Sony announced Wednesday that its new subscription music service is now available in the U.K. and Ireland, with availability in the U.S. Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand to to follow in 2011. “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity” is a music streaming service that competes with Microsoft’s Zune service as well as offerings like Spotify, Rhapsody, Napster and others. The Basic plan affords unlimited ad-free music streaming via genre, era or mood-based stations for £3.99 / €3.99 each month. The £9.99 / €9.99 Premium plan adds the ability to create playlists and stream any tracks in Sony’s Qriocity catalog on demand. Premium subscribers will have access to Sony’s Top 100 channels as well. “Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity” is currently available on Sony’s PlayStation 3 console, Blu-ray players, BRAVIA TVs, VAIO laptops and other PCs. The service will also soon be available on Sony’s portable devices and Android phones. More →
While no specific details are available for the time being, The Wall Street Journal managed to get an interesting morsel out of Verizon Wireless COO John Stratton on Tuesday. We know the nation’s No. 1 carrier has big plans for LTE at the Consumer Electronics Show in two weeks, and the picture will continue to get clearer between now and then. Where 4G smartphones are concerned, it’s now a safe bet that HTC will be represented at the show along with Samsung, and rumors of an LTE-equipped offering from LG have been tossed around as well. Now, we may be able to throw Motorola in the mix. “We’ve got LTE smartphones on the horizon,” Stratton told WSJ. “Motorola will be right there.” The Verizon Wireless exec wouldn’t clarify the timing and neither would Motorola, but it would be a bit odd for Verizon to talk up Motorola’s LTE phone just before a huge 4G push at CES, and then not deliver the goods. After all, “DROID 4G” has a pretty nice ring to it. More →
Microsoft’s Kinect sensor may have stolen the show this holiday season, but it looks like Sony might have the last laugh. Kazuo Hirai, head of Sony’s games division, sat down with reporters on Wednesday to talk PlayStation. Hirai confirmed that Sony’s PlayStation 3 console sales are currently in line with the company’s expectations. In the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011, Sony is on track to sell 15 million PS3 game consoles — up over 15% from last year’s 13 million consoles. Sony also announced last month that it had sold 4.1 million PlayStation Move controllers in two months. Independent gaming industry monitor VGChartz indicates that Sony has sold 12.4 million PlayStation 3 consoles so far this calendar year, landing it ahead of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 (11.3 million) and behind the Nintendo Wii (15.7 million) and DS (19.2 million). More →
We knew it wouldn’t be long before a simple solution brought Apple’s AirPlay streaming media functionality to Windows, and today the deed is done. Independent developer Apostolos Georgiadis has assembled a neat little Windows application called AirMediaPlayer that allows Apple’s iOS devices to stream music and video via AirPlay to a Windows PC. The player is compatible with Windows 7, Vista and XP, and requires .NET framework 3.5, Bonjour and Quicktime to operate. Once those installations are taken care of, AirMediaPlayer is free to use and is compatible with any AirPlay-equipped iOS device. Hit the break for a video of AirMedia Player in action, and then hit the read link to download the app. More →
According to an image obtained by blog Phone Arena, Sprint’s EPIC 4G handset will be receiving an over-the-air (OTA) update to Android 2.2 (Froyo) on December 26th. The new code adds the ability to install applications to external storage cards, improves Bluetooth support and voice dialing, and brings Flash Player 10.1 compatibility. “GPS enhancements” is also listed in the update’s change log. The update, dubbed DL11, will be rolling out in waves over a four day period with those who have the latest Android 2.1 code (DI18) getting priority. More →
If you’re a Canadian BlackBerry enthusiast on Wind Mobile, we’ve got some good news for you. One of our ninjas from the north has just alerted us that the Bold 9780 has just populated Wind’s inventory system. Couple the above screen shot with rumors of extremely low BlackBerry 9700 stock levels — thanks in part to a buy-one get-one (BOGO) promotion — and we would venture to say this puppy will be hitting store shelves in the very near future. As a quick refresher, the Bold 9780 packs Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 5 megapixel camera, 512MB of RAM, and runs RIM’s BlackBerry 6 operating system. Let us know if you’re planning on picking one up!
When it rains 4G LTE handsets it pours them, no? Gizmodo has been sent in another image of a second, and until now unknown, Samsung, Android, LTE handset — the SCH-I520. The device runs Android 2.2.1, had a front-facing camera, and, according to reports, will have the TouchWiz interface but not be Bing’ed out. Decisions, decisions. Do we go with the Incredible HD or this offering from Sammy? What a great predicament to be in.
Electronics maker Motorola has been quietly filing for patents on the name “Xoom” the world over. The Internet is not-so-quietly speculating that Xoom could be the moniker given to the company’s Android-based tablet that has already made several cameos. Moto has, thus far, filed for protections in the U.S., EU, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan. If this is in fact the name to be given to the company’s tablet, we at BGR would like to congratulate Motorola for not including the seemingly obligatory suffix “pad” anywhere in the device’s name. More →
In a statement earlier this week, Samsung announced that global sales of its popular Galaxy S line of Android phones have reached 9.3 million units. Samsung also stated that sales in its home country of South Korea have topped the 2 million mark, making the Galaxy S more popular than Apple’s iPhone, which has sold roughly 1.8 million units to date. Samsung announced in October that Galaxy S sales had surpassed 7 million units worldwide, and it said sales would reach 10 million units before the year was out. Samsung may end up falling just short of its projections, but the Galaxy S is still wildly successful — in fact, it’s the most popular Android line in the world right now. Samsung stated earlier this month that it had sold over 1 million Galaxy Tab units as of the end of November, making its first Android tablet a success as well. More →
HTC’s Incredible HD is starting to make the rounds which makes us think — fingers crossed — a release is right around the corner. The above image was sent in to Gizmodo and, as you can see from the status bar, there is a nice little 4G logo complete with an LTE distinction. Could this be the LTE handset Verizon plans to debut at CES? More →
Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft will be unveiling a version of its Windows operating system at the Consumer Electronics Show that is designed to run on ARM CPU architecture — as opposed to the current x86 chips. It’s being reported that the OS will be tailored to run on devices with batteries such as netbooks and, of course, tablets. The issue with this? Well, the Wall Street Journal chimed in with its own report stating that Microsoft won’t be expected to release said operating system for around two years — yes, two years — due to drivers having to be completely rewritten.
Remember that Windows 8 rumor from a little while ago that Microsoft would be demoing at CES? Maybe this is that product (which would make more sense than anything else), but yeah, we’ll have to wait and see. More →
Motorola announced Wednesday that it has acquired Zecter. While Zecter is perhaps best known for its original ZumoDrive service — a cloud-based file storage and sync product that emerged in a cluster of similar services following the success of Dropbox — Motorola appears to be far more interested in the service’s ability to store and stream media files on demand. Motorola will look to integrate Zecter’s technology with its MOTOBLUR product, a service and UI layer that sits above Android on several Motorola phones. “Consumers want seamless access to their content and media from wherever they are, while content providers want to ensure that content remains protected and secure,” said Motorola Mobility’s VP of software and services, Christy Wyatt. “We believe that Zecter enables that seamless experience with the necessary security measures, and we are delighted to be able to work with this team.” Hit the break for the full press release from Motorola. More →
If you’re waiting for a Windows Phone 7 device on Big Red, we have some encouraging news for you. It appears as though Verizon compatible WP7 applications are starting to make their way into the Windows Phone Marketplace. VZW is rumored to be launching a Windows Phone handset sometime after the New Year, but the presence of these Verizon-specific applications seems to hint that the timeframe could be shortly after January 1st. Anyone have plans to pickup a Windows Phone 7 set from Verizon Wireless?