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Telecom Daily

Welcome to Faulkner's Telecom Daily. We publish Monday through Friday, updating top stories as events warrant.

Friday, October 13...

Samsung Debuts New Fitness-Focused Smartwatch, IconX Earbuds
Samsung unveiled its latest smartwatch alongside a new pair of completely wireless, connected earbuds. First, the Gear Sport was debuted as the company's newest fitness-focused wearable. It features a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display, 5 ATM water resistance, and a slate of fitness-focused sensors and software enhancements that allow swim tracking, real-time heart rate monitoring, auto activity detection, and more. Additionally, the wearable also supports Spotify's offline listening mode and allows users to store their music directly to the watch in order to listen to it while away from their smartphone. The Gear Sport is available in Blue and Black variations, and is expected to retail for $299 when it launches in the US on October 27. Preorders for the watch will begin on October 13 at Best Buy, Samsung's own online shop, and select retailers. Alongside this new wrist-worn device is one designed for the user's ears. The Samsung IconX 2018 earbuds follow the company's first stab at make a truly wireless pair of headphones. The updated models now feature 4GB of internal storage for offline listening, the ability to sync with both PCs and smartphones, and direct access to Samsung's own Bixby personal digital assistant when connected to a Galaxy S8, S8+, or Note8 smartphone. The Bluetooth earbuds come in Black, Pink, and Gray, and are expected to retail for $199. They share the same launch and pre-order dates as the above Gear Sport. Additional tech specs for both devices can be found within Samsung's Press release.

AT&T Re-Appoints Former Head of Public Sector to Once Again Lead the Segment
AT&T announced the appointment of Xavier Williams as its new head of the Public Sector organization. In the new role, officially dubbed president of Public Sector and Wholesale Solutions, Williams will work to support AT&T's government and education customers across federal, state, local, and international markets. This role is actually a familiar one for Williams, who already held the position at AT&T from 2008 through 2012. He also had a stint as AT&T's vice president of Federal Sales, and was serving as the company's president of Business Operations for the AT&T Business segment, prior to this change in position. Responsibility for the president of Business Operations role will now be passed to Sorabh Saxena.

Essential Phone's White Variant Begins Shipping After Two-Month Delay
The Pure White version of the Essential Phone is now finally available, after a two-month delay. The color variant was originally slated for launch alongside its black counterpart in September, but was delayed for undisclosed reasons. Although Essential has still not provided any reason for the extra wait time, it is now shipping the device from its own online store, as well as to third-party retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy. According to Essential, the new model will ship with the recent software update for its camera already installed. This refresh was designed to help the camera capture higher quality images in low light, and to speed up its photo taking process. Unfortunately for users wanting either of the two other colors options teased for the Essential phone - Stellar Gray and Ocean Depths - those are still listed as "available soon" on the company's Web site, with no sign of when they might reach consumers.

... MIchael Gariffo, Faulkner Information Services

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