AT&T will finally be lifting its almost 3-year ban on FaceTime (and other pre-installed video chat services like Google Hangouts on ANdroid) for its customers on grandfathered unlimited data plans. Over time, AT&T has made stock video chat apps available on its cellular network only to customers on tiered data plans, or its newer Mobile Share plans, while unlimited users looked on in disappointment. That all changes starting next month, when customers with LTE devices get access to pre-installed video chat services:
For video chat apps that come pre-loaded on devices, we currently give all OS and device makers the ability for those apps to work over cellular for our customers who are on Mobile Share or Tiered plans. Apple, Samsung and BlackBerry have chosen to enable this for their pre-loaded video chat apps. And by mid-June, we’ll have enabled those apps over cellular for our unlimited plan customers who have LTE devices from those three manufacturers.
So if you've got an iPhone 5, you're in luck. If you are on an older iPhone 4S or iPhone 4, you have a bit more of a wait ahead of you. In fact, it appears that even if you have a current LTE device that isn't made by Apple, BlackBerry, or Samsung, you've got a wait ahead of you. Recent buyer of the awesome HTC One? Sorry:
Throughout the second half of this year, we plan to enable pre-loaded video chat apps over cellular for all our customers, regardless of data plan or device; that work is expected to be complete by year end.
We've been getting reports that some AT&T customers with unlimited plans and LTE devices are already seeing FaceTime over Cellular enabled.
Read More | The Verge
Speaking of TV, Republican US Senator, John McCain, of Arizona has introduced a bill to the house floor dubbed The Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013. The legislation has three components. The first is the unbundling of TV programing from content and cable companies, which allows the consumer to have à la carte service options. It also lets the consumer pay for only those channels and shows they want to watch. The second will establish consequences for providers that misuse or don't properly execute the stipulations in the bill, such as downgrading their online offering. Lastly, it will eliminate local sports blackouts, finally!
All politics aside, every consumer should get behind this bill. Perhaps an indirect benefit for content makers is that the bill could help curb privacy, which is running rampant, although many do not admit so publicly. In the end, if done right, the bill could break the cable provider's stronghold on the traditional content distribution model, eliminate the exorbitant pricing scheme, or, as the Senator of Arizona eloquently put it, end the cable monopoly. As I'm writing this, a tear rolled down my eye. Thank you Mr. John McCain for thinking of my wallet. Watch the historical speech after the quick break.
Despite being the last major carrier to pick up the iPhone, T-Mobile is still seeing massive success thanks to the Apple smartphone. In fact, the company revealed that it has sold over 500,000 iPhone 5 units since the device went on sale on April 12th, less than a month ago. On that day, T-Mobile locations had lines out the door, which is almost unheard of for the carrier. Technically, the iPhone 5 went on sale after the end of the first quarter, so those 500,000 sales weren't accounted for. We will have to wait until next quarter to see how the iPhone is affecting T-Mobile revenue.
Read More | T-Mobile
We told you that WWDC 2013 tickets would go quick, but we didn't think it would be this fast. WWDC tickets last year sold out in under two hours. Today? They sold out in under 2 minutes. Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference is now officially sold out, so if you missed it, you'll have to settle for videos of the conference program. There's always next year.
Read More | Apple WWDC
Tickets for Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference are now on sale. Last year, WWDC tickets sold out within two hours of going on sale, and that was without a pre-announcement of when they'd drop. This year, in an attempt to make sure everyone is ready, the company announced yesterday that tickets would go on sale this morning. Apple will show off both OS X 10.9 and iOS 7 at the event, with developer preview betas being available that same day. If you want to be there, we suggest you go get your tickets. Like, right now. In fact, it may already be too late.
In order to buy a ticket, you've gotta me a member of Apple's iOS Developer Program, iOS Developer Enterprise Program, or the Mac Developer Program as of yesterday's announcement. You can buy one ticket per person, or five per organization, and they cost $1,599 each.
Apple has confirmed that its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will take place June 10-14th at Moscone West in San Francisco. During yesterday's Q2 2013 Apple earnings call, Tim Cook made sure to set expectations by indicating that the company looks forward to releasing new hardware, software, and services this fall, and throughout 2014. In other words, don't expect any new iPhone or iPad to be announced at the summer blockbuster event. That said, Phil Shiller says that its "developers have had the most prolific and profitable year ever, and we're excited to show them the latest advances in software technologies and developer tools to help them create innovative new apps," adding, "we can't wait to get new versions of iOS and OS X into their hands at WWDC." So there you have it--WWDC will see the unveiling of Mac OS X 10.9, and iOS 7, both of which should be made available to developers on June 10 in preview form. Tickets for WWDC go on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 AM PDT.
Apple is in the midst of its Q2 2013 earnings call, highlighted by 37.4 million iPhones and 19.5 million iPads sold. This represents record Q2 iPhone and iPad sales. Overall, Apple posted $43.6 billion in revenue, of which $9.5 billion was profit. While many analysts were predicting a crash-and-burn quarter, this is, instead, still growth. However, the growth rate has definitely slowed to the lowest it has been in years. To compare to last year, Q2 2012, Apple earned $39.2 billion in revenue and $11.6 billion in profit.
As for other products, Apple sold 3.95 million Macs, compared to 4 million last year. iPod sales continue to slow, with 5.6 million Q2 2013 sales compared to 7.7 million as the same time last year.
While Sprint still has a way to go to catch up to the LTE footprint of Verizon and AT&T, the company continues to chug ahead, and today has announced 21 new cities where they've lit up the faster 4G service. If you're in places like Charlotte, North Carolina, Memphis, Tennessee, and Los Angeles, California, you should be able to pick up on the LTE network that Sprint has just turned on in your area. With today's additions, that brings Sprint LTE to 88 cities across the USA. Hit the source link for a list of all 21 cities where Sprint just got a whole lot faster.
Read More | Sprint
Google confirmed today that Google Glass units are rolling off the production line, with paying Explorer Edition members set to start receiving their devices in the coming weeks. The expectation was that the Google Glass Explorer Edition would begin to ship at the beginning of next month, and it appears that Google is right on track. The Explorer Edition of Google Glass is an early-access model that allows developers to get their hands on the device and API, readying Google Glass experiences for customers when Glass goes on sale publicly near the end of the year.
Read More | Google
As we mentioned, the new Monster DNA White Tuxedo headphones were unveiled last night during the MTV Movie Awards. Monster had a bunch of movie stars sign the headphones, which will be donated to Jewelry for a Cause to be auctioned. Jewelry for a Cause is a charity dedicated to taking guns off the streets. Check out our gallery showing the different celebs signing the Monster DNA White Tuxedo headphones.
Read More | Monster DNA White Tuxedo Headphones