Buh-bye Cingular!

Soon we won’t have Cingular to kick around anymore. Beginning Monday, a new advertising campaign will get underway in which Cingular—the largest wireless phone network in the U.S.—will see its identity taken away and replaced with that of the newly reconstituted AT&T. For a short time, the shift will be marked by a transitional graphic that contains both the AT&T and Cingular logos, but eventually the AT&T logo will take center stage on all customer communications and advertising, as well as on company buildings, vehicles, and retail outlets.

“Around the world, our customers recognize the AT&T brand for meaningful innovation, a commitment to customer service, high quality and exceptional reliability,” said Edward E. Whitacre Jr., chairman and CEO of AT&T, in a release. “AT&T, BellSouth, and Cingular are now one company, and going to market with our services under one brand is the right thing to do.”

The path to AT&T controlling Cingular is tortuous: AT&T Wireless started off as a separate company spun off from the original AT&T; Cingular bought AT&T Wireless and killed off the brand…but then one of Cingular’s owners, SBC, bought what remained of the original AT&T and took the brand for its landline services. This new AT&T later bought BellSouth—which just happened to be Cingular’s other owner. And now everything is AT&T all over again.

Not that Cingular hasn’t left some bad blood in its wake: a pending class action suit against the company alleges it intentionally let service on the AT&T Wireless network degrade as a way to get customers to switch to Cingular…and then charged them early termination fees on top of account origination fees to do so.

Lest one think the rebranding is a nostalgia trip being enjoyed by titans of industry longing for the mean old days of Ma Bell, it ain’t so: the new AT&T is all about brand consolidation and cutting operating expenses. The company said 20 percent of the cost cutting it will achieve through its merger with BellSouth will come just in the form of consolidated advertising.

AT&T’s add campaign to announce the demise of the Cingular brand will take several forms, co-opting elements of Cinglar’s “raising the bar” campaign in television and print; the company will also transition branding in retail locations, insert the AT&T name into communications and services, and make its 15,000 retail personnel start wearing snazzy AT&T apparel. One thing AT&T won’t tell us about the campaign: how much money its blowing on the transition.

Product Review

Sony's Xperia 10 falls frustratingly short of budget brilliance

Better know for premium products, Sony does also have a budget smartphone range, but can the Sony Xperia 10 compete with great cheap phones from Nokia and Motorola? We put it through its paces to find out how it measures up.
Mobile

Free yourself! How to unlock a phone from the icy hands of your wireless carrier

Do you want to know how to unlock a phone through your carrier or a third-party service like DoctorSIM? Regardless of which way you want to go, we've compiled a list of requirements and methods for doing so.
Home Theater

Surprising nobody, Vizio makes moves to fill your TV with targeted ads

Vizio wants to change the way that TV-based advertising works, partnering with nine media and ad companies to create a standard by which all smart TVs can showcase targeted ads to viewers.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Mobile

Sprint calls out AT&T's 5G E in full-page New York Times ad

Now that the 4G network has already "evolved," network giant AT&T controversially plans to rebrand potentially millions of 4G smartphones to make it appear as though they are on 5G networks.
Mobile

Safeguard your Sony Xperia 10 smartphone with one of these cases

If you're looking for some protection to keep your Sony smartphone safe, or you want a different style, we've got you covered here with a list of the best Sony Xperia 10 cases. There are clear cases, rugged cases, wallet cases, and more.
Mobile

Sony's Xperia 10 smartphone boasts a 6-inch screen and is now available

Sony took the wraps off of three new phones at Mobile World Congress 2019, including the new Xperia 1, which is the company's new flagship phone and the first with a 4K OLED display with a 21:9 aspect ratio.
Mobile

FCC to help first responders pinpoint 911 callers in multistory buildings

When someone calls 911 from their cell phone, wireless carriers provide operators with an approximate location. Now the FCC wants the carriers to provide vertical location data to pinpoint 911 callers inside multi-story buildings.
Mobile

Latest Samsung Galaxy smartphone will pop up on April 10

Samsung will show at least one new Galaxy phone off on April 10, it has confirmed in a teaser tweet. The Galaxy A90 may make its first appearance, and it's rumored to have a pop-up camera and a notch-less screen.
Mobile

Leaked ZTE concept phones are crazy, possibly fake, and totally worth seeing

Renders of what may be ZTE concept phones may show how the manufacturer could avoid using the notch on future devices. They're crazy -- and maybe not even real -- but they're definitely worth looking at.
Mobile

The iPad Mini, Apple’s tiny tablet, makes a return with powerful specs

Apple has finally revealed the iPad Mini. With all-new and upgraded specs, support for the Apple Pencil, and a fantastically inclusive price, here's everything you need to know about the iPad Mini.
Mobile

The Apple iPad Air is the power-packed tablet for everyone

The iPad Air is the less serious cousin to Apple's iPad Pro range, and it's the perfect addition to your coffee table. But it's no less powerful. Here's everything you need to know about the iPad Air.
Mobile

Get excited for your Sony Xperia 10 or 10 Plus by getting it set up just right

If you've picked up one of the Sony's more affordable smartphones, you may be be wondering what hidden depths lie within. We've got some handy Sony Xperia 10 tips for you here to help you get to grips with your new phone.
Deals

This is the one thing you need to do before giving your child a smart phone or tablet

Monitoring your kids' digital habits can be a challenge in today’s high-tech age, but great parental control software like Qustodio gives parents a much-needed advantage Read on to find out how you can protect your child from online…