Sprint has granted LightSquared six more weeks to gain approval from the Federal Communications Commission to launch its network. This is the second time the carrier has extended it deadline for LightSquared to prove to the FCC that its network does not interfere with GPS systems. There has been quite a battle going on between LightSquared and the government, however. LightSquared and a former FCC engineer have argued that the carrier’s 4G LTE network, which Sprint plans to use to help roll out its LTE service more quickly, was unfairly tested at higher power levels than the network will actually operate at and that testing was “rigged.” The company also said that those who tested its network would benefit from the FCC’s possible decision to prevent it from operating. “Sprint and LightSquared have agreed to extend our network agreement through mid March,” LightSquared said in a statement to BGR. “Sprint continues to support our business plan to bring wireless broadband to more than 260 million Americans and our ongoing efforts to work with regulatory agencies to resolve interference concerns.” LightSquared now has until March to gain the FCC’s blessing to operate. More →
Apple has reportedly already started production of its next-generation iPad 3 tablet. Bloomberg broke the news on Twitter on Friday afternoon, though it did not immediately provide any further details. The iPad 3 is expected to feature a slightly thicker case, twice the battery life of the current iPad 2 model, and a 1,536 x 2,048-pixel HD display. The most recent rumors have suggested that Apple will release the new tablet in March.
UPDATE: Bloomberg flushed out its preliminary report, claiming that the iPad 3 will support 4G LTE. The site also claims to have confirmed that the new iPad will feature a new HD display and a faster quad-core processor, in line with numerous earlier reports. Factories are also said to be running 24 hours a day in an effort to create as much stock as possible before launch.
Speaking to reporters recently, AT&T’s General Counsel Wayne Watts said that AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile is still on schedule for approval in March of next year. “The number one question I get from investors is can we get [the deal] done,” Watt explained. “I think we can.” Sprint, one of the deal’s most outspoken opponents, has argued that AT&T does not need to purchase T-Mobile in order to increase its network capacity, and that the deal would “stifle innovation” in the U.S. wireless market. T-Mobile’s senior vice president of government affairs, Tom Sugure, responded to Sprint and other opponents on Tuesday, noting that each has “failed to offer any credible arguments to support their view that the Commission should deny the transaction.” More →
Owners of HTC’s Surround device definitely were not feeling the Windows Phone love a few weeks back. It’s two AT&T counterparts — the Samsung Focus and LG Quantum — were receiving the highly-anticipated NoDo update, but the Surround was still left in limbo. Well Surround owners, your day hath cometh. Owners of the giant-speaker bearing handset are reporting that the aforementioned update is beginning to be pushed to their smartphones. The code bump is still listed as “scheduling” on Microsoft’s official update website, although from the screen shot above you can see it seems to have moved to the “delivering update” phase. If you’re a Surround owner, plug your handset into your computer and enjoy!
AT&T on Wednesday reported impressive first-quarter iPhone activations that hardly seemed affected by the carrier’s recent loss of iPhone exclusivity. Now, investment research firm ITG is suggesting Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4 might not even be the carrier’s top seller anymore. As reported by the New York Post, ITG claims that the 4G LTE-capable HTC ThunderBolt overtook the iPhone last month to become Verizon’s No. 1 smartphone. The Post did not report March sales figures for the ThunderBolt or the iPhone, though it did say Verizon had only sold a total of 2 million iPhone 4 units through the end of March. Apple is scheduled to report its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday, and analysts are expecting iPhone sales to total 16-17 million units. More →
AT&T has confirmed that it has started pushing the “NoDo” Windows Phone 7 update to Samsung Focus and LG Quantum handsets. The software update will bring copy and paste functionality, along with a host of other improvements, to Microsoft’s mobile fledgling operating system. A Microsoft official noted that AT&T’s HTC Surround is still in the testing phase, and that it is working to get the update ready for that particular handset as soon as possible. Neither Microsoft nor AT&T provided a timeline indicating when the update roll-out is expected to be completed. More →
According to data collected by Experian Hitwise, Bing’s share of the U.S. search market surpassed 30% last month. Microsoft’s Bing search engine is less than two years old, but a series of key deals and increasingly effective mobile integration pushed the service’s share of the U.S. search market up nearly 6% between February and March to 30.01%. Yahoo!’s share of the U.S. market grew as well, from 14.99% in February to 15.69% in March, while Google’s share declined 3% to 64.42% for the month. Google still owns the lion’s share of the U.S. search market of course, but the Internet giant’s search engine is less effective than Bing and Yahoo! according to Experian Hitwise. The firm notes that over 80% of searches performed with Bing and Yahoo! result in a visit to a website while only 65.91% of Google searches result in a visit. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
In a statement to Mobilized, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed what most had been expecting — another delay to the company’s planned, March Windows Phone update. Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, had previously stated that NoDo would begin hitting handsets in early March. “After careful consultation with the team and our many partners, we’ve decided to briefly hold the March update in order to ensure the update process meets our standards and that of our customers,” explained a company spokesperson. “As a result, we will plan to begin delivering the update in the latter half of March.” The first major update to Microsoft’s new mobile operating system — codenamed NoDo — is set to bring copy and paste functionality along with a host of other tweaks and improvements. The company’s spokesperson went on to confirm that this delay would have no impact on future update releases — specifically mentioning the multitasking update due later this year announced at Mobile World Congress. More →
UK-based online retailer Clove has posted some interesting information concerning the availability of Samsung’s Galaxy S II. Via a brief blog post, the company writes, “we’ve had word today that the first stock of the Samsung Galaxy S II i9100, both the 16GB & 32GB versions, will be landing mid to late March.” The March timeline predates Samsung’s target release, which has been communicated as Q2. The Gally S II — which boasts a dual-core 1GHz processor, 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 1GB of RAM, NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, 2 megapixel front-facing camera, and Android 2.3 — is available for pre-order from Clove; £510 for the 16GB model and £590 for the 32GB model. The retailer does caution that “release dates are always subject to change,” but it’s nice to hear rumors of an early (as opposed to late) release by a manufacturer. Still no word on when/if the Galaxy S II will make its way to the States. Fingers crossed. More →
It looks like Apple has begun sending out press invites to a March 2nd media event to be held in California. The event, scheduled for 10:00AM PT, should be the official outing of the company’s oft rumored iPad 2. The invitation simply taunts its recipients to “come see what 2011 will be the year of.” Analysts are calling for a new, buttonless iPad with front and rear facing cameras along with a larger screen. Will the rumors hold water? We’ll soon find out. More →
As we’re seeing now with Apple’s current MacBook Pro line, delayed shipping dates and sell-outs are often good indicators of an imminent product refresh. Discounts are also a good sign that a popular product is nearing the end of its life. With that in mind, new reports of retailers and carriers showing dwindling iPad inventory or discounting Apple’s tablet could be indicative of an impending next-generation iPad announcement. 9 to 5 Mac reports that British retail giant Carphone Warehouse is sold out of the 64GB iPad Wi-Fi as well as each of the three iPad Wi-Fi + 3G models. Carriers Orange and T-Mobile have slashed prices on current iPad inventory in half, so customers can now get an iPad for as little as £99.99 on a two-year contract. Finally, European retailer Ingram Micro is sold out of three iPad models, and is showing low inventory on the other three versions of the iPad. Apple is expected to launch the iPad 2 in March, though the company has not made any official information available surrounding the device. More →
One of our illusive ninjas from the North has just informed us that Canada’s largest wireless provider, Rogers, will begin carrying Dell’s Venue Pro sometime next month. For those in need of a quick refresher: the Venue Pro is a full-QWERTY, portrait slider running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system on a 4.1-inch AMOLED display. No word on what the VP will cost with and without subsidies, but we’ll keep digging and let you know if we come up with anything.
Warning: DigiTimes report being cited, approach with caution. Now that we have that out of the way… the Taiwanese blog is reporting that HTC will launch an Android 2.3 tablet device, code named Flyer, in March — ahead of the BlackBerry PlayBook and Motorola Xoom. The publication notes that users will be able to upgrade the device to Android 3.0 after it is officially released by Google. The report cites “handset component suppliers” and goes on to say that “HTC is expected to launch the two other tablets in June running on Android 3.0.” We’re not sure how much water this report holds, but one thing is a certainty… HTC isn’t going to be sitting on the tablet sidelines forever. More →