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 →
A new report claims that two unlikely partners may team up to acquire the world’s second-largest mobile carrier. According to the Financial Times, Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) are working on a breakup bid for European carrier Vodafone (VOD) that would value the company at $245 billion, a 40% premium over its current valuation of $115. The deal would see Verizon take control of the 45% stake Vodafone currently owns in Verizon Wireless, while Vodafone’s business outside of the U.S. would go to AT&T. Earlier reports suggested that Verizon and Vodafone were actively discussing ways to resolve their relationship in the form of a merger or possibly a full or partial buyout. More →
Australian Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett has ruled that Apple must show Samsung its contracts with Vodafone, SingTel and Telstra if it cannot reach an agreement on Samsung’s accusations that the iPhone maker contractually forces the carriers to subsidize the iPhone. Samsung has also argued that the Apple iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and iPhone 3GS infringe on its patents, and has sought to ban sales of the devices in Australia. Apple, however, has already successfully banned Samsung’s Australia-based subsidiaries from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. “We will resist any attempts by our friends to push us into a corner,” Apple lawyer Andrew Fox said. “This is quite clearly a fishing expedition.” Earlier this month, Samsung requested the iPhone 4S source code and, according to Bloomberg, Apple provided the company with 220 pages of code, but left out one file. Samsung also has ongoing lawsuits with Apple in Japan, Germany, France and the United States.
Shares of Research In Motion stock are popping for the second day in a row on rumors that the company may be looking for a buyer. RIM’s stock was up as much as 14% on Wednesday morning as mysteriously sourced rumors suggested U.K. carrier Vodafone is considering an acquisition. Investors see RIM quickly running out of cash — the vendor burned through more than half of its $2.9 billion in cash during the second fiscal quarter alone — and analysts still aren’t convinced management can right the ship. Some still see promise in RIM’s upcoming QNX lineup however, and the company could certainly hold tremendous value for a potential buyer. Market rumors last week suggested that RIM was pulling the plug on the BlackBerry PlayBook and its tablet efforts in general, but RIM broke character and quickly put the rumors to bed. With the company’s stock on the rise, we doubt RIM will dispel this new round of rumors even if they prove to be inaccurate.
More iPhone rumors! New listings on German wireless carrier Vodafone D2′s website add weight to the notion that Apple is planning to unveil only incremental updates at tomorrow’s event. Found by German iPhone fan site ifun, Vodafone’s Elgato Tivizen DVB-T receiver page now lists several new Apple phones as being compatible with the TV receiver. The most notable, of course, are white and black 8GB iPhone 4 models and 16GB, 32GB and 64GB iPhone 4S models, also listed in both black and white. None of these phones have been announced at this point, of course, and all will be revealed tomorrow. More →
Vodafone in Australia has just put up a teaser page for what is undoubtedly the upcoming Apple iPhone 5. What else could be “this year’s biggest smartphone release,” some generic run-of-the-mill Android handset? In any case, Vodafone is giving interested customers the ability to subscribe to receive updates about the iconic handset once official information becomes available, and it even offers to “end the rumors.” Isn’t that thoughtful? Apple is expected to introduce the company’s next-generation iPhone at a press conference on October 4th with availability to follow sometime in mid-October.
As you can see from the above image, the destruction and slow reconstruction of AT&T is quite a story. With the T-Mobile merger currently being debated by Congress, potentially adding another chapter to the saga, we thought it might be a good idea to look at the genesis of AT&T Mobility as it stands today. It all started back in 2001 with AT&T Wireless… More →
The HTC Sensation is now available for pre-order from Vodafone UK, and the carrier says early birds should have the phone in their hands as soon as May 19th. We had a chance to go hands-on with the Sensation early last month and fell in love with the phone. It runs a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and packs HTC’s brand new Sense user interface, an 8-megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p HD video, 4GB of internal storage, and a stunning 4.3-inch qHD display. It’s scheduled to land on T-Mobile with HSPA+ connectivity, too, although a launch date hasn’t been announced — we’ve only heard rumors it could be available as soon as June 8th. More →
HTC is expected to release the HTC Sensation — formerly known as the Pyramid — later today, and those suspicions were all but confirmed by the anxious folks over at Vodafone. In an early morning snafu, the company outed HTC’s 4.3-inch, touchscreen beast in all its glory. So what are we looking at? Glad you asked. The Sensation will sport a qHD, SLCD display that, as we’ve already mentioned, measures 4.3-inches on the diagonal. Sitting behind that formidable window will be a dual-core, 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, 4GB of internal storage, microSD card slot, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with dual LED flash, and a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera. The handset will also be running the new and improved Sense user experience. You don’t have to take our word for it, there is a trio of leaked videos awaiting your scrutiny after the break. More →
A late night burglary at a Vodafone technical facility in the UK has affected the service of “several hundred thousand” users. Via its forums, the company explained:
We had a break in last night at one of our technical facilities which resulted in damage done to some of our equipment. This means that some customers may be experiencing temporary loss of voice, sms and internet services. We are working quickly to restore these and will be back to normal as soon as we can. There has been no impact on the privacy of customers’ data.
In a subsequent FAQ post, Vodafone confirms that the vandalized site was in Basingstoke, the event occurred between 1:00AM and 2:00AM GMT, and that “specialist network equipment and IT hardware was stolen.”
The company expects its services to be fully restored by this afternoon. Any of UK readers experience this outage? More →
As we near one of the biggest shows of the year for the mobile industry — Mobile World Congress in Barcelona — there always seems to be a steady stream of leaks. Maybe excited moles dig a bit deeper this time of year. In any event, German HTC fan blog HTCInside managed to procure a purported screen shot of Vodafone Germany’s internal inventory system, which clearly shows an entry for “Desire 2 HTC.” Details are pretty scarce for the time being, and by that we mean there are absolutely no details to accompany this screen shot. The Desire 2 could certainly end up being a European version of one of the exciting new HTC phones introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show last month, but it could also be something entirely new for the European market. Only time will tell — and since MWC is less than two weeks away, we won’t have to wait very long. More →
The world is still holding onto hope that a white iPhone 4 will some day become a reality and if a purported screen capture of Vodafone Germany’s inventory system is to be believed, that day may soon be upon us. Verizon Wireless announced the iPhone 4 just last week and it included an image of a white iPhone on its website in the process. While the inclusion of the white iPhone was an accident and the image was subsequently taken down, the very fact that Verizon’s Web team was working with images of the white iPhone was viewed by many as a promising sign. Today, a series of images reportedly shows entries for a white iPhone in Vodafone Germany’s inventory system. The source of the pictures claims that the albino iPhone should become available soon, so perhaps white iPhone fans will actually have a few months to enjoy the phone before its successor launches this summer. More →
Vodafone, one of the UK’s largest networks, has launched a smartphone security service aimed at business professionals. The aptly named service — Vodafone Smartphone Professional — will allow for companies to manage sensitive corporate data remotely without interfering with employee’s personal content. The service will provide IT administrators with an online portal to tweak, remotely wipe and encrypt data over the air. Peter Kelly, Enterprise Director for Vodafone had the following to say:
With smartphones becoming increasingly popular, securing the way data is accessed and stored on these devices is crucial. Many businesses want to allow employees to use the mobile device that they choose to do their job most effectively. With Vodafone Smartphone Professional, businesses have the peace of mind that mobile devices and data are secure.
The service will include the customary 500MB data allowance and will cost you £20-a-month in addition to a £50 in activation fee. A small price to pay for your peace of mind, right? More →