After several weeks of rumors, Google has announced their partnership with Softcard. The purpose of this venture is to combine forces with Google Wallet, which has been around since 2011 but never enjoyed wide usage. With Apple Pay having recently entered the fray, Google apparently felt the time is now to get their service back on the map. Buying their competitor Softcard's technology, though, is just the beginning.
In addition to gaining Softcard's back end, Google Wallet will soon be preloaded on all phones sold by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon in the United States.
Sprint hasn't said anything about John Legere's assertion that T-Mobile is now the larger of the two carriers, but it is rolling out a new plan apparently intended to slow Tmo's progress. The new plan is actually just a limited time offer in Sprint's existing Family Share Pack tiers. For $90 per month you can (sort of) get 12GB of data to share across 10 lines with unlimited SMS and voice. As with all mobile plans, there are plenty of caveats.
Sprint has announced that it will begin offering the LG G Flex 2 on March 13th. People with their hearts set on this curved poster child will be able to place a pre-order starting tomorrow, February 20th. The phone will go for twenty-four payments of $12 or $504 altogether, and it will be available in Platinum Silver or Volcano Red (a Sprint exclusive).
The G Flex 2 isn't quite the sequel to last year's model that you would expect. For starters, it's smaller and now sports a 5.5-inch display, half an inch smaller than the previous model. This is one time a manufacturer can't say that this year's model is larger than last year's, and we're glad.
Earnings calls are usually a rather boring affair, unless the company is run by John Legere and includes a guy wearing a pink cowboy hat. T-Mobile had its Q4 2014 earnings call this morning, and the entire thing was live streamed on YouTube. When asked about T-Mobile's growth versus Sprint, John Legere explains why T-Mobile has already passed the Now Network to become the third largest carrier in the US. Why doesn't Sprint agree? It's apparently relying on a technicality.
Samsung still makes more phones than anyone, so when Android 5.0 rolls out to its flagship devices, that's when you know the latest version of Google's mobile operating system is really getting in front of people. Users have started to report that T-Mobile is currently pushing out Lollipop to the Galaxy S5.
AT&T is making a bold move for the Mexico market, buying the country's third and fifth largest carriers earlier this year. With these acquisitions, the carrier enhanced its World Connect Value plans with unlimited calling to Mexico. Now it will soon bring the capability to its $60 GoPhone plan.
AT&T is bumping its $45 GoPhone offering up from 1GB to 1.5GB a month and the larger $60 plan from 2.5GB to 4GB. Only the latter will support unlimited calling to Mexico, but the former does still come with unlimited texting to our southern neighbor. Changes will take effect on February 20th.
Sprint's LG G3 today becomes the newest member of the Lollipop club. We had a leaked document from Sprint a few weeks back that pointed to today as the big day, and indeed it is. You may begin attacking the update button now.