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 →
While AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile subscribers gear up for the Galaxy S4 debut later this week, Verizon Wireless is still nowhere to be found. Customers on the three aforementioned carriers will all be able to buy Samsung’s latest and greatest beginning this week, but the nation’s top wireless carrier has yet to announce any news as far as when its customers might be able to purchase the Galaxy S4. In fact, Verizon hasn’t even shared any launch details for the HTC One either, and it’s already available from other U.S. carriers and in other markets around the world. Despite the troubling trend, Verizon customers can at least sign up on Verizon’s website now to be notified as soon as more info becomes available regarding when the Samsung Galaxy S4 might launch.
Verizon customers want to know if their carrier can hear them now. A Change.org petition started by Wichita, Kan. resident Mike Beauchamp asking Verizon to follow T-Mobile’s lead in ditching wireless contracts is approaching 100,000 signatures and stood at 97,500 by late Friday afternoon. Beauchamp says that he started the petition because he’s a long-time Verizon subscriber who doesn’t want to pay early termination fees for changing carriers in the future. The petition was prompted by Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam’s recent remarks that he’d be happy to dump wireless contracts if customers showed significant interested in contract-free plans.
Verizon Wireless subscribers are still waiting for a flagship Lumia smartphone, but the wait may have been worth it. According to leaked images published on Friday by “evleaks,” an anonymous Twitter user who has a solid track record when leaking images and details surrounding unannounced smartphones, the Nokia Lumia 928 is currently being prepped for launch on the nation’s top carrier. The leaked press shots reveal a phone that still looks quite thick and bulky, like its predecessor, but it also appears to feature a PureView camera, Carl Zeiss optics and a xenon flash. Branding on the handset confirms 4G LTE compatibility and there also appears to be an upgraded speaker on the back of the phone. No launch details have been confirmed at this time. More →
It looks like Verizon will be late to the party yet again. Samsung announced earlier this week that its highly anticipated Galaxy S4 will launch on seven U.S. carriers beginning this month. While AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile race to bring the new flagship Android phone to their subscribers as quickly as possible, Verizon is apparently taking its sweet time — a company representative confirmed on Thursday evening that Verizon will not launch the Samsung Galaxy S4 in April. More →
Verizon Communications posted its first-quarter earnings results on Thursday, showing solid income and revenue growth. The nation’s No.1 carrier reported EPS growth of 15.3% in the first quarter as Verizon earned $0.68 per share, or $1.95 billion, compared to $0.59 in the same quarter last year. Sales also climbed 4% to $29.4 billion, narrowly missing the Street’s $29.54 billion consensus. Smartphones accounted for 61% of Verizon’s postpaid customer base which grew by a net 677,000 subscribers in the first quarter. The carrier also said it activated 4 million iPhones during Q1 2013, beating Wall Street’s 3.5 million-unit consensus. Verizon shares climbed 1.94% during Thursday’s pre-market session. The carrier’s full press release follows below. More →
Tens of thousands of wireless users have a message for Verizon: Please, ditch wireless contracts. A new Change.org petition started by Mike Beauchamp of Wichita, Kan. is asking Verizon to follow T-Mobile’s footsteps and “end carrier contracts and create an affordable way for consumers to purchase their devices.” Beauchamp says that he’s a long-time Verizon subscriber who doesn’t want to pay early termination fees for changing carriers in the future. The petition, which has so far gathered well over 60,000 signatures, was inspired by Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam’s recent remarks that he’d be happy to dump wireless contracts if customers showed significant interested in contract-free plans.
Following Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam’s comment that his company would happily follow in T-Mobile’s footsteps and offer contract-free smartphones with payments spread out over time, the carrier announced that it is taking the first steps toward that goal — sort of. In an update to Verizon’s original announcement that it will abandon early upgrades, the company has confirmed that beginning April 21st, it will make select smartphones and tablets available on a 12-month payment plan that does not require a new service contract. This is great for customers who plan to upgrade to the latest and greatest each year, but Verizon is the real winner here: The carrier’s service pricing will remain unchanged, which means users who opt for the 12-month payment plan will also still be forking over the device subsidies that are built into the cost of Verizon’s smartphone plans.
Clearwire disclosed in a securities filing on Friday that it had received an offer from an unnamed company for use of its spectrum. According to The Wall Street Journal, Verizon is behind the proposed deal and has offered $1.5 billion to lease Clearwire’s spectrum. Verizon is said to be interested in Clearwire spectrum in big markets to help it bolster its 4G LTE service. The carrier is expected to face a few obstacles, however. Wireless rival Sprint has a controlling stake in Clearwire and recently proposed a takeover of the company, while at the same time Sprint is in the middle of dealing with its own merger offers from Japanese carrier SoftBank and from Dish Network. Clearwire, Sprint and Verizon, nevertheless, will come together to evaluate the offer and discuss it in further detail.
BlackBerry executives were furious last week when they accused Detwiler Fenton analyst Jeff Johnston of making “materially false and misleading” claims about returns of the BlackBerry Z10 outnumbering total sales. Barron’s points out that BlackBerry got some key help late last week when Verizon issued a statement affirming that “after 14 days, quality performance [of the BlackBerry Z10] has been in line with other smartphone launches.” This backs up a statement made by BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins, who said that “sales of the BlackBerry Z10 are meeting expectations and the data we have collected from our retail and carrier partners demonstrates that customers are satisfied with their devices.”
T-Mobile made headlines earlier this year for its decision to end carrier subsidies for mobile devices while completely scrapping wireless contracts. But rather than requiring subscribers to spend $600 all at once for a smartphone, T-Mobile allowed qualifying customers to take part in a convenient payment plan. The carrier offers popular handsets such as the iPhone 5 and HTC One for $99 down and payments of $20 per month for 24 months. According to an internal document obtained by Droid-Life, Verizon may be looking to follow in T-Mobile’s footsteps. More →