Apple to host event Sept. 9, likely to unveil new iPhones; Facebook launches its own personal assistant

More wireless news from across the Web:

> Outgoing Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes will reportedly become chairman of Numericable-SFR and COO at Altice. Wall Street Journal article (sub. req.)

> Facebook launched its own personal assistant with artificial intellgence, called M, and it runs inside Facebook's Messenger app. Wired article

> Leaked images of Microsoft's Lumia 950 and 950 XL apepared online. The Verge article

> Gemalto said the shutdown of mobile payment company Softcard would limit its mobile revenue growth. Reuters article

> Former Apple CEO John Sculley has launched a company called Obi Worldphone to deliver sub-$199 Android phones with high-ends specifications to emerging markets. Re/code article

> The FCC has given Kaplan Telephone Inc. permission to sell several spectrum licenses to AT&T. PhoneScoop article

> ZTE posted a 43 percent rise in first-half net profit thanks in large part to the growing LTE market in China. Reuters article

> A Spirent/Signals Research Group study found that Voice over Wi-Fi is as good or as bad as the underlying Wi-Fi network, and that call quality was much better and more consistent with a residential Wi-Fi access point in a controlled environment and with minimal network traffic. Release

> Sprint partnered with Techlicious for a consumer survey and found that nearly half of all wireless customers between the ages of 18 and 34 run out of data on their wireless plan every month. They also found that 43 percent of people surveyed wouldn't switch carriers because they are stuck in a contract and 30 percent think it's too much effort. Release

> Apple is reportedly researching wireless earphones with bone conduction noise cancelling technology. AppleInsider article 

> T-Mobile's Austrian unit is reportedly refusing to comply with a request from a music rights group to block access to the popular torrenting site The Pirate Bay in the country. TechCrunch article

> Intel invested more than $60 million into Yuneec International Co., a Shanghai-based drone and aerospace company. Bloomberg article

> Argus Insights says consumer demand for wearables has slowed since January. Release

 Wireless Tech News

> Qualcomm hosted a media event at its headquarters in San Diego on Wednesday as part of its ongoing efforts to "set the record straight" about LTE Unlicensed (LTE-U) and Wi-Fi coexistence, with the bottom line being: If you want to improve the quality of Wi-Fi, your best bet is to develop and deploy LTE-U sooner rather than later. Article

> Right now 5G presentations are fascinating, inspiring, scary and depressing but Ovum analyst Daryl Schoolar continues to think that moving forward there will be clarity. Overpromising will give way to realistic goals and operators won't over reach trying to be the first to reach 5G. Industry Voices

Cable News

> Dish Network said it has reached another short-term broadcast retransmission extension with Sinclair Broadcast Group, halting a 24-hour blackout of 129 Sinclair TV stations on Dish's satellite pay-TV service. Article

> DirecTV is now testing high-definition and standard-definition signals for the Pac-12 Network on channel 612 in what appears to be a preparation for a long-anticipated launch of the regional sports network. Article

Telecom News

> CenturyLink announced that it has let go nearly 150 employees in Colorado, or 2.5 percent of its workforce, from the company. Article

> CenturyLink is accepting $500 million in the second phase of the FCC's Connect America Fund (CAF-II), enabling it to deliver broadband services to about 1.2 million rural households and businesses in 33 states over the next six years. Article

And finally… T-Mobile is seeking to get BlackBerry users to switch over to the carrier. Article