Prepaid mobile operators Straight Talk and Net10 will start selling the iPhone 5s and 5c at Walmart stores starting Dec. 13. Customers will have to pay sticker price for the devices ($549 to $649 for the 16 GB versions, though financing options are available), but they can tap into the two companies’ cheap no-contract smartphone data plans. Straight Talk’s start at $45 while Net10’s start at $50 and include 2.5 GB of data each month along with unlimited calls and texts. Both companies are mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) run by TracFone, which has seen a big spurt in growth recently thanks in part to these new smartphone-friendly plans.
Traveling up to the Great White North from the U.S.? AT&T customers who do so can take advantage of the country’s first LTE wireless roaming agreement: The carrier announced a deal with Rogers Communictions on Monday. It’s definitely a handy option, but be prepared to spend some serious money as the service costs more than your passport fee. AT&T hasn’t changed its Data Global Add-On packages so you’ll pay the following prices: 120MB for $30 a month, 300MB for $60 a month or 800MB for $120 per month.
Former Autonomy boss Mike Lynch has invested in a company called Neurence through his Invoke Capital fund. Based in Cambridge, the firm was itself formed by former employees of Autonomy’s Aurasma augmented-reality (AR) division after HP bought Autonomy. Neurence has a new iPhone AR app called Taggar, which lets users overlay their own photos, videos and stickers on top of real-world objects, for viewing by other users when they hold their phone up in front of the object. Invoke’s previous investment, in September, was a Cambridge security firm called Darktrace.
Wireless power company WiTricity announced on Thursday that it has entered an intellectual property licensing agreement with Toyota. The auto-maker will “offer wireless charging power capture devices on their future rechargeable hybrid electric and battery electric vehicles,” meaning that its cars won’t need to be physically plugged in for a re-charge. Instead, using WiTricity’s technology, the vehicles will get their battery charge without wires, presumably through a charging pad on the ground under the vehicle.