Samsung’s Q4 profits continue to slide, but still land above analyst expectations

Samsung_Galaxy_S_5_Back_Camera_Samsung_Logo_TA_02Samsung posted some good news and some bad news today. The bad news for the company is that their fourth quarter profits for 2014 dropped 27%, which is a fairly significant slide for the holiday months. The bright side, however, is that this drop was smaller than what analysts were expecting.

A big reason that Samsung didn’t have a bigger decrease was thanks to their component business, which is still doing exceptionally well thanks to the general popularity of smartphones and tablets. Sales of the Galaxy Note 4 also increased during Q4, so it held its own against other flagship devices and Apple for Christmas. Total sales for Samsung ended up between 72 and 75 million smartphones, while Apple shipped about 74 million. Those numbers make it pretty clear that 2014 was kinder to Apple than it was to Samsung.
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Verizon increasing upgrade and activation fees to $40 in February

2000px-Verizon_logoBad news, Verizon folks. The carrier is upping their activation and upgrade fees to $40 starting February 5th. The current activation fee is $35, while the upgrade fee is $30. If you’ve been considering upgrading your device and want to save a few bucks, you may want to go ahead and knock that out in the next week.

Verizon isn’t the only carrier that charges upgrade fees, and AT&T’s have been sitting at $40 for a few months. You can avoid these activation fees if you go onto an installment plan like Verizon Edge or AT&T Next, anyway, so if you’re on one of those programs, this news may not affect you at all.
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FTC rules that throttled data plans no longer count as unlimited data

tracfoneThe FTC has ruled against TracFone in a case involving their “unlimited data,” forcing the prepaid company to pay out $40 million to customers that were mislead about just how unlimited TracFone’s data actually is. Like tons of other carriers, TracFone offers an unlimited data plan that’s throttled after a certain cap is hit. The FTC isn’t particularly fond of those kinds of plans, which they’ve mentioned in the past.

According to the FTC, data speeds were slowed down between 1 and 3 GB and were sometimes completely cut off once customers hit the 5 GB limit. The FTC might have been more lenient if TracFone wasn’t cutting data off completely and just sticking to throttling, but it’s a tough call knowing that the FTC dislikes throttled data plans anyway.
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[Deal] Take $48 off a T-Mobile Nexus 6 with promo code

Nexus_6_Official_4573If you’ve been waiting for a deal on the Nexus 6, T-Mobile is offering a $48 discount on all variants of the phone with a promo code. With the Nexus 6 being so new (and relatively expensive for a Nexus device) you might want to take advantage of this before it goes away.

The promo code NEXUS6DEAL will save you $48 when buying either a 32 GB or 64 GB Nexus 6, but it looks like they’re only offering the blue colored device. Still, for almost a full $50 off, that might be enough to convince you to not worry too much about the color of the phone.
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Samsung files trademarks for four new Galaxy devices

SAMSUNG CSCSamsung has recently filed for four new trademarks on Galaxy devices with the USPTO, mentioning the Galaxy E3, as well as three new additions to the unannounced Galaxy J lineup. Not only will Samsung release the budget Galaxy J1 that we’ve seen hints of, but there will also be a J3, J5, and J7, which may be similar to the Galaxy A3, A5, and A7. Confused with Samsung’s new naming conventions yet?

Despite recent struggles for the company, it looks like Samsung is going to stick to pumping out as many phones with different screen sizes and price points as possible, per usual. Of course, it’s always possible that these devices were already in the pipeline before Samsung had a rough year and they were too far into development to be scrapped, but either way, expect to see a ton of new Samsung phones this year.
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Motorola offering up to $140 off of purchases for Valentine’s Day

motolove valentine's dayBecause Valentine’s Day can be a potentially expensive holiday, Motorola is offering a pretty steep discount on purchases made through Motorola.com. Starting February 2nd and running through the 14th, if you spend more than $499.99, Moto will knock $140 off of your purchase with a promo code. If you don’t want to spend quite as much, a $249.99 purchase can get a $50 discount. This includes everything from accessories to the Moto 360 to the Moto X, so it’s a pretty great deal to take advantage of.

If you don’t get a promo code, Motorola is still docking $100 off of a $499.99 purchase, or $35 off of a $249.99 purchase, for everyone. The promo code discount is quite a bit bigger, though, so if you’re interested, hit the link below to register. Motorola is only giving away 200,000 codes, so the sooner, the better.
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Huawei may announce the Ascend Mate 7 Compact at MWC 2015

huawei ascend mate 7Huawei may be bringing a smaller version of its Ascend Mate 7 to MWC this year, if rumors about the mini phone are true. While the Ascend Mate 7 features a massive 6-inch screen, the Compact may shrink down just a 5.5-inch display. It’s tough to call that a compact device, but it’s still technically smaller than the larger variant.

The rumors don’t suggest anything else about the device, such as the processor or screen resolution, but it’s possible it’ll carry similar hardware as the normal Ascend Mate 7. MWC 2015 isn’t too far off, so hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to find out.
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AT&T will acquire Nextel Mexico for nearly $2 billion

AT&T_Logo_01_TAAT&T has announced they will be acquiring Nextel’s Mexico business for roughly 1.8 billion dollars. This deal includes all of Nextel’s equipment and stores in Mexico, as well as about 3 million customers in the country. Nextel’s network covers 76 million people, however, so the acquisition will help AT&T create a more competitive service in Mexico.

AT&T expects the deal to close in the middle of 2015, assuming no legal roadblocks show up.
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T-Mobile makes SCORE! program official, lets you pay $5 per month for smartphone discounts

t-mobile_logo_magentaT-Mobile has made a new program official for customers to take part in, and they’re calling it SCORE! The program simply lets you pay an extra $5 per month on your bill, and then you’ll get discounts on smartphones after a few months.

After 6 months of paying that extra few bucks, T-Mobile will give you a free entry level smartphone. Today, that would be something along the lines of the Alcatel OneTouch Evolve 2, which isn’t a bad deal for the equivalent of 30 bucks. However, if you keep paying and don’t cash in, after 12 months you’d be able to pick up a much nicer phone (T-Mobile uses the LG L90 LTE as an example) without paying anything, or you can get a bigger discount on other phones.
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