Acer’s smartphone business is struggling to distinguish itself in the crowded Android market, however a company executive has confirmed that it still has no plans to launch smartphones on another operating system. Despite being a longtime partner of Microsoft, Acer smartphone vice president Allen Burnes explained that Windows Phone isn’t yet a safe bet for the company. In an interview with Pocket-lint, the executive revealed that Acer would like to produce Windows Phone 8 handsets sometime down the road. He praised the platform as a whole, however he explained that Acer could not invest in the operating system until Microsoft built it up more. Burnes noted that app selection was still a serious problem, as was brand awareness. For the time being, Acer remains focused on its Android smartphones.
Shares of BlackBerry received another small boost on Friday following an upbeat report about the company’s latest smartphone. Maynard Um of Walls Fargo, per AllThingsD, claims that sales of the BlackBerry Q10 are better than expected and could help the company beat Wall Street’s expectations for the fiscal first quarter. The analyst noted that “channel checks” reveal that the Q10 is off to a good start in the United States and is already outpacing the BlackBerry Z10′s launch. He cites the 76 million worldwide loyal BlackBerry users as the key demographic for the smartphone, adding that it “presents a strong upgrade opportunity.” Societe Generale analyst Andy Perkins issued a similar note on Thursday, suggesting sales of the BlackBerry’s new smartphones were higher than expected. The analyst upgraded BlackBerry from a “Sell” rating to a “Buy” with a target price of $17 per share.
It is no secret that Nokia is developing a Lumia smartphone with a high-end PureView camera. We have seen a number of leaks for the Lumia EOS, which is expected to debut next month. The handset is rumored to be equipped with a polycarbonate body and a 4.5-inch 720p display. Earlier reports suggested the smartphone would feature a PureView rear camera with a Carl Zeiss lens, however the actual megapixel count remained a mystery. According to the latest leak from Chinese microblogging website Weibo, however, a 41-megapixel rear shooter has apparently been confirmed. Nokia is expected to announce the Lumia EOS at a press conference in New York City on July 11th
Networking company Cisco estimates that Internet traffic will grow three-fold between 2012 and 2017 to reach an annual run rate of 1.4 zettabytes, more than a trillion gigabytes per year. The firm expects traffic to reach nearly 121 exabytes per month by 2017 — equal to 30 billion DVDs, 28 trillion MP3′s or 750 quadrillion text messages — and an increase from 44 exabytes per month in 2012. Roughly 3.6 billion people worldwide are expected to access the Internet by 2017, or around 48% of the world’s projected population. In 2012, 2.3 billion people worldwide used the Internet, accounting for nearly 32% of the world’s 7.2 billion people. Cisco also estimates that the average fixed broadband speed will more than double from 11.3Mbps in 2012 to 39Mbps in 2017. Unsurprisingly, non-PC Internet traffic is expected to reach 49% in 2017, up from 26% in 2012.
A study from the American Automobile Association (AAA) has found that using hands-free texting features is actually more dangerous for drivers than making handheld phone calls. The group notes that even while texting through systems such as Ford Sync and Toyota Entune, drivers were found to be more distracted than while listening to music, talking with a passenger and making a phone call. Drivers who used hands-free technology were found to have a slower reaction time and compromised brain functions, which could potentially result in drivers not seeing items right in front of them such as stop signs and pedestrians. As cars become smarter and more connected, the AAA is calling for the government to set limitations on “new and potentially dangerous mental distractions built into cars.” More →
European officials are investigating Google over allegations that it has anti-competitive deals in place with various smartphone vendors, the Financial Times reported. Microsoft and Nokia reportedly claim that Google is forcing Android vendors to delay the launch of smartphones based on competing operating systems. The commission will also investigate whether the company has agreements in place that require its manufacturing partners to preload Google’s services on their devices. A Google spokesperson denied the allegations, citing the open source philosophy of Android. A company spokesperson explained to the Financial Times that “handset makers, carriers and consumers can decide how to use Android, including which applications they want to use.”
Shares of BlackBerry rallied on Thursday on reports that the company’s new smartphones are selling better than expected. Andy Perkins of Societe Generale said, per Barron’s, that his “checks” revealed that the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 sold better in the fiscal Q2 than Wall Street expected. The analyst estimates that BlackBerry will pull in $3.7 billion in sales with a profit of $0.06 per share, up from earlier estimates of $2.7 billion. Perkins forecasts that the Z10 sold more than 4 million units, however Q10 sales aren’t expected to be as high. He explained that despite positive reception, the Q10′s limited availability and recent release means sales were likely closer to a million units, which would give BlackBerry a grand total of more than 5 million BlackBerry 10 devices sold in the past quarter. The analyst upgraded BlackBerry from a “Sell” rating to a “Buy” with a target price of $17 per share, up from $13. BlackBerry’s stock closed 6.49% higher at $14.44 per share.
The latest rumors suggest that Sony is preparing to launch a new flagship smartphone in the coming weeks. French website Nowhereelse.fr on Thursday posted an image of what is said to be the Xperia Z Ultra. Earlier reports claimed the smartphone will be equipped with a massive 6.44-inch full HD 1080p display, a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a microSD slot and an 8-megapixel rear camera. The Xperia ZU will seemingly be the largest smartphone in the crowded Android market, beating both the 6.3-inch Galaxy Mega and 6.1-inch Huawei Ascend Mate. Sony is expected to announce the Xperia ZU at a press conference on July 4th. The leaked image follows below. More →
The United States Patent and Trademark Office plans to issue a reexamination certificate confirming four of Apple’s claims regarding its rubber-band patent, according to FOSS Patents. The patent is one of Apple’s most famous technologies and relates to the bouncing effect in iOS when a user reaches the end of a page while scrolling. One of the claims validated by the USPTO, claim 19, was successfully used by Apple in its $1 billion victory over Samsung. The South Korea-based smartphone maker had previously attempted to invalidate the patent, however it failed to convince the patent office to uphold the ruling. The USPTO’s recent decision has been called a “huge win” for Apple.
When you walk into your local Best Buy store you will usually find a miniature Apple Store and a Samsung experience section, and soon you can expect to see a Windows store as well. Microsoft on Thursday announced that it has partnered with the retailer to create a store-within-a-store at 500 Best Buy locations in the United States and 100 locations in Canada. The stores will range in size from 1,500 square feet to 2,200 square feet, and will give consumers a chance to try a variety of Microsoft and Windows products, including tablets, PCs, phones, software and gaming systems. Each store will also contain a standalone section dedicated entirely to Microsoft’s Surface tablet. More →
A new report suggests that Apple’s rumored low-cost iPhone is nearing launch. According to a report from the China Times, several of Apple’s suppliers have begun shipping out parts for the low-cost smartphone. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing is said to be supplying Apple with 28-nanometer processors, while Largan Precision is reportedly handling the device’s 8-megapixel camera. Suppliers such as Foxconn, Taiflex Scientific, Texas Instruments and Chipbond are also said to be shipping a “large number” of parts for the handset. The budget iPhone is expected to be equipped with the same 4-inch Retina display as the current-generation iPhone 5, and will reportedly be available in four to six new colors. The latest rumors claim that Apple will debut the iPhone 5S and the new low-cost iPhone this fall.
A new version of the Nexus 7 tablet was expected to be the highlight of Google’s I/O Developers Conference last month, but the device was a no-show. According to a report from Digitimes, the second-generation Nexus 7 will debut this summer instead. Oddly enough, the website claims the device will be priced higher than its current $199 price point to “avoid competing directly against entry-level tablets.” Earlier reports have suggested that the new Nexus 7 will be equipped with a 7-inch 1,920 x 1,200-pixel display, a 5-megapixel rear camera, a 4,000 mAh battery and support for Qi wireless charging. The second-generation Nexus 7 is reportedly scheduled to launch in July with the 16GB model starting at $229
A new report suggests that Google will release a brand new and fully optimized version of Android later this year. According to VR-Zone, Android Key Lime Pie, which the website specifically calls Android 5.0, will be an “optimized OS” that is compatible with devices running 512MB of RAM or higher. Earlier rumors had claimed that Google would release a small update, known as Android 4.3, sometime this summer that would include only minor changes. The company is reportedly preparing to launch Key Lime Pie in October. The website speculates that Google will use the launch of the Moto X, which is scheduled to occur in the late third or early fourth quarter, to showcase its new operating system, similar to what it has done in the past with Nexus devices.