According to new data from ABI Research, internet TV and and television services run by telecoms – such as Verizon or AT&T— are slowly eating away at cable TV’s market share. Cable TV subscriptions dropped from 72% in 2009 to 69% in 2010, and cable providers in North America and Western Europe saw the greatest subscriber losses. Despite the customer losses, the overall pay-TV market continues to grow — there were 11.3 million new pay-TV subscribers in Q1 2011, and that the total number of subscribers is expected to exceed 759 million by the end of this year. Cable TV is continuing to grow in Latin America, however, and penetration in Brazil is expected to reach 10% in 2011. “The emergency of digital TV in different pay-TV platforms begins to offer more choices to consumers,’ Khin Sandy Lynn, an ABI research analyst, said. “Digital terrestrial TV (DTT) channels and high definition (HDTV) channels are gaining popularity in pay-TV markets. ABI research expects that there will be more than 230 million high-definition TV subscriptions across different platforms at the end of 2011.” Hit the jump for the full release More →
Sony Ericsson’s first PlayStation certified phone, the Xperia PLAY, can now be pre-ordered from Verizon Wireless for $199.99. The Xperia PLAY runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and is powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon II processor. It also has a 4-inch display, a 5-megapixel rear camera, and a VGA forward facing camera for video chats. When you’re ready for action, just slide-out out the full PSP-style gamer pad and load up one of 7 pre-installed titles. We gave the phone, and Star Battalion, a test run during CTIA and were left impressed with the quality of the controls. The pre-loaded games include Madden NFL 11, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, The Sims 3 , Star Battalion, Crash Bandicoot, and Tetris. If you pre-order the device, it should be in your hands by May 26th. More →
Amazon announced on Thursday that Amazon.com customers are now purchasing more books for the Kindle than print books — including hardcover and paperback — combined. Since April 1st, for example, for every 100 print books that were sold on Amazon.com, the site sold 105 Kindle eBooks. “Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books,” Amazon’s CEO and Founder Jeff Bezos said. “We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happy this quickly — we’ve been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four years.” Bezos also noted that Amazon has been pleased with the customer response to the $114 Kindle with Special Offers product, which is the most popular selling Kindle right now. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
Best Buy announced on Thursday that it will be the exclusive retailer of the Wi-Fi HTC Flyer when it lands in stores and online on May 22nd. The Flyer is a 7-inch Android tablet with a 1.5GHz single core processor, a 4,000 mAh battery, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, HDMI-out, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a 5-megapixel camera, and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats. It was originally announced during Mobile World Congress in February, where we had a chance to get up close for a hands-on. Best Buy has not yet revealed how much the tablet will cost but with the 22nd three short days away, we won’t have long to wait to find out. Hit the jump for the full announcement. More →
The Motorola DROID X2 from Verizon Wireless, just announced yesterday, is now available on the carrier’s website for $199.99 with free overnight shipping. It won’t be in Verizon stores until May 26th, but we’ve confirmed that you should be able to pick up a DROID X2 in Best Buy retail locations now. While we’re a bit disappointed that the DROID X2 doesn’t stray far from the original DROID X’s industrial design, the phone packs some beefier hardware. For one, it’s the first smartphone on Verizon’s shelves to offer NVIDIA’s 1GHZ dual-core Tegra 2 chip, and it also comes equipped with a 4.3-inch touchscreen display, and 8-megapixel camera capable of recording HD video, and runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) out of the box. Hit the jump for a link to Verizon’s website. More →
Verizon Wireless on Thursday confirmed that its 4G LTE network is now available in Mobile and Montgomery, Alabama; Greater Fairfield and New Haven, Connecticut; Gainesville Pensacola and Tallahassee Florida; Fayetteville-Lumberton, North Carolina; and Bryan-College Station and Temple-Killeen, Texas. The nation’s largest wireless carrier also said that it’s expanding the 4G footprint that is already available in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, New Orleans, and Philadelphia, to cover more customers. Verizon’s chief technical officer, David Small, said that Verizon’s 4G LTE network is now available in 55 metropolitan areas and that the carrier plans to expand its 4G LTE footprint to match its entire 3G coverage area by the end of 2013. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Motorola has produced several iconic handsets during its storied existence. The DynaTAC, the Vader, the v60 and of course, the Motorola RAZR. What Nokia did for the candy bar-style mobile phone in the 1990′s, Motorola did for the flip phone in the early 21st century. Thin, sleek and stylish, the RAZR was initially brought to market in early 2005. The handset was light, easily fit in the pocket and packed a flat, backlit keypad that proved itself to be a formidable text messaging obstacle. The device was so popular, in fact, that just over 1-year ago we were still talking about the handset — the RAZR3 — before it was scrapped by Moto in favor of Android-based smartphones. During its four year reign of terror, where it retailed for nearly $200 on-contract, over 110 million RAZRs were sold by dozens of carriers the world over. We still have an AT&T V3 lying around BGR HQ for posterity sake, and although its utility is diminished, the handset’s mystique remains. How about it: how many of you cell phone junkies were proud RAZR owners?
BGR’s Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets, games, and software of yesterday and yesteryear.
Via its Facebook page, AT&T has announced that it will offer the HTC HD7S Windows Phone handset for $199.99 beginning on June 5th. The HD7S offers a 4.3-inch Super LCD display, a 1GHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, and more. It was originally announced on March 21, and we had a chance to get up close and personal with it during CTIA. Given its launch date, we assume it will be packed with Microsoft’s latest software update, which we’re sure we’ll hear more about on May 24th. More →
In an interview with Reuters, Verizon Communications’ chief financial officer, Fran Shammo, reaffirmed several details about his company’s next iPhone offering. “Verizon’s [next iPhone] version will also work in as many countries as AT&T’s iPhone, which has global coverage,” writes Reuters, paraphrasing Mr. Shammo. The executive also noted that the inclusion of LTE in the next CDMA iDevice is not something Verizon has control over. “I think it’s a bigger issue for Apple than it is for us,” said Shammo speaking about the need for an LTE iPhone. “Depending on where Apple plays, that’s where we’ll sell.” The latest rumors have Apple releasing a refreshed version of its smartphone product later this fall. Most pundits agree that the update wil not include a Verizon-compatible LTE radio. More →
As if Sony didn’t have enough issues to deal with, Rockstar, the developer behind hits like Grand Theft Auto and L.A. Noir, is reporting that the latest 3.61 firmware update for the Sony PS3 is causing units to overheat. “We have received some reports of PS3s overheating while playing L.A. Noire or beeping three times before shutting down / turning themselves off, mostly on older 60GB and 80GB fat models,” Rockstar customer service team said on its support page, as reported by MCVUK. The developer suggested that the problem is not limited to L.A. Noir and that gamers are experiencing the same issue on other titles — the red light or PS3 freeze usually occurs 30 minutes to 2 hours into gameplay. Hit the jump for a statement from Rockstar’s customer service, which the company has clarified is not official.
In a report today, Reuters noted that Verizon Wireless’ cellular data offerings are in for a major overhaul. “Verizon Wireless plans to kick off pricing changes this summer by eliminating smartphone plans that allow unlimited Web access for a flat fee,” reads the article. “It will replace them with tiered pricing that forces heavy data users to pay more for mobile data.” The report goes on to paraphrase Verizon Communications’ CFO, Fran Shammo, who explained that “after this change, which forces heavy data users to pay more, the company will look to soften the blow by offering more options such as family plans for data services.” Currently, Verizon Wireless smartphone users with family plans are required to pay $29.99 per line for cellular data. Non-family-plan smartphone customers can purchase unlimited mobile data (with a 5GB allowance) for the same monthly price. More →
Does the number 36 mean anything to you? If you’re an Android fan it should. A report from analytics firm Gartner indicates that 36.3 million Android handsets were sold during Q1 of 2011 giving the mobile operating system a 36% share of all smartphones sold during that same period. An impressive figure on its own, but even more-so when considering that Android saw sales of 5.2 million units and held a 9.6% share of sales in Q1 just one year prior. Nokia’s Symbian operating system sold 27.6 million units in Q1 and Apple’s iOS accounted for 16.9 million of the 100.8 million total smartphone units sold. Moral of the story: Android is killing it. The full report is after the break. More →
Google was recently granted permission to purchase a patent portfolio previously held by Modu, a now defunct Israeli cell phone maker that couldn’t find a market for its minuscule mobile phones. Modu emerged in 2008 touting a peculiar modular cell phone that could be placed in a variety of sleeves to perform different functions. The unique phones, while certainly interesting, lacked mass appeal and were only picked up by a few carriers. Modu would later unveil several new tiny cell phone models as it prepared for an IPO, but the company would instead be forced to shutter its operations when it ran out of cash. Proceeds from Google’s $4.9 million IP purchase will be used to pay back Modu’s creditors and former Modu employees who are still due wages. Google is likely eyeing future Android functionality that might be made possible by its acquisition of Modu’s patent portfolio, though the company has not revealed any plans related to Modu’s former patents. More →