You may not have heard of them before, but I can tell you that Aerogels are cool. They are ultra-porous materials that are whipped up from silica gel or even aluminum oxide and may weigh just 15% more than air. Because they consist of so many microscopic air pockets, they are incredibly effective insulators. More →
It’s no surprise that the $200 Amazon Fire Phone is now the No. 1 on-contract phone at Amazon.com, outselling all Samsung models one month before its official launch. But it’s a bit of a shocker that the $300 Fire Phone model with 64GB of memory is the No. 2 phone. American consumers have started showing signs of becoming increasingly unwilling to pay more than $200 for even the latest smartphones, but loyal Amazon customers may be so attracted to the brand that they are willing to pay up for the pricier version of its flagship phone. More →
I was at this grim Helsinki airport hotel two days ago and decided to watch an old horror flick on my laptop since Finnish television stations were running wolverine documentaries and cooking shows. I ended up renting Don’t Look Now for $2.99 on Amazon to figure out whether it really was an overrated piece of pseudo-art or a horror masterpiece. I’m still not sure either way, but the movie was interesting enough. More →
The strategy of launching wave upon wave of new, original content has worked like a charm for Netflix. As the second season of Orange is the New Black has received an avalanche of media coverage, Netflix’s share price has zoomed up by 20% over the past month. The company is now prepping launches in France and Germany after it clobbered HBO in Sweden by a roughly 10-to-1 ratio in new subscriber additions. And now Netflix is preparing to unleash a new wave of content that includes some of its most surprising shows yet. More →
BlackBerry shocked Wall Street on Thursday by delivering a much narrower loss than expected. The company is now growing its cash pile even though it is shipping fewer than 2 million phones per quarter. This stabilization is a feat in itself, but where is future sales growth going to come from? Messaging app system BBM is the best bet. It now has close to 100 million active users — but some decidedly worrisome trends have emerged in recent months. More →
On Tuesday morning in Melbourne, Australia, HealthKit co-founder Alison Hardacre turned on her iPhone at 4:00 a.m. Like many entrepreneurs, she woke up thinking about her business and checked her email. To her astonishment, her email box was filling with excited questions. Had she cut a secret deal with Apple? Had Apple acquired her company?
Alison was gobsmacked.
She had founded HealthKit in early 2012 and registered HealthKit.com in the spring that same year. The site was the No. 1 search result for anyone who did a Google search for “healthkit.” How was it possible that Apple had just launched a very similar iOS 8 feature and taken her name? More →
There is now organized resistance against the modern smartphone. And it appears to be quite lucrative.
A website called Vintage Mobile offers a wide array of defiantly dumb phones from the era when Nokia, Motorola and Ericsson ruled the global handset market and there was a wide range of different designs and form factors.
Refurbished models on Vintage Mobile sell typically for between $100 and 200, but there are some gems that command four figures. Among European connoisseurs of the art of mobile handset, the Nokia 8800 Arte Carbon has achieved legendary status — and the price of a refurbished model in 2014 is nearly $1,400. More →
HTC has faced many setbacks, disasters and bitter disappointments since its handset unit performance started missing projections around Christmas 2011. But May 2014 might have been the most devastating blow yet. That is because HTC had supposedly reacted to miserable sales declines in 2012 and 2013 by revamping its handset design and marketing strategies. Both the product and how it is sold were changed to finally staunch the bleeding by spring of 2014.
Yet despite the new product and branding initiatives, May 2014 turns out to be a chilling omen of a summer of horror for the besieged Taiwanese vendor. More →
This is not the first time Apple has sent a chill down the spines of mobile carrier executives. Years ago, the launch of the iMessage platform on iPhone was a quite obvious and direct attempt to undermine carriers’ highly lucrative text-messaging business. Over the past couple of years, though, it hasn’t been iMessage that has undermined SMS revenues around the world — it has been the cluster of cross-platform messaging apps like WhatsApp, LINE, Kakao, WeChat, etc. More →
Google has been hit by more than 12,000 requests to erase links to personal history after a landmark European court ruling, Reuters reports. On May 13th, the top European court upheld a law that requires Google to erase “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” information from search results if individuals request so. More →
Game revenue stats from the first quarter of 2014 are grim reading for Nintendo. The ailing giant is now being overtaken by multiple mobile app companies, many of them riding on the success of a single, free download. Nintendo’s entire software stable — consisting of dozens of Wii U, Wii and 3DS titles —grossed just $411 million in the first quarter of the year. More →
To paraphrase the Prophesy of Daenerys from Game of Thrones: “Three beasts shall Microsoft slay – one is slate and one is late and one is cut-rate.” It is now becoming increasingly clear Microsoft’s mobile device strategy hinges on conquering three problems that it’s going to have a very hard time tackling. More →