News emerged earlier this week that Apple had acquired Israel-based fabless chip maker Anobit for as much as $500 million. Beyond the team and flash memory technology Apple will gain from the acquisition, the company reportedly plans to use the Anobit’s facilities as a research and development center. The deal is big for Apple on several levels — Anobit’s class-leading flash memory chips are already used in the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air — but one former Apple executive believes fear was among the factors that motivated Apple to enter Israel, which is heralded by many as the “second Silicon Valley.” Read on for more. More →
AT&T on Wednesday gave the world its first look at the telecommunications giant’s new International Innovation Center in Ra’anana, Israel. For the first time, Israeli press was granted access to AT&T’s newest incubator, which has been operational in a temporary facility since July last year. AT&T established the foundry — its second such facility — alongside Israeli tech company Amdocs, and the company describes the Innovation Center as a “collaborative environment where AT&T and technology providers work with start-ups and developers to get the latest innovations and services into the hands of AT&T customers more quickly than ever before.” Startups and developers with products deemed worthy of the program are granted a direct line to experts in their field and ultimately, perhaps, to millions of AT&T customers. “The AT&T Foundry network is a collaborative environment where AT&T researchers, key industry technology providers and developers from all over the world innovate in new ways,” said AT&T CTO John Donovan in a statement. “Project managers drive project development in 30- and 90-day sprints that allow us to cut the time required to evolve great ideas into products and services by two thirds.” AT&T’s full press release can be found below. More →
Microsoft’s Israeli research and development team may have recently teased an upcoming Xbox 360 feature that is sure to interest a few gamers out there: 3D. Late last month, Microsoft’s R&D team posted a link from its official Twitter account pointing to a Hebrew-language Gadgety.co.il post about an interesting rumor. In a nutshell, the rumor suggests that Microsoft is currently prepping a software update for the Xbox 360 that will enable HD stereoscopic 3D. Included with Microsoft’s tweet was a question that translates to: “what do you think of a 3D console?” Now, companies don’t typically draw attention to baseless rumors, so we’re thinking someone at Microsoft got a little excited and might have slipped up, especially when considering the playful question posed alongside the link. The initial report suggested Microsoft’s 3D feature would be introduced at E3 2011, but that obviously didn’t happen, possibly because the software was not yet ready to be shown off. We have a feeling Xbox fans could be in store for a treat soon, however, and an announcement in the coming months definitely wouldn’t surprise us. A screenshot of Microsoft’s tweet can be seen after the break in. More →
Man is our Mandarin rusty! Our friends over at Mobile Android China seem to have of the first live photos of the Motorola Sholes Tablet (codename). The specs that we’ve been given to mull over are pretty impressive: 550MHz OMAP TI 3430 processor (same as the DROID), 3.7″ touch screen, 800 x 480 resolution, HDMI port, 3.5mm headset jack, UMTS/HSPA, 8 megapixel camera, and a xenon flash; all running on Android 2.0, probably 2.1 at time of launch. While we’re not exactly thrilled with the blue soft touch finish on the back of the device — Napoleon came and went — we hope this little number makes its way out of Motorola’s R&D department and onto the market here in the States soon, ’cause we likey. More →
According to iSuppli, the cool cats that live to shed insight on the total dollar value of components in electronic devices, RIM’s BlackBerry Storm has about $203 worth of mediocrity jammed into its bulky frame. Want some specifics? $15 for the SurePress screen, $35 for the Qualcomm MSM7600 and $13 for the 3.2 megapixel shooter. $203 might not sound like too much, but it’s significantly more than the $169 of the Bold or the $174 of the iPhone 3G when you consider how many of these things are being churned out. Now we’re not too sure how these three phones would rank if we were to include the money spent on R&D, shipping, packaging, training, patents, etc, etc, into the costs of each handset, but we’re willing to wager that the Storm would be a pretty strong candidate for number one given that RIM shifted its entire focus this year from the Bold to the Storm and has spent vast sums of money on advertising and lavish launch parties. The silver lining? As time goes on RIM will be able to save a lot in production costs considering how many Storms were (allegedly) returned in the infancy of its life cycle thus giving them a vast supply of refurbs. And cue iPhone vs Storm nerd fight part MCCXLIV in the comments.
In a sure sign that LTE is gaining momentum, Chinese handset maker ZTE has hired 900 additional developers to focus on TD-LTE technology. The company is also investing Rmb 6 billion ($875 million) to build an R&D and production facility in Xian, China that will develop the LTE technology behind future 4G handsets. Using its already 2,000 member strong team of current GSM/CDMA/3G developers and an infusion of research funds, ZTE expects to commercialize, on a small scale, FDD-LTE technology by the end of 2009 and TD-LTE by 2010. With the first live test of LTE deemed a success and now a handset maker jumping onboard in a big way, LTE is starting to get interesting!