Tag Archives: AT&T

Windows Phone 8 fully fleshed out, smartphones releasing next month

Three days after the Windows 8 release, today Microsoft formally launched Windows Phone 8 into the world. This summer Microsoft fleshed out most of the new features and enhancements that come bundled with the new mobile OS. At the company’s launch event, however, they shed light on a few more tricks up the OS’ sleek sleeve.

Live Apps: At the heart of Windows Phone is Live Tiles. They fill up the Start Screen and they serve two important objectives. They make your phone personal; you can easily rearrange and resize apps and other icons to your heart’s content. In addition, they are connected to the Internet and are regularly updated with the latest information; this institutes a glance-and-go mentality that Microsoft has been pushing since the ringing in of Windows Phone 7. Live Tiles are personal and informational. In WP8, the lock screen is getting a similar treatment with Live Apps. If a Live App is enabled, simply wake your phone up from sleep and you’ll instantly be provided with personalized updated information without digging for it. For example, make CNN or ESPN your Live App and when you check your phone’s lock screen you will be provided with the latest news headline or sports scores without virtually any effort.

Kid’s Corner: This is a neat feature currently exclusive to WP8. In essence, Kid’s Corner is a guest account that you can personalize for your kids or friends or colleagues. There are times when your kids want to steal your phone to play Angry Birds but you are hesitant to let them fool around with it because they might accidentally change settings or mess around with your inbox and other critical information. With Kid’s Corner, you can create a separate Start Screen environment for them to play around in. In Settings, you can choose exactly what apps, games, music, and video gets made accessible for them. Once you password-protect your phone, your personal account will remain untouched and they’ll be forced to swipe to the left and then up to unlock and enter the guest account known as Kid’s Corner.

Rooms: WP8 provides private spaces for you to interact and communicate with your close friends and family. You can create a Room that consists of your small circle of friends and only those invited to it will be able to view and share information inside it. In addition to a private chat room, a Room also allows shared calendars, notes, and photos. Most of the features in Room are exclusive to WP8 devices, but Microsoft says “some aspects” will work across other smartphones as well.

Data Sense: Microsoft is working with mobile carriers to help you keep track of your data usage since the days of “unlimited data” have come and gone. Data Sense is an app that “helps conserve your data allowance by compressing Web images, deferring data tasks to free Wi-Fi, and automatically adjusting your usage as you get closer to your plan limits.” Verizon will be the first to enable Data Sense, and Microsoft says others will join the initiative next year.

Integrated Skype: Since Microsoft bought Skype, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the communication app will be fully integrated with WP8 when it arrives on the platform soon. You can make and receive Skype calls just like you would a regular phone call, and your Skype contacts are integrated in the People (contacts) hub for easy access.

A growing app marketplace: Since WP7 was announced many developers have hopped on board to support the mobile OS. Currently the Windows Phone Store is home to 120,000 apps. Though this number is low compared to Apple and Android’s offerings, Microsoft is hopeful even more developers will start to pick up the slack and contribute to a growing app marketplace. This holiday season a bunch of popular apps are joining the WP fold such as Angry Birds Star Wars, Cut the Rope Experiments, Disney’s Where’s My Water, LivingSocial, Temple Run, Urbanspoon, “and many more,” promises Microsoft. And early next year, Pandora is coming too with one year of ad-free streaming music to-boot.

With all the software features out of the way, the next logical talking point is hardware. Microsoft has partnered with Nokia, HTC, and Samsung as hardware launch partners for WP8. AT&T will carry the Nokia Lumia 920, the Lumia 820, and the Windows Phone 8X by HTC in November; pricing is TBA. Verizon will carry the Windows Phone 8X by HTC for $199.99 with a two-year contract and the Nokia Lumia 822 (exclusive to Verizon) for $99.99 next month. Another VZW exclusive, the Samsung ATIV Odyssey, will release in December. And lastly T-Mobile will also sell the Windows Phone 8X by HTC (16GB) at $149.99 and the Nokia Lumia 810 at $99.99; these release November 14. The fourth U.S. carrier Sprint is sitting this round out.

If you’re looking for a different kind of mobile experience, Windows Phone 8 is the way to go. With a sleek, modern user interface and an equally attractive hardware selection it isn’t hard to recommend you check out Microsoft’s latest offering. The one (albiet major) drawback is developer support and the app catalog, but if the Store continues to grow at the pace Microsoft is hinting at today then they might just have a mobile platform to finally compete against the likes of iOS and Android.

After the break, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore gives you an extensive tour of Windows Phone 8.

[Via Microsoft] READ MORE Windows Phone 8 fully fleshed out, smartphones releasing next month

Samsung Focus 2 brings Windows Phone + LTE to the masses at $49.99 on AT&T

On May 20 the Samsung Focus 2 will enter the marketplace and make the jump to Windows Phone and speedy 4G LTE easier at an extremely affordable price. For $49.99 (after signing a new two-year agreement with AT&T), customers will get a smartphone that packs a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, a 5 megapixel camera that supports 720p video capture, a front-facing VGA camera for video calls, and a single-core 1.4GHz processor. The Focus 2 will be sold in a fresh coat of “pure white” and come loaded with the latest version of Windows Phone (7.5, that is). Sign up to be alerted to the phone’s release right here. PR after the break.

[Via Engadget] READ MORE Samsung Focus 2 brings Windows Phone + LTE to the masses at $49.99 on AT&T

Nokia Lumia 900, the first LTE Windows Phone, is out April 8 at $99.99 on AT&T

Announced in January, the Nokia Lumia 900 smartphone has been tagged with an imminent release date and an affordable price point. The Lumia 900, which will soon become the first Windows Phone to boast 4G LTE, releases into the marketplace on April 8 at $99.99 after a two year contract with AT&T. The handset features a 4.3-inch (800 x 480) AMOLED ClearBlack display, a Carl Zeiss 8 megapixel camera with large aperture (F2.2) and wide angle focal length (28mm) and LED flash that supports 720p HD video capture, and a front-facing camera for video calls. It runs the latest version of Windows Phone, that is 7.5 aka Mango. The Lumia 900 will come in cyan blue and matte black flavors on the 8th, and later on April 22 a high-gloss white version will release. Preorder today. PR after the break.

[Via Engadget 1, 2] READ MORE Nokia Lumia 900, the first LTE Windows Phone, is out April 8 at $99.99 on AT&T

The new iPad sells like hotcakes, big surprise

On March 19 Apple released a statement announcing that their “resolutionary” new iPad is the fastest selling slate they’ve sold so far. In just three days–from launch on March 16 to the 19th–Apple sold over three million new iPads.

Apple’s Phil Schiller said this. “The new iPad is a blockbuster with three million sold―the strongest iPad launch yet. Customers are loving the incredible new features of iPad, including the stunning Retina display, and we can’t wait to get it into the hands of even more customers around the world this Friday.”

That Friday, March 23, has come and gone and now the iPad is being sold in an additional 24 countries. No further announcements have been made, but rest assured that the new iPad is doing just fine on the market. Who knows? Maybe the idiom “sells like hotcakes” will one day become “sells like iPads.”

In other news, AT&T has announced that it has set a new single-day record for its iPad sales and activations. Full PR after the break.

[Via Apple; Engadget] READ MORE The new iPad sells like hotcakes, big surprise

4G LTE comes to Windows Phone Mango in HTC Titan II and Nokia Lumia 900

Microsoft is heating up the competition by introducing two new 4G LTE enhanced phones for its Windows Phone collection. The HTC Titan II and the Nokia Lumia 900 are in fact the first 4G LTE smartphones to run Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone iteration “Mango.” Let’s start with the Titan II. Besides packing the 4G chip, the new Titan features a giant 4.7-inch super LCD capacitive touchscreen and an impressive 16 megapixel camera with a wide-angle lens, autofocus, and dual LED flash. The rear camera also supports 720p HD video recording, and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing one allows for video chat. Inside you’ll also find a single-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor and a 1,730mAh battery.

Nokia’s Lumia 900 is the bigger brother to the Lumia 710, the latter of which is the first smartphone to come out of Microsoft’s strategic alliance with the Finnish handset maker. (The Lumia 710 is now available to buy on T-Mobile for $50 on contract.) The 900 sports a larger 4.3-inch (800 x 480) AMOLED ClearBlack display, a 1.4GHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM, Carl Zeiss-branded eight megapixel camera with large aperture (F2.2) and wide angle focal length (28mm) and LED flash that supports 720p HD video capture. Around the front you’ll find a camera also boasting a large aperture (F2.4) and a wide angle lens. Inside the polycarbonate body lies a sealed 1,830mAh battery. When it becomes available, the 900 will come in two flavors: cyan and matte black.

Microsoft’s first 4G LTE Mango phones are coming exclusively to AT&T later this year. Images below, PR and video after the break.

[Via Engadget 1, 2] READ MORE 4G LTE comes to Windows Phone Mango in HTC Titan II and Nokia Lumia 900

AT&T and Sprint announce 4G LTE market expansion

Verizon flipped on its 4G LTE service back in December 2010 and since then it’s rather quickly spread to 190 million US cities and 118 million major airports, covering more than 200 million Americans. At long last, the time has come for the competition to throw their hats into the ring.

In early September, AT&T launched their 4G LTE service in 5 markets (Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston) to complement its HSPA+ network (also known as “faux-G”). Later in November they expanded to eleven additional markets including Athens, Ga., Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. On January 5, AT&T added another eleven markets to the mix, and they’re big ones: New York City metro area, Austin, Chapel Hill, Los Angeles, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix, Raleigh, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose. Ma Bell calculates that this addition makes AT&T 4G LTE available in a total of 26 markets to 74 million consumers. The company expects its 4G LTE deployment to be mostly complete by the end of 2013.

And then there’s Sprint. They’ve been innovating behind Verizon and AT&T, only just announcing their first major markets to receive 4G LTE. Dallas, Atlanta, Houston and San Antonio will be the first four markets to see the faster speeds in the first half of 2012. Sprint is also working on boosting their 3G speeds as well. They call it Network Vision: “Sprint customers can expect to enjoy ultra-fast data speeds, improved 3G voice and data quality, and stronger in-building signal penetration providing a more reliable wireless experience…everyone in the upgraded areas is expected to benefit from the advanced 3G/4G LTE network.”

With 4G LTE markets spreading across America like wildfire from Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint, consumers can expect new smartphones to release this year that take advantage of the faster voice and data speeds that 4G provides. Rumor has it that the next iPhone will in fact be compatible on VZW, at least. Now that AT&T isn’t allowed to swallow T-Mobile, the network that made popular the Sidekick is going to have to act quickly if they want to remain the race; their speedy HSPA+ network won’t stand a chance once the other three carriers are boasting their expansive 4G LTE ones. Let the games begin.

[Via AT&T; Sprint]

AT&T to acquire T-Mobile USA for $39 billion …NOT

The first half of this post’s title was a major announcement back in March. Almost exactly nine months after news broke that AT&T would eat up T-Mobile to become a giant force against competitors Verizon Wireless and Sprint, Ma Bell has decided to end its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA. In a press release, AT&T blames the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice for blocking the transaction from happening. Over the past few months, the FCC and the DOJ have been making it difficult for AT&T to buy out T-Mobile. Why you ask? I’ll let competitor Sprint express their viewpoint on the matter:

“From the beginning, Sprint has stood with consumers who spoke loudly and clearly that AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile would create an undeniable duopoly that would have resulted in higher prices, less innovation and fewer choices for the American consumer.”

In other words, with T-Mobile gone consumers would have a limited selection choosing a wireless carrier and this would impede competition and lead to lower expectations when it comes to innovation. AT&T sees things differently:

The actions by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice to block this transaction do not change the realities of the U.S. wireless industry. It is one of the most fiercely competitive industries in the world, with a mounting need for more spectrum that has not diminished and must be addressed immediately. The AT&T and T-Mobile USA combination would have offered an interim solution to this spectrum shortage. In the absence of such steps, customers will be harmed and needed investment will be stifled.

Since Ma Bell wasn’t able to carry through with its acquisition as planned, the company must pay Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile USA’s German-based parent company) $4 billion before year’s end. Also, AT&T will enter a mutually beneficial roaming agreement with Deutsche Telekom. For more pop after the break to read the PR.

[Via Engadget] READ MORE AT&T to acquire T-Mobile USA for $39 billion …NOT

Windows Phone Mango coming to AT&T handsets this fall

In May Microsoft previewed the first major upgrade to its rejuvenated mobile OS. Mango will bring multitasking, IE9, and deeper social network integration, among other things, to Windows Phone 7 devices. This fall, AT&T intends to upgrade their entire WP7 portfolio to Mango. Nice! But there’s more. In a press release (in full after the break), Ma Bell also announced three brand new handsets that will ship with Mango on board in Q4. The new and improved Samsung Focus S features a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 1.4GHz processor, a rear facing 8 megapixel camera and a front facing 1.3 megapixel, “4G”-capable speeds, and a thin profile at 8.55 millimeters. The Focus Flash downgrades things a bit and packs a smaller 3.7-inch Super AMOLED screen, a 5 megapixel camera with front facing camera, but it keeps the speedy 1.4 GHz processor. And finally the large-and-in-charge HTC Titan features a 4.7-inch display, 1.5 GHz processor, and 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash. Pricing and exact available will have to wait.

Update: Microsoft shows off a bunch of Mango’s new features in dramatic video fashion after the break.

[Via AT&T; Engadget] READ MORE Windows Phone Mango coming to AT&T handsets this fall

HP Veer 4G comes to AT&T May 15 for $100

Back in February, HP formally introduced three new WebOS-enabled devices imagined by the Palm godfather Job Rubinstein. The HP Veer, the smallest of the bunch, is hitting the market first and it’s coming to AT&T. Described to be the size of a credit card and no thicker than a deck of cards, the newly branded HP Veer 4G goes a little something like this: 2.6-inch (320×400) glass touch display, an 800MHz Snapdragon processor, 5 megapixel camera, full slide-out QWERTY keyboard, built-in GPS, WiFi 802.11b/g, and Bluetooth, 8GB of storage, accelerometer, proximity, and light sensors, Adobe Flash Player support, it can act as a mobile hotspot supporting up to 5 WiFi-capable devices, HSPA+, one USB port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It runs WebOS version 2.1 and comes in black and white variants. When it drops May 15 the palm-sized handset will set you back an affordable $99.99, two-year contract with AT&T required. Full PR after the break, as is an image that shows you just how pint-sized this thing really is.

[Via Palm] READ MORE HP Veer 4G comes to AT&T May 15 for $100

AT&T to acquire T-Mobile USA for $39 billion

Well here’s some interesting Sunday news for you. This afternoon AT&T announced a definitive agreement with Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile USA’s German-based parent company) under which AT&T will acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $39 billion. Should this deal go through, it will bring together T-Mobile’s current subscriber base of 33 million and AT&T’s 95 million customers thus making Ma Bell the largest wireless provider in the United States (for comparison’s sake, Verizon has 94 million customers). Furthermore, it will situate AT&T as the sole GSM provider to compete against CDMA rivals Verizon Wireless and Sprint. As far as 4G connectivity is concerned, AT&T plans to take advantage of T-Mobile’s installed infrastructure to significantly expand 4G LTE deployment to 95 percent of the U.S. population–reaching an additional 46.5 million Americans beyond current plans.

Says AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson: “This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation’s future. It will improve network quality, and it will bring advanced LTE capabilities to more than 294 million people.”

Obviously the acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals, but if all goes smoothly the transaction will close in about 12 months, AT&T will have eaten up T-Mobile USA, and Deutsche Telekom will have an 8 percent stake in AT&T. Look after the break for the official PR statements from AT&T and Deutsche Telekom that cover the basics summarized here as well as additional notes about competition and financial information. Click through the gallery of images below to see how the merger will affect coverage in America.

[Via Engadget; AT&T]

READ MORE AT&T to acquire T-Mobile USA for $39 billion

Nintendo 3DS will support Netflix, and other news to know

This week at Game Developer Conference 2011 in San Fransisco Nintendo held a brief press conference detailing their latest handheld sensation the Nintendo 3DS. Though it’s already been sold in Japan and the U.S. release is right around the corner (March 27) the company is already detailing the system’s first major software upgrade. First up, Netflix is coming to the 3DS this summer. Users will be able to access their Netflix movies and TV shows on the device and have the option to pause said content and resume it on the big screen via the Wii’s Netflix portal.

In addition, the 3DS will gain a new 3D video channel that will act as a gateway to 3D produced content like movie trailers, music videos, and comedy shorts. The channel will be automatically updated with new 3D content over a wireless connection. Ninty also hinted that 3DS owners will eventually be able to record their own videos in 3D using the devices dual rear-facing cameras.

The house that built Mario went on to further detail the Nintendo eShop, a place where 3DS users can browse and download all kinds of content including DSiWare games, Game Boy and Game Boy Color classics remastered in 3D, and a Virtual Console which will include titles from Sega’s Game Gear and TurboGrafx-16. All of this plus a web browser is expected to make its way to the 3DS via a software update in late May.

Speaking of Mario, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata teased a Super Mario 3DS title by showing a logo for the game; a small grey raccoon tail juts out of “o” in Mario likely hinting at what’s to come (perhaps a long overdue sequel to Super Mario Bros. 3?).

And finally, Nintendo announced a partnership with AT&T that will give 3DS owners free access to 10,000 WiFi hotspots. SpotPass, a 3DS software feature that automatically receives new game content and system updates even while the device in sleep mode or charging, will take advantage of the WiFi access points to do its thing.

The Nintendo 3DS releases March 27 for $249.99. Preorder yours today.

[Via Engadget; Joystiq]

AT&T now offers iPhone 3GS for only $49.99 [Update: Apple, too]

The post title pretty much says it all.  AT&T, including brick and mortar stores and online, is now selling the iPhone 3GS for $49.99.  This offer applies to both new and upgrade-eligible existing AT&T customers.  Don’t have the cash to plunk down $199.99 for a beefier iPhone 4?  Now you totally have a viable way into the cellular-enabled iOS universe.  Full PR after the break.

Update: Apple’s gone ahead and matched AT&T’s low, low price of $49.99 for the 8GB iPhone 3GS.  I smell a new product release…is that you, Verizon iPhone?

[Via Engadget] READ MORE AT&T now offers iPhone 3GS for only $49.99 [Update: Apple, too]