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Qualcomm and Freescale, who build ARM-based platforms, are expected to demonstrate netbooks using their products at the Computex Taipei expo in June, DigiTimes reported on Thursday, citing sources at netbook makers. The show will reportedly see the debut of a Pegatron netbook running on Freescale's i.MX51 CPU on ARM's Coretex A8 mainboard as well as a Wistron model with a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU.
A Friday afternoon posting on Engadget is claiming to have the release dates for a number of handsets from various manufacturers coming to wireless provider AT&T. While the dates are tentative, they reveal the first new handset to come to AT&T is most likely the Nokia E71x smartphone, a variant of the stock smartphone due to come to stores on March 24th.
Korea's iRiver has launched its latest portable media player, the D31. Part of its Dicple Series, the device sports a 4.3-inch LCD touchscreen with 480x272 resolution and is available in two models. The first has a DMB tuner for picking up digital video signals along with 4GB of built-in memory, while an Edu version trades the tuner for another 4GB of memory, for a total of 8GB. A microSD memory card slot lets user expand storage, while a USB 2.0 connection lets them sync it with their home PCs.
In Europe on Friday, Toshiba released a pair of Wi-Fi-capable digital photo frames as part of its new JournE Air range. The JournE Air 1000 is the flagship, offering a 10-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio LCD-backlit screen with 1GB of internal memory and a memory card slot for expansion. It also has a pair of 0.5W speakers and an online connection for playing Internet radio stations with 50 presets for SHOUTcast MP3 streams. A touch sensor replaces old-fashioned buttons for a clean design, or users can use the standard infrared remote control.
AT&T and its 112,500-strong labor force, the country's biggest unionized group part of the Communications Workers of America, are in negotiations over six new regional contracts. The telecommunications company is hoping to take advantage of the current economic conditions to reduce its health care costs, says a Friday report and because of this, UBS analyst John Hodulik predicts a strike by the union workers after talking to AT&T management, pointing to a successful four-day strike by the employees during the last re-negotiation five years ago. This time around, a different outcome is predicted as workers fear for their jobs. Earlier this month, the CWA and AT&T avoided a strike over pay, working conditions and other issues that could have seen 20,000 employees walk off their jobs.
Unnamed sources are saying flash memory maker SanDisk is again the prospect of a possible takeover by Samsung or Toshiba. The rumors come from a Friday EETimes report and have both Samsung and Toshiba making simultaneous bids for the flash memory maker. Last year, Korea's Samsung launched a hostile takeover bid for SanDisk, but the talks ended without an agreement. Toshiba is already working with SanDisk on flash storage and bought shares in SanDisk last year.
Toshiba is developing technology to integrate into its future TVs and DVD players that would boost the quality of YouTube videos, says Pocket-Lint. The Friday news comes from Toshiba UK head Andy Bass, who got a sneak peek at the technology on a Toshiba TV while in Japan and spoke to a group of journalists at the company's spring launch event in Weybridge.
CyberPower on Friday launched a duo of game PCs that all center on bundled GeForce 3D Vision glasses and Samsung's 120Hz, 22-inch 2233RZ LCD display needed to see the extra visual depth. They also both come with a GeForce GTS 250 video card that produces mid-range 3D capable of driving a stereoscopic 3D image.
Workers at a Sony manufacturing plant in France, which is due to close on April 17th, held Sony France president Serge Foucher overnight on Thursday against his will because they were not happy with their severance packages. Foucher was released on Friday morning, but escorted him straight to the negotiating table with trade union officials. The Pontonx-sur-l'Adour plant closure in southwest France, which has been making videotapes since 1984, is affected by Sony's December announcement that it would cut 16,000 jobs worldwide.
A user at the French forum Planete-se dedicated to Sony Ericsson products has posted photos and preliminary impressions of a new external speaker designed in part for the phone maker's just-released W995 (pictured) and other Walkman-series phones. The MS-410 portable speaker system doubles as a stand for the handsets, to better aim the speakers at users. The user did report, however, that the prototype speaker system is still suffering from a few bugs, with the volume buttons doing nothing for the sound intensity but instead controlling tracks.
Monster Cable today pledged new versions of its headphones that would support the third-generation iPod shuffle. The company's existing Beats and Turbine headphones, as well as unspecified new models, will all get an in-line control to navigate tracks as well as to trigger VoiceOver. An adapter is also planned to let any headphone from any company share the same features.
Palm's designs for the Pre and webOS have spurred RBC analyst Mike Abramsky today to upgrade his rating of Palm's stock, indicating that the smartphone creator may be a takeover target due to its appeal versus the iPhone. He now expects Palm to outperform market expectations and specifically cites the Pre's hardware and software advantages as potentially leading other companies to consider a buyout. Estimates would put the company's worth at about $15 to $16 per share, or about twice the going rate for Palm's stock.
China's TESO has recently introduced a 12.1-inch notebook that mimics the styling, if not the performance, of the Apple MacBook Air. The portable PC has more cooling vents than the real deal, though processing power comes from an Intel Atom processor and 1GB of RAM. Storage is likely in the form of a 250GB hard drive. The operating system for the computer is not known, though the expected basement-level price excludes the possibility of a Windows OS and most likely points to Linux.
Bell may refuse to upgrade to next-generation networks if the Canadian government does not concede to demands, a statement from the company proposes. The country's telecommunications regulator, the CRTC, recently issued a ruling that would require the company to open up its next-generation networks to competitors. Bell is only one of two national Internet service providers in Canada however, and would likely gain no more than diminished profits if forced to cope with competition.
US Cellular's owner TDS is being pushed to sell the company to a major carrier, multiple sources have said to Reuters. Shareholder groups like Gamco Investors and Southeastern Asset Management are both claimed to be pressuring TDS to open itself to deals in the face of crumbling market share and a likely inability to upgrade its network beyond its current 3G speeds. The two financiers combined hold nearly 30 percent of TDS' stock and so may lead a proxy war to force management to strike a deal.
Analyst Mike Burton of ThinkEquity warned on Friday that Research in Motion is likely to suffer on the verge of a likely price war. Advising investors to sell their stock, Burton understands that carriers and competition are pushing even high-end phone makers like RIM, Apple and HTC to drop the prices on their phones and that RIM's BlackBerries are likely to struggle without significant price cuts. Although the Canadian phone maker already has budget models as well as premium devices, these weren't considered enough.
HTC's Maple could not only get an early debut but could become ubiquitous in the US, a leak from the Economic Daily News says. The newspaper believes the Windows Mobile smartphone will be launched at next month's CTIA phone expo and that HTC is discussing bringing the phone to at least four unnamed US carriers. Such a deal would likely mean both CDMA and GSM versions of the phone available in the country.
Samsung UK on Friday announced the upcoming release of a new candybar handset, the Lucido. The name translates to "sleek" from Italian, and the slim, 0.46-inch (11.8mm) thick body is covered in brushed aluminum. The set's standout features include a 2.2-inch AMOLED screen that produces richer colors, an assisted GPS sensor that uses Google Maps, and 3G network support over HSPA for fast downloads and web browsing.
V-MODA on Friday acted quickly to support Apple's third-generation iPod shuffle by revealing a new line in the works to support the new player. The Audio Visual Control (AVC) series will add in-line control for the play, skip, volume and VoiceOver features of the player while improving the audio quality and, reportedly, the style versus Apple's pack-in earbuds. It should also work with other late 2008 iPods as well as unibody MacBooks.
The Symbian Foundation late Thursday outlined a release schedule for its core mobile OS that should impact its future. Each version will take just six months between being feature-complete and being "hardened," or brought to a reliable and finished state. Releases will overlap such that a substantially new version of Symbian will always be available in similar intervals for the public.
Virgin Mobile has without fanfare added a pair of Kyocera phones to its roster. Of the two, the X-tc is the most advanced and has a lateral, slide-out QWERTY keyboard for heavy-duty IM and SMS messaging. It also brings features that are still less common on Virgin phones, like a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth with stereo audio, dedicated music controls and microSD storage. It should be available today and sell for $99 prepaid.
After avoiding declaring bankruptcy last month, Sirius XM has announced plan to stream its subscription radio service to the iPhone and iPod touch this spring as part of the company's latest fiscal results conference call. The new app will let either Apple device receive Sirius or XM stations over their Internet connections without requiring a separate radio. Currently, Sirius has roughly 19 million subscribers, an improvement of about 10 percent from last year, but is being significantly slowed by plunging car sales and the absence of radios.
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