Apple on Wednesday announced its AppleCare+ extended warranty service for the iPad. Like other Apple products, when purchasing an iPad the device comes with a one year limited warranty, however accidental damage is not covered. With AppleCare+, users can breathe easy knowing their $499+ slate is safe from water damage, drops and hardware malfunctions for two years — although users are only allotted two incidents of accidental damage, each of which will require a $49 service fee. AppleCare+ is priced at $99 and must be purchased within 30 days of buying an iPad. More →
Verizon Wireless on Thursday announced that its lightning fast 4G LTE network now covers more than half of the U.S. population. We have repeatedly called Verizon’s LTE network the fastest cellular network we’ve ever used, and the fact that the carrier has been able to roll it out so quickly with only a few hiccups is nothing short of impressive. “In eight short months we’ve introduced our 4G LTE network to more than half of the U.S. population, while continuing to offer the nation’s most reliable 3G network coast to coast,” said David Small, chief technical officer of Verizon Wireless, in a statement. “This matters to millions of Americans because they can take advantage of faster 4G LTE speeds both at home and when they travel throughout the country – today and in many more markets to come this year. Each new market and expansion is significant as it brings us closer to delivering on the promise to bring our 4G LTE network to more than 185 million Americans by the end of 2011.” Verizon Wireless’ full press release follows below. More →
Verizon Wireless on Thursday confirmed that its 4G LTE network is now available in Mobile and Montgomery, Alabama; Greater Fairfield and New Haven, Connecticut; Gainesville Pensacola and Tallahassee Florida; Fayetteville-Lumberton, North Carolina; and Bryan-College Station and Temple-Killeen, Texas. The nation’s largest wireless carrier also said that it’s expanding the 4G footprint that is already available in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, New Orleans, and Philadelphia, to cover more customers. Verizon’s chief technical officer, David Small, said that Verizon’s 4G LTE network is now available in 55 metropolitan areas and that the carrier plans to expand its 4G LTE footprint to match its entire 3G coverage area by the end of 2013. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
The nation’s fifth largest wireless provider — MetroPCS — announced the addition of Tampa, Florida to its LTE portfolio. “As we have built-out our 4G LTE service across the nation, we continue to be dedicated to making our customers’ lives easier by providing them with feature-rich smartphones that let them do more on our network,” said the company’s president, CEO and chairman Roger D. Linquist. Tampa joins Atlanta, Boston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Sacramento and San Francisco on the list of cities blanketed with MetroPCS’s LTE network. The full press release is after the break. More →
Via a press release today, AT&T announced a new, comprehensive insurance offering dubbed Mobile Protection Pack. As the company explains, the new offering is a combination of three services: mobile insurance, enhanced support, and mobile locate. Mobile Protection, which will retail for $9.99 per month, covers subscribers against equipment loss, theft, accidental damage, liquid damage, and out-of-warranty malfunction. It also provides users with the ability to locate, lock, and trigger an alarm on a misplaced phone — and includes a handful of setup services. The complete list of covered devices can be found here, and includes the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Motorola Atrix 4G. Users looking to replace a damaged or lost device will have to pay a $50 or $125 deductible and, like all AT&T insurance offerings, Apple’s iPad and iPhone are not eligible. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Verizon Wireless on Tuesday announced the addition of 59 new markets that will be covered by the carrier’s 4G LTE service in 2011. These new regions are in addition to the 88 markets Verizon Wireless already announced, bringing the total number of projected markets that will receive LTE coverage from Verizon this year to 147. “Aggressively expanding this powerful network beyond major metro areas reflects the reality that the 4G LTE ecosystem is growing quickly, ” Verizon Wireless CTO David Small said in a statement. “Our commitment to reach deep into medium-sized cities and smaller communities by the end of 2011 means the power of 4G LTE can be harnessed and provide advanced services to law enforcement, healthcare workers, educators, and other professionals, as well as to individual consumers, sooner than many thought possible.” Verizon Wireless launched its first 4G LTE-enabled smartphone, the HTC ThunderBolt, last week, and the carrier currently offers a variety of LTE modems. Hit the break for the full press release.
Look, I have been dreaming about a Verizon iPhone since the original announcement was made in 2007. I’ve always admired Verizon’s insanely solid and reliable wireless network, even before it was Verizon (someone tell James Earl Jones I said what’s up). I had the first digital phone Verizon Wireless offered (following countless analog phones prior to that), and I’ve had many more since then. But I switched away from Verizon Wireless as soon as I saw that the handsets available in Europe were becoming more advanced, because these new phones typically didn’t become available from Verizon for months or even years later, if at all. As soon as I saw that I could switch my SIM card from phone to phone myself, I was on a tear — first on T-Mobile, then AT&T when I realized how much better AT&T’s coverage was in my area, even five years ago. More →
Via a short press release, T-Mobile announced the addition of five metropolitan areas to its HSPA+ portfolio. Des Moines, Iowa; Gainesville and Panama City, Florida; Monterey, California; and Savannah, Georgia will now have access to T-Mobile’s 21Mbps, HSPA+, 4G network. The company notes that customers can expect real-world speeds between 5Mbps and 12Mbps depending on network traffic. T-Mobile now covers 157 markets with its 21Mbps, HSPA+ network, and expects to double speeds to 42Mbps in 2011. More →
Allow us to bring you up to speed in case you missed it — Verizon Wireless just announced that it will finally begin carrying the iPhone 4 starting on February 10th. It’s kind of a big deal. There are definitely plenty of positives tied to the Verizon iPhone, of course. For starters, choice is always a good thing and the fact that AT&T finally lost iPhone exclusivity will benefit consumers in a big way. And there are plenty more benefits as well — for example, there’s a redesigned antenna that might reduce the effects of the death grip, and a mobile hotspot option that AT&T iPhone users have been wishing for since Android first popularized the feature. But it’s not all double rainbows and jazz hands, we’re afraid. There are definitely some areas where Verizon’s upcoming iPhone 4 is sorely lacking, and we’ve listed a few of the main missteps after the break. More →
Yesterday, my cohorts weighed in on the question on countless iPhone owners’ minds right now — should I ditch AT&T and buy an iPhone from Verizon? The answer is going to be different for everyone, of course. Some people have a compulsive need to switch phones constantly, so they can’t use a CDMA carrier. Some people have a need for speed and Verizon’s 3G network doesn’t cut it. Well guess what? I have a need for a phone that actually works wherever and whenever I want it to. That need is way more important than any need I have to swap phones every day or download iTunes tracks at lightning-fast speeds. I want to make phone calls. I want to receive emails instantly. I want to load Web pages and refresh apps any time, anywhere. AT&T, fast as it might be, just can’t hang. More →
Are you currently deciding whether you should get a new iPhone 4 from AT&T or wait a few weeks for the imminent Verizon iPhone launch? Do you need help determining which carrier provides the best cellular coverage in your most treaded areas? Do you just want extra fodder for the perpetual and infinitely ridiculous “my network is better than your network” argument that takes place on countless forums and blogs? Say hello to Coverage?, a new iOS app from Technomadia. The function of this great little app is quite simple; it allows users to quickly and easily view coverage maps for each of the four major U.S. carriers. Focus can be narrowed by carrier to 3G, 2G or roaming service, and multiple carriers can be viewed on the same map using simple toggle switches. The app uses Google Maps so it supports zooming and multitouch, and it really is quite useful for travelers and those who live in areas with fringe coverage. Coverage? costs $1.99 and is currently available in the App Store for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Hit the break for a video demo. More →
The image above says it all. It shows a screen capture of an actual speed test performed on an Apple iPhone 4 while connected to AT&T’s 3G network in northern New Jersey. It is not an anomaly. In fact it’s pretty standard in my home town and in the surrounding areas. Sometimes my download speed is faster and sometimes it’s slower, but it generally stays between 3.5 and 5Mbps¹. I can’t give that up. More →
AT&T might not call its HSPA+ network “4G” like T-Mobile does, but trust us when we tell you… AT&T’s enhanced 3G network can move. The screen shot above, taken just outside New York city on Wednesday afternoon, shows an iPhone 4 enjoying download speeds of 5Mbps on AT&T’s HSPA+ network. According to AT&T CTO John Donovan, 80% of AT&T’s network is now covered by HSPA+, though he did not elaborate on average speeds are experienced in various regions. Donovan also discussed the growth rate of data traffic on the carrier’s network, which is up 3,000% over the past three years — from approximately 1 billion MB in Q3 2007 to a staggering 30.3 billion MB in Q3 2010. Growth has slowed in recent months, from 50% growth in Q2 of this year to 30% in Q3, but the carrier isn’t expecting its data growth rate to continue decreasing. AT&T is currently preparing to launch an LTE network next year that will be even faster than its HSPA+ network, which has a theoretical downlink limit of 21Mbps. AT&T has not publicly stated firm speed expectations for its LTE network. More →