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iHome has unveiled a clock radio sound system for various mobile phones, with limited support for the iPhone. The new device, dubbed iHC5S, supports Bluetooth and allows you to dial and receive calls through its speakerphone function; also sporting a large LCD display with caller ID. The clock radio function allows you to wake to Bluetooth enabled music, the radio or buzzer. You can also stream your music wirelessly from your Bluetooth enabled phone through the Reson8 speaker chambers to enjoy enhanced audio sound. The iHC5S controls Bluetooth-enabled cell phones and other devices; supports the Handsfree, Headset, AVRCP and A2DP Bluetooth Profiles. Also included is a full-function remote control with snooze and a line-in jack to play MP3/CD players. The iHC5S is priced at $150.
Rumors in financial circles suggest that Sprint could soon be sold to British Telecom, Reuters says. Although the third largest cellular service in the United States, Sprint has lost substantial market share, causing its stock prices to drop by a third since April of last year. This has fueled speculation that several companies may want to take advantage of the situation, BT among them. The rumor drove a 3.5 percent increase in Sprint share prices on Friday; Korea's SK Telecom recently denied it was pursuing a purchase, however, and private equity groups have also been mentioned.
A group of cellphone companies have at last reached an agreement on a standard charging interface for cellphones, reports say. The Open Mobile Terminal Platform -- a consortium including the likes of LG, Nokia, Samsung and others -- has agreed to use Micro-USB, a standard devised by the USB Implementers Forum towards the beginning of the year. It of course supplies both power and data, the primary advantage over the common Mini-USB format being a thinner connector. This is considered potentially important as cellphones continue to be shrunk as far as possible.
Helio today announced that it had received a tentative agreement from Korean cell provider SK Telecom to provide as much as $270 million for its business, giving the mobile virtual network operator enough money to run without worrying about a financial investment from Earthlink, SK Telecom's joint partner in Helio. The added funds will be used to help develop Helio's data-centric phone service, which relies primarily on 3G Internet access over EVDO for GPS, messaging, and video streaming. The specific terms of the deal were not disclosed, though EarthLink revealed that the cash did not mean that SK Telecom was taking over from its American partner.
Stock of NAND flash memory controllers may be resurgent after an apparent softening of demand from Apple, says system-on-a-chip maker Silicon Motion's chief Stephen Kou. Despite what first appeared to be a major shortage of the memory itself, instigated by a power cut at a number of Samsung's factories and a general lack of capacity at other firms, the supply of controllers and memory chips appears to be in check after Apple softened its demand versus prior months. The real issue now would be to balance the market and prevent an oversupply, Kou notes.
Surging Mac sales are expected to beat Wall Street expectations by nearly 400,000 units, Apple is readying a new 10-inch to 12-inch subnotebook for next quarter, and Apple's total worth is twice that of rival computer maker Dell, according to TheStreet.com. Apple is expected to sell 2.35 million iMacs and MacBooks this quarter, fueled by back-to-school shopping as well as a recently refreshed iMac. Sources cited by TheStreet.com say APple is planning to unveil a widely rumored subnotebook with sleek round edges that weighs less than 2-pounds. The subnotebook is expected to debut next quarter in time for the busy holiday shopping season, and Apple is reportedly telling employees to cancel vacation plans between Thanksgiving and Christmas to prepare for a year-end sales push.
T-Mobile and Danger, the principal makers of the Sidekick messaging phone, are preparing a new application for the device that offers direct access to MySpace. Dubbed simply MySpace Mobile, it will be found through T-Mobile's Download Catalog, and should make it more convenient to access MySpace by reducing the need for new downloads, as well as by streamlining the interface. A new home screen, for instance, groups together alerts such as messages and friend requests, while photos can be uploaded directly from a Sidekick.
Prolific jukebox maker Venzero has just unveiled the LINQ mini, a player which the company boasts is the smallest player of its kind. The mini version of the LINQ still shares Wi-Fi and uses it to give the device a far wider range of music. Over 9,000 Internet radio stations are accessible whenever the device is in range of a hotspot, Venzero says. Like much of the company's line, the smaller LINQ also has a unique audio tagging feature that will identify a song and provide a download link based on a short audio clip.
While some reports had indicated that the iPhone clone by Meizu, the miniOne (renamed M8), was going to diverge more sharply from its inspiration, company CEO Jack Wong has posted new images of its interface that appear to be directly copied from the iPhone. Lifted style elements include everything from the navigation buttons at the top of iPhone menus, to the roll-up touch keyboard, and the SMS messenger's iChat-style "bubbles." Even the dialing interface is not far removed from Apple's own.
Wrappers has unveiled a range of polished polyurethane sleeves that match Apple's new metallic iPod classic and iPod touch designs. Wrappers' polished polyurethane is a soft, scratch resistant material tested to 80,000 double rubs but that adds very little to the weight and size of an iPod. The sleeves are waterproof and wipe clean, according to the company, with the shiny range coming in silver and graphite colors. Sleeve insides are lined with 100 percent Thai silk that comes in a choice of four colors. Wrappers has also added iPod classic and iPod touch sleeves to its Alcantara range of slip cases, which are priced at $23 and come in either black or grey. Wrappers' new shiny iPod sleeves are due to hit store shelves on September 30th, and are each priced at $30.
Both Verizon and its part-parent company Vodafone will share the same high speed, fourth-generation data service when it comes time to upgrade their respective cellular networks, according to statements made by the chief executives of both companies at a conference today. Verizon's Ivan Seidenberg and Vodafone's Arun Sarin remarked that the company each planned to move to the 4G technology known as Long Term Evolution (LTE) within the next three to four years, allowing users of either platform to connect as quickly as 100 megabits downstream and roam with calls and data over each other's networks. This feat would be impossible over current services, which use the mutually incompatible CDMA (Verizon) and GSM (Vodafone) protocols.
BenQ this morning followed up its camera announcement with the release of its C30 bar phone. The company claims to have solved one of the common problems of music phones by moving dedicated music controls to the top of the design. Listeners can now pause or skip tracks while leaving the phone safely in a pocket, BenQ says. Two of the buttons also double as triggers for the built-in FM radio and the rear VGA camera. Two speakers also produce stereo sound without the need for headphones.
Apple's next update to the MacBook line may represent a shift to an almost completely aluminum foundation, according to a new claim. Similar to the new iMac, the new model would replace virtually everything but the keys with aluminum, delivering a more professional look and also slimming the case considerably versus today's plastic-based model. The resulting system would be lighter than today's MacBook and thinner than even the one-inch MacBook Pro, the unnamed source says. The keyboard layout would be virtually unchanged from the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard seen today and would include the media keys absent from today's MacBooks. There may also be "something strange" about the touchpad, though details are forthcoming, the report alleges.
Microsoft may ultimately have developed an edge for its Zune media player that takes better advantage of its wireless networking than even Apple, according to a recently published patent filing. Dubbed "Automatic delivery of personalized content to a portable media player with feedback," the application would let users load playlists on a handheld that would intelligently queue downloads of tracks depending on the user's preferences. On a basic level, a device using the patent could collect the metadata from songs and notice which songs are played through to completion or skipped. This would automatically sync with a remote server that would push recommended songs to the playlist with each update, ensuring a constant rotation of new but welcome music on the player, according to Microsoft.
BenQ rounded out its week today by releasing the C840, an upgrade to its C740i introduced earlier this year. The updated compact point-and-shoot jumps from seven to eight megapixels and adds new support for SDHC cards, allowing the camera to store at least 4GB of photos or Motion JPEG video. Like its predecessor, the camera emphasizes widescreen shooting and optionally takes images in a 16:9 ratio that makes a better fit for HDTVs. Videos approach DVD resolution at 720x400 with 30 frames per second, BenQ says.
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