Here's an interesting choice, high-end smartphone fans. An eBay vendor is currently selling both the flagship HTC One M8 and the small but premium Samsung Galaxy Alpha for $299.99 each. Both are off-contract phones with AT&T radios, both are 32GB versions, and both are manufacturer refurbished. Both come with free economy shipping and no sales tax outside California. Either one would be a solid choice for any deal-hunting Android fan, but the devil is in the details.
In what is apparently part of a bold push to take over the Mexican market, AT&T has announced their second carrier acquisition in Mexico in the past week. Just days ago, AT&T bought Iusacell, the third-largest cell provider in the country. Today, they are announcing the purchase of Nextel Mexico for $1.875 billion USD. Nextel is Mexico's fifth-largest carrier.
Among the goals of the transaction is "to create the first-ever North American Mobile Service area covering over 400 million consumers and businesses in Mexico and the United States," AT&T said in a press release.
Update: Here's a screenshot, courtesy of an Android Police reader.
As it turns out, the Android 4.4.4 update for the AT&T HTC One M8 that we covered over a week ago never actually rolled out to devices. The company pulled its page down, which suggests that it went up sooner than anticipated. HTC Vice President of Product Management Mo Versi took to Twitter over the weekend to announce that the OTA was actually due out this week, and that it would include both VoLTE support and the HTC Eye Experience software enhancements.
Update: Plenty of readers are saying that they've received 5.0.1 with AT&T SIM cards. The decision to publish this post was made after my testing and another AP team member saying that he had yet to receive 5.0.1 on his device as well. It's possible that the rollout to devices with AT&T SIMs is just moving at a much slower pace than for ones with other SIMs, but regardless, there is still something unique going on with AT&T.
The Galaxy Alpha is a slick piece of hardware. While the bulk of the phone remains plastic, Samsung decided to surround this handset with a metal frame, giving it a more premium look and feel than the flagship that came before it, the Galaxy S5. Now AT&T is gracing the phone with a minor over-the-air update that provides unnamed "user experience enhancements." The OTA will leave the device running software version G850AUCU1ANL1.
AT&T customers with a regular need to dial numbers in Mexico are about to save some money. The wireless carrier announced today unlimited calling to our southern neighbor, available to anyone who adds the World Connect Value package to their postpaid plan. Folks who already have the $5 add-on will receive the benefit automatically.
The HTC One M8 on AT&T is getting an update starting today, and it makes a few significant changes. What it doesn't do is bring Lollipop to the device—it's 4.4.4. The wait for Lollipop shall continue, I'm afraid.
AT&T has announced that it's taking the concept of rollover minutes or texts and applying it to data starting January 25th. This will only affect Mobile Share Value plans, but it will impact new and current customers alike.
The policy shift likely isn't coming out of the goodness of the carrier's heart (teehee, as if carriers have hearts). Instead, this looks like a calculated response to T-Mobile's recent decision to start rolling unused data over into the next month.
Good news, owners of the AT&T variants of the Galaxy Mega 2 and Galaxy Tab S 8.4: your Samsung gadgets are getting a software update! Bad news, same people: you're probably not going to notice or care about the things contained within. The Galaxy Mega 2 gets "user interface enhancements" and the addition of the AT&T Messages Backup Service, and the Tab S only gets "revised link management handling in Calendar." Try to contain your enthusiasm.