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Apple takes majority of US phone activations in Q4

01/23, 8:00pm

Nearly doubles rival Samsung's sales, equals all combined competition

Apple's share of the US mobile phone market has nearly doubled following the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 in October, a new study has revealed. The report, by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, finds that the iPhone went from 28 percent of the market in the July-to-September quarter to just over 50 percent in the final three months of the year, an improvement even over the same time the year before, when the iPhone 5s was released.


Verizon updates prepaid plans, confirms will not offer rollover data

01/23, 8:18am

CFO claims rollover data is not coming to Verizon price plans

Verizon will not be joining competitors AT&T and T-Mobile in providing a rollover data plan to its customers, its chief financial officer Fran Shammo has advised. The denial comes at the same time the carrier introduces updates to its prepaid plans, with a focus on providing more data and more options to add more data if required.


T-Mobile 'Smartphone Equality' to help customers with poor credit

01/22, 9:13pm

Initiative will offer cheaper phones to customers with year of bills paid on time

T-Mobile will be making it easier for any of their customers to buy a new smartphone, by helping those with poor credit. A new initiative called Smartphone Equality will allow customers who have successfully paid their bills on time for the previous 12 months to qualify for their device financing deals, regardless of their credit rating.


Samsung still open to BlackBerry acquisition, report claims

01/22, 2:51pm

Alleged leaked document suggests Samsung considered BlackBerry purchase for months

Samsung is still interested in acquiring BlackBerry, according to rumor. A document allegedly created by investment bank Evercore Partners for Samsung seems to suggest Samsung has been mulling over a purchase of the competing smartphone producer for some time, and according to sources, is still very much interested in the prospect despite denials from both BlackBerry and Samsung.


BlackBerry CEO writes Feds, seeks mandated cross-platform development

01/22, 9:22am

Chen sees threat to net neutrality from app developers more than carriers

Blackberry CEO John Chen appears to be turning to the US government for help in broadening the app ecosystem for the struggling Canadian handset, as well as railing against a US-centric view of net neutrality and possible Title II regulation at the same time. In a blog post taken in part from a letter the CEO wrote to members of Congress, Chen defines not only what he sees as an ideal path for net neutrality, but also complaining about a "two-tiered wireless broadband ecosystem" where content providers like Apple and Netflix are free to not develop for all wireless platforms.


Sky reportedly in talks with O2 over strategic partnership in UK

01/21, 12:10pm

Early-stage talks could see Sky selling O2 lines to customers in quad play package

British carrier O2 has received some considerable interest in recent months, with broadcaster Sky allegedly in discussions with the mobile phone network. Reports claim Sky and O2-owner Telefonica are in early-stage talks, which could lead to a potential "strategic partnership" offering lines to customers rather than a touted acquisition similar to the one said to be under negotiation between O2 and competitor Three.


Briefly: Facebook reducing hoax posts, AT&T unlimited calls to Mexico

01/21, 5:59am

Facebook attempts to reduce number of hoaxes in News Feed

Facebook is trying to reduce the number of fake or hoax stories that appear in a users News Feed. The social network will take into account whenever a user reports a post as a "false news story," as well as whenever users delete posts linking to an article, when deciding what is shown to other users. While Facebook will stop short of blocking the content entirely, it will give the flagged hoax a "reduced distribution" in News Feed, as well as adding a notice to the top of the post warning that users "have reported that this story contains false information."


HTC One M9 allegedly pictured in image leak with large rear camera

01/20, 4:21pm

Leak points to changes with UltraPixel camera system in next HTC flagship

The follow-up to the HTC One M8 looks a lot like its predecessor, according to the latest alleged leak. Surfacing shortly after the company revealed it would be holding an event at Mobile World Congress, photographs for what is believed to be called the HTC One M9 has surfaced, with the codenamed-Hima smartphone having relatively few external changes.


New Galaxy S6 rumors hint at metal body, non-replaceable battery

01/19, 9:55pm

Former head of Ive studio hiring may hint at new wave of Apple copying

Rumors about the upcoming Galaxy S6 continue to abound as Mobile World Congress -- the annual conference in March where the Korean manufacturer is likely to debut its flagship model -- approaches. In addition to previous rumors, new information suggested by the often-unreliable Korean site Ddaily suggests that the Galaxy S6 may sport an iPhone 6-like all-metal body, and may further copy Apple in making the battery of the unit unremovable.


Bloomberg: HTC preparing wearable device for MWC launch

01/19, 6:21pm

HTC smartwatch said to share data with Under Armour fitness platform

HTC may join Samsung in launching a wearable at Mobile World Congress in March alongside a new flagship. Though lacking in detail, a report claims the smartwatch will take advantage of a partnership between HTC and Under Armour, with the wrist-based tracker connecting to the sports apparel brand's own fitness service for health and fitness tracking.


Rumor: Round-faced smartwatch, glass-backed Galaxy S6 launching at MWC

01/19, 11:15am

Samsung allegedly adding wireless charging to rumored smartwatch

Samsung may be preparing to launch a round-faced smartwatch in March, according to rumors. The alleged launch at Mobile World Congress may take place alongside the expected next installment in the Galaxy S flagship smartphone line, with the Galaxy S6 reportedly using glass on the rear as well as the front and a metal construction.


Three UK owner reportedly seeks $13.6B acquisition of O2

01/19, 9:38am

Hutchison Whampoa said to be in talks with Telefonica over O2 acquisition

British carrier O2 may be the latest target for acquisition by another telecommunications company. Hutchison Whampoa, the company behind competitor Three, is apparently said to be in early-stage talks to take over O2 from current owner Telefonica, with a report claiming it could change hands for as much as £9 billion ($13.6 billion) if the discussions are fruitful.


Briefly: Sprint gains Lumia 635, Dodo leather bands for Moto 360

01/19, 7:24am

Nokia Lumia 635 goes on sale through Sprint

Sprint has started to sell the Nokia-branded Lumia 635, the first on the network running Windows Phone 8.1. Equipped with a Snapdragon 1.2GHz quad-core processor accompanied by 512MB of RAM, a rear 5-megapixel camera, and a 4.5-inch 480x854 display, the Lumia 635 is being sold on Sprint for $7 per month over 24 months under Easy Pay, or a full price of $168.


AT&T takes $10 billion hit in Q4, closes deal on Iusacell for $2.5B

01/16, 9:37pm

Looks to drop copper in favor of wireless and fiber while expanding south of the Rio Grande

AT&T released a statement about its Q4 numbers today, revealing some serious financial hits. However, a deal to acquire Mexican provider Iusacell from Gurpo Salinas for $2.5 billion has also finalized, representing opportunities for growth and turning the company into a North American, rather than US-only, carrier.


Virgin Mobile no-contract data sharing plans available tomorrow

01/16, 9:15pm

New Virgin Mobile plans with data sharing available via Walmart

Virgin Mobile has become the first prepaid carrier in the United States to offer no-contract data sharing plans. The "Data Done Right" plans, going on sale from tomorrow though Walmart, will provide LTE data on Sprint's cellular network to multiple lines under the same prepaid account, along with unlimited calls and unlimited texts across all lines.


HTC invites media to pre-Mobile World Congress event

01/16, 12:33pm

Barcelona event in March could be launch of new HTC flagship smartphone

HTC may use an event at Mobile World Congress at the beginning of March to launch a new flagship smartphone. The manufacturer has issued invitations to members of the media for an event taking place the evening before the Barcelona-based show starts, with the invitation giving relatively few clues as to what HTC will reveal to the press.


OnePlus One getting Lollipop-based CyanogenMod 12 next month

01/16, 12:22am

OnePlus still developing its own custom Lollipop-based ROM

Late last month, smartphone maker OnePlus asked their users for feedback on naming the custom ROM for the OnePlus One. An alpha release of the ROM, based on Android v5.0 "Lollipop," has been available at the OnePlus forums since just before the New Year. Today, an interview with Cyanogen founder Steve Kondik confirmed that Cyanogen plans to ship its own Lollipop/CyanogenMod 12 for the OnePlus One next month.


SAASpass unveils instant two-factor authentication security feature

01/15, 8:34pm

Smartphone or nearby mobile device replaces extra passwords and dongles

According to digital security provider SAASpass, a requirement to possess a separate physical device as part of accessing digital data -- for example a fingerprint reader or separate dongle -- helps prevent nearly all hacking attacks on computers. To that end, SAASpass has recently unveiled its "Computer Connector" apps to provide on-the-fly two-factor authentication, rather than passwords, using smartphones or mobile devices.


RadioShack facing possibility of bankruptcy by February

01/15, 7:58pm

Entered into 'definitive agreements to provide additional near-term liquidity'

Venerable tech retailer RadioShack released its fiscal Q3 numbers to the US Securities and Exchange Commission this month. The report includes information about what RadioShack describes as a "prolonged downturn in our business" and predictions about its liquidity if efforts to restructure its debt don't go through by February 2, the last day of Q4 for RadioShack's current fiscal year.


T-Mobile introduces Simply Prepaid plan with streamlined features

01/15, 1:33pm

Unlimited calls, texts, data included in Simply Prepaid, Data Stash excluded

T-Mobile has added a new prepaid price plan to its roster, one which is said to complement its existing Simple Choice plan. Simply Prepaid will provide customers with unlimited calls and texts, and though the plans include unlimited data, with different tiers offering various levels of LTE data on top, in an altogether simpler price plan.


Xiaomi Mi Note, Mi Note Pro phablets launch in China

01/15, 7:37am

Xiaomi flagship phablets have 5.7-inch displays, aluminum and glass body

Xiaomi has launched two new mobile devices, with a pair of phablet-sized smartphones The Xiaomi Mi Note is a smartphone with a large 5.7-inch 1080p display squeezed into a 6.95mm-thick aluminum and glass body, while the Mi Note Pro keeps the design the same but slips in some component upgrades, as well as increasing the screen resolution to 1440x2560.


Follow-up: Marriott caves, scuttles Wi-Fi blocking scheme

01/14, 9:56pm

Hotel chain states they will 'continue to look to the FCC' for guidance

Back in October, Marriott International settled with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to the tune of $600,000 for a complaint dating back to March that involved the blocking personal Wi-Fi hotspots at a Marriott resort in Nashville. It later, along with other hotels, petitioned the FCC to allow it the right to kick off hotspots. Today, the hotel chain released a statement that seems to indicate it will be backing down from the policy.


Reuters: Samsung talks with BlackBerry about potential acquisition [u]

01/14, 6:43pm

Purchase could cost $7.5B, provide Samsung with BlackBerry patents

[Updated with BlackBerry denial] BlackBerry could possibly be the target of an acquisition, with a report claiming Samsung may be looking to buy the Canadian smartphone producer for a hefty sum. Details from a source, along with documents, were allegedly provided to Reuters, suggesting Samsung may be willing to pay as much as $7.5 billion to take control of the company.


Project Ara modular smartphone heading to Puerto Rico later this year

01/14, 3:10pm

Spiral 2 Project Ara prototype has Marbell, Nvidia processor options

Project Ara, Google's attempt to create a modular smartphone, will be initially released in Puerto Rico this year, the company has revealed. News of the project's initial launch details come at the same time as the search company revealed its second prototype device, an upgraded collection of modules and endoskeleton which it calls Spiral 2.


Tizen-powered Samsung Z1 smartphone launches in India

01/14, 7:07am

Samsung Z1 has dual-core 1.2GHz processor, runs Tizen 2.3

Samsung is attempting to push forward with its plan to sell Tizen-powered mobile devices, following the ill-fated Samsung Z, by launching its rumored smartphone in India. The Samsung Z1 is an entry-level mobile phone with fairly typical specifications, all backed by a mobile operating system spearheaded by Samsung and Intel as a light-weight, open-source alternative to Google's Android.


Microsoft launches Lumia 435, Lumia 532; to ship in February

01/14, 6:09am

Budget Lumia 435, Lumia 532 have similar entry-level specifications

Microsoft has unveiled two Lumia smartphones destined for emerging markets. The Lumia 435 is claimed to be the company's "most affordable Lumia," complete with a four-inch 800x480 LCD screen, while the Lumia 532 is slightly more expensive -- and while it packs the same display, it switches out the 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor for a quad-core version.


Reuters: Sony CEO considers sale of mobile, TV businesses

01/13, 10:32pm

Smartphone, television arms potentially at risk in cost-saving effort

Sony may be open to letting go of its mobile phone arm, along with its television businesses, a report claims. Officials at the electronics manufacturer allegedly close to CEO Kazuo Hirai believe the chief is thinking about getting rid of the two loss-making arms of the company, as a measure to rectify its expected full-year net loss forecast of 230 billion yen ($1.9 billion).


Facebook considered investment in China's Xiaomi, say reports

01/13, 10:09pm

Chinese smartphone maker denies story, emphasizes good relations with partners

Last month, China's top smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi raised $1.1 billion in investment capital to help fuel expansion plans. However, prior to its successful fundraising round, CEO Lei Jun invited Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to his home for dinner, where the two discussed the possibility of an investment by the social media company.


Facebook will display Amber Alerts in News Feeds

01/13, 12:07pm

Amber Alerts will be sent to users in missing child search locations

Facebook will start to post into its users News Feed alerts about missing children in the future, in an effort to locate them. A partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will involve the social network showing Amber Alerts to Facebook users located in specific search areas, both on mobile devices and desktops.


Next entry-level Samsung smartphone could be Galaxy J1

01/13, 9:58am

Samsung Galaxy J1 may be first of budget J-series device range

A new budget smartphone from Samsung using a 64-bit processor is on the way, according to leaked images. Using a similar naming convention to the flagship Galaxy S-series, and more recent Galaxy A-series and Galaxy E-series smartphones, the Galaxy J-series appears to be a new entry-level collection, starting with the Galaxy J1 and its 4.3-inch 800x480 display.


Flickr: iPhones surpass Nikon, claim second most-popular camera

01/13, 4:11am

Camera phones, despite limitations, replacing point-and-shoot

Flickr has updated statistics for 2014 in its "Most Popular Camera" and "Most Popular Mobile Camera" categories, with the combined models of iPhone taking second place in the general "camera" category -- beating out DSLR maker Nikon and popular point-and-shoot maker Sony for second place. While Canon remains the most popular overall camera, the built-in cameras on smartphones from Apple and Samsung have -- despite inherent limitations -- steadily risen in popularity.


UK Prime Minister vows ban on encrypted end-to-end communication

01/13, 1:17am

Calls secure chat 'safe space' for terrorists, pedophiles, criminals

In many democratic countries, responses to terrorist attacks usually involve the curtailing of some civil liberties in the name of safety. The hacking of Sony, for example has created momentum for the possible return of CISPA. In the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron has now called for tightening laws around "the internet and new ways of communicating," and specifically hinted at a ban on end-to-end encrypted messaging, in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices in Paris.


Samsung Galaxy A7 launches with 6.3mm-thick metallic body

01/12, 5:55am

Galaxy A7 has 5.5-inch 720p display, octa-core processor

Samsung's Galaxy A-series of smartphone has been joined by a new larger model, just as expected. The Galaxy A7 is a mid-ranged Android device with a 5.5-inch 720p Super AMOLED display housed in a metallic frame similar to its stablemates, but Samsung has managed to squeeze the device down to a thickness of just 6.3mm and a weight of 141 grams (141 ounces).


AT&T files to dismiss FTC lawsuit using Title II

01/12, 1:28am

Forces company to claim 'common carrier' status to avoid FTC jurisdiction

In order to nullify a lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over charges that the carrier was still throttling users on unlimited plans even when there was no network congestion, AT&T is claiming for the purposes of the lawsuit that it qualifies as a Title II "common carrier." This is the opposite of what it has told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with regards to possible actual Title II regulation of broadband.


Happy eighth birthday to the iPhone

01/09, 9:08pm

All modern smartphones owe Apple, Jobs a debt of gratitude

Tech memories, sometimes, are the shortest memories of all. Do you remember what "smartphones" were like before the iPhone? Unless you were fairly well-off, you may not have any clear recall of those hazy days of 2007, when the Palm Treo and the BlackBerry ruled the world. Maybe your dad has one in a drawer somewhere -- go find it, power it up, and take a trip back to the Dark Ages (comparatively speaking). Eight years ago today, Steve Jobs blew up Macworld West in San Francisco with an earth-changing announcement.


Qualcomm adds SafeSwitch kill switch to Snapdragon 810

01/09, 12:48pm

SafeSwitch introduced as hardware-based kill switch system

Qualcomm is going to add a "kill switch" to its mobile processors in the future, with the Snapdragon 810 being the first to receive it. Dubbed Qualcomm SafeSwitch, the technology will allow device producers to offer users the ability to lock down the smartphone or tablet at a deeper level than current equivalents offered in apps or within the operating system.


CES: Kodak IM5 unveiled with remote support, custom camera apps

01/09, 10:21am

Kodak smartphone has rear 13MP, front 5MP cameras, app store

Kodak revealed the Android smartphone it teased before CES. Built by Bullitt Mobile, the Kodak IM5 is a mid-ranged device which takes advantage of Kodak's history, combining a rear-mounted 13-megapixel auto-focus camera with some custom image management software made to make editing, printing, and sharing the photographs from the smartphone as easy as possible.


Sprint's fiscal Q3 results show growth of 1M new customers

01/08, 10:58pm

Credits CEO, promotions as drivers for growth, lags behind rival T-Mobile

Sprint announced today some preliminary results in their efforts to attract new customers during the company's third fiscal quarter. During this time, Sprint gained 967,000 new customers -- but rival T-Mobile added more than twice as many in the same period, threatening Sprint's "third-largest US carrier" status.


US Census Bureau considering move to Internet, smartphones for 2020

01/08, 10:30pm

Webcast on Friday will discuss tests to be performed this year

Every decade, the US Census Bureau conducts a study that is used to lay out Congressional districts and guide government spending on things such as infrastructure. This year, the bureau will be researching new methods it believes will be more cost effective, saving up to $5 billion by allowing citizens to fill out their census forms online, and having on-the-ground census takers use smartphones, starting with a webcast on Friday, January 9.


Hands On: Samsung Gear VR

01/08, 10:08pm

Virtual Reality immersion from Samsung

When it comes to augmented reality, there is no doubt that one of the biggest players in the field is Oculus. Its Rift headset was a huge Kickstarter success, pushing the VR headset market forward. Thankfully, Oculus hasn't tried to lock down its technology, and instead has teamed up with other companies in an attempt to push their vision forward. One of these partnerships led to the creation of the Samsung Gear VR, an augmented reality headset powered by the Galaxy Note 4. While the Gear VR has been available since early December, it has remained nearly impossible to actually find one for sale. Electronista navigated our way through Samsung's crowded booth at CES, and got a chance to sit down with the Gear VR.


Hands On: $200 unlocked Blu Vivo Air smartphone at CES

01/08, 7:50pm

We go hands on with Blu's 5.1mm unlocked Vivo Air smartphone

Electronista just had to check out the Blu booth at CES, as we had heard rumors of an unlocked, $200 Android smartphone that sits in a 5.1mm aluminum/magnesium alloy chassis, runs on an eight-core 1.7GHz CPU, and has a 4.8-inch AMOLED touchscreen. First impressions of the Vivo Air didn't disappoint, and the device will launch next week, we're told, so we expect it to sell plenty of units.


OnePlus CEO suggests second flagship could 'surprise' users

01/08, 12:54pm

Follow-up to OnePlus One coming in second or third quarter

Chinese smartphone producer OnePlus's follow-up to the One may include some surprises, the company CEO has revealed in an interview. In a second interview about OnePlus' plans, CEO Carl Pei also suggests that the company may be preparing a second separate handset model to the OnePlus Two, a device potentially aimed at users prioritizing design rather than specifications.


CES: Blu launches seven Studio, Vivo, Life smartphones

01/08, 11:12am

Android device range includes models with thin frames, large batteries

Smartphone producer Blu revealed seven new Android devices at CES. While the company launched three new additions to its Studio range and two Life smartphones, it also launched the 5.1mm-thick Vivo Air, as well as the Studio Energy, a smartphone that manages to pack in a 5,000mAh battery into its 10mm-thick frame, giving it up to four days of battery life.


BlackBerry adds BBM to Android Wear, redesigns Passport for AT&T

01/08, 6:51am

Redesigned BlackBerry Passport keeps specifications, adds round corners

BlackBerry is bringing BBM to Android Wear devices in the near future, the manufacturer has revealed. At the same time, it announced the BlackBerry Passport will be heading to AT&T with a new rounder look, after BlackBerry redesigned certain aspects of the smartphone's external appearance following requests from the carrier itself.


Samsung profits fall 37 percent year-over-year in Q4 2014 guidance

01/08, 3:20am

Semiconductors are saving Korean powerhouse as smartphone sales plummet

Earlier today, Samsung released its pre-earnings guidance for Q4 2014. While the company showed a drop of 11.83 trillion Korean won ($10.7 billion US) in sales and a 4.25 trillion won ($3.9 billion) drop in operating profit compared to Q4 2013, its profit of $4.7 billion (5.2 trillion won) for the quarter did beat analyst estimates. Sales totaled about $47.4 billion (52 trillion won), a 12 percent decline from a year ago, as sales of smartphones shriveled up.


T-Mobile releases Q4, 2014 numbers with jump of 8.3 million customers

01/07, 9:40pm

Carrier now covers potential 256 million people in the US; CEO calls year 'record-breaking'

Last month, T-Mobile CEO John Legere made a number of predictions about the coming year in a humorous (and almost entirely swearing-free) Christmas video. Now that 2015 is here, T-Mobile's Q4 2014 and full-year 2014 numbers have been released, showing a net total of 8.3 million new customers for 2014 -- with 2.1 million of those joining the "un-carrier" in the final quarter.


Saygus' prototype smartphone promises impressive specs

01/07, 9:04pm

Saygus to get 21MP camera, world band support, Harman Kardon sound

While cruising the show floor at CES, Electronista stumbled upon the Saygus booth, with the company's V2 Android-based smartphone on display. To be fair, it was more of an engineering sample rushed to be ready in time for the CES show, so the hardware felt a little flimsily glued together. While the phone may not yet be ready for the customer, its promised specs are relatively impressive, and include some exclusives in the business.


CES: HTC reveals entry-level Desire 320, mid-range Desire 826

01/07, 8:51pm

HTC Desire 826 has front 4MP Ultrapixel camera, rear 13MP sensor

HTC's first two smartphone launches of the year have landed at CES, both within the Desire range. The Desire 320 is an entry-level device for emerging markets, while the Desire 826 is a mid-ranged smartphone which is the first Desire from the manufacturer to ship with Android Lollipop installed straight from the factory.


AT&T follows T-Mobile in offering rollover data to subscribers

01/07, 12:47pm

Mobile Share Value plans to add unused data allowance to following month

AT&T is adding a Rollover Data scheme to its price plans, allowing customers to use up unused data allowances from their plan the following month. The announcement comes in response to T-Mobile, which launched its own Data Stash rollover scheme a few weeks ago, though at first glance it appears AT&T's version is slightly limited in comparison to its competition.


CES: LG privately shows prototype smartphone with twin edge displays

01/07, 10:49am

Prototype LG smartphone includes extra displays on side edges

LG's fixation with using flexible displays in its smartphones does not stop with the G Flex 2, as the company has reportedly been showing off another mobile device behind closed doors at CES. A prototype device using an "Active Bending" display panel has been quietly demonstrated, one which appears to take after Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge.


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