Google hasn’t been known as a hardware vendor in the past. That may soon change thanks to the company’s pending acquisition of Motorola, and recent reports suggest Google is already working on a self-branded home entertainment system and HUD glasses. Through a recent FCC filing, it has now been discovered that Google is also planning a “next generation personal communication device.” Details surrounding the mystery device are few and far between, although the filing does confirm both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are on board. The company has requested to test 102 units near Google office locations throughout the United States. The Mountain View-based company is listed as the manufacturer of the devices and it is described as being “in the prototyping phase and will be modified prior to final compliance testing.” More →
Google is developing a home-entertainment system to stream music wirelessly throughout a users’ houses, The Wall Street Journal reports. The device will be Google-branded, marking a first for the search giant which historically develops software it then licenses to outside vendors. The system will most likely be Android-powered and will allow users to download music and stream it to Google-made speakers or other Web-connected devices in a home or office. The system may also be able to stream other digital media beyond just music. Apple, one of Google’s main rivals, has long developed both the hardware and software for its products. With its pending acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Google is looking to make waves in the hardware sector as well, and this new home entertainment solution could be one of the first own-brand devices to launch following the approval of Google’s Motorola buy, which is expected to come next week. The Android-powered entertainment system will reportedly be available later this year. More →
Google has hired Apple’s former senior director of product integrity for a new secret project, according to a report from VentureBeat. The man in question is Simon Prakash, who worked at Apple for more than eight years. Prakash was responsible for the quality control at Apple, a company that has a long-standing reputation for quality. He will now reportedly be working in Google’s “X lab” on a secret project headed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin. It is speculated that the project could be hardware related, and it may tie in with the company’s pending acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Google and Apple are currently being investigated by the Department of Justice following accusations that the companies upheld an illegal “no poach” agreement along with Intel, Adobe, Intuit, Pixar and Lucasfilm. More →
A leaked component that is purportedly part of Apple’s unannounced iPad 3 suggests that the tablet may feature a brand new design. The new part is a microphone mic flex cable ribbon that was leaked by TVC-Mall. Unlike the iPad 2, the flex cable in the iPad 3 makes a U-Turn, suggesting additional components have been reconfigured within the iPad 3’s case. Redesigned internal hardware don’t necessarily mean the iPad 3 will will feature a cosmetic redesign, but earlier reports claimed that Apple’s new iPad would feature a thicker case in order to accomodate a high-resolution display panel that isn’t quite as slender as the iPad 2’s panel. The latest rumors suggest Apple could unveil the tablet as soon as March or April, and it may also be working on a new smaller iPad model that will launch later in the year. More →
Repairs to Android smartphones cost wireless carriers $2 billion per year according to a new year-long WDS study that tracked 600,000 support calls around the globe. Android’s popularity and the introduction of a number of low-cost smartphones has put a strain on the wireless business model, WDS noted in its report. “Deployment by more than 25 OEMs and lower-cost product coming to market is leading to higher than average rates of hardware failures and, in turn, return and repair costs.” 12.6% of all technical support calls related to Android in the study were for hardware failures related to the touchscreen, buttons, speakers, microphones and battery performance. Just 9.3% of Windows Phone, 8% of iOS calls and 5.5% of BlackBerry calls were related to hardware failures. Read on for more. More →
The crew at iFixit has given the iPhone 4S its proper tear-down, revealing the phone’s inner workings and hardware. iFixit noticed that the battery offers an extra 0.5 WHrs over the one found in the iPhone 4, which is likely the reason Apple is able to advertise an additional 1-hour of 3G talk time on the iPhone 4S compared to its predecessor. The phone is equipped with a Qualcomm RTR8605 radio, an Avago ACPM-7181 power amplifier and of course a dual-core 1GHz Apple A5 processor, which has been downclocked to 800MHz. Be sure to hit the jump for a few more images of the iPhone 4S teardown. Deliveries of Apple’s new smartphone begin on Friday, and in the meantime be sure to check out our hands-on with the iPhone 4S. More →
Foxconn and Quanta Computer, two companies that manufacture Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad, have suggested that there will be “minimal” impact on supply orders following news that Steve Jobs will no longer serve as Apple’s CEO. Reportedly, Tim Cook, who has replaced Jobs as CEO, was already working closely with the manufacturing process while Steve Jobs was out on leave. DigiTimes said that the move could affect Apple’s global brand recognition and the company’s innovation and creativity, although it will certainly take some time to see just how true those claims are. On Thursday, a number of analysts speculated that Jobs’s departure could benefit Apple’s iPhone and iPad competitors. More →
Things are changing in Waterloo. The summer is drawing to an end and Research In Motion is in the very early stages of the biggest BlackBerry device launch of the brand’s storied history. BlackBerry 7 smartphones — which include new Bold models, Curve models and Torch models — will be sold by more than 225 carriers around the world this year and into 2012. But RIM’s BlackBerry 7 device launch is also significant for another reason, of course: it is the end of an era. More →
By now, you’ve no doubt seen the news: Google intends to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. What this will do is not only give Google access to Motorola’s vast patent library consisting of nearly 25,000 patents, but it will also give Google an end-to-end hardware and software strategy with smartphones, tablets and even with Google TV. The thing is, Google didn’t need to buy Motorola. Google could have just licensed the patents from Motorola. Google bought Motorola because it felt like control of the Android experience was slipping away. It’s apparent that one Nexus-like device from Google a year won’t be enough — MOTOBLUR has probably given Andy Rubin ulcers — and it’s apparent that a company that’s leading in many areas of the smartphone arena wants to control that entire experience. Open or not, it is Google’s, after all. Smartphones and tablets are also going to be the biggest categories in technology for the foreseeable future, and if you think Google is just going to play around with that, well, you obviously haven’t seen the company’s recent moves. Read on for more. More →
Parts for a new white Apple iPod touch have surfaced, courtesy of 9to5 Mac, suggesting that Apple has plans to release a new color scheme when it takes the wraps off its next-generation iPhone in late August or early September. The leaked images show the iPod touch’s digitizer component, although it is currently unclear if the unit is real or not. The Cupertino-based company has already placed orders for the new color scheme and production is slated to begin next month, according to Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. While we are expecting the iPhone 5 to pack a dual-core processor, Apple may hold off on updating the hardware guts of the iPod touch entirely. “[The] iPhone and iPad have higher priority to get shared components of iOS devices when the supply chain is tight (especially after the Japan quake),” Kuo explained. “It means no spec update of iPod touch this year,” Kuo said. “The demand forecast is strong and Apple prefers to allocate shared components to iPhone and iPad.” Apple already offers a white iPad and a white iPhone, so the idea of a white iPod touch doesn’t sound so far fetched. Read on for two more images of the white digitizer. More →
On Wednesday, VIA Technologies and WTI announced that the two have reached an agreement to sell holdings in S3 Graphics to HTC for $300 million. S3 Graphics builds hardware graphics solutions for a number of consumer devices including game consoles, PCs, and mobile devices. VIA will receive $147 million from the deal while WTI will take home $153 million. “The transaction would allow VIA to monetize a portion of its rich IP portfolio, yet retain its graphics capabilities to support the development and sale of its processors and chipsets,” said Tzu-mu Lin, Senior Vice President and Board Director of VIA. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval but is expected to close before the end of this year. Read on for the full press release.
In the world of computing, no two companies have more history than Microsoft and Apple. In fact, the companys’ history is 10,124 pixels tall. From modest beginnings to IPOs, and later to global domination, Microsoft and Apple are largely responsible for computers as we know them today. Microsoft concentrated on software early and now owns the lion’s share of the global PC market, and more recently, Apple looked to mobile computing to revitalize its business and its market cap. Of course from an investor’s perspective, the stock chart at the bottom says it all, but as is remarkably evident in looking over the meandering paths these two tech titans have taken, no one knows what the future might hold. The full, extremely large infographic can be found after the break.
This infographic has been updated by its creator and the updated version is now found below. More →
Printed circuit board (PCB) suppliers in Taiwan have noticed “disappointing orders” for iPhone and iPad hardware, according to DigiTimes. As a result, the suppliers have cut quotes by 10% on average for the second quarter, noting that there’s no sign of a rebound. The drop in iPhone hardware orders suggests that Apple’s highly anticipated next-generation iPhone is imminent; it’s largely expected that the company will take the wraps off of the device in September. The PCB suppliers that are cutting hardware sales expectations include Compeq Manufacturing, Nan Ya PCB, Tripod Technology and Unimicron Technology. More →