on April 10th. The iPad, which already owns the consumer market, is quickly gaining ground in enterprise as well, so RIM’s plan to target businesses could easily be thwarted right out of the gate. More →
Last week, we told you about Canada’s Competition Bureau slapping Rogers Wireless with a $10 million fine for inaccurate statements it made while advertising for its pre-paid wireless arm chatr. Unsurprisingly, the folks at Rogers have released a retaliatory statement vowing to “vigorously defend” itself and its statements in court:
Rogers Communications commented today on the actions of the Competition Bureau regarding chatr wireless. “We’re surprised by the actions of the Competition Bureau,” said Ken Engelhart, Senior Vice President of Regulatory, Rogers Communications. “We have extensive, independent third party testing to validate our claims and we stand by our advertising. We will vigorously defend this action in court.”
“We’ve completed extensive testing in coverage areas across the country and there’s no question that the testing validates the advertising in market,” said Todd Stone, President & CEO, Score Technologies.
Score Technologies is an independent third party organization that specializes in network testing for leading wireless carriers across North America.
We’ll keep you updated on any additional developments that come out of Canada.
The Globe and Mail is reporting that Canadian wireless carrier Rogers may face a $10 million fine for misleading advertising claims made against its competitors. The Canadian Competition Bureau is looking to levy the penalty for Rogers’ assertion that its pre-paid wireless arm — Chatr Wireless — has “fewer dropped calls than new wireless carriers” such as Wind Mobile. The Competition Bureau reports that there was “no discernible difference in dropped call rates between Rogers/Chatr and new entrants.” According to the report, the Bureau is asking Ontario’s superior court to order Rogers Wireless to pay the $10 million fine and issue a letter of retraction.
We do wonder what the Canadian Competition Bureau would think about AT&T’s fastest 3G network, Verizon’s most reliable 3G network, T-Mobile’s largest 4G network, and Sprint’s now network claims. More →
Smartphones might have proved to be a tough nut to crack at last year’s CanSecWest Pwn2Own, but the same cannot be said for 2010 as two European hackers were able to gain control of a stock iPhone’s SMS database. The hack, which takes 20 seconds to execute by having the iPhone visit an infected website, allows its SMS messages — including those which had been deleted — to be uploaded to a predetermined server. If that’s not enough to make paranoid iPhone users soil their pants, the same exploit is also said to be able to access to a user’s address book, emails, photos and music all without leaving the iPhone sandbox. Naturally these sort of hacking developments are a bit frightening, but the good news is the hackers will hand their findings to Apple and keep mum on specifics while the Cupertino company does a bit of spackling with its iPhone OS. More →
Well isn’t Big Red just the Robin Hood of US carriers… First Verizon announced a new policy where handset exclusivity is concerned — promising small carriers with 500,000 subscribers or less would have access to VZW-exclusive handsets six months after launch — and now the carrier is posing an amendment to roaming agreement laws. This time around, Verizon Wireless sent a letter to several senators recommending that large carriers should be required by law to enter into roaming contracts with smaller carriers in areas where they do not currently have coverage. These contracts should have minimum durations of two years, says Verizon, in order to give said small carriers time to build out their own networks. Awwee, sharing is caring. As generous as Verizon thinks its proposition is, at least one small carrier doesn’t exactly concur. Laurie Itkin, Leap Wireless’ director of government affairs, had this to say:
Verizon itself has relied on roaming agreements for over two decades as it built out its network and acquired competitors, but now has unilaterally decided that its remaining competitors are only entitled to roaming for two or three years.
You know what they say… Give ’em an inch and they take a mile. Truth be told of course, expecting a tiny carrier to build out a massive network in two years is a bit on the ridiculous side. Then again, considering there is currently no law covering this type of agreement, something may be better than nothing.