Verizon Wireless added more postpaid subscribers in the third quarter than financial analysts had expected, and the growth was again largely driven by tablet activations, not phones. Just as it did in the second quarter, in the third quarter Verizon relied heavily on tablet activations for the vast majority of its subscriber additions.
AT&T Mobility, Sprint, T-Mobile US and UK operator EE support a new SIM card for Apple's iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 that lets customers switch between carriers. Although Verizon Wireless will provide wireless service for Apple's new tablet, it is not listed as a supporter of the new Apple SIM card.
Apple introduced two new iPad tablets, the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, as it seeks to regain momentum in the tablet market and fight back against new phablets and cheaper competing tablets from rivals.
Apple is hosting a media event at 1 p.m. Eastern Time today at its headquarters in Cupertino Calif., where it is expected to unveil new faster, thinner iPad tablets. A key question though is whether that will be enough to revive Apple's growth in the tablet market.
Chipset giant Intel reported just $1 million in revenue in its mobile and wireless business in the third quarter, thanks in large part to the subsidies it is paying tablet makers to include its silicon in their products. However, Intel executives indicated better days are ahead for the mobile business as the company works to move into lower-cost smartphones starting later this year. Meanwhile, Intel announced a deal with AT&T Mobility and Asustek for AT&T to launch an Intel-powered smartphone.
Apple has pushed the start of production for a larger iPad tablet with a 12.9-inch screen to early next year so that its suppliers can keep up with demand for Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus phablet, according to a Wall Street Journal article. Meanwhile, Apple sent out invitations to a media event on Oct 16, where the company is widely expected to unveil updated versions of its iPads alongside new desktop and laptop computers.
Sprint MVNO FreedomPop is launching its own branded tablets and soon a smartphone for under $100, hoping that the low-cost devices will help drive subscriber growth. The company is still going to support devices from branded OEMs like Samsung Electronics, but is working with contract manufacturers on its own devices, which could help build up its brand.
Microsoft has attracted 50 new hardware partners that are making Windows-based smartphones and tablets, a senior executive said. The influx in partners comes after the company decided in April that it would make Windows free for devices with screens smaller than nine inches.
The number of consumers that are using tablets and smartphones to watch TV is escalating. According to a study by Altman Vilandrie & Company, the percentage of tablet users watching TV or movies on tablets weekly jumped from 17 percent in 2013 to 26 percent. In addition, 40 percent of consumers under age 35 watch TV or movies on their smartphones every week.
Apple is working with suppliers to produce a new, larger version of its iPad tablet with a screen that measures 12.9 inches diagonally, according to a Bloomberg report.