After facing a year of losses from subscribers fleeing its dying Nextel network, Sprint has started growing again, but that growth is being driven primarily by its MVNOs. Read more »
Samsung’s latest livestream teaser for its Mobile World Congress press conference hints that the Galaxy S5 is coming, along with a new interface and features. Read more »
The first price for LG’s Chromebase is out: Folks in Australia will pay $599 for the all-in-one Chrome OS desktop computer. After comparing Chromebook pricing between Australia and the U.S., it’s reasonable to think we’ll see a price under $500. Read more »
Virgin Atlantic is looking to make flying fancy again, with the help of some new wearable technology from Google and Sony. Read more »
Stripe’s mobile and online sellers can now list services and goods in the local currencies of 130 different countries, helping them break into international markets. But according to founder John Collison, Stripe has bigger global plans. Read more »
On a future airplane trip, take a peek into the flight deck and you might see the pilot using a Surface 2 tablet: The Federal Aviation Administration approved Microsoft’s slate for Class 1 or 2 Electronic Flight Bags this week. The approval is a meaningful step as Delta announced in September of last year that 11,000 of its pilots would start using Surface 2 tablets by then end of 2014. Surface 2 isn’t the only tablet in the sky though; airlines started using Apple iPads in early 2011 in the cockpit to replace paper charts, manuals and other flight documentation.
Update: this post was updated at 9am PT as it incorrectly said no airlines were currently using Surface 2 tablets yet.
Two major wireless charging groups, the Alliance for Wireless Power and the Power Matters Alliance, are banding together with their standards, which will make life easier for consumers who want to charge a tablet or smartphone without wires. Read more »
Israel’s Calcalist says bootstrapped Viber is negotiating a sale worth somewhere between $300 and 400 million — but who’s the mystery suitor? Read more »
The Finnish handset maker Jolla has open-sourced the browser that comes with its Sailfish operating system. The Sailfish browser is built on Mozilla’s Gecko engine and embedded in the Qt application framework using the EmbedLite API. Its open-sourcing means the community can now contribute to its improvement. “Our objective with the project is to make this the first step to get official support from Mozilla Corp. to a mobile browser based on Gecko and embedded in Qt,” Jolla co-founder Stefano Mosconi said in a statement.
To meet cost, Ting is selling the Nexus 5 for $96 more than it costs through Google Play. The MVNO wants you to connect a Nexus to its network. It just would rather you purchase it from Google. Read more »
Amdocs is selling a technology to carriers that will dynamically morph the physical contours of their networks to provide the best connections to the best-paying customers. Cool, yes, but it has serious implications for net neutrality. Read more »
BlackBerry might not be doing too well, but BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) has seen a recent uptick in popularity, thanks to new Android and iOS apps. It comes as a surprise, then, that the executive VP in charge of BBM, Andrew Brocking, has left the company. BlackBerry confirmed Brocking’s departure on Monday to BGR. CNET is reporting that it was Brocking’s decision to leave the company, and John Sims, head of global solution, will now manage the BBM group. BlackBerry CEO John Chen had previously mentioned the company’s hopes for turning BBM into a revenue stream, though it is unclear how it plans to do so and if Brocking’s departure will have an effect.
Google’s Nexus 7 debuted last July with a Wi-Fi model, followed by an LTE version. It’s only now that Verizon is selling the device as it took six months to certify the tablet for the carrier’s LTE network. Read more »
Nokia is set to launch its first Android smartphone at Mobile World Congress later this month, according to the Wall Street Journal. Read more »
The Native Union Jump is a convenient way to charge your phone while on the go — even when a power source isn’t available. Read more »
Brave man: Bill Gates showed up on Reddit’s Ask Me Anything Monday morning. Here are some takeaways. Read more »
Just four years in and already some are saying the tablet market has peaked. It’s easy to draw that conclusion if you look at slowing and seasonal sales numbers but there are several reasons it’s too soon to dismiss the potential of tablets. Read more »
Chaatz, a messaging app released today for iPhone, will begin to install its services onto feature phones later this year. Read more »
MVNO FreedomPop has decide to take a crack at its own unlimited voice-and-text plan with a new $4.58-per-month all-you-can-eat option, which also includes 500 MB of free 3G and 4G data. Read more »
Signals from the U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission are making Sprint and its SoftBank owners reconsider any possible bid for rival T-Mobile, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. Merging two of the four remaining nationwide mobile carriers was always going to be a difficult sell, but the Journal reports that Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son were surprised at the amount of resistance they encountered in recent talks with regulators. New FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has told Gigaom he doesn’t want to see the current level of mobile competition in the U.S. reduced. That doesn’t rule a Sprint-T-Mo deal out entirely, but it doesn’t look good either.
The government of the United Arab Emirates hopes to deliver official documents such as ID cards and driving licenses via drone, Reuters reported on Monday. The quadcopters will apparently carry fingerprint and retina recognition systems in order to ensure the cargo ends up in the right hands. A 6-month trial will be used to assess how the small unmanned vehicles cope with Gulf heat and sand, and if all goes well the system could start rolling out within a year. This is the first case of a government revealing plans to use drones for logistics, as companies such as DHL and Amazon also hope to do.
Asus has entered the small Windows tablet market with the Asus VivoTab Note 8 appearing in the Microsoft Store. The slate costs $30 more than similar devices but offers an advanced stylus with pressure sensitivity. Read more »
HTC told Reuters it needs to refocus on the mid-range market ahead of a disappointing Q4 earnings announcement. Read more »
As part of its ongoing quest to beef up its central and eastern European operations, Deutsche Telekom has bought up the 39.23 percent of shares in T-Mobile Czech Republic that it did not already own. The shares, purchased from a private equity–led consortium, cost the carrier group €800 million (USD $1.1 billion). Deutsche Telekom bought GTS Central Europe in November last year, partly for its fixed-line infrastructure in the Czech Republic, and now that plan is coming together. “T-Mobile Czech Republic is on a clear strategic path to enhance its fixed-line capabilities and foster its market position in B2B,” a Monday statement read.
The first story from Pierre Omidyar-funded The Intercept describes a shift toward relying on signals rather than human intelligence for targeting drone victims, and claims this tactic kills more innocent people. Read more »
Don’t look at Google’s Chromecast as a $35 piece of hardware. With the new SDK, Chromecast isn’t just a media extender; it’s a platform that developers can use for second screen apps. On this week’s podcast we discuss the possibilities. Read more »
The patent battle between Nokia and HTC has come to an end. Nokia on Friday announced the companies have settled all patent litigation, and have entered into a patent licensing and technology collaboration agreement. The full terms of the agreement have not been disclosed, but HTC will make payments to Nokia, and both companies will have access to HTC’s LTE patents. Prior to this arrangement, the companies squared off in court most recently over a sales injunction against the HTC One and HTC One Mini in the UK. The timing of this deal is key, as Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s device business is expected to close this quarter.
Samsung is trying to renew interest in the Galaxy S4 with a new paint job and leather-like back cover. Read more »
LinkedIn is nixing two services in an effort to “focus” its product line. Read more »
If you have a smart home and want to make it a bit more automated, modes might be your new best friend. Here’s how to take advantage of them. Read more »
Canada’s Telus is replacing key cards with SIM cards as the security credentials necessary to enter its buildings. Employees need only wave their NFC phones over a contactless sensor to gain entry. Read more »
A leaked screenshot might provide a first glimpse at HTC’s forthcoming Sense 6.0 software. Read more »
Critics charge that the NBC News report that your smartphones and computers get hacked the minute you arrive in Russia is erroneous and misleading. Read more »
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company has bought back $14 billion in stock since reporting its Q1 financial results. He also said the company is working on some new product categories. Read more »
Qualcomm is on a mission to dominate the guts of our smartphones, and this year it will get one step closer as the first smartphone debuts using Qualcomm components from the antenna to the processor. Read more »
Based on Square’s marketing it might seem like an iPhone and a Square Reader go hand in hand, but half of all Square’s merchants are asserting their love for Android smartphones. Read more »
HTC didn’t have a great 2013, but the company hopes that a follow-up to the HTC One and a wearable device will reverse its trajectory this year. Read more »
Pinterest has cleaned up its mobile website in the hopes of attracting a more global user base. Read more »
As Devicescape’s customer base grows, so does its virtual Wi-Fi network as every new user begins sniffing out new open Wi-Fi access points to add to its footprint. Read more »
The caller ID and reverse phone directory app, which is only now seriously turning its sights on Western markets, is also touting major growth, having jumped from 10 million users in January 2013 to 45 million today. Read more »