NEWS ABOUT: cell phone industry

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T-Mobile: Join and We'll Pay Your Termination Fees

New users can get up to $650 in credit

(Newser) - Wireless carriers know it can be a pricey headache to switch from one provider to another—and T-Mobile is hoping to get a leg up on its competitors by covering those costs, the New York Times reports. Engadget explains the process, for which customers of AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint... More »

Microsoft Buys Nokia's Phone Side for $7.2B

And it may have nabbed a new CEO in the process

(Newser) - Two firms largely left in the dust by the smartphone era are set to become one with Microsoft's $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia's cell phone business. "It's a bold step into the future," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who plans to step down within... More »

40 Years Ago Today: World's 1st Cell Phone Call

NYC call was made on a 'brick'

(Newser) - Give someone a call on your smartphone today, and you'll be celebrating history: It's been 40 years since the first mobile phone call was made, the Guardian reports. That first call was placed by Motorola worker Martin Cooper in New York City on April 3, 1973, using a... More »

Petition Gets Obama to Back Unlocking Cell Phones

FCC backs legal unlocking, too

(Newser) - It now takes 100,000 signatures to get an official White House response to a We the People petition—and angry cell phone users got more than 114,000 after it became illegal to unlock your cell phone on Jan. 26. That's the day the Librarian of Congress ruled... More »

Smartphone Thefts Soaring

Carriers moving to make stolen phones worthless

(Newser) - Police departments, lawmakers, and wireless companies are scrambling to tackle a crime wave veteran cops call "the new purse-snatching," the AP reports. Cell phone thefts, especially of the priciest smartphones, are soaring nationwide and now make up close to half of all robberies in cities including New York... More »

T-Mobile, MetroPCS Agree to Merge

The move leaves Sprint in a tough spot

(Newser) - Deutsche Telekom, the parent company of T-Mobile USA, has agreed to a merger with the smaller MetroPCS Communications, a move that inches the two struggling competitors closer to industry leaders Verizon and AT&T, reports Reuters . The company will retain the name T-Mobile, and Deutsche will hold 74% of the... More »

Cell Coverage Brings Deadly Risk for Tower Climbers

50 workers died between 2003 and 2011

(Newser) - Next time someone is carping about spotty cell coverage, keep in mind this investigation by ProPublica and PBS' Frontline: Fifty tower climbers died in accidents between 2003 and 2011 as the industry raced to get everyone connected. A slew of factors contributes, from inadequate training, to shoddy equipment, to a... More »

Have an AT&T Unlimited Plan? Not Anymore

Grandfathered in, you say? Well you're now capped at 3GB

(Newser) - Amid growing controversy over data "throttling" —in which smartphone users on so-called unlimited data plans risked seeing their speeds slowed dramatically—AT&T is taking a simple step: It's effectively ending unlimited data. The company is setting a cap of three gigabytes' usage, beyond which "unlimited"... More »

AT&T Customers Stunned by 'Unlimited Data' Limit

Top data users find smartphones 'throttled'

(Newser) - AT&T stopped offering unlimited data plans in 2010, but some of the customers who already had the plans are finding "unlimited" doesn't necessarily mean what they thought it meant. AT&T has started "throttling" the top 5% of data users, cutting their download speeds by up... More »

How Siri Could Hurt Everyone's Cell Service

She's a giant 'bandwidth guzzler': Paul Farhi

(Newser) - Siri is knowledgeable, convenient, even funny—but she has a dark side. "Siri’s dirty little secret is that she’s a bandwidth guzzler, the digital equivalent of a 10-miles-per-gallon Hummer H1," writes Paul Farhi in the Washington Post . Indeed, the iPhone 4S, which brought us Siri,... More »

Nokia Posts $1.4B Loss in 4th Quarter

But sales of Windows smartphones are meeting expectations

(Newser) - Mobile phone maker Nokia Corp. today posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $1.4 billion as sales slumped 21% even as the company's first Windows smartphones hit markets in Europe and Asia. The loss compares with a profit of $981 million in the same period a year earlier. Nokia... More »

Verizon Scraps $2 Fee

'Convenience' charge dies a quick death amid outcry

(Newser) - About that new $2 "convenience fee" for Verizon Wireless customers: Never mind. The company backtracked quickly today and scrapped its plan to charge customers who make one-time payments online or by phone, reports the Wall Street Journal . Online petitions in protest sprang up immediately , and federal regulators said they... More »

Customers Not Happy About Verizon's New $2 Fee

Complaints flood Twitter

(Newser) - Will outraged consumers convince Verizon to backtrack on its newest fee , just as they did with Bank of America ? Perhaps: The New York Times notes that yesterday's announcement of the $2 fee, which will be levied against customers who make one-time bill payments using a credit or debit... More »

More People Want Androids Than iPhones

Google's operating system barely edges out Apple's

(Newser) - Is Apple losing its grip on smartphone buyers? Google's Android is already the most widely-used operating system , and a new survey shows it may also be the most wanted. In a poll of US cell phone consumers this year, Nielsen found that 31% planned to buy a new smartphone... More »

Beware: Your Cell Phone Is Watching You

Wireless firms track users' every move

(Newser) - Your cell phone knows when you're sleeping, when you're awake, and whether you prefer air or land travel. German politician Malte Spitz recently took Deutsche Telekom to court to determine exactly how much it knows about his whereabouts, the New York Times reports. Data in hand, he saw that Deutsche... More »

Dear Feds: Don't You Dare Let AT&T Buy T-Mobile

Say goodbye to competition, hello to gouging

(Newser) - AT&T's bid to buy T-Mobile is brilliant, writes Brett Arends for MarketWatch —for AT&T. For everyone else, it's "disastrous," if not downright anticompetitive. "It will let AT&T shut down a competitor, jack up prices, and save on customer service," he writes in... More »

Introducing the Planet's Worst Cell Phone

Everything about the 'truly dreadful' Samsung Craft is a 'nightmare'

(Newser) - MetroPCS is a cell phone carrier known mostly for its low cost—so when it announced plans to offer 4G coverage, for a cheaper price than most other carriers charge for 3G, and introduced a 4G phone, it "sounded too good to be true" to Farhad Manjoo. "And,... More »

Android World's No. 1 Smartphone Platform

Passes Symbian; iPhone at No. 3

(Newser) - Google’s Android is now the world’s most popular smartphone platform, having edged past Nokia’s Symbian in the fourth quarter of 2010. Vendors shipped 33.3 million Android-based phones that quarter, beating Symbian’s 31 million, a report out today finds. That’s good news for Android phone... More »

Cell Phones Can Be Saviors for World's Poor: UN

Report shows gadgets can lead to better livelihoods

(Newser) - For the financially comfortable, cell phones may make life a little easier—but for those in less-developed countries, the gadgets can be the difference between a life of poverty one of relative comfort, a UN report finds. “Mobiles have spawned a wealth of micro-enterprises, offering work to people with... More »

FCC Battles Cell Phone 'Bill Shock'

Haiti volunteer hit with $30K in roaming charges

(Newser) - A FEMA worker supporting the earthquake relief effort in Haiti was hit with a $30,000 bill for roaming charges when she arrived back in the US. Federal regulators say this kind of cell phone "bill shock" is all too common, and they hope to curb it with regulations... More »

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