Analysts and pundits have claimed that Apple simply needs to release new low-priced iPhones to better compete for smartphone market share, but the company is still choosing not to compete in that particular segment of the mobile business — or at least not actively by launching cheaper new iPhones each year. Instead, Apple keeps around older models that are sold for cheaper prices alongside brand new releases. And a new patent discovered by AppleInsider reveals how Apple may increase performance of aging devices, keeping them around for longer and potentially making them interesting choices for budget device buyers who could purchase second-hand iPhones instead of cheap new Android devices.
In-app purchases are apparently becoming big problems for parents who let their children play free mobile games on their tablets. GigaOM brings us word that a woman in New York has filed a lawsuit against Google after her son spent $65.95 on digital crystals that he used to help him play the Marvel Run Jump Smash! game. Essentially the mother wants to see Google make it so that you need to enter your password for every in-game purchase so that children won’t be able to rack up huge bills just by clicking “yes” when asked if they really want to buy virtual goods. Right now you can make an in-app purchase through Google Play without entering your password as long as you do it within 30 minutes from when you last entered your password. A press release outlining the lawsuit against Google over in-app purchases follows below. More →
New documents uncovered by FOSS Patents reveals that Apple may be asking for as much as $40 per Samsung device found to be infringing on Apple’s patents that are in play in the second U.S. lawsuit between the two companies that’s set to start later this month. That works out to an average of $8 for each of the five Apple patens that are used against Samsung in this trial, ”which relate to (but don’t even fully monopolize) the phone number tapping feature, unified search, data synchronization, slide-to-unlock, and autocomplete.” On the other hand, both parties had to cut the number of patent claims for the upcoming trial, with each side selecting its strongest ones for the trial.
Even though T-Mobile openly bashes Sprint on a regular basis, it knows that it’s probably going to wind up merging with them anyway. Reuters reports that T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter said this week that a merger with Sprint is “is not a question of if” but “is a question of when.” In his remarks Carter said that the government either needed to let T-Mobile merge with Sprint or it needed to come up with a fairer way of distributing spectrum so that all the prime real estate doesn’t get gobbled up by Verizon and AT&T in spectrum auctions. More →
Samsung on Tuesday announced on its blog that it’s now mass-producing the “industry’s most advanced” 4-gigabit (Gb) DDR3 DRAM memory which is based on a new 20-nanometer process. The new memory will be available for mobile devices and PCs later this year, Samsung confirmed, without specifying which of its upcoming mobile devices will get the new chips. More →
The Korea Electronics Association has submitted a petition to Fair Trade Commission opposing Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s phone unit. Koreans are restating the theory that many industry observers have been speculating about in recent months: the loss of its handset operations may unleash Nokia as a sort of megatroll with the power to cripple the profitability of most Asian phone vendors. More →
Want to know Siri’s backstory? All you have to do is ask the right questions. The engineers responsible for creating Apple’s virtual personal assistant Siri built in a number of fun Easter Eggs, or hidden features that can be discovered by asking specific questions or giving certain commands. Apple has continued to add even more fun new features as it continues to develop Siri, but perhaps one of the most interesting Siri Easter Eggs is one that has been present since the very beginning — but has yet to be uncovered. More →
While the All New HTC One is the worst kept secret of the year so far, it still holds some secrets that the extensive amount of leaks have not been able to explain. For example, while available images and videos have proven that the phone will have two cameras on the back instead of one, it’s still not clear what the purpose of a secondary shooter is. Luckily, marketing materials from an Australian carrier have been dug up by GSM Arena, shedding further light on the phone’s rear cameras. More →
We know that Apple will almost definitely be releasing a larger version of its iPhone this year but we still don’t know exactly how big the device will be or what Apple will charge for it. Business Insider directs our attention to a new research note from Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves, who says that Apple stands to make some serious cash from its larger iPhone, especially if it charges an on-contract price of $300 for the device. More →
For the past several months, infamous NSA leaker Edward Snowden has confounded the United States government’s attempts to track him online and stop him from releasing further damaging damaging information about its intelligence gathering activities. How has he been able to do this ? The Wall Street Journal reports that Snowden this week gave three simple tips to help make sure that no one can track your online activity: Encrypt your entire hard drive, use Tor to keep yourself completely anonymous online, and enable browser extensions that block third parties’ ability to track you. More →
Apple released iOS 7.1 to the public on Monday afternoon and it came right on time, as per BGR’s exclusive report from back in December of last year. The new software update brings with it a wide range of visual changes, bug fixes and feature additions such as support for Apple’s new CarPlay and new Siri capabilities. There is plenty of great new functionality to look through and we posted a solid video walkthrough that highlights almost all of it. There is one iOS 7.1 feature in particular, though, that isn’t exactly new but you still really have to check out. More →
If you were hoping for some radical changes to Verizon’s business model in the near future, you’re probably out of luck. In the same conference call that we covered yesterday, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo not only explained how his company can get away with charging more for its services, but why those services have remained fundamentally unchanged in a rapidly evolving market. More →
While the iPhone 5c has been seen as a disappointment when it comes to sales, the phone may still have a future in Apple’s iPhone lineup after all. A new report from Macotakara (via AppleInsider,) a fairly solid source for Apple-related leaks, reveals that the iPhone 6 phablets may have a design inspired by the iPhone 5c and the seventh-generation iPod nano. More →
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