The rumors that Sprint was moving on from the Hesse era were true. After seven years at the helm of the Now Network, Dan Hesse is stepping aside so Sprint's parent company SoftBank can bring in someone new. Its choice is Marcelo Claure, the founder and current CEO of SoftBank subsidiary Brightstar.
French telecom company Iliad made a surprise bid for T-Mobile US late last week after months of rumors that Sprint and T-Mobile would be getting hitched. Iliad offered $15 billion for a 56.6% stake in T-Mobile, but now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that T-Mobile isn't even willing to entertain that deal and has opted not to give Iliad access to its financial data.
Sometimes PR people make up words they think are clever—they usually aren't. Kyocera's new "fragiphoniphobia" line is an example of this. The "fear of fragile phones" will allegedly be mitigated by the new ruggedized Kyocera Hydro Life. Whether or not you want a rugged phone, I think we can all agree that fragiphoniphobia should never appear in print again.
The rumors have been percolating up through the internet for months that Sprint (and parent company SoftBank) was nearing a deal to buy controlling interest in T-Mobile US, but a French company you've probably never heard of just threw a monkey wrench in the works. Iliad has offered $15 billion in cash for 56.6% of T-Mobile.
Not everything in the Android world is super-high-end, and if your carrier is building a brand on being cheaper than the other guys, perhaps having a few cheap phones around isn't a bad idea. Say hello to the Samsung Galaxy Avant, the latest addition to T-Mobile's hardware lineup. The internal specs won't blow anyone away, but with an off-contract price of just $216 (or $9 a month for two years on Jump), they don't need to.
In an angsty blog post today eviscerating the prices AT&T and other carriers charge for family plans, T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced that his company was going to provide customers with even more bang for their buck. From July 30th through September, the carrier will offer a family of four up to 10GB of data for $100. For people who sign up during this time, these rates will last until 2016.
Accessories used to be limited to cases, spare batteries, and the like, but now it can mean smart watches and (overpriced) headphones that cost almost as much as your phone. That's why T-Mobile wants to make it easier to blow cash on them. According to TmoNews, T-Mobile will begin offering Equipment Installment Plans (EIP) for accessories on July 20th.
An LTE version of Samsung's mediocre 8-inch Galaxy Tab 4 came to Verizon last month, and now one has its eyes set on T-Mobile. Like Verizon, the uncarrier is pushing this tablet as a great piece of hardware for families to share. Considering the low 1280 by 800 display, I could see this as a great device to let junior smear peanut butter all over. But at 24 monthly payments of $16 ($384, over $100 more than the Wi-Fi only model), I may have to object.
Update: Well that didn't take long. Here's what T-Mobile had to say in response.
We have seen the complaint filed today by the FTC and find it to be unfounded and without merit. In fact T-Mobile stopped billing for these Premium SMS services last year and launched a proactive program to provide full refunds for any customer that feels that they were charged for something they did not want. T-Mobile is fighting harder than any of the carriers to change the way the wireless industry operates and we are disappointed that the FTC has chosen to file this action against the most pro-consumer company in the industry rather than the real bad actors.