Previously, we'd heard rumors and whispers that T-Mobile (by way of its parent company Deutsche Telekom) would be acquiring MetroPCS. Today, both companies' boards have approved the merger and, pending regulatory and MetroPCS shareholder approval, the deal should be completed by mid-2013. The two companies will have a combined subscriber base of about 42.5 million customers, which still leaves it in fourth place in the U.S. behind Sprint with 56 million and AT&T/Verizon who each have over 100 million users.
Late last week, ASUS began pushing Jelly Bean to the Transformer Prime, and it followed up by doing the same for the Infinity this week. That's great for users running stock systems with locked bootloaders, but if you don't fall into that camp, then you get no OTA love from ASUS. Now, though, they have made available the full stock ROMs for both tablets.
The ROMs, which are Android 4.1.1, can be flashed using any custom recovery - simply unzip the download and drop the contents onto your device's storage partition.
Looking to create a more versatile and powerful build system for Android developers, Google has been working on what is currently called "New Build System," a tool that aims to (one day) replace, unify, and build upon the functionality of Eclipse's ADT and Ant build systems.
While the new build system is still in very early stages (just reaching build 0.1 today) and not yet ready to build ship-able apps, it's already proving useful.
Right on schedule, Sony's PlayStation Mobile is going live today, bringing PlayStation titles to certified devices and – of course – PS Vita.
While, at the moment, Sony's list of certified devices is limited primarily to Sony's own Android phones and tablets, more devices – including some from Fujitsu and Sharp – are expected to gain certification in the near future. HTC's One line is already on the list, with "details to be announced later on."
It looks like mobile device users in the UK can expect 4G services to begin rolling out a bit sooner than previously expected – six months sooner, to be specific.
The Wallstreet Journal reported Tuesday that the UK government has struck a deal with the UK's four largest mobile operators which will enable the auction of 4G mobile spectrum to begin at the end of 2012, with bidding beginning in early 2013.
The last time we heard from Lockitron the company was trying to sell a $300 smart deadbolt lock that you could open with NFC. This time Lockitron is taking a different, less expensive approach. The new device is mounted on top of your existing deadbolt, allowing you to control it without buying and installing a whole new lock. The product isn't quite ready to ship, but the company has a handy video demo ready to go.
Encouraging players to "go for the big win," Hothead Games recently released Big Win Football to the Play Store. The makers of the artistic masterpiece that is Machinarium and the similarly sports-minded Big Win Soccer have added another entry to their catalogue of "Big Win" sports games, bringing the same customizable, competitive and unique gameplay dynamic to football fans, allowing them to create their own customized dream team, play against opponents online, and enhance player skills with game-changing boosts.
Every so often, with all the new device releases, lawsuits, feature scandals, and scathing editorials that fly back and forth across the tech world, it's nice to step back and take a look at the state of the industry from the comforting safe haven of numbers. ComScore's recent round of stats shows an unsurprising yet telling look at the US mobile industry. Predictably, Android remains the top dog with iOS following closely behind.
Some very interesting legal news surfaced this morning in regard to a Motorola patent suit against Apple at the ITC. The lawsuit in question was filed back in August, and sought import bans on almost every Apple product currently manufactured based on seven Motorola patents. It had barely entered the preliminary stages before Motorola voluntarily sought for the case to be dismissed today.
Motorola provided no reasoning for the request, which is basically a matter of procedure - it will be granted.
Update: Deutsche Telekom has confirmed that this merger will be happening (given regulatory approval), and that DT will run T-Mobile and MetroPCS as one company. The DT board will meet tomorrow to approve the transaction.
According to Reuters, "three sources familiar with the situation" are saying a deal between T-Mobile and MetroPCS is "close," and by close, they mean an announcement is probably happening tomorrow.
This is a bit odd, given that MetroPCS is a CDMA carrier, and that network is largely incompatible with T-Mobile's current spectrum holdings.