A month with Apple's new iPad Air
Every new iPad is the best iPad yet when it debuts, but the iPad Air is something more...
So it seems that Microsoft has put together yet another ad bashing Google’s line of Chromebooks. The Verge’s Tom Warren says this aggressive line of attack raises a key question: Why in God’s name is Microsoft actually worried about Chromebooks? I’ve tried to figure this out myself and I have not been able to come up with anything resembling a logical answer. More →
You know the big, bright, beautiful displays in Samsung smartphones that people just can’t get enough of? At least two new Samsung tablets set to launch in 2014 will feature similar screens. Korean-language technology news site Naver on Friday reported that Samsung is developing two new tablets with displays that use AMOLED technology just like the screens on popular smartphones such as the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3. The report claims Samsung will release both an 8-inch tablet and a 10-inch tablet with AMOLED displays, and one of them might launch alongside the highly anticipated Galaxy S5 early next year. The new AMOLED screens will reportedly be available only in high-end Samsung tablets and the company will continue to use LCD panels in its entry-level and mid-range tablet lineup.
Sorry, Samsung: It looks like that additional $290 million still isn’t enough for Apple. FOSS Patents notes that Apple filed a motion this week asking Samsung to pay an additional $15.7 million to help cover Apple’s legal expenses, which the company says totaled more than $60 million over the duration of the patent trial. Samsung is already on the hook for more than $929 million in its patent dispute with Apple so from that perspective another $15 million doesn’t seem like all that much. More →
A new project is raising money on Kickstarter to build an anamorphic adapter lens that would be compatible with the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s, letting users record video reminiscent of a J.J. Abrams movie. With 16 days to go, the project has already surpassed its $30,000 goal, which means that backers will likely receive the new iPhone accessory at some point in March 2014, when it’s expected to begin shipping. More →
LG’s second banana phone will be more than just a banana phone. We have already discussed why the first round of smartphones that utilize flexible displays isn’t terribly impressive, but LG’s second phone with a flexible panel will reportedly be a completely different story. According to a report from ZDNet Korea, LG is currently developing a sequel to its G Flex smartphone that won’t just sport a slight curve, the entire device will be bendable. The report states that LG’s upcoming flexible phone will bend up to 90 degrees without breaking, and it will represent an important step on the road to smartphones that are completely foldable. LG’s bendable G Flex sequel will debut sometime in 2014 ahead of any similar offering Samsung might be working on, according to the report.
Like a good exorcist, the Federal Communications Commission looks set to drive back the merger sent from hell. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Republican FCC commissioner Ajit Pai says that the FCC is very unlikely to sign off on any proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable because the Obama administration has shown itself much less likely to approve major telecom mergers — such as the blocked AT&T-T-Mobile merger — than a Republican administration might be. A merger between Time Warner Cable and Comcast, which are the two largest cable providers in the United States, would further consolidate an industry that is already uncompetitive in many major markets. In addition to Comcast, smaller cable provider Charter has also been rumored to be interested in buying up Time Warner Cable.
Smartwatches are the future… or something like that. As growth in the smartphone market slows, especially at the high end where companies have been making a killing, consumer electronics giants need to look elsewhere to bolster earnings growth. For Samsung, Microsoft, Google, Sony, LG and maybe even Apple, that “elsewhere” is wearable computing.
The wearables category definitely has legs but know one knows where it will end up going. Are fitness bands the future? Will consumers clamor for connected eyewear? Or will top companies dump enough marketing dollars into smartwatches that we all forget how geeky they are and ditch our Tags, Fossils, Rolexes, Tissots, Seikos, Citizens, Bulovas, Breitlings, Weils, Cartiers, IWCs, Panerais, Jaegers, Omegas, Hamiltons, Ebels and Hublots in favor of a digital watch tied to a smartphone? More →
A popular flashlight Android app with an installed base of between 50 million and 100 million users has also been collecting personal data including location and device ID and sharing it with advertisers even for users who had opted out, the Federal Trade Commission found. GoldenShores Technologies, LLC, the developer behind the “Brightest Flashlight Free” app that currently enjoys a 4.8-star rating from over 1 million reviews, on Thursday settled a case with the FTC, Fast Company reports. More →
The holiday season is one of the most important times of the year for electronics companies, but a few might have overstepped their boundaries this time around. Bloomberg reports that Samsung, Philips and retailer Media-Saturn “were among companies raided by European Union antitrust officials as part of a probe into suspected online-sales restrictions.” The EU commission believes that these companies might have put restrictions on online sales of their products, which could cause prices to artificially increase and online availability of some products to cease entirely. Each of the three companies named in the Bloomberg article stated that they were cooperating fully with the EU commission, although none would go into any further detail.
What goes up must come down and on Wall Street, billions are made and lost betting on which direction companies are headed. Apple is the most valuable technology company in America by a huge margin so needless to say, it gets plenty of attention on the Street. At some point, be it sometime in the next few years or sometime in the next few decades, Apple will no longer be on top. It is inevitable. The question countless industry watchers try to answer, of course, is when. More →
Apple’s new iBeacon technology has tremendous potential in the retail space. Retailers can use the technology, which allows for the creation of a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon that emit signals iOS 7-powered devices will automatically react to, for a variety of important functions ranging from discount notifications to tracking consumer habits. There’s also a darker side to iBeacons, should the technology be misused. While a handful of companies have already begun adopting the technology in their stores, The Associated Press on Friday reported that Apple itself will now be rolling iBeacons out in its 256 U.S. retail stores beginning immediately. To coincide with the move, the Apple Store app for iOS has been updated to support iBeacons and related notifications. Screenshots of the new iBeacon alert configuration screens from 9to5Mac follow below. More →
The early returns on smartphones with curved displays such as the Samsung Galaxy Round and the LG G Flex have been pretty underwhelming so far. But as AndroidCentral reports, LG doesn’t see flexible displays as a mere gimmick and is predicting that they will take up a sizable chunk of the market by the end of the decade. Speaking during a press gathering in San Francisco this week, LG executive Ramchan Woo estimated that 40% of smartphones in 2020 will ship with some sort of curved or flexible display as more consumers will be drawn toward wearable devices that fit naturally on their bodies. More →
Spotify is apparently interested in expanding its mobile music services by offering users free (ad-supported) on-demand access to streaming music. The company’s current offer lets users stream unlimited music on their smartphones and tablets from a catalog of over 20 million tracks for $10 per month, or stream Pandora-like radio with ads for free. According to The Wall Street Journal, Spotify has inked deals with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group for an enhancement to its ad-based services that will allow on-demand music streaming. More →