News Scan: Sprint not resurrecting Nextel; Remote wiping conundrum; more
>> Sprint denies it is bringing back Nextel brand
Sprint is not resurrecting the Nextel push-to-talk brand to attract enterprise customers, Matt Carter, president of Sprint Enterprise Solutions, told our sister publication FierceWireless in an exclusive interview. Responding to rumors that Sprint might bring back the Nextel brand, Carter said he hasn't "personally heard anything about that at all." A Sprint spokesman was more definitive: "There is no plan to bring back the Nextel brand." Read more on the Sprint-Nextel issue.
>> Some companies wipe all data from personal smartphones
Some companies are wiping all data from personal smartphones when the employee who had the phone leaves the company or their contract ends if the employee used the smartphone for work, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. Around 21 percent of companies remotely wipe an employee's smartphone when they leave the company, according to a survey by Acronis. The practice of remote wiping "hangs in legal limbo at the moment, say employment lawyers and privacy advocates, thanks to the inability of legislation and case law to keep pace with innovation," the WSJ explains. Read more on remote wiping.
[Read more on remote wiping: US wireless carriers force Samsung to hit the kill switch | Legal pitfalls lurk in common enterprise BYOD practices]
>> Icahn ups investment in Apple to more than $3B
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has increased his investment in Apple to more than $3 billion with a recent purchase of $500 million worth of stock. Icahn, who disclosed the investment on Wednesday through his Twitter account, has been critical of Apple leadership for not increasing its stock buyback program significantly, The Associated Press reports. Apple did not respond to AP inquiries for comment. Read more on Icahn's investment.
>> T-Mobile offers free banking services to subscribers
Wireless carrier T-Mobile is launching "Mobile Money" free banking services for subscribers, IDG News Service reports. The Mobile Money service enables subscribers to get a prepaid Visa debit card with no overdraft or maintenance fees. Subscribers add money to the card by taking pictures of checks using a smartphone app or by depositing money at T-Mobile stores. To withdraw money without a fee, subscribers can use a network of 42,000 ATMs. To pay for gas purchases at the pump, subscribers must have at least a $125 balance on the card, the report notes. Read more about T-Mobile's banking services.
>> Apple files patent for iBeacon technology
Apple has filed a patent for its iBeacon technology, which provides a "method to send payment data through various air interfaces without compromising user data," the company explains in the patent. This appears to be an effort by Cupertino to monopolize the mobile commerce space, judges Mobile Marketer. The patent is "pretty clear in stating that Apple still does not plan to use NFC as a payments technology ... This lines up well with what Apple has already done in its own stores as well as with the future potential use of iBeacons/Bluetooth low energy as a pairing technology," says Rick Oglesby, senior analyst at the Aite Group. Read more on Apple's patent application.