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HP on Thursday announced it is now offering the Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam edition netbook, which has been originally introduced as a concept. As the name implies, the 10.2-inch, 1024x600 LCD netbook's exterior was penned by clothing designer Vivienne Tam. Going on sale as promised earlier, the netbook sports Intel's 1.6GHz Atom CPU and 1GB of RAM. At the same time, buyers will have the option to outfit any Mini 1000 netbooks with a 3G broadband modules from HP, with the service provided by either AT&T or Verizon.
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has announced it will introduce two new Bluetooth standards, called 10x and 100x, by the middle of 2009, according to a Thursday report. The former, 10x, will work together with WLAN for faster data transfer rates, while Bluetooth 100x will have use USB-like speeds, although without wires. Currently, Bluetooth 2.0 is capable of a maximum of 3Mbps. The new 10x standard should increase that cap to 30Mbps, while the 100x, as the name implies, up to at least 300Mbps.
Coby Electronics is planning on introducing the first sub-$100 netbook by March of next year, according to a Tuesday report. The appropriately named Midget PC will initially include models with 7- and 9-inch screens and be capable of performing 90 percent of consumer applications and have pre-loaded drivers for all major brands of printers and other peripherals, says Bob Gee, Coby's marketing director.
The launch of the BlackBerry Storm for Bell and Telus may be delayed to where at least one of the Canadian providers misses the holidays, a set of BGR tips as well as information given to Electronista suggests. The former reports that Bell employees have been asked to remove promo material for the Storm from stores and are being asked to suggest alternative devices, with a delay possibly pushing the touchscreen BlackBerry far enough into the future that employees are being told to stop adding to wait lists and that they may have to offer interim solutions.
Sony Ericsson will start off 2009 with a new mid-range Cyber-shot phone, a new leak from SEMC says. Nicknamed the "Kate," the C510 should adopt the familiar candybar form factor but carry a 3.2-megapixel camera and the features of newer Sony Ericsson camera phones, including face and smile detection as well as a camera-friendly interface. Autofocusing and basic flash would also give it better image quality in less than ideal conditions.
SanDisk today reached out to the smaller but growing base of Macs in business with an updated version of the Cruzer Enterprise. The USB drive's 256-bit AES encryption now works with Mac OS X Tiger or Leopard and lets these Mac owners access the locked-down portion of the storage and manage passwords without using a Windows PC. Adding support now lets Mac users bring their drives to Windows PCs, or vice versa, without having to either disable security or use insecure drives, SanDisk claims.
Nokia announced on Thursday that it has renewed its patent license agreement with Research In Motion (RIM). Under the multi-year patent deal, Nokia will receive money from RIM for the global use of patented technologies used in GSM, WCDMA (3G) and CDMA2000 voice networks. While no numbers were released, Nokia will receive an up-front payment as well as regularly-scheduled royalties from RIM.
Chipmaker AMD on Thursday announced that it expects revenue for its fourth quarter of 2008, ending on December 27th, to be about 25 percent lower than those from the third quarter, or about $1.2 billion. The new forecast does not include revenue from AMD's process technology licenses and stems from lower than expected demand around the world, but particularly in the consumer business, according to the company.
Korea's TG Sambo, more commonly known in North America as Averatec, has announced what should be the first Atom-based mobile Internet device (MID) to be produced within the country. The Lluon Mobbit relies on a 1.33GHz Atom processor, paired with 1GB of 533MHz RAM and a choice of 30GB hard drive or 16GB solid-state drive. A 4.8-inch touchscreen on the device is said to support extremely high resolutions, possibly as sharp as 1024x6000.
iLuv has recently introduced its iNT170 Internet radio with a built-in dual alarm clock. The iNT170 features a large LCD display for browsing more than 15,000 Internet radio stations and podcasts from around the world. The iNT170 presumably connects to the Internet via an Ethernet jack, and it is not specified whether or not a Wi-Fi module is included for a wireless connection option. Apart from web radio, an FM tuner adds to the iNT170's capabilities. Either tuner has 20 presets for saving favorite stations.
Boxee has released an updated alpha version of its media player software adding support for the Watch Instantly video streaming feature from Netflix as well as MTV music videos, the WB network and photos from the Boston Globe. The move comes two weeks after the startup secured its first round of venture capital funding, hoping to license the XBMC-based software for use in set-top boxes and other devices.
AT&T today announced one of the larger job cuts in the midst of the US recession and said it would drop 12,000 employees, or about 4 percent of its total worker base. The effort is attributed both to the poor economy as well as to a "changing business mix" that has left its traditional landline service in decline. Much of that business is shifting towards cellphones and other wireless services, the company says. It also plans to reduce its overall capital spending at the same time but won't have details until January.
Sanyo's R227 Internet radio, announced to ship at the end of October in Canada, will soon be available for US customers, the company announced on Thursday. The R227 connects to the Internet via its Wi-Fi module or a wired Ethernet connection and allows users to search for Internet radio stations from around the world by country or genre. There are no fees associated with accessing the stations. The R227 can access secured wireless networks via a key entry interface.
Relatively small-scale electronics maker Kogan today revealed it would be the second company after HTC to ship phones based on Google's Android platform. The Agora and Agora Pro both use the open-source operating system to give the phone a full HTML web browser, a media player, and access to Google-specific services like Google Maps and Gmail without the cost and performance overhead of rivals like Windows Mobile.
Apple's lone cellphone product line is already outselling the entire range of Windows Mobile devices worldwide, according to new Gartner data. The launch of iPhone 3G in the summer was enough to push Apple to 12.9 percent market share and was enough to unseat Windows Mobile both within the US and internationally. The company now holds third place in the world and is reportedly helped by Windows Mobile's comparatively poor user interface, which has hurt not only sales of the Microsoft-driven hardware but also the library of third-party apps.
Haier on Thursday has quietly released the second generation of its Internet-capable portable media players. The ibiza Rhapsody Sport is ruggedized compared to the original player and has both a more easily gripped, rounded body as well as a weather-resistant covering that partly protects against rain or snow. The player continues to center on an 802.11g Wi-Fi link that lets it download podcasts, download unlimited songs over Real's Rhapsody to Go service, stream videos from AOL and check specific news feeds.
Apple has developed technology that would let an iPhone or similar device be controlled by hovering fingers nearby rather than just touches alone, a new US patent filing shows. The system would include the company's familiar capacitive touchscreen technology but would also introduce numerous infrared or similar sensors that can gauge the relative position of fingers, a whole hand or an outside object by measuring the differences in the light level at different points on the display.
WiebeTech has released two ToughTech mini pocket drive enclosures, both designed to fit 2.5-inch SATA drives. The aluminum housing is a scaled-down version of the larger ToughTech devices for 3.5-inch drives. ToughMount anti-shock protection is used to absorb shock and reduce noise. The mini enclosures feature the Oxford-924 chipset that is claimed to optimize data transfer speeds using either FireWire or USB 2.0 connections.
Nokia this morning sent notice that it was again issuing a warning and says that it will lower its estimates for both its own cellphone shipments as well as the larger industry for the fall. The company had previously recorded a drop to 38 percent share for its summer quarter but now says there is "insufficient visibility" for it to say whether its market share will increase or even remain flat over the three-month span between October and December, suggesting the possibility that its market share will drop again.
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