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Pyramid Research has released its Q3 2009 Handset Forecasts, projecting a large shift in the US market for new handset sales. Based on the increase in demand for smartphones, the research group estimates the segment to reach 31 percent of all new handsets sold in the US for 2009. The numbers mark a doubling of the 15 percent growth witnessed two years prior. By the year 2014, Pyramid Research predicts that roughly 60 percent of new handsets will be comprised of smartphones.
Palm stock climbed over 8 percent on Friday after speculation that it would be bought out by Finland-based Nokia. Trading was about 15 times heavier than usual in the morning and remained heavy until the end of the day. The spike mirrored a similar increase from late September.
A new set of extrapolated data from location network developer uLocate suggests that active users of the Droid may have more than doubled in the first week of sales. Third-party estimates indicated that Verizon may have only sold 100,000 launch units, but uLocate says it will have detected about 25,000 new Droids on its network by Saturday. As uLocate's information usually represents about 10 percent of the actual user base of a phone when it's new, the figure would translate to about 250,000 total Droid users.
Comcast at the NewTeeVee Live conference said it will launch its On Demand Online on demand TV service as soon as December, according to a Thursday ConnectedHome2Go report. The cable provider added at the event that subscribers won't be charged extra and will have access to it on as many as three devices.
Marware has launched the Eco-Runner armband for the fifth-generation iPod nano. The case is said to be designed to mimic muscle fiber, and use ecologically-conscious material. In keeping with its running focus, extra space is provided to accommodate a Nike+ Sport Kit receiver.
A recently spotted FCC filing reveals that the netbook formerly known as the élan from Mobinnova will soon be coming to wireless provider AT&T, as evidenced by the BEAMATT product ID. If the specs remain the same as the élan, this means an 8.9-inch screen and processing power from NVIDIA's Tegra processor, which combine to output 720p HD video files and accelerated Flash content.
Mac Games and More has released a new billiards title, United States of Pool. Players advance through cities instead of regular levels, and are required to reach minimum scores playing 9-Ball in order to progress in a national tour. The game features realistic physics and sound effects, as well as customizable character avatars and table colors.
LG is working on releasing more watch phones like its GD910 that is currently shipping at UK wireless provider Orange. LG’s UK sales and marketing director, John Barton, said more styles of the LG Watch Phone will be introduced. No other details were given, however, and so it may only involve a new color or other style change as opposed to a whole new device.
While Sony's PS3 has outsold Microsoft's Xbox 360 in October after the introduction of the lower-priced $300 slim PS3, Nintendo's Wii is back to the top of the sales charts, according to data collected by NPD. Still, the market is being saturated, as the Wii's sales in October of 2008 were nearly 300,000 units stronger. These numbers also came during an overall software sales slump, which fell 18 percent from the same period last year.
Apple has posted a v1.0.2 firmware update for the fifth-generation iPod nano, which was launched this September. The firmware corrects a problem with podcast playback at different speeds. Newly enabled is the ability to use Genius Mixes in tandem with the Nike+iPod fitness add-on.
The RIAA confirmed late Thursday that Verizon has agreed to test notices of alleged copyright infringement to its subscribers. Each notice, which is relayed to Verizon first, will alert downloaders that they're believed to have pirated material and that the act is illegal. The warnings should already be enroute to customers, but it's unknown when the trial would stop.
Software developer Rogue Amoeba has claimed plans to quit iPhone development, citing what it calls the "broken" nature of the App Store approval process. In July the company submitted a bugfix for Airfoil Speakers Touch (AST), an app streaming audio from computers running the Airfoil desktop client. Amoeba complains that the corrected version has only just become available, as a result of three rejections which ultimate forced it to remove existing functionality.
HTC this week warned that it should see a significant drop in its fall sales. The company expects its fall sales to sink 15 percent compared to the same season a year ago. It portrays the results as mixed due to strong US sales of Android phones, such as the Hero, being offset by a lack of presence in Europe.
ASUS will release a 17.3-inch 3D notebook, the G72GX, early in 2010 with high-spec features such as an Intel Core i7 CPU, GeForce GTS 160M graphics, 4GB of memory and two 320GB hard drives, according to Chinese daily Digitimes. Before that, however, the computer maker will unveil a smaller, 15.6-inch version known as the G51J3D that should otherwise have near-identical specifications.
Intel today addressed its ongoing legal troubles with word that it has hired Douglas Melamed as both its new senior VP and general counsel. The new executive has over 30 years of experience with antitrust and regulatory issues both in private business as well as five years of service in the US Department of Justice through two assistant attorney general positions. Company chief Paul Otellini characterizes Melamed as an "outstanding fit" precisely for his experience with competition cases and government.
ioSafe on Thursday added a new flagship to its Solo lineup of desktop hard drives through a 2TB version. Like others in the range, the external desktop drive is both fireproof and waterproof. It can withstand temperatures up to 1,550 degrees Fahrenheit for as long as 30 minutes and can be submerged in up to 10 feet of salt or freshwater for three days.
Creaceed has introduced Prizmo 1.2, a new version of its Mac OCR software for users with digital cameras. The program supports up to 10 different languages such as English, Swedish and German, and provides tools for scanning images, customizing text recognition, and selecting different filetypes when saving.
The flyer for Best Buy's Black Friday/Thanksgiving sale has been leaked on the Internet ahead of its official release thanks to a copy posted today. Among the 'doorbusters' are a $300 PS3 bundle that includes two games, while an Xbox 360 bundle with six games will carry the same sticker price. Another front-page deal involves a 46-inch, 120Hz LED-backlit Samsung HDTV with free home delivery, hook-up and recycling for $1,600, or $1,000 off.
Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, speaking on a Thursday-night CNBC program, is noted to have complimented Steve Jobs on his return to Apple, crediting him for effectively saving the company. Gates was on TV as part of a "Keeping America Great" town hall event, paired with billionaire investor Warren Buffett. One audience member asked Gates' opinion of Jobs, specifically in regards to the latter's contributions as a CEO.
A leak today hints Sony is planning to tackle the high end of the TV market with at least two new XBR models and a long anticipated update to its OLED sets. The KDL-ZX will allegedly be Sony's first OLED set since last year's XEL-1 and, though no details are mentioned in the HDTVLounge data, is likely to use Sony's recently previewed 21-inch OLED panel. Its screen is 10 inches larger than that of the XEL-1 and produces the same 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio but at a greater than 720p resolution.
Samsung will make one of the largest pushes into touchscreen phones of any one company, according to a note from Shinhan Investment. The Korean company should step up its shipments of the devices from an estimated 57 million this year to at least 100 million in 2010. About 45 percent of the company's entire lineup that year will be based on touch based on the predictions.
AT&T has turned to direct communication in order to discourage customers from believing recent Verizon TV ads. The carrier has issued a new memo, claiming the ads are "so blatantly false and misleading" that it has to "set the record straight" about data coverage. It notes for instance that roughly 233 million Americans should have access to AT&T 3G, while 301 million can fall back to EDGE (2.5G) service, and 303 million have at least GPRS.
Qualcomm's FLO TV Personal Television is now available in stores and online. The device as expected provides subscription over-the-air TV from a 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen that the company now adds is oleophobic (oil-resistant). Programs are a mix of live and timeshifted shows from CBS Mobile, CNBC, Comedy Central, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, MTV, NBC 2Go and Nickelodeon. Some limited-time bonus channels will also be offered for special events, premium programs and original content.
RIM's rumored BlackBerry 9900 and WebKit-based browser gained corroborating evidence today with a research note from Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu. He points to contacts in the industry and parts suppliers who say the touchscreen slider phone is in development and resembles a cross between the Storm2 and one of RIM's non-touch QWERTY devices. It's currently in the prototype stage and is likely to ship sometime in 2010.
Without announcement, Apple this week launched iTunes Preview, a new feature of the iTunes Store. The option solves a problem created through the ability to share URLs pointing to store content. Until recently, anyone who was given a link to music and did not already own iTunes would be directed to a generic webpage, simply asking them to download the client.
Yamaha late yesterday introduced two new mini audio systems built for iPhones and iPods, the MCR-140 and MCR-040. The former is unique in that it can play back music from an iPod wirelessly through Yamaha's proprietary yAired standard. The MCR-040 lacks this feature, but both systems otherwise sport a CD player, a front panel USB port, an FM radio and auxiliary audio jack inputs.
Google will finally release a public Mac beta of Chrome in early December, says a product manager for the browser, Neil Baum. A Google spokesman has meanwhile declined to offer a specific date, but does note that Baum's timeframe is consistent with promises to release beta software before the end of the year. Developer channel versions have been available since June, but are not recommended for most people due to stability problems.
Google's Chrome OS could be available to try in as little as a week's time if a rumor proves true. A promised early version is now said by TechCrunch to be arriving sometime next week. Few details are available, though it's presumed that a lack of broad driver support will limit it to certain computers or environments.
Newcomer ICD late yesterday confirmed first details of a tablet design that promises to be one of the first in a new category of large media devices. Previously teased by NVIDIA's CEO, the Vega has a large 15.6-inch, 1366x768 resistive touchscreen and will have the performance to drive it through an NVIDIA Tegra chipset. Besides faster rendering, it should theoretically give the Vega 720p video playback at full resolution.
Dell today formally entered the smartphone race by launching the Mini 3. The full-touchscreen phone depends on a customized version of Android and will have different features based on the region. While most details aren't available, the China Mobile version will be limited to EDGE data but use the government-supported OPhone interface and app store. Other countries should get localized 3G and should also have Wi-Fi as well.
Intel plans to fill out the low- to mid-range of its notebook processor range when it launches its Arrandale-based 32 nanometer models early next year, a roadmap leak explains on Friday. The mobile Core i5 line should be headed by two dual-core models, the 2.4GHz i5-520M and 2.26GHz i5-430M, as of early January 2010. Like their desktop counterparts, they won't support Hyperthreading but will support Turbo Boost and should clock up to as high as 2.93GHz and 2.53GHz respectively when they can afford to shut down one core.
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k