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Nokia today announced that it had sold just over 100 million cellphones this spring, extending its dominance of the global cellphone business. The results were a 29 percent jump over the same period last year and gave the Finnish company a record 37 percent of the 273 million cellphones sold worldwide. Much of the growth was on the back of strong smartphone sales, the company said: over 9 million N-series and 2 million
Samsung is reported to be producing the i570, a relative of the i620. Like the 620, the 570 is a vertical slider phone with a QWERTY keyboard, and miscellaneous features such as HSDPA, Wi-Fi, a two-megapixel still camera and a VGA front camera. The main changes are tapped to be a switch from Windows Mobile to Symbian 9.1, and a slight increase in thickness, from 0.5 to 0.6 inches. Bluetooth and a microSD slot are also suggested hardware. Because the phone has a tri-band (900/1800/1900) GSM receiver though, the 570 is likely to stay outside of North America with its sibling. [via SlashPhone]
Imation's partner TDK today matched Hitachi's unveiling of the first Blu-Ray camera with the introduction of the first recordable mini Blu-Ray discs. Much smaller than the normal variety, the 3-inch discs still share the same fundamental recording method and store up to 7.5GB on a single layer -- enough to hold a complete hour of widescreen 1080i video. The media also shares the same DURABIS protective coating that TDK boasts can withstand even deliberate attempts to scratch the surface, reducing the problems that plague CDs and DVDs.
Pioneer has made public the AVIC-X3, the latest in its line of in-dash navigation units. The X3 uses both GPS and a 3D gyroscope to pinpoint location, the latter being useful mainly when a vehicle disappears from a satellite's point-of-view. Traffic can be monitored through a TMC channel, and the unit's database includes 1.5 million points of interest.
The remaining focus of the unit is on entertainment however, since it can handle AAC, MP3, WMA and DivX media files. Inputs are present for iPods, camcorders and game consoles, and a Bluetooth receiver enables both music streaming and hands-free calling. Finally, a dual-zone mode allows the driver to check maps while rear passengers watch videos. The X3 should launch in Europe in September at an unknown price.
Without a formal announcement, HP has quietly released the HP Compaq 2210b convertible tablet PC. Like the 2710p, the 2210b mounts a 12-inch touchscreen on a swiveling hinge and shares the same 1.1-inch chassis slimmed down by a thinner, more power-efficient display. HP drops the ultramobile processor and storage, however, for faster and less expensive notebook parts. Every system includes a Santa Rosa-era Core 2 Duo and a physically larger 2.5-inch hard drive but scraps the option of a 3G modem for cellular broadband.
Challenging the likes of Apple, Creative has upgraded its Zen V Plus player to hold 16GB of flash memory, twice the amount available on the largest iPod nano, and more than on any other comparable device. Zen V Plus players are distinguished in general by their 1.5-inch OLED screen, and the option of line-in recording, eliminating the need to record via microphone or from a computer. MP3, WMA and IMA ADPCM music files are supported. The 16GB Plus is currently being sold only in Singapore for $399 SGD ($262 US); the upgrade is likely to migrate elsewhere, however, within a few months. [via Anything But iPod]
Google is still pouring "hundreds of millions" into developing a cellphone based around its web services, Reuters' research firm Anian says in a new study. In addition to drawing on Taiwan's HTC for developing a custom, Linux-based phone for the start of 2008, the search engine creator has also invested heavily into deals with global carriers, picking T-Mobile as the provider for a Google phone in the US and Orange filling in gaps for Europe and other regions.
Photos of new Motorola phones have emerged, depicting six low-end candybar models within the company's W series. The top of the line appears to be the W213, with a small color LCD, and a frame that appears to be more solid than that of its siblings. The phone is also identified as having a built-in radio tuner, selectable directly from the main screen. The W206 jettisons this last feature, among others, and is noticeably rounder.
Of the four remaining phones, only the W180 and 160 retain radio, but the tradeoff comes in the form of aesthetics, as the whole group bears resemblance to the MOTOFONE F3, which in turn borrows cues from the RAZR. Both the 160 and 156 are limited to monochrome screens. Unfortunately, no prices or release dates are available. [via Just Another Mobile Phone Blog]
Toshiba will release its third generation of HD DVD players this fall, Amazon has revealed through inadvertent store leaks. The HD-A3 and HD-A35 as well as the now-removed HD-A30 appear to be drop-in replacements for the current A2 series that may offer enhanced software features and a possible ergonomic redesign while keeping the same basic separation of features. As with the entry A2, the A3 will be limited to 720p/1080i output while the A35 offers 1080p, HDMI 1.3 output with deep color on supporting TVs, and CEC support for controlling the player's basic features through the remote of an attached HDMI device.
Transcend has just thrown its hat into the ring of newer generation pocket media players with the T.Sonic 840. The flash-based device includes the same 1.8-inch LCD and slim shape of most players but makes the unusual choice of moving all controls to the sides. Listeners steer tracks through a side thumb wheel and a rocker switch which should be easier to use for browsing than most front control schemes, Transcend says. The 840 separates itself from some other devices in its field with playback of videos transcoded to the MTV format, a long 30 hours of battery life, and a unique gapless audio playback system that automatically detects the transition between tracks without having to optimize ahead of time.
IRIS Group today released its new IRISPen 6 hand scanner for students and others converting written words to computers. The new version is smaller, sharper, and more accurate; in many cases, the reader can copy text with no flaws at all, the company says. Intelligence also steps up as the update can recognize 128 different languages and, in a Translator version, will directly convert any of 11 languages. The pen is app-independent and now includes a smart wizard that helps negotiate scanning spreadsheets or other unconventional layouts.
Sony has ordered a recall of 416,000 digital cameras due to case defects, writes the Associated Press. The problem lies with the bottom casing on Cyber-Shot DSC-T5 cameras, which has a tendency to warp, producing edges that can cut a shooter's hands. Owners can visit the Sony website to determine if their particular camera is affected. The bulk of the defective units -- 350,000 -- were sold in China, Europe and the United States, while the remaining 66,000 were sold in Japan.
Notably, Sony first discovered the problem in 2005, and has since had customer reports of the defect from at least 30 customers worldwide, who in some cases did in fact injure themselves on their T5s. The news is another financial blow to Sony, which has been taking losses on its PlayStation 3 console and the fallout of its 2006 battery recall.
LG's cellphone label Cyon today marked the release of the KC1, one of the few phones on Earth with 4G wireless access. The long-delayed phone runs on WiMAX-compatible WiBro network to deliver speeds approaching Wi-Fi across a wide area. Such added speed lets LG build in previously impossible features such as remote PC control and encourages video calls or other features that were only just feasible with 3G.
Clique has begun selling its Hue HD webcam, which attempts to be both practical and aesthetically pleasing. The signature element is its lamp-like gooseneck design, which allows the camera to be posed at virtually any angle on a desktop. For portable use the camera can actually be removed from the base, and plugged directly into a laptop's USB port. In technical terms the Hue has a 1.3-megapixel sensor, and can display 1024x768 video at 30 frames per second; the native snapshot resolution is 1280x1024, though this can be interpolated to as high as 2560x2048. Clique has priced blue, black, green, pink, red and white Hues at $100. Mac OS X 10.4 or Windows XP/2000 is required.
The Japanese division of Pioneer has announced the BDP-LX80, a forthcoming Blu-Ray player certified for the DLNA networking standard. The 80 is an upgrade from the LX70, released this June in Japan, and among other features now boasts proper support for DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD. Upscaling to 1080p resolution is supported, and it is specifically capable of 1080/24p, replicating the standard theatrical film speed. Its DLNA functions allow it to read files from an Ethernet source, including MPEG-1/2 and WMV9 videos, or audio in the form of MP3, WAV and WMA. It should go on sale in October for 210,000 yen ($1,769). [via Impress Watch]
Fears that Apple is cutting production on iPhones due to low demand are unfounded, according to claims from multiple part suppliers for the device. Anonymous reports from Taiwan manufacturers say that they have seen no drop in the quantities ordered for the iPhone since its June 29th launch. Shipments themselves are also on schedule, the companies claim, dismissing suggestions that Apple may be facing an oversupply of components.
The watchmaker Timex has announced the Ironman iControl, a watch with the unusual ability to interact wirelessly with iPods. Using the receiver, users can command iPods to play or pause, raise or lower volume, and skip backwards or forwards between tracks. The iControl is also said to function with iPhones, though this does require switching the latter into Airplane Mode. The watch additionally has a number of non-music functions: it can store up to 50 laps in memory, and can store a traing log with the current date, best lap and average time. It is water-resistant to a depth of 328 feet. The watch should go on sale today for $125 in pink, blue, green, orange and gray/black colors.
Alltel today announced it was carrying the AX380, nicknamed the Wave based on its rolling visual design. The LG-made flip phone tackles the mid-range but includes extra touches such as dedicated music controls on the outer lid and Alltel's signature Celltop widget interface for news and weather; assisted GPS support is also included and joins with the cell provider's network for driving directions. Built-in EVDO readies the phone for video streaming, web access, and larger downloadable apps.
Sharp today introduced a new version of its Internet AQUOS combination PC and TV sets. The G-series expands the screens to include large 1080p sets up to 52 inches in addition to the smaller sizes already available through earlier models. Higher-end GX versions are also the first Internet AQUOS systems to include dual digital TV tuners; owners can now record an HD show to the computer's hard drive in the background while watching another program at the same time, Sharp says. Owners of Sharp's dedicated media recorders can use a built-in FireWire connection to store Internet AQUOS shows and burn them to disc.
Apple hopes to patent an interface that would allow users to customize and learn multi-touch gestures similar to those of the iPhone on a computer, according to a recent filing noted by MacNN blogger Neo. First submitted just days before the iPhone's introduction, the document would offer a dictionary program, sometimes running in the background, that would monitor the user's individual finger chords (patterns) on screen. The dictionary could then show the user a range of possible gestures using animated or still icons with a description of what each command will accomplish. The dictionary could also be cued by less direct methods such as bringing hands close to the screen or pressing a physical button, Apple says.
Hitachi today revealed full details of the world's first Blu-Ray camcorders, expanding on the company's early preview from just weeks before. The handheld models are no larger than conventional DV cameras but include a special mini Blu-Ray recorder that writes to 3-inch discs of AVCHD (H.264) video playable in most Blu-Ray movie players and computer drives without requiring the conversion process of previous HD cameras. A single disc will hold about one hour of full 1080-line footage, Hitachi estimates. Every model can also record 4.3-megapixel still shots.
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