Earlier this weak, Australian regulators claimed that Apple was misleading consumers with false promotions and advertisements for its new “4G” iPad tablet. While the new iPad supports some 4G LTE networks, users in most regions are stuck with HSPA and HSPA+ 3G networks. After the allegation, Apple began to offer refunds to Australian iPad owners who felt duped by the company’s 4G claims. Now, regulators in the U.K. have confirmed that they are looking into various complaints regarding the new iPad, Pocket-lint reports. The Wall Street Journal is also reporting that Sweden’s Consumer Agency is considering an investigation into whether Apple’s “4G” marketing is misleading as well. Apple has not addressed the matter publicly. More →
T-Mobile is looking to restructure the company and in doing so, it will cut 5% of its workforce and closing seven call centers over the next three months, The Wall Street Journal reports. The carrier said the job cuts were necessary and will help fund its planned $4 billon 4G LTE network. As both Verizon and AT&T continue to add subscribers, T-Mobile shed 1.7 million customers last year alone. “The customer base is less and the call volume is lower,” said Cara Walker, a spokeswoman for the carrier. “This is an effort to optimize our operations.” The spokeswoman declined to disclose how much T-Mobile expects to save annually by cutting approximately 1,800 jobs, however, instead commenting that further cuts wouldn’t impact the remaining 17 call centers, engineers, technicians or salespeople in T-Mobile’s retail locations. More →
AT&T reported its fourth-quarter 2011 results on Thursday and noted that it achieved record mobile broadband and smartphone activations during the quarter. The company reported consolidated revenue of $32.5 billion, up 3.6% or $1.1 billion from the same quarter last year, but it posted a loss of $6.7 billion, or $1.12 per share. EPS swings to a profit of $0.42 per share discounting one-time charges including the massive breakup fee paid to T-Mobile. AT&T attributed 76% of its revenue growth to wireless, wireline data and managed services, which represented 76% of overall revenue, up 7.5% from last year. The carrier sold 9.4 million smartphones during the quarter, a record that was 50% more than its previous record and more than twice the number of smartphones that were sold during the last quarter. AT&T added 717,000 postpaid customers, the largest increase in postpaid in five quarters, and 2.5 million total net wireless subscribers. The company said it was also the best quarter for Android and iPhone activations and that it activated a total of 7.6 million iPhones during the quarter. AT&T also noted that its full year revenue totaled $126.7 billion, up 2% from the $124.3 billion it reported in 2010. AT&T’s full press release follows after the break. More →
An internal document allegedly obtained from T-Mobile says the iPhone offers a “poor” customer experience on T-Mobile’s network. While it’s arguable that is a true statement since current iPhone models don’t support T-Mobile’s 1700MHz and 2100MHz 3G/4G bands and can only run on a second-generation EDGE network, there are now well over a million T-Mobile customers currently using unlocked iPhones on its network. The internal document instead asks customer service representatives to suggest customers buy T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ Android devices instead. We certainly understand where T-Mobile is coming from; obviously it wants to be able to control its customers’ experiences on its network. Plus, EDGE is far slower than the carrier’s HSPA+ network. As TMoNews points out, it’s more probable that customers find their data experience “limited” but not “poor,” given that some customers may argue that the iPhone itself offers a better hardware and software experience than several of T-Mobile’s 4G phones. More →
Verizon on Tuesday reported its fourth quarter 2011 results. The company noted record revenue growth during the quarter, which it said was fueled by strong demand for wireless service. Revenue for the year totaled $110.9 billion, up 4% from 2010. Its quarterly revenue of $28.4 billion was up 7.7% from the same time period last year. Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications and Vodafone, reported the highest number of retail net additions in three years driven by smartphone sales. Revenues tipped at $18.3 billion during the quarter, up 13% from the same period last year. Data revenues was up even higher year over year, at $6.3 billion, up 19.2% ($1 billion) from the same period one year prior. ARPU grew 2.6% to $53.14. Verizon also reported $0.85 EPS, down from $0.90 EPS in 2010. The carrier added a total of 1 million total net connections during the fourth quarter and 1.5 million retail customers, including 1.2 million retail postpaid customers. Postpaid churn was 0.94% for the quarter. Verizon’s full press release follows after the break.
MetroPCS is interested in purchasing spectrum and subscribers from AT&T and T-Mobile, Bloomberg said Friday. Leap Wireless and Dish Network were also approached and Leap may still be interested in making an offer. The deal with MetroPCS would likely amount to less than $4 billion. In August, The Wall Street Journal revealed AT&T had hired Bank of America’s Merill Lynch to advise it on selling as much as $8 billion in assets. Later that month, the United States government sued to block the planned merger when the U.S. Justice Department said the deal would “substantially lessen competition” in the U.S. wireless market. Read on for more. More →
HP’s customers are wary of purchasing new products from the company after its recent decision to kill off its webOS mobile operating system and possibly spin off its PC business. The chief information officer of Fluor Corp Ray Barnard told The Wall Street Journal his company typically spends $25 million per year upgrading its hardware and software. Barnard said that Fluor Corp was considering purchasing a number of HP computers capable of displaying 3D graphics, but has instead decided not to purchase from the company just yet. “I’ve put that all on hold” he told The Wall Street Journal. “It appears that they’re lost right now.” Read on for more. More →
Sprint announced on Tuesday that it is now selling access to its 4G WiMAX network, currently available in 71 markets across the United States, to its wholesale customers. Typically the carrier only sells its 3G network to wholesaler customers and it is now the first U.S. carrier to sell 4G wholesale. Sprint said that it will offer its customers the Sierra Wireless 250U 3G/4G data card as well as the HTC Detail 4G handset and the EVO Shift 4G. Mitel is among the first of Sprint’s wholesale customers to deploy a 4G network. Read on for the full press release from Sprint. More →
Netflix could shed as many as 2.5 million paying customers as a result of its recent move to significantly increase the monthly cost of its DVDs-by-mail rental service. Netflix announced earlier this month that it would be adjusting its monthly rate plans. Whereas subscribers had been able to stream unlimited digital content and receive DVD rentals by mail for as little as $9.99 per month, Netflix’s new combination plans start at $15.98 per month, a 60% increase. Research firm TDG polled 500 Netflix customers who subscribed to DVD and streaming combination plans at the time Netflix announced the price hike. Based on the results of that survey, TDG estimates that Netflix stands to lose between 12% and 15% of combo plan subscribers within the next six months due to the new plan pricing. That would translate to between 2 million and 2.5 million subscribers — or a minimum of nearly $240 million annually. Many subscribers who might stay around also say they intend to switch off of their current combo plans; 34% told TDG they will switch to a streaming-only plan and 44% said they will opt for a DVD-only plan. Netflix warned investors during its earnings call that the rate plan changes could have a negative impact on its business in the near term. More →
Amazon has stopped directly selling the Nintendo 3DS citing customer complaints as the cause of its decision. The portable gaming console currently has 359 reviews and an average of 4/5 stars on Amazon’s website, which suggests customers are happy with the unit itself, but the online retailer has posted a note that states:
While this item is available from other marketplace sellers on this page, it is not currently offered by Amazon.com because customers have told us there may be something wrong with our inventory of the item, the way we are shipping it, or the way it’s described here. (Thanks for the tip!)
We’re working to fix the problem as quickly as possible.
It remains unclear but Amazon could have stopped selling the 3DS because of a mistake in its original listing or due to customer complaints on how the product arrived. Techland is speculating that cause could be the “rubber feet” on the top lid. These feet are supposedly not adequate enough to prevent the screen from rubbing against the keypad while the console is closed. Gamers can still purchase the Nintendo 3DS from third-party retailers on Amazon.com however, and from a number of additional retailers across the country. More →
AppleCare representatives can do a lot of things for Mac owners suffering software issues… except when it comes to malware. In an internal support article leaked to ZDNet, Apple instructs its call center representatives on how to handle calls from users reporting that they have a machine infected with the “Mac Defender” malware trojan. And, as you can see, Apple is definitely taking the hands-off approach. “AppleCare does not provide support for the removal of the malware,” reads the memo. “You should not confirm or deny whether the customer’s Mac is infected or not.” Apple certainly isn’t the first company to instruct its support representatives to shy away from virus/malware assistance, but it is notable as it is the first major Mac OS X virus that — thanks to some moderate social engineering — is propagating. Apple has yet to issue a public statement about the software’s existence or infection levels. The full memo is after the break. More →
Netflix released its fiscal first quarter 2011 earnings on Monday and, thanks to record amounts spent on marketing, the firm reported an increase in net customer additions and a spike in revenues. The video subscription service added 3.3 million domestic net customers during the quarter, a 94% increase year-over-year — that service now serves 23.6 million subscribers globally. Netflix reported revenues of $719 million, up 46% year-over-year, and a net income of $60 million, an 88% jump from the same period a year ago. The company said noted that it expects DVD shipments to decline and spending on streaming content to “increase substantially” in the second quarter and beyond. Hit the jump for Netflix’s letter to shareholders. More →
Verizon Wireless confirmed that it has more than 500,000 subscribers using its 4G LTE network. The HTC Thunderbolt, which launched as Verizon’s first 4G LTE phone, is responsible for 260,000 of those subscriptions. The wireless carrier said that it added about 500,000 4G LTE customers this quarter in addition to the 65,000 early adopters who signed on in Q4. Big Red will continue to build out its 4G LTE device portfolio in the coming months. In addition to the HTC Thunderbolt and Samsung DROID Charge – announced on Thursday – it has plans to launch 4G support for the XOOM, an LTE version of the Samsung GALAXY Tab, and the Motorola DROID Bionic later this summer. It also currently offers three 4G LTE USB modems and two 4G LTE hotspot devices. More →