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Verizon has disclosed a number of details regarding its upcoming app store, including plans to prohibit handset makers from shipping devices with their own app portals, according to GigaOM. The restrictions will prevent immediate access to the BlackBerry App World or Windows Mobile Marketplace, although users will be permitted to add the stores manually.
Lexmark has announced a new line of inkjet printers, with eight all-in-one devices to be released on September 1. The printers each integrate 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreens for "as needed" navigation. Graphical icons provide quick access to basic print, copy and scan functions. The printers also utilize Lexmark's new Vizix print technology, featuring separate ink tanks to improve printing speed and printing precision. The line boasts Wireless-N connectivity for customers needing a longer range and faster file-transfer rates.
Telus on Monday announced plans to launch the HTC Touch Pro2 and Snap smartphones later this month in the Canadian market, while customers can purchase the BlackBerry Tour beginning this week. The Touch Pro2 should arrive in the United States around the same time, with T-Mobile expected to release the device on July 22nd.
A Collins Stewart analyst believes Dell's rumored Android powered mobile device will be a cellphone after all and be launched in limited numbers via China Unicom. Ashok Kumar said he checked with electronics manufacturer Foxconn, which is said to be the contracted builder for the device. Kumar said other Chinese carriers passed on the Dell devices, which will reportedly run on ARM's Marvell processor.
Wireless provider Sprint is now offering the LG LX290 slider handset. The mid-grade offering has a 1.3-megapixel camera and can access Sprint's Navigation service for voice and on-screen driving directions. It offers dedicated shortcut buttons for access to a to texting, e-mail, calendaring and alarms.
A sequel to the Samsung Behold handset launched last November is coming to wireless provider T-Mobile, if the image of a leaked Wi-Fi Operability Certificate for the Behold2 t939 handset is to be believed. While not many specs of the new device are known, the touchscreen handset should retain or expand on the current T-Mobile Behold's features, including its 5-megapixel camera, 3G data network access, stereo Bluetooth support and music playback functionality. Considering the source of the leak, the device will also add Wi-Fi to its spec sheet.
LG Electronics announced on Monday it will launch an online applications store for mobile phones starting on Tuesday. The LG Application Store will offer about 1,400 apps in 15 languages and will expand to other markets before the end of 2009. The service will first hit Singapore, Malaysia and Australia before coming to Europe and South America sometime in 2009. Along with the market expansion, the number of available titles is also expected to grow to over 2,000. Just 100 of the early apps will be free.
RIM is developing a social network that would help surmount some of the weaknesses to its BlackBerry App World store, a late scoop suggests. Already in a dormant state, MyBlackBerry is seen by TechCrunch as catching up to the iPhone's App Store by letting the users share recommendations for apps outside of the store itself as well as other BlackBerry-related tips. The site should be device-savvy and tailor its content based on the model browsing the site.
The European Union's antitrust regulators have charged Philips Electronics, LG Display and a number of smaller, unnamed LCD makers with corroborating on fixing the price of LCD monitors, Philips announced on Monday. According to a Monday report, the EU antitrust regulators began their investigation in 2006, along with their US counterparts, and has now concluded that the involved firms knowingly kept pricing high. Philips said it would vigorously fight the accusation and claimed that it sold all of its shares in LG Display in March, eliminating possible incentives to illegally collaborate in the future.
Despite Microsoft's hopes for Windows 7, most companies are likely to pass on the system entirely, a study today suggests. Of the more than 1,000 companies involved in the ScriptLogic investigation, 60 percent say they have no plans to upgrade at all, while 34 percent don't expect to move on the platform until sometime in 2010. Only 5.4 percent actually plan to update in 2009.
Best Buy's in-house brand Insignia has recently released its first HD Radio device, the NS-HD01. The device picks up both analog and digital stations on the FM band and has 10 user-programmable presets. Power comes from a sealed lithium-ion battery that is recharged by a standard mini-USB connection and an included cable. On a full charge, the device is said to be good for 10 hours of playback, and the screen automatically dims to save energy.
Netbooks are growing in popularity so quickly that they could represent a quarter of all portables sold this year, the NPD Group's DisplaySearch predicted today. Although netbook shipments should almost exactly double their 2008 levels to about 32.7 million in 2009, the researchers sees the total notebook market actually dropping by 100,000 systems to 129.5 million. The inertia would leave netbooks consuming 25.3 percent of the entire portable business this year.
IronKey on Monday announced the upcoming release of its S200 USB drive, which is being touted by the company as the most secure device of its kind. The S200 is the only USB key to meet FIPS 140-2, Level 3 validation for cryptographic modules mandated by government agencies. Otherwise, the S200 sports the same tamper-resistant body, self-destruction circuitry and hardware-based AES-256 encryption as other IronKey drives. The 16GB key can be set to restrict networks, making its content inaccessible on uncontrolled computers.
Microsoft is preparing a new music streaming service, "similar in principle to Spotify," according to the company's executive MSN producer, Peter Bale. The Europe-only beta of Spotify revolves around a client application, which lets users stream virtually any track or album from the company's remote library. In the UK the service is £10 per month, or free with a minute of advertising interspersed every 30 minutes.
An Acer netbook with both Windows XP and Android, which gives users the option of booting into either operating system, is due to ship sometime this August, DigiTimes reported on Monday. First announced at the start of June, the netbook's main specs are unknown at this time, but prices aren't likely to be lower than Windows XP-exclusive netbooks, as Acer still needs to pay license fees for the Microsoft operating system.
Nike today upgraded its Nike+ running gear with a new SportBand and an extra feature for iPhone users. The tracking device for calories, distance and speed has a new background to be more easily readable on the run and is weather sealed to prevent it getting wet. It can work as a stand-alone device or as a supplement to an iPhone or iPod that saves having to look at Apple's players to check run information.
Intel's first mobile Nehalem processors, known under their Clarksfield codename, have had their launch date pushed to near the start of fall if a rumor proves true. Originally scheduled for the summer, the quad-core chips are now penned in for late September or early October. No reason has been given for the delay by the sources for DigiTimes, although the processors are known to consume large amounts of power.
Microsoft today used its Windows Partners Conference to expand the details of Office 2010, including its web version. Initially considered separate, Microsoft now says Office Web is a counterpart to 2010 but will make it freely available to anyone with a Windows Live account. It will also be free to use on the local network for companies that buy volume licenses of Office 2010, though companies that just want the web app component will also have the option of a subscription.
One of the pioneers of digital photography, Fujifilm will reportedly release the first 3D consumer digital camera later this year. First announced last summer, the camera uses two lenses, spaced out like human eyes, to capture two simultaneous images of the same scene from slightly different angles. A system called FinePix Real 3D will then combine the two images into one, with output options that will include a 3D digital picture frame or special 3D prints.
AT&T began its week early by launching the Nokia Surge, a unique handset just for the US carrier. The device is designed like a typical QWERTY slider messaging phone but runs on Symbian S60 and gets access to the full roster of smartphone-class apps as a result. It's pitched as a social networking device and comes with a JuiceCaster app for posting both updates and media to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and elsewhere.
BlackBerry handset maker Research in Motion (RIM) will reportedly launch an online music download service for BlackBerries in order to compete with competitors Apple and Nokia. The application will be a result of a partnership with a UK-based music website, 7Digital and, according to 7Digital's marketing manager Peter Davis, will be free to download. In a unique approach, the quality will change depending on the network: BlackBerry users on a 3G network will download lower bitrate AAC tracks to save time, but can immediately move to 320Kbps MP3 downloads when on Wi-Fi. A sync feature will also connect the phone to a computer over Wi-Fi to transfer without requiring a USB link.
A leaked video for the next Chocolate phone suggests that the device will not only be LG's first touchscreen Chocolate but also more explicitly tailored to fight the iPhone. Its centerpiece should be an unusual 4-inch, 800x345 display; it should not only play movies shot in a theater-native 21:9 aspect ratio at full resolution but also support multi-touch, including pinching to zoom in Google Maps and other key apps. The clip shows the familiar S-Class UI from newer LG phones but may have different interface elements than these devices, such as both Google Maps and the contact list.
A few months after acquiring SimpleTech, Hitachi has begun two portable hard drive lines under its own banner. The rugged SimpleTOUGH and the home-oriented SimpleDrive Mini lines are bus-powered, 2.5-inch USB 2.0 drives available in 250GB, 320GB and 500GB capacities. The SimpleTOUGH line uses a Hitachi TravelStar drive in a shock and water resistant housing with built-in storage for a ruggedized USB cable. Although the company says the drives can withstand a 3 meter drop, Hitachi claims models it tested survived drops of up to 30 feet and were driven over by a one-ton truck without damage. The TravelStar drive is shock-rated at 400G while operating and 1000G when idle.
Sony started its week today by introducing its largest ever Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo HX card. The 32GB card stores twice as much as Sony's previous best and is treated as a particularly ideal fit for the company's own Alpha DSLRs and its HD camcorders: the latter could hold about 3.75 hours of HD footage on a single card. As an HX card, it's also relatively quick with 15MB per second write speeds and 20MB reads.
Hitachi has released a compact adapter under its SimpleTech label that allows any USB hard drive, memory stick or SD card to become a network attached storage device. The SimpleNET USB/NAS adapter includes two USB ports and a 100Mbps Ethernet jack to bring external disks online. The device is Linux-based and does not require reformatting of USB drives. Any USB-based storage device will work with the adapter, but printers are not supported. Hitachi says the adapter works with most networkable backup clients, including Apple's Time Machine.
Rumors of a touchscreen Apple netbook gained fuel on Monday with a claim by China's InfoTimes that supposedly confirms launch details. Backing earlier claims, the site says the system will use a 9.7-inch touchscreen supplied by Wintek and is due to ship in October. Apple is expected to avoid competing directly with regular, sub-$500 netbooks and may use the touchscreen and other features to bring the price closer to $800, much like the Sony VAIO P.
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