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
Google has announced a new version of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 during the opening day Google I/O keynote, which runs the latest stock version of Android Jelly Bean. This means that the specialized smartphone sports the Nexus experience. It's compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile LTE networks, completely unlocked. The bootloader is unlocked as well, and the device sports 16GB of on-board storage, expandable with a microSD card. One major benefit is the promise of immediate system updates to newer Android versions, thanks to the stock Android being used. Since the phone has no contract, it won't be cheap. The stock Android Jelly Bean version of the Galaxy S 4 will go on sale on Google Play on June 26th for $649.
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've been keeping tabs on the Nokia Lumia 928 for a while, but it has never been confirmed in any official capacity until today. The Lumia 928 quietly made an appearance in a two-page advertisment spread in Vanity Fair, as well as on a simple page on the Nokia Web site. It appears that the 928 is focusing on the camera:
Nokia exclusive PureView technology, with Optical Image Stabilization and high-end Carl Zeiss optics let you capture and share amazing blur-free photos and videos, even in low light conditions.
As expected, Verizon Wireless will be the carrier for the Lumia 928. Expect a nice, official unveiling to take place a week from today, on May 14th. We aren't expecting the internals to be too different from the Nokia Lumia 920.
If you've been thinking about picking up a Kindle Fire HD for Mom (or even yourself!), now might be the time, as Amazon is offering a nice discount its 7-inch flagship models through May 12th. Using promo code FIRE4MOM during checkout, you'll save $20 on the tablet, bringing the price down to $179 for the 16 GB model, and $209 for the 32 GB version. We're sure that Mom wouldn't mind receiving one of these for Valentine's Day, especially with all the Amazon Prime benefits, and we'll keep the fact that you got it on sale between us, okay?
Read More | Kindle Fire HD
Former Microsoft CEO, current mosquito-wrangler and public donator of his vast wealth, Bill Gates, was talking on CNBC about how he feels iPad users are frustrated about not having a physical keyboard and the lack of Microsoft Office. Curious among many where he is getting his data. Bill didn't waste any time proposing the Microsoft Surface tablet, which has Microsoft Office, as a better alternative, despite sales indicating the contrary. Perhaps, it might behoove Microsoft to go to its roots and start selling software instead of trying to sell an ecosystem. After all, we're in the 'Post PC-era' as coined by the late Steve Jobs. On the other hand, Bill is saying tablets are growing in popularity, and that, eventually, they'll be hard to distinguish between them and PCs. Catch the video after the break.
"With Windows 8, Microsoft is trying to gain share in what has been dominated by the iPad type device. A lot of those users are frustrated. They can't type. They can't create documents. They don't have Office there. So we're providing them something with the benefits they've seen that have made that a big category but without giving up what they expect in a PC." - Bill Gates
Read More | YouTube
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.
It looks like Verizon Wireless is set to finally offer the Nokia Lumia 928, giving Verizon a flagship Windows Phone 8 device, starting next month. While no formal announcements have been made, two people familiar with the details have confirmed it. Since flagship Lumia smartphones in the US have typically been AT&T exclusives, it'll be interesting to see what the Verizon effect will have on sales. The Lumia 928 will have an aluminum enclosure rather than the polycarbonate Lumias that we're used to, with a 4.5-inch display, 8-megapixel camera, and wireless charging capabilities.
Analysts are reporting that the Apple iPhone 5S is set to be delayed because of problems Apple is having with integrating a fingerprint sensor. The issue seemingly stems from the color coating of the paint and getting it to work with the rumored fingerprint sensor that will be a part of the iPhone 5S. The end result is that the next iPhone, the lower-cost budget iPhone, and the next iPad mini will all launch closer to September rather than the June/July timeframe.
One important note here: Apple has never specified a release date for the iPhone 5S (or even the existence of the device itself,) so to call this a delay seems disingenuous. These delays are really based on the best guesses of the analysts in the first place. In other words, this "delay" really is the analysts saying their guesses were wrong, but not taking the blame.
Read More | Reuters
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