Motorola may be set to launch two new handsets at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show, according to Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdhry. The company is expected to announce an Android-based smartphone headed for AT&T's network. The device is said to feature an OLED display, a physical keyboard, and the standard list of Google utilities.
A former Seagate employee has accused the company of destroying evidence relevant to a longstanding patent-infringement lawsuit initially filed by Convolve, according to The New York Times. The law firm's request to introduce new testimony marks the latest move in a legal battle that has remained in the Marshall, Texas federal district court for nearly a decade.
An alleged slip of documents tonight hints that Google's Nexus One will still cling to a traditional phone model and could actually be more expensive than its rivals in the long run. While it would remain true that Google would sell the phone itself for $530 unsubsidized, Gizmodo sees through a website prototype that the search pioneer would still sell the high-end Android phone for $180 on a two-year contract with T-Mobile, much like any other high-end smartphone. Those who cancel service before three months of service are up would have to pay the full $350 difference if they intend to keep the phone.
In Brief: NwerTech has begun shipping a new window mount designed for the iPhone 3G and 3GS. Freeverse has announced that NBA Hotshot will soon be available on the App Store. Meanwhile, a Minnesota elementary school has launched a pilot program utilizing the iPod touch for classroom assignments.
Samsung's upcoming Pine Trail-equipped N220 netbook temporarily surfaced on the website of a French retailer, although the listing was quickly removed. The netbook integrates a 10.1-inch LCD with 1024x600 resolution, while the internal components are based on Intel's Atom N450 CPU and GMA 3150 graphics. Further specs include 1GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and an integrated webcam.
RadTech on Tuesday announced that the STM Convoy notebook backpack has begun shipping. Although the bag mimics the appearance of a typical canvas backpack, a concealed notebook compartment is designed to accommodate devices with screen sizes up to 15 inches. When traveling in rain or snow, users can deploy the built-in rain cover for extra protection.
The iPhone is already the fourth most popular phone make in France with just two years on shelves, according to data from GfK. Estimates from the analyst group say Apple will have shipped between 1.8 million and 2 million iPhones to France by the end of the year, or 8.5 percent of all phones delivered to the country. It would be eclipsed only Samsung, Nokia and LG, all three of whom are more established and sell many more models.
(Updated with correction) Two carriers have announced direct sales of the iPhone 3G and 3GS in Hong Kong, according to reports. SmarTone-Vodafone has not revealed any prices or a release date, but is now registering interest through a form on its website. The other carrier, 3, has likewise not published a launch date, but has posted prices.
PQI chose to be one of the pioneers of USB 3.0 on Tuesday and added a new entry to its Cool Drive thumb drives. The U366 takes advantage of the 3.0 spec's 5Gbps peak bandwidth to perform at speeds well above those possible with USB 2.0. With peak read speeds of 97MB per second, the storage stick has performance closer to desktop hard drives while consuming the same space as a regular removable USB drive.
Korea's UniChal has introduced a unique electronic dictionary with the DIXAU DX3. The device can read words on a page and define or translate them with one click. The built-in camera is mounted on a rotating arm, and users interface via a 2.4-inch touchscreen with a 320x240 resolution, though a stylus is included as well. The device can recognize English, Spanish, French and German, as well as translate between the languages. It will also be capable of playing back an aural pronunciation of the word in question.
Apple is using another shell company, iGuide Media, to hold onto a second potentially tablet-related name, reports say. It was last week noticed that Apple had claimed the "iSlate" trademark for the US and Europe, using a shell organization called Slate Computing. The front also owns the "Magic Slate" trademark, and rights to iSlate.com, though the domain is currently unused.
Concord Keystone will add a new product to its lineup at the CES show, with its Easy Shot Clip ultra-mini digital video camera. Not unlike the product that pioneered the category, Pure Digital's Flip Ultra HD, is pocket-sized, with Concord claiming it is the smallest and cheapest such device in its class. The Easy Shot Clip has 2GB of flash memory, and is meant for capturing relatively low resolution videos for use on video sharing sites such as YouTube.
While Google has not yet made good on its promise of making the Google Goggles functionality available on handsets other than those running on Android, a new video does reveal how it works. The application can be seen running on the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 handset. The software will take a captured photo and submit it to Google's servers, which will then return all relevant search results for the image.
The long rumored and denied next-generation Nintendo Wii HD may get a new processor from Intel, in the form of its Larrabee graphics platform, according to reports from Japan. The multi-core chip is suitable to both general and graphics processing, which is ideal for use in gaming consoles. Just yesterday it has also been rumored to be a candidate for use in Sony's PS3 replacement.
In a follow-up to a story that dates back to 2008, the South Korean government on Tuesday planned to pardon the former chairman of Samsung Group, Lee Kun-hee, four months after his conviction on tax-evasion charges. According to a Tuesday WSJ report (subscription required), the executive is meant to help South Korea in its bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. Samsung released a statement saying it is pleased Lee Kun-hee has been granted this pardon.
LG may follow Nokia in leaving Mobile World Congress this year. Following a rumor from within LG, the cellphone designer's Dutch division has reportedly confirmed to AllAboutPhones that it won't have a booth at the Barcelona show. Like Nokia, it will instead hold its presence and show any new models at a location outside of the event.
Some educational discounts on the MacBook are extending well beyond $899, observers note. Apple recently dropped the standard educational price by $50, on top of a previous price below the $999 retail cost. At at least one school-specific Apple storefront however, the cost has been lowered to $728. Shipping remains free.
Sling in an invitation today alluded to a expanding strategy for its media hubs to be shown at CES. Besides likely new Slingbox devices, the company says it will have a "next-generation touch screen device" at the trade show. It's not evident if this will constitute an entirely self-contained product or a companion, such as a remote.
Korea's Pantech on Monday announced the release of its latest handset, the IM-U540L, also known as the Sportive. The phone has a 3-inch touchscreen and a 3-megapixel camera, while built-in widgets will let users access video and music on demand, as well as weather information. Bluetooth will be supported, and users will be able to view TV broadcasts thanks to its DMB TV tuner.
Google this afternoon removed all doubt as to its plans for the Nexus One by sending an invitation to the media to attend a January 5th press event at its Mountain View campus. The company is short on details other than to confirm it's Android-related and teases the added possibilities of the Android 2.1-based phone in the notice.
Winter Wolves has released Spirited Heart Deluxe, a revamped version of its life simulation game. The title includes three different races for players to choose from, each with separate events and dialogue. Players engage in actions ranging from from developing relationships to working for money. The Deluxe version features an interactive job system, in which players are given up to four dice and must roll as close as possible to a specific number without going over.
South Korea's Cydle, which builds in-car multimedia systems, promises to bring its newest handheld entertainment device to CES, as part of its P29 Series. The Cydle P29A is a multimedia player that also integrates subscription-free Mobile DTV and an HD Radio tuner. The device will be one of the first to bring the ATSC-created standard to the US in a non-phone device. Available channels will be dependant on a user's location, Cydle says.
The Nexus One may simply appear as the Google Phone when it's offered for sale early next month based on a slew of leaks. T-Mobile's internal system supports earlier rumors that Google will sell the Android device only through its website starting from January 5th at 9AM. It wouldn't have the HTC badge, according to TmoNews, and T-Mobile would only support the phone by providing cellular service.
CAZE has launched a new Swarovski case for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, the Initial. The case guards the back, corners and sides of a phone, and uses a thin and transparent design. Unique is the presence of over 1,500 Swarovski crystals, covering the entire outside layer of the case, and a Swarovski letter design near the bottom which can be customized using one of 26 characters. Access to an iPhone's ports, controls and camera is left open.
Well-known futurist Ray Kurzweil is about to introduce a new e-book format specifically optimized for devices like the iPhone or tablets. Called Blio, the standard is intended to overcome the limitations of digital text by allowing for complex image and text formatting, such as diagrams, without sacrificing the ability to search the text. It would support full color and allow text-to-speech much like most Kindle books.
London iPhone use should now be somewhat more acceptable, says UK carrier O2, as quoted by Reuters. The company's network has seen a series of outages during the past six months, largely attributed to the intense data demands of the city's many iPhone users. O2 indicates that data traffic as a whole has increased 18 fold since the beginning of 2009.
Nokia on Tuesday escalated its legal war against Apple with a complaint to the US International Trade Commission. The argument claims not only that the iPhone infringes patents but that "virtually all" products Apple makes, including iPods and Macs, are guilty of violating 7 Nokia patents. Nokia's allegations touch on both hardware-related patents for antennas, cameras and power management as well as user interfaces.
The first commercial shipment of 3-bit per cell MLC NAND flash memory manufactured by an unnamed Korean chipmaker was found to be less stable and consistent than existing 2-bit per cell flash memory, Digitimes reported on Tuesday, citing industry sources. The supplier's first batch, sent out to Chinese and US-based device makers, have allegedly been returned by a US client due to unreliable performance. Some controller chip designers believe 3-bit per cell chips require three more months of testing in order to iron out compatibility issues.
Apple doubled its share of US mice sales during the month of November, according to data compiled by the NPD Group. The company achieved a 10 percent marketshare, a first in its history. Sales are said to have been fueled by the introduction Magic Mouse, even when disregarding the units bundled with updated 21.5- and 27-inch iMacs.
Discoveries made in Palm's new webOS 1.3.5 firmware have revealed the platform's first support for 3D. Software packages for OpenGL ES graphics found in the code suggest that Palm's CES event will see the company introduce support for 3D games and titles for at least some phones. A previously leaked video (shown below) may have confirmed this as it shows a port of Need For Speed: Undercover running on a Pre.
A relatively unknown company called Paradigm Shift Sourcing and Manufacturing will introduce two full-color e-book readers that use 5- and 7-inch color displays at next month's CES show in Las Vegas. The company says both units will have high-resolution screens that have a high contrast to make them easier to read, while battery life will be impressive as well. With such capabilities, the devices would be well-suited for displaying textbooks, allowing them to enter into textbooks.
LG today teased some of its plans for CES by showing the first two devices to use the new Mobile DTV standard for free over-the-air broadcasts in the US. Headlining these is a modified version of the LG Lotus messaging phone that adds an antenna and tuner to pick up live TV. Also on tap is a portable DVD player, the DP570MH, that will show as much as four hours of digital TV when on battery.
China Unicom has now sold over 300,000 iPhones to date, a general manager is quoted as telling the press this week. The number marks a substantial leap over figures from December 9th, when the carrier reported that 100,000 phones had been sold since an October 30th product launch. During the launch weekend, the company managed to sell just 5,000 units.
Rumors of an 8GB iPhone 3GS gained credibility late yesterday with a post from a German shopper. After buying a refurbished 8GB iPhone 3G, the Hamburg resident received the promised device but with a label on the back pointing to an "iPhone 3GS v2.2, 8GB." The model (A1241) and part number (MB490DN/A) point to the older model, but "iPhone 3GS" appears elsewhere on the packaging and implies that its mention wasn't a mistake.
(Updated with pricing, release dates) Garmin wrapped up its year today with two new Oregon GPS mappers for the outdoors. The Oregon 450 and 450t both replace the older 400 models with a more visible and responsive touchscreen for its navigation. It likewise brings a more accurate 3-axis compass that doesn't need to be level, dashboards to customize the interface, faster USB and much improved navigation of tracks that shows upcoming elevation changes and marks waypoints on the entire route.
Palm's smartphone sales this year will be hurt by bugs in the Pixi but should be shored up by a Verizon model, a report in Taiwan's Commercial Times newspaper said on Tuesday. Once due to ship 800,000 units of the multi-touch phone in the nearly finished quarter, parts supplier Compal is now only shipping 600,000 as Verizon has supposedly said the devices haven't passed its software tests. The finished models will only reach the American carrier early next year.
Some Ford cars shipping next year will support iTunes Tagging, the automaker has announced. In vehicles equipped with HD Radio receivers, people will be able to push "Tag" buttons on their displays, automatically saving the track data from on-air music. Once an iPod is docked with a car via Ford Sync, up to 100 tags will be transferable for later display in iTunes.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
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