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
Mobile carriers in the U.S. are finally jumping on board with shared data plans, allowing customers with multiple devices to draw from the same data bucket. Unfortunately, for most of these, it's a horrible deal financially. Still, there are some who'd appreciate this kind of thing, and as such we want to let you know that AT&T will be launching it's shared data plans beginning on August 23rd. You can set up all your devices like smartphones, tablets, gaming devices (like the Playstation Vita,) mobile hotspots, and more to all draw from one bucket of data beginning on that date. AT&T has set up a page where you can calculate what it would cost to add all your devices to a single plan.
Read More | AT&T
The other day we talked about how AT&T charging for FaceTime over Cellular is consumer robbery, and today we've gotten word from Sprint that it agrees, and therefore will not be charging customers extra to use the new iOS 6 feature. When iOS 6 goes public this fall, owners of the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, the next-generation iPhone, iPad 2, and the new iPad will all have access to FaceTime when on 3G and LTE connections. According to Sprint, it's "committed to our unlimited data, and that means not charging for data consumption based on the application." Good on them for that. Now we're just waiting on Verizon to make the same move.
With the release of iOS 6 beta 3 yesterday, a disturbing "feature" was uncovered. Some users on with AT&T iPhones are reporting that, when they attempt to enable FaceTime over Cellular, a prompt pops up that tells the user to contact AT&T in order to enable the feature. Many are assuming that this means that AT&T will be looking to charge a premium for customers to use FaceTime over its data connection, and if that is the case, it is straight up consumer robbery.
Nokia has just cut the price of the best Windows Phone in the US market by 50%. Yep--the Nokia Lumia 900 is now just $49 with two-year contract on AT&T. Sure, you won't be able to upgrade to Windows Phone 8, but Windows Phone 7.8 will bring most of the visual updates like the redesigned home screen to the Lumia 900. Seriously, for the money, you'll wanna give this one a look if you're in the market for a new smartphone. Check out our Nokia Lumia 900 review.
Read More | Nokia
Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean mobile operating system was officially unveiled at Google I/O 2012 just a couple of weeks ago, and it looks pretty fantastic. If you've been hoping to get your hands on it and your the owner of a Samsung Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ smartphone, it's time for you to rejoice--the Jelly Bean rollout has begun for you! Do note that this refers to Galaxy Nexus devices that run on AT&T and T-Mobile networks. Owners of the Verizon Wireless Galaxy Nexus will have to wait a bit longer. The Nexus 7 tablet, Nexus S, and Motorola Xoom are next on the list to receive Android 4.1 goodness.
Anyone start playing with Jelly Bean yet? Feel free to sound off in the comments.