AT&T working on “two track plan” to address merger concerns with T-Mobile

AT&T has been hard at work to make sure their pending T-Mobile acquisition doesn’t fall through.  Sources close to the situation say that AT&T is working on a “two-track plan” to address concerns raised in the recent complaint filed by U.S. antitrust regulators.

While the specifics of the plan can’t be confirmed, AT&T is said to be preparing itself to make concessions in an effort to ease the federal fears that the merger will reduce competition and raise wireless cost.  Among the concessions being considered are the sale of T-Mobile assets and the possible retention of T-Mobile value-orientated rate plans.

Some sources say that to make the deal work, AT&T may have to sell nearly 25% of T-Mobile’s network and customer base.  While the regional assets will likely be sought after by smaller carriers looking to grow out their coverage, the national assets have fewer potential buyers. 

Two main possibilities are Sprint and Verizon, but that may not happen anytime soon, as an acquisition like that would raise antitrust scrutiny of its own. 

AT&T has a lot on the line as they would have to shell out $6 Billion in compensatory fees to T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, if the deal falls through.   Some sources say that AT&T is feeling confident about their new solution.  With $6 billion on the line, I hope for their sake that they are right.

[via techcrunch]

Rogers now taking reservations for 4G LTE devices

A few days after announcing their 4G LTE expansion, Rogers is now taking online reservations for LTE devices. 

Right now you will find the Samsung Galaxy S II LTE as well as the as the Rogers LTE Rocketstick (Sierra Wireless Aircard 745S) available for a reservation fee of $40 per device.  Three additional LTE devices are expected by the end of the year including a yet to be named LTE tablet as well as an LTE HTC phone (pricing for the LTE devices hasn’t been announced yet).

Ottawa currently has Rogers 4G LTE service but Toronto is scheduled to go live on September 28th with Montreal and Vancouver added by years end. 

Keep checking back as we’ll be sure to post updates on the device pricing when we receive it!

[via rogers]

LG Thrill 4G for AT&T is available at Costco for $29.99

The AT&T LG Thrill 4G took forever to get to market, but it looks like they are going to price this thing right to move. AT&T wants $99.99 for it, but we already know Target and Radio Shack will offer it for $79.99.

Now we are hearing Costco will sell it for $29.99. It is not supposed to launch until September 4th, but it appears that it has already shown up in some stores (Kansas and Missouri). Even if you have to wait until Sunday, $29.99 seems like a more than reasonable price for this one, especially if you are wanting to get a 3D phone. Who is planning on buying this one?

[via androidcentral]

Amazon 10-inch tablet may not launch until 2012

We have heard all along that Amazon is working on two tablets. We are expecting at least one of them to come out this fall, and to be priced as a loss leader to blow Apple out of the water. This will most likely be a seven inch model.

We know they are working on a 10.1-inch version as well, but it looks like it might not hit the scene until the 1st quarter 2012 according to Foxconn, the manufacturer of the device. We have heard the codename is Hollywood, and it could include NVIDIA’s Kal-El quad-core chip. If this is the case, it would be a big set back since ASUS is ready to go with the Kal-El chip in the follow up to the very successful Transformer this fall.

I still think that if Amazon comes out with a $249 tablet this fall as expected, sales will be through the roof. Ultimately the hardcores will be yearning for the “Hollywood,” but volume is where it’s at for Amazon. They have a lot to gain from their app store, music, video, and book distributions. With the 7-inch version priced right, it will produce the volume necessary to drive their digital business.

[via electronista]

Kyocera Milano(Oblique) to arrive at Sprint on September 9th

Almost three weeks to the day after clearing the FCC as the Kyocera Oblique, the phone looks like it will hit Sprint as the Kyocera Milano on September 9th.

The mid-ranged device comes with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), a 3-inch touchscreen, 2GB MicroSD card (supports up to 32GB), an 800Mhz processor, 1340 mAh battery, 3G, and 512MB RAM. 

The Milano is definitely not a powerhouse but it’s not priced like one either – the phone can be had for as little as $50 with a two-year agreement.

Anyone interested in snagging one of these?  Let us know in the comments!

[via androidpolice]

Samsung Galaxy S II Logs show NFC support for AT&T


An extended analysis of AT&T’s variant of the Galaxy S II reveals it is rife with NFC.  In addition to containing kernel drivers and a pre-installed APK, the system files indicate the device is running in a mode named NDEF (NFC Data Exchange Format).  It hasn’t been determined if the handset will be capable of making payments, but the presence of NFC in the Galaxy S II is definitely a good sign.

T-Mobile has released minimal details on its version of the Galaxy S II but FCC filings confirm it will contain NFC as well.

Sprint’s Epic 4G (Galaxy S II) contains no mention of NFC.  Does the fact that Sprint was not part of a group that recently invested $100 million in mobile payment technology play a part in this? 

While analysis of the Epic 4G did not reveal any information regarding NFC, it did uncover that it’s using the same WiMAX module (cmc732) as the Samsung Nexus S 4G.  If you recall, the Nexus S 4G was plagued with performance issues when originally released (though many of those concerns were eventually resolved in a later update).  Let’s hope the Epic 4G will come with improved firmware to ensure customers won’t have to go down that path again.

Will NFC support influence your decision one way or another?  Let us know in the comments!

[via engadget]

DROID Bionic will launch September 8 in all Verizon channels, Costco onboard as well.

Verizon and Motorola haven’t made it official yet, but the above image pretty much does. We knew it was going to be September 8th for a while now, but it is nice to finally know for sure.

The below image also confirms Costco will be launching the same day. We already reported that Costco will have an

Check for more goodies after the break:

White Samsung Galaxy S II shipping in the UK tomorrow

The white Samsung Galaxy S II will begin shipping in the UK tomorrow as scheduled.

The average price seems to be around £492.95, with both Clove.co.uk and Mobilefun.co.uk offering it for that much including VAT. Other than the color, it’s the same phone as the non-white Galaxy S II.

While white seems to be a popular color for smartphones, do recent releases in raspberry pink, purple, green, and even gold plated solid brass have the same following?

What color is your present phone, and what would color do you want your next phone to be? Let us know in the comments!

[via phandroid]

Pink Wildfire S available for pre-order at Phones4U

If you thought the white Samsung Galaxy S II wasn’t quite chic enough, the latest offering from HTC might be right up your alley.

Phones4U is now accepting pre-orders for a very pink HTC Wildfire S. This limited edition phone comes with Android 2.3, 720p HD video capture, and a 5MP camera with LED flash.

You can get the pink Wildfire S on monthly contracts starting at £15 per month. The £15 tariff is via an Orange SIM, which will arrive with 100 minutes of calling time and a 250MB data allowance.

Did I mention the phone was pink?

[via eurodroid]

Sprint Changing Early Termination Fee Starting September 9th

According to Sprint Feed, Sprint’s Early Termination Fee is climbing from its current $200 to $350 starting September 9th. As seen in the above image, this policy change is only for “advanced” devices which includes smartphones, tablets, netbooks, and notebooks. This raised ETF will go into effect on new contracts signed after September 9th. It’s also noted that changes like this for authorized dealers usually apply to corporate Sprint stores as well. Anyone think this might be in preparation for the SGSII Epic 4G Touch?

[via sf]

AT&T will launch the LG Thrill 4G on September 4 for $99, Or grab it for $79 at Radio Shack or Target

It has been a long wait for the LG Thrill 4G (Optimus 3D). For those of you on AT&T yearning for a 3D phone, you can finally grab one this Sunday, September 4th for $99.99 (with a 2-year contract) through AT&T stores or online.

We have also told you that Radio Shack and Target will carry it for $79.99 with the same 2-year contract or $550 off contract. We don’t have confirmation if it will be in Target stores this Sunday, but the above image gives confirmation that Radio Shack will have it. It is very likely they will sell it to you earlier.

Who is ready for a little 3D this Labor Day weekend?

[via bgr and ac]

[Breaking] U.S. files Antitrust Complaint to block AT&T and T-Mobile merger

Apparently the U.S. government is not in agreement with the AT&T purchase of T-Mobile as it has filed court papers in Washington to block the $39 billion merger. According to the U.S. government is would “substantially lessen competition” in the wireless market.

The U.S. is seeking a declaration that AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile would violate U.S antitrust law which would result in a court order blocking the deal.

“AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low- priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market,” the U.S. said in its filing.

Samsung Nexus/DROID Prime passes through Bluetooth SIG

A Samsung device with the same model number rumored to be the DROID/Nexus Prime (SCH-i515) has shown up on the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group) website.

According to the posting, the SCH-i515 is a CDMA phone headed to North America with integrated Bluetooth 3.0 technology that supports A2DP, AVRCP, GAVDP, HFP1.5, HSP, OPP, PBAP, and HID.

Is this the rumored DROID/Nexus Prime? What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

[via bluetooth]

AT&T’s 4G LTE network goes live in Chicago, appears to be in testing phase

AT&T’s 4G LTE network went live this past weekend in Chicago even though AT&T has not officially announced the availability of LTE service in that market. Though likely to be available only intermittently until it is officially launched, initial tests performed on the network have shown the potential for impressive speeds.

Using an AT&T Elevate 4G LTE mobile hotspot to perform speed tests, a source at BGR reported download speeds topping out at around 13Mbps and upload speeds reaching just over 2Mbps. It should be noted that the test do not necessarily represent the speeds that will be seen by AT&T subscribers in the area when the 4G service goes live. In addition, the source stated the Elevate never had more than 3 bars of service during the test which is another indication that the network is only in a testing stage.

With Verizon’s 4G LTE service now covering over half of the country, AT&T is already a step behind in the race to be the first carrier to provide nationwide 4G service. The appearance of their 4G LTE network in Chicago should be seen as a positive sign not only for that area, but for all AT&T customers waiting for the 4G experience.

Hit the break for a few more pictures from the speed test!

T-Mobile announces the Samsung Galaxy S II with minimal details

Tonight in New York City, Samsung officially announced the availability of the Samsung Galaxy S II for AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Sprint and AT&T gave us full press releases with a lot of details, but T-Mobile has decided to go short and sweet. About the only thing they shared is that it will have a  4.52-inch Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen. There wasn’t even a  mention of the “Hercules” name or any other name. They do look forward to sharing more information in the coming weeks, and so do we.

The latest word on the T-Mobile release is October 26th.

T-Mobile USA, Inc. is pleased to announce the upcoming availability of the Samsung Galaxy S™ II at T-Mobile this fall. Featuring a brilliant 4.52-inch Super AMOLED Plus touch screen – one of the largest screens available on a Galaxy S II device – T-Mobile’s Galaxy S II promises to keep customers entertained and connected while on the go. We look forward to sharing more information in the coming weeks.