Weekly Cell Phone News in Review–June 23, 2014

Oakland Looks To Ban Cell Phone Kiosks To Deter Thefts
Oakland is looking to ban what some say is an easy way for thieves to cash in on stolen cell phones. Cell phone robberies have nearly doubled in just four years in Oakland, from 1,600 in 2009 to nearly 3,400 in 2013. City Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney wants to ban cell phone kiosks, where users can trade in old cell phones for cash. Story by Doug Sovern for CBS San Francisco.

Amazon Fire Smartphone Could Revolutionize Mobile Shopping
Amazon’s new smartphone–”Fire”–made its way into select hands on Wednesday, with a market-wide launch scheduled for July 25th. Since it is a smartphone, the Amazon Fire will compete with Samsung and iPhone. But it’s real competitor will be retail stores. The phone could make a huge impact in its ability to help mobile shoppers find what they need. Fire users can simply take a picture of a product they want with their new phone and the device will find it online. Story by John Oldshue for SaveOnPhone.com.

AT&T Confirms Security Breach: SS Numbers, Call Records Compromised
U.S. telecommunications company AT&T has confirmed security breach by its service provider, which compromised personal data of customers such as social security number, call records and more. AT&T confirmed that the breach occurred between April 9 and April 21, but the company has disclosed the breach to California regulators recently. Story by Sumit Passary for Tech Times.

Text Messages to Smokers’ Mobile Phones Help Quit Smoking
Sending smokers individualized text messages to their mobile phones was found to be twice as effective at helping them quit smoking compared to simply providing self-help materials, according to a study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The personalized text messages offered users tips on quitting, with five texts sent the day they said they would quit and two per day in the week following. Story in News-Medical.

This Could Be Why Fewer Smartphones Are Being Stolen Today
The number of smartphones reported stolen has decreased in the last year, particularly in major cities like New York, San Francisco, and London. Kill switch applications, which enable smartphones’ authorized users to remotely deactivate their devices, could be a factor. Story by Maya Kosoff for Business Insider.

Cell Phones Hurt Sleep Quality
Come on, admit it. You text and email from bed. If you don’t, studies show you could soon be in the minority. A new study showed that nearly 75 percent of people fall asleep each night with their cell phones within reach. But, experts said, using a phone before bed has been shown to interfere with the length and quality of your sleep. Story by Erica Heartquist for WFMY.

Smartphone Users in UK Value Phones over TVs
Smartphone owners in the UK are more reluctant to give up their phones than their TVs, according to a new survey. Given the choice, 41 percent of smartphone owners said they would miss their phone more than any other device, 34 per cent said they would miss their TV most, and 28 per cent said their computer or laptop. Story by Sophie Curtis for The Telegraph.

About John Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of SaveOnPhone.com. He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers long distance and cell phone topics for SaveOnPhone.