The Signal: Apple as the New Nintendo?

Apple’s Gone Gaming: If the seriousness of Apple’s plans to move toward a gaming platform were not clear before, this latest news should solidify it. Apple has just hired seven-year veteran of Nintendo UK, PR head Rob Saunders and Activisions Nick Grange who handled UK PR as well. The game section of the App Store outweighs all the other sections, so it only makes sense that they ramp up their focus. It will be interesting to see what the next round of devices bring to the table to make them more competitive. VG247


AT&T / T-Mobile Acquisition Hearing: While nobody expected it to be perfectly smooth sailing, the Senate is officially stepping in to the AT&T-T-Mobile acquisition. The hearing will be held on May 11th with the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee headed by Herb Kohl. It seems like at this point there are only two companies that want this to happen and nearly everyone else has at least some issue with it. Bloomberg


Verizon Waves Goodbye to Yearly Contracts: Perhaps the fear of AT&T and T-Mobile is starting to get to Verizon. The company has decided to remove the one-year options from their offering on April 17. In most situations the two-year contract is the only one that allows a substantial discount, but it also comes at a higher cost when you factor in the cost of cancellation if you so choose to leave. We’ll have to see if they change their upgrade policy as well. FireceWireless


Sidekick Powered by Android: One of the hottest selling phones pre-iPhone era, the Sidekick was thought to have been dead for the longest time. On April 20, the Sidekick returns as the Samsung Sidekick 4G. The device looks sharp, keeps the same form factor features that the audience loved (the swivel and the keyboard, at the very least). Will this become the next hottest Android phone or has the iPhone hype beat out any chance of another single device line actually competing? PCMag


Farewell Feature Phones: With the rise in availability of smart phones and the fact that you can get many smartphones for $50 or under when subsidized, it’s not exactly a shock that we’re seeing feature phones decline greatly. GFK Japan, a market research firm, is reporting that for the first time, smartphone sales have overtaken feature phones in Japan (granted, only by 0.1%). Expect this trend to increase greatly worldwide. MobileCrunch
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