The MacNN podcast for February 7, 2015
This week heralds the return of the long-dormant MacNN podcast! Join this week's hosts, MacNN editor Charles Martin, alongside staff writer Michelle Elbert, as they discuss the events that got our attention, needed further discussion, or just plain tickled our fancy.
Company may be forced to liquidate if relief not found
Following a 10th-straight quarterly loss, electronics retailer Radio Shack noted that it may need to file for bankruptcy protections. The company, with its stock in danger of New York Stock Exchange delisting, is also reportedly evaluating other options for the future, including an outright sale, or a call for investors to boost cash stocks to survive until the generally lucrative holiday season.
Verizon, AT&T models available on contract
Radio Shack is now offering "refreshed" and "remanufactured" iPhone 4 and 4S models at a steep discount. Customers can get the two Apple smartphones when signing up for an AT&T or Verizon contract. With a two-year contract, the iPhone 4 is available for free, and the iPhone 4S is available for $100.
New prepaid plan, 4G hotspot due on May 1
Verizon Wireless has added new tiers to its phone and data prepaid offerings starting on May 1. A new $80 smartphone plan includes unlimited talk and text messaging while allotting 1GB of data use per month. At the same time, the carrier will ship the Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 4510L with prepaid mobile packages.
Leaked memo has Viper 4G shipping on April 22
A newly-leaked internal memo shared by Engadget has revealed that the LTE-enabled LG Viper 4G will arrive in Sprint stores on April 22. The $100 handset will also be available on the store shelves of Best Buy and Radio Shack as well on the same time. The eco-friendly handset will not be capable of accessing Sprint's 4G network just yet, however, as its launch hasn't been detailed yet.
Apple TV update may join iPad 3 on stage
An upgraded Apple TV media hub might come sooner than thought after signs emerged that multiple stores ran low on stock. Amazon, Best Buy, Buy.com, Radio Shack, and Target all show the device either as out of stock or taking weeks to ship. Apple and others do have supply, but it follows a pattern of third-party resellers usually running out first.
Motorola Woot auction slips Xooms with user info
Motorola has started up a return program after a minor but still significant privacy gaffe during a Woot auction. About 100 of 6,200 refurbished Xoom Wi-Fi tablets sold during auctions between October and December are believed to have still had some private data stored inside. These could have included anything from account logins through to personal files, Motorola said.
Radio Shack holds last-minute iPhone 4S sale
Radio Shack sent late news Saturday of a one-day only sale on the iPhone 4S. All AT&T versions of Apple's phone are $50 off when bought on a contract. The deal is only in store by necessity and can stack on top of any trade-in values from older iPhones.
ATT iPhones on sale at Radio Shack on Sunday
Radio Shack started discounting the iPhone unusually early this weekend with a new, if short, promo campaign. Anyone who buys an AT&T-bound iPhone 4 or 4S from Sunday through December 17 will get a $30 immediate discount, lowering the contract price to as little as $70 for an 8GB iPhone 4 or $170 for an iPhone 4S. With trade-ins, the difference is just enough to make the iPhone 4 or 16GB iPhone 4S free and actually carry store credit left over, depending on the trade-in.
Garnet tries to profit from Apple, HTC, carriers
Largely unknown company Garnet Digital hoped to profit from the work of the US cellphone field with a lawsuit quietly filed late last week. It accuses those who make the OS, device makers who sell in the US, and most major US carriers and distributors of violating one patent for a generic "Interactive Terminal For The Access Of Remote Database Information." Among those named are Apple, Google, and RIM, pure hardware makers like HTC, LG, and Samsung, stores like Radio Shack, as well as carriers such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
Gadgets retake Yahoo spotlight
"iPhone" was the top search term on Yahoo during 2011, the company has announced. Most of the top 10 list consists of celebrities, the second- and third-place spots in fact belonging to Casey Anthony and Kim Kardashian. Yahoo remarks that a piece of electronics hasn't dominated the list since 2002, when Sony's PlayStation 2 occupied the top spot. The last technology-related term to peak was filesharing service KaZaA in 2003.
Radio Shack extends iPhone 4S to Sprint
Distribution of the iPhone 4S is getting wider this weekend after a new memo has leaked plans for Radio Shack to start carrying the Sprint iPhone 4S. Stores will have both black and white versions of Apple's device sometime this weekend, 9to5 saw. Unusually, only the more popular 16GB versions will be available, leaving 32GB and 64GB to other store chains.
Amazon to sell all new Kindles in stores Nov. 15
Amazon said Tuesday that it planned to bring all of its new Kindles to retail in sync with the Kindle Fire's November 15 ship date. Both the Android tablet as well as the regular Kindle and Kindle Touch will all be in stores at the same prices, including the $149 3G Kindle Touch. Best Buy, Office Depot, Radio Shack, Sam's Club, Staples, Target, and Walmart will all have them in stock.
Virgin Group's Sir Branson invests in Square
Square, maker of the hardware and software required for vendors to take credit card payments, has recently landed Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group fame as one of its investors. This is the third piece of positive news for the company, which recently received $100 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. Branson's investment amount isn't being specified, however.
iPhone 5 placeholders show in Radio shack system
Radio Shack may have shown its eagerness to account for the iPhone 5 with inventory listings for several models. The retailer lists versions for Sprint as well as for AT&T and Verizon, 9to5 showed. Each version also had 16GB and 32GB versions.
Phones to hit the Shack in October
Radio Shack will likely begin selling the Samsung Stratosphere on October 6 and the HTC Vigor on October 20. A photo of the Shack's "direct fill" schedule leaked by Droid-Life has both devices in the retailer's shops on or before the date. Both phones will be sold for the Verizon network, so pre-ordering could begin as early as the end of this month for the Stratosphere.
Leak shows iPhone 4 ahead of iPhone 5 launch
Radio Shack may be set to sell iPhones through Verizon beginning next week, however the retailer appears to be set to distribute the iPhone 4 rather than the next-generation model. A leaked screenshot from Radio Shack's inventory system, which was posted by 9to5Mac, suggests the company will begin offering the 16GB and 32GB variants on September 15.
HTC Evo 3D in white gets retail exclusive
Radio Shack scored a minor coup Tuesday with word that it had landed a special, white version of the HTC Evo 3D. The glasses-free 3D Android phone has the requisite bright white back along with silver, Apple-like trim instead of the usual red. It should reach stores on September 9, most likely for the same $200 on contract as the black version.
Google Wallet at Radio Shack launch imminent
A new leak from Radio Shack indicates the retailer is near ready to go live as a Google launch partner on its Google Wallet undertaking. The leak, sent to Engadget, comes in the form of a memo to Radio Shack employees that specifically references September 1 as the date Google Wallet is ready. The functionality is more likely to go live later on in September, however.
2nd slip in less than 3 weeks
AT&T has once again slipped the delivery of the LG Thrill 4G. In an email leaked by Android Central, Radio Shack Store Managers and salesmen were told that the new Android-based phone, which was expected to be on store shelves August 21, would not be available until September 4. They were also told to stop taking pre-orders immediately.
Radio Shack discounts iPhone again
Radio Shack kept the discounts going on iPhones Monday with both discounts and trade-ins. Every iPhone has been dropped by $30 for new and upgrading buyers up to and including August 20. Existing owners who swap an iPhone 3G or 3GS get as much as $150 towards an iPhone 4, depending on the exchanged models.
Vendors start clearing stock ahead of refresh
Retail chains are beginning to discount the iPhone 4, reports note. Radio Shack has a sale running through Saturday, in which 16 and 32GB models are priced at $170 and $270 on contract instead of their regular $199 and $299. A $100 trade-in credit for previous iPhones applies, potentially lowering the cost of an iPhone 4 to just $70.
LG Thrill 4G set back to August 21 due to ATT
AT&T has delayed the LG Thrill 4G to August 21, according to a new memo for Radio Shack staff. Originally slated for August 7, the 3D Android phone has reportedly been moved back two weeks for reasons unknown other than it being AT&T's responsibility. Pre-orders should now run until August 15, Android Central heard.
Phone to sell for $100
AT&T has said the LG Thrill 4G will be priced at $100 with a contract. Although AT&T didn't provide a launch date to Engadget, Radio Shack is reportedly taking pre-orders for August 7th delivery.
Signals AT&T - T-Mobile merger moving ahead
This September, RadioShack Corporation will make a major change to its wireless offerings. The company announced that effective Sept. 14, it will stop selling T-Mobile service and equipment. Radio Shack will start selling Verizon service on Sept. 15. The announcement is the latest indication that the AT&T-T-Mobile merger is likely to be approved.
Launch expected August 7
Radio Shack is reportedly allowing customers to reserve LG's Thrill 4G handset ahead of the official launch, though the retailer does not appear to be promoting pre-orders through any official marketing materials. Several unnamed sources have told Engadget that customers interested in securing the handset must purchase a $50 gift card.
Verizon may cut iPhone 4 to 151 to spur sales
Verizon may be instituting a rare price slash on a current-generation iPhone if a sighting is accurate. A screen cap showing what appears to be a hint as to a Verizon site redesign shows the 16GB iPhone 4 dropping to $151 on a contract. The HTC Thunderbolt could see an even greater leap and go from its contract price to free if VZBuzz is correct, although it would officially start at a higher $300 versus today's $250.
HTC Evo 3D and Evo View 4G go on sale
Sprint on Friday launched its two flagship devices of the summer, the HTC Evo 3D and the Evo View 4G. The Android phone and tablet are on sale at carrier shops, Best Buy, Radio Shack, and some other dealers. The Evo 3D sells for $200 on a two-year contract where the Evo View 4G sells for $400, with its signature pen input, on the same terms.
Readers now available in store onlu
Radio Shack has begun selling the Amazon Kindle. Following in the footsteps of other retails including Walmart, Target, Staples, Costco and Best Buy, the company has begun selling the popular e-book reader. Initially sales will only be through its brick and mortar stores.
HTC Inspire 4G ships in red
Radio Shack scored an exclusive on Sunday with sales of the red HTC Inspire 4G. The hue is rare on an HTC phone outside of Europe and comes attached to a heavy discount. The Android 2.2 phone is on sale for $30 on contract, or less than a third of the $100 asking price from AT&T itself.
Radio Shack gives away Evo 3D release date
An early Radio Shack flyer has given away Sprint's launch date for HTC's long in the works Evo 3D. The copy shows the twin-core Android flagship "available June 24" and confirms that official pre-orders will have started as soon as the flyer goes out for the week of June 19. The Phandroid tip didn't mention the price, though a $200 cost has been mentioned in one of Radio Shack's earlier copies.
Phone to ship June 4
More details have emerged about the price of the new HTC EVO 3D. A Radio Shack ad leaked by inyofacerecords indicates that the the smart phone will sell for $200 with a new or extended Sprint contract or $500 without one. Radio Shack is offering an additional $100 off the phone with trade-in.
Best Buy shows white iPhone 4 for both carriers
One more source on Monday night has helped back suspicions that the white iPhone 4 would reach Best Buy on April 27. The inventory system shows both AT&T and Verizon models in either capacity by using placeholder names such as "BBY63LD" but putting them in the "iPhone hardware" category. BGR lacked pricing, though it's broadly assumed the color won't change the pricing.
Toys R Us makes iPad 2 plans official
Toys R Us has quietly confirmed its plans to carry the iPad 2. The company now has a shopping page telling buyers which stores should carry the tablet. No online store entry exists, though one wasn't expected since no third-party resellers can currently offer it for sale online.
T-Mobile Sidekick 4G may ship April 20
Radio Shack may have inadvertently given away T-Mobile's release timing for the Sidekick 4G through a Twitter update. The company said it would have the Android slider on April 20. While unconfirmed by T-Mobile itself, it would be consistent with rumors of device launches the same day.
iPad 2 to hit Radio Shack on Tuesday
An internal corporate memo has revealed that Apple is already planning to expand the iPad 2's US retail spread with a deal for Radio Shack. About 500 stores US-wide are due to start carring the tablets Tuesday, March 29. AppleInsider's source lacked unit numbers but said it was a last-minute plan that had only been agreed upon in the "last few days."
Telus has 8GB iPhone 3GS for free until March 31
Canadian wireless provider Telus has launched a limited time promo that has the 8GB iPhone 3GS free on a three-year contract. The deal lasts until March 31. With no contract, the handset costs $550 CAD ($561), or more than choosing the contract and accepting the early termination fee.
Motorola confirms Xoom Wi-Fi due at 599 price
Motorola on Wednesday at last confirmed plans to launch the Xoom in a Wi-Fi version for the US. True to leaks, the non-3G tablet will ship to the US through Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, Radio Shack, some Sam's Club stores, Staples and Walmart on March 27. Pricing will be dramatically lower and put it at $599 for a 32GB version.
Radio Shack starts up iPhone trade-in deal again
Radio Shack on Thursday brought back its iPhone trade-in deals another time and added new check-in deals. Anyone can trade in an iPhone 3G or 3GS in good condition and get a $75 credit towards any iPhone in the store. An iPhone 4 drops to $125 or $225 on a contract; buying an 8GB iPhone 3GS not only gives the phone for free but adds a $25 gift card for the store.
Handset set to arrive on February 22
Radio Shack has announced that it will offer Motorola's Atrix 4G smartphone at a slight discount compared to other retailers, enabling customers to pick up the new handset for $150 with a two-year AT&T contract. The retailer is also offering a more modest discount on the Lapdock bundle, which includes the smartphone and a 11.6-inch netbook dock for $480.
Get a guaranteed $50 trade-in on old phone
Radio Shack has introduced a special Fresh Phone February offer. The deal utilizes its Trade&Save service to give customers an instant $50 discount towards a new phone on any phone that the choose to trade in. The deal runs from now through to March 5. The two phones on currently available to choose from are the HTC EVO 4G and the Evo Shift 4G.
Radio Shack restarts iPhone 4 sale, trade-ins
Radio Shack this evening said that its recent and rare iPhone sale was restarting again on Wednesday. The carrier will sell both the 16GB iPhone 4 and the 8GB iPhone 3GS for $50 off when mated either to a new contract or a qualifying renewal. Trade-in values also stack on top of the discount and will give back either $75 for an iPhone 3G or $125 for an iPhone 3GS, resulting in as little as an $24 outlay for those trading up from last year's model.
Best Buy said in one-day iPhone 3GS free offer
Best Buy may follow Radio Shack with a deal of its own if a last-minute claim is accurate. The big-box chain is expected to offer the 8GB iPhone 3GS for free on Friday, December 10, and would go beyond new AT&T customers to include extra lines and qualified upgrades. The discount would be immediate at the counter, BGR's source said.
Radio Shack offers rare one-week iPhone sale
Radio Shack today detailed an extremely rare sale on iPhones. The retailer is expected to cut $50 off the prices of all new iPhones and should sell an iPhone 3GS for as little as $50, scaling up to $250 for a 32GB iPhone 4. Customers will also have the option of trading in a working iPhone 3G or 3GS for a $75 or $125 credit when upgrading to an iPhone 4, dropping the price to as little as $25 for a 16GB iPhone 4 and $125 for a 32GB model.
T-Mobile G2 to arrive at Radio Shack 3 days early
The T-Mobile G2 smartphone will arrive three days early at Radio Shack stores, on October 3, a source claimed in supplying a purportedly leaked flyer to Engadget. The device is due to ship at other retailers on October 6. The handset will ship with Android 2.2 and include a five-megapixel camera with 720p recording and flash.
Extends promos for one month
People hoping to get an iPhone 4 in the near future may be able to get one from Radio Shack as soon as this weekend. The retailer launched the device on Thursday with a comparatively low amount of stock, leaving even people who pre-ordered an iPhone without one in some cases. New shipments should come in as early as the weekend, the company says, and be replenished throughout July.
iPhone 4 demand stalls ATT retail shipments
AT&T sparked controversy this afternoon by warning that it wouldn't have any iPhone 4 units at retail for walk-in purchases until June 29. Citing the 10 times higher pre-orders, it said only those who'd already ordered on June 15 will get theirs on Thursday. All others will have to wait the extra five days, when buyers will have to come in on a first-come, first-served basis.
iPhone 4 retail demand may exceed iPhone
Apple's retail reservations for the iPhone 4 could be as strong as its pre-orders, some leaked data from the company may have confirmed. While trying to avoid naming specific stores, the source said a "large" New York City store (likely 5th Avenue or SoHo) had over 2,200 reservations just on Tuesday. A pair of California stores had over 1,000 and over 1,400 reservations each, while BGR observed that even a "medium" Boston store had over 800 and a small Texas store had more than 900.
Sits alongside Walmart, Apple
Best Buy will start taking pre-orders for the iPhone 4 on Tuesday, June 15th, according to an announcement. Aside from the retailer's regular stores, people will also be able to fill out orders at specialized Best Buy Mobile outlets. The iPhone 4 will ultimately ship on June 24th.
Sprint has early success with Evo 4G demand
Sprint launched the HTC Evo 4G today to surprisingly strong lineups. Reports from various parts of the US show that many Sprint stores had queues before their early 8AM openings. Only flagship stores like those in New York City were likely to have large numbers, but even smaller locations had over a dozen in line, based on early accounts. Radio Shack stores were the least likely to have queues.