Rovio Mobile, the firm behind the hit game Angry Birds, has set a goal to seek an initial public offering (IPO) sometime during the next 2-3 years, Reuters is reporting. The firm raised $42 million in Series A funding earlier this year, and its Angry Birds franchise has spread across multiple platforms including Android, iOS, webOS — and you can even play it in your web browser. As such, Rovio has increased its staff from 12 employees to 100 employees this year. “I see that this is only beneficial for us in terms of making the company more structured and more focused on creating it into a proper large organization, having grown from a company of 12,” Rovio’s CEO Mikael Hed said during the Reuters Global Technology Summit in Paris. In May, Rovio’s board chairman expressed interest in seeking an IPO in New York. More →
The New York State Attorney General’s office on Tuesday announced that it plans to conduct a thorough review of AT&T’s proposed T-Mobile USA acquisition. The $39 billion deal would reposition AT&T as the nation’s top wireless carrier, though the merger is already being met with substantial opposition. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman may soon be the latest on the list of those opposed to the deal, for fear that the union may drive up wireless service costs for New York residents. “Cell phones are no longer a luxury for a few among us, but a basic necessity. The last thing New Yorkers need during these difficult economic times is to see cell phone prices rise,” said Schneiderman in a statement. “Affordable wireless service and technology, including smart phones and next generation handheld devices, are the bridge to the digital broadband future. We want to ensure all New Yorkers benefit from these important innovations that improve lives.” Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
New Yorkers and commuters in the surrounding region troubled by the possibility of an even more chaotic Grand Central experience got some good news, as The Observer reports Apple’s Grand Central Terminal store is a no-go. According to a source close to the M.T.A., Apple was indeed in talks to open a 16,000 square-foot Apple Store location on the balconies of the main terminal in Grand Central, but the negotiations fell through. The report doesn’t detail exactly what happened to sour the deal, but it looks like Apple is back on the prowl as it searches for a new home for a monstrous new retail shop in New York City. More →
Leaving your credit card at the bar may soon be a thing of the past — that is, if you live in San Francisco or New York City. Bloomberg is reporting that Google is planning to trial its new Near Field Communications (NFC) mobile-payment system in both cities. The trial, which could begin in as little as four months, would allow users to make purchases using their smartphones at participating retailers. Presumably, Google will run the trial with the NFC-equipped Nexus S, and it is working with VeriFone to outfit merchants with special cash registers. It’s unclear who will be able to participate in the trial, or which merchants are on board. More →
A new report claims Apple will build its largest Apple Store retail location to date within New York’s famous Grand Central Terminal. Apple blog Cult of Mac claims to have confirmed the news with a reliable source close to the company. The forthcoming store — appropriately dubbed Apple Store, Grand Central — will be announced in approximately one month and will likely open in early September of this year. “The company will certainly pull out all the stops on this one,” said the blog’s source. The Grand Central location is set to become Apple’s biggest retail store location, the report claims. It will win the title from Apple’s Covent Garden location in London, England, where Apple has 16,372 square feet of public retail space in its 40,000 square-foot location. Grand Central Terminal could quickly become Apple’s top retail store in the New York metropolitan area, with over 700,000 people passing through the commuter landmark each day. Apple will reportedly situate its new store right within the Grand Central terminal, as opposed to one of the 100 standard retail spaces found on the premises. The grand opening of Apple’s Grand Central store will reportedly coincide with a celebration of the company’s 10th retail anniversary. More →
Some of the mystery and allure surrounding Sprint’s event this evening has likely been squashed. First, it was revealed that the device set to be unveiled today is the Android-powered Kyocera Echo. Then The Wall Street Journal spoiled Sprint’s surprise even further when it reported that the Echo will feature a unique dual-display form factor. Sprint appears to have quite the show in store for us tonight, however, including a presentation from CEO Dan Hesse and an appearance by none other than illusionist David Blaine. And who knows — we could definitely be in store for a surprise or two. BGR is on-hand at the event, and we’ll be live blogging all of the action right here. So hit the break and don’t forget to refresh the page for all the latest updates as they become available. More →
Sprint’s press event tonight will yield a new Kyocera smartphone dubbed “Echo,” according to a report from Bloomberg Businessweek. Further information is not available for the time being and the moniker Echo doesn’t seem to be a great fit for theme of magic and illusion suggested by the invitation seen above, but Businessweek seems thoroughly confident in its source. Sprint announced last month that it would hold a special press event tonight. With Dan Hesse on hand alongside special guest David Blaine, a “master illusionist and world record holder,” Sprint promises to announce “yet another industry first.” Kyocera is most certainly not the first handset partner that comes to mind when carriers hold events like these, and we’re all the more intrigued as a result. BGR will be on hand at the event tonight and we’ll be live blogging all the action from start to finish. More →
Sprint just sent out invitations to a press event that will be held early next month in New York City. It is unclear what will be announced at the event, which will take place on February 7th — just one week ahead of the annual Mobile World Congress convention in Barcelona. Sprint’s invitation states that CEO Dan Hesse will be on hand to introduce what Sprint is calling “yet another industry first.” Adding to the mystery is the fact that illusionist David Blaine will be there to “show you that the impossible is possible.” Ok Sprint, we’re intrigued.
We’re here, waiting in line, and ready to go. Everyone is expecting Verizon Wireless to announce that they will be carrying the Apple iPhone within weeks, and we’d be pretty shocked if that’s not what we’ll get. Could there be some other light Apple news sprinkled in? Maybe FaceTime over 3G? It’s possible, but we wouldn’t bet on it. Let’s see if the Verizon iPhone supports world roaming or even simultaneous voice and data — a huge win, if they can pull both of those off. Our live coverage is after the break, and make sure to refresh the page often as updates come pouring in!
UPDATE: Don’t forget to check out Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4 announcement with all the details you need — and our Verizon iPhone hands-on impressions is now live, complete with images and a video! More →
In a short press release yesterday, Microsoft announced a deal with the State University of New York (SUNY) to bring the company’s Live@edu cloud-based collaboration services to all 64 SUNY campuses. “SUNY sought to decrease costs while providing its 465,000 students with up-to-date technology necessary for success in college and in today’s workforce,” reads the press release. “As a result, SUNY students will have access to advanced online software, including hosted e-mail, calendars, online storage, Office Web Apps, instant messaging, document sharing and videoconferencing, among other services.” SUNY estimates that the move to Microsoft’s cloud system will save the state roughly $600,000 over the next five years. More →
Early this morning, the nation’s fifth largest cellular provider — MetroPCS — announced three new cities now incorporated into its LTE fold: Boston, New York City, and Sacramento. The company currently has one LTE mobile handset offering, the Samsung Craft, and has LTE talk and data plans starting at $55 (including taxes and fees).
“As the only no annual contract, pay-in-advance wireless service provider offering 4G LTE services, we continue to build our network to allow more customers to experience our unparalleled value and flexible, affordable service,” said Roger D. Linquist, MetroPCS’ president, chairman, and CEO. “By offering customers the ability to do more with easy access to their social networks, exclusive MetroSTUDIO content and expanded web browsing capabilities, we are giving our customers what they need – a way to stay connected, without sacrificing time or money.”
MetroPCS is now offering its LTE services in nine major metropolitan areas: Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, New York City and Sacramento. More →
That’s right boys and girls — BGR is here live at Samsung’s mobile event in New York City. The stage has been set for the second, more official unveiling of the Continuum Galaxy S handset and we’re waiting at the ready. Sure there have been plenty of Continuum-related leaks, but things get real tonight, and we’re going to make sure you know everything there is to know as soon as it happens. Hit the jump for our liveblog chocked full of all the Android-powered Samsung action you can handle. And yes… the two Samsung reps you see above are in fact wearing t-shirts that have “Continuum” scrolling across the chest. More →