AT&T, Verizon tried to subvert a technology Apple embraces

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Apple watch
An eSIM is far smaller than a standard one, and much more flexible. But not if some carriers get their way.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The Department of Justice is investigating whether AT&T and Verizon colluded to subvert the primary goal of electronic SIMs. This new tech makes it easy to switch between service providers, something to two largest wireless carriers apparently wanted to prevent. 

Apple uses an eSIM in the Apple Watch Series 3. And last year this company formally complained to the DoJ that the two carriers were pressuring an international standards body to make an anticompetitive change to this emerging tech. 

Verizon Smart Family app gives parents new tools

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Verizon Smart Family
The Verizon Smart Family app is designed to make you a better digital parent.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Verizon’s new service lets parents limit their children’s’ screen time, monitor who they’re texting (and how often), and track their location. 

The Smart Family program also includes content filters, and can even tell a parent how much battery life their child’s phone has left.

T-Mobile and Verizon boast fastest 4G speeds

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Best 4G
T-Mobile and Verizon are battling it out to see which will offer the best 4G.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A quick and reliable LTE connection is a necessity for any iPhone. Verizon and T-Mobile offer the best 4G performance, with AT&T and Sprint not able to keep up.

All four of the national carriers’ networks show improvement over 2017, but some haven’t yet recovered from the deluge of usage that came when they began offering unlimited data plans several years ago.

New LTE tech brings screaming speeds — but not to iPhones

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T-Mobile LTE speed test

Photo: T-Mobile

T-Mobile has increased LTE speeds to a staggering 500Mbps in New York City. It has become the first carrier to test commercial Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technology, which sends 4G signals over unused 5GHz Wi-Fi channels to increase bandwidth, in the United States.

LAA will soon be expanding its reach across the U.S. — but you won’t be able to enjoy it on iPhone.

Verizon will start locking iPhones to deter theft

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iPhone X
Apple may be forced to rely solely on Samsung again.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Verizon plans to start locking all phones, including iPhones, to its network for a certain period of time. The carrier is hoping the move, which will prevent customers from using other SIM cards in Verizon devices, will help it fight theft.

Today in Apple history: iPhone comes to Verizon at last

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Four years of AT&T exclusivity on iPhone finally comes to an end.
Four years of AT&T exclusivity on iPhone finally comes to an end.
Photo: Jon Fingas/Flickr CC

February 3: Today in Apple history: iPhone comes to Verizon at last February 3, 2011: The iPhone finally arrives on Verizon Wireless, the United States’ largest carrier, ending nearly four years of exclusivity with AT&T.

The move comes as Apple faces pressure to expand its customer base in response to the growing popularity of Android. The deal commences with the iPhone 4 being made available for preorder by Verizon’s 93 million customers.

AT&T promises blazing-fast 5G in U.S. by end of 2018

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AT&T logo
The new technology promises to bring speeds that are 10 to 100x faster than current cellular data capabilities.
Photo: Luismt94/Wikipedia CC

AT&T has promised to begin rolling out a true next-generation 5G network in a dozen U.S. cities by the end of the year.

The pledge follows international 5G standards being agreed upon last month by 3GPP, the body responsible for developing and governing cellular standards.

iPhone X line sitters get dose of disappointment

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iPhone X space gray
The iPhone X isn't easy to find.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The iPhone X launch has caused massive lines of to form up outside of Apple stores across the globe, but due to limited supply, many are walking away empty handed.

Apple saw unprecedented demand for the iPhone X when it opened pre-orders last week. Shipping times quickly slipped to five to six weeks, causing fans who didn’t pre-order to line up early in hopes of getting the iPhone X.