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The elimination of the iPhone's exclusivity to Orange in France has resulted in "more than double" the sales of the device and dealt a blow to the BlackBerry, according to research notes issued recently. Estimates from Bernstein, Strategy Analytics and others report twice as many iPhones being shipped in the summer quarter as in the spring due specifically to Apple's handset being readily available at Bouygues Telecom as well as SFR. That added exposure is thought to have directly impacted RIM as customers at the new carriers had a new, major alternative to the BlackBerry line.
Microsoft should once again release its next mainstream version of Windows about three years after the last, a roadmap obtained this week reveals. The schedule has the major revision, tentatively titled "Windows 8," launching in 2012 or about three years after Windows 7. It will purportedly keep in step with a rhythm developed by Microsoft that has Microsoft launching major releases four years apart, as Windows Server 2008 is considered a major release where its R2 upgrade and even Windows 7 are both treated as "release updates."
Sony recently announced to its investors that it will add 3D stereoscopic capability to the games on its PS3 gaming console via a future firmware update. The presentation (pdf) contains the line "all PS3 units will be firmware-upgradeable to 3D," and that the company plans to lead the 3D market, though no timelines were revealed. There was, however, an indication that Sony will offer 3D-specific tools to developers of its games.
Sony is showing off a 280-inch 3D display at the currently ongoing International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition in Japan. The 3D LED Wall is 21 feet wide by 11 feet tall and can show both 2D and 3D video. It is made up of 70 LED displays, each 28 inches in size.
Motorola today confirmed it will soon fix the problems with its Droid phone's camera by releasing an automatic over-the-air update to the handset. The Android handset's 5-megapixel camera has been said to have trouble focusing and producing red corners in images when photos are being taken. The intermittent problem has been blamed on an unusual timing bug where particular states of the clock create problems with the autofocusing system. Users can simply change the date on the phone to resolve the issue, although a permanent fix is apparently due soon.
Microsoft in a response late Thursday rejected assertions that it has put in a security "backdoor" at the request of the National Security Agency. The denial comes after the NSA's information assurance lead, Richard Schaeffer, told a US Senate terrorism subcommittee that the agency had worked with Microsoft to improve Windows 7's "security guide" and sparked fears that the government had deliberately left a secret window the NSA could use to spy on users.
A 10-inch smartbook from Pegatron was spotted at the Connected Community Technical Symposium on Friday. It runs on Linux Ubuntu and is powered by an ARM processor, though other details are scarce. The sighting comes just one day after Pegatron GM Chou Biao Sheng said the company will bring out a smartbook in the first quarter of 2010, priced at less than $200.
US Cellular has added the Motorola Crush to its lineup on Friday. The handset is unique in its placement of the lock and call buttons above its 2.8-inch, 240x400 resolution touchscreen instead of below it, as is usual. There is also a 2-megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth support and a microSDHC memory card slot.
Qualcomm has quietly shown an example receiver that would give the iPhone and iPod touch FLO TV reception. Despite assertions that the company would use iPhone OS 3.0 support for native hardware, the demonstrator mimics the strategy used for the Softbank 1Seg tuner in Japan and pipes video over Wi-Fi. The receiver itself is roughly as large as the iPhone, though it's unclear whether this is due to its prototype nature or to accommodate a larger battery.
Internet phone company Ooma on Friday began shipping its Telo handset and has introduced a new International Calling Bundle for Premier subscribers for savings on international calls. This follows the release of the Ooma Telo home base nearly two months ago. Each Ooma Telo base can support up to four handsets, with each handset having access to Ooma Telo's full range of features and services.
YouTube drew controversy with word this week that it has begun limiting the use of its native video API on devices. Reflecting new terms of service, any device that connects to a TV must have a license from YouTube to get fully native video support. The move will ban smaller-scale devices like the Popcorn Hour C-200 from directly accessing YouTube videos, although it will still allow them access using Flash.
Barnes & Noble today signaled that new orders for the Nook reader now won't ship at all in 2009. Those placed today will ship no sooner than January 4th, or more than three weeks after the delay to December 11th. The bookseller hopes to console those missing the Christmas target by giving them a certificate that promises a Nook reader when it ships.
As part of its Black Friday deals, Amazon is offering the slim 120GB PlayStation 3 console with a choice of one of three Electronic Arts 2010 sports games for free. This includes FIFA Soccer 10, Madden NFL 10 or NHL 10. The discount represents at least about $50 in savings, depending on which game buyers choose.
Motorola's Motus has been spotted in a leak that also suggests it won't be exclusive to T-Mobile. The device appears to be a smaller version of the Cliq with its directional pad "hidden" in the QWERTY keyboard section. A lone photo from AndroidAndMe also suggests it will be a "reverse" flip where the phone opens like a clamshell, although it's not yet confirmed at this stage.
Despite promising to release its Via HDTVs with Wi-Fi and network connections this fall, Vizio has officially said it will delay the launch until January of 2010, according to a Friday CNET report. Other promised features of the Via TVs include local LED backlighting dimming for deeper black level reproduction and interactive add-ons as well as a Bluetooth remote with a QWERTY keyboard to navigate and manage it all.
T-Mobile's US branch may land a deal with another carrier to grow its network much more rapidly, a rumor maintained on Friday. Sources for the German paper Handelsblatt claimed that Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent, is in the "early stages" of looking for a partner that would help it build out the network through a cash infusion. The top candidates so far include budget carrier MetroPCS, WiMAX-based Clearwire and even AT&T, any of whom could get a small stake in T-Mobile in return for the investment.
Initial information has surfaced of Intel's sequel to its imminent Pine Trail platform for the Atom processor. Appropriately codenamed Cedar Trail, the 2011 update should be the first built on a 32 nanometer process and will take advantage of this through a new integrated graphics core. The new version will support DirectX 10-level 3D as well as HD video decoding. It should additionally bring dual digital outputs that recognize DisplayPort and HDMI as well as older formats.
Sprint introduced the new Sanyo-branded Incognito SCP-6760 from Kyocera to its lineup on Friday. The handset has a glowing keypad and OLED display before flipping open to reveal a hardware QWERTY keyboard and a larger 2.6-inch, 320x240 screen. The device will run on Sprint's EVDO network and users can access the e-mail and browse the web on 3G.
Nokia on Friday said it would cut 330 jobs in its research and development group. The reductions are spread between an office in Oulu, in Nokia's native Finland, as well as in Copenhagen. Nokia isn't specific as to the nature of the layoffs and says only that they're meant to reflect the company's "focused portfolio of future products."
The Verizon edition of the Samsung Omnia II should at last ship in about two weeks if a leak proves accurate. Internal product info has the phone shipping with Windows Mobile 6.5 on December 2nd, contradicting rumors of a Windows Mobile 6.1 version. The Engadget document gives it an effective price of $200, albeit after a large $100 mail-in rebate and signing a two-year contract.
Cloud Engines on Friday introduced the second-generation Pogoplug, along with a variety of new features for storing and sharing multimedia. The hardware features the same plug-and-play capability of the original, but adds several USB ports to allow connection of up to four external hard drives without using a dedicated USB hub.
Gameloft today revealed that it has scaled back development of games for Android phones. The French software house made the move as just a fraction of its sales come from the Google platform: it sells 400 times more iPhone games than Android titles, the company's financial head Alexandre de Rochefort said.
RIM's long anticipated overhaul of its most affordable BlackBerry is coming soon, a leak shows today. Likely to be called the Pearl 9100 when it's finished, the new model has a sleeker design reminiscent of the Storm2 but with an optical trackpad like newer BlackBerries. The Pearl's familiar SureType keyboard is still present in the CrackBerry shots, but the new model should also add 3G for the first time to those on GSM networks.
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