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The iPhone is currently the best-selling smartphone in Japan, at least at retail, according to a recent survey. Gathered by research firm BCN, data from 2,300 stores shows the 8GB iPhone 3G as the most popular smartphone, followed by its 16GB sibling. Ranking third in the survey is the NTT DoCoMo Aquos SH-04A, designed by Sharp; RIM's BlackBerry Bold ranks sixth, and a full four slots in the list are occupied by devices from HTC.
Michael Arrington, the founder of tech blog TechCrunch, made good on his promise to create his own hardware company, with the launch of CrunchPad Inc. Based in Singapore, the firm will employ a total of 14 employees and its first and only product, the CrunchPad Internet tablet, is expected to be revealed at a press event scheduled for the end of July.
Nokia has recently announced the release of its latest version of its Ovi Maps software used in more than 40 of its GPS-enabled handsets. Now available for download, Ovi Maps 3.0 has a number of enhancements, including high resolution satellite and terrain maps in both 2D and 3D views, as well as 3D landmarks for more than 200 large cities. The latter allows users to view the virtual landmarks with fly-overs, fly-throughs, in a night view and by rotating and tilting the perspective. There is also a new Walk mode for navigating on foot, while the Drive mode provides speed limit information, location of speed cameras, real-time traffic and lane assistance.
Ahead of a scheduled UK launch event next week, Dutch wireless provider Hi has posted a product page on its website advertising the Palm Pre smartphone. Hi is a sub-brand of KPN, which has ties to Telefonica. As Telefonica runs UK carrier O2, which was reported to be the exclusive carrier of the Pre, the posting implies that Telefonica may have landed a multi-country deal. The product page reveals Hi will sell the Pre only subsidized with a contract.
EMTEC has recently showed off an upcoming nettop PC flying under the G-Box codename. The small form factor PC will be powered by the NVIDIA Ion platform that mates an Intel Atom CPU with the HD-capable graphics and system combo chipset. Despite this capability, there is a VGA output instead of HDMI, indicating the PC is aimed at a business environment, though a version with the video and sound signal port is expected to launch later on.
imeem is gradually building its own music store that may afford it independence from Apple's iTunes or Amazon MP3, an investigation has found. Normally, those buying permanent copies of music from the site must go through an Amazon or iTunes link and buy it off-site; quietly, however, the company has been adding direct-download MP3 purchases of its own for certain artists, such as Iron and Wine. The payment system is direct and uses either credit cards or PayPal.
Rather than allow a buyout of its assets, T-Mobile UK is hoping to strike a deal that would let it "swap" its British business for one in another country, sources have said on Friday. Company insiders have tipped off FT that T-Mobile may sell off its UK operations and that Vodafone Turkey would be the "ideal" candidate for the deal due to its second-place rank and relative subscriber base. No talks have been mentioned so far.
A leaked image and some scarce information indicates Canadian wireless provider Bell will soon get a new handset from Samsung, so for only known by its Link nickname. A low-quality cropped photo of the handset found in a Thursday MobileSyrup report suggests it will be a vertical QWERTY slider. Some are comparing it to a European Samsung model, the C6620.
Multiple leaks today indicate that Microsoft is set to declare Windows 7 complete in just 10 days. The software developer is now expected to produce a Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build of the operating system on July 13th and is likely timing the news for its Worldwide Partner Conference the same day in New Orleans, which would let it hand companies a finished copy. The RTM version will be what ships to PC builders and retail when the software ships on October 22nd.
NVIDIA on Friday has purportedly denied recent claims of a conflict with Apple. Insiders believed close to NVIDIA claim that the two are still "just fine" and that the graphics company's chief Jen-Hsun Huang is personally happy with the current situation. Apple is still understood to be ordering chipsets as usual.
A sequel to the year-old Samsung Glyde has been found in a leak posted by a HowardForums user. Known also as the U960, the new phone is considerably sleeker than the outgoing model but adds a significantly expanded screen and a fourth row to the keyboard. Similarly, it also upgrades the software with Samsung's in-house TouchWiz interface and carries an accelerometer to tilt the interface on its side.
Demand for notebook hard drives should lead to a shortage of disks throughout much of the summer, integrated circuit producers GMI Technology and Weikeng Industrial warned on Friday. As sales agents for hard drives from Hitachi, Toshiba and Western Digital, they tell DigiTimes that their clients hadn't anticipated demand and didn't adjust until it was too late. Hitachi and Western Digital were fiscally conservative due to the economy and didn't expand until early spring, while Toshiba is simply seeing very high demand for a single-platter 250GB drive.
Hasselblad took steps to drive more of its medium-format camera users to digital today by adding the CFV-39. The digital back adds a 39-megapixel sensor to any of the company's V System film cameras and brings them up to similar features found in the H3DII line. Upgraders can shoot either to CompactFlash or to a Mac or PC using FireWire tethering, and also have the same ISO 50-800 sensitivity as one of Hasselblad's fully integrated digital cameras.
Only Windows PCs may be required to carry China's controversial Green Dam Youth Escort content filtering app, computer makers said on Friday. Although the government officially requires every computer sold in the country to have the software included, any system that can't install Green Dam, including any of Apple's computers or Linux PCs, doesn't have to bundle it. The exemption also applies to any computer that doesn't meet the "technical requirements" for an install, according to one anonymous PC vendor.
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