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Notebook sales have exceeded desktops for the first time ever in the third quarter, according to research by iSuppli. Notebook shipments exploded by almost 40 percent to 38.6 million devices, while desktop distribution fell 1.3 percent to 38.5 million. Despite the feeble economy, the research group raised its overall yearly growth forecast for PC units from 12.5 percent to 13 percent. Shipments of combined computers gained 15.4 percent for the quarter, totaling 79 million devices.
Audioengine has released the W2, a wireless adapter the iPod that transmits sound from the media player to a stereo system. The company claims that the all-digital PCM signal does not reduce the audio quality. A sending unit is attached to the dock connector, while the receiver is directly connected to the amplification equipment. Wi-Fi technology is utilized instead of Bluetooth or FM, working on the 2.4GHz band and claimed to offer a range of 30 feet. The circuitry automatically splits the band into 40 subchannels and works to constantly stay on the clearest frequency.
RockridgeSound has introduced the ISR-VT02 iPod dock/music player/AM-FM tuner that relies on a vacuum tube amplifier as opposed to transistors to power its speakers which deliver a softer, richer sound. Based on the old VTS-384 which also had a vacuum amp, the ISR-VT02 is basically a scaled-down version of the older dock. A two-stage 12AX7 (ECC83) amplifier provides each of the two 3.15-inch speakers with 12W of power.
Focal of Japan has just announced the release of two new waterproof speaker enclosures in its AquaTune series made to work with Apple's iPod personal music players. Both the AquaTune v2 and AquaTune nano 4G use clear, polycarbonate bodies with O-ring seals and are rated to keep the interiors free of water when submerged at up to 1 meter (~3.3 feet) for 30 minutes. The larger AquaTune v2 will accommodate Apple's fourth and fifth generation iPods, first through fourth-gen iPod nanos, iPod classic, first and second-gen iPod shuffle and the iPod mini with the use of an included spacer.
iGo, manufacturer of chargers for numerous devices, including notebooks and other portable consumer electronics, announced on Tuesday it will unveil seven new products at its first visit to the CES expo in January. Among the new product reveals will be the first green laptop charger that will use up 80 percent less standby power compared to standard power products. Also part of the Green Technology products, the iGo Surge Protector will be debuted, with eight outlets that have shut-off and recovery functions to reduce standby power. An iGo Wall Outlet with the same functions rounds out the new Green line of products.
A few leaked digital inventory screen images at an undisclosed Best Buy store location reveal that a couple of smartphones will soon be available at the chain store under the Sprint banner. The first is the Palm Treo Pro 850, which, according to the inventory photos, will retail for nearly $700, presumably not subsidized by a contract from Sprint. The Treo Pro 850 should feature built-in Wi-Fi connection, a GPS sensor, 320x320 resolution touchscreen, full QWERTY keyboard, as well as a 2-megapixel camera.
Earlier this summer, Korea's Viliv introduced a pair of personal electronics with the S7 UMPC and S5 Mobile Internet Device and today has been followed up with hard S5 specifications. It will be capable of decoding 1080p HD video and playing it back on its 4.8-inch touchscreen sourced from Samsung, with resolutions varying between 800x480 and 1024x600, depending on the particular model. Power will come from a 1.33GHz Intel Atom CPU along with 1GB or RAM, while the 6,200mAh battery is said to last at least 4.5 hours even when the device is playing back 1080p video.
Samsung is prepping the launch of the Anycall Origin flip phone in its home market of Korea. Pitched towards those who the company calls active seniors, the phone also known as the W690 features a large 2.6-inch Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED) LCD main screen which, compared to traditional LCDs, does not require a backlight, is more energy efficient, can be thinner and is better suited for quick motion thanks to its faster refresh rate.
Telus is finally receiving large quantities of its own version of the BlackBerry Storm, a tip to BGR indicates. The Canadian provider has reportedly received a "rather large" volume of the touchscreen smartphone which is said enough to stock the company's stores on a national level. Exact numbers aren't given but may be higher than the initial batch, which may have involved just 2,500 units for all of Canada.
Apple's cellphone line is now competing with digital SLRs for the most popular cameras used on Flickr, according to the photo site's Camera Finder. The site shows the iPhone's two-megapixel unit as responsible for roughly as many photos as Canon's EOS-40D and is near other considerably more expensive cameras in the ranks, such as Nikon's D80 and Canon's Digital Rebel XT. The iPhone is also unambiguously the most popular cellphone and maintains a very high lead over the next-best Nokia N95.
Large-scale electronics assembler Quanta is preparing to large numbers of a new iMac due early January, a report from the Taiwan-area Economic Daily News. Previously well-known for building a significant portion of Apple's computers, Quanta is allegedly set to produce a new iMac that would ship in large volumes starting in January; as many as 800,000 per month would ship during the first three months of the year, the newspaper claims.
An anonymous clone labeled the ePhone M8 has surfaced that provides a fairly accurate iPhone 3G clone until one peruses its specs. Notably absent are its inspiration's full touchscreen and 3G data network support features, with M8 owners having to make do with TV support and handwritten input capabilities. The 3.2-inch, 240x430 screen will play back 3GP- and MP4-format videos while its 1.3-megapixel camera will take photos and videos, unlike the iPhone's 2MP shooter. Also, users can send MMS messages. Storage is confined to a memory card slot, with a 1GB TransFlash (microSD equivalent) card included.
Over 1 million units of Nintendo's Wii console were sold in the US last week, figures from the tracking site VG Chartz indicate. The number is believed to be the highest one-week sales amount achieved by the console so far, easily beating the 535,806 Xbox 360s sold the same week, and a still lower 239,576 PlayStation 3s. Some 1,695,940 Wiis are believed to have been sold worldwide, though this number was eclipsed by the 1,929,713 units of Nintendo's DS handheld.
A new leak floated by Engadget has revealed both a new compact HP gaming PC as well as new technology by PC. Supporting hints by HP's Rahul Sood of a Voodoo-influenced new gaming PC, the Firebird 803 appears targeted at gamers who still hope to have relatively compact desktops and should provide gaming-level performance using a new low-power video array: the system will carry two previously unknown GeForce 9800S chips that take up less space and power than regular desktop chips but should perform better than mobile chips.
Despite a major shift from desktops towards notebooks in the summer, Apple slid slid significantly in its worldwide market share over the period, according to a new iSuppli study. The MacBook creator lost exactly a half percentage point of influence and dropped from 3.7 percent of the market in the spring to 3.2 percent the following season, leaving it at seventh place. Most incumbents were stable and saw HP lead world market share with 18.8 percent, or 14.9 million PCs; Dell claimed 13.9 percent, while Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba managed 12.2 percent, 7.5 percent and 4.6 percent each.
Distribution Video Audio, a Florida-based distributor of old, seemingly unwanted products such as unsold novels, forgotten fan boy memorabilia and, now, VHS tapes, has shipped the very last load of VHS tapes back in October. The format, which required VCRs to play and record, was first brought into homes with somewhat affordably-priced VCRs from a handful of manufacturers back in 1965. This marks the end of an era that allowed users to time-shift shows the old-fashioned way, by recording them to a video tape for watching later.
A new service promises to offer HD video streaming without the typical long buffering times for typical internet connections. Online movie provider FilmOn says it has implemented a new video compression technique known as HDi that reduces the normally very large footprint of HD videos to as little as 2Mbps. While not explaining how this is accomplished, the provider claims that "HD-quality" movies can play on typical broadband connections in real time rather than caching some of that data in advance.
VUDU has quietly introduced a major discount on its networked media hubs just ahead of Christmas. The company has cut the price of the VUDU Box in half to $150 and also provides $50 in credits to buy or rent movies and TV shows. A similar deal also provides a $200 wireless bundle that includes the hub as well as an 802.11.g Wi-Fi kit that bridges the media device to a home router. The hardware itself is the same and can play movies up to 1080p in its new HDX format and has 250GB of storage to hold as many as 50 movies in 480p.
Music labels should all but phase out CDs as a key source of income in as little as a year, analyst group Gartner says today in a new report. Research VP Mark McGuire argues that the shift towards direct online music downloads is now so well underway that the industry has little choice but to push the format heavily and that the market share for CDs is declining too quickly to ever properly recover. By trying to sustain the physical medium for so long, the industry has failed to give buyers a viable alternative to piracy and clung to dying technology at the same time, McGuire explains.
Intel has countered Apple's investment in Imagination Technologies with an increased stake of its own. The semiconductor maker says it has bought just over 6.9 million shares in Britain-based Imagination to gain a 3.04 percent stake in the company and warns in a required statement that it may respond to any bid to acquire the company with a counter offer of its own, though it adds that there is no immediate intention to launch a takeover itself.
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