We've been waiting on this for a couple weeks now and the White House has finally come through with its response to the cell phone unlock petition. The short version, for the tl;dr crowd is simple: "The White House agrees." Citing not just smartphones but tablets as well, the Executive branch of the U.S. government states, in no uncertain terms, that there should be no reason that carriers should block a customer from switching carriers once contractual obligations are fulfilled.
In the future, your car is going to be connected to the internet. This is a matter of when, not if. Volvo and BMW are already working on auto connectivity, and Verizon has partnered with just about everyone. Today, AT&T and GM announced that they're joining the fray by combining their strengths. Starting in 2014, cars from General Motors will have LTE radios .
More specifically, most 2015 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac models will support wireless connectivity in the U.S.
Little T-Mobile already has a reputation for being the carrier for budget-conscious consumers, but it's taking things even further with the new GoSmart service. The plans are cheap, and there are no annual contracts to worry about. Service starts at $30 per month and customers get access to the full T-Mobile network. It sounds like a solid deal if you can get past the contrived marketing lingo that would insult the intelligence of a third-grader.
HTC this morning officially unveiled its new flagship for 2013: the HTC One. So far, we've posted the full specs, our hands-on, and the list of carriers in the U.S. and Canada, but if you live outside those territories, you might be wondering exactly which carriers and major retailers to visit to pick up the One when it becomes available in March.
We've got the current list, courtesy of HTC, right below.
We've been hearing for the past few days that users have been unable to get new AT&T-compatible SIM cards from Straight Talk and Net10 websites. The only option seems to be the T-Mobile SIM. This was causing quite a bit of consternation as the Nexus 4 is finally starting to ship again. The complete absence of AT&T SIMs from both sites led many to wonder if AT&T service was no longer being sold by these Tracfon-owned entities.
At this point, you've probably heard that starting tomorrow, it will become illegal to unlock your smartphone to use it on another carrier. You certainly should have heard so since the decision was made three months ago. That being said, there are still quite a few questions that folks want to have answered. Chief among them, 'How does this affect me?' Well, I'm glad you asked, dear reader.
For a bit of context, first, let's take a look at exactly what has changed.
We reported a few days ago that T-Mobile was rumored to be implementing an unlimited data option for its prepaid phone service. Well, now the carrier is confirming it. Starting on Wednesday January 9th, customers will be able to sign up for unlimited 4G HSPA+ data, voice, and text on prepaid for just $70 per-month.
This plan replaces the $70 unlimited talk/text plan with 5GB of 4G data. T-Mobile's data plans can be a little confusing because the carrier likes to still call them "unlimited" at times.
One of the biggest frustrations of dealing with Verizon, if you're someone who likes to tweak their phone, is that the carrier insists on locking the bootloaders on its phones that otherwise would not be locked. Samsung has offered Developer Editions of its phones in the past, including the Galaxy S III, largely to avoid that problem and appease the dev crowd. Today, that tradition continues with the Galaxy Note II which has now appeared on the company's site in a similar hacker-friendly model.
It can be hard to hear how speedy and wonderful Verizon's 4G LTE is when there isn't a 4G tower within 100 miles of your home. Well, that's about to change for some lucky folks in the western half of the US come December 20. Big Red continues to creep closer to a 100% overlay with its 3G network all the time.
All of the following cities are going to see LTE go live on December 20:
- Port Angeles, WA
- Port Townsend, WA
- Sequim, WA
- Kennewick, WA
- Pasco, WA
- Richland, WA
- Klamath Falls, OR
- Roseburg, OR
- Jackson Hole, WY
- Teton Village, WY
- Kemmerer WY
- Pinedale, WY
- Price, UT
- Richfield, UT
- Lamar, CO
- LaJunta, CO
Of course, you need an LTE handset to take advantage of the faster 4G speeds, but most phones Verizon has sold in the last few years are 4G-capable.
Of the four major US carriers to receive the Galaxy S III, Verizon is the only one to lock down the bootloader. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. Nevertheless, enterprising hackers over at XDA and RootzWiki have successfully managed to circumvent the lock, achieve root, and flash ClockworkMod recovery. If you're on Verizon and anticipating owning a Galaxy S III, congratulations: your phone is yours again.