Tag - Sharp
Foxconn may be preparing to develop its first AMOLED displays that could be used in a future version of the iPhone, according to a report. The acquisition of Sharp, which completed at the end of last month for a reduced $3.5 billion, is said to have been driven by Sharp's display manufacturing capabilities, with Foxconn apparently gearing the company up to prepare for large-scale production of AMOLED panels for potential use in iPhones.
The postponed takeover of Sharp by Foxconn has prompted the heads of both companies to meet, in order to smooth out issues in the 70 billion yen ($6.2 billion) deal. Foxconn founder Terry Gou will be in a meeting with Sharp CEO Kozo Takahashi in China today, with negotiations expected to concern the suddenly-surfacing list of liabilities that halted the deal at the 11th hour, and if there is anything either side can do to salvage the purchase.
Sharp has confirmed it has accepted a deal to be taken over by Foxconn, with the agreement said to be valued at approximately 700 billion yen ($6.2 billion). The purchase announcement may have been premature, as a report claims Foxconn, a major manufacturing partner for Apple, is delaying the final takeover agreement after receiving a list of "contingent liabilities" from Sharp that is worth half the deal's value.
In some countries, the upgrade to iOS 9 brings with it a particular but very minor change often wished for by non-US users: the independent trash located in Mail has picked up the more common (outside the US and Canada) name of "Rubbish" rather than "Trash." The company has also posted a support page for the Apple Watch that shows a list of friends accessible on the devices whose initials add up to a "rickroll" gag.
Two Apple suppliers -- Japanese TV maker Sharp, and Hon Hai (also known as Foxconn) -- are talking about a deal that would allow Sharp to spin off its display panel supplier business into a new joint venture with the China-based manufacturer. The two companies already run a LCD panel manufacturing facility in Osaka, and the new deal would like be an expansion of that existing partnership, possibly along with other companies.
The Pebble Time has entered mass production, the company has announced. In an update on the recent Kickstarter page for the smartwatch, shipments of the devices are expected to start from mid-May. As for the functionality of the smartwatch when it arrives, Pebble advises the new timeline interface, expanded app storage, a new Sports app, and voice replies to Android notifications will be available from day one. Planned future software updates will introduce the option for voice responses to Gmail notifications in iOS, a voice notes and stocks app, an album art view for the Music app, and a weather watchface.
Sharp has unveiled another high-resolution display for smartphones heading into production in the future. Following on from the earlier 4.1-inch, 2,560x1,600 screen, offering a pixel density of 736 pixels per inch (ppi), the new panel measures 5.5 inches but boasts the ability to display a 4K image, with its 2,160x3,840 resolution giving it an impressive pixel density of 806 ppi.
While the main focus of Sharp's morning keynote was the new Beyond 4K Ultra HD TV, some time was also spent showing off an upcoming Super Slim 4K set. While most details are still unknown, the TV will become available towards the end of 2015 in a 70-inch model. The Super Slim model will very closely mirror the features found in the also-announced UE30 and UH30 TVs, but in a form factor that measures only half an inch thick (excluding the set mount). Beyond Sharp's own SmartCentral 4.0 platform, the Super Slim TV will also include Google's Android TV.
During its morning press conference at CES, Sharp unveiled its new Beyond 4K Ultra HD TV. The new TV uses a combination of the company's pixel splitting and Quattron technologies to pack 66 million subpixels into a single 80-inch panel. By splitting pixels in half vertically, and allowing each subpixel to create its own color value, Sharp claims the display can reach a resolution that begins to approach 8K (7680 x 4320). The company, however, did not give an exact resolution that the panel can display.
The continued trend for higher-resolution smartphone display panels continues unabated, with Sharp revealing its latest high-resolution LCD screen. The panel, using the company's IGZO technology, manages to fit a resolution of 2,560x1,600 into a display measuring just 4.1 inches, giving it an extremely-high pixel density of 736ppi.
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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