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 Galaxy S4 was Samsung’s big flagship phone for 2013 and the company made sure it got plenty of bang for its buck. Within the span of just a few months, Samsung launched eight different versions of the Galaxy S4. And we’re not just talking about different storage options here, we talking about eight different model numbers. Now, as details continue to trickle out about next year’s Galaxy S5, it’s looking like Samsung may adopt a similar strategy — referred to by some as “gadget spamming” — and launch several different versions of its Galaxy S5-branded handset. More →
The shine is already wearing off of Apple’s new Touch ID technology for some iPhone 5s owners. Apple unveiled its latest flagship iPhone this past September and along with it, a new embedded fingerprint scanner brought about by the company’s 2012 acquisition of mobile security firm AuthenTec for $356 million. Dubbed Touch ID, the new technology places a sapphire glass-covered fingerprint scanner in the home button of Apple’s iPhone 5s and allows users to unlock the device or authenticate App Store purchases with just the touch of a finger. The new tech is among a few main selling points for the iPhone 5s, but a new report suggests some users are already having trouble with it after less than three months on the market. More →
In BGR’s full review of the Nexus 5, we called the camera one of the weakest points on Google’s latest smartphone. We found during our tests that photo quality in good lighting is impressive, but we said low-light photos are terrible and the Nexus 5′s camera software is simply awful. While the camera isn’t the worst thing about the Nexus 5, it is certainly close. But don’t take our word for it — the photography experts at DP Review recently put the Nexus 5′s camera through an exhaustive review process that picks apart every conceivable aspect of the camera hardware, software and resulting photos. We won’t post any big spoilers but suffice it to say the brief comments we made in our Nexus 5 review were a pretty accurate assessment. Nexus 5 users will be happy to learn, however, that Google’s Android 4.4.1 update is rolling out over the next few days to hopefully address some issues. DP Review’s full eight-page Nexus 5 camera review is linked below in our source section.
Look at the image above. On the left, you have a gorgeous aluminum smartphone with a premium look and feel. On the right, you have slim plastic smartphone with a removable back cover and a swappable battery. Wouldn’t it be nice to choose from both of these great options when purchasing your next handset? It looks like Samsung’s “gadget spam” strategy might finally bring us the best of both worlds next year when the hotly anticipated Galaxy S5 finally becomes a reality. More →
AT&T wants subscribers to have a merry Christmas this year. It also wants some of the people who have been fleeing its network in searching of cheaper smartphone plans to stay put. As such, the carrier on Thursday announced a brand new set of service plans that are far more consumer-friendly. AT&T is still making plenty of money on them, of course, but several of the plans offer significant savings compared to the older plans they replace. What’s more, the new plans finally — FINALLY — take smartphone subsidies into account to an extent, and they automatically drop in cost by $15 per month once your phone is paid off. Or, if you bring your own phone or opt for one of the carrier’s AT&T Next plans, your service is $15 cheaper per month from day one. More →
Apple’s new flagship iPhone 5s isn’t just the presumed fastest-selling smartphone ever, it’s also apparently in hotter demand than any other tech device on the planet. Yahoo recently released its list of the top 10 tech searches performed with Yahoo’s search engine in 2013 to the UK’s Daily Star, and front and center at the top of the list is “Apple iPhone.” Following the iPhone are Amazon’s Kindle and “Samsung Galaxy,” and the iPad and PlayStation 4 round out the top five items. In somewhat interesting news considering the state of each company’s smartphone business, “BlackBerry” was the seventh most popular tech search of the year and “Nokia Lumia” came in at No. 9. Yahoo’s full list can be seen below. More →
After former BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins couldn’t manage to clean up the mess that co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie left behind, a full or partial sale looked like the company’s only way out the hole it found itself in. That might have indeed been BlackBerry’s only out, but the company instead decided to stay the course — Heins was let go, talks of a sale were cancelled and John Chen was appointed interim CEO. While Chen has merely been named interim boss, a new report from Reuters states that Chen is in it for the long haul and as such, the company’s fate may rest in his hands. More →
Samsung has been relatively quiet since the recent launch of its Galaxy Note 3 phablet and Galaxy Gear smartwatch, but the consumer tech giant reportedly has a big first quarter planned. According to a new report from South Korean news site ET News, Samsung is cooking up at least five new smartphones that will launch during the first quarter next year. The handsets will range from entry-level to high-end and the star of the show will reportedly be Samsung’s next-generation hero phone, the Galaxy S5. More →
The holiday console war is in full swing now and points are being scored on both sides. Sony came out strong, selling more than 1 million PlayStation 4 consoles during the box’s first 24 hours of availability alone. Then Microsoft’s Xbox One launched a week later and matched the PS4′s astonishing first-day sales performance. Things seemed to be leaning in the Xbox’s favor after sales of the new console crushed the PS4 at Walmart and Target on Black Friday, but PlayStation 4 supply constraints may have been to blame — Sony would later announce that it sold 2.1 million PS4 consoles so far and Microsoft has yet to issue a real response. Both consoles have their merits and either one seems like a solid buy this holiday season, but those considering the Xbox One should pump the brakes according to one reviewer. More →
Google’s Cloud Platform just got a major enhancement that hits Amazon and other major cloud players right where it hurts. The company on Monday evening announced the general availability of Google Compute Engine, which had previously only been accessible to a small group of testers. Google’s Apps Engine already competes directly with Amazon’s popular cloud services by allowing developers to host web apps on remote servers that Google manages. Now Compute Engine will compete directly with Amazon’s popular EC2 hosting service, offering “virtual machines that are performant, scalable, reliable, and offer industry-leading security features like encryption of data at rest,” according to Google. The service supports numerous operating systems, comes with 24/7 support and promises 99.95% uptime. More details can be found in Google’s blog post, which is linked below in our source section.
Wearable computing is at the forefront of every conversation these days when it comes to predicting the next big thing in mobile. As it turns out, however, the next big thing might already be here. According to a new report issued on Tuesday by market research firm Juniper Research, gambling is in the process of becoming the next monster mobile market. Be it sports betting, mobile casinos or various lotteries, Juniper says that 64 million people will use mobile devices to gamble in 2013 and that figure will balloon to 164 million in 2018. Interestingly, Juniper believes that strong growth in North America will drive the market — while mobile gambling adoption as been slow thus far in the U.S. due to regulatory issues, Juniper believes recent and ongoing legislative changes along with successful launches in Nevada and New Jersey will be the start of accelerated growth in the U.S. In a previous report, the firm estimated that revenue from mobile gambling would surpass $100 billion in 2017. Juniper’s full press release follows below. More →