Report: US carriers experience huge surge in VoLTE with iPhone 6/6Plus, 3G calls down one-fifth

iPhone6_VoLTE_increase_Nov2014

Following the introduction of Voice-over-LTE technology with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which increases call quality by routing calls through an LTE network opposed to last generation 3G networks, US carriers have experienced a big increase in VoLTE calls. That’s according to a new report from Newfield Wireless that highlights a decrease for calls over 3G by about one-fifth compared to previous generation iPhones and other LTE-capable devices:

The majority of voice calls made on other 4G-enabled devices are currently routed through legacy 2G and 3G networks, due to the fact that not all networks and devices are optimised to deliver next-generation voice services. iPhone 6 devices are VoLTE-compatible and as a result, U.S. networks have experienced a surge in VoLTE calls since the September launch.

The report also shared some other data points from its research noting a few stats for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus uptake compared to previous generations: Read more

Jawbone announces updated Up3 wristband, new Up Move clip-on movement tracker

Image via GigaOm

Image via GigaOm

Jawbone announced two new additions to its family of wearable products tonight. The first new device is the Jawbone Up3, which sports a seven-day battery and a capacitive touch sensor on top, as well as a new set of sensors for tracking health data. The new sensors allow the Up3 to detect data such as skin temperature, respiration, or hydration, although it currently has no way to track a user’s heart rate. That feature is said to be coming in a future update.

The Up3 will cost $180 when it launches, though Jawbone has given no indication of when exactly that will be.

The Jawbone Up Move will be the cheaper of the two…

Larry Page talks about his age-old fight with Steve Jobs over ‘doing too much stuff’

Larry Page

In an interview with the Financial Times, Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page talked about an ongoing debate that he had with Apple’s Steve Jobs: whether their companies were doing too much or too little to affect the lives of their customers.

Page, as is evident in Google’s seemingly unending push into new markets and technologies outside of search and even the web, came down on the side of doing as many things as possible to make an impact in peoples’ lives, while Jobs was insistent that a focused approach on a single set of problems was better for the company and its users.

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AT&T increasing monthly data allotments on $40 and $70 service plans starting on November 2nd

AT&T-Data

AT&T announced today that it’s increasing the data allotment on two of its wireless service plans. Starting on Sunday, November 2nd, Ma Bell will begin offering 3GB of data for $40 per month and 6GB of date for $70 a month. Also sweetening the pot, AT&T is tossing in unlimited talk, text and international messaging at no additional charge.

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Trade-in service Gazelle begins selling certified pre-owned iPhones and iPads

Gazelle certified

Gazelle has long been a popular choice for conveniently turning a used iPhone or iPad into cash, and today the electronics trade-in service announced its own certified pre-owned store for buying “gently used devices” at a discounted price. While the pre-owned store lists categories including iPhone, cell phones, iPads, and tablets, Gazelle inventory is currently limited to pre-owned Apple devices including iPhone 4 and up, iPad 2 and up, and iPad mini. Read more

Apple’s market-leading tablet share falls to 22% against growing cheap media consumption options

IDC-tablets-Q314-01

Worldwide unit shipments for the top 5 tablet plus 2-in-1 device vendors over last five quarters

New data from IDC tracking worldwide tablet shipments shows that Apple has maintained its lead during the third quarter despite “a decline in overall iPad shipment volume in 3Q14.” Specifically, Apple grabbed 22.8% of the market with 12.3 million shipments during the quarter compared to 14.1 million units and 29.2% share in the year ago quarter. That compares to Samsung at 18.3% of the market and 9.9 million units shipped up from 19.3% and 9.3 million units shipped in the third quarter last year: Read more

Apple Pay fans express displeasure at MCX in app ratings; consortium suggests possible future switch to NFC

currentc-app

While the MCX consortium’s CurrentC mobile payment service isn’t due to launch until next year, it has been carrying out limited trials, facilitated by placing the app in the iTunes store. iPhone owners have been expressing their displeasure at the blocking of Apple Pay by MCX members by rating and reviewing the app.

At the time of writing, the app had accumulated 2,856 1-star reviews against a total of just 30 reviews giving it 2 stars or more …  Read more

MCX: Merchants accepting both CurrentC and Apple Pay ‘entirely possible’ in the future

Apple Pay CurrentC

Earlier this week, retailers CVS and Rite Aid blocked NFC payments at their stores following the launch of Apple Pay because of their existing commitment to MCX’s CurrentC platform. Nevertheless, MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson assures that merchants accepting both CurrentC and Apple Pay “could be entirely possible” in the future.

The blockade has ignited somewhat of a controversy between Apple Pay and MCX, only worsened by the fact that it was confirmed that CurrentC suffered a security breach earlier this morning. MCX, or Merchant Customer Exchange, consists of a number of high-profile retailers that grouped together to work on their own CurrentC contactless payments platform. Read more

MCX’s CurrentC, the infamous Apple Pay competitor, says its already been hacked

Screenshot 2014-10-29 11.47.09

CurrentC, the much discussed infamous competitor to the Apple Pay mobile payments platform, has some more bad press coming its way. According to an email sent out this morning to its pilot program customers, the MCX service has already been hacked. According to the notice, “unauthorized third parties” obtained email address information for an unannounced number of users:

Thank you for your interest in CurrentC. You are receiving this message because you are either a participant in our pilot program or requested information about CurrentC. Within the last 36 hours, we learned that unauthorized third parties obtained the e-mail addresses of some of you. Based on investigations conducted by MCX security personnel, only these e-mail addresses were involved and no other information.

In an abundance of caution, we wanted to make you aware of this incident and urge you not to open links or attachments from unknown third parties. Also know that neither CurrentC nor Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) will ever send you emails asking for your financial account, social security number or other personally identifiable information. So if you are ever asked for this information in an email, you can be confident it is not from us and you should not respond.

MCX is continuing to investigate this situation and will provide updates as necessary. We take the security of your information extremely seriously, apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your support of CurrentC.

For those not following the MCX vs. Apple Pay saga, MCX powers a payments platform utilized by key retailers such as WalMart, CVS, and RiteAid. After initially supporting NFC-based payments via Apple Pay and Google Wallet, those aforementioned retailers shut down their industry standard NFC-based payment processing systems in favor of the CurrentC app from MCX.

MCX has since responded to this controversy on its website, and Apple CEO Tim Cook referred to the entire situation as a “skirmish.” Meanwhile, reports have indicated that retailers are playing along with MCX in order to avoid fines discussed in early contractual agreements. Nonetheless, Apple Pay has already amassed over a million activations, becoming the most ubiquitous mobile payments platform in just about a week.

MCX has confirmed that the email to customers is legitimate and said the following:

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LG announces impressive 31-inch 4K monitor with Mac compatibility for $1,399

LG-4K-display-mac

Click to enlarge, note Mac interface for scale

Update: The monitor doesn’t actually cost $2,499—that is the Australian price. In the U.S., the monitor will be shipping for a much more reasonable $1,399.

LG Electronics on Tuesday unveiled its new 31-inch Digital Cinema 4K monitor (4096×2160 px) for $1,399. Apple users will be pleased to hear that the monitor is compatible with both Mac and Thunderbolt. The monitor includes a Mini DisplayPort (in addition to 2 HDMI ports and 1 DisplayPort), which uses the same physical port as Thunderbolt enabling Mac users to drive the 4K display over a single Mini DisplayPort 1.2 cable.

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FTC suing AT&T for throttling unlimited data user speeds, carrier calls claims “baseless”

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has announced that it is suing AT&T for “deceptive and unfair data throttling”. The FTC’s announcement seems to target AT&T’s practice of lowering data transfer speeds for customers with unlimited data plans versus customers with tiered data plans now offered. From the FTC’s press release:

“AT&T promised its customers ‘unlimited’ data, and in many instances, it has failed to deliver on that promise,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “The issue here is simple: ‘unlimited’ means unlimited.”

AT&T has called the FTC’s allegations baseless adding that the carrier has been “completely transparent” with its subscribers.

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