Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 13, 2012 04:20 PM
SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards started out at about the size of a credit card, but have shrunk in size along with every other piece of technology. In China, some mobile phones have two SIM cards, one for telephoning and one for transportation, so that users will soon be able to use the mobile device to pay for “small items and subway rides,” Global Times reports.
Now, if you’ve got an AT&T mobile device, it may be time to pack your bags and do that around-the-world journey you once thought you’d do back when you were 10. The brand just signed a deal with AirOn “to enhance AT&T's single worldwide SIM solution for wireless enabled global products,” according to a press release.
"With the introduction of our new single worldwide SIM solution and the ability to provision over the air, we're giving our device makers the convenience of coverage around the globe, while also enabling enhanced global services like local telecom," stated Chris Penrose, SVP, emerging devices, AT&T.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 13, 2012 11:31 AM
Thanks to the rising smartphone dominance of Android and the iPhone, Research Into Motion needs to hit a home run with its BlackBerry 10 release on January 30 so it’s no surprise that the hype for the product is starting to build now in the midst of the holiday-shopping frenzy.
One piece of good news for RIM: the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency has signed on to pilot BlackBerry 10 devices and the supporting BlackBerry Enterprise service in January, after saying it planned to dump BlackBerry in favor of the iPhone.
As leaked photos go viral ahead of its official reveal on January 30, BlackBerry has been releasing sneak peeks at the new smartphone (tagline: "Re-designed. Re-engineered. Re-invented") at BlackBerry10.com, including sparking interest in the BB10's Hub (above) to manage conversations.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 3, 2012 01:47 PM
T-Mobile's 10th anniversary gift to itself: buying a smaller rival to grow its U.S. market share. America’s fourth-largest wireless carrier is about to get bigger as T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom and MetroPCS have approved a merger between the two American wireless carriers.
T-Mobile US CEO John Legere, who was only named to that post on Sept. 19, took to YouTube today to pitch the ‘game-changing’ deal that aims to create "a bigger, better and bolder wireless provider" and the "value leader in the marketplace."
Legere elaborated in a blog post, "This isn't a deal to survive – it's to thrive. This is a terrific opportunity for two companies with a shared commitment to innovation and customer service to come together to improve the way you communicate. We're here to compete. We're here to unlock value."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 5, 2012 02:14 PM
Nokia once ruled the handset market but, in handset years, it’s been eons since those days and Nokia has fallen well behind Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android software. Last week, the Finnish company took another step backward, sliding behind Samsung.
That wasn’t good news for CEO Stephen Elop, who is coming up on his two-year anniversary in the post, a time frame that has found Nokia’s shares dropping down to sell at 70% less than the price it was at when Elop took over, the Wall Street Journal reports. Elop’s future with the company may hang on today’s announcement of the Nokia's Windows 8 Lumia Smartphone, which the company has been teasing for days in an attempt to steal even just a little of Apple's iPhone 5 thunder.
The new Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 range boasts "the best pictures and video ever seen on a smartphone," a touchscreen said to work with gloves and fingernails, wireless charging (also coming to Virgin Atlantic business lounges and the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf), NFC and Nokia Maps integration and “access to more than 150 playlists that span all major genres as part of an all-you-can-eat pro bono offering,” Engadget reports.
And, of course, consumers can create their own playlists, while US customers are getting a free streaming music service as an added sweetener. Along with all that, Bloomberg notes, consumers will also be able to browse an expanded app library incuding content from, yes, Bloomberg, plus Michelin, Angry Birds and other digital brands.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on June 20, 2012 06:28 PM
Microsoft offered its first look at Windows Phone 8 today, and as ZDNet noted, there's good news and bad news. The good: The new operating system (codenamed Apollo) features include the ability for users to personalize their start screens with "live tiles"; NFC/Wallet support for in-app purchases, double the number of languages supported (to 50), over-the-air updates, better screen resolutions. Chase and PayPal apps are "on the way" to the Windows Phone Marketplace pushes past 100,000 apps. The bad: it's coming to new Windows Phone devices, although a partial update will be available to current users. Find out more in the official blog post, and take a closer look in Microsoft's videos below.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 11, 2012 03:03 PM
Vodafone wasn’t quite ready for the information overload that the smartphone revolution brought to consumers. In late 2010, it got a slew of complaints and it lost a half million folks by the end of 2011 because of it, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
That let them with seven million consumers, a number that Vodaphone would clearly like to increase. So it has decided to pull some of its money out of marketing and throw it back into building a better network and creating better customer service.
Vodafone is not re-upping its 11-year sponsorship of the Australian cricket team and also ending its six-year relationship with V8 Supercars. Cricket Australia and Triple 8 Racing Engineering are seeking sponsors as a result of the telco's decision.
The company is also saving money following a decision by Telfonica and Vodafone “to extend their existing network sharing deal to create one single national grid,” according to Telecoms.com. This could help save “at least 25 percent of their network costs,” the site notes.
“Over the three years from now until 2015 when both parties expect to achieve 98 per cent indoor population coverage across 2G and 3G, the combined potential savings would be in excess of £600 million ($926 million),” analyst Emeka Obiodu commented.
Vodafone, which is also battling to turn around its reputation, also just signed a deal with Optus to form a mobile broadband joint venture in Australia.
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 31, 2012 05:06 PM
The headline on Forbes.com today says it all: "Should Research in Motion Sell BlackBerry and Call It Quits?"
Even as the company celebrated separate developments today — the right to use the BBM brand in its homeland of Canada and the opening of its first innovation zone in India — the once-darling of the mobile world is teetering on the edge of defeat with a dire profit warning and a looming writedown on unsold stock.
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins’ recent update confirmed the company is expecting an operating loss for Q2 of $125m, while revenue plunged 25% from the year-ago quarter. The message suggests this quarter will be even worse with "challenging" conditions for the next few quarters. "The on-going competitive environment” impacting RIM, "in the form of lower volumes and highly competitive pricing dynamics in the marketplace," has led to the losses.
Now RIM has engaged JP Morgan Securities and RBC Capital Markets for a strategic review of the business to see which parts are most saleable. The company also plans to cut headcount, from 16,500 to 10,000, but will be hiring in "key areas," such as the BlackBerry10 team, and an upcoming operating system revamp.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 10, 2012 10:01 AM
Sprint has been moving into more specialized mobile content in recent years, such as the Sprint NBA Mobile offering designed to bring playoffs action direct to fans' smartphones. Now Reuters reports that Sprint has another plan to please mobile customers: “a new mobile advertising policy to reassure customers that they have control over whether or not they receive ads on their cell phone.”
When announcing the update to its mobile ad policy on Tuesday at an annual wireless showcase, Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse pointed out that consumers don’t really have a whole lot of trust for mobile operators. "Even cable and oil industries rate higher with consumers than we do," Hesse stated. "It's very troubling."
Also troubling for Hesse personally is that he is taking a $3.25 million cut to his paycheck in order to appease shareholders, who are upset that he’s been reelected to the board and concerns that the company may have overpaid Apple for the rights to sell the iPhone.
"I do not want ... to penalize Sprint employees for the company's investment with Apple, so I will forego this adjustment to my compensation," Hesse, who still has $12.35 million in salary, bonuses and stock-based compensation, said in a letter to shareholders on Friday, according to CNN.com.