Instagram Distracts Naysayers, Claims 90M Monthly Active Users

In today’s mobile news roundup: Instagram releases monthly active user data; Galaxy SIV to feature wireless charging; Sharp curbs iPad screen production; and AT&T opens FaceTime to everyone – except for unlimited data plan users.

Instagram releases monthly active user data

Earlier reports have stated that Instagram is continuously losing daily users because of their revised Terms of Service.  AppStats stated that from 16.3 million active daily users, Instagram now only has 7.6 million.  About half of their active daily users have strayed but monthly users continue to grow.

To settle all the talks of the service losing users, Instagram released their own numbers stating that they now have 90 million monthly active users.

“Instagram continues to see very strong growth around the world,” Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom told AllThingsD. “With many of the product and internationalization improvements we’ve made, we’ve been excited to see these efforts resonate with users globally.”

Though this proved that Instagram is indeed adding more monthly users – the ones that use the service at least a number of times on a month, this doesn’t actually prove that they are not losing active daily users.

Galaxy SIV to feature wireless charging

According to reports, the Samsung Galaxy SIV will feature Qi, a technology developed by the Wireless Power Consortium, for wireless charging.

According to Android Authority, Samsung initially considered using a different technology than Qi, one that uses resonant magnetic coupling to allow wireless power transfer from a distance of 1-2 meters.  Qi only allows wireless charging to a distance of 4cm (1.6 inch).

The report also stated that the Galaxy SIV will not have wireless charging by default, as Samsung will sell back plates with the coil for wireless charging.  The wireless charger will also be sold separately.

Sharp curbs iPad screen production

Reports have stated that Sharp Corp. has nearly stopped production of 9.7” screens used in Apple’s iPads, as the world hotly debate whether demand for Apple’s devices is on the decline, impacting suppliers down the chain.

Sources stated that screen production has been curbed as Apple sorts out their inventory needs.  Demand for the bigger iPad allegedly started slowing at the end of 2012 as more consumers were interested in purchasing the iPad mini.

Sharp’s spokeswoman declined to divulge information regarding their production levels.

AT&T opens FaceTime to everyone – except unlimited data plan users

Ever since it was made known that FaceTime can be used via cellular data and not just WiFi, there has been an issue with AT&T, a telecom that wasn’t too happy to offer the service through their data plans until faced with the threat of legal action.

It appeared as though AT&T caved to consumer demand, but there’s still a catch: the company only made FaceTime via cellular available for  “deaf and hard of hearing customers who qualify for special text and data-only packages.”

AT&T recently announced that FaceTime vial cellular will be available for their subscribers on shared or tiered plans but, those with grandfathered unlimited data plans aren’t included.  They’ll still have to rely on WiFi to use FaceTime.

FreePress, one of the organizations who originally filed a complaint against AT&T for violating net neutrality rules for restricting the use of FaceTime, stated that though their announcement is “another step in the right direction,” they are “still in violation of the law and the broader principles of Net neutrality,” until they make FaceTime via cellular available to all of their subscribers.