If there's one feature to sway AT&T iPhone customers over to Verizon, it's the fact that Big Red has launched LTE in a ton of markets while AT&T plays catch-up. Tonight, AT&T closed the gap a bit with the launch of its LTE network in both Seattle and Portland, two major metropolitan areas that may have otherwise seen a hefty exodus when the iPhone 5 launches this Friday. Being that Gear Live is based here in the Seattle area, we started getting reports from a bunch of readers that their Lumia 900 devices were all of a sudden showing LTE connectivity. Sure enough, we confirmed it with our own unit, and AT&T followed up with a press release letting everyone know that LTE was now live in both Seattle and Portland areas. Readers are seeing speeds as high as 22Mbps down and 12Mbps up.
We've reached out to AT&T for information on just how large the LTE deployment is in these two metropolitan areas, as Verizon definitely has the entire greater region in each area covered in LTE.
Read More | The Verge
The iPhone 3GS is no more. With the announcement of the iPhone 5 came the information that the iPhone 4S would move down the line and sell for $99 with two-year contract, while the iPhone 4 takes the spot previously held by the 3GS, making it free with two-year contract. Don't count the 3GS out just yet though, as its final trick will occur on September 19, when iOS 6 is released with support for the discontinued smartphone.
Well, that was fast. iPhone 5 pre-order began at 12:01am this morning, and by 12:56am, the latest Apple smartphone was backordered by a week. Buyers who are late to the game (and by late, we mean an hour late--1:00am Pacific, 4:00am Eastern,) will currently be receiving pre-ordered iPhone 5 units one week after availability, on September 28th. Of course, you can also opt to visit your local Apple, Sprint, AT&T, or Verizon Store on the 21st if you'd rather not wait a week.
Did you pre-order iPhone 5?
If you're hoping to get an iPhone 5 on launch day without having to wait in line, pre-ordering is your best bet, and pre-orders start tonight at midnight. Just make sure you've got yourself some coffee, or get in a nap, because it might be a long night. Based on previous years, its going to be an absolute frenzy, consisting of a lot of refreshing of web pages, crashing carrier sites, losing your spot as servers melt under the pressure, etc. If you're lucky, you'll get through and be done within just a few minutes. Just make sure you know exactly which iPhone you want--color, capacity, carrier, and plan--so that you aren't trying to make those decisions while time-outs are occurring.
You'll be able to place your order in the U.S. starting at 12:01 Pacific Time, 3:01 a.m. Eastern on Friday, Sept. 14. Good luck.
During this morning's iPhone 5 event, Apple announced that the iPhone 5 would support LTE, and the list of carriers is huge, spanning the globe. In the US, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon will all support the new iPhone LTE capabilities. Over in Canada, Bell, Rogers, Fido, Virgin Mobile, Telus, and Koodo are all ready for iPhone 5 LTE action. Where Europe is concerned, T-Mobile and the new EE network in the UK are on board. Asia will see Softbank, SKT, KDDI, KT, SmarTone, and SingTei all offering iPhone 5 LTE connectivity. All that said, get ready for much, much faster LTE data if you happen to live in an LTE-supported area, and watch your data caps!
Check out our iPhone 5 event live coverage!
This afternoon, the WSJ is reporting that Apple's iPhone 5 will indeed support LTE. There's additional good news for frequent travelers: it will support more LTE bands for global coverage throughout the United States, Europe, and Asian markets. Currently, Apple offers two flavors of LTE for the third generation iPad, which also runs on both Verizon and AT&T networks.
Read More | WSJ
Amazon had one final trick up its sleeve during today's Kindle event, showing off a new Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE wireless built-in. The 8.9-inch Kindle tablet offers the same features as the base Kindle Fire HD 8.9, but packs in an AT&T 4G LTE modem and 32GB of storage space. Additionally, Amazon has worked in a killer deal for this model, as buyers can opt to pay a yearly $49.99 fee for 250 MB or 4G data per month. They'll also receive 20 GB of additional Amazon Cloud Drive storage and $10 in Amazon Appstore credit. 250 MB of monthly data may not sound like much, but it's an incredible deal at $50 per year. The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 with 4G LTE Wireless starts at $499. That's $130 more than the 32GB non-LTE model, but it's still much less than $$739 32GB iPad + Cellular tablet. You can order the Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE now, and it'll ship November 20th.
Read More | Amazon Kindle HD 8.9" 4G LTE
With iOS 6, Apple will be introducing new iPhone functionality that's aimed at alleviating the frustration many feel when connected to a weak WI-Fi hotspot. The feature is called Wi-Fi Plus Cellular, it helps keep the data flowing, and it can end up costing you some unexpected cash if you aren't careful.
T-Mobile has announced that its bringing back unlimited data plans beginning September 5th. The company is touting that there will be no speed limits, throttling, or data caps for customers who subscribe to the new Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plan. The cost? Users can expect to pay $20 when they add unlimited data to a Value voice and text plan, or $30 when added to a Classic plan. T-Mobile will allow users to add unlimited data to any T-Mobile smartphone, or customers can bring their own smartphone (like the iPhone?) that's compatible with T-Mobile's network.
Read More | T-Mobile
The fine folks over at FreePress are asking the public to take action in an attempt to convince AT&T to reconsiders its position on blocking iOS 6 feature FaceTime over Cellular for all customers unless they switch to a Mobile Share plan. It's an obvious money-grab, a way to encourage its unlimited data users to leave those plans behind, and it shows preferential treatment on how users can use their own data plans. We're signing, and we encourage you to do the same. According to Public Knowledge:
“By blocking FaceTime for many of its customers, AT&T is violating the FCC’s Open Internet rules. These rules state that mobile providers shall not ‘block applications that compete with the provider’s voice or video telephony services.’ Although carriers are permitted to engage in ‘reasonable network management,’ there is no technical reason why one data plan should be able to access FaceTime, and another not. ‘Over-the-top’ communications services like FaceTime are a threat to carriers’ revenue, but they should respond by competing with these services and not by engaging in discriminatory behavior.”
Read More | FreePress