Cisco could cut as many as 10,000 jobs — 14% of the company’s employees — in an effort to boost profits, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. 3,000 Cisco employees accepted buyouts and early retirement packages, which will cost Cisco between $500 and $1.1 billion during the fourth quarter. While the layoff plans aren’t final, 7,000 more jobs could be cut by the end of August. The move comes as analysts predict that Cisco’s router and switches business will continue to slide into next year, and the company believes the job cuts could save it as much as $1 billion during 2012. “We will provide additional detail on the cost reductions, including layoffs, on our next earnings call,” Cisco spokesperson Karen Tillman said. The call is scheduled for early August. On April 12th, Cisco announced that it was restructuring its consumer business and killing off its Flip video camera arm. More →
It’s no secret that Clearwire’s going through a rough patch and, in an interview with CNET, Clearwire’s chief operating officer Erik Prusch said that the carrier may eventually switch from WiMAX to LTE. “WiMAX to date has been a very good technology choice for us,” Prusch said. “We were able to take advantage of the speed to market before LTE was even a glimmer in anyone’s eye. But we recognize the ecosystem in the U.S. will be larger for LTE than WiMAX, so we are conscious of that.” Last summer Clearwire confirmed that it would begin testing 4G LTE trials in the U.S., and it expected to demonstrate that it “[could] deliver significantly higher performance using LTE technologies than any other operator.” It’s unclear how those tests went, but Prusch did backtrack a bit and say that a switch isn’t definite, and that Clearwire needs to keep its eye on LTE and its ecosystem before pulling the trigger and setting a definite timeline. Last month Sprint — which owns a majority stake of Clearwire — said that it has agreed to pay the company $1 billion through 2012 for fees associated with the use of Clearwire’s 4G WiMAX network. More →
Blog SemiAccurate has published an interesting article stating that Apple intends to move its desktop and laptop computer systems from the Intel x86 architecture to ARM-based architecture in the semi-near future. “The short story is that Apple is moving the laptop line, and presumably desktops too, to ARM based chips as soon as possible,” reads the posting. “With A15/Eagle allowing more than 32-bit memory access, things look up, but it seems silly to do so before the full 64 bit cores come in the following generation. [...] Think mid-2013. At that point, Apple can move to ARM without worrying about obsoleting code with an ISA [instruction set architecture] that is on the verge of changing, and no memory overhead worries either.” Apple’s iOS line of products are powered by ARM silicon. The publication cites “moles” as the source of the information — moles that have provided accurate intel (pun intended) about Apple’s manufacturing component choices in the past. Will Apple shift desktop architectures yet again? Will we get to see more commercials featuring barbecued moon men? Time will tell. More →
In our review of Verizon’s first LTE-capable smartphone, the HTC ThunderBolt, we told you about a minor gripe we had with the device: battery life. It’s true, powering a 4.3-inch screen and a handful of wireless radios can take its toll on battery life, so we were shocked to find that the ThunderBolt did not have a carrier-supported method for turning off the device’s 4G radio. The handset is sold in markets where Verizon’s next-generation wireless network is currently unavailable, and power-users often like to toggle the feature on and off as needed. While this functionality may not be included out of the box, the open nature of Android has brought a simple application to the Market to help you out. Dubbed LTE OnOFF, the 11KB application allows you to toggle LTE in three simple clicks. Open the app, click “OK” on the instructions page, and select “CDMA auto” for LTE-less operation. The applications creators describe the code as follows:
Like all the paid LTE “Switch” and “Toggles”, just faster, smaller and free. Simple, to the point. Distribute freely.
LTE OnOFF is sitting in the Android Market, just waiting to be downloaded. If you’re a ThunderBolt owner looking for an easier way to toggle your 4Gs, enjoy.
AT&T has started to issue warnings to customers unofficially tethering their smartphones to its network. In an email to unauthorized tetherers, the company writes, “Our records show that you use this capability, but are not subscribed to our tethering plan.” The correspondence goes on to note that users will be automatically enrolled in the $45 per month “DataPro for Smartphone Tethering” plan if they ignore the warning. “The new plan – whether you sign up on your own or we automatically enroll you – will replace your current smartphone data plan, including if you are on an unlimited data plan,” the email continues. The standard DataPro offering is $25 per month and provides users with 2GB of monthly data, although some users are still clinging to a discontinued, $30 per month 5GB data plan. It is safe to assume that a large portion of the unofficial, tethering populous is jailbroken iPhone users and rooted Android users. “If you discontinue tethering, no changes to your current plan will be required.” A copy of the email tethering-cheaters are receiving is after the break.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, AT&T Mobility boss Ralph de la Vega said that iPhone users aren’t defecting to Verizon Wireless any faster than the carrier expected.”We haven’t seen any surprises, and everything is pretty much within our expectations,” de la Vega stated. Verizon Wireless finally launched its first Apple smartphone — the iPhone 4 — last month, and some analysts believed hoards of AT&T iPhone users would flock to Verizon as a result. AT&T, of course, has found itself under much scrutiny resulting the iPhone’s from poor performance on its network in several major metropolitan regions. De la Vega would not share specific numbers so in there may in fact be a mass exodus underway, but early indications do not lead us to believe that is the case. Analysts at Wells Fargo said earlier this week that AT&T is expected to lose 150,000 contract customers in the first quarter of 2011, down from the 225,000 it originally projected. More →
Allow us to bring you up to speed in case you missed it — Verizon Wireless just announced that it will finally begin carrying the iPhone 4 starting on February 10th. It’s kind of a big deal. There are definitely plenty of positives tied to the Verizon iPhone, of course. For starters, choice is always a good thing and the fact that AT&T finally lost iPhone exclusivity will benefit consumers in a big way. And there are plenty more benefits as well — for example, there’s a redesigned antenna that might reduce the effects of the death grip, and a mobile hotspot option that AT&T iPhone users have been wishing for since Android first popularized the feature. But it’s not all double rainbows and jazz hands, we’re afraid. There are definitely some areas where Verizon’s upcoming iPhone 4 is sorely lacking, and we’ve listed a few of the main missteps after the break. More →
Yesterday, my cohorts weighed in on the question on countless iPhone owners’ minds right now — should I ditch AT&T and buy an iPhone from Verizon? The answer is going to be different for everyone, of course. Some people have a compulsive need to switch phones constantly, so they can’t use a CDMA carrier. Some people have a need for speed and Verizon’s 3G network doesn’t cut it. Well guess what? I have a need for a phone that actually works wherever and whenever I want it to. That need is way more important than any need I have to swap phones every day or download iTunes tracks at lightning-fast speeds. I want to make phone calls. I want to receive emails instantly. I want to load Web pages and refresh apps any time, anywhere. AT&T, fast as it might be, just can’t hang. More →
The image above says it all. It shows a screen capture of an actual speed test performed on an Apple iPhone 4 while connected to AT&T’s 3G network in northern New Jersey. It is not an anomaly. In fact it’s pretty standard in my home town and in the surrounding areas. Sometimes my download speed is faster and sometimes it’s slower, but it generally stays between 3.5 and 5Mbps¹. I can’t give that up. More →
In an interview published Friday, Dell CFO Brian Gladden stated that the company would be ditching its cache of approximately 25,000 BlackBerry handsets and replacing them with Dell smartphones. The news comes ahead of Dell’s Venue Pro launch, which is scheduled to take place later this month in the U.S. Following Gladden’s comments that Dell would likely save 25% on communication costs by dumping BlackBerry smartphones and servers, RIM has issued a response. “We find it highly unlikely that they will actually save any money with this move and far more likely they were looking for a little free publicity,” RIM’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing Mark Guibert told Dow Jones Newswires in an email. The company’s response is short and to the point, though it doesn’t really address the fact that BlackBerry devices often require more expensive data plans than other smartphones. Businesses that use BlackBerry handsets also incur additional costs associated with BlackBerry Enterprise Servers. More →
One of our Verizon Wireless sources has just forwarded us an internal email detailing some data issues in the Midwest. According to the email, the issue affects only data, not voice, and is currently happening in over 3 states. Additionally, it looks like there is an issue with “RIM’s Switch” that is playing with the emotions of all carriers nationwide, not just Verizon. How you looking out there BGR friends? Phones working ok?
For some, there is quite a bit of anxiety involved in switching from one email system to another. What will become of all your old emails from family/friends, your precious email attachments containing hundreds of hours of video featuring LOLCats, or the 400 copies of that one chain letter your partially senile grandfather forwards you every two weeks? Well, it looks like if you’re a Mac user ready to jump over to Google Apps, there is no need to panic, because the Big G is looking to alleviate this anxiety for you. Recently, Google released a migration tool that will allow users of Apple Mail, Thunderbird, or Eudora to upload all their email to Google Apps and seamlessly make the switch. The tool, which already has a Windows counterpart, will only work with Google Apps and not with the more popular gmail.com or googlemail.com services. Hit up the official press release for all the details. More →