Apple’s weak Black Friday deals didn’t scare investors on Friday as shares climbed as much as 2% before closing up 1.85% at $556.07, the highest close the stock has managed thus far in 2013. Shares are still off from their 12-month high of $589.36 on November 29th, 2012, exactly one year ago Friday. There’s no question that Apple is heating up though — shares gained 6.4% in November after having gained 9.6% during the month of October. More →
There are thousands of deals on tech and gadgets this holiday season. Some are pretty awful, others are jaw-dropping, but there’s only one deal that each and every person who owns an Apple device should be taking advantage of right now without even giving it a second thought. If you own an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, iMac, MacBook or any other computing device Apple makes, third-party apps aren’t just an option that enhances your experience, they’re a requirement that can transform your device with each new download. And since you’re already spending money on apps, games and music for your devices, why not spend less money and get even more content?
A report from earlier this week suggested that Apple’s Black Friday deals would be even worse this year than they are typically, which would be an impressive feat considering how slim Apple always keeps its Black Friday discounts. Apple was planning to ditch its holiday discounts entirely, the report claimed, and instead offer Apple Store gift cards of varying value to customers who purchase Apple wares on Friday. The deals went live in Australia as expected, but then we saw a glimmer of hope as Apple’s typical Black Friday discount deals went into effect across Europe. But alas, Apple’s U.S. online store has been updated and the gift card deals have been confirmed. More →
Google has its own streaming music service now that “Google Play Music All Access” is available, but the company may soon look to double down and launch a separate streaming service aimed at a younger crowd. The company recently released an update to its YouTube app for Android, and the new build was subsequently picked apart and examined by developers. According to Android Police, several references to a “Music Pass” service were found in the app’s code along with references to background music playback, offline playback and an ad-free listening experience. Several earlier reports have stated that Google’s YouTube plans to launch its own music streaming service, and it looks as though the service’s debut is fast approaching.
To some, the idea of trekking out on Black Friday to claw past thousands of rabid shoppers for deep discounts on various wares is nausea inducing. To others, the spoils are worth the cost. For those planning to suit up on Friday and chase after the various doorbuster deals retailers are making available across the country, the Associated Press has put together a list of five free apps for Android and the iPhone that might help make this Black Friday just a touch less painful than Black Fridays past. Among them are RetailMeNot, which helps shoppers find coupons and hot deals at nearby stores; RedLaser, which allows users to scan items in a store to find better prices from rival shops and online retailers; and Flipp, which makes it easy to find and look through promotional fliers from a wide range of local retailers. The full list along with links to download each app can be found in the Associated Press’ report, which is linked below in our source section.
Despite the company’s denial last month, Samsung has been found by multiple reputable testers to cheat on benchmark tests. According to reports, several Samsung smartphones and tablets crank up the heat when they detect benchmark tests being performed. The problem seemingly extends beyond just Samsung though, and several other vendors including HTC and LG apparently juice their benchmark tests as well. Now, it looks like benchmark test providers are starting to fight back. More →
BlackBerry played one of just a handful of key roles that helped shape the smartphone industry as we know it today. But in a story that has become all too familiar over the past few years, the company failed to keep up as the market evolved following the debut of Apple’s iPhone, and it now finds itself struggling to stay alive. BlackBerry continues to struggle globally and it’s even losing ground in a number of key markets that used to be strongholds for the Canadian smartphone maker — but there is at least one market where BlackBerry has not only gained ground recently, it has actually managed to top smartphone titan Samsung. More →
Every third commercial that airs on TV right now is for holiday deals on tablets, which are expected to be huge sellers this holiday season. But what about smartphones? Global smartphone shipments still outnumber tablets by more than five to one and smartphone penetration in America is at an all-time high. After this holiday season, it’s likely to be even higher. There are sales on smartphones at every carrier and big box retailer across the country right now, not to mention discounts that are often even deeper online. But price is only one part of the equation. More →
A new report on iPhone production at Foxconn does an amazing job of putting demand for Apple’s latest iPhone in perspective. The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday issued some insights into Foxconn’s iPhone production that really help illustrate how much work is involved with building and shipping the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. According to The Journal’s unnamed sources, which are said to be executives at Foxconn’s parent company Hon Hai, Foxconn has 100 production lines, 600 people per line and a total of more than 300,000 workers dedicated solely to building the iPhone 5s — and that’s just at one factory in Zhengzhou, China. How many iPhone 5s handsets can all those people build? According to the report, they’re pumping out a staggering 500,000 iPhone 5s units each day. More →
Whether you’re on Team Good or Team Evil, it’s hard to argue that Google isn’t one of the smartest technology companies on the planet right now. It has an uncanny ability to find new and unique ways to ensure that its services are not just conveniences for users, but necessities that people can’t live without. Now, as if the word “Google” wasn’t deeply engrained enough in our daily lives, Google is working on tying its namesake to voice command technology as well. Android users can already trigger hands-free voice searches on many devices simply by uttering the words “OK Google,” and beginning immediately people can do the same on their desktop computers thanks to a new Chrome plugin released this week. More →
Pound for pound, the HTC One is easily among the best smartphones on the planet. Back in August, I pitted the One against Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 and crowned HTC’s handset the winner. With a gorgeous design, premium materials, solid performance, a stunning 1080p display and several unique software enhancements, it’s no wonder the One regularly receives praise from those who use it. But unfortunately, the sleek smartphone has done precious little to reverse HTC’s fortunes.
This year’s September quarter marked HTC’s first ever quarterly loss since becoming a public company. HTC makes terrific phones and the One is its best to date, but stiff competition from rivals has proven insurmountable thus far. Not even Iron Man has been able to help the struggling smartphone maker as Apple and Samsung continue to lob billion-dollar marketing campaigns at consumers around the world.
What on Earth is HTC going to do to turn things around?
It’s going to launch a gigantic phablet. More →
Samsung doesn’t just want to beat Apple in the tablet market, the company wants to obliterate Apple. Samsung practically came out of nowhere a few years ago and in terms of smartphone shipment volume, the company now absolutely crushes the competition. In fact, in each of the past two quarters, Samsung shipped more smartphones than each of its top rivals combined. Now, Samsung is seemingly looking to kick its tablet efforts into high gear and dominate the market as it did with smartphones. More →