Consumers have begun to move away from two-year contracts and embrace the prepaid smartphone market. In response to this growing user base, Verizon Wireless this week announced that it is increasing its data allowance for prepaid customers. The carrier’s new plans offer unlimited talk and text with 2GB of data, up from 500MB, for $60 a month. There is also a plan with 4GB of data, up from 2GB, for $70 per month. The increased data allowance is available now to current customers, and will be available to new customers beginning June 6th. AT&T also recently announced a new prepaid service in select markets, known as Aio Wireless, which offers unlimited talk and text with 2GB of data for $55 per month, or 7GB of data for $70 per month.
After a handful of dismal quarters during which Nokia lost billions, the vendor has recently shown signs of life. But not in the United States. Nokia’s first big attempt at a comeback in the U.S. was the Lumia 900, and the company returned later in 2012 with the Lumia 920. Neither phone was received with much enthusiasm from consumers. In the Lumia 900′s debut quarter, Nokia shipped 600,000 total Lumia phones in the U.S. When the Lumia 920 launched in the holiday quarter last year, Nokia’s U.S. Lumia phone shipments totaled 700,000 units and then slid to just 400,000 units in the following quarter. Nokia now returns with its third flagship phone for the U.S. market — the Lumia 928 — and it’s changing things up this time around. More →
Verizon CFO Fran Shammo revealed on Tuesday that one-third of the carrier’s postpaid customers are now on one of its Share Everything plans, Fierce Wireless reported. The executive said that adoption of the plans has been better than expected and he believes they will continue to contribute to Verizon’s growth. The number is an increase from last month when the company estimated that 30% of its postpaid subscribers were using a shared data plan. Shammo noted that customers on one of Verizon’s Share Everything plans generally use more devices such as a hotspot or tablet, which in turn will use more data and generate more revenue. The executive said that Verizon has no plans to change its current pricing strategy in the wake of T-Mobile’s new UnCarrier intuitive, although he said the carrier may give customers “more options to buy a phone,” likely referring to T-Mobile’s new smartphone installment plans.
Verizon Wireless on Monday announced that it will pay its parent companies a $7 billion cash distribution in June. Verizon and Vodafone teamed up back in 2000 to create the joint venture Verizon Wireless, which has grown to become the largest wireless carrier in the United States with more than 115 million customers. Based on their respective stakes in the company, Verizon, which owns 55% of the partnership, will receive a cash payment of $3.85 billion and Vodafone, which has a 45% stake, will receive $3.15 billion. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam previously hinted that Vodafone may not get a distribution payment this year, in an effort to pressure the company into selling its stake in the carrier. Verizon Wireless will make the payment to each company on June 25th. The company’s press release follows below. More →
Verizon Wireless on Monday confirmed that it will launch Samsung’s Galaxy S4 on May 23rd, one week earlier than the release date originally announced by the carrier. Verizon confirmed the new launch date on its press site in an update to its earlier announcement, and said the Galaxy S4 will be available both online and in retail stores beginning next week. The Galaxy S4 features a 5-inch Super AMOLED HD display, a quad-core processor, a 13-megapixel camera and Android Jelly Bean. BGR reviewed the Galaxy S4 last month and said it was one of the best smartphones ever made, though we also pointed out a troubling trend in a subsequent article.
It’s good to be king, but ensuring your kingdom continues to expand is always a top priority. According to a recent report from ABI Research, the world’s top-10 wireless carriers — which include Verizon Wireless (No.2) and AT&T (No.4) — took in a combined $202 billion in gross profit last year. That 2012 total is up 4.2% compared to the prior year, but high plan prices and growing subscriber bases aren’t drumming up the growth rates they used to. “As the underlying lift from accumulating subscribers has matured, carriers are starting to cast around for additional revenue streams that don’t just boost revenues but also profitability,” said ABI analyst Jake Saunders. “There is still tremendous income to be generated from mobile services; the Top 10 Mobile Carriers alone generated US$202 billion in gross profit, up 4.2 % year-on-year in 2012.” According to the research firm, IP-based value-added services are now a big focus for top carriers as they look elsewhere for growth opportunities.
Verizon on Friday announced the upcoming availability of Nokia’s Lumia 928, the company’s latest flagship Windows Phone device. The Lumia 928 is equipped with a 4.5-inch 1280 x 768 pixel resolution ClearBlack display, a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor and an 8.7-megapixel PureView rear camera with a Carl Zeiss lens. The handset also includes 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, wireless charging capabilities, NFC, 4G LTE connectivity and a 2,000 mAH battery. Verizon will launch the Lumia 928 in white and black on May 16th for $99.99 on contract after a $50 mail-in-rebate. Nokia is also offering buyers a $25 credit for Windows Phone apps and games for a limited time. Nokia’s promo video for the Lumia 928 follows below. More →
Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead firmly believes that both Windows Phone and BlackBerry play a crucial role in the mobile industry. The executive noted that it is important for there to be more than just two dominant operating systems. Mead revealed during a called with investors on Wednesday that the carrier has received good engagement from handset manufacturers and he is encouraged by what he has seen thus far. More →
BlackBerry’s market share at Verizon has crashed below 0.5% even as the Windows Phone share ticked up above 5% during the first quarter of 2013. If Verizon does not back Nokia’s Lumia 928 over BlackBerry models this summer, then Nokia’s chances of thriving on America’s largest wireless carrier are finished. Right now it looks like the next iPhone may not debut until August or September. If Nokia cannot convince Verizon to give major marketing support to the new Lumia flagship when Apple’s share at Verizon is falling by 6 percentage points a quarter, it is never going to happen. This is it. The extent of Verizon’s support for the Lumia 928 will be a key tell about whether Nokia can ever crack the 10% market share barrier in the United States smartphone market. More →
Nokia on Tuesday confirmed the existence of the upcoming Lumia 928 smartphone in an image published on the company’s website. The teaser image doesn’t reveal much, although it suggests the handset will have an upgraded rear camera. Engadget also spotted a magazine advertisement that confirms the Lumia 928 will arrive on Verizon’s 4G LTE network with a PureView camera and Carl Zeiss lens for stellar low light performance. Nokia is scheduled to hold a press conference on May 14th in London where it is expected to announce the Lumia 928, among other things. A second image follows below. More →
The biggest decision that outgoing Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski made during his tenure was to block the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, which earned him plaudits from rival carrier Sprint and scorn from AT&T executives. The Hill reports that Genachowski still has absolutely no regrets for thwarting AT&T’s T-Mobile takeover bid and said this week that a wireless industry dominated by AT&T and Verizon would be a “very bad thing for our innovation economy.” More →
Verizon Wireless is preparing to offer $100 billion to acquire Vodafone’s stake in the companies’ U.S. joint venture, Verizon Wireless. Verizon currently owns 55% of the nation’s top wireless carrier and it has hired advisors to help it prepare the bid for Vodafone’s 45% stake, Reuters reported. Earlier reports suggested Verizon and Vodafone were discussing various ways the two might resolve their relationship, but issues over valuation were holding up discussions. According to this new report, Verizon is now prepared to pursue Vodafone’s Verizon Wireless stake more aggressively. “It hopes to start discussions with Vodafone soon for a friendly agreement but is prepared to take a bid public if the British company does not engage,” an unnamed source told Reuters.
The Galaxy S4 smartphone will arrive on all four major carriers in the U.S. in the coming weeks. AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile announced availability earlier this month, however Verizon has remained mum on its plans to offer the device. The carrier finally announced on Wednesday that preorders for the smartphone will begin on Thursday, April 25th starting at $249.99 before a $50 mail-in rebate. The Galaxy S4 is equipped with a 5-inch full HD display, a 1.9GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor and a 13-megapixel camera. The handset also features 2GB of RAM, up to 64GB of internal storage, NFC, a microSD slot and Android 4.2.2. Samsung’s flagship smartphone will be available from AT&T and Sprint on April 27th, and from T-Mobile on April 29th. Verizon has not yet announced a release date for the phone. More →