California public utilities commission investigating AT&T’s T-Mobile acquisition

By on May 28, 2011 at 9:00 AM.

California public utilities commission investigating AT&T’s T-Mobile acquisition

The Public Utilities Commission in California will investigate AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The Golden state is one of three states that Sprint has asked to investigate the deal — the other two are West Virginia and Louisiana. “We believe a thorough investigation will reveal the negative implications for pricing, choice, and innovation critical to California’s economy,” Sprint’s public affairs manager, John Taylor, said. “Sprint is pleased that the commission will open up a proceeding to investigate the proposed takeover of T-Mobile by AT&T.” AT&T originally filed its informal notice with California’s Public Utilities Commission on May 3rd, and Sprint protested the filing on May 19th when it asked for a review of the merger. The regulators will consider three options, one of which is a choice to notify AT&T that its purchase is not “pre-approved” after the standard 30-day time period after an application is submitted. Sprint has opposed the acquisition from day one, and its CEO Dan Hesse said the deal would “stifle innovation” in the U.S. wireless market. More →

59 Comments

Nokia to release new Windows Phones quickly and frequently

By on May 26, 2011 at 10:06 PM.

Nokia to release new Windows Phones quickly and frequently

Nokia could launch its first Windows Phone some time this year, and when it does, the firm plans to set a quick pace to get more phones into the market. Speaking in an interview with PCMag, Nokia’s executive vice president of smartphones, Jo Harlow, discussed Nokia’s roll-out strategy. “We should be launching new devices in a rhythm that might be every couple of months, every three months, something like that,” Harlow said. Unlike HTC and Samsung, which see Windows Phone as a “secondary platform,” Harlow argues, Nokia will use the operating system as a primary platform. “We’re going to keep coming with new devices in order to have something to talk about,” she explained. Earlier reports have suggested that Nokia will launch as many as 12 new Windows Phone handsets next year, including a few with dual-core processors. More →

21 Comments

Sony begins restoring PSN services

By on May 16, 2011 at 9:30 AM.

Sony begins restoring PSN services

Sony has announced that it’s starting to bring its services back online after a major security breach leaked the credit card data and personal information of over a hundred million users. The first step for Sony’s PlayStation Network members is a firmware update that’s been issued for the PlayStation 3. After applying the patch, PS3 users will be prompted to change their PSN passwords. “Please note that these services will take a bit of time to be turned on and rolled out to the whole country,” the company said in a blog post Saturday. “The process has begun and some states are being turned on now, so please be patient as we reach your city and state.” More →

13 Comments

Throwback Thursday: AT&T Wireless

By on May 12, 2011 at 5:33 PM.

Throwback Thursday: AT&T Wireless

As you can see from the above image, the destruction and slow reconstruction of AT&T is quite a story. With the T-Mobile merger currently being debated by Congress, potentially adding another chapter to the saga, we thought it might be a good idea to look at the genesis of AT&T Mobility as it stands today. It all started back in 2001 with AT&T Wireless… More →

41 Comments

Android sees continued growth while BlackBerry OS falters, comScore says

By on May 6, 2011 at 8:35 PM.

Android sees continued growth while BlackBerry OS falters, comScore says

Android’s U.S. market share is continuing to grow at the expense of RIM, Microsoft, and Palm, according to a new report from comScore that took a snapshot of the mobile phone market during the March quarter. The report found that Android powered 34.7% of all U.S. smartphones, up 6% from December 2010. RIM’s BlackBerry OS market share fell 4.5 points to a 27.1% share of the market, while Microsoft’s Windows and Palm’s webOS each saw a 0.9 percentage point decrease. Apple’s iOS market share jumped 0.5 points to a 25.5% share of the market, just behind RIM’s 27.1% grasp. Samsung remained the most popular mobile phone brand with a 24.5% share of the market, followed by LG (20.9%), Motorola (15.8%), RIM (8.4%), and Apple (7.9%).  The report also found that 234 million Americans above the age of 13 used mobile devices. Hit the jump for the full release. More →

40 Comments

Acer still sees life in netbook market, new models coming this summer

By on May 5, 2011 at 4:39 AM.

Acer still sees life in netbook market, new models coming this summer

Acer believes there’s still consumer interest in netbooks despite the surging tablet market, and the firm recently said that it’s not giving up on the mini notebooks just yet. “Tablets have impacted overall netbook sales, but we’re not stepping away from the [netbook] segment,”Acer’s senior product marketing and brand manager, Eric Ackerson, told Forbes. “We think there’s still opportunity for sales, including in the U.S.” Acer’s not ignoring the tablet market — its Acer Iconia Tab A500 recently launched in the United States — but it also has some new netbooks up it sleeves that are expected to launch later this summer. The firm believes that netbooks, which are typically priced far below tablets, are beginning to offer an experience that’s on a par with notebooks thanks to bumps in hardware specs. “The death of netbooks is overstated,” Lisa Emard, an Acer spokesperson said. “We may not see the same explosive growth as before, but the netbook price point is still killer,” she added. More →

9 Comments

Samsung files countersuit against Apple in U.S.

By on April 29, 2011 at 10:19 AM.

Samsung files countersuit against Apple in U.S.

Apple sent a shock wave through the technology community when it announced it was suing Samsung — a company that supplies the Cupertino-based iPhone maker with over $5 billion worth of components each year. Now that the gloves are officially off, Samsung is doing a little legal posturing of its own, this time Stateside. Reuters is reporting that Samsung Electronics has filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming that the company has violated no fewer than ten patents held by the Korean company. “Apple copied many of Samsung’s innovations, according to Samsung’s U.S. lawsuit,” reads the report. “For instance, one of the patents Samsung accuses Apple of violating involves the ability for mobile phones to display the time.” The case will be heard at a date to be named in U.S. District Court, Norther District of California. Samsung has already filed complaints against Apple in Japan, Korea, and Germany. More →

52 Comments

NPD: Apple passes RIM, Motorola to become third largest phone seller in U.S.

By on April 28, 2011 at 3:04 PM.

NPD: Apple passes RIM, Motorola to become third largest phone seller in U.S.

NPD is reporting that Apple has surpassed Research In Motion and Motorola to become the third largest mobile phone vendor in the United States. Apple now holds a 14% share of the market behind LG with 18% and Samsung with 23%. “Apple and Verizon had a very successful launch of the iPhone 4, which allowed the iPhone to expand its market share that was previously held back by its prolonged carrier exclusivity with AT&T,” said NPD’s executive director of industry analysis, Ross Rubin. “While some of that growth came at the expense of Android operating system, Android models still accounted for half of all smartphones sold in the quarter.” Last quarter also marked the first time that U.S. consumers purchased more smartphones than not; 54% of phone purchasers ended up with phones of a higher intelligence. The iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, Motorola DROID X, HTC EVO 4G, and HTC DROID Incredible were the top five smartphones purchased in the States from January to March. More →

36 Comments

U.S. retailers quickly sell out of ASUS Eee Pad Transformer stock

By on April 26, 2011 at 9:33 PM.

U.S. retailers quickly sell out of ASUS Eee Pad Transformer stock

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, an Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablet with a 10.1-inch screen and an optional QWERTY dock, made its U.S. retail debut today, and it’s flying off of store shelves. Amazon and Target appear to have already sold out of initial stock of the unit, and Best Buy’s website currently says that the $400 tablet is backordered, too. ASUS announced the Eee Pad Transformer late last month, and it’s equipped with a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 1.2-megapixel camera for video chat, a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera, and it’s rated for up to 9.5 hours of battery life. There’s no word on when U.S. stock will be replenished, although Best Buy’s “ship to store” option says the unit usually ships to the store within 3 to 5 days. More →

35 Comments

comScore: iOS reach 59% greater than Android in U.S.

By on April 19, 2011 at 6:32 PM.

comScore: iOS reach 59% greater than Android in U.S.

Would you believe that iOS’ U.S. install-base is 59% greater than that of Android? No? Us either, but that is exactly what analytics company comScore is reporting. Via its MobiLens service, the company states that Apple has accrued a 16.2% share of the U.S.’s 234 million media devices, while Google’s Android operating system currently holds a 10.2% share. “comScore’s analysis of the unduplicated audience reach of the Apple iOS platform across iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches revealed a combined iOS installed base of 37.9 million users,” writes comScore. “The combined 37.9 million iOS users is 59 percent greater than the 23.8 million combined Android OS installed base, which includes users of both Android phones and connected media devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab.” The report also noted that 17.5% of iPad owners use BlackBerry smartphones and 14.2% own Android devices — comScore uses this data to suggest that “iPad ownership extends well beyond Apple’s most fervent consumers.” Hit the read link to check out the complete report. More →

75 Comments

Nintendo moves 400,000 3DS units during first week of U.S. availability

By on April 16, 2011 at 8:35 AM.

Nintendo moves 400,000 3DS units during first week of U.S. availability

In an interview with USA Today, Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, confirmed that Nintendo sold nearly 400,000 of its 3DS units in the week following its March 27th launch. That’s the same figure Nintendo sold in Japan on its first day of availability when it launched there in February. “We are very satisfied with this start and we look forward to the momentum that we will build on the Nintendo 3DS with the launch of the E-Shop, the launch of the 3-D trailers for Hollywood movies, and the launch of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in mid-June, as well as the launch of Netflix later on in the summer,” Fils-Aime said. We noted the glaring lack of services like Netflix and an app/game store in our recent Nintendo 3DS review, so we look forward to those updates. In addition to solid 3DS sales, Nintendo sold more than 460,000 units of its previous-generation DS portable gaming consoles, and 290,000 Wii consoles during the month of March. More →

42 Comments

Android, iOS grab 34% of U.S. portable video game sales in 2010

By on April 15, 2011 at 12:10 PM.

Android, iOS grab 34% of U.S. portable video game sales in 2010

Analytics company Flurry has published an interesting study involving Android, iOS, and the U.S. video game market. Following up on a report from 2009, the company notes that the two mobile operating systems accounted for 8% of all U.S. video game sales in 2010 when calculated by revenue. What’s even more interesting is where both Android and iOS are taking their share from: portable gaming players. Console software revenues grew by 5% from 2009 to 2010 — 71% to 75% respectively — with portable gaming systems (e.g. Sony PSP, Nintendo DS) revenue falling nearly 8% in during the same period. Combined, Android and iOS accounted for 34% of all U.S. portable gaming software revenues — behind the Nintendo DS with 57% and ahead of Sony’s PSP with just 9%. Portable game software was a $2.4 billion business in 2010, with overall U.S. video game software revenues hovering around $10.7 billion. “Over 2011, we expect to see continued and significant smart-device game growth fueled by the recent launch of iPad 2, iPhone coming into distribution on Verizon, the expected release of iPhone 5, a relentless expansion of Android devices by leading OEMs across all major U.S. carriers, and Google’s enablement of in-app purchase billing, a proven key driver in iOS game revenue,” reads Flurry’s report. Smartphones and tablets may not be immersive enough for the most hardcore mobile gamers, but they seem to be more than adequate for most. More →

14 Comments

Nokia E7 handset now on sale in U.S.

By on April 7, 2011 at 4:59 AM.

Nokia E7 handset now on sale in U.S.

Finnish mobile giant Nokia has quietly made its business-centric E7 handset available to U.S. consumers. Released overseas in early February, the Symbian device packs a 4-inch, polarized, AMOLED display with a 640 x 360 pixel resolution, peta-band WCDMA radio, quad-band GSM radio, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, 16 GB of on-board storage, 8 megapixel camera with 720p video recording and dual-LED flash, HMDI connector, and 1200 mAh battery. The E7 is available from Amazon.com for $649, or Nokia USA for $679. More →

16 Comments