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Merger Approved, Handsets Released Among Key Smartphone News

New York — A carrier merger approved, financials revealed, handsets released, and a new market share report were just some of the smartphone news in recent days:

MetroPCS Stockholders Approve Merger
Richardson, Texas — MetroPCS Communications stockholders approved all of the proposals required for closing the proposed combination with T-Mobile USA. With the approval, all requisite approvals required to complete the proposed combination have been received. The proposed combination is expected to be completed after the close of business on April 30.

The carrier also reported its first-quarter financials, with a 5 percent drop in service revenues and an 8 percent drop in net profits.

Roger D. Linquist, chairman/CEO of MetroPCS, said, “We are pleased with first-quarter momentum highlighted by the lowest quarterly churn in company history, and continued growth in our 4G LTE subscribers. At the end of the first quarter, we had over 3.5 million 4G LTE subscribers, representing approximately 39 percent of our total subscriber base, which was an increase of 1.2 million over Dec. 31, 2012.”

Sprint Posts Operating Income, But Net Loss in Q1
Overland Park, Kan. — Sprint reported operating income for the first quarter of $29 million, compared with a loss of $255 million in the year-ago period.

There was a net loss of $643 million as compared with a net loss of $863 million in the first quarter of 2012. Consolidated net service revenues of nearly $8 billion were flat year over year as Sprint platform growth offset declines in Nextel platform and Wireline revenues.

Sprint said 86 percent of quarterly Sprint platform postpaid handset sales were smartphones, including more than 1.5 million iPhones sold during the quarter and 43 percent of iPhone sales were to new customers, a rate that continues to outperform larger competitors, the carrier said.

FreedomPop Goes To Sprint’s 3G Network
Los Angeles — FreedomPop, a new free Internet company, has announced its expansion to Sprint’s 3G network guaranteeing full nationwide coverage across the U.S. The company is now accepting orders for its new 4G/3G MiFi hotspot device, called the FreedomPop Overdrive Pro. FreedomPop users will now be able to access the company’s 4G network while having nationwide backup access on 3G. To order the FreedomPop Overdrive Pro and free internet service, go to  while supplies last.

Samsung Galaxy S 4 Rollout On Sprint Limited, But Full For U.S. Cellular
New York — The Samsung Galaxy S4 is available today at Sprint and U.S. Cellular.

Sprint’s rollout of the Galaxy S 4 will be on and (800) SPRINT1 as planned on Saturday with Sprint retail stores, but due to inventory problems, other channels will be receiving devices as inventory becomes available, the carrier said..

U.S. Cellular has the smartphone device available for purchase online and in stores. The Samsung Galaxy S 4 will be available for purchase online at today. Preorders will also begin shipping today along with the exclusive, free S View flip covers that were a part of the presale. The device will be available in stores on Tuesday, April 30.

U.S. Cellular is offering the 16GB device in White Frost and Black Mist, and it is $199.99 with an instant rebate.

PCD Launches Pantech Perception On Verizon Wireless
Hauppauge, N.Y. — Personal Communications Devices’ (PCD) Pantech Perception has launched on Verizon Wireless. Exclusively available on Verizon’s 4G LTE network, the Global Ready Pantech Perception with Android 4.0 is available online at and in stores for $99.99 with a $50 mail-in rebate and new two-year customer agreement.

Strategy Analytics: Q1 Global Mobile Phone Shipments Down
Boston — Strategy Analytics reported global mobile phone shipments dipped 1 percent to 373 million units in Q1 2013. Samsung was the star performer, accounting for a record 29 percent share of all mobile phones shipped worldwide in Q1 2013. Nokia held second position, despite lackluster volumes, while Apple claimed third and LG improved to fourth.