After several months of speculation, Amazon has just unveiled its own smartphone, dubbed the Fire Phone on stage at an event in Seattle, Washington. As expected, the device features the much rumored a 3D display. You can pre-order the Fire Phone for $199/299 with a contract on Amazon. Off-contract, the device runs $649/749 for 32GB and 64GB of storage respectively.
So I’m thrilled to congratulate my team on the launch of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in the Seattle area for our existing LG G Flex and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Light customers. Our friends at MetroPCS were the first to launch VoLTE in the U.S. back in 2012, and we’ve been working hard on a LTE Advanced version of VoLTE, which we plan to roll out to more T-Mobile customers throughout the coming year.
T-Mobile’s CTO Neville Ray noted that the new technology, which brings voice calls onto the same LTE radio layer previously reserved for data, will allow “faster call setup times (almost twice as fast as a non-VoLTE call setup) and the ability to enjoy lightening fast LTE data speeds while on a call.” It will also support the HD Voice or wide-band audio feature that Apple already supports. Ray explained how the technology works: Read more
Was Apple’s long time advertising partner Lee Clow— the guy behind Apple’s 1984 Super Bowl ad, PC vs Mac, and many others— really hinting at an Apple Super Bowl ad for this Sunday? Would you like to see a commercial from Apple at the game this weekend?
NFL Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks officially kicks off this Sunday at 6:30pm ET in chilly New Jersey, and this year there are a few options for live streaming the game from your iPhone or iPad. It’s going to be tough to get an official stream on your iPhone if you’re not a Verizon and NFL subscriber, but all iPad (and Mac) users will be able to get an official stream of pre-game coverage and the actual game for free through FOX in the US. Head below for all the info on what apps will have live streams and the best places to find Super Bowl ads, replays, and more. Read more
We’ve already seen retailers and major venues like Macy’s, the Apple Store, MLB, and even CES implement iBeacon technology into their overall visiting experience, and today inMarket is kicking off its Mobile to Mortar campaign (via TechCrunch) to bring the Bluetooth LE beacons to over 200 grocery store locations and more. Read more
After confirming a partnership with Apple to bring products to market in 2013 last week, T-Mobile today announced plans to bring its enhanced iPhone-compatible 4G network to even more areas. Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile USA Neville Ray announced on the company’s blog that the carrier’s enhanced network will now be available in Atlanta, Seattle, and Minneapolis. T-Mobile will also continue to enhance its network in Oakland, San Francisco, and the Silicon Valley:
Continuing our fast-paced work to strengthen our already competitive 4G experience in major metro areas across the country, we’ve just announced technology advancements in three additional major metro areas, including Atlanta, Seattle and Minneapolis. Additionally, we have continued to expand on enhancements made last month in Oakland, San Francisco and the Silicon Valley to cover more surrounding cities.
T-Mobile also pointed out: “Internal tests of unlocked iPhone 4S devices running over 4G (HSPA+) on our 1900 MHz network recorded on average 70% faster download speeds than iPhone 4S devices on AT&T’s network.”
A full list of areas included are below: Read more
Since T-Mobile is being cagey (likely for regulatory reasons) about the locations of its re-farmed, iPhone-compatible HSPA+ network, a group at Airportal.de has filled us in. The 3G/4G locales are submitted by iPhone 3G and newer owners (or non-AWS 4G phone users) who are seeing 3G/4G on T-Mobile. T-Mobile claims its HSPA+ network shows speeds up to 70 percent higher than AT&T’s network.
The map appears to be filling out and goes way beyond T-Mobile’s stated Las Vegas, Seattle, Washington, DC, and New York metro area rollouts. We first discovered T-Mobile’s 1900MHz network at Moscone center in San Francisco ahead of WWDC this year.
Milan Milanovic (@milanmilanovic) October 03, 2012
The U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement in April with three of the publishers involved in the eBook price-fixing antitrust suit against Apple. Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster were part of the settlement, which would allow Amazon to return to its previous wholesale model and the publishers to set and reduce prices for eBook titles freely. PaidContent provided an update today on the case by reporting Apple has filed a document with the Southern District of New York. It called the proposed settlements with the three publishers “fundamentally unfair, unlawful, and unprecedented.” Apple argued that since it is not settling, the settlement would unlawfully end contracts those publishers have with Apple.
The proposed settlement would require the three settling publishers — HarperCollins, Hachette and Simon & Schuster — to terminate their existing agency pricing contracts with Apple. Apple says that isn’t fair: “The Government is seeking to impose a remedy on Apple before there has been any finding of an antitrust violation.” This case, the company states, revolves around “an alleged conspiracy to force Amazon to adopt agency.” So a settlement “enjoining collusion or precluding publishers from forcing agency on Amazon would be appropriate,” but Apple is entitled to defend its contracts in court.
Apple is hoping the courts decide to reject the settlements or delay a ruling until after the June 2013 trial. Apple also discussed Amazon’ role in the case. It claimed the government has “unwittingly placed a thumb on the scales in favor of Amazon”:
Update: There has been some doubt regarding Bloomberg’s initial report and whether or not this is a new App Store policy introduced by Apple. One 9to5Mac reader writes:
This App is not doing any thing special that other subscription services don’t already do on iOS. This is nothing more than a remote desktop app (like iswiffer or many others) that let you play flash games. This is just locked down to their own server and their own flash games optimized for touch. You must have internet access for this to work (like all other remote desktop apps). This is not some new business model for the app store.
Apple will now begin letting video game publishers offer their titles to iPad users via a subscription model, a revenue stream for publishers and purchasing option for users that was previously only available for digital publications. Bloomberg reports:
Big Fish Games, a Seattle-based game publisher, won approval from Apple to become the first to offer users access to dozens of titles for $6.99 a month. Until now, games have only been available one at a time, requiring users to download individual applications.
So essentially, a user who buys into a Big Fish Games subscription will be able to play unlimited games that the publisher makes available through a dedicated app. Games will be streamed to a users iPad from Big Fish’s data centers, and will initially require the user have Wi-Fi access to play. As always, Apple will still collect a 30% cut of revenues.
When it comes to the process of Big Fish convincing Apple of the model, the company’s founder Paul Thelen had this to say: Read more