T-Mobile to advertise to unlocked iPhone customers, sway them away from AT&T promising $1500 savings over 2 years

report surfaced this morning about T-Mobile sending a memo to its sales staff that encourages them to sell against Apple’s iPhone beginning Sept. 21. Unsurprisingly, the memo confirmed T-Mobile would not be a carrier for the next-generation iPhone due out next month. Adding a bit to this morning’s story, TmoNews followed up with a new flyer that T-Mobile aims to show customers. The flyer boasts just how much iPhone users will save if they ditch AT&T and bring their unlocked iPhone to T-Mobile. Magenta is promising customers can save up to $1,500 over two years if they switch. T-Mobile’s single line offering actually sounds fabulous, as it offers customers truly unlimited data, text and minutes for only $75. That seems like a plan you can’t beat…unless you want 3G speeds. T-Mobile made a recent push to iPhone-compatible 1900MHz 3G network (and 4G at WWDC), but we are not sure how well it is doing on that front. Until then, EDGE 2.5G is as fast as you will get.

T-Mobile has not been able to sign up as an official iPhone carrier, so it has always made strides to welcome unlocked iPhone users. We previously reported there are roughly 1 million iPhone users on T-Mobile’s network. T-Mobile offers a MicroSIM kit to make the switch on your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S a little easier. An updated version of the kit will hit stores beginning Aug. 29.

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T-Mobile wants its staff to sell against the iPhone on Sept. 21

In what should not be a surprise to anyone, it looks like T-Mobile won’t carry Apple’s next-generation iPhone. In a memo to employees, leaked by TmoNews, T-Mobile is encouraging its retail staff to begin “selling against the iPhone” on Sept. 21. Of course, Sept. 21 is the rumored launch date for the latest handset out of Cupertino. T-Mobile is probably just making an assumption, rather than having inside knowledge, but you never know.

T-Mobile has been battling for the iPhone for years and does not have much to show for it. Last holiday quarter alone, the nation’s fourth-largest carrier lost 802,000 contract customers (many of whom moved to pre-paid plans).

T-Mobile hosts over a million iPhone customers on its network. Thanks to T-Mobile’s recent push to 1900MHz 3G network (and 4G at WWDC), customers are able to enjoy magenta’s network. Luckily, for those who want to take the unlocked route, another leaked memo today shows that T-Mobile will sell an updated MicroSIM kit that allows customers to use their iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S on the network. The new “Monthly4G microSIM kits” will begin arriving in stores Aug. 29 and will allow for T-Mobile’s awesome new unlimited data plan to be used. [TmoNews]

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Verizon spanked by FCC for charging extra for tethering/apps, should drop extra fee in short order

Verizon iPhone Personal Hotspot settings (Image: TechCrunch)

Verizon was fined a measly $1.25 million today for blocking access to tethering apps mostly on the Android platform. That does not apply to most iOS users (currently), however. That is because this ruling —for now— only affects LTE 4G devices. With the next-generation iPhone, which will launch in mid-September, heavily rumored to be the first iPhone to include LTE access, this will affect those choosing to go with Verizon Wireless for their fancy new iPhone.

The ruling asserts that Verizon must not charge an additional fee for tethering on its devices—so long as they are not on the grandfathered unlimited data plans. The iPhone has included tethering support since iOS 3.0, and the feature was taken to the next level by Apple and Verizon Wireless with the launch of the Verizon iPhone 4 and the wireless Personal Hotspot feature in early 2011. The feature was soon spread to iPhone carriers globally with iOS 4.3.

Earlier this year, Apple brought the Personal Hotspot feature to its tablet with the LTE iPad. Something notable with Apple and Verizon’s agreement for the iPad is that the wireless tethering feature is included in the pre-paid data plans. If a user pays a certain amount for data, they will not have to pay anything extra to access the wireless tethering system. With the LTE iPhone, according to today’s FCC ruling, users will have the same, great experience.

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Verizon to introduce shared data plans June 28, reflects reality of multiple device users

According to a report from AllThingsD, Verizon Wireless will soon change the way it charges customers for cellular/data plans in a major way. Rather than charging customers for phones calls or messages sent, the report claimed Verizon would charge “almost exclusively based on how much data” is consumed. The new “Share Everything” plans will also be the first in the United States that allows users to share their data with up to 10 devices through a single account:

The plans, known as “Share Everything,” allow users an unlimited number of calls and texts and also allow data usage to be pooled among up to 10 devices on one account. With the move, Verizon becomes the first U.S. carrier to offer the ability for customers to share a bucket of data across multiple devices.

AllThingsD noted that AT&T also has plans for shared data options, but it did not provide more details. As for Verizon’s new plans, which will apparently kick-in June 28, the report explained the cost of the data plan and pricing metrics based on a per-device fee. In other words, you will have to pay roughly $40 per smartphone ($10 per tablet), and then opt for either a $50 1GB data plan or a $100 10GB plan. While the report claimed the new pricing should not impact the cost of plans for users who continue consuming the same amount of data, it is clear that those signing a new plan for a single smartphone are getting a bit less for their money:

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T-Mobile TV ad compares iPhone 4S on AT&T to its 4G network

As part of its new “Alter Ego” ad campaign, T-Mobile posted the above TV commercial comparing the speed of the iPhone 4S on AT&T to devices on its 4G network. The carrier recently did a similar comparison when launching its Test Drive tool for comparing its 4G devices with the iPhone on other networks. In related news, yesterday we reported T-Mobile was preparing to rollout an iPhone-compatible 4G HSPA+ 19000 MHz network to various markets by the end of the year.

Although many thought the comparison of the 3G iPhone on AT&T to 4G Android devices on T-Mobile was unfair, Apple is rumored to launch a new LTE iPhone following the introduction of the new 4G iPad last March. Recent reports indicated Qualcomm was having trouble meeting demand for LTE chips likely to land in the next-gen iPhone, indicating T-Mobile will likely have to take a new approach to its ads come October.
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Apple LTE chip supplier Qualcomm unable to meet demand, could push back next iPhone launch

According to a report from Reuters, Apple’s LTE chip supplier Qualcomm is having “trouble meeting demand” for smartphone chips and will continue experiencing manufacturing constraints throughout the rest of the year. Qualcomm Chief Executive Paul Jacobs told analysts on a conference call yesterday, “At this stage we cannot secure enough supply to meet the increasing demand we are experiencing.”

With Apple’s next-generation iPhone expected to include LTE capabilities like the recently launched third-gen iPad, many are speculating Qualcomm’s supply issues could lead to delays. It would also make the rumored September or October unveiling and holiday launch all the more likely opposed to June. Is it possible Qualcomm’s supply constraints have anything to do with Apple buying up its capacity?

Apple recently began internally seeding prototype N96— a faster iPhone with 1GB of RAM and an A5X variant to test the performance of the new chip on iPhones.

Qualcomm’s Chief Financial Officer Bill Keitel told Reuters the constraints have lead to increased operating expenses: Read more

Report: Four carriers fight for fastest 3G and 4G speeds, only two debut on top

 

PC World tested 3G and 4G wireless data transfer speeds for the top four carriers —both indoors and outside with multiple devices across 13 major cities in 130 testing locations— and discovered some surprising results.

During average wireless speed tests for 3G networks with the smartphones pictured below, T-Mobile took home the fastest download and upload speed prize at 3.84 Mbps and 1.44 Mbps, respectively. AT&T landed the No. 2 spot with its 2.62 Mbps download speed and 0.85-Mbps upload speed.

The slower 3G network provider reclaimed its pride and rose to fame with its 4G wireless speeds, however. AT&T garnered 9.56 Mbps while downloading and 5.15 Mbps for uploads. Verizon debuted at second with its 7.35 Mbps download speed and 5.86 Mbps upload speed.

The overall winners are named below.

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$1,000 Apple analyst shares what he learned in Asia on the next iPhone

We reported this morning that Apple has now begun internally seeding a prototype next-gen iPhone with the A5X chip that debuted in the new iPad and 1GB of RAM. Based on his recent trips to China and Taiwan, Topeka Capital Market analyst Brian White, who has Apple’s price target at $1,001 as of this morning, shared some new details of what he described as “the buzz around the new iPhone 5.” According to White (via Barron’s), he expects a “sleek” new iPhone to launch in the December quarter. He also expects the device to sport a new 4-inch display and include 4G LTE capabilities.

White set his price target based on an expected August or September unveiling of the product. He also claimed the launch “could be extraordinary” by dwarfing previous launches and driving the stock closer to our $1,001 price target.” According to the report, Apple is expected to start component production for the “iPhone 5″ in June.

White also claimed sales of the new iPad could have been higher if not for a production issue with panel makers related to the new Retina display. Last month, Apple announced its “strongest iPad launch yet” with sales of three million new iPads on its debut weekend…
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Following closely behind Australia: Denmark, Sweden and UK’s advertising authorities looks at iPad ‘4G’ marketing claim

Yesterday, we reported that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission wants Apple to lose the “4G” marketing for the third-generation iPad, alleging it misleads consumers into thinking the device is capable of accessing 4G networks in Australia. Reports from ABC news quickly followed and claimed Apple would give refunds to customers and publish clarification regarding incompatibility with the Telstra network. Apple’s AU website now has “Ultrafast wireless” instead of “Ultrafast 4G” on the main features page, despite still advertising 4G as a highlight of the device through its international sales pages.

Now, authorities in other countries where the new iPad is not compatible with local 4G networks are investigating the issue. Authorities in at least the United Kingdom and Sweden confirmed they are considering investigations…
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Is Apple falsely advertising 4G on its iPads in Australia?

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is seeking to have Apple drop the “4G” from the advertising/website of its new iPad products with cell modems…

The ACCC alleges that Apple’s recent promotion of the new “iPad with WiFi + 4G” is misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product “iPad with WiFi + 4G” can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case.

Optus and Telstra do not use the compatible LTE radio frequencies as Apple’s iPad; therefore, new iPads are not compatible with the LTE 4G networks in Australia. Both mobile carriers already dropped the “4G” naming on the new iPad on their websites. However, Apple does display “iPad +4G” on the Apple.com.au website.

The speed that the iPad gets in Australia is pretty solid…

Importantly, Apple has the subtext:

The iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G model can roam worldwide on fast GSM/UMTS networks, including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA. When you travel internationally, you can use a micro-SIM card from a local carrier. You can also connect to the 4G LTE networks of AT&T in the U.S. and Bell, Rogers, and Telus in Canada.

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More importantly, it does not look like Australians play high and fast with marketing terms like “4G” as we do here in the United States, which now describes HSPA+ on AT&T iPhone 4S’s. Read more

iOS 5.1 code shows iPhone LTE call and FaceTime switching?

With the introduction of a new LTE iPad, there is no shortage of rumors about a 4G iPhone not being far behind. We saw LTE in iOS code strings before the new Pad was introduced, but it was only speculation whether those were for iPhone, the new 4G iPad, or both.

Today, code strings in iOS 5.1 discovered by Cydia developer Krishna Sagar contain the text: “Enabling 4G will end your phone call. Are you sure you want to enable 4G?” It also has various other mentions of enabling and disabling 4G when on phone calls and FaceTime. While most of the references to 4G in the strings could be for the iPad, references to calling features is pretty solid evidence that Apple is at the very least testing a LTE iPhone.

AT&T recently began calling its HSPA+ service 4G on iPhone 4S, but switching that on and off would not disable a phone call or a FaceTime chat.

There is also a full reference to FaceTime over 4G in the code strings (below):

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New iPad users blowing by their monthly plan in hours thanks to LTE

While it is no secret that LTE devices are capable of burning through data quicker than their 3G counterparts burn, several reports claim many new iPad users are concerned about how quickly they are reaching their data cap. In some cases, users reported reaching their 2GB monthly cap within hours of just streaming video. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journalthatprofiled several disgruntled AT&T and Verizon customers, Apple’s “promise of superfast wireless connections collides with the reality of what those services cost.”

Doing some math that any consumer could: LTE speeds often hit 2 Megabytes/second. You would hit 2GB in 1000 seconds—or under 17 minutes.

One man profiled in the story, Brandon Wells, went through 2GB of his Verizon plan streaming March Madness college basketball games to his new iPad. WSJreports:

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