One of the most intriguing concepts for the future of the PC industry we’ve heard lately has been Dell’s Project Ophelia, a USB thumb drive-sized “computer-on-a-stick” that can plug into any monitor’s USB port to transform it into a makeshift computer capable of running multiple operating systems. PCWorld reports that an early version of Ophelia that will only run Android will ship out to developers starting in July and could ship out to consumers as soon as August. The first version of Ophelia “will have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities and is aimed at users who do most of their computing on the Web,” says PCWorld, which means that monitors using Ophelia will be more like Chromebooks than traditional PCs. More →
Because Samsung isn’t already prepping enough new variants of the wildly popular Galaxy S4, a new “Galaxy S4 Mega” is reportedly under development as well and has been confirmed by Samsung. The Galaxy S4 mini, Galaxy S4 Active, Galaxy S4 Zoom and Galaxy S4 Google Edition with stock Android Jelly Bean are all expected to debut in the coming weeks and months, and now a phablet version of the S4 looks like it has been confirmed in a recent update to Samsung’s WatchOn TV app discovered by SamMobile. No other details have been provided, but unless this was a typo — and it doesn’t appear to be, since the update also references two other unannounced Galaxy S4 variants — we should see this phone-tablet hybrid announced in the coming weeks. A screenshot of the update follows below. More →
A video game console’s exterior hardware is undoubtedly the least important part of the gaming experience, but fans were still angry when the PlayStation 4 event came and went with no physical console having been unveiled. As expected, however, Sony plans to debut its new console design during the annual E3 conference that kicks off next month on June 10th. In a newly released promotional video, Sony teased the PlayStation 4 console for the first time, showing blurry images of the box and zoomed-in pictures of various parts. It’s impossible to make out the PS4′s final design for the time being, but all will be revealed in under a month during Sony’s E3 press conference. In the meantime, the full teaser video follows below. More →
With Apple’s “iWatch” likely to release this year, it’s not surprising that we’re starting to hear rumors about components being cobbled together just before the company starts ramping up production of the device. Japanese blog Macotakara points us to a new report from Taiwanese publication Economic Times claiming that Apple is testing out 1.5-inch OLED displays produced by RITEK subsidiary RiTdisplay for its upcoming smartwatch. Macotakara notes that earlier rumors claimed the iWatch would have a 1.8-inch display, so it seems that Apple may be thinking of reducing the device’s size if it’s really giving 1.5-inch panels a long look.
Google clearly has a number of strengths, but its greatest may be the freedom to fail. Google shares are up more than 28% so far in 2013 and the company’s market capitalization recently topped $300 billion for the first time. Investors are bullish on Google’s prospects for the future and perhaps one of the reasons is that Google has shown time and time again that it is willing to take big risks in an effort to drive innovation. More →
It’s never surprising when Apple decides to make new versions of its products lighter and thinner than earlier models but a new report from Digitimes suggests that the company could really outdo itself with the fifth-generation iPad. Digitimes‘ sources say that the next iPad will be between 25% and 33% lighter than the fourth-generation model and will go on sale starting in September. Given that the fourth-generation iPad weighed in at 652 grams, a 25% reduction in weight would mean that the fifth-generation model would weigh just 489 grams. The publication’s sources also say that Apple will start production of the new completely redesigned tablet in July and that “LG Display, Samsung Display and Sharp are expected to be the suppliers of display panels” for the device.
The battle between BlackBerry and Microsoft for the No.3 spot in the smartphone platform war is showing no signs of slowing, but a new contender will soon come to market to challenge these struggling giants. Jolla, whose CEO spoke with us nearly a year ago about the company’s efforts, has unveiled its first smartphone. Named simply “Jolla,” the handset will feature a 4.5-inch HD display, a dual-core processor, 4G LTE, 16GB of internal storage, microSD support, an 8-megapixel camera, Android app support and the Sailfish mobile operating system. Most impressively of all, perhaps, is the price tag: just €399 before taxes and subsidies. Jolla says it hopes to begin shipping the phone by the end of 2013, and a video of the upcoming handset follows below. More →
After a number of newspapers and blogs wrote about Yahoo’s now-confirmed $1.1 billion acquisition of popular blogging platform Tumblr, users were angry. The world has no idea what Yahoo has in store for Tumblr, of course, but the Internet giant’s reputation has many users worried. So much so, in fact, that some have already begun to defect. According to WordPress CEO Matt Mullenweg, Tumblr users are switching to WordPress in droves. In a recent blog post, Mullenweg says WordPress typically imports between 400 and 600 Tumblr posts per hour, but during a one-hour period on Sunday as news of the imminent deal spread, that figure climbed to 72,000. Yahoo confirmed the $1.1 billion deal on Monday, and it is expected to announce further details during a press conference in New York on Monday evening. Yahoo’s full press release announcing the acquisition follows below. More →
When people buy an E Ink eReader instead of one of the many affordable tablets available on the market, they’re likely looking for a somewhat pure eBook reading experience. As Barnes & Noble’s Nook business continues to flounder, however, the book seller will soon bank on new tablet features to help boost interest in its Nook Simple Touch lineup. According to a purported leaked email obtained by TechCrunch, Barnes & Noble plans to issue an update to its Simple Touch eReaders that will add a Web browser, email and a new store app to the devices. No other details were provided, though the update is expected to begin rolling out over the air (OTA) on June 1st. A copy of the leaked email follows below. More →
In one point in time, Nokia was the top-selling smartphone vendor in the world by a wide margin. It wasn’t even that long ago, in fact. But when Nokia failed to respond quickly enough to the industry’s shift toward touch, the Finnish giant lost its footing and toppled spectacularly. Just how bad have things gotten for Nokia? Market share numbers paint a pretty frightening picture, but a single tweet from Benedict Evans of Enders Analysis might do an even better job of putting things in perspective. More →
Consumers have begun to move away from two-year contracts and embrace the prepaid smartphone market. In response to this growing user base, Verizon Wireless this week announced that it is increasing its data allowance for prepaid customers. The carrier’s new plans offer unlimited talk and text with 2GB of data, up from 500MB, for $60 a month. There is also a plan with 4GB of data, up from 2GB, for $70 per month. The increased data allowance is available now to current customers, and will be available to new customers beginning June 6th. AT&T also recently announced a new prepaid service in select markets, known as Aio Wireless, which offers unlimited talk and text with 2GB of data for $55 per month, or 7GB of data for $70 per month.
Nokia is rumored to be preparing a 41-megapixel Lumia smartphone, codenamed EOS, that will be released later this year. According to WMPowerUser, the handset will look similar to Nokia’s Lumia 920 smartphone and will feature a polycarbonate case with a 4.5-inch 720p display. The device will reportedly come with a new application called “Nokia Pro Camera” to compliment the 41-megapixel PureView camera, which is also said to include a protective lens cover that automatically opens when the camera application is launched. Unlike the handful of Lumias that came before it, however, the EOS will reportedly not come in different colors and will not natively support wireless charging. Earlier reports suggested that Nokia would launch its EOS smartphone in the United States this summer.
Of all the problems to have when launching a new flagship smartphone, trouble keeping up with demand is hardly the worst. Of course, things change a bit when a company has to pump units into channels as quickly as possible before the top-selling smartphone vendor in the world launches the Galaxy S4. HTC undoubtedly lost some sales thanks to its production woes with the One, but a new report suggests its manufacturing issues are behind it. According to Focus Taiwan, HTC North Asia president Jack Tong said that production capacity for the HTC One will double in May and increase further in June. ”Our capacity is expected to rise significantly starting from mid-May,” Tong reportedly said Friday at a press conference. “We are optimistic about our high-end sales during April and June.”