T-Mobile and Sprint continue to upgrade their own networks despite merger plan

On April 29th, T-Mobile announced its plan to merge with Sprint. The deal still needs to be approved by U.S. regulators, and it could be a year or more before both carriers close on the transaction. In addition, there always is a chance that the merger doesn’t get approved. Remember, back in 2011 AT&T agreed to buy T-Mobile for $39 billion. The deal was killed by AT&T after the Justice Department filed a suit to block the transaction.
Those were the days when T-Mobile was a 96 pound weakling, a far cry from the carrier that today is the one the others emulate. …


Chinese smartphone shipments continue to fall, decline 34% from last quarter

Last week, we told you that global smartphone shipments dropped 2.9% in the first quarter led by a decline in Chinese smartphone shipments. While we knew that the number of shipments in China declined to less than 100 million units for the first time since Q3 of 2013, we now have a better handle on the weakness in that country. According to a fresh report published on Friday, the number of smartphones shipped in China during the first quarter of 2018 tallied less than 90 million units.

Some of the decline can be blamed on the Chinese Lunar New Year. The holiday cut into smartphone production. …

Apple to shut down Texture's Windows app in July; Android, iOS apps to continue running

Windows users who enjoy reading magazines online through the Texture app on their PC, will have to consider purchasing an iOS, Android or Amazon Fire HD tablet to keep up with their reading. That’s because Apple, which purchased Texture for an undisclosed amount in March, plans on shutting down the Microsoft Store based Windows app in July. Texture charges $9.99 a month for access to 200 digital versions of popular magazines. It has earned the nickname the “Netflix of magazines.”

After Apple purchased Texture, there was talk about the company absorbing Texture into Apple News to create a …

LG's next flagship will continue to use an LCD display to cut costs

There will be no OLED display for the LG G7, or whatever name the South Korean company chooses for its upcoming flagship. Although OLED displays are thinner and have a higher energy efficiency, they cost twice or thrice the price of an LCD.

Market analysts say the LG G7 is likely to adopt an LCD display to cut costs since the company’s mobile division has been in the red for quite a while. While more and more smartphone makers are switching to OLED displays, the cost for the latter is still too high to justify the switch, so there’s no need to rush the transition.

It’s been previously …

Spotify testing voice search as rumors continue to swirl about a branded smart speaker

Last month, we told you about some job openings that Spotify had posted as the world’s largest music streamer appeared to be getting ready to enter the hardware biz. The device that Spotify is rumored to be building is a smart speaker. We suspect that it will work natively with Spotify’s own music streaming service in an attempt to get more consumers to shell out the $9.99 a month for the company’s premium subscription plan.

Considering that a smart speaker is made up of a speaker and a virtual assistant, Spotify is testing a new voice search interface that suggests the company will …

The Clone Wars continue: Samsung phones were the most copied in 2017, according to benchmark stats

So, it’s a well-known fact that there are a number of nameless manufacturers over in China that make complete copies of well-known smartphones. Not your average “borrowing of ideas”, but an actual clone, usually with a weak hardware and super-cheap price to draw as much attention as it can.

Popular benchmark company AnTuTu has released an interesting statistic for 2017. It combed through all devices that held the AnTuTu tests from January through to December and concluded that 2.64% of all phones tested were clones or counterfeits.

Of these, the Galaxy S7 …

Sony CEO Hirai says it will continue making smartphones, but not to compete with Apple or Samsung

Just because Sony CEO Kaz Hirai expects the company to report its largest ever operating profit this year (equivalent to $5.83 billion USD) doesn’t mean that the company has fixed everything that has prevented it from rivaling Apple and Samsung in the smartphone business. In fact, the executive has a less than convincing answer to those who think that Sony should just give up when it comes to connected handsets.

Hirai says that Sony isn’t sticking with smartphones because the product is the future of tech. He says that Sony needs to continue to sell the product in order to stay in the communications …

ZTE will continue to experiment with foldable smartphones, refine the concept

Despite the fact that its first foldable smartphone, the Axon M wasn’t too well received by the press and consumers alike, ZTE announced that it will continue to experiment with this design. It’s true that ZTE’s vice president of marketing Jeff Yee has said that the Axon M received positive feedback from those who bought it via AT&T, but that’s simply because it’s “something new.”

Although most customers are used to pay less than $200 for a ZTE smartphone, the Chinese company will continue to enlarge its portfolio of foldable smartphones, which are likely to …

Samsung to continue to use heat pipes for its flagships in 2018 despite the high price

As smartphone companies continue to pack their products with more powerful components, there’s a need for cooling solutions that would keep the handsets from overheating. In the last couple of years, many handset makers adopted cooling solutions, but only for their top-of-the-line products due to the high costs.

On the other hand, mid-range and entry-level smartphones don’t really need a cooling system since they are not prone to overheating. Samsung is one of the first early adopters of a cooling system based on heat pipes.

It’s the most used cooling system …

Some U.K. smartphone users continue to get charged for phones that were already paid off

Some U.K. smartphone users could be overpaying for their carrier’s service according to Citizen’s Advice. The latter is a network of 316 independent charities throughout the United Kingdom that advise people about money, legal and consumer issues. According to the agency, carriers like Vodafone, EE and Three are continuing to charge for the cost of a handset even after the expense of the phone has already been covered.

U.K. consumers can pay a monthly rate for a 2-year fixed term contract. The monthly charge includes the cost of data and the price of a phone. After two-years go by, the …