AT&T Again Giving New DirecTV Now Subscribers a Free Apple TV

AT&T today announced that it's reactivated a deal offering new DirecTV Now subscribers a free 32GB fourth-generation Apple TV with the purchase of a 3-month prepaid DirecTV Now subscription.

A DirecTV NOW subscription starts at $35 per month for the most basic package, so subscribers will need to pay $105 up front to get the deal. AT&T offered a similar deal back when the service first launched, but the original promotion ended months ago.


To get the free Apple TV, new subscribers will need to sign up for DirecTV now at an AT&T Retail or Authorized Retail Store, or through an AT&T Call Center. The deal is not available online.

While pricing for DirecTV Now starts at $35 for 60 channels, AT&T's other pricing plans include $50 per month for 80+ channels, $60 per month for 100+ channels, and $70 per month for 120+ channels. HBO and Cinemax are also available for an additional $5 each per month.

AT&T says the Apple TV deal will be available while supplies last.


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Study Finds AT&T and Verizon Have Slower LTE Speeds After Launching Unlimited Data Plans

In its semi-annual State of Mobile Networks report this week, OpenSignal claims that both AT&T and Verizon have experienced a decline in 4G LTE speeds since each carrier reintroduced an unlimited data plan in February. OpenSignal blames the slowdown on an increase in data demand now that caps have been removed.


From April through June, AT&T's average LTE download speed was 12.92 Mbps, while Verizon averaged 14.91 Mbps, according to crowdsourced data from thousands of users with the OpenSignal app for iOS or Android.

By comparison, OpenSignal's last report measured average LTE speeds for AT&T and Verizon at 13.86 Mbps and 16.89 Mbps respectively, based on crowdsourced data collected from 169,683 users with the OpenSignal app for iOS or Android installed between October 1 and December 31, 2016.

August 2017 Report


AT&T: 12.92 Mbps
Verizon: 14.91 Mbps
Sprint: 9.76 Mbps
T-Mobile: 17.45 Mbps

February 2017 Report


AT&T: 13.86 Mbps
Verizon: 16.89 Mbps
Sprint: 8.99 Mbps
T-Mobile: 16.65 Mbps
T-Mobile was declared as the fastest network in the United States during the testing period. The carrier's average LTE speed was 17.45 Mbps, up from 16.65 Mbps in OpenSignal's last report. Sprint's average LTE speed also rose to 9.76 Mbps, up from 8.99 Mbps in the previous study.

AT&T or Verizon remained the fastest network in select U.S. cities, including Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Diego, and San Francisco.

OpenSignal says its data is collected from regular consumer smartphones and recorded under conditions of normal usage, be it indoors, outdoors, in a city, or in the countryside. For this particular report, it said 5,073,211,200 data points were collected from 172,919 users between April 1 and June 30, 2017.


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Huawei Boosts Goal of Outselling iPhone as AT&T Agrees to Carry Its Upcoming Flagship

AT&T has tentatively agreed to sell a flagship smartphone made by Chinese company Huawei, according to The Information.


The report, citing people familiar with the matter, said the device AT&T carries may resemble Huawei's upcoming Mate 10 smartphone, a new high-end model that the company is rumored to unveil in Europe this October. However, the smartphone could have a different name in the United States.
A deal isn’t finalized until the phone clears all the technical hurdles and the companies agree on the commercial terms of the release. Huawei’s engineers are working on hardware and software modifications that are necessary for meeting U.S. telecom standards and AT&T’s requirements, the people said.
The partnership would be a major win for Huawei, already the world's third largest smartphone maker by market share.

Huawei is the most popular smartphone maker in China, and it has aggressively pushed into Canada and several European countries, but it has considerably less brand awareness in the United States, where it lacks agreements with the big four carriers Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and until now, AT&T.

American customers have to resort to retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart, or Amazon to purchase a Huawei smartphone, reducing the brand's visibility in a country where Apple and Samsung reign supreme.

Huawei's reputation also suffered when it was banned from selling network equipment in the United States. In 2012, citing a risk to national security, a U.S. congressional report raised concerns that Huawei could build backdoors in their equipment to leak sensitive information from the U.S. to China.

Huawei has denied those claims, and the company has expressed hope that the ban will eventually be lifted. Of note, the ban doesn't appear to affect Huawei's ability to sell smartphones in the United States.

A deal with AT&T could help Huawei achieve its lofty goal of becoming the world's largest smartphone maker by 2021, a feat that would require leapfrogging both Apple and Samsung in sales.

Huawei shipped an estimated 38.4 million smartphones in the June quarter, a 20 percent increase over a year ago, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. By comparison, Apple reported it sold 41 million iPhones in the same period, up nearly 2 percent from the year-ago quarter.

"Huawei is now closing in fast on Apple and Apple will be looking nervously over its shoulder in the next few quarters," said Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics. "Huawei is outperforming across Asia, Europe and Africa with popular Android models such as the P10 and Mate 9."

Huawei held just 1 percent market share in the United States as of the first quarter, according to research firm IDC.


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Huawei Boosts Goal of Outselling iPhone as AT&T Agrees to Carry Its Upcoming Flagship

AT&T has tentatively agreed to sell a flagship smartphone made by Chinese company Huawei, according to The Information.


The report, citing people familiar with the matter, said the device AT&T carries may resemble Huawei's upcoming Mate 10 smartphone, a new high-end model that the company is rumored to unveil in Europe this October. However, the smartphone could have a different name in the United States.
A deal isn’t finalized until the phone clears all the technical hurdles and the companies agree on the commercial terms of the release. Huawei’s engineers are working on hardware and software modifications that are necessary for meeting U.S. telecom standards and AT&T’s requirements, the people said.
The partnership would be a major win for Huawei, already the world's third largest smartphone maker by market share.

Huawei is the most popular smartphone maker in China, and it has aggressively pushed into Canada and several European countries, but it has considerably less brand awareness in the United States, where it lacks agreements with the big four carriers Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and until now, AT&T.

American customers have to resort to retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart, or Amazon to purchase a Huawei smartphone, reducing the brand's visibility in a country where Apple and Samsung reign supreme.

Huawei's reputation also suffered when it was banned from selling network equipment in the United States. In 2012, citing a risk to national security, a U.S. congressional report raised concerns that Huawei could build backdoors in their equipment to leak sensitive information from the U.S. to China.

Huawei has denied those claims, and the company has expressed hope that the ban will eventually be lifted. Of note, the ban doesn't appear to affect Huawei's ability to sell smartphones in the United States.

A deal with AT&T could help Huawei achieve its lofty goal of becoming the world's largest smartphone maker by 2021, a feat that would require leapfrogging both Apple and Samsung in sales.

Huawei shipped an estimated 38.4 million smartphones in the June quarter, a 20 percent increase over a year ago, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. By comparison, Apple reported it sold 41 million iPhones in the same period, up nearly 2 percent from the year-ago quarter.

"Huawei is now closing in fast on Apple and Apple will be looking nervously over its shoulder in the next few quarters," said Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics. "Huawei is outperforming across Asia, Europe and Africa with popular Android models such as the P10 and Mate 9."

Huawei held just 1 percent market share in the United States as of the first quarter, according to research firm IDC.


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AirPods In Stock at AT&T and Verizon With Free 2-5 Day Delivery

AirPods continue to have a 6-week shipping estimate when purchased through Apple's online store, but AT&T and Verizon currently have the wireless earphones in stock online with free delivery in 2-5 business days.


AT&T and Verizon sell AirPods for $159, the same price as Apple charges, but the carriers only ship to addresses within the United States, excluding P.O. boxes.

AirPods occasionally appear in stock through Apple resellers, but typically not for very long due to a combination of limited supplies and strong demand. For that reason, prospective buyers should order as quickly as possible.

AirPods, driven by Apple's custom W1 chip for one-tap setup, instantly connect to a nearby iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or Mac when taken out of their charging case. The cord-free earphones use optical sensors and a motion accelerometer to detect when they are in your ears and automatically turn on.

Subscribe to MacRumors on YouTube for more Apple-related videos

Double tapping an AirPod invokes Siri by default, which can be used to adjust the volume, change the song, make a call, or get directions.

AirPods deliver up to five hours of listening time on one charge, and a 15-minute fast charge provides up to three hours of listening time. The charging case holds multiple additional charges for more than 24 hours of listening time.


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AT&T’s DirecTV Now to Gain Cloud DVR and Revamped User Interface

AT&T today announced plans to unveil a next-generation video platform this fall, which will be introduced first to DirecTV Now customers later this summer.

As part of a beta test for the platform, DirecTV Now subscribers will gain access to a cloud DVR feature, which will allow them to record and access their shows from anywhere. A wide selection of live channels will be able to be recorded, with 4K and HD video quality.


"We all want easy and quick access to our content, regardless of where, when or on what device we watch it," said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Entertainment Group. "By developing for a single video platform, we'll deliver new features and platform innovations in a faster, more efficient way. And it will be simple and consistent wherever you watch--TV, phone or tablet."
AT&T also plans to introduce a whole new interface for the video platform, which will provide a "consistent look and feel" across all of the company's consumer video services. DirecTV testers will be able to provide AT&T with feedback on the new design.

Eventually, the next-generation video platform is expected to support features like live TV pausing and parental controls, expected later this year, and user profiles, offline watching (download and go), and 4K HDR are planned for 2018.

According to AT&T, beta testing for the video platform will begin in the summer, and select DirecTV Now customers will receive invites to test the features.


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PSA: AirPods In Stock on AT&T’s Website With Free 3-5 Day Shipping

AirPods continue to have a 6-week shipping estimate when purchased through Apple's online store, but AT&T's website currently has the wireless earphones in stock with free delivery in 3-5 business days.


AT&T sells AirPods for $159, the same price as Apple charges, but the carrier only ships to addresses within the United States, excluding P.O. boxes.

AirPods occasionally appear in stock through Apple resellers like AT&T, but typically not for very long due to a combination of limited supplies and strong demand. For that reason, prospective buyers should order as quickly as possible.

AirPods, driven by Apple's custom W1 chip for one-tap setup, instantly connect to a nearby iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or Mac when taken out of their charging case. The cord-free earphones use optical sensors and a motion accelerometer to detect when they are in your ears and automatically turn on.

Subscribe to MacRumors on YouTube for more Apple-related videos

Double tapping an AirPod invokes Siri by default, which can be used to adjust the volume, change the song, make a call, or get directions.

AirPods deliver up to five hours of listening time on one charge, and a 15-minute fast charge provides up to three hours of listening time. The charging case holds multiple additional charges for more than 24 hours of listening time.

Tags: AT&T, AirPods

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AT&T Customers With Grandfathered Unlimited iPad Data Plans Will See Throttling After 22GB of Usage

AT&T today sent out emails to customers who continue to have a grandfathered unlimited data plan for the iPad, informing them that its unlimited status is essentially being eliminated on May 24, 2017.

Going forward, customers with an unlimited tablet data plan may see their data usage throttled when using more than 22GB of data during a single bill period. According to AT&T, data may be slowed down during times of network congestion.

While that's in line with AT&T's policy for its newly announced unlimited data plans, it's a big change for iPad owners who are not used to having a data cap in place. Prior to the change, iPad owners with the grandfathered unlimited plan have not been subject to restrictions.

AT&T briefly offered unlimited iPad data plans after the original iPad was released in 2010, but phased them out just months later. Since then, customers who managed to purchase one of the plans have been able to hold onto them, making the unlimited plan highly coveted.

The plans required no contract and cost $29.99 per month, with customers able to transfer them to new iPads and even sell them to other iPad owners. With the change coming on May 24, the original unlimited iPad data plans will be much less attractive.

(Thanks, David and Eli!)

Tag: AT&T

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AT&T Unlimited Plus Data Plan Now Includes Free HBO Subscription

Thanks to AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner, customers on the network's Unlimited Plus data plan will now have the chance to watch HBO programming at no additional cost. Beginning tomorrow, April 6, customers on Unlimited Plus data plans who already subscribe to HBO through AT&T video services like DirecTV, DirecTV Now, or U-Verse TV, will no longer have to pay for the premium channel.

For the same customers on Unlimited Plus and one of AT&T's video services who don't have HBO, they'll be able to automatically receive access to the premium network as well. Lastly, for cord-cutters without a cable package who subscribe to Unlimited Plus, AT&T is offering HBO content either through DirecTV Now or HBO GO apps. Pricing on Unlimited Plus remains the same at $90/month for one line and $145/month for two lines, with additional lines added at the cost of $20 per new line.


Unlimited data plans have come back in full force this year, with new options from all four major carriers launching within a week of one another.
“People who want the best in entertainment want HBO. This latest unlimited wireless plan shows AT&T continuing to innovate and give customers what they desire,” said Bernadette Aulestia, executive vice president of Global Distribution, HBO. “When consumers see HBO as part of an entertainment package, they know they are getting the valued benefit of some of the greatest original programming and most recent Hollywood movies.”
AT&T is also offering Unlimited Plus users a $25 monthly video credit that can be used on its range of video services as long as they remain on the wireless plan. The monthly credit starts within three bill cycles, while the free HBO credit starts within two bill cycles.

In related premium channel news, cord-cutting service Sling TV recently added Showtime into its lineup at the additional cost of $10 per month for Sling TV users. The channels include Showtime, Showtime 2, Showtime Beyond, and more, and includes all of Showtime's original series like Homeland, Shameless, and the upcoming reboot of Twin Peaks.

Tags: AT&T, HBO

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AT&T Launches $60 ‘Unlimited’ Prepaid Plan as T-Mobile Raises Throttling Minimum to 30GB

AT&T today introduced a new GoPhone prepaid plan with unlimited talk, text, and data at a max speed of 3 Mbps for $65 per month, or $60 with AutoPay enabled. However, unlike AT&T's new $90 Unlimited Plus plan with up to 10GB of 4G LTE tethering, the GoPhone plan does not include Mobile Hotspot capabilities.


Each line that exceeds 22GB of data usage may experience reduced speeds to a max of 128 Kbps on that line for the remainder of the 30-day term, but only at times and in areas where there is network congestion, which is similar to 22GB and 23GB soft cap policies from Verizon and Sprint respectively.

T-Mobile this week raised its own deprioritization threshold to 30GB, up from a previous minimum of 28GB, as spotted by TmoNews.

A cheaper GoPhone plan is available for $45 per month, or $40 with AutoPay, and includes unlimited talk, text, and up to 6GB of data at a max speed of 3 Mbps. After 6GB, data speeds are slowed to a max of 128 kbps for rest of the 30-day term. Unused data rolls over to the next month. No tethering is included.

Both plans have Stream Saver mode enabled by default, which reduces streaming video to 1.5 Mbps or around 480p quality, but it can be turned off through AT&T's website to stream video in HD quality. Both plans also include talk, text, and data roaming in Canada and Mexico at no additional charge.

The new GoPhone plans are ideal for customers that do not need tethering and are looking to avoid credit checks, activation fees, and deposits, but otherwise AT&T's new Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Choice plans and competing options are worth considering for better features or value.

AT&T's pricing includes monthly access charges, but the plans are not inclusive of taxes or additional fees. Comparatively, Verizon Unlimited starts at $80 per month, Sprint Unlimited starts at $50 per month for a limited time, and T-Mobile ONE, which includes all taxes and fees, starts at $70 per month.

The new prepaid plans appear to be available immediately, but AT&T has yet to update its GoPhone website. Additional lines can be added to each plan, with multi-line discounts ranging between $5 and $20 per month.


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