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(Updated with pricing) Sprint in a quiet move today added a new hybrid 3G/4G modem for its WiMAX network. The U301 is a direct if minor update to the U300 and comes in a smaller black shell. Its most notable addition is Mac OS X support, which gives both Leopard and Snow Leopard users access to the high-speed mobile Internet service.
Verizon today provided its anticipated response (PDF) to the FCC's inquiry about its sudden hike in early termination fee (ETF) rates for smartphones. The carrier insists that the higher prices of phones like the Motorola Droid are too high to leave the cancellation fees at their regular $175, as it would take a significant loss if a customer with "advanced device" were to quit but only pay the previous one-size-fits-all rate.
Sony is extending its recent focus on consumer 3D technology to its Alpha-branded DSLR cameras. Falling under the creative category, with distribution and display handled by 3D content and 3D TVs, PS3 game console and VAIO notebooks, respectively, the DSLRs will be capable of creating the 3D content. Sony envisions bringing 3D content to consumers via the web and its temporarily named Sony Online Service, as well as Blu-ray media in the form of movies and games as well.
Wireless provider Sprint has Wireless provider Sprint in a Twitter update has informed followers that its HTC Hero and Samsung Moment handsets will skip over Android 2.0 in favor of Android 2.1. The provider says the update will come during the first half of next year, and is in contrast to an earlier report that had Sprint updating the handsets with the Android 2.0 OS in the new year. Both handsets currently run on Android 1.5.
Sony in a second update this week provided the magazines and newspapers that will be available for a subscription through the Reader Store. Besides the New York Post and Wall Street Journal, both the 3G-capable Reader Daily Edition and Sony's Mac and Windows software will get daily downloads of major papers like the Boston Globe, the International Herald Tribune, the New York Times and 10 others. A handful of magazines such as Barron's and Reason will also arrive as they would in real life.
Palm chief Jon Rubinstein during the company's latest quarterly results confirmed the existence of what's likely to be the 1.3.5 update for the Pixi and Pre. The upgrade will finally remove a 64MB cap on the space occupied by installed apps and should also improve performance, particularly for apps and the Pixi. Wi-Fi reception will also be stronger.
Ford has employed the help of six students from the University of Michigan to help it develop the first ever apps for its SYNC in-car, voice-activated multimedia user interface. To this end, it has developed an application programming interface (API) and had the students build two mobile apps that are totally compatible with SYNC. The automaker will open up its API to the developer community sometime next year pending successful beta testing.
Fujitsu has inadvertently spoiled plans for itself and Intel through an FCC filing (PDF). Cosmetically similar to the LifeBook T5010 convertible tablet, the T900 will be a major performance upgrade with a 2.66GHz mobile Core i7 that will effectively behave like a quad-core processor. Its graphics are likely to remain integrated, but as the i7 will have a new generation of on-processor graphics, visual performance should be faster as well.
Amazon today touted that the Kindle has already had its best-ever month for sales in December. Although the month isn't yet finished, the retailer claims that holiday sales have already pushed sales to an unspecified but all-time high. Unlike previous years, the Kindle remains in stock and should meet demand.
Despite its recent lawsuit against Intel on the grounds of anti-competitive practices, the Federal Trade Commission does not mean to break up the company, an agency spokesperson said in a Friday report. Director of the Bureau of Competition, Richard Feinstein says the FTC simply wants Intel to modify what it considers to be anti-competitive behavior. The lawsuit was launched as the FTC felt Intel attempts to unfairly control competition in the personal computer chip market.
A court in Paris has ruled on Friday that Google is guilty of infringing copyrights by publishing French books online. The Internet search company is ordered to pay the equivalent of $430,000 in damages and interest to French publisher La Martiniere-Le Seuil, and a further daily fine until it removes the titles from its online database. Google's laywer, Alexandra Neri, says his client will appeal the court's decision.
A second set of Pine Trail Atom-based ASUS Eee PC netbooks has been spotted and promises a significant update to one of the company's cornerstone netbooks. Store listings and images of the 1005P and slightly upgraded 1005PE show a system with the familiar thick "seashell" shape but with improved chiclet-style keys and a textured lid. A larger upgrade should come inside with a 1.66GHz Atom N450 that will both speed up the design and extend the battery life to a very long 12 hours.
The IEEE standards group will soon begin revising its 1725 standard for rechargeable batteries in cellphones. The undertaking aims to improve the quality and reliability of lithium-ion and lithium-ion polymer batteries as buyers demand more power and longer runtimes for their smartphones. The standard revision, called P1725, will set criteria for reliability, quality and the construction, cell level charge and discharge controls, along with overall system integration.
Verizon has already built up its 3G network in the event it lands an iPhone deal, the company's CTO Anthony Melone said late Thursday. The executive stops short of saying that the network has been upgraded specifically for Apple but that the carrier is "prepared" for the level of data traffic the iPhone would bring. He argues that both the equipment and the company's quality checks should better prepare it than AT&T has in recent years.
Google is deep in talks to acquire Yelp, more than one source claimed late Thursday. The local business location and reviewing site is deemed "very likely" to sell itself for over $500 million based both on its valuation and its heavy Internet traffic.
Notion Ink is promising to bring a new, thus far unnamed smartbook that runs on Android and is the first to use a Pixel Qi transflective display. The 10.1-inch, touchscreen LCD has a 1024x600 resolution but should be noteworthy through its usability outdoors: the screen should be clearly visible outdoors as wlel as inside.
Apple's iPhone and Android-based phones have made some of the greatest strides in market share during the past month, AdMob says. In November, the iPhone pushed forward again to claim 54 percent of world smartphone Internet traffic and was joined by a similar gain from Android, whose total share jumped from 11 to 16 percent. Symbian suffered the most and fell steeply from a quarter of traffic to 19 percent.
One of Verizon's first webOS phones will be a direct upgrade to the Pre if a leak is accurate. The company's internal systems reportedly show a "Palm Pre Plus" without supplying further details. What it would involve isn't clear, but the badge suggests a similar design and that upgrades are most likely to revolve around more storage or better performance.
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