Apple may partner with Verizon, AT&T and others for iTV content

By on February 6, 2012 at 3:15 PM.

Apple may partner with Verizon, AT&T and others for iTV content

Apple will launch its own HDTV called the “iTV,” analyst Peter Misek of Jefferies & Company said on Monday. We’ve written dozens of reports on Apple’s alleged upcoming HDTV, and most speculate that the device will run a version of iOS along with the company’s Siri voice engine that will remove the need for a traditional remote control. Misek also said that Apple is in talks to partner with carriers such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T for access to exclusive and non-exclusive content, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Best Buy recently leaked possible details on the iTV and the retailer’s survey suggested the device will have a 42-inch display and a $1,499 price tag. The TV could launch near the middle of this year, although a recent report suggested that the television’s launch might be pushed back due to limited display availability. More →

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Google to launch pilot program for Android-based HUD glasses

By on February 6, 2012 at 2:05 PM.

Google to launch pilot program for Android-based HUD glasses

Google has reportedly been hard at work developing glasses with a built-in heads-up display (HUD) on one lens. The glasses reportedly look very similar to Oakley’s Thump sunglasses, which allowed users to load songs onto a small flash drive and listen to tunes through integrated ear buds. According to 9to5Google, the glasses will be equipped with “hardware near the equivalent of a generation-old Android smartphone,” which means we’ll likely see a 1GHz processor and internal storage in the 8GB to 16GB range. The glasses will also be capable of voice input and output according to the report, and they will be able to capture photos using a front-facing camera. A user may even be able to navigate through menu items by tilting his or her head, 9to5Google said. The pilot program for Google’s HUD glasses is expected to launch soon but the devices are reportedly still far from ready for a mass roll out. More →

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Corning and Samsung form joint venture to combine ‘Lotus Glass’ with OLED displays

By on February 3, 2012 at 8:00 PM.

Corning and Samsung form joint venture to combine ‘Lotus Glass’ with OLED displays

Samsung and Corning — best known for its Gorilla Glass products — announced a new joint venture this week that will manufacture specialty glass substrates for OLED displays. The joint venture will be based in South Korea and will combine Samsung’s OLED display technology with Corning’s ultra tough Lotus Glass substrate. The new displays will be utilized in mobile devices as well as larger products, such as televisions, and will be used in Samsung products and sold to other South Korean manufacturers. “Corning and Samsung have a long and successful partnership in the display industry, dating back nearly 40 years to the early days of television,” Corning chairman, President and CEO Wendell P. Weeks said. “The strength of our business relationship is built on Corning’s ability to develop and make high-technology glass with the key attributes that enable Samsung’s next-generation displays.” Samsung’s full press release follows after the break.  More →

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Verizon begins testing new mobile payment solution

By on February 3, 2012 at 7:01 PM.

Verizon begins testing new mobile payment solution

Vantiv, a provider of mobile payment solutions, announced a new point-of-sale product on Friday that it will be rolling out in partnership with Verizon Wireless. The product, which is currently in field testing, includes custom tailored applications and an Android-based point-of-sale solution for accepting payments. The applications will be available in Verizon’s Private Application Store for Business. “Merchants and consumers are seeking greater mobility, control and timely access to data,” said Bill Weingart, Chief Product Officer of Vantiv. “We’ve teamed with Verizon to combine our payment and security expertise with Verizon’s ability to tailor development of mobile technologies to address those needs.” Verizon Wireless is also a member of ISIS, an initiative in which it has partnered with AT&T and T-Mobile to provide customers with NFC-based mobile payment options. Vantiv’s full press release follows after the break. More →

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Lawmaker launches assault on violent video games

By on February 3, 2012 at 4:00 PM.

Lawmaker launches assault on violent video games

An Oklahoma lawmaker has proposed levying a new tax on violent video games. Oklahoma Democrat Will Fourkiller has suggested the tax be applied to all games that receive an ESRB rating, which is intended for adults only. In addition, Fourkiller thinks T-Rated games should also have a tax added to the cost of the games, since some include “simulated gambling.” But a tax on all T-Rated games would be too broad, Ars Technica points out, as there are also titles that are rated T for “cartoon violence, crude humor and suggestive themes.” Read on for more. More →

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EU tells Google to stop rolling out privacy changes

By on February 3, 2012 at 10:00 AM.

EU tells Google to stop rolling out privacy changes

Regulators with the European Union have asked Google to stop rolling out new privacy changes that the company originally introduced earlier this month. “Given the wide range of services you offer, and the popularity of these services, changes in your privacy policy may affect many citizens in most or all of the EU member states,” the European wrote in a letter to Google’s CEO Larry Page. “We wish to check the possible consequences for the protection of the personal data of these citizens in a coordinated way. In light of the above, we call for a pause in the interests of ensuring that there can be no misunderstanding about Google’s commitments to information rights of their users and EU citizens, until we have completed our analysis.” Google said it was introducing the new privacy changes, which go into effect on March 1, to provide a “more intuitive Google experience” for its users, but several groups, including the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, have accused Google of collecting more data than ever before. Google told BGR in a statement that it is “not collecting any new or additional data about users.” More →

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Sales of smartphones, tablets and notebooks expected to grow 25.7% annually through 2015

By on February 3, 2012 at 7:15 AM.

Sales of smartphones, tablets and notebooks expected to grow 25.7% annually through 2015

NPD In-Stat recently issued a report in which the firm said it expects smartphones, tablets and notebooks — which are all included in its “mobile magnet platforms” category — to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of of 25.7% through 2015. The company also said it expects the overall mobile market to grow 8.7%. “The technology driver of all these smart devices is the mobile technology, because it represents the largest and fastest growing segment of the entire electronics market,” Jim McGregor, Chief Technology Strategist for NPD said. “The innovation of the mobile market is being driven by four key factors: richer content, network access for communications and content, increased bandwidth to enable this access, and new technologies. These four factors form a self-sustaining circle of innovation that feeds from and enables each factor.” The market research firm also expects that smartphones to grow from under 20% of all phones  sold in 2010 to 43% of all handsets sold by 2015. NPD’s full press release follows after the break. More →

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Google to pay €500,000 fine to French cartographer in Google Maps case

By on February 2, 2012 at 7:05 PM.

Google to pay €500,000 fine to French cartographer in Google Maps case

Google has been ordered to pay €500,000 to Bottin Cartographes, a French company that filed a lawsuit against Google France after it began providing its free Google Maps services to customers. Google is also responsible for paying an additional €15,000 in fees. The court found Google “guilty of abusing the dominant position of its Google Maps application,” Economic Times said Thursday. “We proved the illegality of [Google's] strategy to remove its competitors… the court recognized the unfair and abusive character of the methods used and allocated Bottin Cartographes all it claimed,” Botton Cartographes lawyer Jean-David Scemmama said. “This is the first time Google has been convicted for its Google Maps application.” Google said it will appeal the decision. “We remain convinced that a free high-quality mapping tool is beneficial for both Internet users and websites,” a Google spokesperson said. “There remains competition in this sector for us, both in France and internationally.” Google was also fined €100,000 in France last year after a court found it guilty of collecting private information for the Street View feature of Google Maps.

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Touchscreen iMac could be in the works according to Apple patent

By on February 2, 2012 at 5:55 PM.

Touchscreen iMac could be in the works according to Apple patent

Apple certainly helped shape the mobile space by popularizing multitouch screens on smartphones and tablets, but can it do the same for desktop computing, too? The United States Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published an Apple patent application that describes a desktop computer — likely the iMac — with a touchscreen display. Dell, HP and plenty of other firms have introduced all-in-one PCs with touchscreens, of course, but Apple’s invention may make some applications more intuitive. Read on for more. More →

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Android and iOS see continued growth in Q4 as BlackBerry, Windows and Symbian slide

By on February 2, 2012 at 5:20 PM.

Android and iOS see continued growth in Q4 as BlackBerry, Windows and Symbian slide

ComScore released its most recent U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share report for the three-month period ending in December, 2011. The research firm found that Samsung remained the top mobile phone vendor in the fourth quarter with a 25.3% market share — the same share as it held in the third quarter. LG’s market share dropped 0.6 percentage points to a 20% share for second place followed by Motorola, which fell 0.5 percentage points to 13.3%. Apple had the fourth largest share with a 12.4% market share, up 2.2 percentage points, and RIM fell 0.4 points to a 6.7% share. Read on for more. More →

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Verizon Wireless wins top spot in J.D. Power customer care study [updated]

By on February 2, 2012 at 4:30 PM.

Verizon Wireless wins top spot in J.D. Power customer care study [updated]

Verizon Wireless on Thursday announced that it has received the top spot in J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 Wireless Customer Care Full Service Study Volume 1. The carrier received a score of 762 out of 1,000, which was 10 index points above the industry average of 752. Virgin Mobile took the top spot in non-contract providers with an overall score of 735. J.D. Power also found that 38% of full-service customers who resolved technical issues online used an online chat service. Those who used the online chat services were also the most satisfied  (749 satisfaction points) as opposed to those who relied on a carrier’s website (734 points), emailed the carrier (721 points) or searched forums (664 points). Interestingly, owners of 4G devices were more likely to contact their carrier than owners of devices not capable of running on 4G networks. J.D. Power based its study on responses from 9,098 wireless customers in the United States. The non-contract study surveyed 2,840 wireless subscribers. J.D. Power and Associates’s full press release follows after the break.

UPDATE: An AT&T spokesperson contacted BGR via email with the following statemnt in response to J.D. Power’s study: “AT&T was again named No. 1 in walk-in customer service by J.D. Power as part of its 2012 Wireless Customer Care Survey – Volume 1, and third overall. We remain dedicated to continuous improvement so we can deliver the industry’s best products and services with exceptional customer care.”

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Demand for Amazon’s Kindle Fire begins to cool off, study suggests

By on February 2, 2012 at 3:51 PM.

Demand for Amazon’s Kindle Fire begins to cool off, study suggests

Demand for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet has started to cool off according to one study. ChangeWave published results of a survey on Thursday, which found that just 2% of customers in January were “very likely” to buy a Kindle Fire, down from 4% in December. Respondents who were “somewhat likely” to buy the tablet fell as well, from 13% in December to 10% in January, though demand following the holidays is expected to slow. Amazon’s tablet has better satisfaction ratings than several other tablets, however. ChangeWave’s survey found that 54% were “very satisfied” with the Kindle Fire, compared to 49% of those surveyed who were “very satisfied” with other tablets and 74% who were “very satisfied” with the iPad. Read on for more. More →

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Purported Windows Phone 8 details leak: NFC, native Skype support and more

By on February 2, 2012 at 2:10 PM.

Purported Windows Phone 8 details leak: NFC, native Skype support and more

We’re still waiting for Microsoft to launch Windows Phone “Tango,” but supposed details have already emerged surrounding the next major Windows Phone release code-named “Apollo.” According to Pocketnow, which claims to have obtained a video of Windows Phone manager Joe Belfiore that was intended to be viewed only by Nokia employees, Apollo will launch as Windows Phone 8. Read on for more. More →

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