Amazon’s new web-based Kindle Store for the iPad reportedly helps the online retailer dodge Apple’s fee that it would otherwise pay through a native Amazon Kindle Store iOS application. Amazon’s subscription program typically charges retailers 30% of all generated revenues, which has caused retailers like Amazon to create new ways for customers to purchase goods without having to pay a fee. The Financial Times also recently pulled its application to avoid the same subscription charges, and we would not be surprised if other magazines, newspapers or retail app developers follow suit. It’s unclear if Apple will tweak its terms in an effort to hold on to subscription providers. More →
Deutsche Telekom recently detailed the breakup terms AT&T agreed to following the deterioration of its planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA. Deutsche Telekom will receive $3 billion in cash and T-Mobile USA will benefit from fresh AWS spectrum as well as a new 7-year 3G roaming deal with AT&T. “As part of the break-up fee, T-Mobile USA will receive a large package of AWS mobile spectrum in 128 Cellular Market Areas (CMAs), including 12 of the top 20 markets (Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, San Diego, Denver, Baltimore and Seattle),” Deutsche Telekom said in a statement. “The UMTS roaming agreement for the U.S. in T-Mobile USA’s favor has a term of over seven years and will allow the company to improve its footprint significantly among the U.S. population and offer its customers better broadband coverage for mobile communications services in the future.” The company also said that T-Mobile USA’s 3G network will grow from blanketing 230 million potential customers to covering 280 million people. Deutsche Telekom’s full press release follows below. More →
Beginning January 1st, Google will start charging a fee to developers and websites that frequently access its Google Maps API service, BBC reported recently. Developers will apparently be charged $4 for every 1,000 views after Google Maps is accessed more than 25,000 times in a single 24-hour period. BBC said Google expects the changes will only affect 0.35% of its user base. “We understand that the introduction of these limits may be concerning,” Google Maps product manager Thor Mitchell said. “However, with the continued growth in adoption of the Maps API, we need to secure its long-term future by ensuring that even when used by the highest-volume for-profit sites, the service remains viable.” More →
Apple was a company that could do no wrong. Phones that dropped every other call… Location tracking scandals… Antennagate… A CEO who constantly parked his $130,000 sports car diagonally in handicapped spaces… Apple didn’t have to roll with the punches, the company would simply laugh at the punches or toss the press and public a few crumbs if need be. A week or even a day later, all was forgiven and Apple would continue on its path, making terrific products and mopping up industry profits while whistling to itself contently. More →
According to Reuters, Microsoft has asked Samsung to pay $15 for each Android smartphone it makes. The Redmond-based firm believes that its software patents cover the technology used in Samsung’s Android devices and if history is any indication, Microsoft will get its way. In April of last year, HTC signed an umbrella agreement with Microsoft in which it was allowed access to Microsoft’s patents for an undisclosed fee estimated to be $15 per device. South Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper said that it expects Samsung to bounce back with an offer to pay Microsoft $10 for each Android phone it manufactures. Samsung has also recently been locked up in a number of lawsuits with Apple that have seen the Cupertino-based company accuse Samsung of creating “copycat devices” that infringe on Apple patents. More →
Sprint, which owns the majority stake of Clearwire, has agreed to pay the company at least $1 billion through 2012 for fees associated with the use of its 4G WiMAX network. Sprint and Clearwire entered arbitration late last year after Sprint argued that it shouldn’t have to pay a fee for 4G handsets that exist where Clearwire’s 4G WiMAX network isn’t available. Sprint charges its customers an extra $10 monthly for the option to run on 4G networks and Clearwire charges an estimated $4.46 per 4G-handset owner. According to the Associated Press, Sprint will pay Clearwire $300 million this year and $550 million in 2012. Sprint will also reportedly pay an additional $175 million in a prepaid agreement to use the 4G WiMAX network this year and in the future. Sprint’s CEO, Dan Hesse, told the AP that his company is pleased to have reached a settlement. More →
We have just been informed that as of February 15th, Telus in Canada will be offering SIM unlocking options on almost all handsets and devices. To qualify, you will need to be an active post-paid customer with an account that has been open for a minimum of 90 days. Telus will charge $50 for the unlock code and will unlock both iDEN and GSM devices. Not a bad offering, right?
You know that saying, “give and take?” Someone should tell U.S. wireless carriers that ignoring 50% of that adage sort of makes you look greedy. BGR has learned that beginning on April 1st, U.S. wireless carrier Sprint will increase the requirements customers must meet to qualify for early hardware upgrades via the Premier program. This news comes just days after the company announced a new $10 “premium data fee” for all smartphone customers — set to take effect on January 30th. Hit the break for all the details. More →
BGR has obtained a memo being sent around to third-party Sprint retailers that sheds a bit more light on the company’s recently announced $10 Premium Data fee. The fee will be applied on all lines that upgrade to or activate a new smartphone after January 30th. The $10 tariff will apply to all individual lines and all family plan lines — so three smartphones on a family plan using equals an extra $30 per month. The memo states that the move will allow Sprint to “offer simple and affordable unlimited data plans” while “maintaining a wireless network able to meet the growing appetite for mobile data.” The only customers exempt from the new fee will be those customers tied to select corporate accounts. Hit the jump for the full memo and make sure to sound off in the comments!
Thanks, Tony! More →
In a coyly named and vaguely worded press release, U.S. wireless carrier Sprint announced that it would “increase its postpaid rates by applying a $10 per month Premium Data add-on charge to activations of smartphones beginning Jan. 30.” The company notes that smartphone users, on average, use “10 times more data than users of traditional feature phones.” As the press release reads:
Sprint defines smartphones as devices with robust operating systems that deliver a rich wireless experience by bringing the full function of mobile applications and programs to life, including Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile, Palm, and the Instinct family of devices. The Premium Data add-on charge previously applied to HTC EVO 4G, HTC EVO Shift 4G and Samsung Epic 4G devices.
The Now Network certainly isn’t going to win over the hearts and minds of wireless consumers with this latest move. We’ve reached out to Sprint to find out when current Sprint customers will be forced to pay the additional fee and what options, if any, are available. The full press release is after the break. More →
Last month, we told you about Bell Mobility’s plans to charge a $10 premium for access to the highest speeds on its HSPA+ network. This month, it looks like that report is becoming a reality. BGR has obtained a memo that indicates that Bell will launch the Novatel Wireless U547 data stick — capable of 42Mbps speeds — on November 23rd. The memo boasts that the U547 will be able to achieve real-world downlinks ranging from 7Mbps to 14Mbps in select markets; at launch, Toronto will be the only market with 43Mbps HSPA+ coverage. The new data stick will retail for $199.95; the memo did not indicate if there would be subsidized pricing.
Like all good things, the new, higher speeds will not come free of charge. Bell will be taxing U547 users an extra $10 per month to access the face-melting speeds, but said users are not required to purchase the add-on; the device will still operate at 21Mbps without it.
There you have it. Let us know what you think.
FierceWireless is reporting that U.S. wireless carrier Sprint and its WiMAX-network partner Clearwire have entered arbitration over the monthly rate the latter company charges for WiMAX enabled smartphones on its network. Currently, around 810,000 Epic and Evo handset owners use their device in areas where Clearwire’s service is unavailable. Despite this fact, the WiMAX network provider continues to charge Sprint a monthly fee for the devices existence.
According to the report, Sprint filed for arbitration on October 29th of this year to resolve the dispute. As most Sprint, WiMAX-enable handset owners know, the wireless company charges a $10 monthly premium for its 4G handsets whether the service is available or not; there is no information available that indicates the $10 tariff could be reduced or dropped if the arbitration were to favor Sprint. Allegedly, Sprint pays Clearwire $4.46 per 4G-handset user.
“If we are unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of these issues, we end up agreeing to an amount less than what we expected, or the arbitration process is not resolved in our favor, we could end up receiving substantially less in future wholesale revenues than we expect or for which we have planned,” said Clearwire.
“We do have an agreement between the parties,” added Clearwire Chief Commercial Officer Mike Sievert. “What we have right now is a difference in the interpretation of it.”
The news comes on the heels of a dismal Q3 earnings call where the company announced a 15% reduction in work-force to help “raise short-term funding.”
It will be interesting to see how this one pans out and how, if at all, it affects the monthly charge Sprint passes on to its 4G handset owners.
[Via PhoneScoop] More →