In this edition of “Last Week in Tech”, we will look at all the latest tech news from Apple coming out of their September 10th iPhone event, the LG G2 phablet, and Microsoft as they prepare for their Surface 2 event.
New iPhones – Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage on Tuesday to introduce two new iPhones to the iPhone lineup – the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. The iPhone 5C will be an all plastic replacement for the current iPhone 5. It will feature an A6 processor, 8-megapixel iSight rear camera. The device will be constructed of plastic and come in a variety of bright colors such as white, pink, yellow, blue and green. The new iPhone 5C will sell for only $99 on a 2 year contract, and a hefty $549 SIM free (no contract). The new iPhone 5S will bring 50% more speed over last years iPhone 5. Along with speed enhancements the iPhone 5 will feature an improved iSight camera, fingerprint reader (Touch ID), and a separate M7 processor to handle the accelerometer and gyroscope. This translates to improved performance for motion and fitness apps, like Nike Fuel. The 5S will start at $199 on a 2 year contract at all four major US carriers on September 20th.
LG G2 Arrives – The new LG G2 Android smartphone arrived on AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile today. The device packs a Snapdragon S800 chip from Qualcomm clocked at 2.26GHz, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of on-board storage, and a microSD slot. The G2 can be ordered online today for $199 on a standard two-year contract (AT&T & Verizon), and T-Mobile will offer the handset on an installment plan with a $99 up-front payment. If you’re looking to buy the G2 outright, it’ll cost you $603.99 on T-Mobile, $599.99 on Verizon, or $574.99 on AT&T.
Android Security update – The Google Play Edition of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One have received a security fix for Android 4.3. This is most likely the same fix that Nexus devices started receiving in late August. Android experts from XDA forums believe the patch fixes a cryptographic vulnerability that hackers allegedly exploited in a Bitcoin heist last month.
Surface 2 Coming Soon – Microsoft has sent an invite to an event where they will unveil their newest Surface Tablet in New York City on September 23rd. Microsoft is expected to unveil the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets. Rumors have both tablets looking identical to the previous generation, except that they are believed to include a two-position kickstand on their displays. Along with the new tablets we are expecting new docks, power covers, and cases.
T-Mobile Expand LTE Coverage – The nations 4th biggest carrier has been making big moves since it got the iPhone in April. The carrier has added more LTE coverage to their map with 154 markets and 180 million POPs (point-of-presence). In July, T-Mobile was only in 116 markets and 157 POPs. Compare this to Verizon, who covers 500+ LTE markets, and AT&T who cover 400 markets with 240m POPs, T-Mobile still has a way to go.
AT&T Purchases 700MHz Spectrum – The 8 month long spectrum and cash swap deal between Verizon and AT&T has finally come to a close. In a deal that allows AT&T to pick up some 700MHz spectrum licenses, Verizon in exchange will get $1.9 billion in cash, in addition to AWS spectrum licenses in a handful of markets. At the end of the day this is a great thing for both Verizon and AT&T customers as each carrier will now support better LTE coverage across the US. See that, they CAN work together.