AT&T said Monday that it, along with Deutsche Telekom, has asked Judge Ellen Huvelle to delay any further court hearings regarding AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA until January 18th, 2012. AT&T said the delay will “allow the two companies time to evaluate all options” and that the U.S. Justice Department also joined in on the filing. AT&T recently withdrew its merger application from the FCC to instead focus on the lawsuit that was brought against the merger by the Department of Justice. “AT&T is committed to working with Deutsche Telekom to find a solution that is in the best interests of our respective customers, shareholders and employees,” AT&T said in a statement. “We are actively considering whether and how to revise our current transaction to achieve the necessary regulatory approvals so that we can deliver the capacity enhancements and improved customer service that can only be derived from combining our two companies’ wireless assets.” The delay makes a lot of sense, since the Department of Justice doesn’t have much of a reason to sue AT&T unless it has a merger application filed with the FCC. ”It’s not a real transaction until they file with the FCC,” Justice Department lead attorney Joseph Wayland said last week. AT&T’s full press release follows after the break. More →
The Justice Department intends to file a motion next week to delay or dismiss its lawsuit against AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA. The DOJ originally sued AT&T to block the deal in August, and AT&T soon after decided to pull its merger application from the FCC to instead focus on the suit. In light of the withdrawal of AT&T’s merger application, however, the DOJ seemingly no longer has cause to sue. “It’s not a real transaction until they file with the FCC,” Wayland told Judge Ellen Huvelle according to Reuters. With that, it looks we’re now watching at a giant game of cat and mouse. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson recently said that U.S. regulators don’t understand the wireless industry enough to see the benefits of its proposed T-Mobile USA purchase. Earlier Friday he said in an interview that ”regulators can’t keep up with the changes in the industry” and that blocking the merger will increase wireless prices for U.S. consumers. More →
We’ve just received word from a third-party Verizon Wireless retail partner that Verizon’s Samsung Galaxy Nexus has been delayed and will not launch on December 9th, as earlier rumors have suggested, or December 12th as the email above suggests. While retail partners don’t always launch handsets at the same time as Verizon Wireless, we’ve also received word that Verizon may be delaying the phone’s release as well. An international GSM version of the Galaxy Nexus has been available for the past several weeks, and it remains unclear what could be causing the delay with Verizon Wireless. The phone is expected to retail for $199.99 with a new two-year contract when it makes its debut.
Microsoft has reportedly pushed the launch of its Windows Phone operating system in China to the first half of 2012. Microsoft’s China communications director Yang Tanyang had originally said the Redmond-based company’s vendor partners planned to deploy handsets in the country before the end of the year, IDG News explained Monday. The most recent reports suggested Microsoft gave Chinese retailer Suning an exclusive offer to sell Windows Phone and Windows 8 devices in more than 700 of its retail stores. China’s Windows Phone launch will be key for Microsoft’s goals to boost its mobile operating system’s global market share. IDC and Gartner both predict Windows Phone will have the second largest operating system share in the world by 2015. More →
The Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday that it will hold an administrative hearing to examine AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA. The FCC said the hearing will not begin until after the Justice Department’s lawsuit against the merger, and that case isn’t expected to go to trial until February. The hearing was decided upon after the FCC concluded in a draft order that the AT&T/T-Mobile deal might not be in the best interest of the public and could result in job losses. The government agency also said that the burden will be on AT&T and T-Mobile to prove otherwise. Read on for more. More →
AT&T has pushed back the date it expects to close the books on its planned merger with T-Mobile and spectrum purchase from Qualcomm, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The carrier had originally planned to close both acquisitions by March of 2012, although it now expects the required approvals to take as much as three months longer to gain. The carrier now says the deal should be approved by the end of the first half next year. AT&T recently ran into speed bumps with both deals. In August the Federal Communications Commission announced that it would review both AT&T’s spectrum purchase from Qualcomm and its merger with T-Mobile USA at the same time. Later that month, the U.S. government sued AT&T in an effort to block the T-Mobile acquisition. AT&T has argued that the T-Mobile purchase will provide jobs and improve wireless service for Americans. It also responded to the FCC lawsuit, saying it will “vigorously contest [the] matter in court.”
Apple’s manufacturing partners are running into a few speed bumps creating the new high-resolution Retina Display for the iPad 3, CNET reported recently. LG CEO Young Soo Kwon confirmed that his company, which also builds the Retina Display on the iPhone 4 and 4S, is working on the next-generation iPad 3 screens. Samsung and Sharp are also allegedly behind the development. However, CNET said that mass manufacturing a display with a 2,048 x 1,536-pixel resolution, twice the pixel density of the current iPad 2, has been a struggle. “It’s not a question of just making one,” a source said. “That, of course can be done. The challenge is making lots of them. This is a quantum leap in pixel density. This hasn’t been done before.” In August, a report surfaced that suggested Apple had delayed the iPad 3 due to display issues. CNET said the companies have 1,600 x 1,200-pixel resolution screens prepared as a back-up in case the Retina Display can’t be mass produced in time. More →
Apple customers are just now getting the iPhone 4S into their hands, however, the company’s highly anticipated (and rumored) iPhone 5 may hit the market sooner than later. According to report from 9to5 Mac, Apple is on schedule to ship the iPhone 5 in the summer of 2012. Why didn’t Apple release it earlier, as rumored? CNET said in a recent story that Steve Jobs was heading up the iPhone 5 project, which was met with delays in February, while the iPhone 4S was developed by another team. The iPhone 5 production delays would have made a holiday deadline impossible. As such, Apple was forced to make the final decision to hold the iPhone 5 until kinks in the production line were ironed out. The iPhone 4S team moved forward and released the phone on schedule and in time for the holidays. Rumors still suggest the iPhone 5 will be thinner, lighter and will have a teardrop form factor.
Apple’s iPhone 4S became available to the general public today, and the launch appears to have been an overwhelming success. Yankee Group analyst Carl Howe believes Apple could close out the weekend having sold as many as 4 million new iPhones. We’ve been hearing from proud new iPhone owners across the country all day — and we’ve also been hearing about all the crazy things they’ve been asking poor Siri — but we’ve also heard from an unhappy minority that seems to have fallen victim to fulfillment problems. Read on for more.
Updated with comment from AT&T. More →
Samsung and Google announced last week that the companies were postponing the unveiling of Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” and the Galaxy Nexus smartphone out of respect for Steve Jobs’s passing. Samsung said that it was canceling its “Unpacked” press conference, during which the company was expected to unveil the Galaxy Nexus. “Samsung and Google have decided to postpone the Samsung Mobile Unpacked event during the CTIA in San Diego, previously scheduled for Oct. 11,” the company said in a statement at the time. “Under the current circumstances, both parties have agreed that this is not the appropriate time for the announcement of a new product.” Samsung’s comments alluded to Steve Jobs’s passing as the cause for postponing the event, and the company would later confirm this to reporters. According to industry insider Eldar Murtazin, however, Samsung and Google’s motives were not quite as noble. Read on for more. More →
Foxconn’s plans to build a $12 billion factory in Brazil dedicated to producing iPads is “in doubt,” government officials in Brazil told Reuters. Reportedly, negotiations have stalled because both sides have yet to reach an agreement on tax breaks for Foxconn. Additionally, Brazil may not be able to populate the factory with enough skilled laborers. Worse still, Brazil has been tasked with building infrastructure for the 2014 World Cup followed by the Olympics two years later. Skeptics argue Brazil will not be able to finish all of the construction required for the two major sporting events and create Foxconn’s proposed “intelligent city” outside of Sao Paulo. Read on for more. More →
Sprint announced late Thursday evening that it has pushed back the launch of RIM’s newest Curve, the BlackBerry Curve 9350, until some time in October. The carrier said previously that it would release the Curve 9350 on September 9th starting at $49.99 on contract. Sprint gave no reason for the delay, citing only “unexpected circumstances” in its statement on the matter. RIM’s Curve series of smartphones has been crucial to the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor’s success to date. Offering RIM’s full suite of popular PIM services in an affordable package, Curve handsets are common choices for prepaid customers and enterprise customers making fleet purchases. BGR exclusively revealed RIM’s new Curve back in January and the handset was thought to be slated for a release earlier this year, suggesting this might not be the first time its release is being delayed. Sprint’s full statement follows below. More →
Samsung has again delayed the launch of its GALAXY Tab 10.1 Android tablet in Australia amid an ongoing patent dispute with Apple. This time, Samsung has stated in court that it will not market or sell its 10-inch Honeycomb tablet until September 30th at the earliest. While the repeated launch delays are no doubt victories for Apple, which claims the Tab 10.1 infringes on multiple Apple-owned patents, Samsung won’t stick to a defensive stance for much longer. Samsung in a statement confirmed that it “intends to file a cross claim against Apple Australia and Apple Inc regarding the invalidity of the patents previously asserted by Apple and also a cross claim against Apple regarding violation of patents held by Samsung by selling its iPhones and iPads.” The next hearing in Apple’s case against Samsung in Australia is scheduled for September 26th. More →