Sprint dead last in Consumer Reports' phone service survey

Sprint is eating everyone's dust.

The nation's third-largest wireless carrier by subscriber base sank to the bottom of a survey conducted by Consumer Reports over cell phone service. Sprint scored "dismal marks" in value, voice, text messaging, and 4G reliability, according to Consumer Reports' survey released Thursday. Sprint ranked No. 2 behind Verizon Wireless a year ago.

It's the latest headache for a carrier that is going through a long and painful transformation of its network. Sprint is in the middle of upgrading its network to allow for better and faster service, but the transition … Read more

iPad Mini Retina is a no-show at carriers

Carriers are still waiting on the iPad Mini Retina with 3G/4G capability, as back orders grow.

Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are all back-ordered on the cellular version of the Mini Retina, with Verizon's date now slipping to December 2.

Last week, Verizon had been saying November 25. And the carrier isn't saying when the device may arrive in stores, according to a company spokesperson.

T-Mobile is now showing the Mini Retina back-ordered 6-8 weeks.

AT&T is saying 21-28 days for orders to ship.

Cellular Retina Mini models, after being available briefly last week … Read more

Carriers slammed by officials for rejecting cell phone 'kill switch'

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman criticized carriers for rejecting their proposal to install a "kill switch" in smartphones to deter theft, a move they called "highly disturbing."

The officials said yesterday the carriers rebuffed the plan, which would have rendered lost or stolen phones inoperable -- a kind of LoJack for smartphones. It was part of the "Save Our Smartphone" coalition the officials launched in June, which started by opening a dialogue with the handset vendors.

But it wasn't the handset manufacturers, including companies such … Read more

Verizon's Lumia 2520 hits stores Thursday for $400

Verizon Wireless will get its own Lumia 2520 tablet -- a day earlier than AT&T.

Verizon said Monday that its version of the Lumia 2520 would hit stores on Thursday. It will sell for $400 when purchased with a two-year contract, although Verizon said it was a limited-time offer. It will cost $500 sans contract.

Verizon will at least take advantage of the color options, offering both the black and red versions online, while the black is available in stores.

The Lumia 2520 is Nokia's first tablet, and runs on Windows RT 8.1, just like the … Read more

Locked up: Why AT&T racks up so many exclusive phones

AT&T and Nokia have long enjoyed a close partnership, but at one New York event in July, their kinship led to a particularly awkward moment.

It was after Nokia had unveiled the Lumia 1020 and its 41-megapixel camera. AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega had just walked off stage after extolling the virtues of the device and touting its exclusive partnership, and then-Nokia CEO Stephen Elop began fielding questions about the device. Which is when things got testy.

"AT&T has been a terrible partner for Lumia devices," said one audience member, … Read more

Isis mobile payment app gets slammed on Google Play

Isis, the mobile wallet launched by Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile, is off to a rocky start.

The app is getting slammed on the Google Play store, where it is averaging a score of one-and-a-half stars after nearly 1,400 people have weighed in.

Common complaints include the incompatibility of the Isis app with rooted Android phones, as well as the complicated process of getting a special SIM card to run the service.

By requiring a special SIM and a phone compatible with near-field communications (NFC) technology, Isis hasn't made the process for using its digital wallet … Read more

Nokia Lumia 2520 to land at AT&T on November 22

AT&T customers will get first crack at Nokia's new Lumia tablet.

The Lumia 2520 will be available through AT&T starting Friday, November 22. The tablet will sell for $400 with the standard two-year contract and $200 if bundled with a Lumia 925, 1020, or 1520 smartphone.

AT&T subscribers who buy and activate the 2520 between November 22 and January 9, 2014, will also receive a $20 voucher to spend at Microsoft's Windows Store.

Verizon will also carry the 2520 but has yet to announce a specific launch date.

Equipped with Windows RT … Read more

Isis Mobile Wallet goes live nationwide, offers freebies

The wireless carriers' mobile payment initiative, Isis Mobile Wallet, is finally going live nationwide, delivering another way for consumers to use their phones to pay for goods and services.

It's been a long time coming for Isis, which went through the work of lining up partners, building a mobile-payment platform, and going through trials over the last few years. The Isis Mobile Wallet is available for select Isis-compatible smartphones -- notably not the iPhone -- and comes with a few financial incentives to get users on board.

Isis, jointly run by Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile, is … Read more

Verizon, AT&T iPad Mini Retina backordered, ship dates lag

Verizon and AT&T are both backordered on the cellular versions of the iPad Mini Retina, possibly another indication of the supply constraints for the new Apple tablet.

Verizon says the Mini Retina with "wireless and cellular" is on "back-order" and "will ship by 11/25."

AT&T says the iPad Mini Retina "with Wi-Fi + Cellular will ship in 21-28 business days."

In contrast, Apple's Web page shows five to 10 days for cellular versions from those two carriers.

That said, cellular models are typically not available for personal … Read more

LG's G Flex will head to US next year

LG's G Flex won't be stuck in its home market of South Korea.

The unique curved phone will be heading to the US, according to a person familiar with the phone's launch plans.

It's still unclear which carriers will actually sell the G Flex, but Twitter account @evleaks -- which has demonstrated an accurate track record of product scoops -- said earlier on Wednesday that it "confirmed" the phone would head to AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

LG G Flex confirmed for AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

— @evleaks (@evleaks) November 13, 2013Read more