Verizon Wireless is planning to conduct an open sale of all of its 700 MHz A and B spectrum licenses in an effort to rationalize its spectrum holdings. The carrier obtained the 700 MHz A and B licenses — as well as a nationwide 700 MHz upper C license, which is currently used for its 4G LTE service — in an auction through the Federal Communication Commission. Verizon is in the midst of acquiring additional Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum licenses that it plans to use in conjunction with its 700 MHz upper C spectrum to deploy additional LTE markets, and this proposed 700MHz A and B sale will only be conducted if Verizon’s AWS acquisition is successful. The spectrum licenses cover dozens of major markets such as New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Verizon’s press release follows below.
AOL and Microsoft on Monday announced an agreement in which the software giant will purchase 800 patents from AOL in a $1.056 billion cash deal. Microsoft will also license more than 300 additional patents from AOL as part of the agreement. “The agreement with Microsoft represents the culmination of a robust auction process for our patent portfolio,” said Tim Armstrong, AOL’s chairman and CEO. “We continue to hold a valuable patent portfolio as highlighted by the license we entered into with Microsoft. The combined sale and licensing arrangement unlocks current dollar value for our shareholders and enables AOL to continue to aggressively execute on our strategy to create long-term shareholder value.” The portfolio sold relates to advertising, search, content generation and management, social networking, mapping, multimedia/streaming and security. The sale is expected to be completed by the end of 2012, pending regulatory approval. Read on for AOL’s press release. More →
Research In Motion has made drastic cuts to BlackBerry smartphone prices in India just one day before the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor is scheduled to report its results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. Several analysts expect RIM to miss Wall Street’s consensus when it announces its earnings results on Thursday, despite having issued lower than expected fourth-quarter guidance. The struggling smartphone vendor dropped prices on multiple models in India by up to 26%, BGR sister site BGR.in reported on Wednesday. Devices that have received price cuts include the BlackBerry Curve 9360, the Curve 9380, the Torch 9860 and the Curve 8520, RIM’s best-selling smartphone in India. RIM beat expectations in the third fiscal quarter when it reported revenue of $5.2 billion and earnings of $1.27 per share, but analysts are bracing themselves for a disappointing fourth quarter. More →
Apple is all but confirmed to be planning a press conference for March 7th during which it will unveil its next-generation iPad tablet. The iPad 3 is expected to feature a high-definition 2,048 x 1,536-pixel Retina Display along with a faster quad-core Apple A6 processor, embedded 4G LTE, an upgraded rear camera and a redesigned case. There is no question that the new iPad will be a significant upgrade compared to the current model, but not everyone needs the latest and greatest. For those willing to forgo the added speed, embedded LTE and HD display, Best Buy is now offering $50 off every iPad 2 model it carries. Of course buying the iPad 2 now at a $50 discount is a risky move — a number of reports have suggested that Apple will continue to sell its current tablet at a discount of $100 or more once the next-generation iPad 3 launches next month. More →
If you’re a Verizon Wireless customer or looking to become one, the carrier is offering two of its latest 4G LTE handsets, the LG Spectrum and HTC Rezound, for $99.99 each with a two-year agreement. Both handsets run a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and impressive qHD displays. When BGR reviewed the Rezound last November, we were impressed with the overall performance of the device and with the gorgeous high definition display in particular. It was recommended over Motorola’s DROID RAZR and Samsung’s Galaxy S II, although due to its lack of Ice Cream Sandwich it fell short compared to Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus. Subscribers will have until Monday, February 28th to take advantage of Verizon’s deals on the Rezound and Spectrum, which are only available online. More →
T-Mobile announced on Tuesday the company’s Valentine’s Day sale on all 4G smartphones and tablets. “T-Mobile has a commitment to make the 4G experience affordable and accessible to everyone, so this sweet deal on smartphones and tablets is our Valentine’s gift to consumers,” said T-Mobile’s senior vice president of marketing, John Clelland. “No matter where loved ones live, T-Mobile wants to bring them closer with unlimited talking, photo sharing, video chatting, texting, and more.” The carrier is offering the Samsung Galaxy S II, BlackBerry Bold 9900, HTC Amaze 4G, Lumia 710, SpringBoard tablet and other 4G devices for free with a new two-year agreement. This one-day sale is scheduled for this Saturday, February 11th. Read on for T-Mobile’s press release. More →
Microsoft may be planning to launch a special bundle that includes the Nokia Lumia 800 and several accessories for $899. Citing unnamed industry sources, The Verge said the deal will kick off on February 14th and will include a Bluetooth headset, a Purity HD stereo headset and Nokia’s Play 360 wireless speaker. Microsoft will reportedly not be offering the Lumia 800 as a stand-alone product. $899 seems a bit steep to us, even considering that consumers will be getting an unlocked device and a bundle of solid accessories. After all, AT&T will be launching the sub-$100 Lumia 900 with 4G LTE support and a bigger screen just one month later. More →
The world’s first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich-powered smartphone is currently on sale at a huge discount from retail giant Amazon. The company’s wireless arm is currently offering Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone for as little as $99.99 with a new Verizon Wireless contract, and Amazon is even throwing in free two-day shipping for good measure. This is the lowest price we’ve seen for Samsung’s sleek pure Google phone, and it is only available while supplies last according to an Amazon spokesperson. BGR reviewed the Galaxy Nexus this past November and we called it our favorite Android device in the world at that time. The handset features a massive 4.65-inch Super AMOLED display with HD 720p resolution, 4G LTE, a 5-megapixel camera and NFC capabilities. More →
Struggling smartphone vendor Research In Motion is still a solid takeover target according to a new report, but only at a deep discount below RIM’s already low market value. RIM has lost 75% of its value over the past year but Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu says RIM’s true value lies below its current market capitalization, which sits at approximately $8.7 billion. Logical buyers according to Wu include Samsung — though the company has gone on record instating it is not interested in acquiring RIM — as well as Amazon, Microsoft and maybe even Facebook. Read on for more. More →
Verizon announced on Tuesday that the Motorola DROID RAZR, which originally launched a few months back for $299.99, is now available for $199.99 with a new two-year contract. The DROID RAZR is equipped with a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, support for Verizon’s 4G LTE network, 16GB of storage, an 8-megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p HD video and more. The slim smartphone will also become available in new white or purple color options on January 23rd. Verizon’s full press release follows after the break. More →
Research In Motion is currently weighing every single option it can think of in an effort to reverse a negative trend that is approaching a boiling point for investors. Reports that RIM is currently in talks to license its software to other vendors are accurate according to our trusted sources, though we have been told that RIM is most likely leaning toward an outright sale of one or more divisions, or even the whole company. The front runner, we have been told by a trusted source with knowledge of the situation, is Samsung, which might be interested in RIM for a number of reasons.
Nokia’s first Windows Phone-powered smartphone to launch in the United States is already available for free on contract. Nokia and T-Mobile unveiled the Nokia Lumia 710 last month and confirmed that while the handset is certainly not a flagship device, it will play an important role for Nokia as it re-enters the U.S. market. The 710 can’t hold a candle to the Lumia 900 Nokia and AT&T will be launching in March, but at $50, the Lumia 710 is an excellent entry-level smartphone. And at $0 on contract, the price Walmart is currently asking from new customers, the 710 is an unbelievable value. BGR reviewed the Lumia 710 earlier this month and we thought the phone could indeed be a great tool for Nokia and T-Mobile as they tries to convert feature phone users into smartphone customers. More →
Research In Motion’s debut tablet has been something of a disappointment for the Waterloo, Ontario-based vendor. While the slate showed promise, it failed to offer potential users a compelling reason to choose it over the iPad or an Android tablet, and RIM would end up taking a $485 million charge in the third fiscal quarter due to unsold PlayBook inventory. Sale pricing ahead of the holidays last year seemingly helped RIM and its distribution partners clear out some stock, however, as the company is once again offering discounts on its QNX-based tablet. While pricing starts at $299 rather than $199 this time around, all three PlayBook models cost $299, which means the 64GB version can be had for a deep $400 discount. RIM’s first major update for its tablet OS set to bring native email and more next month. More →