Apple today has added three new channels to the Apple TV lineup: A&E, The History Channel, and Lifetime. Each channel does require a cable subscription to unlock full content, but it appears the most recent episodes of shows are available without unlocking the channels. At the time of launch, each channel only supports DirecTV, Verizon FiOS, and Cablevision Optimum, but the network says it will add support for more providers soon. While current cable provider support is limited, the A&E network did debut live TV streaming in its iPad apps just a week ago with support for a sweeping range of cable providers…
In addition to Bloomberg joining the Apple TV channel lineup today, a handful of other channels were added as well.
Sony’s Crackle service offers a number of television shows and movies without any subscription cost.
The new Watch ABC channel features a number of hit TV shows from the broadcaster including the new Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D series, but requires a subscription from a service provider including AT&T, Charter, Comcast, Google Fiber, Verizon FiOS, and others.
KORTV offers Korean-based content including paid video on-demand.
With all of these channels being added (and many requiring cable subscriptions), it should come as a relief to many that the next update to Apple TV offers a simplified interface for hiding channels in the main menu of the settings. Currently, hiding unused channels requires disabling channels in the parental settings.
Verizon announced tiers for its new high-speed Internet FiOS “Quantum” service today. It ranges from $65 to $210 a month, and it is available in double or triple-play bundles and stand-alone plans. Verizon will continue offering its entry-level $65 15/5 Mbps service, but it will introduce new plans including: 50/25 Mbps, 75/35 Mbps, 150/65 Mbps, and 300/65 Mbps. The company noted they are “by a wide margin the nation’s fastest, mass scale residential Internet speeds.”
Three of those speeds ¬¬ 75/35, 150/65 and 300/65 — are twice as fast as those previously offered.1 In addition, Verizon will continue to offer its entry-level speed of 15/5 Mbps… The two highest downstream speed offers – 150 and 300 Mbps – and the new 65 Mbps upstream speed are by a wide margin the nation’s fastest, mass scale residential Internet speeds available. By contrast, the fastest Internet speeds offered by cable-company challengers top out at 105 Mbps downstream and 20 Mbps upstream. (This FiOS Internet speed grid shows specific examples of the benefits of faster downstream and upstream speeds.)
Verizon noted existing customers can upgrade free, but they will on-average pay $10 to $15 more per month. The company also outlined the different pricing options for new customers:
For new customers, prices of triple-play bundles of 15/5 Mbps FiOS Internet, FiOS TV and FiOS Digital Voice unlimited calling will range from $99.99 to $144.99 per month, depending upon which FiOS TV package is ordered. The packages are: Prime, with more than 200 channels and more than 50 HD channels; Extreme, with more than 290 channels and more than 70 HD channels; and Ultimate, with more than 380 channels plus premium movie channels, and more than 110 HD channels).
Double-play bundles of the 15/5 Mbps FiOS Internet and FiOS TV range from $84.99 to $129.99 per month. Stand-alone 15/5 Mbps service costs $69.99 per month on a month-to-month basis, and $64.99 per month with a two-year contract.
Triple-play bundles of the 50/25 Mbps speed range from $109.99 to $149.99 per month for new customers. Double-play bundles with FiOS TV range from $94.99 to $134.99 per month. The stand-alone version costs $79.99 per month on a month-to-month basis, and $74.99 with a two-year contract.
Triple-play bundles of the new 75/35 Mbps speed range from $114.99 to $154.99 per month for new subscribers. Double-play bundles with FiOS TV range from $99.99 to $139.99 per month. The stand-alone costs $89.99 per month on a month-to-month basis, and $84.99 with a two-year contract.
Triple-play bundles of 150/65 Mbps speed range from $169.99 to $174.99 per month for new FiOS customers. Double-play bundles with FiOS TV range from $154.99 to $159.99 per month. The stand-alone costs $99.99 per month on a month-to-month basis, and $94.99 with a two-year contract.
The new 300/65 Mbps tier, offered as a stand-alone only, costs $209.99 per month on a month-to-month basis, and $204.99 with a two-year contract.3
Despite reports that Verizon’s fourth quarter earnings were hurt mainly by high subsidies for iPhone, Verizon announced on Tuesday it sold 4.3 million iPhones– over 50 percent of the 7.7 million total smartphones sold during the quarter. This statistic follows reports earlier this month that Verizon sold approximately 4.2 million iPhones during the holiday quarter. Compare that figure to the 1.6 million 4G LTE smartphones sold during the same quarter, of which the carrier offers more than 18 (mostly Android) devices versus a few iPhone models. These numbers show consumers are still choosing 3G iOS devices over the latest generation of 4G LTE smartphones from other vendors.
According to Barclays Capital analyst James Ratcliffe, even with the high subsidy, Verizon will see a positive cash flow of approximately $1,600 per iPhone. His estimate is based on the nearly $2,000 spent over a two-year contract and a $400 subsidy for the same period. Ratcliffe explained to Bloomberg: