Global 4G LTE smartphone shipments reached 6.8 million units in the technology’s first year. According to a study from market research firm Strategy Analytics, global LTE smartphone shipments could surge tenfold to 67 million units in 2012. It is expected to be a breakout year for LTE technology, with Apple, Samsung, HTC and others planning to launch 4G LTE phones in the United States, Japan and South Korea. “The mobile industry is entering a breakout year for 4G LTE technology. Multiple operators and multiple phone vendors will be launching dozens of LTE models across numerous countries worldwide,” said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics. “LTE has quickly become a high-growth, high-value market that no operator, service developer, device vendor or component maker can afford to ignore.” Read on for Strategy Analytics’s press release. More →
The next-generation iPhone has been rumored to include an embedded LTE radio on several occasions. Until now, however, it has only been speculation and unconfirmed reports. iDownloadBlog reported on Thursday that according to code strings in iOS 5.1, the next iPhone will indeed feature 4G LTE connectivity. “Enabling 4G will end your phone call. Are you sure you want to enable 4G,” the new iOS 5.1 code said. The references to a phone call make it clear that this is an iPhone warning rather than an iPad one. In the end, the code shows that the Cupertino-based company is at the very least testing an LTE-enabled iPhone. Apple’s next-generation smartphone is expected to feature a faster processor, a larger display and a unibody aluminum case. BGR exclusively reported this past December that the handset will also feature a redesigned antenna system, and it will launch this coming fall. iDownloadBlog’s video follows below. More →
AT&T on Monday confirmed that it sold and activated more iPad tablets this past Friday than it has on any other single day. “On Friday, March 16, AT&T set a new single-day record for its iPad sales and activations, demonstrating robust demand for the new iPad on the nation’s largest 4G network, covering nearly 250 million people,” AT&T said in a statement. The carrier did not share any sales figures, however, and neither did Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier on Monday when he said that Apple’s new iPad saw record sales during its debut weekend. BGR noted on Friday evening that while iPads were much easier to find this year compared to Apple’s previous two iPad launches, AT&T’s iPad Wi-Fi + 4G was sold out more than any other model at more Apple Stores we spoke with.
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus and LG Viper will be the first 4G handsets to launch on Sprint’s upcoming LTE network in the second quarter, but a new report suggests the carrier will follow the phones up with a flagship launch early this summer. S4GRU on Sunday reports that a smartphone code-named the HTC Jet will hit store shelves on June 10th, nearly two years after Sprint’s iconic HTC EVO 4G launched as the carrier’s first WiMAX-enabled smartphone. According to the site, the Jet is in fact HTC’s new One X smartphone, the stunning Ice Cream Sandwich-powered flagship handset that HTC unveiled at Mobile World Congress in February. While the global version of this smartphone will be powered by a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, S4GRU reports that Sprint’s version will include a dual-core Snapdragon S4 like the variant AT&T is preparing to launch next month. The site also reports that the Galaxy Nexus and LG Viper will both become available on April 15th. More →
If you were looking to get your enormous hands on a Galaxy Note in the U.S. but have no interest in switching to AT&T’s network, you may be in luck. AT&T’s “phablet” was previously limited to EDGE speeds on T-Mobile’s network, making the device a much less appealing option. XDA-Developers forum members have managed to figure out a way to enable HSPA+ support for AWS bands, however. After performing a SIM unlock, a user can flash one of three radio files that will allow the phone to access T-Mobile’s network with the proper SIM card. There are obvious risks involved, but T-Mobile subscribers in search of a supersized smartphone now have access to the king of the crop. More →
Research in Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook may be down, but it’s definitely not out. Over a year ago, the company revealed plans to release an LTE-compatible PlayBook as well as a 3G model that will work on HSPA+ networks. Details surrounding these variants have been few and far between, with some assuming they were simply canceled. As it turns out, two tablets from Research in Motion recently passed through the FCC equipped with HSPA+ connectivity and AT&T compatible LTE radios. BGR in January exclusively reported details about RIM’s plans to introduce a new PlayBook tablet around May or June that will be equipped with a 1.5GHz processor, built-in HSPA+ and NFC support. More →
Following a brief unconfirmed nationwide outage suffered by Verizon Wireless’s 4G LTE network on Tuesday morning, the carrier seemingly sought to draw attention to LTE expansion rather than the growing pains that have repeatedly plagued its next-generation wireless network. While speaking with Dow Jones Newswires on Tuesday, Verizon Wireless chief technical officer David Small said the carrier plans to double its LTE coverage by the end of 2012. “By the end of the year, our plan is to be in at least 400 markets across the country,” Small said, suggesting that approximately 260 million Americans would then be covered by Verizon 4G. Read on for more. More →
At launch, AT&T and Verizon will be the exclusive carriers of the new 4G-enabled iPad in the United States. In the spring, however, Sprint will also be launching its own 4G LTE network. With the carrier already selling Apple’s flagship smartphone, users were shocked to see the Cupertino-based company shun its new partner’s network — but this may not be the case. According to images obtained by Engadget, Sprint iPad models have begun to show up in Best Buy’s inventory system. Nothing is confirmed at this point, but it is possible that a Sprint iPad could launch around the same time as the carrier’s first batch of 4G LTE smartphones. A second image of Best Buy’s system can be seen after the break. More →
AT&T’s 4G LTE service will soon expand to 12 new markets, with the next phase of the roll-out concluding early this coming summer according to the carrier. Specific launch dates for AT&T’s LTE service were not provided for any of the new markets announced Monday morning, however the company stated that 4G service will begin to go live in the new regions starting next month. New markets that will see 4G service launch between April and early summer include Staten Island, New York; New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; St. Louis, Missouri; Cleveland, Canton and Akron Ohio; Naples, Florida; Bloomington, Lafayette and Muncie, Indiana; and Bryan-College Station, Texas. AT&T’s press release covering Cleveland and the surrounding Ohio markets follows below. More →
Apple is reportedly preparing to launch a new iPhone later this year that will include an embedded 4G LTE radio. Citing unnamed sources within Taiwan-based smartphone manufacturers, DigiTimes on Monday reported that Apple’s next-generation iPhone is “very likely” to include integrated 4G LTE connectivity. The new smartphone, which the website says will launch in the second half of 2012, is expected to drive the number of LTE-equipped handsets sold in 2012 to between 45 million and 50 million units, up from earlier projections of between 25 million and 30 million handsets. Apple’s next-generation iPhone is expected to feature a faster processor and a larger display compared to the current-generation iPhone 4S. BGR exclusively reported late last year that the new iPhone will also include a completely redesigned antenna system and case, possibly featuring unibody aluminum architecture, and that it would launch this coming fall. More →
AT&T wants customers who are still using 2G phones to upgrade to the company’s faster 3G and 4G networks, MarketWatch reported last week. The carrier is in the process of sending notices to customers asking them to upgrade their devices. “Your current, older-model 2G phone might not be able to make or receive calls and you may experience degradation of your wireless service in certain areas,” AT&T said in the letter. Mark Siegel, an AT&T spokesman, said the company is looking to use some of the 2G spectrum for newer technologies. “We’re simply urging them to upgrade to a new device if they want to,” he said. Siegel confirmed that the carrier sent notices to customers in the New York metropolitan area and may soon send them to other customers. He noted, however, that the program was voluntary and only affected a small number of subscribers. He also noted that most 2G phones will continue to work. “We are still supporting the 2G network,” Siegel said, although he did state that customers who continue to use 2G cell phones that operate on AT&T’s 1900-megahertz band will eventually lose service.
Apple’s highly anticipated iPad 3 will reportedly be in short supply until some time in the second quarter according to a new report. Industry watcher DigiTimes on Thursday cited anonymous sources within Apple’s supply chain in claiming that the high-resolution 2,048 x 1,536-pixel display panels being supplied to Apple by Sharp may be in short supply. Initial shipments are expected to be limited as a result, and production supposedly won’t be ramped up until some time in the second quarter. Apple will unveil its next-generation iPad 3 at a press conference on March 7th and the tablet is expected to become available soon after. Reports suggest the iPad 3 will feature a high-resolution 9.7-inch display, a quad-core Apple A6 processor, embedded 4G LTE and a slightly redesigned aluminum case. More →
AT&T on Monday announced a new plan that will let developers pay for the data used by their apps and services. The data consumed by apps that make use of this new feature would not apply toward a user’s data cap. The new service was pitched as a way for content providers to ease customers’ growing concerns over wireless data usage, however one public interest group sees the feature as a slap in the face to AT&T subscribers. “This new plan is unfortunate because it shows how fraudulent the AT&T data cap is, and calls into question the whole rationale of the data caps,” Harold Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge, said in a statement. “Apparently it has nothing to do with network management. It’s a tool to get more revenue from developers and customers.” Read on for more. More →