According to CEO Joe Kennedy, Pandora has surpassed 150 million users in the United States and is the second most downloaded app in the history of Apple’s App Store, CNET reported on Wednesday. The Internet radio service has big plans for the future and is working with automakers to integrate the service into virtually all future vehicles. “We truly believe this is just the beginning,” Kennedy said at the CTIA Wireless trade show in New Orleans. Over the past year, the company has faced increased competition from streaming service Spotify, however it doesn’t seem to have affected Pandora’s continued growth. More →
AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega said he feels good about the future of the company’s shared family data plans. “I’m very comfortable with the plan that will be offered to our customers,” de la Vega told CNET at the CTIA Wireless trade show. The comments mark a 180-degree reversal from previous statements the CEO made in January. De la Vega had said the company had run into complications over IT and billing issues, as well as complications regarding how the carrier would subsidize devices. “We want to make sure we get it right,” he said in January. A shared data plan would allow families to buy a larger bucket of data that can be shared by multiple devices, like a pool of voice minutes. The executive wouldn’t comment further on specifics and only said plans will be available in the coming months, though AT&T may be looking to beat Verizon Wireless to the punch. More →
As sales of smartphones and tablets reach all time heights, consumers in the United States are streaming more movies, downloading more apps and viewing more websites on their wireless devices. According to a recent report from the CTIA, annual wireless data traffic in the U.S. grew 123% from 388 billion megabytes in 2010 to 866.7 billion megabytes in 2011. The survey also found that the number of active smartphones in the U.S. increased by 43% to 111.5 million units in 2011 compared with 78.2 million in 2010. “As the President, bipartisan members of Congress, FCC Chairman and Commissioners and other policymakers have repeatedly advocated, the U.S. wireless industry must have access to more spectrum so we can continue to improve our nation’s economy and meet our consumers’ demands,” Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTIA, said in a statement. In order to handle the massive demand for wireless data, U.S. mobile carriers are continuing to invest in their networks through 4G upgrades and increased coverage and capacity with more cell sites. Read on for CTIA’s press release. More →
The CTIA on Monday announced that President Bill Clinton will be the final keynote speaker at this year’s International CTIA Wireless event in New Orleans, Louisiana. President Clinton will “share his unique perspective on preparing leaders to meet the challenges of global interdependence and implementing innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues.” His address will come on the third and final day of the event and run from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. CDT. The International CTIA Wireless convention is scheduled to take place from May 8th through May 10th at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. As always, we will be on hand to bring you all the news as it breaks. Read on for the CTIA’s press release. More →
The United States House of Representatives approved the Wireless Tax Fairness Act on Tuesday, an initiative that prevents new local and state taxes on wireless bills for the next five years. “We need to encourage the development and adoption of wireless broadband, not tax it out of existence,” Representative Zoe Lofgren said. The average tax rate on goods and services in the United States is 7.4% but consumers with wireless contracts pay an average of 16.4% in taxes and fees, WirelessWeek said. “The exorbitant discriminatory taxes on wireless customers are not only unfair, they are counterintuitive, adding another costly impediment to the success of so many American businesses who are struggling in the midst of a prolonged recession,” Representative Trent Franks argued. Read on for more. More →
We just met with Motorola in San Diego during the CTIA Enterprise & Applications 2011 trade show to get a first-hand look at the newly announced Motorola ATRIX 2, and we love what we see so far. The phone is made of plastic, and while we generally prefer more high-end materials such as aluminum, it feels weighty and solid in the hand. We also appreciate that Motorola added a dedicated camera button this time around, which makes it easy to launch the camera app for quick photo taking. The ATRIX 2 is also equipped with a beautiful 4.3-inch qHD display that was very sharp, a 1GHz dual-core processor, 8GB of storage, 1GB of RAM and support for AT&T’s HSPA+ 21 network. Additionally, it runs the latest Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system. The ATRIX 2 will be available on Sunday, October 16th for $99.99 with a new two-year contract. We’ll reserve final judgements until we write our full review, but we’re definitely respecting the high-spec build-out at an affordable price point. Be sure to check out our gallery below.
For the first time, the number of wireless devices connecting to cellular networks in the United States and its territories over the past six months has surpassed the country’s total population. A semi-annual survey conducted by the CTIA found that wireless subscriber connections now total 327.6 million while the population of the U.S. and its territories is now 315.5 million people. This means the wireless penetration rate in the U.S. in now 103.9% according to the CTIA, marking the first time that wireless penetration has surpassed 100% in the U.S. The CTIA also noted that wireless data connections increased 111% compared to its previous semi-annual survey, and wireless service revenue in the U.S. totaled $164.6 billion during the 12-month period ending June 2011, up 6% from the same period in 2010. The association’s full press release follows below. More →
The CTIA recently filed a lawsuit in San Francisco, California in an effort to block the city’s “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” ordinance, which the CTIA says is misinforming consumers. The ordinance requires cell phone retailers to post information about cellular radiation next to devices, which the CTIA argues wrongly suggests there is proof phones cause brain tumors and pose other health risks. “The materials the City would require be posted and handed out at retail stores are both alarmist and false,” the CTIA said in a statement. “The FCC and FDA have repeatedly found that cell phone use does not pose a danger to human health. The Ordinance recommends such things as turning the phone off when not in use, a suggestion that would render critical emergency communications unavailable to San Francisco residents.” Read on for more. More →
Samsung has just announced that the product launch event at CTIA Fall planned for next week with Google won’t be happening. Here’s Samsung’s statement:
Samsung and Google have decided to postpone the Samsung Mobile Unpacked event during the CTIA in San Diego, previously scheduled for Oct. 11. Under the current circumstances, both parties have agreed that this is not the appropriate time for the announcement of a new product. We would ask for the understanding of our clients and media for any inconvenience caused. We will announce a new date and venue in due course.”
We know the Google and Samsung teams have been working around the clock on the Galaxy Nexus, but a postponement a few days before the event doesn’t make too much sense. We’ve reached out to Samsung and Google for further clarification, but it looks like we’ll have to keep re-watching that leaked video from this morning over and over for a bit longer now.
UPDATE: Updated with newer statement from Samsung.
Samsung recently sent out press invites to an event on October 11th during which Google’s next Android iteration, Ice Cream Sandwich, and the Nexus Prime are expected to be unveiled. Samsung’s invite is titled “Google Episode” and it promises “a look at what’s new from Android.” We reported exclusively in June that the Nexus Prime is manufactured by Samsung, much like the Nexus S was, and we expect it will be packed with high-end hardware. Our sources said the device will likely be powered by a OMAP4460 processor, will be equipped with a large 720p display 1GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel camera with advanced low-light performance and a 4G LTE radio. Reportedly, Google has been working with multiple carriers on the device and early rumors suggested it will hit the market this month, too. BGR will be reporting live from the Samsung event, so tune in for all the news as it breaks on October 11th.
The city of San Francisco has approved an ordinance that will require cell phone retailers to warn customers about the dangers of cell phone radiation, the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday. The ordinance, which was passed in a 10-1 vote, asks that phone retailers “post general warnings” about risks. It’s unclear what exactly will be required of the retailers, and researchers have flip-flopped on whether or not there are any real risks associated with mobile wireless devices. On May 31st, the World Health Organization published a report that said cell phones are “possibly carcinogenic,” but The Economist fired back shortly after and said there’s no way the devices cause cancer. A second group wrote published a separate report in an issue of Environmental Health Perspectives and argued there is evidence “increasingly against the hypothesis that mobile phone use can cause brain tumors in adults.” A similar law was passed last year that required cell phone makers to publish specific absorption rate (SAR) figures on boxes of cell phones, but the CTIA sued before the law took effect. More →
Mickey Mouse and pals stepped aside this week in sunny Orlando, Florida to make way for the latest and greatest gear wireless companies had to offer. After a killer Consumer Electronics Show in January and an action-packed Mobile World Congress in February, we wondered if our favorite brands had enough juice left in the tank for CTIA Wireless 2011 this week. While there weren’t quite as many announcements as in other shows this year, we definitely saw some exciting new devices showcased by companies like Sprint, HTC, Samsung and more. Hit the break for a rundown of all the biggest announcements from this year’s show. More →
We met up with LG on Tuesday to check out its inductive Wireless Charging Pad, which it hopes will compete against competitors like Powermat. During our hands-on, we weren’t able to test the device — it seems someone forgot to charge the charger — but we were able to get a feel for its size, weight and some of its features. The Wireless Charging Pad has a power indicator that alerts you just how much power is left, and LG says it takes about two hours to charge itself up fully. All you have to do once it’s juiced up is pop a special back onto your smartphone and drop it onto the charging pad. In our eyes, the Wireless Charging Pad wasn’t a whole lot different than the Powermat; it’s light in the hand and can easily be packed in a briefcase, backpack or even a Florida tourist-friendly oversized fanny pack. LG hasn’t said which of its phones the Wireless Charging Pad will be compatible with just yet, but we think it’s a little counter intuitive for LG to make it only compatible with LG phones. Don’t forget to check out our photo gallery below!