Seattle Stories February 23, 2017

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Apple is known for its secrecy when it comes to ongoing product development, but the company is operating a little different with its efforts around artificial intelligence and machine learning. Apple’s director of machine learning, Carlos Guestrin, openly discussed Apple’s plans to grow its engineering presence in Seattle in a new GeekWire interview.

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Seattle Stories September 24, 2015

Tim Cook among tech leaders meeting with Chinese President as Obama threatens import restrictions

Apple CEO Tim Cook is one of a large number of tech leaders meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a visit to Seattle. It’s believed that the Chinese head of state is trying to enlist support from U.S. tech companies in his attempt to persuade President Obama not to implement threatened import restrictions against China. Obama had threatened the action over hacking and intellectual property theft by Chinese firms.

A report by the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property earlier this year (via the WSJ) found that intellectual property theft amounted to $300B a year, much of it carried out by hacking systems belonging to U.S. firms.

It’s been suggested that President Xi Jinping wants to emphasise the interdependence between U.S. tech companies and China as both a manufacturing base and a growing market. China is already a larger market for Apple than Europe, and looks set to overtake the USA, with Apple reporting 112% revenue growth in its Q3 earnings call.

Other tech CEOs present include Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, IBM’s Ginni Rometty, Intel’s Brian Krzanich, Microsoft’s Satyta Nadella and Qualcomm’s Steven Mollenkopf.

Photo: Pool/Getty Images

Seattle Stories December 9, 2014

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Apple’s apparent trend of expanding its R&D efforts beyond Cupertino continues with the announcement of a “large research and development facility” in Japan.

While few details were given in local media reports (via Reuters), the source of the information appears rather reliable – a statement by Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo …  expand full story

Seattle Stories November 3, 2014

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Apple confirmed today that it has acquired cloud networking startup Union Bay Networks and will open a software engineering office in the company’s home town of Seattle. This will be Apple’s first time venturing into the city, though many other tech companies have already established offices in the area.

The first hints that an acquisition may have taken place came when GeekWire noticed that Union Bay’s co-founder Benn Bollay now lists himself as a manager at Apple on LinkedIn and seems to be attempting to recruit new workers in the area to the Cupertino tech giant. Bollay also wrote a post titled “Ever wanted to work at Apple, but didn’t want to live in Cupertino?” and removed it shortly thereafter.

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Seattle Stories June 18, 2014

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.

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Seattle Stories June 4, 2014

Amazon announces June 18 event for new device unveiling, expected to be a 3D smartphone

Amazon has just announced that it is holding a press event in Seattle on June 18th. The company says that it will unveil a new device at the event. Amazon is also letting anyone request an invite to it by simply filling out a form on its website.

Seattle Stories May 22, 2014

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Following announcements earlier this month from both AT&T and Verizon, T-Mobile announced today it’s introducing Voice over LTE support starting with the Seattle market:

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: expand full story

Seattle Stories January 31, 2014

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. expand full story

Seattle Stories January 6, 2014

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. expand full story

Seattle Stories December 10, 2012

factory-unlocked-iphone-4s-running-t-mobileAfter 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: expand full story

Seattle Stories November 7, 2012

T-Mobile expands better coverage and faster speeds for iPhone to three more metro areas

T-Mobile previously announced a $4 billion plan to improve its network, and the carrier is continuing expansion efforts today by revealing three new metro areas that now have enhanced coverage and faster speeds for unlocked devices like the iPhone.

The new areas include (via T-Mobile blog):

  • Washington D.C.: Alexandria, VA; Arlington, VA; Chevy Chase, MD; Falls Church, VA; Laurel, MD; McLean, VA; and Silver Spring, MD.
  • Baltimore: Glen Burnie and Towson, MD
  • Houston: Cypress, Jersey Village, Humble, Kingwood, and The Woodlands.

“Customers in these areas can now bring their unlocked iPhones to T-Mobile, experience a significant speed boost on our network, while also saving up to $50/month compared to AT&T,” said Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray in a press release.

T-Mobile specifically noted in its announcement that the unlocked iPhone 4S running 4G HSPA+ on its 1900 network experienced 70 percent faster download speeds  than the iPhone 4S on AT&T’s network during internal tests.

Get the full press release below.

Seattle Stories October 15, 2012

T-Mobile rolls out improved speeds and coverage for iPhone compatible 4G network in Kansas City

Despite rumors that T-Mobile is no longer using Apple or the iPhone in its “Unlimited & Unlocked” campaign, T-Mobile later confirmed its plans for unlocked iPhone customers would continue as planned. Today, the carrier announced improved coverage and speeds for customers using its iPhone-compatible 4G network in and around Kansas City. It also promised future announcements for Las Vegas and other markets later this year:

T-Mobile’s $4 billion plan to strengthen our already competitive 4G network is well underway. Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Kansas City is the latest market where T-Mobile customers will be able to benefit from enhanced voice and data coverage, as well as faster speeds on unlocked devices, including the iPhone… As T-Mobile network advancements continue in other cities, customers in some parts of Seattle, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and the New York metro area are already experiencing improved coverage and iPhone “speed sightings” on T-Mobile’s 4G network. Stay tuned – in addition to Kansas City and Las Vegas, T-Mobile will be announcing many other markets this year where we have strengthened our network.

Seattle Stories October 3, 2012

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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.

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Seattle Stories September 21, 2012

T-Mobile rolls out 42 Mbps iPhone-compatible network in Las Vegas on Monday, more cities coming by Christmas

Image Credit

T-Mobile announced Seattle as its first iPhone-compatible 3G/4G network today at the GigaOm Mobilize conference.  The 42MBps HSPA+ network will officially go live Monday and will roll out to other cities including Seattle, Washington, DC, and the New York metro area. It will also cover a ‘material’ part of T-Mobile’s U.S. coverage by the end of the year.

Why would you want to ride on T-Mobile’s network? As you can see above, the iPhone 5 uses 42Mb HSPA+ radios. So, you can get some pretty mean speeds (and even the older iPhones can still ride on the 14.4 networks). T-Mobile’s tests of unlocked iPhone 4S devices running over 4G (HSPA+) on its 1900 band have recorded 70 percent faster average download speeds than iPhone 4S on AT&T’s network.

Even on EDGE, the T-Mobile pre-paid plans are the best in the business. The $30 a month unlimited text/data plan with 100 minutes of talk is about the least-expensive plan you can find for an unlocked iPhone. Virgin offers the same.

Speaking of unlocking, we have a contest coming this weekend. Stay tuned!

Seattle Stories August 16, 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”: expand full story

Seattle Stories July 18, 2012

Verizon extends 4G LTE to 33 new markets, touts more coverage than competitors combined

Verizon Wireless plans to expand its 4G LTE coverage tomorrow to 33 new U.S. markets. The carrier will then boast 337 LTE markets, which places it ahead of competitors by a wide margin, and it hopes to reach 400 total by the end of 2012. Verizon also announced it is broadening coverage in 32 existing markets.

Check out the list below (via Verizon Wireless): 

  • The 33 new markets: El Dorado/Magnolia and Russellville, Ark.; New London County, Conn.; Fort Pierce/Vero Beach and Melbourne/Titusville, Fla.; Columbus and Rome, Ga.; Burley, Idaho; Mattoon, Ill.; Anderson and Muncie, Ind.; Manhattan/Junction City and McPherson, Kan.; Lafayette/New Iberia, La.; St. Joseph, Mo.; Bozeman/Livingston, Kalispell and Missoula, Mont.; Goldsboro/Kinston, Roanoke Rapids and Rocky Mount/Wilson, N.C.; Zanesville, Ohio; Meadville and Punxsutawney/DuBois/Clearfield, Pa.; Orangeburg, S.C.; Sherman/Denison, Texas; Cedar City and Logan, Utah; Rutland/Bennington, Vt.; Lynchburg and Winchester, Va.; Bellingham, Wash.; and Beckley, W.Va.
  • The 32 expanded markets: Mobile, Ala.; Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla.; Hilo, Honolulu and Kahului/Wailuku/Maui County, Hawaii; Blackfoot/Idaho Falls/Rexburg, Idaho; Peoria, Ill.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Wichita, Kan.; Baton Rouge, La.; Baltimore, Md.; Kansas City and Springfield, Mo.; Akron, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, Ohio; Allentown/Bethlehem, Harrisburg and Scranton/Wilkes Barre, Pa.; Columbia and Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.; Provo/Orem and Salt Lake City/Ogden, Utah; Fredericksburg, Va.; and Seattle, Wash.

“With more markets than all other U.S. wireless providers combined, our customers are the first to learn of the great advantages of the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network for streaming video, downloading files, uploading pictures and so much more, at consistently reliable fast data speeds,” said Verizon Wireless’ Chief Technical Officer Nicola Palmer.

Apple’s new iPad supports 4G LTE networks in the U.S. and Canada. The upcoming new iPhone is expected to feature LTE capability too.

This article is cross-posted on 9to5Google.

Seattle Stories November 22, 2011

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: expand full story

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