In 2011, Google introduced Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich," which took some of the design direction it had begun on tablets and moved it to phones. In the intervening two years, we've only seen "point" updates for the platform: some subtle refinements and a few big new features, but never a big 5.0 update. Google sees it as a “mature” operating system — it doesn’t have to reinvent the design or the core features, it just has to make them run faster, better, and prettier. With Android 4.4 "KitKat," that trend continues, but this time around the refinements add up to something more — but not how you might expect.
theverge.com 2013-11-04 08:17:09
Nokia’s Lumia 520 has been pushing Windows Phone’s marketshare along thanks to its low cost, and it appears its replacement, the Lumia 525, will arrive shortly. Photos of the Lumia 525 have leaked today thanks to Chinese certification agency TENAA. It looks to be almost identical to the existing Lumia 520 on the outside, with a rear camera and similar styling. Rumors suggest it will ship with a dual-core Qualcomm processor, 1GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel camera, and with a focus on music.It could be one of the most important Lumias yet. Nokia recently hit a record of 8.8 million Lumia sales and the company admitted it was largely due to the Lumia 520.
theverge.com 2013-11-04 07:38:27
Today was always going to be a momentous day for BlackBerry, with a looming deadline for its proposed takeover deal with Fairfax Financial Holdings. As it turns out, the full takeover isn't taking place, but the company is going to receive an investment of $1 billion from Fairfax and a group of other institutional investors as it seeks to steer a new course. That will involve some major reshuffling at board level, starting with CEO Thorsten Heins, who is stepping down to be replaced by interim CEO John S. Chen. In the wake of the news, BlackBerry's already battered stock price has taken yet another blow, falling more than 18.5 percent in pre-market trading.
thenextweb.com 2013-11-04 05:02:12
There’s good news for Microsoft’s mobile efforts, as according to a latest report from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech showing data for the three months to September 2013, Windows Phone has overtaken iOS in Italy and now makes up one in 10 smartphone sales across five major European markets – the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.According to Kantar, Windows Phone’s progress is driven “almost entirely” by Nokia sales — as it continues to progress rapidly in Europe. For the last three months to August this year, Windows Phone-based devices accounted for 9.2 percent of smartphone sales in the same five markets.Nokia has also been showing signs of growth in emerging markets, in particular Latin America. Given that Nokia has dominated in Latin America for many years, and the majority of consumers in the region still own a Nokia featurephone, Kantar says that “upgrading to an entry level Lumia is a logical next step.”
arstechnica.com 2013-11-03 16:00:16
Verone Mankou first dreamed of designing a low-cost laptop for Africa back in 2006. Now, seven years later, he is CEO of his own company called VMK Tech. The organization designs and sells tablets, smartphones, and feature phones in the Republic of Congo. "Now we are building our factory in Brazzaville," Mankou says. "Before we designed in Congo, assembled in China, and sold in Congo—no! I want to design it in Congo, assemble in Congo, and sell it in Congo." Mankou's project started when he was only 20-years-old. At the time, to buy a laptop in Congo it cost well over $1,000 (£625), a price which the majority of the population could never afford. Mankou believed more people in his country urgently needed access to technology, and so for six months he worked on designing a laptop. It didn't work out, he says, "but I never stopped looking for a solution to give more people access to the Internet."
thenextweb.com 2013-11-01 10:33:21
As promised, Sprint today began offering the Google Nexus 5 for pre-order, saying it will do its best to get it to you in a week (on November 8). You can grab the smartphone in black or white for $49.99 (if you switch to Sprint, otherwise it’s $149.99) with a two-year contract here.In the US, the Nexus 5 is coming to Sprint and T-Mobile, but the Google Play version will also work on AT&T’s mobile network. Verizon customers unfortunately are out of luck. T-Mobile won’t let you pre-order yet, but it has put up a pre-registration page that lets you sign up to get an email when it’s available.
theverge.com 2013-10-30 12:36:44
Sprint claims it has developed a new wireless technology that could allow the carrier to surpass the wireless data speeds of its rivals. Dubbed Sprint Spark, the "super-high-speed" currently reaches peak rates of 50 to 60Mbps, but Sprint insists that number will grow as the technology matures. In fact, to illustrate the progress it's making on that front, Sprint today demonstrated 1Gbps over-the-air speeds at one of its labs.The carrier isn't wasting time deploying Spark; it's rolling out in "limited availability" in five US cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa, and Miami) today. Sprint Spark is expected to reach 100 million Americans by the end of 2014, assuming the carrier's LTE expansion remains on track.
macrumors.com 2013-10-30 07:43:31
Sprint revealed today in its Q3 2013 results that it had sold 1.4 million iPhones in the last quarter, with 40% of those iPhones being sold to new customers. The company announced a 5% year-over-year growth, posting a record postpaid service revenue of $5.8 billion. This is about consistent compared to the 1.5 million iPhones the carrier sold in the year-ago quarter. Sprint also announced LTE networks in 45 new markets, bringing its total number of LTE locations to 230 markets. Sprint sold nearly 5 million smartphones in the third quarter with postpaid smartphone sales mix reaching record levels. Sprint sold nearly 1.4 million iPhones® during the quarter of which 40 percent were to new customers. In 2011, Sprint committed to buying $20 billion worth of iPhones from Apple, and launched the iPhone on its prepaid Virgin Mobile USA brand in June 2012. Sprint will also launch the iPhone on its prepaid subsidary Boost Mobile on November 8.
theverge.com 2013-10-30 06:09:17
After a financially rough second quarter, Sprint's fortunes have improved somewhat over the past three months. The company recorded a net income of $383 million in Q3 2013, though operationally it's still not in the black, with a $398 million operating loss. The odd numbers are explained by Sprint recording a one-time $1.4 billion gain related to its Clearwire dealings.The nation's third-largest carrier sold nearly 1.4 million iPhones over the reported period, with 40 percent of them going to new customers. The all-important Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) metric reached a record for postpaid Sprint customers, however the bad news is that Sprint now has 360,000 fewer of those than when the quarter began.
macrumors.com 2013-10-29 19:27:12
An manufacturing defect has affected a small number of Apple's iPhone 5s devices, according to an Apple representative who spoke to The New York Times. The iPhone 5s, which was introduced in September, is rated for up to 10 hours of battery life on 3G and 250 hours of talk time."We recently discovered a manufacturing issue affecting a very limited number of iPhone 5S devices that could cause the battery to take longer to charge or result in reduced battery life," said Teresa Brewer, an Apple spokeswoman. "We are reaching out to customers with affected phones and will provide them with a replacement phone." Apple has not specified how many iPhones are affected by the issue, but according to The New York Times, Apple's statement suggests that only a few thousand users may be experiencing battery life issues out of several million.
fastcompany.com 2013-11-04 10:30:00
From 2008 to 2011, Inder Singh was the executive vice president of the Clinton Health Access Initiative's program to fight Malaria and HIV in Africa and South Asia. The campaign effectively brought down the cost of drugs by 90%, and helped 200 million people receive treatment. Despite that success, "While I was there," Singh says, "it struck me that if we just knew a little more about how the illness was spreading, we could do more." Then one day in 2011, Singh fell ill, and the antibiotics his doctor prescribed did nothing to quell his fever. A friend who is also an infectious disease doctor eventually sleuthed out that Singh had a lung infection that isn't easily detectable by stethoscope, and simply needed different antibiotics. But in the meantime he conducted Google searches for clues about the mysterious symptoms––fever, fatigue, dizziness––in hopes of finding people with similar conditions, insight on his ailment, or even news of a bug going around.
arstechnica.com 2013-11-04 08:00:42
Late last week we saw the first hints of a new handset from Motorola, and now Motorola has its own teaser up, complete with a scheduled live event. The Motorola Moto G teaser site gives no obvious clues to the handsets specifications, but last week's leaks included a spec sheet that reveals a device slotted just under the Moto X. The Qualcomm-sourced SoC is clocked a bit slower, at 1.2GHz and the screen has been shrunk to 4.5 inches. The resolution remains 720p, which gives the handset an excellent pixel density of 329ppi. On-board storage will start at just 8GB and hopefully climb from there. It remains unclear whether the Moto G will inherit the entire Motorola X8 Mobile Compute System with the Natural Language Processor and Contextual Awareness Processor. If it does, we can expect a similar feature set as the Moto X and may finally get the aggressive pricing everyone had hoped the Moto X would bring. We'll find out more at the launch event on November 13th.
allthingsd.com 2013-11-04 07:32:22
BlackBerry is giving up its effort to sell itself to a large investor and will replace CEO Thorsten Heins, the company said on Monday.The company said that rather than bid for the company, Fairfax Financial will lead a group of investors pouring $1 billion into the troubled handset maker with its CEO Prem Watsa, becoming lead director. Former Sybase CEO John Chen will serve as interim CEO and executive chairman once the investment is completed, which BlackBerry said should be within the next two weeks.The investment will come in the form of a debt sale, BlackBerry said, with Fairfax itself putting $250 million into the company.“Today’s announcement represents a significant vote of confidence in BlackBerry and its future by this group of preeminent, long-term investors,” current BlackBerry chair Barbara Stymiest said in a statement.
venturebeat.com 2013-11-03 18:30:02
MrGuyTsur Nov. 12 - 13, 2013 San Francisco, CA Henri Lamiraux, Apple’s top Vice President of Engineering for the iOS iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, has left the company, according to a report from 9to5mac.com. Lamiraux had worked at the Cupertino, Calif. based consumer technology giant for over 20 years, so his departure comes as a shock to the community. According to 9to5mac, Lamiraux decided to retire two weeks ago, and that iOS7 would be his final release. The French executive joined the company in the early days back in 1990. He worked his way up the corporate ladder, and helped build the original operating system for the first iPhone. His name is featured on a number of Apple patents, including visual voicemail. Apple has not confirmed or commented on who will replace Lamiraux. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more. VentureBeat is creating an index of the most exciting cloud-based services for developers.
theverge.com 2013-11-02 05:07:01
HTC moved aggressively to assure customers that its flagship HTC One will see Android 4.4 upgrades in short order. Now, Motorola is following suit. If you have a Moto X on any major US carrier, or a Droid Ultra, Maxx, or Mini on Verizon, you should see an update to Android KitKat at some point in the future, according to Motorola's upgrade website."Rest assured, we are on it."Motorola's not committing to any particular timeframe, so it's not clear how long those updates might take, but Motorola VP Punit Soni hints that it might not take as long as previous rollouts. "Rest assured, we are on it," he told followers on his Google+ page. "You have seen the speed with which we are moving as a Google company, that shall continue."
macrumors.com 2013-10-30 19:51:05
Both Apple Retail Stores and Apple resellers have begun receiving iPad Air stock to prepare for Friday’s launch, reports 9to5Mac. Shipments have begun showing up at Apple Stores and third party locations such as Walmart. According to the site, major Apple retail locations across the United States are getting more than 500 units of the iPad Air, suggesting that supplies of the tablet will be plentiful, as we initially reported earlier this week. International stores are also receiving decent quantities of the iPad Air. We've heard similar from resellers of iPads internationally with some chains indicating that they will have a solid number of iPad Airs on tap for Friday. These stores say even more supply is promised for the next couple of weeks…Due to seemingly adequate supplies of the iPad Air, Apple will reportedly accept requests for Personal Pickup, allowing prospective buyers to reserve an iPad Air online beginning at 12:01 AM Pacific Time and pick it up at an Apple Store later.
venturebeat.com 2013-10-30 12:35:17
It’s been a good year for the Israeli tech industry. Kansas City, MO-based device insurer Asurion has acquired Tel Aviv-based Soluto, a cloud-based service that lets you manage other devices remotely, for somewhere between $100 to $130 million, according to multiple reports. An Asurion representative declined to comment on the financial details of the deal. It’s the third major acquisition of an Israeli high-tech firm this year. In June, Google bought crowdsourced navigation company Waze for $1.3 billion. Two weeks ago, Facebook snapped up mobile analytics startup Onavo for an estimated $150 to $200 million. The acquisition is a logical one for Asurion, which makes most of its money providing technical support and insurance for mobile devices. The more devices it fixes, the fewer it has to replace.
venturebeat.com 2013-10-30 07:00:27
Intel is diving into the mobile data wireless market with a new LTE chip Nov. 12 - 13, 2013 San Francisco, CA Tickets On Sale Now Intel announced today that its 4G LTE modem chip is now shipping in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 tablet in Europe and Asia. The new chip takes Intel into the fast-growing market for 4G LTE devices that make tablets and laptops much more mobile, as they can connect to the internet via a mobile network rather than just a WiFi network. The chip will take Intel into closer competition with rivals such as Qualcomm, which dominates the mobile wireless market. Intel has said that the XMM 7160 LTE modem is a multimode modem, meaning it can handle various wireless protocols (2G, 3G, 4G LTE), voice, and a variety of worldwide mobile data standards. Intel said that it is also introducing new modules with the chips for mobile devices. Intel’s new module will support peak downlink speeds of 100 megabits per second over LTE networks.
allthingsd.com 2013-10-29 20:33:16
Apple is having a bit of trouble with its latest marquee iPhone. The company said late Tuesday that the battery in some of its iPhone 5s handsets are draining more quickly than they should. “We recently discovered a manufacturing issue affecting a very limited number of iPhone 5s devices that could cause the battery to take longer to charge or result in reduced battery life,” Apple spokeswoman Teresa Brewer told AllThingsD. “We are reaching out to customers with affected phones and will provide them with a replacement phone.”Apple declined to elaborate beyond that statement, and wouldn’t say which 5s models have been affected and how widespread the problem is. But, presumably, “a very limited number” means just that. That the company has chosen to reach out to affected customers directly, rather than pointing them to a Web page to submit a replacement request, suggests that the number of iPhones with the issue is relatively small.
allthingsd.com 2013-10-29 15:14:29
Is the price of Apple’s new iPhone 5c too high for the market for which it was intended?Not according to CEO Tim Cook, who said the device isn’t intended for the unsubsidized prepaid customers that many observers thought it might be. During a Monday earnings call, Cook said the 5c isn’t the long-rumored “budget iPhone,” nor was it conceived as that.“If you look at what we’ve done with our iPhone line, we’re selling the iPhone 4s as our entry-level offer,” Cook said. “We’re selling the iPhone 5c as sort of a mid-tier offer and then we have the iPhone 5s. Our goal is to have overall growth for the total iPhone [line], but also growth within each of those categories. … I realize that some people were reading rumors that the entry phone would be the 5c, but that was never our intent.