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AT&T and Sprint Settle Lawsuit Over Misleading '5GE' Label for AT&T's 4G Network

AT&T and Sprint have settled a lawsuit that Sprint levied against AT&T for its misleading "5G Evolution" or "5GE" branding that AT&T uses for its upgraded 4G LTE network.

A spokesperson for AT&T today told Law360 that the matter has been "amicably settled." Details on the terms of the settlement have not been shared, but AT&T is planning to continue to use its 5GE branding.


AT&T earlier this year began displaying a 5GE icon on some iPhone and Android smartphones. 5GE is AT&T's misleading name for an enhanced 4G LTE network and is not actual 5G connectivity, which incensed Sprint.

After AT&T rolled out the 5GE terminology, Sprint filed a lawsuit in federal court against AT&T in an attempt to prevent AT&T from using 5GE labeling. Sprint accused AT&T of damaging the consumer reputation and understanding of true 5G and potentially hurting Sprint's planned 5G rollout this summer.

Sprint also took out a full page ad in The New York Times to call AT&T out for the misleading labeling, calling 5GE "fake 5G." From Sprint's ad:
While Sprint is working hard to deliver mobile 5G and the first 5G smartphone in the U.S., AT&T is hard at work trying to convince you that they already won the race to 5G with something they call "5G Evolution." That is simply untrue.

Don't be fooled. 5G Evolution isn't new or true 5G. It is fake 5G.

They would love for you to believe they are different ... better. The truth is AT&T is simply offering customers a nationwide 4G LTE network just like Sprint and all the other major wireless carriers. It's not 5G.
AT&T uses 5GE for its 4G LTE networks that offer features like three-way carrier aggregation, 256 QAM, and 4x4 MIMO to provide faster connection speeds to consumers. These features are in no way limited to AT&T and are offered by other carriers, but no other carrier is using fake 5G branding.

Unsurprisingly, speed tests have confirmed that AT&T's 5GE service is no faster than LTE from Verizon and T-Mobile.

AT&T has defended its 5GE branding by calling 5G Evolution "first step on the road to 5G" and by claiming that customers "love" the 5GE branding because they "want and deserve to know" when "better speeds" are available.
"We understand why our competitors don't like what we are doing, but our customers love it. We introduced 5G Evolution more than two years ago, clearly defining it as an evolutionary step to standards-based 5G. 5G Evolution and the 5GE indicator simply let customers know when their device is in an area where speeds up to twice as fast as standard LTE are available. That's what 5G Evolution is, and we are delighted to deliver it to our customers.
Smartphones that support true 5G connectivity are only now just beginning to trickle out, and Apple isn't expected to launch one until 2020. No existing iPhone will be able to connect to a 5G network because it requires new hardware.

5G networks from the four major carriers in the United States are going to be available starting in 2019, but expanded coverage and full rollouts will take some time.

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Apple Seeds Third Beta of iOS 12.3 With New TV App to Developers

Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming iOS 12.3 update to developers, two weeks after releasing the second beta and a month after the launch of iOS 12.2, an update that introduced Apple News+, new Animoji, and more.

Registered developers can download the new iOS 12.3 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.


iOS 12.3 and tvOS 12.3 introduce a new version of Apple's TV app, which has been updated with a new look and fresh functionality.

In the new TV app, "Watch Now" and "Up Next" are still front and center for keeping track of what you're watching, but there's a new machine learning-based recommendation engine that will suggest content based on your viewing preferences and history.

The app's interface has been streamlined with sections for movies, TV shows, sports, and kids content, and on iOS, there's a separate bottom bar for the library, search, and Watch Now options.


There's a new "Channels" feature in the TV app, which is one of the major new components of Apple's services push. Channels are subscription services that you can sign up for and watch within the TV app without having to open up another app.

So, for example, if you come across a show you want to watch on your iPhone or Apple TV that's on Showtime, you can tap to subscribe to Showtime right in the TV app, and then you can watch that show without leaving the app.

Some of the new Channels that will be supported include CBS All Access, Starz, Showtime, HBO, Nickelodeon, Mubi, The History Channel Vault, and Comedy Central Now. During the beta, though, users can subscribe to Showtime, Starz, Smithsonian, EPIX, and Tastemade.


You'll still get recommendations for content from services that aren't a part of Channels, you'll just need to watch non-channel content in a third-party app. The TV app also houses iTunes TV shows and movies.

When Apple debuts its Apple TV+ service this fall, all of the company's original TV shows and movies will also be accessible in the TV app. iOS 12.3 will be in beta testing for the next few weeks ahead of a May launch, the month when Apple said the new TV app will be released.

Related Roundup: iOS 12
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Galaxy Fold Launch Delayed as Samsung Commits to 'Strengthen the Display Protection' [Updated]

The Wall Street Journal reports that Samsung has delayed its launch of the Galaxy Fold until "at least next month" after multiple review units experienced sudden display failures while being tested by the media last week.

Todd Haselton/CNBC

Samsung initially said it remained committed to launching the Galaxy Fold on April 26, but the rollout is now expected in the "coming weeks." The company has yet to confirm the delay, but it wouldn't be surprising given that at least some of the folding smartphones appear to have a serious hardware issue.

Galaxy Fold launch events in Hong Kong and Shanghai have already been postponed, according to Engadget's Richard Lai.

Samsung earlier confirmed that it would "thoroughly inspect" the affected devices to determine the cause, but it has yet to provide an explanation. Samsung also cautioned that removing the protective layer on the display could cause damage, but some displays failed even with the protective layer in place.

The delay would be an embarrassing mishap for a smartphone that starts at $1,980, but the right move before the Galaxy Fold gets into the hands of thousands of customers around the world and potentially turned into a larger problem.

Update: Samsung has confirmed the delay in a statement provided to CNBC, noting that it will announce a new release date "in the coming weeks" and "will take measures to strengthen the display protection."
We recently unveiled a completely new mobile category: a smartphone using multiple new technologies and materials to create a display that is flexible enough to fold. We are encouraged by the excitement around the Galaxy Fold.

While many reviewers shared with us the vast potential they see, some also showed us how the device needs further improvements that could ensure the best possible user experience.

To fully evaluate this feedback and run further internal tests, we have decided to delay the release of the Galaxy Fold. We plan to announce the release date in the coming weeks.

Initial findings from the inspection of reported issues on the display showed that they could be associated with impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge. There was also an instance where substances found inside the device affected the display performance.

We will take measures to strengthen the display protection. We will also enhance the guidance on care and use of the display including the protective layer so that our customers get the most out of their Galaxy Fold.

We value the trust our customers place in us and they are always our top priority. Samsung is committed to working closely with customers and partners to move the industry forward. We want to thank them for their patience and understanding.


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WWDC 2019: Siri Expected to Become More Useful With Third-Party Apps on iOS 13 and More

iOS 13 will enable developers to integrate Siri into their apps for several new use cases, including media playback, search, voice calling, event ticketing, message attachments, flights, train trips, and airport gate and seat information, according to 9to5Mac's Guilherme Rambo.


In a report today, Rambo detailed several other developer-focused features that he expects Apple to announce at WWDC in June, including the ability for iOS apps ported to the Mac to use Mac-specific features such as the Touch Bar and keyboard shortcuts along with support for multiple windows.

Rambo says enabling Mac support for an existing iOS app is "as easy as checking a checkbox" in Xcode, akin to adding iPad support to an iPhone app.

Apple's augmented reality platform ARKit is said to gain "significant improvements" this year, including a brand new Swift-only framework for augmented reality and a companion app that lets developers create augmented reality experiences visually. ARKit is also said to gain the ability to detect human poses.

Developers are also expected to gain access to a handful of new frameworks that allow for expanded use of the Taptic Engine, document scanning in third-party apps, and the ability to capture photos from external devices such as cameras and SD cards without having to go through Apple's Photos app.

Last, on the Mac, apps will supposedly be able to offer file provider extensions, improving the integration of apps like Dropbox with Finder.

Related Roundups: WWDC 2019, iOS 13, macOS 10.15
Tag: Siri
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Apple Celebrates Earth Day 2019

Today is Earth Day, an annual event celebrated around the world that brings attention to various environmental causes. Apple is taking part in the event in a variety of ways, from green Apple logos in retail locations to providing an update on its mission to conserve mangrove trees in Colombia.

Image via @SetteBIT

As it does every year in its retail stores, Apple has turned the leaves of the Apple logo green in honor of Earth Day. Select locations have also provided workers with green t-shirts to mark the event, and all Apple stores today will promote environment-themed Today at Apple sessions.

The company is also hosting an Apple Watch challenge today, asking users to get a 30 minute workout done before the day ends. Apple usually hosts Activity Challenges for major holidays and well-known events, and for the past several years there's been an Earth Day Challenge with the same goal as 2019 -- complete a 30 minute workout.

Apple today also shared a press release that provides an update on its efforts to preserve the mangrove trees in Cispatá Bay in Córdoba, Colombia. Last year on Earth Day, Apple partnered with Conservation International to protect and restore Cispatá Bay, due to the area's importance in the battle against climate change. "Globally, we've lost half of the world's mangrove forests since the 1940s," said Apple VP of Environment Lisa Jackson. "So it's high time we start preserving and protecting them."


The company has also marked Earth Day across its services. Beginning with Apple Music, the Mixtape for Mother Earth has been refreshed this year with curation by Jaden Smith. It includes tracks like "Come Together" by The Beatles, "Summertime Magic" by Childish Gambino, and more. Jaden joined his parents Will and Jada at Apple Park last week to discuss the environment and Jaden's company, Just Water.

Apple is also marking down a collection of environmentally-friendly films on iTunes Movies in a new sale. This includes a suite of Disneynature documentaries for $9.99, and films focused on climate change, the natural wonders of the planet, and animated features for kids with environmental messages like Wall-E and FernGully.


A similar section has appeared in iBooks as well, providing readers with books themed around the environment. These include books that allow you to "Explore the Natural World," "Get Informed," "Do Your Part," and a section focused on kids' books like Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax" and "Curios George Plants a Tree."

Earlier in April, Apple announced that it has nearly doubled the number of suppliers that have committed to run their Apple-specific production on 100 percent renewable energy, bringing the total number to 44. This includes iPhone assemblers Foxconn, Pegatron, and Wistron; Gorilla Glass maker Corning; Face ID module provider Finisar; A-series chipmaker TSMC; Apple Watch manufacturer Quanta Computer; and AirPods assembler Luxshare.

The company continued its environment-friendly announcements later in the month by revealing a new "Material Recovery Lab" had opened in Austin, Texas, dedicated to looking for innovative solutions that will improve on traditional methods of recycling. Apple also revealed a major expansion of its recycling program, quadrupling the number of locations where United States customers can send their iPhone to be disassembled by its recycling robot Daisy, which was introduced around last year's Earth Day.

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Sony's Upcoming Smart TVs to Receive AirPlay 2 and HomeKit in Summer 2019, Including $70,000 Model

Sony today announced that some of its upcoming smart TVs will support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit in summer 2019, including its A9G series of 4K OLED TVs, Z9G series of 8K LED TVs, and X950G series of 4K LED TVs.


The TVs themselves will be released on a staggered basis, starting with the X950G series in late April and followed by additional models in May and June, including a 98-inch 8K TV for a whopping $70,000. AirPlay 2 and HomeKit will presumably be rolled out in a subsequent software update.

Apple also lists Sony's upcoming X850G series of 4K TVs in its AirPlay 2–enabled TVs list, but no timeframe for those features was provided for that model.

AirPlay 2 support will allow users to stream videos, music, photos, and more directly from an iPhone, iPad, and Mac to compatible Sony smart TVs, complete with lock screen controls. HomeKit support will enable users to easily control the TVs using Siri voice commands or the Home app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.


Samsung, LG, and Vizio are also releasing AirPlay 2-enabled smart TVs this year. Earlier this month, we went hands-on with one of Vizio's compatible models.

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Kuo: 2020 iPhones to Support 5G, Qualcomm and Samsung Likely to Supply Modems

2020 iPhones will support 5G networks, with chipmaker Qualcomm likely to be one of two 5G modem suppliers for the devices after settling its high-profile legal battle with Apple last week, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


Interestingly, Kuo expects Samsung to be the other supplier in select markets. Apple frequently aims to diversify its supply chain in an effort to reduce risk and have improved bargaining power, potentially reducing its costs as multiple suppliers engage in a price war to secure the lucrative orders.

An excerpt from Kuo's latest research note, obtained by MacRumors:
Apple and Qualcomm's end of patent dispute and entrance into a six-year licensing deal implies new 2H20 iPhone models will support 5G; Qualcomm and Samsung are potential 5G baseband chip suppliers: The market was worried that Intel's disappointing 5G baseband chip development might be the most severe uncertainty for the new 2H20 iPhone models' adoption of 5G. But we believe the uncertainty has been removed after Apple and Qualcomm's end of patent dispute and entrance into a six-year licensing deal, and Intel's announcement that it will exit the 5G baseband chip business. We expect Apple will likely adopt 5G baseband chips made by Qualcomm (focus on mmWave markets) and Samsung (focus on Sub-6GHz markets) for lowering supply risk, reducing costs and having better bargaining power.
Kuo believes that 5G will be a boon for both iPhone sales and Apple's supply chain in 2020. He forecasts total iPhone shipments of 195–200 million units in 2020, including 70–75 million 5G models released in the second half of the year.

Qualcomm was already the widely expected frontrunner for 5G modems in 2020 iPhones after Intel announced it is exiting the 5G smartphone modem business.

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JCPenney Removes Apple Pay Support From Its Retail Stores and Mobile App [Updated]

American department store JCPenney has quietly removed support for Apple Pay from its retail stores, it has emerged.


The withdrawal of support for Apple's digital payment system was confirmed on Saturday by the company's customer service Twitter account in response to a query, but offered no reason for its decision.


The option to use Apple Pay at checkout in the JCPenney iOS app has also been removed, reports Appleosophy, catching many mobile shoppers off guard.

The retailer began trialing Apple Pay in late 2015, before rolling it out to all of its stores across the United States and adding support for the payment method to its app for iPhone and iPad shortly after.

JCPenney also made its credit card available on Apple Pay, enabling customers to earn shopping points through its JCPenney Rewards loyalty program, directly in the Wallet app on iPhone.

Assuming JCPenney still takes NFC contactless payments, it's unclear whether the company has switched merchant account providers to one that doesn't support Apple Pay, or has simply disabled support for Apple's digital wallet at its transaction terminals. We've contacted JCPenney for more information on their reasoning behind the decision and will update this article if we learn more.

Update: In a statement to TechCrunch, JCPenney says that it stopped supporting Apple Pay and other contactless payments because of an April 13 deadline from Visa for retiring legacy magnetic stripe (MSD) contactless technology in favor of more secure EMV technology.
A third-party credit card brand made the requirement for all merchants to actively support EMV contactless functionality effective April 13, retiring the legacy MSD contactless technology in place. Given the resources and lead time associated with meeting the new mandate, JCPenney chose to suspend all contactless payment options until a later date. Customers still have the ability to complete their transactions manually by inserting or swiping their physical credit cards at our point-of-sale terminals in stores, an option employed by the vast majority of JCPenney shoppers.
Rather than upgrading its technology, JCPenney opted to discontinue contactless payment support, at least for the time being.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
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Alleged iPhone XI and XI Max Molds Show Triple Camera Layout

SlashLeaks posts an image that is alleged to be iPhone XI and XI Max molds for 3rd party case production.


These physical molds are presumably produced by case manufacturers based on leaked schematics to test early cases for the upcoming 2019 iPhones.

The front design is also shown on a Weibo post which may have been the original source for the images:


The square grouping of the triple-camera is consistent with other rumors and images that have leaked from the supply chain regarding Apple's upcoming iPhones.

Related Roundup: 2019 iPhones
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Apple Pulls 4K LG UltraFine Displays From Online Apple Store in U.S.

Apple has removed the 4K LG UltraFine Displays from its online Apple Store in the United States, continuing a trend of pulling the display from its online stores around the world. Before disappearing from the store, the display had been listed as "Sold Out" for quite some time.

It's not clear why Apple has stopped selling the 4K LG UltraFine Display, but it is several years old at this point, having first debuted in 2016.


The 4K and 5K UltraFine Displays were designed by LG in partnership with Apple and were created to be used with the 2016 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models, which supported Thunderbolt 3 for the first time.

The 21.5-inch 4K LG UltraFine Display offered a resolution of 4096 x 2304 with support for P3 wide color gamut and 60W of power delivery for charging a MacBook. It was selling from Apple for $700 before being pulled from the online store.

LG recently debuted a new 4K UltraFine Display, but this new model, priced at $1300, was not designed in partnership with Apple and it doesn't seem like Apple is planning to replace the existing model with this one in its retail stores.

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Apple is still selling the LG UltraFine 5K Display for $1300, and Best Buy is continuing to offer the original UltraFine 4K Display from 2016 for its original $700 price, suggesting it has not been discontinued by LG.

Apple is working on an Apple-branded display that will be sold alongside the high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro that's in the works, but with a rumored 6K resolution and a 31.6-inch screen size, it's sounding like it's going to be ultra high end (and expensive) and not a replacement for traditional 4K and 5K displays.

Related Roundup: Apple Display 6K
Tag: LG
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Siri Shortcuts, Screen Time, and iMessage Screen Effects Coming to macOS This Year

iOS apps and features including Shortcuts, Screen Time, and iMessage effects will be coming to macOS later this year, after they're first unveiled at Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference in June. The information was shared today by 9to5Mac's Guilherme Rambo, who spoke with people familiar with the development of macOS 10.15.


The major update to macOS, which is expected to launch in the fall, will include support for Siri Shortcuts. Apple updated the previous Workflow app for iOS to become Siri Shortcuts in September 2018, alongside the release of iOS 12. It allows you to create multi-step automations that you can initiate with a simple Siri command.

Today, Shortcuts has expanded to numerous third-party apps like American Airlines and Caviar. Later this year, Mac computers will get "system-wide" support for Siri Shortcuts, according to today's report.

Secondly, macOS 10.15 will see the addition of Screen Time, which tracks your device usage and reports back to you at the end of each week with statistics on what apps you use the most. Parents can use the feature to limit the time their kids spend in certain apps, and people trying to take a break from social media can set time limits on apps like Instagram and Twitter.

On macOS, this feature will work essentially the same as it does on iOS. It'll be housed in a new panel in System Preferences to customize its settings, and an overlay will appear when time limits are exceeded, where you can close the app or bypass the Screen Time lock with a passcode.

Lastly, macOS will be getting iMessage screen effects that have been exclusive to iPhones and iPads for a few years. These include full screen effects like Echo, Balloons, Confetti, and Lasers. On current versions of macOS, when an iPhone user sends these effects and they're read on a Mac, the iMessage screen on Mac simply states "Sent with [Effect Name]" below the message.

Today's news follows previous reports about Apple's plans to tie the iOS and macOS ecosystems more closely together. This includes letting developers release universal apps that work across iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices, which could happen by 2021. Last year at WWDC, Apple also ported a few iOS apps to macOS for the first time, including Home, News, Voice Memos, and Stocks.

Tag: macOS
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Foxconn 'Remains Committed' to Wisconsin Plant and Promise of Eventually Employing 13,000 Workers

Apple supplier Foxconn today said that it remains committed to its contract to build a display plant and research facility in Wisconsin (via Reuters). The company's comment comes a few days after Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said that the state wanted to renegotiate the Foxconn deal, partly due to the belief that the Taiwanese company was not expected to reach its goal of creating 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin.


Foxconn's original goal for the project was to eventually employ 13,000 workers on the site, and today the company has confirmed that it "remains committed" to this plan. Foxconn initially announced the project in 2017 at a White House event alongside President Donald Trump. Governor Evers recently took office in January 2019, inheriting the deal to Give Foxconn $4 billion in tax breaks and other incentives.
“Foxconn’s commitment to job creation in Wisconsin remains long term and will span over the length of the WEDC (Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation) contract and beyond.”
Over the years, Foxconn's Wisconsin plant has gone through many iterations as the supplier faced new roadblocks and cost-cutting measures. The plant was designated as a TV display factory in its early stages, then pivoted to small to medium-size displays for smartphones, infotainment systems, and other "niche products".

In early 2019, Reuters reported that Foxconn would greatly scale back its plans to produce displays of any kind in Wisconsin and instead focus on research and development. The news came from Louis Woo, assistant to Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, who said Foxconn is "not building a factory" in Wisconsin.

According to Woo, the steep cost of making advanced screens for TV sets and other devices in the United States led to the decision. Around the same time, the company confirmed it had slowed its pace of hiring, down to about 5,200 people expected by the end of 2020.

As of now, Foxconn has fallen short of its employment goals in 2018, hiring just 178 full-time workers rather than the 260 it intended to for the year. The supplier has to meet certain hiring and capital investment goals under its current contract to qualify for tax credits in Wisconsin. With its inability to meet the 260 hiring target last year, it failed to earn a tax credit of up to $9.5 million.

Tag: Foxconn
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