Tag - Alltel
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has temporarily stopped an informal 180-day approval clock on the AT&T purchase of Alltel's retail operations. The FCC claims to have no information on how AT&T will migrate the Alltel customer base to its network "despite several Commission staff follow-up conversations about the importance of transitioning prepaid customers."
AT&T has made an agreement with Atlantic Tele-Network Incorporated to acquire its rural wireless business. The purchase of Alltel will cost AT&T $780 million, but it will net the carrier a number of wireless properties, retail locations, network equipment, an extra 585,000 existing subscribers, and also wireless licenses.
Regional wireless providers US Cellular and Alltel have teamed up with Walmart on an upcoming launch of a new no-contract service. Called U Prepaid, it will be available in nearly 500 Walmart stores in 18 states. The service will focus on offering simple and easy-to-understand service plans.
Verizon has stopped activating Alltel phones on its network, effective yesterday. Alltel customers who haven't already moved their legacy phones over to Verizon's wireless service won't be able to do so. Anyone with an inactive Alltel phone will have to buy a Verizon phone, although they may get one free on a contract.
Sprint's HTC Evo Design 4G has had more of its details firmed up in a leak of a ROM update utility (RUU) on Wednesday. Known to be the Kingdom, it should have the 540x960 display of higher-end HTC phones but a a four-inch display that should produce a much sharper image. What Android and Me saw was almost a sequel to the Droid Incredible 2 as it had a faster 1.2GHz single-core Snapdragon and Android 2.3.4, but it would go to a lower resolution five-megapixel camera and keep the 768MB of RAM.
LG's Optimus Black is now known to be coming to virtually every US CDMA carrier after FCC listings gave its plans away. A core LS855 model is headed to Sprint, while AS855, US855, and VM855 should reach Alltel, US Cellular, and Virgin. In every case, the chief updates are the expected switchovers to CDMA and EVDO for phone calls and 3G.
Following its buyout of rural Verizon and Alltel assets, AT&T has announced it will begin offering cellphone service to residents of Montana. The region was previously served by Alltel and those 150,000 subscribers will get a rebranded service. They will also get the choice to buy AT&T's portfolio of services and devices, including the iPhone 4.
Alltel confirmed it would become the first carrier to use the HTC Merge and has given out its first launch details. Pre-orders should start March 28 for the Android slider, which will ship for $125 on a contract. Alltel hasn't said whether the phone will come customized for the network.
HTC chose the unusual timing of a Friday after Mobile world Congress to formally launch the Merge. The long in progress Android 2.2 slider is HTC's first Android phone to have both CDMA and GSM, giving it the option both of reaching many carriers in North America and of letting CDMA subscribers roam in other parts of the world. A 3.8-inch, 480x800 screen and a five-megapixel camera with 720p video put it safely in the mid-range of the phone mix.
The Samsung Gem Android phone has now been claimed by provider Alltel. The device ships with Android 2.1 and sports a 3.2-inch touchscreen along with a relatively quick 800MHz procssor. A 3.2-megapixel camera on the back keeps in line with the budget focus, although the Wi-Fi carries hotspot support for sharing.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE