Why Verizon killing subsidized phones is good for Apple

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The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s plus are coming on September 18th, according to German carriers.
The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s plus are coming on September 18th, according to German carriers.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Following the lead of other carriers, Verizon Wireless is killing subsidized phones and will streamline its data plans. New subscribers will no longer have the option to get a new iPhone subsidized when signing up for a two-year contract.

With the iPhone 6s launch likely two months away, this might sound like bad news for Apple, a company that has gotten fat off carrier-subsidized iPhones over the last eight years. But the death of subsidized iPhones could be a really good thing for Apple.

Apple is in talks to become a wireless carrier

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The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s plus are coming on September 18th, according to German carriers.
The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s plus are coming on September 18th, according to German carriers.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

The absolute worst part of buying an iPhone every year is having to deal with AT&T and Verizon in order to qualify for Apple’s latest device. That could soon be a thing of the past, though, as Apple is looking to launch its own wireless network so users wouldn’t have to deal with traditional carriers any longer.

Verizon snaps up AOL for a cool $4.4 billion

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AOL just got bought by the king of mobile. Photo: Verizon
AOL just got bought by the king of mobile. Photo: Verizon

Mobile giant Verizon has announced that it will acquire the former media kingpin AOL in an all-cash deal worth $4.4 billion.

Although AOL is virtually an afterthought these days, Verizon has said that it will use the deal to help push its online video content, which it has made efforts to become a leader in.

Notably, the deal also makes Verizon the owner of The Huffington Post, Techcrunch, Engadget and others.

iPhone 6 pre-orders were a bigger mess than Apple’s keynote live stream

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Trying to load the Apple Store at 12:27 a.m. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac.
Trying to load the Apple Store at 12:27 a.m. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac.

Apple’s new iPhones went up for pre-order this morning, and for those who stayed up late to get their order in, it turned out to be a very long night. The vast majority had to wait until past 12:30 a.m. before the had any joy loading the Apple Online Store, and when it finally went live, many iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus options were “currently unavailable.”

Verizon’s Auto Share will let you rent (or rent out) any car with your iPhone

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Available in many major cities, Zipcar is this wonderful service that allows you to rent a car by the hour with your smartphone. In my neighborhood, there are half-a-dozen Zipcars parked, just waiting to be scooped up for a quick Ikea run or jaunt to the grocery store. It makes owning a car largely superfluous, at least if you live in a city with good public transportation.

But even though I live in an area with a lot of Zipcars, it’s still hard to find one that is unused on a busy Saturday or Sunday afternoon. But now Verizon has a plan on how to compete with Zipcar, and it’s a doozy: they’re going to allow anyone turn their own car into a Zipcar, rentable by iPhone or other smartphones.

Verizon set to launch VoLTE just in time for iOS 8

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AOL just got bought by the king of mobile. Photo: Verizon
AOL just got bought by the king of mobile. Photo: Verizon

Verizon Wireless announced today that it is preparing to roll out Voice over LTE (VoLTE) support to its millions of subscribers over the next few weeks, just ahead of Apple’s planned release of iOS 8 which is rumored to bring VoLTE support to the iPhone for the first time.

The addition of VoLTE will allow Verizon customers to send and receive voice calls over the faster LTE network, rather than using old technologies like 3G, resulting in high-definition voice calls as well as video.

AT&T and Verizon fight plan to make 911 callers easier to find

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Photo: Flickr/BenSpark
Photo: Flickr/BenSpark

Each second wasted during a 911 call could be the difference between life and death, making precise location data crucial to the whole lifesaving process, but according to the top U.S. cellphone carriers, getting that exact location to responders is just a little too expensive on 911 calls from a smartphone.

AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint are fighting back on an FCC proposal that aims to save lives by making it easier to locate 911 callers. The government proposal calls on carriers to upgrade their networks so that tracking callers indoor is easier, but AT&T says the project would be a waste of scarce resources.