With apps such as Viber and Skype providing free calls that either run on 3G or WiFi it’s got to eat into carrier networks such as AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile’s profits since those calls that are made are considered to be free. With Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Skype it looks like it doesn’t bode very well for carriers and might potentially cause some issues with Microsoft’s partnership with some of these carriers.
Yesterday we took a look at how the Microsoft/Skype deal could affect the success of Windows Phone 7 operating system and devices and today we will take a look at how this deal could affect carriers.
As mentioned yesterday it seemed like the obvious route to take that Microsoft would integrate Skype into its Windows Phone 7 operating system that allows its users to make free voice and video calls to each other and even allow the purchase of Skype credit to make calls to mobile phones or landlines local and overseas.
Naturally being a network carrier it would seem that their primary source of income comes from voice calls and Craig Moffett who is an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein is quoted as saying “It’s certainly a threat.” He also went on to say that “Wireless operators make the vast majority of their profits from low-bandwidth services like voice and text, but those services are easily arbitraged by doing them over the data network, where the price per megabyte is a tiny fraction.”
The next question is if the Skype integration with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system is what’s going to give them a unique edge in the smartphone market, which carrier would choose to represent their phones then, especially if Microsoft will be providing an alternative, and free, means of making voice and video calls?
AT&T Offers ZTE Zmax 2
Now here is a handset from the folks over at ZTE which intends to provide a sense of continuity, although this time around you will not be able to pick up the Zmax 2 from T-Mobile, as ZTE has decided on AT&T to be their US partner and mobile carrier for their latest phone. In fact, this device falls under the mid-range segment of things, where it will just cost $149.99 unlocked, now how about that for affordability?
That kind of pricing would see you end up with a 5.5” 720p touchscreen display, an 8MP camera with LED flash at the back, a 2MP front-facing shooter, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable memory, a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 4G LTE connectivity, Dolby Digital Plus Audio, and a 3,000 mAh removable battery, and Android 5.1 Lollipop as the mobile operating system of choice. [Press Release]
ASUS Zenfone 2E Becomes AT&T Exclusive
You can be forgiven for being confused about ASUS’ Zenfone 2 range to date, and here is yet another model that will add to the brouhaha. I am referring to the ASUS Zenfone 2E, where it has just been announced to be an AT&T exclusive, where you can pick one up for just $119.99 without any contract, and it is also offered by the carrier’s GoPhone prepaid brand.
At that price point, you would get a 5” 720p IPS touchscreen display in return, an 8MP camera with LED flash at the back, a 2MP front-facing shooter, a 2,500 mAh battery, a dual-core Intel processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB of internal memory, 4G LTE connectivity, and Android 5.0 Lollipop running underneath Asus’ own ZenUI. Opt from either black or white shades.
AT&T To Deliver LG Watch Urbane In Silver
If you have been hankering after the LG Watch Urbane for the longest time, while being an AT&T subscriber, then here is good news for you. This particular timepiece can be picked up for $349 a pop from AT&T, where it will arrive in a shade of silver to boot. This timepiece will run on Android Wear and is compatible with any smartphone that has Android 4.3 or higher as the mobile operating system of choice.
It is best to use the LG Watch Urbane within the confines of a Wi-Fi network all the time, along with your smartphone, so that you can keep track of notifications, send messages and make use of your Android Wear compatible apps at all times. Sporting a 1.3” circle P-OLED display, the Watch Urbane comes with replaceable 22mm stitched leather straps for more flexible fashion choices, while the integrated PPG Sensor (average pace, speed, heart rate, and distance) ought to keep fitness buffs happy, with a 410 mAh (non-removable) battery that has an all-day battery life. [Press Release]