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3/31/2011
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BYTE Mobile Radio Digs Into The Week In Mobile

More AT&T news, disappointing PlayBook rumors, and no iPhone 5 till fall

On BYTE Mobile Radio this week, hosts Craig Johnston and I dig into the week's mobile news in our 15-minute podcast.

Still top of mind: AT&T's deal to acquire T-Mobile. Chris Spera, a BYTE editor who sat in for InformationWeek's Fritz Nelson on this episode, added to our discussion about Sprint's recent objections to the merger.

AT&T, of course, has responded by saying the merger will improve service. At least we all agree on one thing: AT&T needs to improve its service.

But how will T-Mobile customers fare? While T-Mobile and AT&T both are GSM providers, they serve customers on different bands. Spera told us he heard ROM upgrades are in the works for some T-Mobile phones. We'll see.

And is it true Apple won't have the iPhone 5 till mid- or late September? Say it ain't so! Yet, according to some reports out of Japan, Apple hasn't ordered key parts yet, leading to speculation that the iPhone 5 won't be ready till the fall, in time for the 2011 holiday season, but still a disappointment for the rabid customer base.

Another disappointment we discuss on this week’s segment of BYTE Mobile Radio: RIM's PlayBook will likely ship in a couple of weeks without native support for BlackBerry email and contacts. We discuss how Web browser access or tethering might fix this issue, and it isn't pretty.

As Craig notes, RIM has yet to ship its SDK for the PlayBook, and without the SDK, developers can't write native apps. Enterprises will be watching, says Craig, whose day job includes rolling out mobile devices at large companies.

Also in the news this week is Amazon's Appstore for Android and Apple's suit against Amazon for using the term "app store." I'm willing to give Amazon's store a fair shake, but our guest, Chris, thinks Amazon's offering is hapless.

We discuss some rumors, too, including one that has Microsoft delivering a Zune tablet later this year. Possible? Windows 8 is shipping to hardware makers afterall ...

For the latest mobile news and views, listen to BYTE Mobile Radio here and at www.ginasmith.com every Thursday. When BYTE.COM launches later this spring, the program will migrate to the new site. Please email me at gsmith@techweb.com with story ideas.

For TechWeb, InformationWeek, and the upcoming BYTE.com, I'm Gina Smith.

Follow Gina at @ginasmith888.

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