Tag - Cellular South
Sprint and AT&T's dispute over the former company's proposed buyout of T-Mobile will be put on the backburner while the Department of Justice finishes up its investigation of the deal. The companies revealed in separate filings in a US District Court in Washington that they don't want to interfere with the government trial, which is scheduled for February 13. Both Sprint and Cellular South requested a trial date is set immediately after all the evidence is presented in the government case so their arguments can be heard before the transaction is completed.
AT&T on Friday motioned to dismiss the lawsuits of both Sprint and Cellular South attempting to block its merger with T-Mobile. The carrier giant cited lack of standing, or that it wasn't a valid plaintiff, for claimed bias. As a carrier, it couldn't claim to "wrap itself in the cloak" of the public's interest since it had a clear competitive incentive to block the deal, AT&T said.
Twitter has upgraded the direct messaging capabilities for its texting service. Now, in addition to tweets, users whose service providers support MMS can attach and share videos. To send, all a user need do is enter the text of a tweet as normal, attach a photo to the message, and send it to the relevant Twitter code.
Opposition to AT&T's proposed takeover of T-Mobile galvanized Monday after Cellular South sued AT&T to stop the deal. The dispute contends that the merger would "substantially lessen competition" and put too much power in the hands of the top two US carriers, AT&T and Verizon. In a statement, it shared Sprint's view that the deal would hurt access to the best devices, hike prices, and hurt roaming deals.
MetroPCS and Cellular South have confirmed their first Android 2.3 phones. Samsung's Admire tackles the entry level with a 3.5-inch, 320x480 touchscreen and a 3.2-megapixel rear camera. Although budget, it's one of Samsungs most straightforward phones and uses the stock Google interface instead of its own TouchWiz.
The FCC on Monday sent out a request (PDF) to carriers asking them for information to help its investigation into the AT&T and T-Mobile deal. Verizon, Sprint, and regional carriers like Cellular South and US Cellular were all asked to provide responses to the deal and supporting evidence. Each got the same nine questions relating to coverage, cell site ownership, expansion, relationships with AT&T, their future spectrum plans, billing, and competitive reports.
Verizon on Tuesday sued the FCC to try and stop its new data roaming requirement. The carrier repeated arguments like those it has used to try and block net neutrality and argued that the FCC didn't have the authority to regulate roaming deals. It avoided a mistake it made in the neutrality case and waited until the rule was in the official register to launch its case.
Two contacts said Thursday that AT&T's buyout of T-Mobile could be expensive even if blocked by the US government. Terms in the deal reportedly require AT&T pay T-Mobile a $6 billion breakup fee if it can't be completed. Reuters understood that, while $3 billion in cash was already public, there would still be a deal for $2 billion in spectrum and a $1 billion roaming deal.
The US Senate hearing on Wednesday tripped up AT&T in its attempts to defend its proposed buyout of T-Mobile. When asked by Senator Al Franken if AT&T chief Randall Stephenson thought the iPhone exclusive could have gone to a regional carrier over AT&T, the CEO admitted that it was "not as likely" that Apple would have gone for a smaller carrier over a large national provider like his own. He unusually insisted that the iPhone wasn't responsible for significant growth even though he had repeatedly used it as an example of how data prices had lowered due to the iPhone existing.
Sprint chief Dan Hesse during his statements at the Senate hearing on the AT&T T-Mobile merger singled out device deals as a major reason to block the merger. Referring to Verizon and a post-merger AT&T as the "twin Bells," he warned that their overwhelming clout would "discourage" putting smartphones on tablets on smaller carriers. Hardware makers would want to reach the maximum audience and almost invariably skip Sprint.
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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