Over the last eight months, losses at Google's Motorola Mobility have accelerated despite three rounds of layoffs that slashed around 6,000 workers. The division is now on pace to bleed $1 billion a year out of the search giant’s bank account. And yet Google's stock topped a record high $1,000 a share today as investors showed renewed confidence in the company's future. The questions raised back in April seem more pertinent than ever: why exactly did Google buy Motorola? We’ve got another quarter of data and a new device to look at, but the answer still isn’t pretty."I’m still scratching my head about why they did it."Does a money pit like Motorola have a major impact on Google’s bottom line?
thenextweb.com 2013-10-20 22:23:37
HTC boss Peter Chou is passing a number of ‘operational duties’ over to company chairwoman Cher Wang, in order to focus on product and innovation at the troubled smartphone maker.That’s according to the Financial Times – which quotes Chou as admitting that he “took on too many things.”Chou has refused to even entertain the idea of stepping down from his role — despite dwindling revenue and market share, and HTC’s first quarterly loss as a listed company — so it will be interesting to see what future devices are forthcoming now that he is “focused on innovation and product portfolio.”
venturebeat.com 2013-10-17 09:16:24
A new version of Windows and Ubuntu on the same day? This must be geek Christmas. Right on the heels of Windows 8.1, Canonical has released Ubuntu 13.10, the latest version of its beloved Linux operating system. While there aren’t many cosmetic changes this time around, Ubuntu does show that Canonical is still very serious about the “one OS, every device” strategy it’s been talking about so much. That strategy is pretty straightforward: Canonical’s plan for the future of Ubuntu is an operating system that works just as well on smartphones as it does on desktops. This means creating an OS that not only has lower hardware requirements but also isn’t too taxing on the limited batteries in mobile devices. For Canonical, that ambition goes a bit further: The company is calling Ubuntu 13.10 its “first true mobile release,” which should probably tell you need to know about it.
allthingsd.com 2013-10-17 08:00:25
Twitter’s entire premise is based on publicness. “Join the conversation in the global town square!” the company likes to say.But, over the past year, Twitter has come around to seeing the value of being more discreet.The company plans to significantly update its direct-messaging product in the near future, according to multiple sources, bringing the long-buried feature to the forefront for the first time in years.Part of the new reemphasis on direct messaging is already here. For weeks, Twitter has been internally testing a setting that allows users to send and receive direct messages from others without needing to mutually follow one another. And, earlier this week, the company began to roll it out to the public in a limited capacity.But Twitter’s new vision for direct messages will go further. It has kicked around the idea of launching a standalone direct-messaging application separate from the Twitter app, according to three people familiar with the matter.
theverge.com 2013-10-16 14:27:24
Bloomberg News is today lending further credence to rumors of an HTC-manufactured Amazon smartphone. A new report claims the two sides have held discussions since June for a handset that could be sold to members of Amazon's Prime subscription service. But Bloomberg News warns that a final decision on moving forward with the project "hasn’t been made," nor has a release timeframe been nailed down. Yesterday, The Financial Times reported that three separate Amazon phones are currently in development at HTC, with one of those products approaching completion.Despite the persistent rumors, Amazon has publicly stated that it does not intend to release a smartphone this year.
venturebeat.com 2013-10-16 10:48:39
A 200-billion ad study on Facebook advertising says that mobile ads on iPhone generate 1790 percent more return on investment than ads on Android. Even worse, advertising on Android actually costs more than it returns. The study is by Nanigans, one of the biggest buyers of Facebook ads, and it focuses on retailers, saying that in the past year on Facebook’s desktop ads clickthroughs are up 375 percent and overall return on investment is 152 percent. But it’s when the report focuses on mobile advertising that the really surprising numbers pop up. “Retailers are realizing significantly greater return from audiences on iOS than audiences on Android,” the report says. “For the first three quarters of 2013, RPC (revenue per click) on iOS averaged 6.1 times higher than Android and ROI (return on investment) on iOS averaged 17.9 times higher than Android.”
allthingsd.com 2013-10-16 07:00:04
Verizon Wireless is trying out a program that offers customers the option of same-day delivery for phones ordered from its website.The company is testing the service in Philadelphia, with plans to expand it to New York City, Dallas, San Francisco and Pittsburgh. When a local store has inventory of the chosen phone, buyers have the option of ordering a device before 10 am and getting it by 7 pm.Customers will pay a price for the speedy service — $20 for same-day delivery, as compared to $14.99 for priority overnight delivery.“It takes just a few clicks to make purchases online, but waiting for delivery is a drag when you need it now — the very same day,” Verizon said in a blog post. “That’s why leading e-commerce retailers such as eBay, Amazon, Wal-Mart and Google are testing same day delivery services in select cities.”
arstechnica.com 2013-10-15 14:45:00
The Financial Times is reporting that Amazon and HTC are teaming up to develop a "range" of smartphones. The timeline is fuzzy at this point, with the report saying that the devices are unlikely to launch this year. Despite one phone supposedly being "at an advanced stage of development," The Financial Times says that Amazon might not release the device at all. Still, if the report pans out, this will be the second time HTC has helped a company jump into the smartphone market. It previously built the HTC First, the flagship phone for the launch of Facebook Home, an Android home replacement. The smartphone company is surely hoping its fortunes will be better this time, as the "Facebook Phone" was a massive flop, selling only 15,000 units. But the huge difference between the two initiatives is that the HTC First was an Android device and shipped with the Google Apps.
macrumors.com 2013-10-15 11:39:32
Nike today introduced a new fitness tracking bracelet, the Nike+ FuelBand SE. The new band looks nearly identical to the prior FuelBand, but with the addition of some color accents -- yellow, pink and red -- as well as a number of new features. The biggest technical upgrade is the addition of Bluetooth 4.0, otherwise known as Bluetooth LE. The Bluetooth tech has been built into every iPhone since the 4S and allows for low-power and low-latency data transfer. It also takes advantage of the M7 motion coprocessor in the new iPhone 5s. The new FuelBand also has a new clock mode that can show the time at the touch of a button. Other improvements have come to the Nike+ Fuel points system, allowing the band to track more activities and not track activities that aren't actually physical activity. The company has added hourly reminders asking you to move around for five minutes, in case you're too stagnant too long.
allthingsd.com 2013-10-15 08:00:11
After making the rounds in Europe and Asia, Sony announced today the U.S. availability of its Xperia Z Ultra and Xperia Z1 smartphones, and the SmartWatch 2. But a word of caution: If you’re eyeing one of these phones, it’s going to cost you.Sony Xperia Z UltraIntroduced earlier this summer at the Mobile Asia Expo, the Xperia Z Ultra is the company’s latest Android phablet, and features a 6.4-inch HD touchscreen and handwriting-recognition software, so you can take notes using a stylus (not included). It’s also waterproof in up to five feet of water for up to 30 minutes, and has a quad-core processor from Qualcomm.But, without the backing of a U.S. carrier, the 3G version of the Xperia Z Ultra costs $650, and the LTE version goes for $680. Both will work with AT&T or T-Mobile SIM cards.The Xperia Z1′s hallmark feature is its 20.7-megapixel camera.
thenextweb.com 2013-10-21 01:54:29
Nokia is gearing up to launch a slew of new devices at Nokia World in Abu Dhabi this week, and it seems that the company’s flagship Lumia smartphone series is gaining momentum after the Wall Street Journal reported that sales hit a record of “at least eight million” units between June and September.For comparison, Nokia sold 7.4 million Lumia phones in the second quarter of this year, and that 8 million figure is more than double the volume sold one year ago.This promising figure — while not confirmed by the company — follow recent research which estimated that Windows Phone accounted for 8.2 percent of smartphone sales across five major European markets between May and July.Nokia is still some way behind iOS and Android but the signs suggest it is entrenching its position in third place.
venturebeat.com 2013-10-18 08:35:18
Engadget Nov. 12 - 13, 2013 San Francisco, CA Tickets On Sale Now Whoops! Someone over at Google sure has butterfingers. (Or more likely, Google is sneaky like a fox.) Just like that “accidental” glimpse at the Nexus 5 in an Android promo photo, Google “mistakenly” flipped the switch to make its next Nexus model briefly viewable on its Google Play store last night, Engadget reports. And I’m sure all the buzz from hungry gadget blogs and Android fans just couldn’t be helped. So what’s new? The Nexus 5 looks slightly larger than last year’s Nexus 4, but it forgoes the glitsy rear back cover for a matte finish. It doesn’t appear to be particularly thin (the Nexus 4 was also kind of chunky), and there aren’t any big cosmetic improvements from what I can tell (not surprising from an LG-built smartphone).
theverge.com 2013-10-17 08:49:35
Nokia appears to be experimenting with its own smartwatch concepts. In a patent application submitted in August last year, the company details a "multi-segment wearable accessory." According to the description, and some related diagrams, it's a plan for a modular watch than can be worn on the wrist. Images show a concept where each segment of the watch would have its own display to show content, allowing the user to turn his or her wrist to access different parts.If Samsung's Galaxy Gear with a camera on the strap wasn't enough, Nokia's concept goes a step further with its multiple displays. Unfortunately it's likely just that: concept.
allthingsd.com 2013-10-17 06:00:38
This morning, Microsoft began rolling out Windows 8.1, the first major update to its Windows 8 operating system that was released last year. It’s available as an optional free download to current users. But, of course, device manufacturers are also using it as opportunity to trot out new hardware.Joining Lenovo, Dell and others, Acer today introduced the Iconia W4, an eight-inch tablet running Windows 8.1. The tablet will start shipping in the U.S. this month, and comes in two versions: A 32 gigabyte model for $330, and a 64GB model for $380.At first glance, the tablet doesn’t look all that different from the Iconia W3, which was released just a few months ago. But the company has made a few changes under the hood that hopefully address some of the issues affecting the Iconia W3, which my colleague Walt Mossberg called a flawed device.
theverge.com 2013-10-16 11:55:04
Lenovo is the latest PC maker to take advantage of Windows 8.1's improved support for smaller displays. After teasing an 8-inch Windows tablet at Computex earlier this year, Lenovo is launching its Miix 2 Windows 8.1 device later this month. It's one of the latest tablets to use Intel's quad-core Bay Trail processor, and the Miix 2 will also include an 8-inch 16:10 display running at 1280 x 800 resolution with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.While we've seen some attempts at 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablets, Lenovo's effort includes an optional stylus and a detachable cover that makes it look a lot like Apple's iPad mini at first glance. There's also a 5-megapixel camera at the rear and a 2-megapixel one at the front.
macrumors.com 2013-10-16 07:58:09
Apple has notified two of its major iPhone 5c suppliers that it is reducing orders of the smartphone for the fourth quarter, reports The Wall Street Journal. Taiwanese assemblers Pegatron and Foxconn (also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.) were given notice by Apple that fourth quarter production of the device would be slowed, with the former being told orders would be cut by less than 20% and the latter being told that orders would be cut by one-third of the original production. A report by Reuters corroborates the claim of production cuts at Pegatron. Apple told its Taiwanese assemblers Pegatron Corp. and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. that shipments of the iPhone 5C in the fourth quarter would be cut, the people said. Pegatron, which analysts say assembles two thirds of the iPhone 5Cs, was told orders would be cut by less than 20%, said a person familiar with the matter.
venturebeat.com 2013-10-15 16:45:16
Eric Blattberg / YahooFlickr's iOS app now offers auto-upload functionality Nov. 12 - 13, 2013 San Francisco, CA Tickets On Sale Now In today’s earnings call, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer continued on a well-worn theme for the old-school company: mobile, mobile mobile. “Yahoo’s future is mobile,” said Mayer. In a year, she said, “12 months from now, we [will be] all about mobile.” She also noted in the call Yahoo’s record highs for mobile traffic. For the third quarter of 2013, Yahoo’s mobile monthly active users totaled 390 million. That tally dwarfs Twitter’s mobile MAUs (161 million) and nearly half of Facebook’s mobile userbase of 819 million mobile MAUs. “We believe there are some advertisements that will monetize on mobile more than on desktop,” Mayer continued. “When we have the right ads in the right place … it makes users tune in, not tune out.”
theverge.com 2013-10-15 12:53:33
Recent rumors suggest that Microsoft may be planning to kill off the back button in Windows Phone 8.1. While the requirement for a hardware back button will likely be dropped, sources familiar with Microsoft's plans have revealed to The Verge that the software maker will replace it with an onscreen version if it goes ahead with the plans. We understand that Microsoft is experimenting with dropping the hardware requirements for back, Start, and search buttons in an effort to lower costs for device manufacturers. Any potential devices without hardware buttons will have buttons on the screen.
arstechnica.com 2013-10-15 10:23:00
Despite announcing that it was bowing out of the US smartphone market a few days ago, Sony is bringing a pair of smartphones and a smartwatch to the US today. Sony's biggest problem has always been getting deals done with carriers, and the products here are no exception—they will only be available unlocked and online, with your best bet being Sony's online store. The most notable is the Xperia Z1, which is still going full steam ahead in the camera megapixel wars with a whopping 20MP sensor. The rest of the specs are more typical: a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800, 2GB of RAM, and a 5-inch 1080p display. The Z1 is supposed to be Sony's new flagship, but its lack of LTE support gives it little shot of cracking the American market. The device has a microSD slot and a skinned version of Android 4.2, and it's even water- and dust-resistant. Remember, this phone is unlocked and contract free, so you'll be paying the full list price of $649.99.
thenextweb.com 2013-10-15 00:01:39
Early last month, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi unveiled its latest flagship device, the Mi-3. At the same time, the company also officially stepped into the living room with the launch of a 47-inch 3D smart TV.The first batch of 100,000 Mi-3 phones were released at 12 noon today for sale on its website, and they were snapped up in 86 seconds flat, Xiaomi announced on its Sina Weibo account today. The 16GB version of Mi-3 is retailing for CNY1999 ($327), while the 64GB version is going for CNY2499 ($410).Xiaomi’s TV sets also turned out to be popular among customers. The first batch of 3,000 TVs released on Xiaomi’s website was wiped out in nearly 2 minutes (1 minute and 58 seconds, to be precise), the company said on Sina Weibo. The smart TV, which comes as a natural progression following the company’s launch of Xiaomi’s stream-to-TV set-top box earlier this year, is retailing for CNY2,999 ($490).The company subsequently announced the milestone on its Twitter account as well.