Facebook plans to file for its initial public offering as soon as Wednesday next week according to multiple reports from Dow Jones Newswires. Morgan Stanley is expected to win the deal to lead the highly anticipated IPO, and Goldman Sachs is also reportedly expected to play a role. According to Dow Jones Newswires, Facebook is currently looking at a valuation between $75 billion and $100 billion. Following next week’s anticipated filing, it will still be several months until the company goes public. The initial offering is expected to raise as much as $10 billion, which would make it the biggest U.S. Internet IPO in history. The record currently stands at $1.9 billion, achieved by Google when it went public in 2004. At $10 billion, Facebook would also best the largest global technology IPO — Infineon’s $5.9 billion offer — by more than 40%. More →
On Friday, AT&T announced that it has officially filed a public statement with the Federal Communications Commission in support of its planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom. AT&T argues five main pillars in its statement:
- The transaction will generate jobs and economic growth.
- The transaction will preserve and promote competition and innovation.
- The wireless market will remain vibrantly competitive.
- The network capacity of the combined company will far exceed the sum generated by its pre-merger parts.
- Numerous competitors will have ample spectrum to maintain the vibrantly competitive U.S. wireless market.
In a clear response to claims from Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse that the acquisition would “stifle innovation,” AT&T also argued “nothing about the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile USA could possibly keep Sprint or any other provider from acting on the same incentives it has today to keep innovating in this unusually dynamic ecosystem.” Hit the jump for AT&T’s full release. More →
A patent filing from Apple has sparked rumors of a new, low-profile keyboard. Designed with perforated keys, the input device would provide its end-user with tactile feedback by forcing air through the perforations in the key-tops. According to a report by Patently Apple, the “Advanced Keyboard Feedback System” will pair the punctured keys with a pressure and proximity sensor. When a user’s finger is detected to be just above the key in question, a light stream of air will be emitted to provide pre-press feedback. “As a twist to this patent, Apple goes on to describe that flowing of air could also be implemented in a virtual keyboard, wherein each key location is merely a defined region on a solid surface, where contact with that surface region will generate a defined input signal,” reads the report. The implication there being that Apple could include this technology on touchscreen devices like the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. The problem Apple is trying to solve is delivering adequate input-feedback on low-profile keyboards while continuing to make thinner and lighter keyboards — usually, feedback is provided by the downward travel of a depressed key. Apple is known for patenting dozens of technologies that never make it on to mainstream products; it is unclear if this filing falls into that category as well. More →
It’s no secret that U.S. wireless provider Sprint is not a fan of the proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger. The company’s CEO, Dan Hesse, has been very forthcoming with his concerns — mainly that the merger will create a duopoly between AT&T and Verizon Wireless — and now the carrier is looking for even more anti-merger ammunition. Bloomberg is reporting that Sprint representatives have “signed confidentiality agreements in advance of possibly gaining access to filings that won’t be available to the public.” The merger, were it to go through, would relegate Sprint to a distant third-place amongst U.S. wireless carriers, having just over half as many customers as its next competitor, Verizon Wireless. AT&T is seeking FCC and Department of Justice approval for the blockbuster merger that is expected to be complete within the next year. More →
AT&T on Thursday filed documents with the United States Federal Communications Commission regarding its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA from Deutshe Telekom. The potential merger has been strongly opposed by many, such as Sprint, and one FCC official has a hard time believing such a deal could ever be approved. AT&T has a lot to lose of course, so you can believe the carrier is ready for a fight. AT&T’s position is that the merger will push the wireless industry forward by bringing high-speed 4G LTE service to over 97% of the U.S. population — revised up from the carrier’s earlier estimate of 95%. AT&T says its data traffic is growing at a remarkable pace and its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile will allow the carrier to utilize new spectrum and accommodate the rising demand for cellular data. AT&T also says the merger will create jobs and spur economic growth in small towns. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
Hot on the heels of yesterday’s rumor — which claimed Sprint would be unveiling a trio of high-end devices at CTIA — Taiwanese electronics manufacturer HTC has applied for a trademark patent on the name “EVO View 4G.” The name has been thrown around over the past few days, and it is wildly assumed that the device is Sprint’s iteration of the HTC Flyer tablet with a WiMAX radio. CTIA is just a few short weeks away, so if you’re a Sprint customer craving a high-end tablet, you’re going to have some choices to make. Do you go for the stylus-toting, single-core, Android 2.4 View 4G, or do you wait for a dual-core device rocking Honeycomb? More →
Cupertino based Apple, Inc. has filed for a trademark on the word “Places” in both the European Union and China, reports Patently Apple. The original filing was submitted on February 23rd and covers international classes 009, 041, 042, and 045. The first three classes cover a hodgepodge of computer services, software, and hardware. But class 045 pertains specifically to social networking services; “providing a social networking website; assisting in the locating of people using a global positioning system (GPS).” Apple has already dipped its toe in the social networking pool with its Ping music discovery service, which, as far as we can tell, no one uses. For the past few years, the company has used the “places” name in its iPhoto and iOS software, although, that doesn’t seem worthy of a full trademark filing. Any guesses?
The sleuths over at unwiredview.com have found a Bluetooth SIG entry for a fairly peculiar device being called the INQ Cloud Touch. In the filing, the Cloud Touch is described as:
An Android smartphone built to make messaging faster and smarter. It’s designed around the way people naturally communicate and has Facebook built into its core. The homescreen features multiple entry points to different Facebook functions, while a dynamic widget displays a feed of status updates, albums, videos and photos.
Back in September, Bloomberg published a report indicating that INQ was working on a handset for the social networking company. The filing is fairly recent as the software version has a build date of 12/17/2010. While there is no way to be one-hundred percent sure this is a Facebook Phone, the evidence seems to point in that direction. What do you think? Anyone out there so invested in the Facebook ecosystem that this is appealing? More →
Today, U.S. wireless providers AT&T and Sprint filed a formal letter with the FCC requesting permission to exchange several blocks of wireless spectrum. The two companies claim that the move would be mutually beneficial as it would “enhance” their ability to provide and expand services. The letter reads:
The Applicants state that the additional spectrum (including the spectrum encompassed by the de facto transfer spectrum leasing arrangement) will enable AT&T to increase its system capacity to enhance existing services, better accommodate its overall growth, and facilitate the provision of additional products and services to the public in the Dallas-Ft. Worth, Denver, New Orleans-Baton Rouge, Des Moines-Quad Cities, Honolulu, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Omaha, Louisville-Lexington-Evansville, Salt Lake City, and Spokane-Billings MTAs. The Applicants also state that the transaction will enhance Sprint Nextel’s ability to expand its array of commercial mobile wireless services in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, New Orleans, South Bend-Mishawaka, Charlotte-Greensboro-Greenville, and Cleveland MTAs.
Weekend iPhone Rumors: Apple ordering "hoards" of CDMA chips, AT&T SEC filing hints at loss of exclusivity?
The iPhone 4 has been out for well over a month now, so it is only natural that iPhone rumors begin again, no? Over the weekend, two iPhone rumors of interest were spotted on the interwebs. The first comes via blog TechCrunch, TC is reporting that:
Sources with knowledge of this entire situation have assured me that Apple has submitted orders for millions of units of Qualcomm CDMA chipsets for a Verizon iPhone run due in December. This production run would likely be for a January launch, and I’d bet the phone is nearly 100% consistent with the current iPhone 4 (with a fixed internal insulator on the antenna).
We’ll let you decide how feasible a Verizon iPhone in December is, it isn’t like we’ve ever heard that before.
The next rumor come courtesy of an SEC filing from AT&T. In the filing, dated June 30th, the company writes:
In addition, offering a number of attractive handsets on an exclusive basis distinguishes us from our competitors. As these exclusivity arrangements end, we expect to continue to offer such handsets (based on historical industry practice), and we believe our service plan offerings will help to retain our customers by providing incentives not to move to a new carrier.
The rub here is that the only device that AT&T has exclusivity on, that would be worth mentioning in an SEC filing, is the iPhone (sorry BlackBerry Torch).
As with all rumors, these should be taken with a heavy dose of NaCl (that’s salt), they are rumors after all. More →
T-Mobile is getting a lot of hardware love these days, between being the only carrier in the U.S. that can leverage the Nexus One’s 3G bands (for now) and the U.S. exclusivity on the HTC HD2, T-Mo is starting out 2010 with a bang. And lets keep the good news coming, shall we? A mysterious Motorola device has been given the green light by the FCC, and it has us wondering what it could possibly be. Sholes tablet anyone? A few things we can tell from the FCC filing: it will contain T-Mobile’s 3G bands (WCDMA 1700 MHz and 2100 MHz), it will also have quad-band GSM, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS radios inside. Who’s excited for a iPhone killer DROID killer? More →