Why did Apple come up with iAds, the company’s new platform for mobile advertising? It had nothing to do with the $60 million Apple has already taken in from companies like Nissan, GE and Best Buy. And it apparently didn’t have anything to do with Apple’s plans to control nearly half of the market for mobile ads. No, the real reason is simple. As CEO Steve Jobs explained it today, Apple created iAds “for one simple reason: to help our developers earn money so they can continue to create free and low-cost apps for users.”
A glitch at AT&T is causing some mobile phone used to be randomly shuffled into other people’s Facebook accounts. Apparently the carrier has confused which phones should be logged into which accounts. Whoops.
If you’re a Sprint customer using the company’s Everything Data Plan, you can now call any mobile phone on any network without using up any of your plan minutes. Good news? If you’re on the carrier’s $70 a month plan, which has 450 included minutes along with unlimited data service, it could be — if you don’t roam into areas where there’s no Sprint coverage (where the meter will start running) and if you have a lot of regular contacts on other cell networks.
NetworkWorld published its findings on the suspicious histories of the men behind new cellphone company Zer01 just two days ago, but they clearly sent someone behind the scenes scrambling. This afternoon they reported that Zer01’s parent company “has stripped its Web site down to only basic information,” and that “new details have also come to light suggesting a past connection between two of the involved companies, despite claims to the contrary.”
ZER01 is a new cellular service launching soon that promises unlimited calling and unlimited, fast data connectivity for $70 a month. There’s another unique twist: you can sell the service to your friends for $10 monthly credits. That’s right, it’s a multi-level marketing mobile virtual network operator—an MLM MVNO. NetworkWorld smelled something fishy, so they researched the companies behind the offering and found that there’s a lot of sketchy looking stuff. We put the highlights of their investigation into a chart.
Dan likes the interface and ease of texting on his Blackberry, but doesn’t need mobile Internet or e-mail. He asked his service provider, Alltel, to switch his service to a Blackberry he already owned, but without a data plan. An employee said that was possible and set it up for him, and Dan texted away happily…until he received his bill, which now contains a hefty data plan charge. Alltel now insists that Dan can’t have a Blackberry on their network without a data plan.
Chris was surprised to find that T-Mobile didn’t cancel his account as promised a few months ago. What’s worse, the note on his account that mentioned his cancellation request was missing, and nobody at customer service would help him. Chri works for a “very large consumer electronics company” that he won’t name (we’re pretty sure it’s Apple) and thinks customer service is important, so he gave up on the CSR angle and instead came to our site to find contact info for T-Mobile executives. One EECB later, Chris is free from T-Mobile and the ETF they tried to apply.
Okay, all you iPhone dorks, Citi’s just released an easy way for you to keep track of your account balances while you’re running around pinching things bigger and smaller with your heavily patented gestures. Don’t worry, ugly phone owners, they’ve got other mobile versions too.
T-Mobile came in first in a J.D. Power and Associates study of cellphone customer care performance, with 755 out of a possible 1,000 points. Actually, though, all the carriers came in above the 700 point range except for Sprint, which was in the 600s. [RCR Wireless]
If you have an account with Mint, and you’ve enabled mobile alerts, you can now text “Bal” or “Balance” to 696-468 (MyMint) and receive a summary of all of your accounts. [Mint]
Sprint has asked some of its employees to consider voluntarily resigning by December 3rd in exchange for a compensation package. Says a spokesperson, “No one is being forced to do anything. There are no forced reductions. There are no layoffs in store. It’s a matter of employees having the option to exercise discretion. No targets have been announced.” IntoMobile says retail store employees and managers are not being included in the offer. Update: We’ve received a little more info from an anonymous tipster about the downsizing, and what it might mean for customers of Sprint.