AT&T received a waiver from the FCC on its rules for the hearing impaired that it said were prohibiting it from offering Wi-Fi calling services. However, it's unclear how soon AT&T will enable Wi-Fi calling on the iPhone and other devices.
AT&T said that it wants to offer Wi-Fi calling services on the iPhone via Apple's new iOS 9 software, but that it is still waiting for an FCC waiver on rules that require calling services to also offer options for deaf and hard-of-hearing users. In a new filing today with the FCC, the carrier reiterated its request for a waiver and blasted Sprint and T-Mobile US for offering Wi-Fi calling services without requesting waivers from the FCC's rules.
Sales of Apple's new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus kicked off today around the world as U.S. carriers sought to one-up each other with new offers and promotions designed to get customers to upgrade to the latest smartphones or switch carriers.
That was fast. Sprint is hoping to best rival T-Mobile US with its own trade-in program for Apple's newest iPhones and is offering a 16 GB iPhone 6s for $1 per month in leasing payments and a 16 GB iPhone 6s Plus for $5 per month with the trade-in of an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. The Sprint offer, which will be available for a limited time, comes a day after T-Mobile said it would offer the 16 GB iPhone 6s for $5 a month and the 16 GB iPhone 6s Plus for $9 per month in device payments when customers trade in their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.
T-Mobile US is clearly hoping that it gets a large chunk of the sales of Apple's iPhone 6s and 6s Plus starting on Friday, undercutting all of its competitors by offering the 16 GB iPhone 6s for $5 a month and the 16 GB iPhone 6s Plus for $9 per month in device payments when customers trade in their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.
Sprint MVNO FreedomPop is offering iPhone 6s and 6s Plus customers who activate their phones on the company's service 5 GB of additional free data to burn through, as well as a plan that offers unlimited voice, texting and 1 GB of data for $18 per month, with the first month free. Meanwhile, FreedomPop plans to offer its own customers the option to finance iPhone purchases.
It looks like it will be up to the FCC to determine when AT&T will commercially offer Wi-Fi calling through Apple's iOS 9.
Samsung Electronics plans to launch its own direct-to-consumer device leasing program in the U.S. for its Galaxy smartphones, according to a Forbes report, following Apple's introduction of such an initiative.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company may eventually let iPhone customers delete applications Apple places on the phones by default, like Compass, Stocks, Podcasts and Tips.
Apple's new iPhones are selling out fast, at least in terms of pre-orders for the devices. Apple said that it is on track to surpass the record-breaking opening weekend iPhone sales it had last year, when it sold 10 million units.