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Category - Mobile-phones
A new report from Park Associates gauging the US smartphone market in 2015 has found that Apple continues to hold the largest share of the market with 40 percent, though rival Samsung was able to manage a small gain on the year. Noting that the US market has seen that 86 percent of "broadband households" have a smartphone now, the market analysis firm found that "operators are pulling out all the tricks to encourage phone upgrades," with only about half of US consumers still on a cellphone contract.
A new cross-party bill is being introduced to Congress later today, aiming to prevent state-level encryption bills from causing any issues. If passed, the Ensuring National Constitutional Rights of Your Private Telecommunications Act (ENCRYPT Act) will preempt state and local government laws that would affect the encryption of smartphones and other devices, in an attempt to make device security laws more cohesive across the United States.
Facebook's project to provide people in developing countries access to essential websites has come under fire in India, with the local telecommunications regulator banning free mobile data programs that appear to go against net neutrality principles. Free Basics, the Facebook-created service is no longer allowed to operate in the country, after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) instituted new regulations effectively forbidding it.
UK carrier Three has launched a new contract-free plan, which provides customers with 200MB of data per month. The Pay-As-You-Go Data Reward SIM costs £10 ($15) and is preloaded with 1GB of data usable for 30 days. After registering, users will receive 200MB of LTE data per month, even if they do not top up regularly, though the SIM will be deactivated if it isn't used for six months.
A recent drawing that resembled a schematic for an alleged iPad Air 3 has now served as the basis of new cases for the allegedly forthcoming device, though it may well be a case of Chinese manufacturers taking a risk that the drawing represents genuine changes planned for the next iteration of Apple's flagship 9.7-inch tablet. Among the changes posited by the drawing are feature changes drawn mostly from the iPad Pro, including the quad speakers of the larger device, as well as a Smart Connector.
Samsung has teased the reveal of its next flagship smartphones later this month, timed to coincide with the annual Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain. The major competition to Apple in the smartphone market will be using its usual "Unpacked" event to show "The Next Galaxy," with the tease suggesting there may be more to come from the electronics producer in terms of virtual reality hardware, at the same event.
T-Mobile has added more services to its Binge On feature of its price plans, increasing the number of supported apps and services to more than 40. The carrier's service, which allows users of video streaming services to view content without it affecting their data allowance, has added support for Amazon Video, Fox News, Univision NOW, and WWE Network, with T-Mobile also making it easier for its customers to turn off the service completely.
This week on The MacNN Podcast, our regular co-host -- Managing Editor Mike -- was out single-handedly fighting Snowzilla in northern Virginia, so he only appears on this week's episode through the magic of prescient pre-recording. For episode 47, we recorded a discussion about the flood of betas that Apple unleashed on January 11, updating all four of its OS platforms with the first beta of the new cycle on the same day. They did it again this week, so that previously-cut segment gets used after all!
A bill presented in California is seeking to force smartphone manufacturers to add backdoors to their devices, if they are to be sold in the state. Introduced by Democrat assembly member Jim Cooper, bill 1681 echoes a similar bill proposed in New York, aiming to make it easier for law enforcement officials to gain access to data on mobile devices, though simultaneously making it potentially easier for others to access the same encrypted data.
Joining AT&T and T-Mobile, wireless provider Verizon has launched its own sponsored streaming data exception program. FreeBee Data 360, one of the pair of programs launched today, allows providers to sign up to provide consumers some or all of their mobile content -- whether in an app or mobile website -- without using consumers' data plans, with the sponsor being billed on a per-GB pricing model.