Apple was a company that could do no wrong. Phones that dropped every other call… Location tracking scandals… Antennagate… A CEO who constantly parked his $130,000 sports car diagonally in handicapped spaces… Apple didn’t have to roll with the punches, the company would simply laugh at the punches or toss the press and public a few crumbs if need be. A week or even a day later, all was forgiven and Apple would continue on its path, making terrific products and mopping up industry profits while whistling to itself contently. More →
VIZIO on Monday evening announced that its affordable 8-inch VIZIO Tablet is now available from numerous retailers nationwide. The Gingerbread-powered device is VIZIO’s first foray into the tablet space, and while the slate’s specs aren’t cutting edge, it’s unsubsidized $299 price tag makes it a great option for tablet buyers on a budget. Spec highlights include an 8-inch 1024 x 768-pixel display, Android 2.3.2 Gingerbread, 2GB of storage and support for up to 32GB of removable storage, a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and a front-facing VGA camera for video chats. “VIZIO set out to build an innovative tablet that breaks new ground and addresses the gaps in current offerings in the market,” said VIZIO CTO Matt McRae in a statement. “The VIZIO Tablet offers a superior multimedia experience with its three speaker design, home theater integration with IR, and a perfect size for typing, eBooks, gaming and portability. These innovations and our ground breaking price push the category forward and deliver on our brand promise of Entertainment Freedom for All.” VIZIO’s 8-inch tablet is now available at Sam’s Club, Walmart, Costco, Amazon and other VIZIO retailers across the country for under $300. VIZIO’s full press release follows below.
Apple has quietly launched a new entry-level iMac that targets education. The new model features a 21.5-inch display like the current base iMac, but the specs are dialed down in order to push pricing to a slightly more attainable starting point. Highlights include a 3.1GHz Intel Core i3 dual-core processor, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a 250GB hard drive and an AMD Radeon HD 6750 GPU. Pricing starts at $999, 11% higher than the last iMac aimed at the education market, and the new model is available immediately to education customers on Apple’s website.
While the Daytona 500 kicks off a race to the top each year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the Nokia 500 is a race to the bottom. Nokia on Monday announced a new Symbian-powered smartphone that will aggressively attack emerging markets and smartphone users on a budget. The €150 ($217) Nokia 500 costs about what most popular smartphones do after subsidies, and it features specs we’re not used to seeing on entry-level devices. Highlights include a 1GHz processor, a 3.2-inch 640 x 360-pixel touchscreen display, a 5-megapixel camera, 2GB of storage and HSPA data. It also weighs just 93 grams, making it the lightest Symbian smartphone to date. As attractive as this handset could be in the low-end market, it begs the question: how long will it be until Nokia can attack young demographics and emerging markets this aggressively with entry-level smartphones powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS? Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has said on numerous occasions that Nokia will be able to push affordable Windows Phones out to market very quickly, but €150 before subsidies is not an easy price point to hit. Nokia did not specify a launch date for the Nokia 500, saying only that it will be available before the end of the year. A pair of videos showcasing the new Nokia 500 follow below. More →
In a note to investors on Monday, Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi said that Apple is looking to expand its smartphone market share by addressing the cost of its handsets. Apple doesn’t want its products to be “just for the rich,” Apple COO Tim Cook reportedly told Sacconaghi in a meeting, a possible indication that the company is looking to offer a less expensive iPhone option or even work with carriers to offer better rates. Cook is also said to have told the analyst that Apple will be doing “clever things” in the prepaid market. Cook noted that Apple will continue to focus on the tablet market as well, where it has seen huge success. Sacconaghi believes tablets could soon end up being a $60 billion to $100 billion business for Apple, whose iPad currently owns the majority of the tablet market. More →
Ahead of any official announcement, Samsung has published images and information surrounding its upcoming Android-powered Gem smartphone. The Samsung Gem is thought to be launching soon with regional carrier Cellular South, which currently has six Android phones in its portfolio ranging from the $49.99 HTC Hero 6250 to the $199.99 Samsung Galaxy S Showcase. While pricing for the Samsung Gem has not yet been revealed, it is expected to land among the mid-range Android phones in the carrier’s catalog. The Gem features a 3.2-inch WQVGA touchscreen display, an 800MHz processor, a 3.2-megapixel camera, GPS, Wi-Fi, microSDHC support and the Android 2.1 Eclair operating system. More →
Need a last minute present for… yourself? If you’ve had your eye on HTC’s EVO 4G from Sprint for a while, your patience may have finally paid off. RadioShack is guaranteeing customers a $100 trade in on their old mobile device when purchasing an EVO and opening a new line or signing a new 2-year contract. The exact verbiage of the deal is as follows:
Trade up to HTC EVO 4G for only $99
Starting Sunday, December 19, through December 25, RadioShack will be helping both new and upgrade customers get their hands on one of this year’s most popular devices, HTC EVO 4G from Sprint. For next week only, both new and upgrade customers are guaranteed a $100 trade-in value for any working cell phone through our Trade & Save program, so with a 2-year plan, they can get the HTC EVO 4G for the low cost of $99. (Trade-in offer limited to one per customer. Some restrictions may apply.)
Not a bad deal for what is arguably the hottest mobile handset of 2010! More →
As Verizon Wireless continues to expand its Android lineup beyond DROID-branded devices, we’re seeing some nice inexpensive options from Big Red… and it doesn’t get any less expensive than free. We’ve known for some time that the LG Vortex — a CDMA version of the T-Mobile Optimus T — was on its way to to Verizon. Now, we have official confirmation of the Vortex’s imminent launch thanks to an appearance on the Verizon website above a “coming soon” label. What’s more, Engadget Mobile reports that the upcoming smartphone will be available for free on contract. It’s not clear if this is just promotional pricing for the holidays or if the Vortex will be free for good, but it’s definitely a solid deal on a perfectly capable Android Phone. The LG Vortex is an entry-level Android 2.2 device with a 600MHz processor, a 3.2-megapixel camera and a 320 x 480-pixel touchscreen display.
If you’re planning to pick up a G2 from T-Mobile, listen up. RadioShack has used Twitter to let you know they will be carrying the G-Deuce for $149.99 — a full $50 less than T-Mobile — with a 2-year contract. The G2 will sport a MSM7230 Snapdragon processor running at 800 MHz, 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and 720p video recording, 4 GB internal memory, 8 GB micro-SD card preinstalled, and dedicated quick-keys. The handset will also run an un-skinned, unmolested version of Android 2.2. Any takers? More →
It looks like our pals over at Mobile-review are at it again and they almost managed to slip this one by us. Buried amongst some other handsets in a recent Sammy-centric post, Mobile-review shows off a shiny upcoming Samsung handset that stuffs a whole lot of sexy into a tiny little package. Despite some hands-on pictures, little is revealed about the S5600 for the time being so we don’t have much to go on specs-wise. We know it will be a feature phone making use of Sammy’s TouchWiz UI and plastic is the material of choice from the case to the screen so we can expect a pretty low price point to position the S5600 well amongst entry to mid-level handsets. As far as detailed specs and release info, unfortunately we’re all in the dark for the time being. Hit the jump for a couple of live shots.
No, the LG VX5500 likely won’t top many BGR reader holiday wish lists but as we near the holiday shopping season it’s good to see Verizon getting off to some kind of start. As early as this week, Big Red will push forth the update to LG’s VX5400 – a budget clam shell for those in the market for a new basic workhorse. Considering the price, $49.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate, the VX5500 is definitely a fair dumb phone option if Verizon is your carrier of choice. EVDO, five hours of talk time, a VGA camera and on-device basic image editing make this a great pick up for cellular virgins and those who could care less about bells and whistles (ie, the things we absolutely need to have on any handset). Here are the specs relevant to those who might be in the market for such a device:
Look for the VX5500 to hit store shelves before the month is over. Hopefully the next dose of holiday season releases we get from Verizon is a bit more, umm, more.