T-Mobile is continuing to shake things up.
The No. 4 U.S. carrier on Friday announced a promotion that will offer its entire lineup of phones for no upfront payment. It isn’t really dropping the price of phones, just spreading the entire cost of the phone over 24 months instead of using a mix of an initial down payment and monthly payments.
Still, the move shows the flexibility T-Mobile has since moving to a model in which it separates the cost of the phone from its monthly service.
“The number of reasons not to switch to T-Mobile this summer is ZERO,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a statement. “This is a fantastic offer and we’re making it easier than ever for customers to get the latest amazing devices.”
Under the new promotion, which starts on Saturday, customers can get a 16 gigabyte iPhone 5, for example, for no upfront fee and 24 monthly payments of $27 per month. The Samsung Galaxy S4, BlackBerry Q10 and HTC One are all $25 per month, while the entry-level Nokia Lumia 521 is just $5 per month.
The device fee is then added to T-Mobile’s monthly service fees. Options range from a $50-per-month plan that includes unlimited talk, text and 500 megabytes of high-speed data to an option for $70 per month that includes unlimited high-speed data. Additional lines for family members cost $30 for the first extra line and $10 per additional line after that.
Though not cutting device prices, the move could nonetheless be attractive to those looking to get a new phone without a big initial cost.
Update: In a telephone interview, T-Mobile Chief Marketing Officer Mike Sievert said that the new option came in response to a move by AT&T to offer some devices for no money down.
“This is really about being fast and highly competitive,” Sievert said. “We aren’t going to cede one inch of the territory and of the momentum” it has gained from its “un-carrier” approach.
As part of its Next early-upgrade program, AT&T is offering a number of phones for no money down, with installment payments of $15 to $50 per month for 20 months. A Samsung Galaxy S4, for example, would cost $32 a month for 20 months under that program. (Customers would also pay AT&T’s standard monthly rates in addition to the device financing payment.)
Sievert did not give an end date for T-Mobile’s new offer, but said promotions such as these tend to run days or weeks, and not for months.
He also said this move was not the next step that Legere had hinted will come in the fall.
“Un-carrier 3.0 is still to come,” Sievert said.
Eight days after taking it down in response to a security breach, Apple has restored the website for its Developer Center.
Apple didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. But the entry page of the site was clearly visible this afternoon. Some sections, like forums, were still offline. Certificates, identifiers and profiles were back online.
An email circulated to Apple developers said, “Thank you for bearing with us while we bring these important systems back online. We will continue to update you with our progress.” It has also added a system status page so members can keep track of what’s back and working and what’s not.
Access to the site had been curtailed for several days as Apple investigated the circumstances of a security incident said to have occurred on July 18.
The company said in an email to its developer community (see below) three days after the incident took place that the site had been accessed by what it called “an intruder.”
Apple said in the original email disclosing the breach that it would be “completely overhauling our developer systems, updating our server software, and rebuilding our entire database.” It hasn’t gone into any further detail about the nature of the attack.
The Apple developer site grants access to iOS 7, OS X Mavericks and other software development tools. When it first went down it was marked with a notice saying it was down for maintenance. A later notice apologized that maintenance was taking longer than expected. Developers were told that memberships that would have expired during the downtime had been automatically extended.
Since extended downtime of this sort is rare with Apple, people in the dev community naturally began to wonder what was up. Apple finally came clean about the attempted attack and said that “…we have not been able to rule out the possibility that some developers’ names, mailing addresses, and/or email addresses may have been accessed.” Still no word on that.
Here’s the full text of the email sent around to developers.
Developer Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles Now Available
We appreciate your patience as we work to bring our developer services back online. Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles, software downloads, and other developer services are now available. If you would like to know the availability of a particular system, visit our status page.
If your program membership expired or is set to expire during this downtime. It will be extended and your app will remain on the App Store. If you have any other concerns about your account please contact us.
Thank you for bearing with us while we bring these important systems back online. We will continue to update you with our progress.
A recent rumour reveals that new iPhone 4 and beyond that is iPhone 5 would constitute GSM and CDMA and won’t be using 4G networks.
I am least bothered about this being a rumour as many big names have followed this matter. Apple however, does not show any official concern about it. Therefore, it would still be treated as a rumour. Isn’t it funny that we are discussing iPhone 5 right after the launch of iPhone 4? Still the rumour wins that race.
The new iPhone would take ages to show its face. While the Apple customers are anxious about the launch of white iPhone 4 therefore no need to create a hassle about iPhone 5. That is what Apple thinks, not me.
I think we should be more worried about iPhone 5 as the previous fiasco of antenna has disappointed many. Therefore, the new version of iPhone would carry a lot of expectations. Moreover, Apple expects to throw the new iPhone worldwide. This is the reason everyone is talking about dual SIM supporting both CDMA and GSM. This decision is crucial to move along with.
The ultimate goal of Apple is to conquer the world with iPhone, right? For the only fastest way is through cellular contracts. This is why GSM and CMDA both can serve the purpose well. Nice thought but a deadly trick. This would come as a disaster for 4G as the new iPhone can’t support both networks on 4G. Maybe after ages Apple can figure out a better solution but until now we can expect no 4G for iPhone 5.
The real result can only be seen once the product is tested in the Apple store. Would the consumer like using a 3G phone with better future or would like a better future with 4G? I think Apple is on a deadly track with this experiment, have your say.
This post is brought to you by the Registry cleaner
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‘You too iPhone!?’
I said this to my iPhone when after reading that how Smartphone applications can betray us and can compromise our privacy. Pity, most of us do not read the Terms of Service’.
Among tons of applications that are available on iPhone a great majority use our personal information and utilise it for the outside company purpose. For instance, there may be any marketing research company that buy information about iPhone users and usage patterns of iPhone applications, most importantly our preferences. Such information can be gathered from the iPhone app and can be sold to the research firm, which can further sell it to clients making a complete fool of us, just because we don’t pay attention to terms and conditions prior to using the application.
According to report of Wall Street Journal there are approx 56% of the overall smartphone applications that transmit the users ID to company. This might also not involve consumer’s consent and it is also possible that consumer isn’t aware.
So what do they make of the ID? Aside from pinpointing your exact taste in music, movies, hobbies and daily activities, the company can probably tap into a lot more than you expected. Plus, it’s a fair playground for hackers, identity thieves and above all – online stalkers. Other than those 56 applications, the remaining 47 were known to send a phone owner’s location, age, gender, personal details and etc., to third parties.
There are various studies that give a clear indication regarding the use of iPhone applications for transmitting additional data to outside-party with certain irregularity. However, Apple says that iPhone apps are not built that way to transmit information without prior user consent but in this case most of the users don’t know about the actual game.
Jail-breaking being a common phenomenon also has augmented this process as many users can use unofficial apps that are not Apple certified. Only applications that are iTunes verified can be trusted, still, if they cheat us then Apple is responsible for not properly checking the apps potential hazard.
Moreover, Apple was contacted by many to make this issue clear. Till date, no one of the Apple officials shared their views regarding information sharing applications officially. It is possible that those Third-Party organisations are paying a lucrative price for such piece of information. To conclude, Apple’s silence in this matter is alarming, yet users are advised to verify the apps before downloading.
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9to5Mac spilled the beans on the plentiful amount of new features coming in the iPhone 5, which they seem to have confirmed with sources. There’s a lot we already expected, but the big news of the leak this morning is a voice-controlled Assistant.
Apple acquired Siri back in 2010, and up until now we haven’t heard much about Apple’s implementation of its technology. Assistant will be an exclusive feature to the iPhone 5, as it needs the extra processor power and RAM. It’s a system-wide voice navigation tool for controlling just about anything with your voice. Pressing and holding the iPhone’s home button will bring up Assistant, effectively replacing the original Voice Control function. From there, you can schedule appointments in the Calendar app, send a text message (or iMessage), get directions, and pretty much everything else.
The commands for Assistant are easy, but more extensive than before. Voice Control’s interface had quick commands scrolling by so you always knew how to go about speaking, but Assistant supposedly has the familiar Info button in the corner, which brings up common commands for completing tasks. Again, this is a lot like a Voice Control 2.0, in that most of the functionality in the iPhone 5 – as opposed to just making calls and listening to music – can now be controlled by voice. Presumably, Apple will release an Assistant API for developers to expand its usability even further.
In addition to this software news, there’s some interesting hardware specs. A beautiful 8 MP camera will be in the rear of the device and will include support for native panorama shots. The dual-core A5 chip and 1 GB of RAM will be inside, which is important to note because both show Apple’s need for better multitasking capabilities in the future. One thing 9to5Mac was silent about in the report is the iPhone 5 s new design. Most think it will feature a curved aluminum back, especially after the recent leaked cases from Case-Mate. There’s no information on the size of the display either. However, they did point out the new antenna system will have built-in support for both GSM and CDMA networks – ergo AT&T and Verizon.
Time is winding down for the big announcement. The hype is increasing, as are the leaks. We’re fairly certain the Apple event will take place on October 4th, which means those traditionally vague invitations from Cupertino should be going out some time this week. Stay tuned!
The rise of mobile technology, in the form of smartphones and tablet computers, and the continued innovation in this field has changed the lives of an increasing proportion of the population. Where as once we were tied to desks while surfing the net, or forced to travel to packed high streets and supermarkets to shop, we can now buy a huge range of items and access useful information while on the go.
Indeed, the increased convenience of conducting research, reading the news or doing shopping on a mobile device has led to a boom in app downloads. ABI Research recently reported that the average smartphone user will download 37 apps a year. Meanwhile, a study conducted by edigital research revealed earlier that 64% of smartphone users now use their devices to shop online.
With such mass movement to mobile commerce among consumers, businesses of all kinds are rushing to produce their own mobile apps to provide a more convenient and comfortable shopping experience among their customers and to take advantage of the latest trend for mobile technology.
Car dealerships are perhaps some of the more surprising businesses to produce mobile apps. After all, you can’t order a car to be delivered to your home and most of us would not purchase a vehicle without first giving it a test drive. But there is more to mobile commerce than ordering goods, and auto dealers have provided some excellent apps to put the information their customers need right at their fingertips.
Take motor.co.uk, which has released a free app for those looking to buy a new car. The software provides consumers with an easy way to search for cars in their area, as well as a wealth of information and advice to help them choose the best vehicle for them, such as car buying guides and reviews.
What motor.co.uk have done by providing so many features on one app, is provided consumers with everything they need to choose a car in one place. While customers may have once spent hours on the web reading auto magazines and looking at classified ads, they can now access all of this information at the tip of their fingers. What’s more, the app also allows them to interact with this information by producing their own shortlist to narrow down which car they are likely to take for a test drive.
Many other businesses are also taking a similar approach to mobile technology, aiming to make themselves the most convenient and useful option to potential customers, showing you do not need to be selling goods directly over the internet to make good use of mobile apps.
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There are an abundance of iPhone case on the market that claim to be heavy duty; and while many may meet the rigorous Military Standard criteria, some are better than others. Recently one of my associates in the PR industry turned me on to the Dualtek XT from Pure.Gear ($49.99), and I have to say, overall I was quite impressed. Read on to get the complete scoop as well as to hear about the pros and cons of this new, ruggedized, “extreme terrain” iPhone case.
First of all, it’s worth noting that the Dualtek XT is compatible with both the iPhone 5 as well as the Touch ID-enabled iPhone 5s, which can’t be said for many of the current crop of heavy-duty protection iPhone 5 cases, many of which don’t accommodate the 5s Touch ID. This case offers superior protection from the elements and from impact, all in a very affordable package. Its easy to get on and take off and the built in screen protector is comprised of a superior scratch-resistant plastic that should hold its shine for a good long while. The ports seal well, if not quite as securely as some of the pricier rugged protection iPhone cases. An added bonus is the little lanyard attachment point allowing you to attach either a key ring or a lanyard to the corner of the case, which gives you a much better hold on your iPhone.
If you primarily use headphones or Bluetooth devices with your iPhone then the following might not be a big deal, but I have to say, the sound quality of the iPhone’s speakers when in this case is pretty horrible. I’m prepared for every extreme-duty iPhone case to sacrifice some level of sound quality in the name of ruggedization, but this case creates what I’d consider severe distortion. If you don’t talk on the phone much or don’t listen to your iPhone’s speakers, then this may be a non-issue, and then again, the affordability of this case may trump its poor acoustics.
Well-designed, slim profile case. Doesn’t add much in the way of unnecessary bulk.
Grippy exterior and lanyard attachment point help ensure your iPhone doesn’t leave your side.
High-quality, scratch-resistant screen protector built in to front panel.
Low cost makes this a good deal for someone looking for an extreme-duty, protective case that meet the rigorous MIL-STD and IP-65 protective ratings.
Compatible with the 5s Touch ID.
The case has full water resistant protection over the iPhone’s speaker but this comes at a price. The sound quality of the iPhone’s speaker is significantly distorted when it’s in this otherwise exceptional case.
Very few color options.
If you are looking for a reliable protective case for your iPhone 5/5s, at a savings of between $10 to $50 over some of the other extreme-protective cases out there, this one is a good deal-if the sound output from the iPhone’s speakers isn’t a big deciding factor. I give the Pure.Gear DualTek XT 3 out of 5 Stars, and I have to emphasize that the only thing keeping this case from being a 4.5 Star case are its acoustics. Hopefully Pure.Gear will improve on this issue in the DualTek XT’s next iteration.
Images courtesy of CargoCollective.com
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I have an iPad 2. I don’t use it very much, but it’s there for me whenever a new game comes out … or whenever my Macbook is just out of reach.
The iPad 2 came out on March 11, 2011. In the grand scheme of things (and I’m not talking about the “cosmic calendar” from “Cosmos”), three years is nothing. But when it comes to consumer tech, my iPad is ANCIENT. If you count the two iPad mini models, five new iPads have launched since my iPad 2 first hit store shelves. Five! In three years!
Every time I look at my iPad, I think about how I want a new one. The new models are lighter, thinner and faster, and all have better screens. I haven’t upgraded from iOS 6 to 7 because I’ve heard it doesn’t play well on the iPad 2. But I’m not going to upgrade my iPad, because I don’t use it enough and it still works fine.
But that got me wondering: When is the right time to upgrade your mobile tech?
I like to buy a really good (but not usually top-tier) piece of tech, then run it into the ground before I upgrade. If you’re the type of person who needs to have the latest-and-greatest everything, this advice doesn’t really apply to you. But if you’re like the rest of us, and you just want to know when to pony up for a new gadget, read on.
Let’s start with tablets, since that’s what got me into this whole mess.
iPad: For new iPads, Apple usually tosses in a slightly more powerful processor and makes the device a little thinner. Sure, there are bigger changes from time to time – like adding a Retina display – but those are more uncommon than you might think. Plus, iPads are incredibly expensive (relative to most other tablets), so upgrading is more of a financial commitment here than in other instances.
- Liberal Verdict: Every other generation. Got an iPad 2? Get a 4th-gen, then, too.
- Conservative Verdict: Every three or four generations, or when a bunch of apps no longer support your device.
Android Tablets: To be honest, I’m not too familiar with the Android tablet landscape. I know it’s dominated by the Nexus 7, but that’s a relative newcomer to the field, and it’s hard to gauge just how much innovation Google’s going to throw at that line each upgrade. Android tablets are relatively inexpensive (especially when compared to an iPad), so upgrading is less of an investment, but there aren’t too many massive upgrades from one generation to the next, so upgrading isn’t a necessity.
- Liberal Verdict: Every generation.
- Conservative Verdict: When your device isn’t eligible for the newest major Android OS.
Kindle Fire Tablets: Like the Nexus line, the Kindle Fires are also relative newcomers to the tech scene. But Amazon has impressed me with how much it has added to each release. When you compare it to the latest Kindle Fire, the first-gen Fire I bought in the fall of 2011 is like a weird second-cousin that you avoid at family gatherings. Amazon’s added a ton of new software features – like FreeTime and Mayday – and has also launched tablets with bigger screens, which is an (obvious) big difference. At some point, though, Amazon will slow down its massive updates; until then, new Fire tablets seem like a reasonable investment.
- Liberal Verdict: Every generation.
- Conservative Verdict: When your toddler drops it one-too-many times and it doesn’t work anymore.
I think it’s a big lie that you need to upgrade your phone every two years. Just because your carrier gives you a big time discount to get a new device doesn’t mean you need to take them up on their offer. They’re only giving you that discount to lock you into another two-year deal; if you don’t upgrade (or buy your phone outright), you can opt out at any point with no penalty.
Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all recently introduced plans that let you upgrade your phone whenever the wind changes. But that program isn’t for us – that’s for the tech elite.
iPhones are like iPads – rarely does one generation to the next do much to wow me. The iPhone 6 will have a bigger screen, which is (arguably) the best improvement since Siri was added back with the 4S. But is it enough for me to upgrade just a year after I got my iPhone 5? Probably not.
Android devices can become obsolete much more quickly, especially if the manufacturer doesn’t get the latest version of Android to your device. Buying a Nexus will negate this problem, as will buying the top-tier devices, like the Galaxy S4 or HTC One M8. But if you’re buying mid-range, you might run into issues – and you’ll want to upgrade more quickly.
- Liberal Verdict: As soon as you’re eligible for an upgrade.
- Conservative Verdict: When your device won’t get the latest OS update, or when you drop it so many times that you can no longer read the screen.