Offerings available at first for 2015 A3, will be added to other vehicles
Audi of America and AT&T have announced 4G LTE data plans for the 2015 A3 sedan, which debuts this month, and will enable the first-ever in-vehicle 4G LTE data connection in North America. Additionally, Audi has revealed that an accompanying mobile app will allow advanced functionality between the in-car system and smartphones, reducing the need for Audi motorists to handle devices when accessing some smartphone-based features.
AT&T cuts wireless data charges for individual customers without contact
AT&T has announced wireless data price cuts to individual customers that do not have annual service contracts. Done in an attempt to rival its competitor, T-Mobile, customers having one smartphone with no annual service contract will now pay $65 per month instead of $80 for a plan that features 2GB LTE wireless data, unlimited talk and text messaging, unlimited international messaging and 50GB of cloud storage. Those who have two smartphones will now pay $90 per month.
Grandfathered plans, other apps not included in free offer
Commencing February 28, all AT&T Mobile Share and Mobile Share Value plans will include unlimited international messaging from the US to the rest of the world, meaning AT&T consumer and business Mobile Share customers can send unlimited texts, pictures and video messages. Current Mobile Share and Mobile Share Value customers will automatically benefit from the new offer, and will additionally see international calling from the US to any number in 42 countries drop to one penny per minute, including Canada and Mexico.
Sony starts selling PlayStation 4 in Japan months after US, European launches
Sony has launched the PlayStation 4 game console in Japan, months after shipping it to customers in the United States and Europe. While it has already sold 5.3 million units in other markets when competing against the Xbox One, the launch in Japan will be largely uncontested, with The Verge noting no news of an Xbox One launch in the country has been issued by Microsoft, and the Nintendo's Wii-U continues to sell poorly.
Obama initiative valued at about $750 million
US President Barack Obama is today announcing commitments from several US corporations towards connecting more students to high-speed Internet, says the Associated Press. In all, about $750 million has been pledged; Apple is offering $100 million in iPads, computers, and other tools, while Verizon is providing the same amount in straight cash and in-kind contributions. AT&T and Sprint are offering free Internet access; Microsoft is promising copies of Windows at discounted rates, and 12 million free copies of Microsoft Office.
AT&T transfer promotion ended on January 31st
AT&T has stopped a promotion that offered customers up to $450 per line when they transferred from T-Mobile. The incentive, which provided a $200 automatic credit and up to a further $250 when trading in a smartphone, was put in place just one month ago in order to spoil a similar planned promotion by T-Mobile, offering to pay the early termination fees of customers transferring from AT&T to the carrier.
Microsoft announces discontinuation of InfoPath, plans to support client until 2023
Microsoft announced this week its discontinuation of the company's electronic form software, InfoPath. InfoPath featured the ability to design, distribute, fill, and submit electronic forms with structured data. InfoPath 2013 is the last release of the desktop client, and InfoPath Form Service in Sharepoint Server 2013 is the last release of its services suite. InfoPath 2013 client is planned to be supported through until April 2023, and InfoPath Forms Services in Office 365 will be supported until further notice. Migration scenarios and guidance will be released in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Call for experiments could help telecommunication providers get rid of copper-based landlines
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken its first steps in overhauling the analog telephone system in the United States, by authorizing voluntary testing by carriers. The unanimous vote will allow telecommunication providers, such as AT&T, to experiment with landlines in various ways, such as providing an IP-based telephone service to its customers.
War for customers with T-Mobile intensifies with new offer
AT&T is increasing the amount it is giving to customers to sign up, as well as existing customers, by offering $100 in billing credit for every new line added to an account. The extra credit will be available to both new and existing customers, and is the latest in the continuing aggressive battle for customers between the carrier and T-Mobile.
Total smartphone penetration grows to 77 percent from 70 percent in 2012
AT&T has released its quarterly earnings report. For the latest period, the company's consolidated revenues totaled $33.2 billion, up 1.8 percent versus the year-earlier period. Compared with results for the fourth quarter of 2012, operating expenses were $20.9 billion versus $38.5 billion, and operating income was $12.2 billion compared to a loss of $6.0 billion. Notably, smartphones accounted for a record 93 percent of postpaid phone sales in the quarter, which included the release of Apple's iPhone 5c and 5s.
Discussions could lead to $99 billion acquisition of European carrier
[Updated with AT&T comment] AT&T could be looking towards a purchase of Vodafone in the future, with reports that the company is talking to European regulators over a potential acquisition in the region of £60 billion ($99 billion). AT&T CEO and chairman Randall Stephenson is said to have met with EU Telecoms Commissioner Neelie Kroes at the World Economic Forum, with a possible acquisition of the UK carrier reportedly discussed.
Tech first revealed at CES 2013
Accessory maker Incipio and carrier AT&T have launched the Cashwrap, a new iPhone case enabling NFC-based payments. The case is based on the Isis platform, something normally only accessible by Android devices. Black, gray, and pink colors are available; two sizes support the iPhone 5/5s and iPhone 4/4S, respectively. Each case is $69, except for the black iPhone 5/5s model, which is listed at $65.
Customers on a two-year plan before January 19th can use AT&T Next
AT&T is revising the terms of its early upgrade plan, by allowing existing subscribers to sign up to the plan mid-contract. Customers on a two-year commitment with the company before January 19th will be eligible for AT&T Next once they hit the six-month milestone, with subscribers also able to switch over to the carrier's Mobile Share Value plans at the same time.
Curved LG smartphone to land in more than 20 European markets
Europe will start to receive the LG G Flex next month, with the curved smartphone launching in more than 20 countries on the continent. At the same time, AT&T reveals it will be joining Sprint and T-Mobile in offering the concave mobile device in the United States, with pre-orders through the carrier starting from January 24th, priced at $299.
Plan for data allowances paid for by content providers to face scrutiny
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may look into how AT&T conducts the "Sponsored Data" program it introduced earlier this week. The FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, reportedly expressed concerns that the plan to allow content providers to pay for data used by customers over the carrier's cellular network could be anticompetitive.
Customers shifting to T-Mobile will receive up to $350 to pay old carrier fees
T-Mobile is removing the issue of Early Termination Fees (ETF) for customers wishing to change carrier, the company has revealed. The plan, confirming a rumor from earlier today, will give subscribers and families up to $350 per line to cover the ETF, with customers able to start switching from AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint under the scheme starting from tomorrow.
Leaked family termination fee advertisement suggests similar offer to AT&T promotion
T-Mobile may be preparing to offer families an incentive to change carrier, if a reported leaked advertisement is real. The "UnCarrier" will apparently pay the Early Termination Fees (ETF) associated with canceling a contract, a plan that sounds relatively similar to another promotion from AT&T, though it is unclear if it is a direct response to AT&T's attempt to poach T-Mobile customers directly.
Allows companies to push content without breaking plan limits
AT&T has introduced Sponsored Data, a new program that will allow businesses to cover the costs of data for cellular subscribers, bypassing the caps most mobile plans have. A developer or publisher, for instance, might choose to cover the costs of an app, or a movie studio might pay for trailer downloads. More obscure possibilities include covering the costs of visiting shopping and healthcare websites, paying for internal business-related traffic, or attaching sponsored data to loyalty programs.
New plan's testing to be complete by 2020, timetable for migration unclear
AT&T has filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) its plan on how it intends to test the process of upgrading the nation's telephony infrastructure to fiber-optic based, rather than copper. In its filing, the company has said that it will select markets not based on ease of transition, but as a way to learn about the process to streamline the effort in its trial phases -- which are supposed to be complete before 2020.
Curved LG smartphone could land in US in coming months
LG will be bringing its curved smartphone to AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States in the near future, if a new image leak is proven true. The render of two LG G Flex devices showing AT&T and T-Mobile branding on the screen seemingly hint at a potential launch, and reignites rumors from November that LG would bringing the device to North America.
BlackBerry Z30 spotted at FCC using AT&T frequencies
BlackBerry could be bringing the Z30 smartphone to AT&T in the future, according to an FCC filing. The listing spotted by Berry Review appears to show the device, with a 5-inch 1280x720 Super AMOLED display, dual-core 1.7GHz processor, and 2GB of RAM, as sporting radios on AT&T bands, strongly suggesting that the more-powerful flagship device could launch in the US as an alternative to Verizon.
Verizon upgrades Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, Droid Mini to Android KitKat
Verizon is rolling out Android KitKat to its current range of Droid smartphones. Owners of the Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, and Droid Mini will receive the update from today onwards, with version 4.4 of the operating system bringing a full-screen mode, camera improvements, an updated Droid Zap app, an update for Motorola Assist, and support for the Fitbit, among other items.
AT&T signs deal with EE for 4G roaming in UK, will offer similar connection in early 2014
AT&T has signed a deal with Everything Everywhere in the United Kingdom, allowing the US carrier's subscribers access to the 4G network when visiting, in a similar deal to one between AT&T and Rogers in Canada. Though the pricing of the deal were not disclosed, Pocket Lint reports that EE customers will be able to get 4G speeds from AT&T's network in the US in the first half of 2014.
On the agenda are NSA surveillance, Obamacare, income inequality
President Obama is spending part of December 17 in conference with an assortment of Silicon Valley executives in order to "address national security and the economic impacts of unauthorized intelligence disclosures." On tap to meet at the White House are Apple CEO Tim Cook, Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson, and 11 others.
Cheaper fiber plan requires monitoring of high-speed Internet connection
AT&T has started accepting registrations for its fiber-based Internet offering in Austin, as the company continues to fight against Google Fiber. U-Verse with GigaPower offers residents in the city TV services and Internet access at speeds of up to 300Mbps, which will be upgraded to gigabit speeds at no extra charge when it becomes available in 2014, though an option for a cheaper plan requires AT&T to monitor the connection's usage.
Remarks about subsidy future, upcoming market targets made in NYC
Addressing a friendly crowd of investors in New York City, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson noted that with cellphone adoption at 75 percent and climbing, networks would likely soon stop offering large subsidies for devices. The move comes on the heels of AT&T's new pricing plan, that offers customers discounts of up to $15 per month if users retain an older device, rather than upgrade it after two years of use.
Special conditions apply
AT&T has introduced Mobile Share Value Plans, a new discount option for its subscribers. The option cuts significant amounts per month off of a Mobile Share plan, so long as a customer meets certain criteria: people must have an off-contract phone, or else upgrade through AT&T's Next program. Under these scenarios, a person can save between $10 and $115 per month on a single device, and between $20 and $105 on a two-device account. Two phones on a 4GB plan, for instance, costs $120 per month.
Cross-carrier stolen phone database will connect with international versions
Work on a national stolen phone database covering AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless handsets has been completed, according to an announcement from CTIA. The wireless association revealed that the multi-carrier database has been implemented before its November 30th deadline, one which it hopes to connect to overseas carriers to protect against thefts worldwide.
AT&T killing support for U-Verse on Xbox 360 at end of 2013
AT&T will stop supporting the Xbox 360 under its U-Verse service after December 31st of this year. The service, which allowed the game console to act as a secondary set-top box for watching TV, with a representative advising Polygon that it was being pulled due to "low customer demand," and that it will not appear on the Xbox One. An e-mail sent out to a number of subscribers details a $99 credit to cover part of the cost of Xbox Live Gold membership, as well as the required conversion kit.
Supplies finally catching up to demand
Roughly 90 percent of iPhone 5s models are back in stock at US Apple Stores, according to data collected by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Breaking figures down by carrier, the two biggest US providers -- AT&T and Verizon -- are showing 99 and 98 percent availability, respectively. The ratio shrinks to 72 percent for Sprint; unmentioned are figures for T-Mobile or SIM-free models.
Sprint now lowest rated carrier for satisfaction
Sprint, the United States' third-largest wireless carrier, came in last among the major carriers in the newest Consumer Reports survey of customer satisfaction. The Consumer Reports National Research Center polled 58,399 subscribers, and their responses indicated a precipitous drop for Sprint from last year, when it placed second among the major carriers. The overall leader among the major carriers was Verizon, which saw high marks for both data service and some aspects of customer support.
Hotspot launches on Friday with LTE Advanced support
Following on from the original Unite, AT&T will be launching a new mobile hotspot later this week, one that takes advantage of the carrier's 4G LTE network. The AT&T Unite Pro offers the ability to connect up to 15 devices simultaneously to the same cellular connection, with its battery able to provide up to 16 hours of use on one charge, as well as being able to top up the battery on mobile devices using its USB port.
Price of Moto X lowered on carriers after Moto G launch
Following the launch of the low-cost Moto G, a number of carriers in the United States have started to lower their prices for the Moto X. While Republic Wireless offers the device off-contract, versions as part of a two-year commitment have received price cuts, with one offer seemingly being priced at $0.01.
Devices were often unlocked for sale outside US
A change deterring mass unlocks of AT&T iPhones has effectively killed a portion of the iPhone resale industry, the Wall Street Journal reports. Until early October, businesses were able to buy large numbers of AT&T models and easily unlock them for sale in regions like China, where even an imported gray-market phone is often cheaper than what Apple and local carriers charge. Since the change has taken effect, though, some vendors that specialized in reselling unlocked iPhones have suffered or gone out of business.
Moto X customization now on all major carriers
As many expected, the Moto Maker Moto X customization feature has now expanded from AT&T to include all four major American carriers. The Moto X site now shows Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile as carrier options, along with AT&T. The expansion of the feature to at least Verizon was anticipated by many, as the carrier accidentally leaked a page showing off the Motorola flagship and saying it could be customized. That page, though, was quickly taken down, and the feature was put back under wraps until its proper launch today.
Nokia Lumia 1520 pre-orders open in US, ships November 22nd
AT&T has opened up pre-orders for the Nokia Lumia 1520, with the device shipping on November 22nd, later than first thought. Priced at $200 on a two-year contract, $585 off-contract, and $27 per month under AT&T Next, the Lumia 1520 offers a six-inch 1080p IPS display, a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.2GHz, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a 20-megapixel PureView camera on the back.
Voluntary contract for call data claimed between CIA, AT&T
The CIA has allegedly paid out more than $10 million per year to AT&T for access to data relating to international calls, according to a report. The transfer of metadata between the carrier and the agency is said by the New York Times to be a "voluntary contract," one that is performed freely rather than requiring court orders and subpoenas, unlike that of notorious surveillance program PRISM.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom reaches US on November 8th
Samsung has confirmed earlier rumors that AT&T will be the first US carrier to offer its Galaxy S4 Zoom to customers, from November 8th. Priced at $200 on a two-year contract or $25 per month under AT&T Next, the Galaxy S4 Zoom has a 4.3-inch qHD screen with a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 1.5GB of RAM, LTE connectivity, and a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor on the back with optical image stabilization, a Xenon flash, and a 10x optical zoom.
Carrier, Apple still mum on exact numbers
AT&T activations for the iPad Air's launch weekend were "more than 200%" greater than those for the fourth-generation iPad, according to an official statement. The carrier hasn't provided any specific numbers, but the news represents the first official sales data for the Air since it was released last Friday. AT&T also claims that it saw "strong demand" for its Next upgrade program, which lets people avoid down payments but at the expense of an extra monthly fee.
Possible acquisition of Vodafone a politically difficult feat
AT&T's plan to acquire a carrier and operate in Europe may have to be put on hold for a long time, thanks to the National Security Agency (NSA). The revelations of national and international surveillance by the agency is now forcing European officials to scrutinize any attempt by AT&T or any other carrier to purchase a mobile phone network on the continent.
Settlement calls for $40 payment from Apple, discounted service from AT&T
Claim forms have gone out to participants and affected customers as part of a settlement in a customer lawsuit against AT&T and Apple, accusing the former of reneging on a promise that "unlimited" data customers could use their existing plans on a 3G-capable iPad, while the latter supported the later-revoked claim through advertising and endorsement. Claimants could receive a $40 one-time payment from Apple along with discounted AT&T service.
Galaxy NX mirrorless camera heads closer to US release
The Samsung Galaxy NX has been spotted passing through the FCC with support for AT&T's LTE and HSPA mobile networks. The filing strongly suggests that Samsung's Android-based mirrorless camera, one that it launched in June, will be making its way to the United States with its cellular network connection intact.
Charging move brings carrier in line with Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint
AT&T has stopped actively providing its traditional voice and data plans to new subscribers. As announced by the carrier earlier this month, it will be pushing new customers towards its Mobile Share plans, which allows users to have multiple devices on an account sharing a single allocation of data, with unlimited minutes and texts also included.
Moto X now $99 on Moto Maker site
AT&T customers can now pick up a customized Moto X from the Moto Maker website for just $99. The Moto X still retails for $199 in AT&T stores in standard colors, but interested parties can now get a customized model for half the price, though they will have to have it delivered. Additionally, Motorola is showing off what appears to be a Moto X-exclusive augmented reality game to be launched in the coming days.
HTC One Mini reaches Canada via Rogers, ships November 4th
Sales of the HTC One Mini on Rogers in Canada will commence soon, the carrier has revealed. Offering a 4.3-inch 720p display, a dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor with 1GB of RAM, and the 4-megapixel UltraPixel camera, the HTC One Mini will ship through Rogers from November 4th, though the carrier has yet to disclose its price.
One million customers added in a single quarter
For the quarter ended September 30, AT&T's consolidated revenues totaled $32.2 billion, up 2.2 percent versus the year-earlier quarter. Third-quarter 2013 net income attributable to AT&T totaled $3.8 billion compared to $3.6 billion in the year-earlier quarter. Earnings per share was $0.72 per diluted share versus $0.63 per diluted share in the year-earlier quarter, a 14.3 percent increase.
Light-use plans target travellers as hotel Wi-Fi alternative
AT&T wants to offer tablet owners the ability to use their devices on its network, without the need to sign up to a monthly contract. Occasional users are being targeted by the carrier for the short-term data-only plans, with the possibility that what AT&T is offering will be viewed as a suitable alternative to the occasionally unreliable and expensive hotel Wi-Fi.
AT&T retains top spot among US carriers
Apple and the iPhone have topped JD Power's smartphone satisfaction study for the 10th time in five years, according to a newly-released chart. With a score of 856, the company beats out rivals like Nokia (840), Samsung (839), and and HTC (829). AT&T remains the US carrier with the most overall customer satisfaction, garnering a score of 843; trailing behind are Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Among iPhone users, though, Verizon is the top carrier.
Smartphone with 10x optical zoom allegedly heading to AT&T this year
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom will be heading to AT&T in the future, according to a new rumor. A leaked image of the hybrid compact camera and smartphone shows it as having icons for AT&T services on its screen, as well as connected to AT&T, strongly hinting that the carrier will soon be offering a subsidized version on its network.