Samsung has reportedly made a major investment in rival South Korea-based smartphone maker Pantech. Yonhap News was first to report the news and it says Samsung spent roughly $50 million for 10% of the company. Samsung’s motives are unclear, though the deal will reportedly “help further solidify bilateral cooperation in smartphone and other business areas.” Pantech is currently the No.3 phone maker in South Korea behind Samsung and LG, and the new investment makes Samsung the company’s third-largest shareholder behind Qualcomm and Korea Development Bank.
As people continue to look for ways to “cut the cord” and move away from traditional cable services, right now they largely have no choice but to continue subscribing to ISPs’ Internet services even if they cancel pay-TV. Over the next few years, however, that need might fade in many regions. According to new research from ABI, LTE-FDD (frequency-division duplex) will expand to cover 57% of the global population by 2018 while LTE-TDD (time-division duplex) will cover 52% of the population by that point in time. More →
New details continue to trickle out following Microsoft’s Xbox One unveiling. Some new tidbits answer burning questions and some simply raise new questions, but there are also a few key features being discovered that Microsoft was oddly quiet about during its presentation but happily confirmed after the show. For one example, Forbes’ Matt Hickey was able to learn after the presentation that the new Xbox One will indeed support “Ultra HD” gaming at 4K resolution. “The video and interface portions, absolutely,” Microsoft marketing boss Yusuf Mehdi responded when asked whether or not the new Xbox would offer 4K gaming. It looks like games will be 1080p at launch, though 4K games will certainly be available down the road once Ultra HD TV sales pick up.
When you’re a tween or teen who just has to repost that great porn GIF you just found, Facebook really isn’t the place to do it. It’s not that porn GIFs are any less appreciated by Facebook users, of course, but rather that young users are often tracked by their parents on the world’s top social network. As a result, a recent Pew Research study found that teenagers are moving away from Facebook and finding a new home on Tumblr. More →
Apple has updated an earlier lawsuit filed against Samsung with claims that the Galaxy S4 and its Google Now feature violate two Apple patents covering functions of its own virtual personal assistant, Siri. Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents relayed news of the updated complaint on Wednesday, and he noted that two of the patents — U.S. Patent 8,086,604, and U.S. Patent 6,846,959 — cover technologies related to Siri. Both filings describe a “universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system.” Apple also added three more patents to its earlier complaint that are not related to Siri, according to the report.
With the first round of announcements behind us, the only thing that’s clear in the inevitable and perpetual Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4 battle is that there is no clear winner. Microsoft finally unveiled its next-generation video game console on Tuesday and once all the dust settled, Anandtech’s Anand Lal Shimpi took a step back and laid out everything we know about these two beastly consoles. Lal Shimpi’s analysis is extensive and thorough, as always, but it boils down to this: Based on what we know at this point, Sony has the edge in terms of specs and raw power. More →
Sony might not have revealed its console hardware during the PlayStation 4 unveiling, but at least we walked away with a pretty good idea of how buying and selling games would work. Microsoft finally took the wraps off of its next-generation Xbox One video game console on Tuesday and many people were left with more questions than answers. The gameplay demos we saw during the presentation looked fantastic, but how exactly does buying and reselling those wonderful new games work? More →
When it comes to U.S. carriers, just about everyone dreads the thought of having to call customer service to resolve an issue. Some carriers are certainly worse than others, of course, and the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index survey found that Verizon Wireless once again was ranked highest in customer service quality by subscribers. The company scored 73 points out of a possible 100, up 3 points from 2012. Sprint was flat in the No.2 spot with 71 points while AT&T gained a point to hit 70. T-Mobile remained the lowest-ranked major carrier as its score slid to 68 in 2013 from 69 last year. The full press release follows below. More →
As Pandora struggles to fight off a new wave of competition from the likes of industry giants like Google and Apple, the company recently announced a new feature that could definitely boost interest in its services. Dubbed “Pandora Premieres,” the new feature allows users to stream new albums in their entirety a week before they are released to the public. Upcoming albums can be streamed on-demand from start to finish for one week until they are released, and then they will be mixed in with Pandora’s standard streaming radio offering. Pandora Premieres is available to Pandora subscribers at pandora.com/premieres, and the company’s full press release follows below. More →
BGR took an in-depth look at Leap Motion’s revolutionary motion-control PC accessory last year, and we loved the accuracy and shocking reliability of Leap’s technology. The controller was only compatible with Mac computers at the time, however. In a recent post on the company’s blog, Leap showed off its upcoming Windows 7 and Windows 8 integration, which it plans to launch on July 22nd. An accompanying video shows how well Leap’s controller works with Windows for swiping, scrolling, zooming in and out, flipping through photos, drawing and more. It’s not quite Minority Report, but we’re getting there. Leap Motion’s full video follows below. More →
IBM spoke of shrinking its intelligent supercomputer Watson down to smartphone size last summer, and now it appears that the company is getting close to achieving that goal. Watson, which gained notoriety by famously trouncing two champions on Jeopardy, will not initially come to smartphones as a stand-alone app like Siri or Google Now, though it could eventually give both services a run for their money. Instead, IBM will partner with a number of companies including ANZ Bank, Nielsen, Celcom, IHS, and Royal Bank of Canada, Forbes reports to have Watson power customer service systems for these companies. Watson will initially be accessible though Web chats, email, smartphone apps and SMS, and voice recognition functionality is expected to come in future versions of the offering. Apps that include this new “Ask Watson” feature are expected to begin rolling out in the next few months.
Bad news, Xbox fans: Your current collection of Xbox 360 games will not work on Microsoft’s new Xbox One, and the company’s used games policy is very unclear. The company finally took the wraps off its next-generation video game console on Tuesday and while there was plenty of good news to be had, there were also some some troubling announcements. More →
As rumors of Apple readying fingerprint scanning technology for a future iPhone continue to swirl, a new report suggests another company is working on similar tech for future versions of its smartphones: Samsung. SamMobile reports that files uncovered in a leaked firmware build for Samsung’s Galaxy S III included a number of images of fingerprints and other related items. The presence of these graphics suggests Samsung is indeed testing some type of fingerprint scanning technology internally, but they give no indication of exactly what kind of functionality Samsung might have planned. The leaked images pulled from Samsung’s firmware file follow below. More →