Tuesday, May 19, 2015

T-Mobile leak reveals free smartphone offer for prepaid accounts

The idea of getting a free smartphone with service is nothing new; for years, the US market has been dominated by subsidized phone sales, and so long as you didn’t demand the latest and greatest flagships, you could always find a good number of free-on-contract options. In recent years, though, there’s been a shakeup in favor of installment plans, not to mention a rise in popularity of prepaid options, pushing the idea of free phones to the back burner. But today we learn of an upcoming deal for T-Mobile that puts the spotlight back on free phones in an unexpected way, revealing plans to give away a brand new smartphone to users with prepaid service.

We’ve already seen evidence of T-Mobile welcoming a couple new LG Androids to its lineup, the LG G Stylo and LG Leon. Now a leaked doc spells out the carrier’s plan to usher in the arrival of the LG Leon on May 20 with a free giveaway.

Subscribers on either Simple Choice No Credit plans or prepaid plans costing at least $40 a month will be able to get the LG Leon for free, according to this leak. The details differ a little – with prepaid users getting the phone for free straight away with their next $40 or better payment, and SCNC users paying a $150 deposit before getting the full cost of the phone back as a rebate after a month of service – but in either case, it works out to a free phone.

The LG Leon has a 4.5-inch FWVGA screen and runs a Snapdragon 400 SoC – not state-of-the-art by any stretch of the imagination, but free is free, right? And with word that this deal applies equally to new customers as well as existing ones, it’s hard to pass up, even if that means just keeping the Leon as a backup phone.

Source: TmoNews


Apple acquires high-accuracy GPS firm Coherent Navigation

 theleetgeeks, via Flickr

Apple Maps might be tracking you more closely soon. The Cupertino, Calif., company has acquired Coherent Navigation, a developer of highly accurate GPS services, according to reports that surfaced over the weekend.

Coherent Navigation’s biggest technology combines standard GPS satellite information with data from low-Earth satellites owned by Iridium, a voice and data provider. While consumer GPS can be accurate to within three to five feet, Coherent’s High Integrity GPS can be accurate to a few centimeters.

MacRumors first reported that a few of the Bay Area startup’s employees, including CEO John Lego, have been working at Apple since the beginning of the year. Their website, which previously boasted about relationships with Boeing and the Department of Defense, has been taken down.

While this technology would be great for knowing which side of the street you’re on (maybe for transit directions?), high-accuracy GPS could also be a boon for autonomous cars. That would fit well withApple’s reported plans to challenge Google andTesla in autonomous driving. According to the New York Times, it wouldn’t be the first time Coherent’s technology was used for autonomous navigation.

However, many of Coherent’s past employees who are now at at Apple are working in location engineering or with the Maps team, according to LinkedIn profiles.

Apple acquires Coherent Navigation For accurate GPS

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