“It is our intention to enable the unlockable/relockable bootloader currently found on Motorola XOOM across our portfolio of devices starting in late 2011, where carriers and operators will allow it.” Those were the words of Motorola in response to a very persistent customer. Irwin Proud, an Australian national, purchased a Motorola Atrix 4G during a recent trip to the United States. Proud acquired the handset hoping that Motorola would follow through on its promise to provide an unlocked-bootloader solution for developers — a promise that has yet to be fulfilled. One letter, a handful of emails, and an online petition later, the company responded to Proud’s request for more developer-friendly boot firmware, and it seems as though some users — pending carrier approval — may be getting their wish later this year. Hit the jump to see Motorola’s full response. More →
Apple has finally broken its week-long silence over the location-tracking database scandal surrounding iPhones and 3G iPads running iOS 4 and higher. The company states that it never has, and never plans to, track users’ iDevices, and that the purpose of the database file in question — consolidated.db — is to “help your iPhone rapidly and accurately calculate its location when requested.” The company noted that a software update will limit the size of the location file and be available in the next few weeks — the next major iOS release will add a layer of encryption to the file. Apple’s full statement is after the break. Have a look and let us know what you think. More →
Let all those questioning their open-source smartphone overlord be silent. Responding to the recent ruckus caused by an O’Reilly article and subsequent report by The Wall Street Journal, Google has let it be known that it is not tracking your location… unless you give it permission. In a statement to blog TechCrunch, Google writes:
All location sharing on Android is opt-in by the user. We provide users with notice and control over the collection, sharing and use of location in order to provide a better mobile experience on Android devices. Any location data that is sent back to Google location servers is anonymized and is not tied or traceable to a specific user.
The Wall Street Journal called in to question the notion that data sent to Google was, in fact, anonymous. Google addressed this claim, stating that when users opt-in to the service data is often linked with a phone’s unique identifier . The unique identifier is not, however, then partnered with a phone number, serial number, name, or email address — making it difficult for Google to associate the location information with a specific user. Apple has yet to issue a statement about the utility of its gathered location data. More →
As customer questions surrounding the proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger mount, the latter has published a customer-facing frequently asked questions page in an effort to educate customers about what they can expect, and not expect, in the coming months. One of the specific queries T-Mobile addressed is the availability of Apple’s iPhone. In order to dispel any notions of a T-Mobile iPhone, the company issued the following statement:
T-Mobile USA remains an independent company. The acquisition is expected to be completed in approximately 12 months. We do not offer the iPhone. We offer cutting edge devices like the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and coming soon our new Sidekick 4G.
It seems as though enough antsy T-Mobile customers have posed the question — in the last 18 hours alone — that it needed to be officially addressed. The company has also started a thread in its official online forums for concerned parties to air out their frustrations, concerns, and questions. More →
The nation’s third largest wireless provider, Sprint Nextel, has issued a statement to voice its concerns over the proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger. “The combination of AT&T and T-Mobile USA, if approved by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC), would alter dramatically the structure of the communications industry,” writes Sprint. “AT&T and Verizon are already by far the largest wireless providers. A combined AT&T and T-Mobile would be almost three times the size of Sprint, the third largest wireless competitor.” The company went on to say that the merged GSM carriers, along with Verizon Wireless, would control nearly 80% of the postpaid wireless market in the United States. AT&T’s CEO, Ralph de la Vega, has said that the deal should be approved by both government bodies based on historical precedence. “I think if the criteria that has been used in the past is used against this merger, I think the appropriate authorities will find there will still be plenty of competition left,” said de la Vega in a statement to Mobilized. Should the merger fall through, AT&T could owe Deutsche Telekom as much as $3 billion. More →
AT&T on Thursday responded to a Better Business Bureau complaint alleging that the carrier is capping data speeds on new “4G” devices like the Motorola ATRIX 4G. The BBB grievance was part of a series of complaints, both public and private, pertaining to slower than expected upload speeds on devices like the ATRIX 4G and HTC’s Inspire 4G. AT&T responded to BGR’s request for comment earlier this week, but the carrier’s statement left some room for interpretation. Now, any vagueness has been eliminated, at least in the case of the ATRIX. “Be assured that AT&T has not ‘capped’ the upload speeds on the ATRIX,” an AT&T appeals manager stated in a letter to a customer. “The ATRIX is a HSUPA-capable device, and we currently are performing the testing and preparations necessary to ensure that, when we turn this feature on, you will continue to have a world class experience.” This confirmation that the ATRIX 4G will have HSUPA enabled in the future should help ease the tension among users who are currently experiencing slow upload speeds, though AT&T has not commented on why HSUPA was disabled to begin with. Hit the break for AT&T’s full response. 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 →
Earlier this week, Kaufman Brothers analyst, Shaw Wu, made waves when he asserted that Research In Motion’s highly anticipated BlackBerry PlayBook tablet could be delayed due to “battery issues.” Mr. Wu’s exact statement was as follows: “RIM needs to improve its relatively poor battery life of a few hours compared to 6 hours for the Samsung Galaxy Tab and 10 hours for [Apple's] iPad.” Today, RIM has fired back with a concrete statement of its own, claiming that the PlayBook battery issues Wu reports are nonexistent.
Any testing or observation of battery life to date by anyone outside of RIM would have been performed using pre-beta units that were built without power management implemented. RIM is on track with its schedule to optimize the BlackBerry PlayBook’s battery life and looks forward to providing customers with a professional grade tablet that offers superior performance with comparable battery life.
There you have it. We would love for RIM to be a bit more forthcoming as to when — approximately — the device will be released, but we’ll just have to take this statement for now. More →
Not wanting to be left out of the 4G tablet craze, T-Mobile messaged us a statement on where it stands in regards to 2011 plans for HSPA+ tablets:
T-Mobile is working closely with the majority of our OEM partners to deliver 4G products by integrating HSPA+ into roadmaps in 2011 as the dominant global standard. Consumers will continue to see HSPA+ fuel future innovation in a variety of mobile consumer electronics from smartphones and tablets to emerging devices. T-Mobile will continue to be at the forefront of wireless innovation, delivering an aggressive 4G product lineup in 2011, including 4G tablets.
Short and sweet, the way we like it.
Verizon Wireless just sent us a statement on its brief 3G network glitch that happened last night and early this morning — our devices seemed to act fine, but apparently the glitch had to do with Internet browsing on devices. Full service has been completely restored at this point, but here’s the full statement for those who are interested:
Last night, during routine maintenance of our 3G network, a technical glitch hampered the ability of customers to reach the Internet through web browsers on their phones. This technical glitch lasted from approximately 1:40 am – 5 am ET, and covered a large proportion of our regular network. 3G network coverage was never out, just this one particular service. Full capabilities were fully restored at approximately 5 am ET. We apologize to any and all affected customers.
We were alerted to a blog post on Kik’s site just moments ago, and it seems that Research In Motion has not only removed Kik Messenger from its App World portal, but it has also disabled push services for existing users. We reached out to RIM for comment and here is the company’s official statement:
RIM became aware of a number of issues and customer concerns regarding the Kik app and service. Following discussions with Kik, the app was removed from BlackBerry App World on November 12. Upon further investigation, RIM concluded that Kik had breached contractual obligations. Based on the broad scope and seriousness of the issues and concerns, RIM terminated its agreements with Kik and withdrew RIM’s support for Kik’s service.
Today, regional carrier U.S. Cellular announced a promotion aimed at courting new smartphone customers from both within and outside its existing customer base. The offer will give users opening a new smartphone lines a $150 credit off of future bills and is valid from today through November 29th. “We want to remove barriers for consumers who’ve heard about everything we have to offer and are ready to experience something better,” said Edward Perez, the company’s vice president of marketing and sales operations. “We believe the $150 activation credit combined with the great deals on our Android-powered smartphones and the unmatched benefits of The Belief Project will make it hard to resist giving U.S. Cellular a try.”
If you’re looking to jump to U.S. Cellular, or add a friend/family member to your current plan, now looks to be a pretty good time to do it. The press release is waiting for you after the break. Any takers? More →
Last week, we told you about Canada’s Competition Bureau slapping Rogers Wireless with a $10 million fine for inaccurate statements it made while advertising for its pre-paid wireless arm chatr. Unsurprisingly, the folks at Rogers have released a retaliatory statement vowing to “vigorously defend” itself and its statements in court:
Rogers Communications commented today on the actions of the Competition Bureau regarding chatr wireless. “We’re surprised by the actions of the Competition Bureau,” said Ken Engelhart, Senior Vice President of Regulatory, Rogers Communications. “We have extensive, independent third party testing to validate our claims and we stand by our advertising. We will vigorously defend this action in court.”
“We’ve completed extensive testing in coverage areas across the country and there’s no question that the testing validates the advertising in market,” said Todd Stone, President & CEO, Score Technologies.
Score Technologies is an independent third party organization that specializes in network testing for leading wireless carriers across North America.
We’ll keep you updated on any additional developments that come out of Canada.