Motorola Mobility's move to adopt Android "Marshmallow" will result in the Lenovo unit eliminating some features it had introduced on its devices, such as Motorola Assist, Connect and Migrate. Those add-ons are now extraneous, given the features offered on the new Android platform, Motorola noted on its blog.
Microsoft is expected to reveal at least two new premium Lumia phones Tuesday that carry Windows 10 software, but the company is trying to dampen expectations for the effort and will target enterprise users more than the consumer market, industry observers say. Microsoft is retooling its smartphone strategy away from trying to attract mass-market shoppers and instead is hoping businesses will want phones equipped with software compatible with their PCs, Shira Ovide writes.
Apple Pay hasn't quite taken off the way the company anticipated, accounting for only about 1% of US retail transactions a year after it was introduced, Aite Group says. Lack of promotion and scarcity of compatible sales terminals are among the reasons cited for the muted reception.
MasterCard has launched technology that it says will eventually eliminate the need for online shoppers to remember passwords. The MasterCard Identity Check will let the shopper establish identification via a fingerprint on a phone's scanner or a blink into a selfie camera.
The growing popularity of ad-blockers could result in a shift in mobile advertising, with native content and in-application ads becoming more prevalent, observers say. "The most strategic marketers will revisit their content, targeting and media strategies, and challenge themselves to offer more relevant and rewarding audience experiences; in other words, they will focus on earning their audience," ThinkVine's Damon Ragusa said.
AT&T is charging that federal regulators are favoring its rivals when enforcing its rules. AT&T's Jim Cicconi said the Federal Communications Commission is adding "fuel to the fire" by dragging its feet on a waiver AT&T requested for a Wi-Fi calling feature even though rivals T-Mobile US and Sprint have been operating for more than a year without the waiver.
CTIA has redoubled its efforts to fight cellphone thefts and secure user data through a "new commitment" aimed at making it easier for phone users to adopt tools that remotely erase data from stolen handsets. The tool, which include a list of useful applications, "balances the needs of users while still providing the flexibility for companies to innovate," CTIA said.
Sprint has confirmed that it considering a belt-tightening move after The Wall Street Journal reported that the carrier had sent a memo to some employees saying that it would pare up to $2.5 billion in costs and freeze hiring. Sprint issued a statement saying that it was premature to provide details of its plans but that the cuts are needed "so the transformation of the company will be sustainable for the long-term.”
A French startup has introduced an iOS and Android application that informs users how polluted the air is in their areas. Plume Labs said the Plume Air Report app collects data from 150 government-sponsored global monitoring stations to provide information on pollution levels. "If you have information, you can adapt your behavior and live a healthier life," Plume founder Romain Lacombe said.
DISH Network will give up its claim to $3.5 billion in spectrum licenses won through a pair of affiliates in January's spectrum auction. The Federal Communications Commission will try to re-auction the 197 licenses won by SNR Wireless LicenseCo and Northstar Wireless. The agency ruled that the companies were not entitled to a 25% small-business discount on their bids. SNR and Northstar will get to keep close to $10 billion in licenses from the auction and have agreed to pay a $413 million fine.
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