About this time last year, an small uproar was sweeping over the Internet thanks to action taken by the Library of Congress to make unlocking cell phones illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The Library of Congress ruling took effect on January 26, 2013 and any cell phone purchased after that date cannot be unlocked, at least not legally. In response, an online petition was created on the White House web site and in a matter of days surpassed the 100,000 signature threshold triggering a response. President Obama responded as hoped, agreeing with the petition that consumers should have the freedom to unlock their devices. » Read the rest
With all of the wireless carriers battling for subscribers, many people may be tempted to give a new carrier a try. This could be for a variety of reasons, but probably anyone making a switch would like to know they will not regret a change due to poorer service compared to their current provider. Developer tawkon hopes to help with this situation with the release of the Glove app to help users find “a network that fits.” tawkon claims three out of four people could be getting better service than what they currently have. » Read the rest
In a surprise announcement on its Twitter account, HTC USA said that final KitKat software has entered carrier labs for final testing. They also noted that we should expect certification for all four major US carriers next week.
Certification is currently in the third of four stages involved in pushing out OTA OS updates to devices. Shortly after passing carrier certification, the update should start getting sent out to devices.
More progress should be announced next week, especially considering how transparent HTC has been with the update process as of late.
Earlier today, AT&T announced a new incentive that pays customers if they ditch their current carrier to join them. This is AT&T’s answer to whatever John Legere & Co. have up T-Mobile’s sleeve. But in true Legere fashion, the T-Mobile CEO has fired back. In a tweet issued today, Legere says “
#Randall – you gave us cash & spectrum AND we took your customers with #Uncarrier moves, do you really think you can buy them back?” Who is this Randall guy he is questioning? AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. Legere is calling out Stephenson for attempting to win back customers that already jumped ship for T-Mobile’s Un-Carrier ways.
But the chatter did not stop with Legere’s tweet. In an email with Re/code, he states that AT&T must be scrambling “a terrible Q4 and holiday.” Then T-Mobile’s CEO added that he is “flattered that we have made them so uncomfortable” and reminds people to “wait until CES to hear what pain points we are eliminating next. The competition is going to be toast!” We certainly will be waiting as T-Mobile’s next phase is announced next week in Las Vegas.
Hit the break to see what else T-Mobile’s CEO had to say. » Read the rest
We already know that the Nexus 5 will be coming to the Play Store off-contract, and that it will also be sold by carriers in the US. We now have news that the Canadian carrier, TELUS, will be offering the device as well.
Whether it will be available through TELUS at the same time as other carriers, we don’t know. Pricing is also unknown for now.
Expect to see Google release the Nexus 5 to the Play Store by the end of the month, likely on the 28th or 30th.
Source: Mobile Syrup
US Cellular is one of the only major US carriers that hasn’t offered shared data packages for consumers. They’ve finally caught up today, though, and their new share plans are officially available to consumers. However, like how the other carriers are handling these plans, you aren’t required to move onto these plans if you’re already on older plans.
The pricing is similar to other options you’ll find; 300 MB with unlimited talk and text will run $40 per month, plus a $40 per device access fee. The 1 GB share plan puts you at $90 each month, which seems to be the sweet spot with postpaid individual plans. You can add up to 10 devices onto one of these plans, and lesser devices like feature phones or tablets have cheaper access fees. All in all, nothing revolutionary here, but if you’re a US Cellular customer, it’s nice to have more options. You can check out their full press release below. » Read the rest
As expected, the nation’s largest carrier has lead all U.S. carriers in smartphone sales in a three-month period ending in August, according to a recent Kantar Worldpanel ComTech USA survey.
More specifically, 37.1 percent of all smartphone sales went to Verizon, marking a 6.9 percent growth year over year. AT&T held their place in second with 21.7 percent of all smartphone sales— Sprint, in third, with 14.6 percent.
While T-Mobile’s sales weren’t as high, with 13.2 percent of sales, they finally showed some growth, at 1.1 percent from last year. They had been recently following a trend of year-on-year declines, so this is certainly good news for the carrier.
While not much has changed in terms of smartphone sales, this certainly marks something different in the playing field. It will be interesting to see if T-Mobile can continue on its path of growth.
We’ve seen plenty of outdated, mid-range devices get offered for free on carrier sites, but seeing the Kindle Phone without a price tag would certainly be new to us. Reports suggest that the offering would not be the conventional “free phone” (+ new 2-year contract) deal, but customers could be required to sign up to a membership of Amazon Prime. A source has stated that “Amazon wants the device to be free whether or not people sign up for a new wireless plan at the same time.” Amazon could be dealing with carriers in the near future about working something out, however it’s likely that Amazon will offer the device on their site as well.
Source: Jessica Lessin
In early July we let you guys know that the Moto X would most likely be headed to Canada exclusively on the Rogers network. That rumor was confirmed today, however the Canadian version will be available in only black and white. The phone will be available for $189.99 on a two year contract. While removing the option for customization is a bit upsetting for Canadian customers, the phone still offers the software enhancements including its “always on” feature and new notification system. The “Made in the USA” campaign probably isn’t going to work too well on Canadian customers either…
Mobile security is a big deal on Android devices. While it’s debatable if malware is as big of a problem on Android as security analysts say it is, it’s still very important to keep your devices protected, just in case. Usually, Google does an excellent job of patching most vulnerabilities in their software, the problem is that carriers take way, way too long to get those security patches onto consumer handsets. Activist Chris Soghoian, known for his work with consumer security and privacy, has recently called out wireless carriers on their poor practices with updating these devices.
He’s saying what we’ve all been thinking, but he definitely brings to light some of the less thought about problems of slow updates. Most people complain about being stuck on old software because it’s slower or lacks cooler features, but that outdated software also lacks the updated protection that current software would provide. The antivirus on your computer wouldn’t do much good if it was looking for malware from 2010, would it? He also talks about the stock Android browser, which is one of the more popular browsers simply because it’s preloaded on the device. Unlike Firefox, Chrome, or any other browser you can download from the Play Store, the stock browser lacks constant updates and new malware protection like updateable apps have.
It’s definitely a good read, and definitely a situation that needs to change. Read on past the source to see what Soghoian has to say.
source: Threat Post