Google IO 2015 Coverage

AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Sprint’s HTC One Max receive Android 4.4 KitKat update

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AT&T and Sprint are now rolling out the KitKat update to both the Galaxy Note 3 and the HTC One Max, respectively.

AT&T is now rolling out the KitKat update to its Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which will bring an improved user interface, ability to choose the default messaging app, improved GPS functionality, direct camera access from the lockscreen and much more. You can check the full changelog below: Read more

Sprint announces that HD Voice will be launched across the country in July

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Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse announced during a keynote at the Oracle Industry Connect that the operator is ready to launch its HD Voice service across the US by July.

Sprint’s HD Voice service was launched in a few cities, such as Kansas City, and was expected to be launched in the rest of the country by the end of last year. However, for unknown reasons, it didn’t happen, but Hesse said that HD Voice is still Sprint’s “killer app”.

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HTC One M8 available today from Verizon retail stores, online at major U.S., Canadian carriers

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Unlike last year when HTC’s release of the HTC One was plagued by delays, the company is ready to push out the new HTC One M8 starting today on a much more aggressive schedule. As expected, the new smartphone will be available from Verizon today, including retail stores, starting at 1:00 pm Eastern time, so people could be out on the streets with the latest from HTC later this afternoon. Depending on your interest, you may want to adjust your schedule for your lunch hour.

If you are not on Verizon or don’t have time to run to a retail location, you can still get the device quickly as the major U.S. and Canadian carriers – AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Rogers, Bell, and Telus – are all scheduled to open their online systems at 1:00 pm Eastern time to accept online orders. If you pick next day shipping, it may be possible to have the HTC One M8 in your hand as soon as tomorrow.

Along with the aggressive release via Verizon retail locations, HTC indicates the other carriers should have the devices available before April 10th for most retail customers. They are also rolling out the device to over 230 carriers in 100 countries before the end of April. We’ll keep monitoring the carriers for information on pricing throughout the afternoon.

AT&T, Sprint among the carriers said to be getting the Samsung Galaxy S 5 Active

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Is the Samsung Galaxy S 5’s new design not sturdy enough for you? Good news. They are said to be releasing the Galaxy S 5 Active, model number SM-G870x. According to @evleaks, the device will be “Coming to AT&T and Sprint, among other carriers.” So if the GS5’s IP67 water resistant rating is not good enough, be on the lookout for the GS5 Active. Read more

Sprint to close 55 stores and lay off 330 employees

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At the start of the year Sprint warned that the company was going to have to make some big changes in order to cut costs. Well today we learned exactly how they’re going to do that. Today the company told CNet that they’re going to close 55 stores, up to 150 service centers, and lay off up to 330 employees.

The stores that are going to be closed down are the “worst performing” ones, meaning they weren’t really helping the company anyway, and actually could have been costing the company more than they were making. Those that will be losing their jobs will be primarily tech consultants, which may or may not affect the companies customer service standards.

Source: TechnoBuffalo

Sprint taking pre-orders on Galaxy S 5 starting today, releases pricing and shipping information

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Now that the Galaxy S 5 is officially outed and set for launch on April 11, retailers and carriers are preparing to get units moving as soon as they’re available.

Following AT&T, US Cellular and T-Mobile, Sprint has announced that it will begin taking pre-orders on the device, and has released its pricing and shipping information as well.

Pre-orders will begin today, and customers will have to pay $199.99 (after a $50 mail-in rebate) and sign a new two-year contract. You’ll also be able to get the device through Sprint’s Easy Pay plan, in which you get the device for nothing upfront, while you’re charged 24 monthly installments of $27.09, coming out to a total of $650.16 after two years.

Sprint will also be making the new Galaxy Gear line available, and pricing is the same as AT&T’s. The Gear 2 will be offered for $299.99, and the Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit will be sold for $199.99 each.

Source: Sprint

Sprint announces new prepaid plans called “Sprint Prepaid”

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Today, Sprint announced a new Pre-Paid plan called “Sprint Prepaid” with cheaper plans but it comes with a disadvantage as well. It is a revamped version of the As You Go plan with new pricing as well as new devices; LTE Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, LTE Samsung Galaxy S III, and 3G Motorola Moto G, as well as the pre-owned Apple iPhone 4s.

Customers can choose from either two plans. The ‘Smart Plans’ costs $45 with unlimited talk time and text messages but no data plan (WiFi only data). On the other hand, the ‘Smart Plus’ cost $15 more with unlimited talk time, text messages and LTE data plan (2.5 GB data speed), though Sprint will limit video streaming to 3G speed.

Source: Sprint

AT&T CFO thinks that the Sprint and T-Mobile merger is not possible

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AT&T‘s CFO, John Stephens, commented on the recent news that Sprint intends to acquire T-Mobile, and said that he didn’t think that the merger was possible. Stephens mentioned that AT&T has wanted market consolidation in the past, but it didn’t happen. His skepticism towards the merger is possibly because of AT&T’s failed attempt at acquiring T-Mobile in 2011.

Masayoshi Son, the CEO of Softbank, which is the Japanese company that owns Sprint, is much more enthusiastic about the merger, saying that it could ignite a “massive price war” and healthy competition in the U.S. market. Despite this, regulators said in meetings with Softbank and Sprint with the FCC and DOJ that they prefer having the big four companies, even though Verizon and AT&T own 75% of the market. Son mentioned that he thinks the merger would be the only way to challenge the AT&T-Verizon duopoly, and has even raised financing for the merger.

Source: PhoneArena

Sprint chairman says that U.S. data speeds are horrible, says he can fix that

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In an interview on Tuesday, the chairman of Sprint, Masayoshi Son, said that the Internet speeds currently available to people in the U.S. are “horrible”, even the speeds offered by Sprint. He then went on to say that he would be able to fix that if the Obama administration allowed Sprint to merge with T-Mobile.

Son said that the merger, which has not been agreed to yet, would allow the company to gain enough scale to install new technology, potentially increasing data speeds by 10 times. Son gave the interview in Washington D.C. and was in the city as part of the campaign to build support for the merger, arguing that he would be able to provide cheaper, faster service to homes and devices.

Source: Recode

Sprint chairman wants to try and purchase T-Mobile

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It’s not exactly a well-kept secret that Sprint is interested in acquiring T-Mobile since SoftBank took over the carrier last year. However, in a recent television interview, Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son publicly stated that he would absolutely love to try and purchase the Uncarrier. He did clarify that at this point in time, Sprint hasn’t made an offer for T-Mobile. They’re still working closely with banks and antitrust authorities to try to get the finer details worked out before moving forward with any kind of deal. Read more