If you've been watching today's coverage of the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ with bated breath, you won't have to wait too long to pick one up from an American carrier. All five major US networks have confirmed that they'll be carrying Samsung's new flagships, with varying degrees of availability and pre-order status. The official release date from Samsung is August 21st, and AT&T is already selling phones.
T-Mobile is now solidly in third place among US carriers, having finally passed Sprint. It got there by offering consumer-friendly services and low prices, and today we've got a lot more of the latter. T-Mobile is running sales on several great devices like the Galaxy S6 and G4.
T-Mobile and its bombastic CEO John Legere have been making waves in the US wireless industry, and consumers have been taking notice. According to the latest quarterly earnings report filed by T-Mo, the carrier is now larger than its competitor Sprint, making it the number three runner in America. T-Mobile claims 58.9 million subscribers in the US as of July, narrowly besting Sprint's reported number of 56.8 million from today. T-Mobile has added at least a million customers each quarter for the last nine quarters, and 2.1 million in the last three months.
In truth, T-Mobile may have actually passed this milestone some time ago.
It's not often the case, but T-Mobile is playing catch-up with some other carriers when it comes to getting OS updates to a flagship phone. Sprint M9 owners got it on the first of July and AT&T versions were updated two weeks ago, but at not-so-long last T-Mobile HTC One M9 owners will be upgraded to Android 5.1 as well.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are already on the latest version of Android, but the T-Mobile variants are getting a small maintenance update today with a few fixes. It's not huge, but you may as well install it when you've got a moment. The changelog promises battery life improvements, which is always appreciated.
Kyocera is one smartphone manufacturer that could care less about beating the competition on specs. It makes cheap phones that either won't receive updates or won't get them until long after you've given up hope. But the handsets are affordable, and many of the later models tend to be pretty rugged.
Both of these hold true for the Kyocera Hydro Wave, which is now available from T-Mobile and on its way to MetroPCS. This 5-inch qHD phone comes powered by a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal memory. Fortunately, there's a microSD card slot for extra storage.
VoLTE is finally starting to roll out on devices, but who uses their phone as a phone anymore? Luckily, there's a next-gen standard for text messages too, and T-Mobile is the first carrier to support it. T-Mobile's CTO just announced support for "Advanced Messaging" on the Rich Communication Services (RCS) standard on T-Mobile, and it's starting its rollout now.
After blowing past Sprint in the last quarter, T-Mobile is still pulling out all the stops to increase its subscriber numbers. The latest announcement is a new family plan with 10GB of non-shared data per line. The price varies based on how many lines you have, but the sweet spot is four at $120 total.
John Legere just got done announcing yet another uncarrier initiative, and now we see what all those changes have earned the smallest national carrier—it's not actually the smallest anymore. T-Mobile reports 2.1 million net customer additions in Q2, bringing its subscriber count to 58.9 million. Sprint has only 57.1 million customers.
John Legere, the mobile CEO who can't get Deutsche Telekom to love T-Mobile no matter how many new customers they sign up, is back with another jab at his competitors. T-Mobile already features some pretty extraordinary free international roaming extras, but now it's going whole hog on the two countries that Americans visit the most: Canada and Mexico. Starting next week if you cross the border to the north or south, your T-Mobile phone will work the same as it does in the States. Take it away, John: