For a moment there Apple's new AppleSIM -- which allows iPad users to easily compare plans and switch carriers without swapping out the SIM -- looked like it might be immensely disruptive
. It becomes less impressive once you notice that Verizon isn't supporting the technology at all and AT&T is preventing it from working as intended
. While in an ideal world Apple would extend this technology to the iPhone, that's apparently not happening either.
Speaking this week at Re/code's Code/Mobile conference, Apple marketing VP Greg Joswiak stated they won't be including it in the iPhone, but his justification for why is a little thin
Joswiak said Apple has not discussed putting the Apple SIM into iPhones, but said that because of the way most customers buy an iPhone--through a carrier directly--the Apple SIM is not as well suited. "I don't think you're going to go to the Verizon store and say, 'Can you hook me up with AT&T?,'" he said.
However, even if you buy a phone from a carrier, being able to switch carriers at a later date without swapping the SIM card would be a great thing. Apple's likely trying to avoid aggravating carriers on this front though it's not clear why: Apple is the one with the "must have" product, and as AT&T illustrates, carriers may just block the technology from working anyway. A more flexible SIM would mean easier, smoother cross-carrier competition, and that's something incumbent operators simply can't tolerate.
Last November we noted story continues..
that Time Warner Cable, historically a bit sluggish when it comes to next-gen broadband upgrades, was considering a brand refresh named "Maxx" that would include significant speed and TV improvements. In addition to bumping select markets
to 300 Mbps (Los Angeles, New York, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas, Hawaii, Kansas City, Raleigh, San Antonio and San Diego), that will include a fancy new DVR that the company unveiled this week in Los Angeles and New York City.
According to a new schedule posted to their website
, CableLabs is prepped to host a DOCSIS 3.1 "plugfest" in "a multi-vendor environment" during the week of December 1. The company also plans to host a follow up interoperability testing session during the week of January 19, 2015. Most of the 1 Gbps promises you're seeing made by companies like Cox
will rely on the DOCSIS 3.1 standard, which isn't expected to see significant commercial deployment until sometime in 2016. Back in September CableLabs said they were slightly ahead of schedule
with development of the standard, which will take significantly less time to deploy than it did to design.
Anonymous sources tell Benzinga
that Lenovo could announce an acquisition bid for Blackberry as soon as this week. According to the anonymous sources, Lenovo is expected to offer around $15 per share, with a deal being completed at around $18 per share. Rumors of a possible acquisition of Blackberry have circulated for several years, occasionally supported by statements of interest from Lenovo execs. Lenovo of course acquired Motorola Mobility from Google back in January of this year
for $3 billion.
As noted yesterday in detail
, developers of a tiny, "100% open source" Tor-based mini router found themselves under fire after their Kickstarter claims for the project didn't hold up to scrutiny. Not only was neither the software or hardware open source (much of the device was made from parts from China), the device itself -- which the developers say required multiple prototypes and four years to build -- appears to be a copy of an already existing, $20 router
. A little while ago Kickstarter officially suspended the project
after it raised nearly $600,000 in funding.
One thing of particular note to our readers during Apple's unveiling of new iPads
yesterday is the new Apple SIM, which Apple didn't mention at all -- yet most analysts believe has a real chance to disrupt the industry. Installed on iPads with embedded Wi-Fi and cellular radios, Apple notes
their new Apple SIM allows users to float between carriers without having to replace the SIM card.
A Google filing with the SEC this week
indicates that Google is exploring the possibility of a variety of wireless broadband technologies across a number of spectrum frequencies, including millimeter-wave. Google's interest in wireless hasn't been much of a secret; the company acquired wireless Seattle startup Alpental Technologies
back in June (founded by ex-Clearwire folks), and a report back in April
indicated that Google was interested in potentially forming an MVNO as a supplement offering alongside or instead of Google Fiber. This particular filing appears to hint at shorter distance technologies for last mile, likely as an inexpensive way to service MDUs or apartment buildings.
Without much if any fanfare, Google today unveiled the company's new Nexus 6 smartphone, their new Nexus 9 tablet, and the latest incarnation of their Android operating system: 5.0 Lollipop. The Motorola-made Nexus 6
sports a 5.96-inch, 2560×1440 display, and unlike the Nexus 5, will be available for all US carriers "in November" starting at $649.
Sprint this week launched a new program that allows users to lease a new iPhone for $5 a month, the company's latest effort to shore up its flagging fortunes. The $15 new "loyalty service credit" will also allow users to lease an iPhone 6 Plus for $10 per month. story continues..
A group of privacy-minded developers have launched a Kickstarter project for their new anonabox
-- a tiny, open-source embedded router that will redirect traffic via the Tor network. The developers, many of which say they've worked at large ISPs, were inspired when watching the recent wave of global government Internet censorship during protests.
As we noted on Monday
, millions of Belkin customers around the globe woke up unable to access the Internet, courtesy of a glitch caused courtesy of the cloud functionality embedded in many of the company's models. The outages resulted in users and ISP support technicians overwhelming the Belkin support website and phone lines.
Millions of Belkin router owners around the world today complained after their routers mysteriously refused to let them on the Internet. Complaints exploded on Twitter
this morning indicating that an unspecified number of Belkin routers couldn't access heartbeat.belkin.com in order to function properly.
The lack of carrier support for the MMS functionality embedded in Google Voice is no longer a problem -- for most people. Alex Wiesen, Google Tech Lead Manager for Google Voice, announced in a Google+ post
that Google Voice now has MMS support from over 100 carriers nationwide. "We’ve been working with nearly 100 different North American carriers to enable this feature — including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Bell Canada, Rogers, Telus, and many more — and starting today all these integrations are live," states Wiesen. While Canadian carriers are listed, Verizon doesn't (yet) offer voice services in Canada. Meanwhile, missing from that list is Verizon Wireless for unspecified reasons, though given Verizon's history with disruptive technologies
, that may not be surprising.
The long-expected cloud storage functionality embedded in Comcast's X1 set top box upgrade has been quietly expanding into new markets, with the company announcing that San Francisco users this week should see the upgrade. The service has already been launched in the Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Houston, and Washington DC markets after first being launched in Comcast's hometown of Philadelphia back in March of this year
. According to the company's announcement
, Comcast "expects that most of its X1 customers will have access to these features by the end of the year." The ability to store recorded programs in the cloud is free for Premiere and Complete triple play customers -- but otherwise costs an additional $20 per month.
While most large incumbent ISPs have rushed head-first into the home security and home automation market, few of those companies have been willing to specify how many users have signed up for such services -- suggesting they're not yet seeing quite the uptake they'd like. One other threat has now arisen for ISPs looking to be home security experts: lawsuits. story continues..
A new study by Media Science paid for by A&E networks insists that most customers actually are ok with having the ability to fast-forward disabled. Not too surprisingly, the study found that when advertisement fast-forwarding is disabled, users were more likely to recall the contents of the advertisement. story continues..
Torrent Freak story continues..
has an interesting piece on the 21 "raid proof" virtual machines (VMs) currently running The Pirate Bay website. Two years ago the website switched all operations to the cloud, scattering their operations across a number of cloud storage providers located all around the world.
and the company's new iOS 8 operating system.
Cisco, Intel, IBM and more than a dozen other ISP industry hardware vendors have sent a letter
(pdf) to the FCC and Department of Commerce urging them to avoid reclassifying ISPs under Title II, insisting that doing so would stifle innovation and investment in the broadband sector.
Title II classification -- with forbearance applied to keep the FCC in check -- is something consumer advocates argue is the only sensible way forward
if consumers are to be protected, particularly on the net neutrality front.
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