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Samsung Galaxy S III tipped to land on all four major U.S. carriers

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Galaxy S III coming to all four major carriers

Samsung’s new flagship smartphone may launch on all four major U.S. carriers as well as a number of regional carriers beginning this summer. Samsung on Thursday unveiled the Galaxy S III during a press conference in London, and the vendor said its sleek new smartphone will launch on nearly 300 different wireless service providers around the world in the coming months. At the same time, Samsung added a page on its U.S. website that allows users to sign up to receive more information about the Galaxy S III when it becomes available. On the page, a drop-down menu asks users to select their carrier preference, and found within that list are AT&T, C Spire Wireless, MetroPCS, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless. While this is by no means confirmation that the handset will launch on each of the seven carriers listed, it seems unlikely that Samsung would simply list random carriers and omit popular options such as Cricket, which currently offers a Samsung smartphone, and other sizable regional carriers. Samsung’s current flagship phone, the Galaxy S II, is available from all major U.S. carriers with the exception of Verizon Wireless.

[Via TmoNews]

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T-Mobile USA’s chief marketing officer, Cole Brodman, calls it quits

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

T-Mobile USA's chief marketing officer, Cole Brodman, calls it quits

Maybe he’s finished running with the underdog, or maybe he’s just done with the corporate gig altogether, but one thing is certain: as of May 25th, Cole Brodman will mark his exit from T-Mobile. For the past two years, Mr. Brodman has served as the carrier’s chief marketing officer, and his departure concludes 17 years with the company. During his tenure, Cole Brodman railed against the subsidized handset game, helped drive the adoption of smartphones and — sadly — crushed our dreams for the potential of a Magenta-branded iPhone. He must also claim at least partial responsibility for the carrier’s net loss of customers in 2011, with a total of 802,000 subscribers jumping ship in Q4 alone.

One thing is certain of Mr. Brodman’s exit, however: he seems content with the decision. Likening the move to a retirement, he remarked, “It’s an opportunity to step away, get a break and start to think about how I want to do something next.” Andrew Sherrard will replace Cole Brodman as T-Mobile’s interim chief marketing officer while the company searches for a permanent replacement. So long, Mr. Brodman, and thanks for the smartphones.

[Cole Brodman photo via CNET]

T-Mobile USA’s chief marketing officer, Cole Brodman, calls it quits originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 01 May 2012 17:15:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple plans to crush carriers and offer direct mobile service, expert says

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Apple to crush carriers

Apple’s next huge move isn’t into the television or banking industries according to one expert. Instead, Apple will take on carriers like AT&T and Verizon Wireless by becoming a direct mobile service provider. Veteran wireless industry strategist Whitey Bluestein, who has managed strategic deals for the likes of AT&T, Intel, T-Mobile, Verizon, Microsoft, Nokia and Best Buy, says Apple will soon begin to offer wireless service directly to iPhone and iPad users. Apple has the distribution channels, digital content portfolio and customer base to make the move, Bluestein says, and it also has more than 250 million credit cards on file for iTunes users who could be billed directly for wireless service.

“The battleground is set, but Apple will be the first mover,” Bluestein said while speaking at the Informa MVNO Industry Summit in Barcelona. “Google will have to scramble because it lacks retail distribution, experience with subscriber services and the iTunes ecosystem of content. iTunes and the iTunes Store provide Apple with one-click buying and customer care. Google can acquire most of these capabilities, as it has before, but it is not a core competency of the company.”

Bluestein also notes that Apple has patent-pending network architecture, with patents filed in 2006, that will empower its move into the mobile service provider industry. Apple’s biggest barrier thus far has been the large subsidies carriers pay to keep end-user iPhone pricing affordable, however Apple’s huge cash reserves could be used to remove that road block completely.

“What has been holding Apple back from becoming a wireless provider already, according to Bluestein, are the enormous handset subsidies paid by mobile operators (AT&T, VZW and Sprint in the US), which amount to about $381 for each iPhone sold today,” Bluestein noted. ”That has been a short-term stumbling block for Apple, but the company has its well-known cash reserves and could seize the initiative at any point.”

Such a move could help Apple avoid a potential threat from wireless carriers, though Apple CEO Tim Cook said his company is not concerned with the possibility of carrier’s squeezing subsidies.

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Leaked T-Mobile roadmap outlines Ice Cream Sandwich updates, new myTouch devices

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Leaked T-Mobile roadmap outlines Ice Cream Sandwich updates, new myTouch devices

Looks like our friends over at TMoNews have unearthed a roadmap with some tasty morsels of info about what’s coming down the pipe from T-Mobile USA in the next few months. Of course, none of this is set in stone or even confirmed, so take it with a grain of salt.

Most interesting is a pair of dates for Ice Cream sandwich updates, with Magenta’s Galaxy S II slated to receive Android 4.0 on May 14th, followed by the Sensation 4G and Amaze 4G getting ICS (with Sense 3.6, presumably) on June 16th.

A bunch of device launches from Samsung and Huawei round up the list of dates, with no sign of HTC’s One X, Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S III, or T-Mobile’s rumored Galaxy Note variant. Sadness. Check out the entire bounty below.

  • May 9th: Huawei Astor (low-end phone for 7-Eleven)
  • July 11th: Huawei Buddy and Phoenix (myTouch QWERTY and slate, respectively)
  • July 11th: Samsung Gravity TXT (new color)
  • Aug 1st: Samsung T159 Cacao (low-end handset)
  • Aug 15th: Samsung Apex Q (mystery device)

Leaked T-Mobile roadmap outlines Ice Cream Sandwich updates, new myTouch devices originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 27 Apr 2012 22:14:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Engadget Mobile Podcast 135 – 04.26.2012

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

We live in exciting mobile times, and it’s up to you, the enthusiastic consumer of phones, voice and data, to make sure you’re getting the most for your time and cash. It’s up to us, the Engadget Mobile Podcasters, to keep you in the loop. This week we enlist the help of Slashgear’s Chris Davies to give us an international perspective on the picture. Hurry along now, and hit that play button before the newest news slips away right before your ears.

Hosts: Myriam Joire (tnkgrl), Brad Molen, Joseph Volpe
Guest: Chris Davies (slashgear.com)
Producer: Trent Wolbe
Music: TychoCoastal Brake (Ghostly International)

00:02:53 – LG Viper 4G LTE review
00:20:30 – HTC One S for T-Mobile review
00:33:30 – Google back in the smartphone sales game: unlocked Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ (GSM) available for $399
00:50:30 – Did the Samsung Galaxy S III just appear in Vietnam? (video) (updated with statement)
01:05:35 – HTC talks smartphone design: from inception to final product
01:15:15 – HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE pops up on Verizon for $300, links to Droid RAZR Maxx
01:20:38 – AT&T confirms HTC One X to land May 6th for $199 (update)
01:21:34 – China Times: HTC wants to develop its own processors for low-end phones
01:22:30 – Oppo teases 6.65mm-thick smartphone, about to steal ‘world’s thinnest’ title from Huawei
01:25:25 – Microsoft evangelist admits he misspoke regarding Windows Phone 8 updates
01:28:26 – Scalado Album launches for Android, we go hands-on (video)
01:32:45 – Onavo Extend stretches your data plan, now with CDMA/LTE support

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Engadget Mobile Podcast 135 – 04.26.2012 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 26 Apr 2012 20:55:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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T-Mobile’s flagship HTC One S now available for $199.99

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

T-Mobile’s new flagship Android phone, the HTC One S, is now available for sale online and in stores nationwide. Featuring a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display, a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, 16GB of internal storage plus 25GB of free cloud-based Dropbox storage for two years, an 8-megapixel rear camera, Sense 4 atop Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and HSPA+ 42Mbps connectivity, the HTC One S packs a tremendous amount of technology into a sleek unibody aluminum case that measures just 7.95 millimeters thick. BGR reviewed the HTC One S last week and said it is likely best smartphone ever to hit T-Mobile, and the sleek Android phone is now available for $199.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year contract.

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Google’s original vision for the ‘Google Phone’ uncovered in court

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Two years before the first commercial release of Android, Google shopped a device to carriers that contained a “basic phone user interface.” The Mountain View-based company approached T-Mobile and called the device a win-win when combined with the carrier’s unlimited data plan. The original designs surfaced during Google’s trial against Oracle over the use of Java in Android, The Verge reported. Additional documents revealed that Google was looking to change T-Mobile’s plan pricing structure, and offer unlimited data for $9.99 a month. To subsidize the reduced cost, the Internet giant would have agreed to not take the commission it might earn from the carrier when it referred Android buyers to its online store. Google’s original plan never became a reality, however, and the first commercial Android phone, the T-Mobile G1, was released with $25 and $35 data plans. A second image outlining additional details follows below.

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Onavo Extend stretches your data plan, now with CDMA/LTE support

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Onavo Extend stretches your data plan, now with CDMA/LTE support

What’s Onavo Extend you ask? It’s a free app that lets you save money on your data plan by compressing unencrypted data between your device and the web. The result is that you consume up to five times less data — convenient when you’re on a tiered / capped data plan, when you’re roaming abroad or when you’re on a slower 2G network. In addition, the app keeps track of how much data (and money) you save and which apps use that data. This works by setting up a local proxy server (and changing your APN), then connecting to the company’s back end which accesses the internet on your behalf.

Onavo Extend — which was released for iOS last year and was launched on Android (Ice Cream Sandwich) at Mobile World Congress — is gaining CDMA/LTE support today for the new iPad and the iPhone 4S on Verizon and Sprint. We first experienced the app at the Google booth in Barcelona and we’ve been using it on and off since. We’ve tested it on several devices, including a Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ and an unlocked iPhone 4S on T-Mobile’s network (EDGE only) and it works pretty much as advertised. Want to find out more? Hit the break for a demo video along with the obligatory PR.

Continue reading Onavo Extend stretches your data plan, now with CDMA/LTE support

Onavo Extend stretches your data plan, now with CDMA/LTE support originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 09:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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T-Mobile CEO argues to FCC against Verizon’s AWS license acquisition

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

T-Mobile CEO argues to FCC officials against Verizon's AWS license acquisition

Well, wouldn’t you know it, but T-Mobile — the only nationwide AWS service provider in the US — objects to Verizon’s purchase of additional AWS spectrum. The company’s CEO, Philipp Humm, recently took his concerns to the chief of the FCC’s wireless bureau, Rick Kaplan, where he argued that Verizon’s proposal to shed Blocks A and B of the 700MHz spectrum simply wouldn’t be fair shake. According to Humm, Verizon is merely looking to offload its less desirable assets (as Blocks A and B are more prone to interference). While T-Mobile’s leader presents a valid point in that Verizon has merely squatted on its current AWS licenses, we can’t help but think that Humm would relish in the opportunity for T-Mobile to bid on these licenses. Further, if Verizon were effectively prevented from establishing a nationwide AWS network, it’d certainly reduce competition in the auction house, and therefore bring cheaper licenses to T-Mobile’s doorstep. Given that everything in question here is not corporate property, but rather a public resource, what do you think is the best way forward?

[Tower photo via Shutterstock]

T-Mobile CEO argues to FCC against Verizon’s AWS license acquisition originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 23 Apr 2012 20:57:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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FCC fines T-Mobile $819,000 over accessibility issues

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

The Federal Communications Commission on Monday determined that T-Mobile must pay a fine of $819,000 for “willfully and repeatedly” failing to comply with rules regarding hearing-aid compatible handsets. According to the FCC, the carrier violated the rules during 2009 and 2010. The Hearing Aid Compatibility Order requires each carrier to have at least 10 handsets, or 50% of all devices, that support acoustic coupling and 7 phones, or 33% of all devices, with inductive coupling. T-Mobile may reduce or negate the proposed fine by proving to the FCC that it did not violate the rule, or that it didn’t violate it as severely as the FCC alleges.

[Via PhoneScoop]

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T-Mobile’s HTC One S event on April 18th suggests imminent launch

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

T-Mobile on Wednesday sent out invitations to a special event that will allow attendees to “be amongst the first to experience the HTC One S,” suggesting the carrier will soon launch its flagship Android phone for the first half of 2012. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, April 18th, about a week before the handset is rumored to launch on April 25th. HTC unveiled the One S alongside the One X at the Mobile World Congress trade show in February. The device features a 4.3-inch qHD Super LCD display, a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 16GB of internal storage, the same stunning 8-megapixel camera found on the One X and Sense 4.0 atop Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

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T-Mobile’s Obnoxious Scream Tones Will Help You Find a Lost Phone [Phones]

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

HTC sees sharp decline in Q1 revenue, profit

Friday, April 6th, 2012

HTC on Friday reported unaudited earnings for the first quarter, revealing an extremely rocky start to the new year. The company warned that its first quarter results would see decline as the Taiwan-based vendor prepared to launch its new flagship smartphones, and preliminary numbers are in line with HTC’s earlier forecast. Revenue of NT$67.8 billion in the first quarter is down 35% from the same period last year, and HTC posted an after-tax profit of just NT$4.7 billion, down 70% year-on-year. HTC hopes business will pick up significantly as its new flagship smartphones, the One X and One S, begin to launch in various regions abroad. In the United States, the One X will launch on AT&T this month and before the end of June on Sprint as the HTC EVO 4G LTE. The HTC One S will be released in April on T-Mobile.

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We’re not the only ones carriers are overcharging; cell phone wiretap fees revealed

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Cell phone bills are a tough pill to swallow each month, often reaching well into the hundreds-of-dollars range for families or even individuals. Regional and prepaid carriers offer some relief, but users who need nationwide coverage and a wide variety of handsets to choose from often have no choice but to pay a premium. According to documents recently obtained and published by the American Civil Liberties Union, consumers and business users aren’t the only ones overpaying wireless carriers for service. Read on for more.

A series of documents detailing the rates each of the four major U.S. carriers charge law enforcement agencies to execute cell phone wiretaps was unearthed last month, and as Forbes reports, the rates are fairly surprising — or perhaps unsurprising, considering how much consumers and businesses pay.

According to the documents, T-Mobile charges law enforcement agencies a flat fee of $500 per “target” to execute a wiretap on a mobile phone. Sprint charges a similar $400 fee along with a daily fee of $10 capped at $2,000 for ongoing monitoring. AT&T bills law enforcement $325 per tap plus $5 per day for data monitoring and $10 per day for voice monitoring, and Verizon Wireless charges $750 per month to tap a cell phone.

Other services incur additional fees, Forbes reports. Carriers charge between $30 and $150 for access to a target’s text messages and voicemail, for example, and the companies bill between $30 and $150 per tower per hour to monitor the numbers of every user accessing a certain cell tower. To track a target’s location, carriers charge as much as $100 per day.

Both Verizon and Sprint confirmed to Forbes that the companies do not charge police in the case of emergencies. AT&T and T-Mobile declined to comment on their respective wiretap policies.

Phone line worker image via Shutterstock

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