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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AT&T’s New DirecTV Now Loyalty Promo Includes Free HBO for 12 Months or $5 Off for 6 Months

AT&T today announced a new loyalty reward for its DirecTV Now subscribers, offering free HBO for 12 months or $5 off for six months.

All existing customers with active DirecTV Now accounts that were created before March 6, 2017 can claim the loyalty reward. Customers with the "Go Big" and "Gotta Have It" plans will get 12 months of free HBO, while customers with the "Live a Little" and "Just Right" plans will get the $5 off reward.

Customers eligible for the HBO reward will be able to use their DirecTV Now login information to access HBOGo, and the HBO subscription will be listed in their Payment History as a $0 charge. Those who already have an HBO subscription will be automatically credited during the 12-month duration of the promotion.


Because the HBO add-on is priced at $5 per month, customers with the smaller plans can use their $5 credit to get free HBO access for six months.

DirecTV Now subscribers are receiving emails about the promotion starting this afternoon.
You're getting HBO included with your existing package through March 7, 2018. You literally don't need to do a single thing other than enjoy all of HBO with unlimited access to the most entertaining movies, addictive series, family favorites and more.

Why now? Why you?

Simply put, we want to thank you for being one of our most valuable customers and coming on this unprecedented journey with us. We're dedicated to making DIRECTV NOW the best streaming entertainment product in the industry, and because of you, we're on our way. So go on, keep enjoying the huge library of the best entertainment with unlimited access to all of HBO--anytime, anywhere. Want more deets? Check out our FAQ."
HBO access will be granted automatically to eligible accounts, but it may take a few hours for accounts to be updated.

Introduced in November of 2016, DirecTV Now is AT&T's DirecTV-branded streaming television service, which includes various channel bundles at prices ranging from $35 to $70.

The cheapest "Live a Little" $35 per month plan offers 60+ channels, while the biggest "Gotta Have It" package, priced at $70 per month, offers 120+ channels.


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AT&T Announces New Unlimited Data Plan With 10GB of Tethering and $25 Off DirecTV

AT&T launched a new unlimited data plan less than two weeks ago, but with more competitive options available from Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint, it went back to the drawing board and came up with something better.


Starting Thursday, new and existing AT&T customers can choose from two new plans: Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Choice.

Unlimited Plus starts at $90 per month for a single line and includes unlimited talk, text, and data at up to 4G LTE speeds. Video can be streamed in HD quality, but Stream Saver mode, which reduces streaming video to around 480p quality, is enabled by default and must be turned off through myAT&T.

AT&T Unlimited Plus includes up to 10GB of 4G LTE tethering per line per month, with speeds reduced to a max 128 Kbps for the rest of the bill cycle for eligible devices once the high-speed allotment is exceeded.

Two smartphone lines starts at $145 per month, while up to eight additional devices, such as tablets and hotspots, can be added for $20 per month each. The pricing includes monthly access charges, but it is not inclusive of taxes or additional fees. AutoPay and paperless billing are required.

For a limited time, AT&T Unlimited Plus customers can receive a $25 bill credit towards DirecTV, DirecTV NOW, or AT&T U-verse each month. The bill credits begin in 2-3 billing periods. The total monthly cost for AT&T Unlimited Plus with DirecTV NOW, for example, would start at $100 per month after discounts.

Meanwhile, AT&T Unlimited Choice is a new cheaper option starting at $60 per month for a single line, and includes unlimited talk, text, and data at up to 3 Mbps speeds. Video streams at a max of 1.5 Mbps, aka about 480p. No discount is offered for bundling DirecTV, DirecTV NOW, or U-verse.

Two smartphone lines starts at $115 per month, while up to eight additional devices, such as tablets and hotspots, can be added for $20 per month each. The pricing includes monthly access charges, but it is not inclusive of taxes or additional fees. AutoPay and paperless billing are required.

For both plans, customers that exceed 22GB of data usage may experience reduced speeds for the remainder of the billing cycle, but only at times and in areas where there is network congestion, which is similar to 22GB, 23GB, and 28GB soft cap policies from Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile respectively.

Additionally, AT&T said both plans allow individuals and businesses to make unlimited calls from the U.S. to Canada and Mexico, and send unlimited texts to over 120 countries. AT&T customers on these plans can also use their plan to talk, text, and use data in Canada and Mexico with no roaming charges.

Video references AT&T's earlier unlimited data plan

AT&T's earlier unlimited data plan started at $100 per month and did not include any tethering, so its new plans offer better value. Meanwhile, Verizon Unlimited starts at $80 per month, Sprint Unlimited starts at $50 per month for a limited time, and T-Mobile ONE starts at $70 per month, inclusive of taxes and fees.


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