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Verizon is accelerating the launch of its 4G network for an unknown purpose that might involve Apple, a leak maintains. Although the provider has officially postponed its Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G network to the second half of 2010, a purported veteran source of TechCrunch now says the network build out is being accelerated with an early 2010 release once again in mind. The accelerated schedule supposedly involves at least one "non-dongle" device, most likely meaning a handheld.
JVC has announced the upcoming release of two mini-systems, the NX-TC3 and NX-TC5. Both sport a 4.3-inch touchscreen, which can display photos or videos from a connected USB thumb drive. Each is also equipped with an iPod dock, a CD player and an AM/FM tuner, supplemented by 512MB of internal memory, to which music can be ripped. Only the TC5 can rip music to an external USB device however, or load MiniDiscs.
At the TED Global Conference in Oxford, UK wrapping up today, US-based WiTricity showed off a wireless charging system that powered up a T-Mobile G1, Apple's iPhone and a flat screen TV. Such a system could eventually replace the current infrastructure that involves countless miles of power cable and disposable alkaline batteries. According to a recent BBC report, the system is based on research by a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Marin Soljacic. It uses low frequency electromagnetic wave resonance to transfer the energy from the source to the device via a coil at each end.
Toshiba recently announced it will soon offer an LCD HDTV meant to fit into a kitchen environment with the first product in its Stainless Steel series, the 18.5-inch 19LV612U (PDF). The 720p set sports a built-in, side-slot DVD player and ATSC/NTSC/QAM TV tuner. The DVD player is compatible with DiVX formats as well as MP3 and WMA playback. Users can connect their PCs or other outside sources thanks to an HDMI or VGA input.
Speaking at the Fortune's Brainstorm: Tech conference on Friday, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said he was glad the provider waited until the second version of Google's Android operating system.
An unofficial company document claims Canadian wireless provider Bell will be the exclusive provider of the Palm Pre handset in Canada for six months. Bell is also said to be the second provider anywhere to offer the handset, after Sprint added the Pre in June. While it's not clear when the six-month countdown begins, it is likely that Bell subsidiary Telus will be the second Canadian provider to get the device.
A Samsung spokesperson on Friday confirmed the company is the one who was rumored to be among five top handset makers developing a handset powered by NVIDIA's Tegra processor. The chipset, which would allow HD graphics playback from the handset whether it's from movies or video games, is also linked to the upcoming Zune HD from Microsoft. As in the earlier report, the handset is most likely to debut at AT&T or T-Mobile, and be priced at around $200.
On Friday, Nokia today said it would acquire cellity, a private software company in Germany that specializes in bringing social networking to cellphones. When the deal is finalized, cellity and its services will shut down and its 14 employees will be absorbed into Nokia. The move is seen as key in Nokia's attempt to offer improved social networking services.
Microsoft this afternoon hoped to settle the European Commission's antitrust case over unfair web browser bundling by promising to give users a choice of web browsers when Windows 7 ships in October. The proposal mimics the EC's solution and would provide a "ballot" that lets first-time users choose from one of multiple browsers, all of which would be pre-loaded in Windows. As before, users could also download other browsers and set them as the default.
The world cellphone market is shifting in a way that could permanently change the market in the next year, according to ABI Research. In spite of Research in Motion's strong fiscal quarter, estimates now suggest that its market share for spring has suffered from "contractions" along with companies that have been losing share for months, such as Motorola and Sony Ericsson. By comparison, Apple's 5.2 million iPhones have contributed to the company "making headway" with 1.93 percent share along with relatively small smartphone producers like HTC.
GlobalFoundries on Friday began building a new factory dedicated to making more advanced processors. The Saratoga County, New York-based Fab 2 plant is due to be completely ready by 2012 and will make processors on processes current by the time the factory opens. Initial chips will be made using a 28 nanometer (nm) process and should shrink quickly to 22nm once its production is completely ready. The plant should be ready on a basic level by 2011 and could start its earliest production ahead of time.
An unofficial photo of HP's iPAQ K3 Obsidian smartphone complete with AT&T logo has surfaced, all but confirming an earlier leak that had the handset due at the American carrier. The QWERTY handset bears a resemblance to traditional BlackBerry devices, and otherwise sports a 2.43-inch AMOLED touchscreen and is preloaded with Windows Mobile 6.5. There is also a 3.2-megapixel camera, tri-band 3G UMTS/HSDPA network support, a Wi-Fi connection and GPS.
A long-rumored Apple tablet is heading towards a 2010 launch, a new report claims. The system is noted to have been in development for over four years already, but may now have a firm release date in the first quarter of next year. The problem has allegedly been the close interest of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who is said to have ordered the project reset at least six times in two years, in order to change direction.
Palm has not only restored iTunes syncing for the Pre but has accused Apple of abusing the USB standard to keep other devices out. Company spokeswoman Lynn Fox told All Things D late yesterday that Palm has filed a complaint with the USB Implementers Forum (USB IF) over Apple's use of the Vendor ID number. The specific issue isn't stated, but it's implied that Apple is misusing the ID check to prevent all non-Apple devices from appearing in iTunes.
With Toshiba conceding and announcing it will soon offer a Blu-ray drive of its own, there is newfound speculation of Microsoft offering a Blu-ray drive for its Xbox 360 gaming console. Now that Toshiba is involved, multiple sources claim to Fudzilla that Microsoft is investigating the possibility of such a drive once more. The software giant did offer an external HD DVD drive built by Toshiba but has so far refused to do the same for the winning format.
SteelSeries opted for the end of the week to reveal two multi-platform gaming mice as well as a special mousepad. At the top end, the Xai has an ambidextrous ergonomic grip the company claims took years of research to develop and an especially precise laser sensor that registers up to 5,000 CPI (counts per inch). It also has a unique OS-independent programmable seven-button scheme with an LCD on the underside and its own permanent memory to save custom settings without needing drivers.
Samsung's flagship Omnia II smartphone may be the first to directly compete against the iPhone in the US if an FCC filing (PDF) is an indication. Previously thought only to be headed to Verizon, the Windows Mobile phone has appeared in the US agency's testing with both GSM support and HSPA-based 3G on the 850MHz and 1,900MHz bands used by AT&T. No labels or other branding have necessarily confirmed a carrier deal so far.
The previously promised NVIDIA netbook, which spawned a prototype built by Mobinnova, will be called the Firefly, according to a recent SemiAccurate report. The nettop will reportedly be powered by the Tegra chip that is also being used in Microsoft's Zune HD, and unnamed netbook manufactuers claim a September launch date. The Tegra chip itself is already known to be delayed beyond NVIDIA's own 2008 timeframe, however, and has cast doubts on the new timeframe.
Microsoft has quietly toned down its Laptop Hunter ads to reflect the reduced argument it has against Apple, the company noted late yesterday. While the extent of its changes aren't exactly known, the company has posted a new version of its "Lauren & Sue" ad that omits references to a $2,000 MacBook Pro and now only makes an indirect attack, suggesting that Mac users are "paying a lot for the brand." The ad sees Lauren ultimately buying a $972 Dell Studio XPS 13 and drew criticism for deliberately choosing to include a comparison between this and the larger, faster 15-inch MacBook Pro instead of the then-current $1,299 aluminum MacBook.
Verizon this morning hoped to upend AT&T's positive results by touting its subscriber additions ahead of its actual quarterly update. The company says it added 1.1 million new customers in spring and now has a total of 87.7 million subscribers, or 8.1 million more than AT&T has after its own spring quarter. About 85.2 million of Verizon's customers were retail customers.
Garmin today offically threw itself into competition in the touchscreen phone arena by shipping the nüvifone G60 to its first market. The handset is now due to reach Taiwan on July 27th and should reach both Malaysia and Singapore by the end of August. The GPS-centered device is also now deemed "on schedule" for both European and North American launches before the end of the year, though carrier options (if any) and prices have yet to be detailed.
Google has launched the iPhone and iPod touch versions of its Latitude app, the newest feature in its mapping service. Latitude was originally released in early February as an update for Google Maps Mobile, and is now available for the iPhone as a web app that runs in Safari. The added GPS function allows users to identify both their location and the whereabouts of their friends, and includes privacy features which enable users to hide their position from people or to enter a preset location and mask their real position.
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