Kazuo Hirai will take over as the president of Sony in the next few months, Nikkei reported on Friday. Howard Stringer, who previously had served as the president, chairman and CEO of the company will remain on board as chief executive officer. Sony is expected to be a big presence at the Consumer Electronics Show this year and could unveil a “different kind of TV set” early next week. Sony also recently announced that it will purchase Ericsson’s stake in its Sony Ericsson joint venture for $1.47 billion. More →
Apple’s board of directors has been in informal talks with executive recruiting firms and has been discussing a successor to CEO Steve Jobs, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. Reportedly, the board has also met and talked with “at least one” head of a “high-profile tech company” as a possible successor, although it’s unclear who that person is. The Wall Street Journal also noted that it wasn’t immediately clear if Steve Jobs had been aware of the search or if Apple has been looking behind his back, though he emailed The Wall Street Journal in response to their questions about the discussions: “I think it’s hogwash.” Steve Jobs has been on medical leave from the Cupertino-based firm since January of this year. More →
Via a press release today, AT&T announced a new, comprehensive insurance offering dubbed Mobile Protection Pack. As the company explains, the new offering is a combination of three services: mobile insurance, enhanced support, and mobile locate. Mobile Protection, which will retail for $9.99 per month, covers subscribers against equipment loss, theft, accidental damage, liquid damage, and out-of-warranty malfunction. It also provides users with the ability to locate, lock, and trigger an alarm on a misplaced phone — and includes a handful of setup services. The complete list of covered devices can be found here, and includes the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Motorola Atrix 4G. Users looking to replace a damaged or lost device will have to pay a $50 or $125 deductible and, like all AT&T insurance offerings, Apple’s iPad and iPhone are not eligible. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Today Nokia announced a world-wide recall of three chargers made by BYD, a third party supplier. The models in question are AC-3E and AC-3U manufactured between June 15th and August 9th, 2009 and AC-4U made between April 13th to October 25th, 2009. The reason for the recall is a defect which could cause the “plastic covers of the affected chargers [to] come loose and separate, exposing the charger’s internal components and potentially posing an electric shock hazard if certain internal components are touched while the charger is plugged into a live socket.” Nokia is strongly encouraging those who believe they have a defective charger to visit http://chargerexchange.nokia.com/chargerexchange/en/ and enter in some information on their chargers label to confirm whether or not their equipment is part of the recall. So far Nokia is not aware of any injuries or property damage as a result of the affected chargers, but just to give you a general idea of how large of a recall this is, Reuters is reporting that 14 million units are affected.
The battery in Apple’s recently revamped 17″ MacBook Pro, incase you somehow missed it, is amazing. With a single charge it can power the monster notebook for approximately eight hours while using the NVIDIA 9400M graphics processor or approximately seven hours while the 9600M GT chip is at work. What’s more, the new powerhouse has a charge cycle life of 1,000 charges which is leaps and bounds beyond the shelf life of a standard laptop battery. While those are some remarkable specs, it doesn’t mean that the new battery is immune to problems of course and Murphy’s Law makes it likely that problems will occur after the one-year battery warranty has expired. It also can’t (shouldn’t) be replaced by end-users so what happens if the pack starts to go after its estimated five-year lifespan and you want to swap it out for a new one – though we can hardly imagine using the same notebook for two years, let alone five. Apple has just put up a support page detailing the process and cost to put your mind at ease as you debate shelling out that $2,800 – $4,000 on a shiny new Pro. In a nutshell, the replacement battery will run you $179, which includes the installation of your new battery and the disposal of your old one. If you can find your way to an Apple Store, the turn around time is just one day. If you choose to mail your baby to Apple you’re looking at three to four days from the date Apple receives it. There, now you can sleep better at night.