What happens when AT&T sends Fox News' Shep Smith a text message letting him know that he's in the top 5% of data users and will be throttled? A hilarious rant about AT&T ensues, complete with comparison to crack cocaine. Check it out:
In a move that is likely to upset every single AT&T customer to some degree, the nation's number two carrier has decided that its current upgrade fee (a cost tacked on whenever a current customer renews their contract and gets a new phone) isn't covering the rising cost of subsidized smartphones. The current upgrade fee is $18, and will soon be doubled to $36, matching the current fee at Sprint.
At T-Mobile, the current cost is $18.
Earlier today, when I read comments from Motorola executive Christy Wyatt over on PCMag explaining that lagging software updates could be blamed in large part on hardware variation, my first response was "really?" Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Motorola has iterated so much hardware in the last year that it has actually promised to cut down on the number of versions of Android handsets it will make.
Specifically, Wyatt made a point of the obvious fact that when Google releases the source code for Android, the only devices it will readily compile on fall into the "Nexus" category.
Ever since Samsung announced the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note phone/tablet, we've had a lot of fun coming up with endearing names for this "tweener" device. It's certainly an interesting device and North American customers can finally get their hands on it in the next few weeks.
Motorola Atrix 2 owners on AT&T are receiving an OTA update to v55.13.25, by AT&T reckoning. In Android versions, that would be 2.3.6, so sorry - no Ice Cream Sandwich for you, yet. Before your hopes are completely dashed, though, here are the full release notes:
Source code. Galaxy Note. AT&T.
What do you get when you combine those three things? If you said "source code for the Galaxy Note on AT&T," then you win a cookie. Go wait over there and we'll bring it right out.
Samsung just pushed the source to its Open Source Release Center for all to grab, but there is a catch. For some reason, there are three different versions of the code, all basically identical, save one line (thanks for digging through the code, JCase).
Are you one of literally dozens of users who believe that your 4.5" smartphone is too small, that 7" tablets are too big, and that styluses never got the shot they deserve on a modern smartphone? Then mark February 19th on your calendars, friends. The Galaxy Note from Samsung is landing that very day (pre-orders start on February 5th).
The Galaxy Note is unique enough in its own right. Part phone, part tablet, the device attempts to be it all for the power user who can't quite decide which device they want.
Looks like AT&T has been tweaking its data packages again, trying to find a way to better compete with the likes of the Sprint, T-Mobile, and VZW no doubt. The revised data plans will go into affect on January 22, and they look a little something like this:
- Data Plus 300MB: $20 for 300MB
- Data Pro 3GB: $30 for 3GB
- Data Pro 5GB: $50 for 5GB, with mobile hotspot / tethering
So, how does that compare to Ma Bell's current data rates?
Following the collapse of T-Mobile's planned $39 billion deal with AT&T, the magenta carrier has turned its attention to network quality and performance to draw new customers. Chief Executive Philipp Humm provided comment on the situation Wednesday:
We have a very clear spike on value compared to everyone else. Now it's about bringing the quality phase alive. That's something that during the transition phase kind of suffered.
Magenta lost more than 467,000 contract customers over the 10 months it worked with AT&T on the ill-fated takeover, focusing not on network enhancements, but instead on completing the deal. Humm noted that T-Mobile will have a more clear business plan later this month, but said that the company may consider asset sales.
We stopped by the Sony booth earlier this morning at CES, and got some hands-on time with the very first Sony smartphones (Sony-Ericsson is no more, subject to regulatory approval) - the Xperia Ion and the Xperia S. While these devices were designed before the Sony Ericsson breakup, they'll be marketed as Sony devices when they hit retail channels.
First up is the Xperia Ion, announced a couple of days ago by AT&T.