Samsung tonight said it has started mass production of two variants of its 30 nanometer NAND flash memory. Leading off is relatively new DDR (double data rate), multi-level cell NAND memory; like DDR RAM, it puts through twice as much data in a given cycle and promises to be much faster than historically slow NAND chips. The Korean company goes so far as to claim more than three times the speed, estimating that a single DDR multi-level cell NAND chip could read data at a peak 133Mbps versus 40Mbps for its old equivalent.
Sales of Motorola's Android-based Cliq handset have reportedly missed the company's initial goals, according to Oppenheimer analyst Ittai Kidron. Extremely short battery life has been cited as a primary factor contributing to the drop in sales, while the handset's sole carrier, T-Mobile, has allegedly lost interest in the device.
A number of developers from Intel's Mobile Internet Device Innovation Alliance (MIDIA) have decided to abandon the platform, according to a report issued by the Taiwan-based newspaper DigiTimes. The companies allegedly left the organization to focus efforts on other projects such as smartphones, according to unnamed sources associated with the defectors.
Compounding its retail delay, Barnes & Noble quietly noted today that pre-orders of the Nook have been pushed back yet another week, to January 11th. The news comes less than a week after the first delay into 2010 and doesn't come with an additional explanation. The bookseller has already promised to give out "IOU" cards for those whose Nooks will ship after Christmas.
QuickerTek has expanded its line of solar chargers to include new models capable of supplying power to MacBooks. The Apple Juicz chargers feature a flexible solar cell that can be folded for storage while traveling. The 27 watt version unfolds to 41.5 x 30.5 inches and is claimed to recharge a MacBook or MacBook Pro in eight to 12 hours when used in optimum sunlight conditions. A 55 watt model is said to charge a notebook in as few as five hours.
Verizon's pro-Android stance may push Apple to choose T-Mobile as its next US carrier for the iPhone, Thomas Weisel analyst Doug Reid said today in an investor's note. Assuming AT&T's exclusivity in the US ends next year, the researcher believes T-Mobile would be the easier option as Google's deal with Verizon creates a united front that sets up Verizon as an 'enemy' to Apple. T-Mobile would be a relatively easy addition, while Verizon is deemed less likely to be an option until 4G is widely available in 2011.
nova media has updated its iSync plug-ins with extra support for Nokia smartphones. The collection allows Mac users to sync a phone's contact and calendar information, so long as it is one of over 250 recent models. The update supports Nokia's flagship N97, along with the N97 mini.
Motorola's Droid smartphone may have sold several hundred thousand units in less than a month, RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Sue said in a research note today. Based on store surveys, the expert believes between 700,000 and 800,000 of the Android devices may have been sold since November 6th. Major Verizon stores could be selling as many as 100 to 200 Droids every week.
A Microsoft security fix has inadvertently left some Windows PCs almost inoperable, app developer Prevx warned this weekend. Those running some security apps after applying a November 10th fix have reported the system starting up with a black screen, nicknamed the "black screen of death," that shows only a single Explorer window. It doesn't prevent complete use of the system but bars use of the Start menu and other features on Windows XP, Vista and 7 systems.
Japan's Lancerlink is showing its MPJ-104WCE pico projector that is just 5.5 inches long. It sports a 400MHz ARM9 CPU and has Windows CE 5.0 for standalone playback of MPEG-4 and WMV video files, MP3, WMA and WAV audio files as well as PDF, Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.
Apple has rejected an app advertising the Motorola Droid, according to reports. Called iDroid, the app has only one function, which is to imitate the glowing red eye of the Droid while linking to promotional material. Its developer is noted to be Swavv Apps, which has otherwise produced only two other titles, Beer Pong and Spin the Bottle.
What is the first Eee PC netbook from ASUS to run on a chip other than Intel's has been spotted. The Eee PC 1201T offers the option of a 1.6GHz AMD Athlon Neo CPU but otherwise shares the specs of the Eee PC 1201HA, which has an Intel Atom processor. There is also 2GB of RAM, and the 12.1-inch display has 1366x768 resolution. Also, the 1201T can play back 1080p video thanks to its ATI Radeon HD3200 graphics processor.
The US Department of Defense has recently ordered 2,200 more PlayStation3 gaming consoles to expand its supercomputer. The current device uses 336 PS3s in a cluster, all running Linux. The PS3s contain IBM's Cell microprocessor, and represent better value than other devices suitable for use in a supercomptuer with the chip. The official Justification Review Document shows the gaming consoles in question are the older, 160GB PS3s, as they have the ability to run another OS, unlike the new, slim PS3.
ToThePoint has launched an update of its font organizing software, Font Sleuth 2.0. The software groups fonts by customized criteria, and presents WYSIWYG results in a viewer window. Each font can be previewed using sample texts, sizes, colors and alignments. Lists of fonts can be saved and printed.
Despite calls to upgrade quickly, Nokia is going to add just one phone based on its Maemo OS next year, a source said today. A tip to Reuters claims the N900 will get just a single companion model and that the rest of the lineup will continue to use some form of Symbian. The reason behind the supposed decision isn't evident.
NAVIGON has submitted a new version of MobileNavigator, v1.4.0, to the App Store. The program provides turn-by-turn navigation similar to the company's stand-alone GPS devices. It functions in portrait and landscape modes, and includes voice directions as well as simulated street views.
As it's Cyber Monday, which follows Black Friday, many companies continue to offer sales on their wares, with electronics included. Among them are Walmart, Dell and Newegg, with the three retailers showing off what's on sale today. Walmart is taking the sale and extending it for the entire week, calling it Cyber Week. Standout deals from the retailer's 150 sale items include a 12-megapixel digital camera with a memory card and accessory kit for $89, a 10.2-inch Acer netbook with a case and USB flash drive for $268 as well as a 22-inch Samsung LCD HDTV priced at $248.
Sony began the week with word that it has developed the first practical chip for its TransferJet short-range wireless standard. The components will enable very high-speed wireless syncing for cameras, smartphones and similar devices, and in the development process has been upgraded from its original 375Mbps; it should now transfer as quickly as 560Mbps (70MB per second) when very close. Sony promises the improvements should boost the format's resistance to wireless interference.
Notebook designers are planning to add SDXC to their systems in sync with the mobile Core i3, i5 and i7 processors launching early next year, a purported leak said today. At least Dell, HP and Lenovo are believed to be engineering their notebooks to use the new card format at the same time as they switch to the 32nm processors in January. It would give the PCs recognition of cards up to 2TB in capacity and transfer speeds faster than current solid-state drives, at up to 300MB per second.
The HTC Hero smartphone may skip Android 2.0 entirely in favor of Android 2.1, according to recently leaked photos of the device's screen with what appears to be an upcoming Android build. HTC had previously said it won't incorporate Android 2.0 into its handsets until it can fully optimize its compatibility with HTC's own Sense UI touch interface.
The BBC is indeed preparing a native iPhone iPlayer client, press material from the broadcaster suggests. The network recently released a presentation of October iPlayer figures, within which can be found a mockup of an iPhone app. Beyond simplifying and accelerating iPlayer for Apple handhelds, the app would appear to support downloads, as well as sending messages to show hosts. Users would likely continue to need a TV license.
As promised, Canadian wireless and cable provider Bell on Monday has began offering the Novatel Wireless MiFi 2372 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot. The device uses Bell's recently launched HSPA network and will let up to five users share a single 3G connection over Wi-Fi.
Developer LogMeIn says it is now taking entries for a beta of Pro2 for Mac. The Pro2 option has so far been unavailable to Mac users, who must otherwise rely on the basic Free client. Both versions of LogMeIn's software let users control a remote Mac or PC system.
It's Cyber Monday, and holiday sales are in full force at online retailers across the web. OfficeMax.com has a wide selection of great gift ideas for $100 or less like the Epson Stylus NX510 all-in-one InkJet printer, which was priced at $149.99, but has been reduced to $69. Or the HP OfficeJet J4680 all-in-one InkJet printer, which was $129, but is now only $65. Other items include an eMachines 18.5-inch LCD monitor for $69.99, and a Kodak M863 bundle for $89.99.
Wireless provider AT&T and LG on Monday said they will soon offer the first 1GHz smartphone in the US with the LG eXpo. The vertical slider has a full QWERTY keyboard and will support AT&T's 7.2Mbps HSPA network. The eXpo will also be the first phone in North America to support an optional pico projector from Texas Instruments that can throw up images as far as eight feet away.
News site TechCrunch on Monday said that its CrunchPad tablet project has 'self destructed' due to a legal dispute. The touchscreen slate was to have been unveiled soon but is effectively being shut down as the actual developer, Fusion Garage, has claimed it will sell the device without further input from the co-developer and would only carry the CrunchPad name, using site founder Michael Arrington only as a product evangelist.
The launch of the iPhone in South Korea has so far proven a success, reports say. The number of pre-orders at carrier KT is believed to have to risen from 53,000 to approximately 65,000 by Saturday's release date, significant in a market where 400,000 smartphones were sold in the third quarter. At a special launch event in Seoul, hundreds of people are said to have lined up for as long as 26 hours in order to buy one of the country's first 1,000 iPhones.
A new rumor this morning supports renewed talk of a Google-branded phone launching in the near future. The company's Mountain View headquarters should reportedly receive large numbers of prototypes in a matter of weeks ahead of its actual release. Moreover, it may also run "Flan," the next major iteration of Android beyond 2.0, also known as "Eclair."
Apple's retail Black Friday traffic may have been up or down this year, depending on which analyst an investor chooses to believe. Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros. claims that field checks show "strong" foot traffic, with high sales of Macs, iPods and iPhones. Though the Black Friday weekend accounts for 10 percent of holiday sales, Wu considers the traffic an important bellwether.
Samsung today said it has sold 50 million full touchscreen phones since putting them on sale in 2008. The symbolic milestone comes as sales have grown from 10 million last year to 40 million this year. Of the collection, a full 10 million are the entry-level Star (S5230), while the Samsung F480 (also known as the Behold or Tocco) represents 9 million. The Corby has already passed the 3 million mark despite just launching in September.
ASUS' 12.1-inch Eee PC 1201HA netbook is now available at Best Buy. The netbook includes a 1.33GHz Intel Atom processor with integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics and 1GB of RAM. The 160GB hard drive contains Windows XP Home.
As with a number of other companies, Apple has launched special Cyber Monday online deals. The discounts do not cover Apple's own products, but rather a collection of third-party Mac, iPod and iPhone accessories. Some iPhone gear on sale includes the mophie Juice Pack Air, $8 cheaper at $72, and the MoGo Talk for iPhone, a case/headset combo down $13 to $117.
Barnes & Noble today warned that the Nook's retail launch has been delayed by a week to December 7th. Its launch is being set back as the company is prioritizing those who pre-ordered the e-book reader. Only a "very limited" number of the devices should show up at the physical bookstores next week, the company said.
Amazon today claimed a "record" month of sales for the Kindle and has provided some details of its bestselling devices. Without giving numbers, the online retailer said the e-book reader had its "best sales month ever" even before Cyber Monday, the online follow-up to Black Friday. It remains the bestselling individual product of any category at Amazon as well as the most gifted and requested item on the store.
Apple was accused on late Sunday by anonymous industry sources of 'bullying' NAND flash memory suppliers through its purchasing tactics. The company has allegedly, knowingly requested more memory from Korean firms Hynix and Samsung on a regular basis than it actually buys when the supply is ready. The iPhone and iPod maker is said by the Korea Times to regularly wait until the glut forces a price drop and then to buy only a smaller amount of stock that leaves excess inventory once again.
Now AAPL Stock: 91.89 ( -1.51 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R