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SmartWatch, Episode 6: The Next iPhone, Amazon’s 3D Dreams, and Pessimism

April 17, 2014 11:20 am | Videos | Comments

In this edition of SmartWatch, sponsored by SanDisk, we contemplate whether a lack of headline-grabbing smartphones in 2014 will allow Apple to jack up the price of its next iPhone (iPhones?) as much as $100. And before the show is over, Ben will address his pessimism regarding Amazon’s rumored 3D smartphone before coming face to face with his more optimistic self, who thinks the feature sounds kind of neat.

IBM Posts Lower 1Q Earnings Amid Hardware Slump

April 17, 2014 10:51 am | by Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — IBM's first-quarter earnings fell and revenue came in below Wall Street's expectations amid an ongoing decline in its hardware business, one that was exacerbated by weaker demand in China and emerging markets. The world's largest technology services company has been working to expand into new areas as its hardware business falters, but the latest results show that these efforts have yet to fully pay off.

AT&T Warns FCC It Might Skip 600 MHz Auction Over Spectrum Rules

April 17, 2014 10:14 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The FCC is planning to set aside up to 30 MHz in each market for smaller carriers to bid on once bidding for those markets hits a set threshold. After the threshold it hit, carriers holding at least one-third of the low-band spectrum in that market wouldn’t be allowed to bid. AT&T and Verizon would experience the most impact from this rule though in some markets, smaller regional carriers like U.S. Cellular would be restricted.

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FirstNews Briefs: Omnilink, Verizon, Audi, Fujitsu, Northwestel, Time Warner Cable

April 17, 2014 9:39 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

Omnilink, a provider of machine-to-machine (M2M) tracking and monitoring solutions, has been named to the Verizon Partner Program as a Silver member. Omnilink FocalPoint Offender Monitoring is an electronic monitoring solution that gives government agencies the ability to track and monitor the location and status of their entire offender caseload across the U.S. on virtually any device.

Google's 1Q Earnings Disappoint as Ad Prices Slip

April 16, 2014 4:27 pm | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google's first-quarter earnings growth faltered as the Internet company dealt with a persistent downturn in advertising prices while spending more money to hire more employees and invest in daring ideas. The results announced Wednesday fell below analyst projections. Google's stock shed nearly 6 percent in extended trading.

IBM Hits Refresh on Its MobileFirst Initiative

April 16, 2014 2:52 pm | by Ben Munson | Articles | Comments

IBM is renewing its MobileFirst initiative with a whole bunch of enhancements to existing services. The IT giant first launched MobileFirst at Mobile World Congress 2013 and has since seen the rapid shift towards mobile enterprise. Rich Esposito, general manager for mobility services at IBM, said that at the outset of enterprise mobility four or five years ago, the focus was on BYOD and MDM.

New Aio Plans Follow Lead of Sprint's 'Framily' Model

April 16, 2014 1:20 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

AT&T's prepaid Aio brand has launched new plans that promise more discounts with each line of service added. Similar to the incentive behind Sprint's "Framily" plans, Aio's new "Group Save" plans offers discounted monthly charges beginning with the second eligible line added.

Volvo Taps AT&T for In-Car Connectivity

April 16, 2014 11:17 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

AT&T has signed a multi-year agreement with Volvo to provide connectivity to Volvo's vehicles. According to a press release, AT&T will power Volvo's 2015 model year connected car solution with Sensus Connect, an embedded infotainment service. 

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FirstNews Briefs: Alcatel-Lucent, Elisa, D-Link, Getac, The Hartford, IBM

April 16, 2014 10:57 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

Alcatel-Lucent and Elisa, a provider of mobile and fixed broadband services in Finland, today announced a significant network upgrade that will give Elisa the broadband capacity needed to meet the demands of next-generation services and applications.

Samsung Launching First Tizen Smartphone in 2Q

April 16, 2014 10:31 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

A Samsung executive told Reuters that the company will release a high-end smartphone running the Tizen operating system near the end of the second quarter. Shortly after Samsung will launch a second mid-range Tizen device to drive volume, Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of Samsung's product strategy team, told Reuters.

Burger King Launching AT&T Wi-Fi in All U.S. Locations

April 16, 2014 10:28 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Burger King today announced it is putting AT&T’s Wi-Fi Ready Zone access points in all of its U.S. locations. Blessed with the tasty name “Whopper Wi-Fi,” the AT&T hotspots are promising an “easier to use and more robust experience” for Burger King customers.

CTIA Partners with Big Tech on Voluntary Anti-Theft Program

April 16, 2014 10:14 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Called the "Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment," the program counts as signatories a high-profile list of carriers and device OEMs, including Apple, Asurion, AT&T, Google, Samsung, Huawei Device USA, Motorola Mobility, Microsoft, Samsung, Nokia, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon. 

Yahoo's 1Q Highlighted by Alibaba, Modest Ad Gains

April 16, 2014 9:37 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Yahoo is prospering from its lucrative investments in Asia while the Internet company's listless advertising sales are picking up, if ever so slightly, under CEO Marissa Mayer. The positive signs in the Yahoo's first-quarter report overshadowed a 20 percent decline in the company's earnings during the opening three months of the year.

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Intel Revenue Climbs Amid Shift to Mobile Devices

April 16, 2014 9:35 am | by Barabara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Intel's earnings fell in the first three months of the year amid a continued slump in the worldwide PC market, but revenue grew slightly because of solid demand for tablet processors and its data center services. Intel Corp. is the world's largest maker of microprocessors, which act as the "brains" of computers.

Thieves in Plain Sight: No One is Immune to Data Attacks

April 15, 2014 4:05 pm | by Asif Ramji, President and CEO, Paymetric, Inc. | Articles | Comments

To some executives, the idea of crime against merchants and high-volume data breaches might seem like the latest Hollywood action movie. While it is a reality for retailers because those are the companies we see on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, it seems like fiction for everyone else.

Analyst: Dearth of Hero Phones Could Net $50-$100 “iPhone 6” Price Hike

April 15, 2014 10:59 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Apple might be able to leverage a $50 to $100 price hike for its upcoming “iPhone 6” given the lack of headline-grabbing smartphones hitting the market in 2015. Jeffries analyst Peter Misek said that the current state of smartphone saturation and low differentiation could mean the next iPhone, rumored to be significantly bigger, could be a big enough blockbuster that Apple can force carriers to bow to raised prices.

BlackBerry Takes QNX to Healthcare With NantHealth Investment

April 15, 2014 10:31 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

While financial details of the investment were not provided, BlackBerry said in a statement that the two companies intend to collaborate on the development of HIPAA and other government privacy certified, integrated clinical systems for medical care.  

Google to Use Drones to Improve Wireless Broadband Coverage

April 15, 2014 9:56 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Google Monday announced its acquisition of Titan Aerospace, a high-altitude drone company, which it plans to integrate with its on-going Project Loon initiative, according to the Wall Street Journal. Through Project Loon, Google is deploying large balloons in order to relay wireless signals.

FirstNews Briefs: Lumos Networks, Cisco, Novatel, Ruckus, Brightstar

April 15, 2014 9:52 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

Lumos Networks Corp., a fiber-based service provider of data, voice and IP-based telecommunication services in the Mid-Atlantic region, today announced the selection of Cisco Systems, Inc. as its exclusive supplier of mission critical equipment for Project Ark, its new broadband MPLS/IP fiber network designed primarily to handle Fiber to the Cell site (“FTTC”) traffic within the Company’s network.

Review: Siri-like Cortana Fills Windows Phone Gap

April 15, 2014 9:28 am | by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer | Articles | Comments

With the new Cortana virtual assistant, Windows catches up with Apple's iOS and Google's Android in a major way. Microsoft takes some of the best parts of Apple's and Google's virtual assistants and adds a few useful tools of its own. The result is Cortana, named after an artificial-intelligence character in Microsoft's "Halo" video games.

Verizon Opens More Everything for Month-to-Month Customers

April 14, 2014 12:10 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Verizon today announced that its existing month-to-month customers can now move to the carrier’s More Everything plans beginning April 17. Verizon is promising savings of $10 for plans with 8 GB and lower and $25 for plans with 10 GB or more. The carrier will also now allow customers to add phones they already own to a More Everything plan for either $15 or $30 per month, depending on the data allowance selected.

FirstNews Briefs: Broadcom, Droplet Robotic Sprinkler, Ericsson, Gusto, Entone, Vodafone

April 14, 2014 11:08 am | by Wireless Week Staff | News | Comments

Broadcom Corporation today announced that its low-power applications processor is the technology behind a new product designed to reduce water consumption. The Droplet Robotic Sprinkler leverages real-time data from more than 10,000 weather stations, millions of square miles of soil samples and comprehensive plant biological information to make intelligent decisions on when, where and how much water to deliver.

Mozilla, Dropbox Appointments Stir Healthy Debate

April 14, 2014 11:03 am | by Andrew Berg | Blogs | Comments

While I'm not sure that name-calling tactics are necessarily helpful, I am at least encouraged that the public is aware of what's happening in big technology and is active in implementing what appears to be a rough set of checks and balances within that realm.  

T-Mobile Challenges AT&T, Verizon, Sprint to End Overage Charges

April 14, 2014 10:58 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile today announced it is doing away with all talk, text and data overage charges for its customers and it’s challenging AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint to follow suit. The carrier claims that more than 20 million people in the U.S. were stuck with overage charges in 2013 and that the three biggest U.S. carriers raked in more than $1 billion combined off the practice.

Analyst: Apple Seeking Health Insurer Subsidies for “iWatch”

April 14, 2014 10:23 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Cowen & Co analyst Timothy Arcuri predicts the company’s smartwatch could have enough built-in fitness tracking features that health insurance companies might be willing to absorb some of the cost similar to how wireless providers subsidize devices for customers.

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