Qualcomm teases new 1.2 Gbps LTE modem chip—will Apple adopt it for future iPhones?

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 21, 2017

Qualcomm and Apple are currently embroiled in a legal spat involving excessive royalties, casting serious doubt on the possibility of a Qualcomm-made LTE modem in a future iPhone. Today, Qualcomm teased a brand new Snapdragon X20 LTE chip, its second-gen Gigabit LTE modem.

It’s capable of fiber-like LTE Category 18 downloads of up to 1.2 gigabits per second, or one-fifth faster than the previous X16 chip. Upload speeds go up to a theoretical maximum of 150 megabits per second. It’s expected to ship in the first half of 2018.

Only time will tell if Apple plans on dual-sourcing cellular modems from both Qualcomm and Intel, in which case 2018 iPhones could theoretically support faster-than-Gigabit-LTE downlink speeds of up to 150 megabytes per second. Read More

 

New Apple ads continue positioning iPad Pro as being better than a computer

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 17, 2017

Apple today published four new ads on its YouTube channel that continue to position its iPad Pro tablet as being better than a computer. The four new commercials, running sixteen seconds each, use the tagline “Real Problems… Answered” and appear to be based on typical PC user tweets.

The videos promote the tablet as a device that’s free of wires, immune to viruses, faster than most laptops and able to run Microsoft Office apps and connect to fast LTE cellular networks.

Give the new ads a quick watch, then meet us in comments. Read More

 

Verizon launches unlimited data plan with 10GB of LTE tethering, offers free iPhone 7/Plus

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 13, 2017

Verizon is no longer the only major US carrier without an unlimited data plan. As announced yesterday, the carrier’s newly launched Unlimited plan gives you unlimited 4G data, texts and minutes on a single smartphone or tablet in exchange for $80 per month, or $45 per month for four lines ($180 total).

Those prices entail paper-free billing and AutoPay and exclude taxes. It’s unclear if Verizon’s access fees of $20 per month per smartphone and $10 per month per tablet apply to the new plan.

Like with other carriers, you don’t really get truly unlimited data: consume more than 22 gigabytes of 4G LTE data per line in any given month and the system begins prioritizing usage behind other customers in the event of network congestion. For a limited time only, the big red carrier is offering a free iPhone 7/Plus, Google Pixel or another flagship smartphone to those who’d switch to the new plan. Read More

 

Apple sues Qualcomm over withholding $1B as ransom in Korean legal investigation

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 21, 2017

Apple on Friday announced it’s suing iPhone modem supplier Qualcomm, which owns many wireless patents, “after years of disagreement over what constitutes a fair and reasonable royalty”. The suit argues Qualcomm withheld nearly $1 billion in payments it owes to Apple as retaliation because Apple cooperated with the Korea Fair Trade Commission. Last month, Korean regulators slapped Qualcomm with a $850 million fine over its patent-licensing practices.

Apple’s suit, filed in federal district court in the Southern District of California, accuses Qualcomm of charging royalties for technologies “they have nothing to do with.” Responding to the complaint, Qualcomm called Apple’s claims groundless and said they “misrepresented facts”.

Read More

 

Qualcomm denies FTC’s claims it bribed Apple into using its modem chips

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 18, 2017

Yesterday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged Qualcomm with monopolizing baseband modems used in smartphones, basically saying the company bribed Apple into not making a WiMAX iPhone in exchange for better royalties. The chip maker in a subsequent press release denied any wrongdoing, saying the FTC doesn’t really understand how the mobile industry works. Read More

 

Qualcomm under fire from FTC over allegedly forcing Apple to use its baseband modem chips

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 17, 2017

Now we know why Apple has made the controversial decision to dual-source baseband modem chips for iPhone 7 from both Intel and Qualcomm. Tuesday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged Qualcomm with monopolizing baseband modems used in smartphones, saying the firm’s leveraged its position to force Apple to use its baseband chips in exchange for lower patent royalties. Read More

 

Tips to save cellular data on iPhone

By Anthony Bouchard on Dec 6, 2016

Many cellular carriers are skimpy and they charge absurd amounts of money for capped data plans.

If you’re like most people, you’re stuck on one of these capped data plans and you will need to have some kind of self discipline to keep yourself from going over indulging and being charged overage fees.

In this piece, we’ll talk about some of the ways you can help reduce the amount of data you use on your iPhone every month. Read More

 

Apple denies throttling LTE performance of Verizon iPhone 7

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2016

Bloomberg today shared research conducted by Twin Prime and Cellular Insights in a story suggestively headlined “Apple’s Chip Choices May Leave Some iPhone Users in Slow Lane” which asserts Apple may have throttled LTE performance of the Verizon iPhone 7 handsets to make them perform about as well as the AT&T iPhone 7 models.

Apple in a statement shot down the report and denied throttling, insisting there’s “no discernible difference” in wireless performance between various iPhone 7 models. Read More

 

How to use less cellular data in the Instagram app

By Anthony Bouchard on Oct 19, 2016

If you’re an Instagram user, then you probably understand how all the photos and videos you view in the app can be a serious cellular data hog whenever you’re not connected to a Wi-Fi network.

For the most part, the nature of the app is to load a feed of photos and videos, so there’s nothing data-friendly about this app to begin with, but there is a way to mitigate data usage in Instagram and we’ll show you how in this tutorial. Read More

 

Sprint’s new tablet-exclusive unlimited plan degrades your video, music and gaming streams

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 18, 2016

I don’t trust “unlimited” wireless plans because they’re all but unlimited and often come with a bunch of caveats one needs to consider carefully. The latest example: Sprint’s newly announced data plan for tablets which promises unlimited 4G LTE data in exchange for $20 per month. So far so good, but the devil—as always—is in the detail.

If you take a closer look at the fine print, you soon realize that the plan limits video streaming to DVD-like 480p resolution, music streaming quality to 500kbps and your online gaming streams to up to 2Mbps. Read More

 
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