Tag - C Spire
Two American regional carriers, US Cellular and C Spire, have announced plans to sell the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus on September 19 -- the same day as national carriers AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Other regionals will only begin offering the device on September 26, including Alaska Communications, Appalachian Wireless, Bluegrass Cellular, Cellcom, Nex-Tech Wireless, Silver State Communications, Strata, and Syringa Wireless. Some will reveal their plans soon, including GCI, nTelos, Carolina West Wireless, Chariton, Consumer Cellular, Illinois Valley Cellular, and Thumb Cellular.
Apple's US online storefront has begun selling SIM-free unlocked models of the iPhone 5s. Units are currently shipping in 1 to 2 weeks. T-Mobile models are also unlocked, and shipping in just 3 to 5 days, but going with the SIM-free option may save some hassle for people choosing AT&T or a pre-paid GSM carrier.
Two regional US carriers, C Spire and Bluegrass Cellular, have announced plans to begin selling the iPad Air. C Spire -- based in Mississippi -- says that it will start carrying the Air "in the coming weeks." No other details are available, other than promises to offer a "range of attractive data plans" for connecting to LTE. Kentucky's Bluegrass is likewise only saying it will carry the Air within the next few weeks. The tablet will initially launch in the US on November 1st.
At least nine US regional carriers will start selling the iPhone 5s and 5c on October 1, according to announcements. The list so far includes Appalachian Wireless, Bluegrass Cellular, C Spire, Cellcom, GCI, MTA, Nex-Tech Wireless, Ntelos, and Strata. Some other carriers have stated that the new iPhones are "coming soon," which could imply launches as soon as the 1st. In addition to the US carriers, Canadian regional providers SaskTel and MTS are also part of the October 1 rollout.
Several more US carriers have announced plans to support the iPhone 5. Chief among these is C Spire Wireless, which was the first regional carrier in the US to get the device. The other companies stepping forward are also regionals, namely Appalachian Wireless, Bluegrass Cellular, Cellcom, and GCI. In each case the carriers will only launch the new iPhone on September 28th, a week after AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.
Regional operator C Spire has announced the rollout of its new no-contract mobile data plans. The plans are available for data-only devices like tablets, mobile hotspots, and USB modems. The new no-contract options also give customers the choice to switch between contract and prepaid rates depending on their expected data usage.
(Update 2: Alaska Communications and three others too) In an unexpected move, relatively small US carrier nTelos has unveiled iPhone plans. The Virginia-based, nationally-focused carrier will start carrying Apple's hardware at 7AM on April 20, with pre-registrations starting immediately. It will have a unique advantage in starting with lower prices: the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 will be available for $50 less than usual across every model, starting the 8GB iPhone 4 at $50 on a contract and the 16GB iPhone 4S at $150.
The FCC in an Open Commission Meeting Wednesday morning unanimously voted to pursue possibilities for significantly improving 4G's use in the US. It would verify whether there would be any adverse effect to making the 700MHz A, B, and C blocks of spectrum interoperable, letting one roam on the other. Agency officials would want outside input on what the rules would be if there were little to no interference, as well as whether any interference might be cut back.
C Spire gave out more definitive plans for its delayed LTE rollout on Thursday. The regional carrier will focus on Mississippi and cover both the core of Jackson, the Gulf Coast, and 23 individual towns. Among the examples include Hattiesburg, Tupelo, and West Point.
Sprint on Wednesday revealed a huge upswing in subscriber additions through its inaugural quarter of iPhone sales. It sold 1.8 million iPhones during the fall, 40 percent of which went to people new to the network. Apple's device was almost single-handedly responsible for returning Sprint to performance it hasn't seen in years: at 1.6 million net new subscribers, it saw the most adds since 2005 and had set a new high for its customer base at 55 million.
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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