Amazon smartphone sales improved after severe price cut
Amazon made a mistake with the launch of the Fire Phone, an executive has admitted. Pricing of the device is claimed to be a major factor in its relative failure to gain traction in the smartphone market, one which led to the retailer's Chief Technical Officer Tom Szkutak to note as part of the retailer's quarterly results that most of a $170 million charge was due to the device, with a surplus of devices worth around $83 million left unsold.
Mid-range metal Samsung Galaxy smartphones based on earlier Galaxy Alpha
Samsung has unveiled two smartphones with metal unibody construction, following in the footsteps of the Galaxy Alpha. The Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A3 are mid-range offerings, with the A5 packing a 720p 5-inch Super AMOLED display into a case measuring 6.7mm thick, while the A3 opts for a 4.5-inch qHD screen in a 6.9mm-thick body.
Zombie mashup of original Oregon Trail game works surprisingly well
Organ Trail: Director's Cut is a nostalgic game that promises to entertain both those who loved the original classic Oregon Trail as well as players who are simply looking for a surprisingly in-depth iOS game. Don't think that this game is simply riding the coattails of retro-gaming's popularity right now -- Organ Trail is an interesting game, even without the allure of the chiptune music and cutting-edge graphics circa 1985.
Display panel with thin bezels entering production next month
LG Display has developed a new display for smartphones, one which has an extremely thin bezel. The 5.3-inch Full HD-resolution display has a thin 0.7mm bezel on the left and right-hand sides, allowing for smartphones using the display to have a narrower gap between the edges of the screen and the outer edges of the mobile device, similar to the Sharp Aquos Crystal.
Purchase valued at $12.5 billion, with Google retaining most of the patents
Lenovo has completed the acquisition of Motorola Mobile from Google. The deal, according to Lenovo, makes the combined company the "world's third-largest maker of smartphones." Motorola is a now wholly-owned subsidiary of Lenovo, but will remain headquartered in Chicago. Lenovo is expecting profitability to return between four and six quarters from now.
Chinese maker challenging Samsung with low-end models, vaults into third place
A new report from IDC again places Apple and Samsung at the top of the heap for smartphone manufacturers as it has for years now -- but there is nonetheless notable change in the air. Samsung saw a significant drop in shipments for its smartphones, dropping 8.5 percent from the year-ago quarter. Apple, in second place, saw a 16.1 percent increase in shipments. Though Samsung was dominant with 78.1 million units shipped, a new challenger from China is beating the Korean company on its home turf of low-end smartphones.
Conference for modular smartphone will reveal initial launch details
The second set of developer conferences for the Project Ara modular smartphone will be taking place in January, Google has declared. Called DevCon2, Google's ATAP team hopes to use the time to show off developers the latest iteration of the Ara Module Developers Kit (MDK), as well as early plans for a market pilot, due to take place in 2015.
Theft belies claim of HIPAA compliance, data security primacy
Contactless payment platform CurrentC has fallen victim to user information theft. Merchants Consumer Exchange (MCX), The company behind the mobile payment system is informing beta users of the service that "that unauthorized third parties obtained the e-mail addresses of some of you." The company claims no other data has been stolen, but the theft calls into question the data security of the not fully operational payment system.
Honor 4X smartphone includes 64-bit Qualcomm processor
Huawei has introduced one of its smartphones to Europe, at the same time as unveiling another in the same product line. The Honor 6, originally launched in China four months ago, is making the trip to European markets, while the Honor 4X boasts a 64-bit Qualcomm processor alongside a claimed usage time of up to 72 hours from a single charge.
Oppo N3 holds 16MP camera in motorized rotating module
Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Oppo has revealed two new smartphones it is planning to ship in the near future. Teased earlier this month, the Oppo N3 has a revolving camera module at the top capable of rotating on it's own, while the Oppo R5 aims to take the slimmest-smartphone crown, with its metal body measuring just 4.85mm thick.
Mostly grandfathered plans hit by throttling, speeds cut to dial-up
The US Federal Trade Commission has launched a suit against AT&T for its admitted throttling of unlimited wireless data users. The FTC claims that AT&T has implemented the up to 90 percent slower data speeds on over 3.5 million customers a total of more than 25 million times since implementation on October 1, 2011.
Latest Droid iteration has flagship specifications, claimed 48-hour battery
Verizon is bringing another Droid smartphone to its network, with the introduction of the endurance-focused Droid Turbo. The Motorola-produced smartphone boasts a high battery life, with its 3,900mAh battery claimed to last for up to 48 hours of average usage from a single charge, a feature boosted by the Motorola Turbo Charger's ability to provide up to eight hours of power to the phone after just 15 minutes of charging.
Second generation Moto X drops in price for 24-hour sale in UK
Motorola has made two announcements relating to its smartphone and smartwatch, specifically for customers located in the United Kingdom. The manufacturer is discounting the Moto X for a limited time, while its round-faced Android Wear device, the Moto 360, has started to go on sale through retailers in the country, as well as through the manufacturer itself.
Shorter leasing period, iPhone 5S inclusion in Sprint plan
Sprint is making changes to its iPhone for Life rental plan, just over a month after launch. The carrier is adjusting the plan to allow customers the ability to lease an iPhone and upgrade it after 12 months, though the existing 24-month period between upgrades will continue to be offered to users at a lower cost compared to the new plan option.
Unknown author calls Knox compromised, unsafe for use
Reports have begun to circulate about a pervasive flaw in Samsung's Knox security software for Android phones. The technology, which is the foundation of Android 5.0 Lollipop's enhanced protections, has come under fire by a lone, previously-unknown researcher, who calls the effort merely "security by obscurity."
New Sprint Family Share Pack offers double data of similarly-priced Verizon plan
Sprint is attempting to beat Verizon and AT&T by offering more data to customers on a low-cost subscription. In a continuation of earlier "double data" promotional plans, Sprint has introduced a new $20 Family Share Pack which is claimed to offer double the data of similarly-priced plans from Verizon, and three times the data of similar plans from AT&T.
LG Nuclun processor combines four 1.5GHz Cortex-A15, four 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 cores
LG has finally unveiled its first self-produced processor for smartphones, one which has been rumored for some time under the "Odin" codename. Called Nuclun, the chip will be making its first appearance in a variant of the G3 called the G3 Screen, a smartphone which will be making its initial appearance as a South Korea-only release.
App allows users to create customized chat rooms, log in with any user name
Facebook's Creative Labs team is bringing a new, yet old way to socialize over the Internet to users through its application Rooms. The free iOS app lets users create custom chat rooms on a topic, without requiring any special log in or connection to a Facebook account. Instead, users can select whatever user name they like and chat in virtual anonymity.
Social media changes mark first official move away from Nokia banner to Microsoft Lumia
Microsoft is making the shift away from the Nokia brand name official, as it's confirmed that the company is shifting to Microsoft Lumia for future devices. The change in names was first brought up back in September as part of an alleged leak of an internal document that dropped the Nokia name, along with mentions of Windows Phone from devices.
Phablet car-mount brings hands-free to larger format mobile devices
Simple, stylish and effective, the Kenu Airframe + portable car mount is the latest addition to Kenu's lineup. Released earlier this year, the Airframe + takes the same basic design of the Airframe and gives it a little extra stretch in order to hold larger six-inch phones. In our review, we thoroughly put the Airframe + to the test to see what exactly it is that puts the "plus" in this portable car mount.
Odin System-on-Chip may appear in LG G3 variant this week
LG may be getting close to launching its first smartphone using its own application processor, a rumor claims. The device, allegedly being prepared for its unveiling as early as this week, will apparently use the "Odin" System-on-Chip, a move which could bring LG in line with long-time competitor Samsung in developing and using its own processors on devices.
Slightly smaller HTC Desire 820 mini reduces screen size, downgrades internals
A smaller version of the HTC Desire 820, launched at IFA last month, has gone on sale in China. The Desire 820 mini switches out the 5.5-inch 720p display of the original device for a slightly smaller five-inch version, though it keeps the same resolution, and in a similar manner to other "mini" versions of existing smartphones, this version also has marginally downgraded internal components within its two-tone plastic frame.
Discounted accessories offered alongside OnePlus One for brief pre-order period
OnePlus is allowing potential users to bypass its invitation-based system for its smartphone, by opening itself up for pre-orders for a brief period of time. On October 27th, people can place orders for the OnePlus One directly from the manufacturer, though the window of opportunity will last for only one hour, starting from 3pm GMT (11am EST).
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Android software updates for more manufacturers revealed
More manufacturers have revealed which of its devices will be getting the upgrade to Android Lollipop in the future. Nvidia, HTC, and Sony have all confirmed their support for Android 5.0, though a rumor suggests that Google's own Nexus 7 Wi-Fi and Nexus 10 will be the earliest existing Nexus devices to gain the software update.
Final services of Palm's webOS shutting down, devices will continue to work
Remaining cloud services for webOS are coming to an end, more than three years after HP announced that it was winding down the operating system. Back in August 2011, Hewlett-Packard (HP) said it would no longer be developing products that featured the operating system, prior to it being offloaded to LG Electronics in 2013.
Live streaming in 14 launch cities, 5000 episodes of classic shows available
On the heels of the standalone HBO subscription service, CBS Corporation today announced the launch of CBS All Access, a new digital subscription Video On Demand and Nielsen-measured live streaming service for the CBS Television Network, mainly intended for cord cutters. CBS All Access will offer thousands of episodes from the current season, previous seasons and classic shows on demand, as well as the ability to stream local CBS Television stations live in 14 of the largest US markets at launch.
Stock Android device collection image shows Galaxy S5 three times
A version of the Samsung Galaxy S5 with a stock installation of Android could be on the way, according to reports. Following the launch of Android Lollipop, version 5.0 of the mobile operating system, Android.com has been updated with new images and information, with one image seemingly showing the Galaxy S5 amid other Google Play Edition and Nexus devices.
New company to launch under new brand in 2015, focus on Internet-based sales
Lenovo is taking a new approach to its mobile strategy ,according to a statement it released today. The PC and mobile communications company has indicated that it is creating a new device company and brand for the emerging market in China. The unnamed company will operate separately from Lenovo, focusing on Internet-based sales. The new brand is being positioned as a direct competitor for Xiaomi, a startup that has rapidly grown its market share since its entry into the device market in 2010.
Nine phones set to receive Android after it releases, support could grow
With Google's announcement today that Android 5.0 Lollipop is coming soon, many consumers are waiting to find out if their smartphones and tablets will run the new operating system (OS). Owners of Motorola devices can make an informed decision on upgrades tonight if they choose, as the company said nine phones are getting the newest Android version after its launch.
New device payment plan to cost more if phone replaced in a year, starts October 16
Verizon's Edge program that allows customers to finance a new device, spreading the cost over the course of 20 months, is receiving some changes soon. Under the terms of the Edge program, users will now have to pay a greater portion of a phone's cost before upgrading, while the payment period is extended. The new terms are said to start on October 16.
Follow-up to Nexus 5 borrows Moto X styling, enlarges screen
After weeks of rumors, Google has finally launched the Nexus 6 smartphone, running Android Lollipop. At first glance, the Motorola-produced follow-up to the Nexus 5 bears a striking resemblance to the second-generation Moto X, complete with relatively few changes made to the external styling, but it boosts the screen to a phablet-sized 5.96-inch 1,440x2,560 display with a pixel density of 493ppi.
Other carriers' upgrade paths to Android Lollipop unclear
Alongside three hardware announcements, Google has formally named Android 5.0. Previously known as "L," the latest iteration of the search engine giant's mobile operating system is officially titled Lollipop. Previewed at Google I/O earlier this year, the newest revision focuses on its consistent design language that it calls "Material Design," and a new battery saver feature that extends the life of mobile devices in use by up to 90 minutes.
Combined smartphone, tablet dock package going on sale in US from October 24th
The Asus PadFone X mini is heading to the United States later this month, with AT&T set to be the exclusive carrier for the device. Effectively a smaller version of the PadFone X, the PadFone X mini uses a 4.5-inch IPS smartphone at its core, with the smartphone component able to be docked inside a larger seven-inch tablet section, increasing the screen size while reusing the phone's processor and other internals.
All sides of smaller BlackBerry Classic shown in picture leak
A new set of photographs allegedly showing the BlackBerry Classic has leaked. The collection of images appears to reveal more of the rumored BlackBerry smartphone's physical appearance than in previous leaks, with all sides and the back of the device on display in the pictures, with some of the shots comparing it to the recently-announced BlackBerry Passport phablet.
Rotating camera module of Oppo N3 said to use motor rather than manual turning
Chinese phone manufacturer Oppo has started to tease the follow-up to the N1 smartphone. The Oppo N3 will allegedly have a large rotating camera module, a unique feature similar to its predecessor, though this time it is tipped to use an electric motor to swivel the camera around from the front to the back, rather than relying on the user to move it themselves.
Variant of HTC One M8 has higher-resolution rear camera, retains other specifications
A version of the HTC One M8 spotted before the launch of the Desire Eye will be going on sale in China this month. The HTC One M8 Eye is effectively the same as the original smartphone, except the rear 4-megapixel Ultrapixel camera has been replaced by a larger 13-megapixel sensor, though it still retains the Duo Camera system and associated depth-related functionality.
Exclusive version of Xperia Z3 heading to Verizon alongside Sony SmartWatch 3
Two more Sony devices will be added to Verizon's mobile device roster later this month, the carrier has revealed. A repackaged version of the Xperia Z3 will be going on sale, a smartphone called the Xperia Z3v, while the company's Android Wear device, the SmartWatch 3, will also be heading to the carrier's stores in due course.
WiMax network ceasing operation on November 6, 2015
A definitive date for the shutdown of Sprint's WiMax service has been confirmed by the carrier, following a leak of an internal newsletter. As leaked and confirmed, the WiMax network will cease operation on or around the 6th of November next year, with the leak also revealing more detailed information about how Sprint is handling the shutdown.
Identical cameras, flash on front and rear of HTC Desire Eye
HTC has used its "Double Exposure" event to launch its selfie-friendly smartphone, just as previously rumored. The HTC Desire Eye features identical 13-megapixel cameras on the front and back, along with a dual LED flash for each side, with the smartphone putting both image sensors to good use with a number of new camera-related software additions.
FTC settlement involves providing refunds to customers affected by premium SMS subscriptions
AT&T has been hit with a $105 million fine for allowing "premium" SMS subscriptions and other charges to be applied to customer accounts, a practice known as "cramming." The carrier has settled with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the charges, with the majority of the settlement devoted to paying back affected customers.
SoundFocus announces Amp speaker case for iPhone
Audio products company SoundFocus has announced the pre-ordering availability of Amp, a "smart" sound system case for iPhone. Comprised of two speakers with a main audio engine, the Amp features personalized audio akin to the technology behind hearing aids. The Amp case is capable of learning a person's hearing pattern and musical preferences, and adapt settings to a changing environment, thereby continually remastering the audio output from one's smartphone. The audio output from the Amp can be heard both through the case's speakers, and through headphones plugged into the headphone jack.
Preorder of Plastc Card begins now, shipment commences summer 2015
Gadget company Plastc announced its first product -- the Plastc Card. The Plastc Card consolidates many physical magnetic strip cards into one device -- including credit, debit, loyalty, gift, and access cards. Working in tandem with a Plastc Wallet app for iPhone and Android, the company claims that its device provides more security than traditional cards as well as other digital wallets.
Factory at center of multi-billion dollar tax debt claimed owed to India
A Nokia manufacturing plant in India left out of the acquisition deal between Nokia and Microsoft will be closed on November 1. The Chennai facility, at the center of a tax dispute between Nokia and India and building devices under contract for Microsoft, will be closed following a lengthy asset freeze and extended court hearings held by the India tax authority.
Already at 16.5 percent, company said to be ordering up to 250M chipsets for iPhone 6, Apple Watch
New estimates on Apple's consumption of DRAM for mobile phones and chips to be used in the iPhone 6 line alongside the Apple Watch will continue to keep demand at high levels, two different sources report in various trade publications. One analyst believes that by this time next year, Apple will require some 25 percent of the world's output of DRAM chips, continuing to constrain supplies for competitors. The company is also said to have ordered up to 250 million chips for its iPhone 6 line and Apple Watch across the next year.
Huawei smartphone measures 6.5mm thick tries to take on other flagships
In May, Huawei unveiled the latest iteration of its Ascend P flagship Android smartphone line, the Ascend P7. Measuring a svelte 6.5mm thick and packing decent specifications, it is a stylish phone that aims to take on major flagship devices from other manufacturers. Does it do enough to conquer its opponents, or does its specifications let down its appearance? Find out in Electronista's review.
Desire Eye reappears with high-resolution front camera, front flash
The recently-leaked image of the alleged HTC Desire Eye smartphone may be incorrect, another image leak suggests. A smartphone said to be the Desire Eye is pictured sharing the same design language as the Desire 820, unlike the HTC One M8-based version found on a Chinese regulator website last week, and though the appearance is different, the high-resolution camera rumor remains almost the same.
Legere questions why people sit on their iPhones, notes it hasn't slowed sales
Talking at the GeekWire Summit 2014 this month, the ever-vocal T-Mobile CEO John Legere talked about the how ludicrous he believed the current bending controversy was surrounding the iPhone 6. Coming off of a point talking about how his company is forcing the industry to change, Legere jokingly sat on his iPhone, only to say that the bending issue "is such horse----."
Tiny Death Star and Star Wars Assault Team force choked by Disney
Star Wars intellectual property owner Disney has suddenly discontinued two iOS apps, one of which was only released this year. Disney has pulled Tiny Death Star as well as Star Wars Assault Team from Google Play and the iOS App Store, with no warning to those with a financial stake in the arrangement.
Microsoft seeking $6.9 million in interest over Samsung refusal to pay
Microsoft's smartphone patent lawsuit from August was unsealed, showing that Samsung has paid the company over $1 billion in royalties on patents used in Android for just the second year of the agreement, but still owes $6.9 million in unpaid interest. Microsoft claims that Samsung initially ceased making royalty payments, then paid late and refused to pay interest, with Samsung claiming that the buy of Nokia invalidated patent licensing agreements that the pair had signed.