In a effort to cut costs and improve its financial situation, Sony is eliminating two divisions at its main electronics unit, promoting three executives and keeping a close eye on its money-losing television unit, Bloomberg’s Businessweek reported on Tuesday. The Japanese company will shut down its consumer products and services group, which handled consumer-level electronics, and the professional device and solutions group, which handled business oriented products and components. Executive Deputy President Hiroshi Yoshioka, who oversaw the professional device and solutions group, will head the company’s newly created medical business unit. Sony spokeswoman Satsuki Shinnaka said all changes will be effective April 1st and are aimed at speeding up management decisions. On the same date, the company will welcome its new president and CEO Kazuo Hirai. Hiari is largely credited with making Sony’s PlayStation game business profitable and will be looking to do the same with the company’s Bravia television unit, which is expected to post its fourth straight annual loss. More →
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on Tuesday claimed that Apple is using misleading promotions for its new iPad tablet, Reuters reported. The ACCC will ask an Australian high court on Wednesday to order the Cupertino-based company to make customers aware of the true technical capabilities of the device, correct its current advertising and refund any affected buyers. Apple’s newest iPad can utilize 4G LTE networks, however it can only do so in North America. The company has still advertised the device as a “4G” tablet in countries where it is not compatible. Australian carrier Telstra offers the country’s only 4G LTE network, but it uses different spectrum than carriers in the United States and Canada. More →
If you’re a Verizon Wireless customer or looking to become one, the carrier is offering two of its latest 4G LTE handsets, the LG Spectrum and HTC Rezound, for $99.99 each with a two-year agreement. Both handsets run a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and impressive qHD displays. When BGR reviewed the Rezound last November, we were impressed with the overall performance of the device and with the gorgeous high definition display in particular. It was recommended over Motorola’s DROID RAZR and Samsung’s Galaxy S II, although due to its lack of Ice Cream Sandwich it fell short compared to Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus. Subscribers will have until Monday, February 28th to take advantage of Verizon’s deals on the Rezound and Spectrum, which are only available online. More →
With the Consumer Electronics Show just around the corner, savvy consumers are likely waiting before they commit to a new smartphone. The wait just became slightly more difficult, however, as T-Mobile on Tuesday announced a new sale that brings a number of solid deals to new and existing subscribers. The “New Year, New Phone” promotion will slash the price of all smartphones and offer them for $49.99 or less from Friday, January 6th through Sunday, January 8th. Each deal requires a mail-in rebate and the selection of a qualifying unlimited Value Plan, with payments starting as low as $10 per month. Additionally, the Huawei Springboard and LG G-Slate will be offered for $50 when users sign up for a monthly contract. Read on for T-Mobile’s full press release. More →
Flying home for the holidays and navigating through crowded airports — or facing flight delays, as is often the case — may be a hair less dreadful this year. Skype announced recently that it is sponsoring free Wi-Fi in more than 60 U.S. airports from December 21st until December 27th. To activate the service, simply follow these directions:
- Sign in to Skype.
- Go to Tools > Options… > Skype WiFi Access.
- Tick Enable Skype WiFi Access.
- Connect to a WiFi public hotspot.
- In the Skype menu bar, click Tools > Skype WiFi Access.
- Follow the instructions on the screen to select and join a compatible public WiFi network.
Skype’s full press release, which includes a list of every airport where free Wi-Fi will be available, follows after the break. More →
Verizon Wireless will soon offer a promotion that provides its 4G LTE customers with twice the amount of data for the same monthly price. The special will kick off on November 11th at 11:11 a.m. EST to coincide with the Motorola DROID RAZR launch. The promotion works just how it sounds: if you currently pay for 2GB of data per month, you’ll receive 4GB for the same price. If you subscribe to a 5GB monthly plan, you’ll receive 10GB for the same price. Reportedly, existing customers will be able to add the option to their account by contacting customer service or by logging into their My Verizon account on Verizon’s website. It is unclear how long the promotion will last, but it’s definitely one we would take advantage of.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has promoted iTunes vice president Eddy Cue to senior vice president of internet software and services on Thursday. The letter from Cook, which was sent to Apple employees and obtained by 9to5 Mac, reads as follows:
It is my pleasure to announce the promotion of Eddy Cue to Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services. Eddy will report to me and will serve on Apple’s executive management team.
Eddy oversees Apple’s industry-leading content stores including the iTunes Store, the revolutionary App Store and the iBookstore, as well as iAd and Apple’s innovative iCloud services.
He is a 22-year Apple veteran and leads a large organization of amazing people. He played a major role in creating the Apple online store in 1998, the iTunes Music Store in 2003 and the App Store in 2008.
Apple is a company and culture unlike any other in the world and leaders like Eddy get that. Apple is in their blood. Eddy and the entire executive management team are dedicated to making the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do.
Please join me in congratulating Eddy on this significant and well-deserved promotion. I have worked with Eddy for many years and look forward to working with him even closer in the future.
Sprint will end its current port credit promotion more than a month and a half ahead of schedule. This past May, Sprint kicked off a promotion that offered up to $125 per line for new subscribers who ported their service in from another carrier. Customers purchasing a feature phone and porting in a number receive $50 per line as part of the promotion, and new customers purchasing a smartphone, netbook, notebook, tablet or mobile broadbrand device and porting in a number receive a $125 service credit per line. This enticing promotion was scheduled to run from May 4th through October 1st of this year, however BGR has learned from a reliable source that Sprint is ending the promotion early. Tomorrow, in fact. Interestingly, Sprint retail locations will no longer offer or advertise the promotion, but they will continue to honor it through the original end date. In the event that a new customer already knows about the promo — and only in that event, we’re told — Sprint will honor the deal and dole out the associated credits. With that in mind, those looking to move over to Sprint for one of its great new phones like the Motorola PHOTON 4G should be sure to mention the promotion when making a purchase at a Sprint retail location, as the promo will no longer be offered up willingly starting tomorrow.
Following bankruptcy and an ensuing acquisition at auction, Blockbuster is now trying to lure back the hordes of customers it lost to competitors like Redbox and Netflix. A BGR reader sent us a letter that Blockbuster is circulating to recent defectors in an effort to win back their business in a post-Dish Network world. Among the carrots Blockbuster is currently dangling are a free 30-day Total Access trial and a “special rate,” though that special rate is not disclosed in the email. Blockbuster’s Total Access service was created as a direct response to Netflix, offering DVD rentals by mail just as Netflix does, though Blockbuster’s option is now more affordable following Netflix’s price hikes. Of course Total Access used to be a much more attractive option than it is in its current state, but the lower pricing and the quicker availability of new titles could be attractive benefits over rival Netflix. Blockbuster’s letter to former Total Access customers can be found below. More →
It was fun while it lasted. BGR exclusively reported back in May that Sprint was doing away with mail-in rebates for an unspecified period of time. According to a purported leaked document obtained by Sprint news site SprintFeed, the limited-time promotion will come to an end later this month. “Duuude, where’s my rebate?” the dealer memo asks. The answer — riddled with errors, though it may be — is July 24th. As we’ve learned long ago, typos and grammar mistakes hardly mean a carrier-made document is fake, and Sprint customers who prefer to buy their devices directly from the carrier should consider doing so before the 24th. A Sprint spokeswoman declined to comment. Hit the break to take a look at the purported letter to Sprint dealers. More →
It’s not every day we come across a brand new Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone for under $100. In fact, the only other occasion we can recall is Amazon’s $99.99 HTC ThunderBolt sale from earlier this month. Starting immediately, however, Wirefly customers upgrading to a new Verizon smartphone or opening a new account can snag the the LG Revolution for the same great price — just $99.99. BGR reviewed the LG Revolution earlier this month and found it to be the most well-rounded LTE smartphone to date. While its display couldn’t match the DROID Charge’s Super AMOLED Plus screen and the UI couldn’t top the ThunderBolt’s Sense, the build trumps both those phones and the handset more than powerful enough to get the job done. More →
It’s certainly not going to knock any socks off this year, but Apple has finally kicked off its annual back to school sale. A day behind schedule, Apple on Thursday announced that students making qualifying Mac purchases will receive a complimentary $100 iTunes gift card. The offer applies to college students and those accepted into college, and any MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac or Mac Pro purchase will qualify for the gift card. Apple’s promotion this year offers less than half the back-for-your-buck compared to past promotions that offered a free iPod touch with each purchase, but $100 toward software for your new Mac computer on top of a 10% student discount still makes for a decent deal. Apple’s offer runs from now through September 20th, so students have more than enough time to wait for that imminent MacBook Air refresh we’ve all been expecting. More →
Microsoft on Thursday revealed its back-to-school offer for 2011, which is likely to drop students’ jaws and raise parents’ eyebrows at the same time. This year, students with a valid student ID who purchase a Windows 7 computer for $699 or more will receive a free Xbox 360 4GB video game console. “A hot new Windows 7-based PC with a free Xbox 360 is the ultimate productivity, social and entertainment package for students,” said Kathleen Hall, general manager of Windows Marketing at Microsoft, in a statement. “In one shot, with this great offer, Microsoft is giving students everything they need for a successful new school year.” We’re not sure how much the Xbox offer will help students with their school work, but it will definitely help them blow off some steam and avoid burning out while still managing to save them some money. The deal becomes available to students starting this Sunday, May 22nd. Hit the break for Microsoft’s full press release.