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Everex today unveiled the CloudBook Max, an update to its ultraportable that adds, among other things, WiMAX compatibility for Sprint's XOHMwireless network. The new CloudBook Max features a 8.9-inch screen, displaying at a resolution of 1024 by 600, and is powered by a VIA C7-M ULV processor at 1.6GHz. A VIA VX800 IGP chipset provides video playback and acceleration. Everex estimates it will release the CloudBook Max in a year.
Dell on Tuesady announced that it has plans to cut atleast 8,800 jobs as part of a three-year plan to cut costs by more than $3 billion. On Tuesday, the second-largest PC vendor said that the Texas-based company would reduce product costs across all areas, including design, manufacturing and logistics, materials and components, and operating expenses. It also said it would close its desktop manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas as it sees trends in consumer buying shifting to notebooks and an assessment in its "global manufacturing and logistics network." The shifting trend towards mobile computing was echoed by research firm Gartner, which last week predicted that that shipments of computers will grow a healthy amount in 2008 but would largely driven by less expensive and more flexible portables.
Micron Technology today unveiled 4GB DDR3 SO-DIMM modules, and announced its previously released 512MB, 1GB, and 2GB DDR3 modules are fully certified to work with Intel's upcoming Centrino 2 platform. The memory, rated at 1333MHz, requires a 64-bit aware operating system, such as Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, or a 64-bit version of Windows XP or Vista. The 512MB, 1GB, and 2GB modules are currently in production, with 4GB modules following later in Q2 2008.
HTC today said it would its Touch DUAL smartphone to the US, signaling the first change to the phone in the country since the original Touch. The Americanized slider will be HTC's first confirmed phone for the country to use Windows Mobile 6.1 out of the box, providing the improved navigation and (in summer) web browsing without the need for a software patch. Typing will also be easier, HTC promises: versions will be available both with a conventional keypad and with double-letter buttons similar to RIM's SureType keypads on the BlackBerry Pearl line.
Sprint has announced that two Sanyo phones, the Pro-200 and Pro-700, will be hosted on its network later this month. The pair are notable mainly for combining both push-to-talk access and Mobile Broadband, two options Sprint rarely combines. In particular they have support for EVDO Rev. A, which delivers faster speeds than conventional EVDO. The Pro-200 is basic clamshell, with Bluetooth abilities and support for e-mail and text messaging.
Microsoft's Office Open XML open format for electronic documents has been voted in as a global industry standard by the ISO and IEC, the software company said on Tuesday. The decision, to be officially announced on Wednesday, has been over 14 months in the making. Last September, the standardization was rejected as the format did not receive the required two-thirds of votes from participating national body members of the ISO, but a second ballot that closed on Saturday netted a 75 percent majority in favor.
NVIDIA today marked the formal release of the GeForce 9800 GTX. As a counterpart to the dual-chip 9800 GX2, the GTX is NVIDIA's fastest-ever single processor video card and is core-clocked at 675MHz, well above the 612MHz of the 8800 Ultra, despite sharing the same 128 shader units to process pixels and geometry. Its only sacrifice is a switch from the 768MB of the Ultra to 512MB on the 9800-series card, though a faster 2.2GHz effective memory clock and optimizations to the chip itself are claimed to offset the difference.
Microsoft is extremely confident that Apple will not catch up to it in smartphone sales, noting that it had shifted more licenses of Windows Mobile than both Apple and RIM combined in the past year. According to Pocket-lint.co.uk, the announcement came as part of an interview with group product manager for Microsoft's mobile communications department Scott Rockfield when asked about how the company expects to keep ahead of competitors.
The CEO of Sprint has remained mute on the subject of a merged WiMAX network, despite expectations, Reuters notes. Some media outlets had speculated that Dan Hesse would use this week's CTIA Wireless conference to announce a completed deal with Clearwire, but no mention of this was made during a keynote speech. A few outlets had also proposed that Hesse would reveal funding deals with the likes of Intel, Google, Comcast and Time Warner.
Continuing its spate of releases at CTIA, Sprint today revealed its own version of the BlackBerry Curve 8330. Like the Verizon model introduced just a day ago, the 8330 is the first Curve for CDMA phone networks and adds both 3G Internet access over EVDO as well as true GPS navigation; an externally-reached microSDHC slot and a sharper 2-megapixel camera port over from the GSM version. In Sprint guise, the new Curve switches to a gunmetal gray and also supports USB tethering to supply Internet access to a notebook.
A neophyte cellphone maker, Velocity Mobile, has announced its first-ever Windows Mobile phones. Each of the two use the newly-unveiled Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, and are quad-band GSM/EDGE phones with access to HSPA 3G broadband. Both are also equipped with 128MB of RAM and 256 of ROM, and wireless technologies including GPS, Bluetooth 2.0, and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi receivers. To complement this, the phones have two-megapixel still and 0.3-megapixel video-call cameras, with support for extended storage on microSD cards.
With its phone mentioned only briefly by AT&T and Rogers, LG today formally revealed details of the Vu. The handset is AT&T's first full-touchscreen phone since the iPhone and makes its selling point its mobile TV feature; AT&T subscribers with a Mobile TV plan can view live, over-the-air TV anywhere coverage is available. It also delivers 3G access with up to 1.4Mbps download speeds in the real world on AT&T's HSPA network.
Nokia today formally unveiled the first-ever device set to work with Sprint's upcoming Xohm WiMAX network. The N810 WiMAX Edition switches to a black design both to match newer phones like the N96 but also to signal the addition of 4G Internet access to the device. Where the original N810 was limited to Wi-Fi, the new version can connect from anywhere Sprint (or other WiMAX providers) offers its coverage; on the American network, users can realistically expect between 2Mbps and 4Mbps downstream and up to 10Mbps in ideal conditions, even when 3 miles away from a tower.
Microsoft today ended months of speculation and formally introduced Windows Mobile 6.1, its first concerted effort to improve the handheld OS beyond e-mail and Office support. The new version centers around the home screen and makes much more information accessible from the top level. A new sliding panel home screen interface lets users quickly scroll through calendars, notices, and media; for the first time, Windows Mobile users can perform basic music functions through the home screen.
The competition between smartphones in the US has effectively devolved into a race between Apple and Research in Motion, a new ChangeWave survey suggests. A March poll of over 3,500 shoppers indicates that while the marketshare of RIM's BlackBerry phones has slid 1 percent since January, it still maintains an overwhelming dominance at a total of 42 percent. Apple's iPhone, meanwhile, has flourished since its June 2007 debut to occupy 9 percent of the market. Treo maker Palm occupies second place at 16 percent, but has been in a continual decline since June of 2006, plummeting from a once-leading position of 36 percent.
Sprint today issued a challenge to the iPhone with the launch of the Samsung Instinct [link active soon]. The handset known internally as the M800 is not only the carrier's first home-focused phone to rely almost exclusively on a touchscreen but is also the first home phone from Sprint to run on faster EVDO Revision A networks: in real-world situations, the phone can download at up to 1.4Mbps and upload at up to 500Kbps. The extra speed both allows for quicker web browsing and uploading as well as improved access to Sprint's streaming Internet radio and video services.
The release of Apple's iPhone has helped to buoy the smartphone market in general, analysts pointed out at yesterday's Smartphone Summit in Las Vegas. Mark Donovan of M:Metrics observed that the number of American with smartphones doubled last year, reaching 14.6 million. This is notable not just because of previously lackluster sales, according to Donovan, but because it represents a faster growth rate than that for cellphones overall. As a gauge of the iPhone's influence, it is remarked that although 188 million Symbian phones have been sold since the OS' birth in 1999, Apple managed to sell 3.7 million iPhones in the space of six months during 2007.
Toshiba on Tuesday completely overhauled the look of its Satellite notebooks with four new systems, as well as an old-look 17-inch model. Following a similar update in Europe, the company has changed from its longstanding silver-and-gray to a new subtler look. Referred to as Horizon, the design both adds an imprint design as well as a completely flush trackpad and a much subtler glossy, dark gray finish. It also adds touch-sensitive CD and DVD movie playback controls similar to recent HP systems.
Plantronics on Tuesday unveiled the Discovery 925 Bluetooth headset at the CTIA Wireless show in Las Vegas. With the new 925 line, Plantronics hopes to appeal to style-conscious men and women. Noteworthy features include AudioIQ, a noise reduction technology, as well as a carrying case that charges the headset.
Novatel used the occasion of the CTIA show to upgrade its Ovation line with a pair of USB modems capable of 3G-grade Internet access in most parts of the world and on nearly any computer, including the MacBook Air. Both the MC990D and the North America-minded MC992D connect to the fastest HSPA networks in the world and download at up to 7.2Mbps while uploading at up to 5.76Mbps in peak conditions. The MC990D is tuned primarily for the 900MHz and 2100MHz bands used by Europe and most parts of the world, while the MC992D is more receptive for AT&T, Fido, and Rogers in North America.
BenQ on Friday revealed details of its super-slim T60, measuring just over a third of an inch (8.9mm) thick and packing a 2.2-inch 320x240 resolution LCD screen along with a 3.2-megapixel camera. Software includes a caller black list function that screens out user-selected numbers. BenQ is pitching the GSM phone as a high-quality fashion accessory akin to fountain pens and money clips.
Motorola today continued its wave of CTIA-related announcements with two audio accessories. The H690 (shown) is an upgrade to its H680 Bluetooth earpiece that adds active noise reduction techniques: a combination of dual microphones and echo-reducing software should deliver a much cleaner sound for call recipients, Motorola says. A redesigned earbud is also claimed to be more comfortable on the H690. Battery life is rated at 5.5 hours of continuous talk on the headset, which ships during the spring.
GN on Tuesday announced its newest Jabra headset, the BT4010, which is a Bluetooth headset with an integrated LCD display. What the company calls a Smart Display, the small LCD provides information on the headset's battery charge level as well as connection and call status. In addition, the BT4010 has an auto-pairing feature via its Bluetooth 2.0+ EDR specification.
Helping start the CTIA phone expo, Kyocera today introduced three phones all intended for CDMA phone networks such as those offered by Sprint and Verizon. The Neo E1100 (pictured) is the company's latest effort in designing a fashion phone and includes a completely smooth outer shell with only a blue, illuminated strip of light and a 1.3-megapixel camera breaking up the outer design; a small, hidden display lights up to reveal inbound calls. The handset also features a notebook-like hinge that allows the display to pivot back more than on some flip phones.
Best known in the Americas for producing add-in optical drives, Lite-On is building Blu-ray drives for Microsoft's Xbox 360, according to claims made within the storage industry. The firm is reportedly assembling read-only drives that would ship in the second half of this year and would allegedly be used for the next version of the Xbox 360 itself rather than a USB add-on, as was the case for the now defunct HD DVD drive. The reasons behind the decision are unclear, though the move is likely necessary to ensure native 1080p output for Blu-ray movies, as USB may affect the likelihood of support for the HDCP encryption needed to play back some titles at full quality.
Microsoft has no intention to raise its bid for Yahoo past the original offer, say sources speaking with the Wall Street Journal. The Windows developer reportedly knows that it can afford to wait for Yahoo and that there is no incentive to spend more than the original $31 per share, which at the time of the original bid amounted to $44.6 billion. Without any imminent rival offers for Yahoo, Microsoft believes Yahoo will have little choice but to accept original terms.
T-Mobile on Tuesday morning became the second carrier in North America after AT&T to carry the BlackBerry Pearl 8120. In its new trim, the phone's distinctive Wi-Fi is used to support T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home and potentially saves money on calling; users can place calls for free from any Wi-Fi hotspot, including any official T-Mobile location. The phone adds all the improvements that come along with the upgraded Pearl, including the 2-megapixel camera, externally accessible microSDHC card slot, a full-size headphone jack, and better construction.
(Updated with official photos) As revealed late last week, AT&T today began offering the MOTO Z9. The handset is Motorola's slider equivalent to the RAZR2 V9 and shares most of the features of the flip phone, including its access to the carrier's HSPA-based 3G data network. AT&T notes that the Z9 is the first of its phones to support AT&T Navigator, a rebranded version of TeleNav that offers assisted GPS for driving directions. The faster data access also allows access to streaming Internet music and videos.
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