Smartphone with Galaxy S4 exterior, Galaxy Note 3 interior expands reach
Samsung has expanded the availability of the Galaxy J smartphone outside of Japan, with the first recipient being Taiwan. Originally built for the Japanese market, the Galaxy J has received some slight alterations to allow it to work in Taiwan, such as adding support for local 4G LTE, with the rest of the device effectively remaining the same as when it was originally released.
Keyboard-equipped LG smartphone for T-Mobile similar to LG Enact
A new sliding smartphone is on the way from LG, and is heading to T-Mobile, according to a new leak. Reportedly named the LG Optimus F3Q, the smartphone is shown in an alleged press image to have a full QWERTY keyboard hidden behind the display, and could end up being the equivalent of a keyboard-equipped Optimus F3.
Bandwidth increase in North Dallas uses MetroPCS spectrum
T-Mobile is putting the spectrum gained from its merger with MetroPCS to good use, by upgrading the bandwidth of its LTE spectrum in North Dallas. News of the speed increase comes at the same time as details of a new data-less price plan are revealed, one which the carrier is launching in the United States later today.
Twitter bringing microblogging to entry-level mobile phones
Popular microblogging service Twitter is working to bring its 140-character messaging to mobile phone users whose devices don't have access to the Internet. Reuters on Thursday reported that the company was working with U2opia Mobile, a Singapore-based startup, to bring Twitter content to non-smartphones in the near future. Via a simple process, users will be able to download the latest data from Twitter directly to their phones.
Older models being traded in hints at strong wave of new-model upgraders
Online trade-in site Gazelle has reported that iPad trade-ins for cash jumped 175 percent over normal on the weekend of Black Friday, a certain indicator that Apple CEO Tim Cook's prediction that it would be an "iPad Christmas" is likely to come true. The Apple tablet, which continues to dominate the category three and a half years after its introduction, has also topped holiday wish list compilations and has seen some constrained supplies of the two latest models, particularly the Retina iPad mini.
US first to see changes
Google has redesigned the Android and iOS versions of its News web app with a variety of improvements. The look of the app has been cleaned up to make it easier to read and track different stories, and it can now be customized with light or dark themes, adjustable font sizes, and/or bigger story cards that include more content. Navigation has been streamlined by funneling access to every section, including customized ones, through a News icon in the top left; Google Feedback can be reached through a menu in the upper right.
Oppo said to prep superphone with Find 7
Oppo may have its eye on becoming the first smartphone manufacturer to take advantage of the latest and greatest chip technology from Qualcomm, packing a Snapdragon 805 into the forthcoming Find 7. Additionally, GizChina reports, the new device could pack a 2K display, delivering one of the highest-resolution screens on any handheld device. The handset will also apparently have 4G connectivity, which will greatly help it compete in the Chinese market.
Wireless spectrum purchase put to use by Verizon in cities
Even though the carrier is undergoing a restructuring of ownership, Verizon Wireless has managed to improve its LTE network in a number of cities. The carrier has reportedly increased the amount of bandwidth available to customers, with some markets seeing Verizon tripling its LTE capacity, thanks to its earlier $3.9 billion wireless spectrum purchase.
Smaller device combination uses 4.3-inch smartphone, 7-inch tablet
Asus is launching a smaller version of its combinable smartphone and tablet-dock device range in the very near future. Invitations have been sent out to the media for a launch event in Taiwan on Wednesday, 11th of December, with the invitation naming the Padfone Mini outright as the device being shown off by the company.
Android, iOS, Windows all gain share at BlackBerry's expense
Apple's share of the smartphone market in the US continues to grow slowly, though chief rival Samsung is growing at a faster rate but still has a long way to go to catch up. Android sales combined continue to dominate, but have seen very slow or flat growth in recent months -- however, in the latest three-month ComScore MobiLens survey, the platform managed twice the growth rate of iOS. Windows Phone also gained share, with all three platforms benefitting from BlackBerry's continuing fall.
Three months in, almost all users on iOS 7 or iOS 6
A new report posted by Apple itself on its iOS developer portal says that, less than three months after its debut, iOS 7 is now on 74 percent of all the company's mobile devices -- an astonishing adoption rate unrivalled in the industry. Users still on iOS 6 make up about 22 percent of the base, meaning 96 percent of iOS users are running OS versions no more than a year old. By comparison, only around half of Android users are on a 4.x version (first released in mid-2012), with only 1.1 percent on the latest iteration.
HTC One available as low as $25 per month
HTC Is now offering its HTC One flagship handset for $0 down on an installment plan. The manufacturer unveiled on Thursday a new page touting the offer, which works much like purchasing a phone through a carrier with no money down. Customers submit to a credit check, and if their credit checks out, they can get HTC's flagship device for as little as $25 per month.
New protocol brings LTE co-existence, aids developers
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group today announced the adoption of updates to the Bluetooth Core Specification. The updates will improve consumer usability with increased co-existence support for LTE and bulk data exchange rates. The new release will also aid developer innovation by allowing devices to support multiple roles simultaneously, and also lays the groundwork for IP-based connections -- extending Bluetooth technology's role in device communication.
Apps were previously English-only
Google has updated its Android and iOS Search apps with voice support for French, German, and Japanese. The upgrades let people both speak commands and hear responses in the new languages. Previously, non-English speakers had to type in any search requests.
Camera app overhauled and optimized
Google has reportedly focused on Nexus 5 camera functionality with the upcoming Android 4.4.1 update, which is expected to begin rolling out this week. The software tweaks promise to resolve problems with the current camera, improving autofocus time and exposure in low-light conditions.
Aereo launching cloud DVR service in Baltimore on December 16
Aereo has revealed that it will be launching its cloud-based DVR service in Baltimore in time for Christmas. Residents in the Baltimore metropolitan area, including 11 central Maryland counties, will be able to sign up and subscribe to the service when it goes live on December 16th, though this will still leave Aereo considerably short of its goal of expanding to 22 US cities before the end of this year.
Special conditions apply
AT&T has introduced Mobile Share Value Plans, a new discount option for its subscribers. The option cuts significant amounts per month off of a Mobile Share plan, so long as a customer meets certain criteria: people must have an off-contract phone, or else upgrade through AT&T's Next program. Under these scenarios, a person can save between $10 and $115 per month on a single device, and between $20 and $105 on a two-device account. Two phones on a 4GB plan, for instance, costs $120 per month.
Lighter Pantech phablet denies secret file viewing at an angle
Pantech has expanded its Vega range with another smartphone that can read fingerprints. The Vega Secret Up has a smaller 5.6-inch 1080p display compared to the Vega Secret Note, and while it has relatively similar internal specifications, there are a few small changes to make it slightly cheaper than its recent predecessor.
Amazon offers free storage for Note 3, S4, G2
Amazon is offering customers 50GB of free online storage when they purchase an on-contract Android smartphone through its marketplace. The storage is handled through Amazon's Cloud Drive service, which lets users store photos, files, music, and more. Amazon has more than 100 smartphones eligible for the offer, all listed on its site.
$130 million in cash and stock shares to exchange hands
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved Verizon's $130 billion buyout of Vodaphone's share of Verizon Wireless. The ruling paves the way for Verizon's complete ownership of the wireless business when all aspects of the transaction are concluded in the first half of 2014.
European Commission finds minimal overlap between Microsoft, Nokia
Microsoft has been given the all-clear to acquire Nokia's mobile phone business by the European Commission (EC). The clearance by the regulatory body comes just one day after the US Department of Justice approved the deal, two weeks after Nokia's shareholders made a similar decision, leaving little in the way of obstructions left for the $7.2 billion deal.
First-gen iPad mini, iPhone 5c also see surges
iPad Air activations grew some 51 percent over the previous weekend during the course of Black Friday and the rest of the Thanksgiving weekend, according to new Localytics data. The figure is based on the number of new devices that appeared in Localytics tracking for some 20,000 apps. The iPhone 5c and first-generation iPad mini also did well, each growing by 26 percent.
Sale price available today and Monday
Following technical difficulties on Cyber Monday, Motorola has extended the holiday promotion for its Moto X handset. The company's flagship smartphone is available today and Monday for just $349, marking a $150 savings, with full customization options via the Moto Maker site, though today's stock appears to be sold out.
Dual-screen YotaPhone will expand availability in early 2014
Yota Devices has started shipping its dual-screened YotaPhone, a smartphone that sports a pair of displays. On the front is a typical 4.3-inch 720x1280-resolution LCD screen, while on the back is a 360x640 e-paper display, one which can be used to read ebooks, display signs or messages, or even as a low-power alternative to the LCD screen when the battery needs to be recharged.
Issued licenses allow for 4G LTE cellular usage in China
The three major carriers in China have been issued licenses to operate TD-LTE networks in the country. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has provided the licenses to China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom today, which opens the door to Chinese mobile users being able to use faster mobile connections in the future.
Three removes roaming charges for UK users in US, Indonesia, Macau, Sri Lanka
British carrier Three has expanded its Feel At Home scheme to four more countries. Subscribers visiting the United States, Indonesia, Macau, and Sri Lanka will be able to use their call, text, and data allowances in the same way they already do at home, without any extra roaming charges. The carrier also advised that it would be rolling out its 4G service to customers throughout the winter, and aims to have all subscribers with a 4G-capable device able to use its 4G network by the end of the first quarter of 2014.
New technology allows for screen casting, better multiple device development
Google has released an update to its Chrome 32 beta browser today, adding significant improvements to its development tools for mobile. The new update allows developers to construct mobile apps that will run in the Chrome browser, loading content on mobile without leaving the development environment. The improvement facilitates viewing the app on multiple devices, insuring proper usability cross-platform.
UK ban proceedings may have leaked M8 launch
A judge in the United Kingdom appears to have confirmed a February launch windows for HTC's follow-up to this year's HTC One flagship. In the same proceedings that marked a ban on the HTC One Mini in the UK, BGR reports that Judge Richard Arnold pointed to a possible February 2014 launch for HTC's next flagship device. This is in keeping with previous rumors on the device's availability, but it is the most specific of any leaks, and appears based on internal information.
Taiwan's Catcher said to sculpt metal Galaxy S5
Samsung's follow-up to the Galaxy S4 may finally adopt a metal chassis, and the latest rumor has Samsung relying on the company responsible for the body of both the iPad mini and HTC's One to make it. PhoneArena reported Tuesday on a new rumor out of Taiwan that Samsung is looking to metal chassis producer Catcher to begin production of the Galaxy S5's body some time in December. Reportedly, the South Korean tech giant has called on the Taiwanese casing maker to produce between 10 and 30 million units for the forthcoming flagship.
Capped bills for stolen phones, early termination clauses in new agreement
Customers of mobile phone networks in the United Kingdom will be better protected from high bills after their phone is lost or stolen. EE, Virgin Media, Vodafone, and Three have all signed up to a government agreement that will, among other obligations, place a cap of £50 ($82) on the customer's liability for usage from the time the phone is reported as stolen.
HTC One spared from sales injunction, Nokia seeks financial compensation
HTC will no longer be allowed to sell the One Mini in the United Kingdom from the end of this week onwards. Judge Richard Arnold has ruled that chips used in the HTC One Mini infringed on a patent owned by Nokia, with a sales injunction on the device coming into effect from December 6th, though stopped short of doing the same for the HTC One.
Persistent security claims by US officials behind market exit
Huawei is planning to pull out of the United States, according to an interview with CEO Ren Zhengfei. The head of the company is effectively giving up on the US market, following two years of criticism and intense scrutiny by the US government, along with accusations that the telecommunications company is helping the Chinese government spy on US citizens and businesses.
TomTom's GPS watches' new MySports mobile app, offering easy data upload
TomTom, a GPS gadget producer, has announced its latest software release to compliment its GPS watches. TomTom MySports offers flexibility to runners, cyclists and swimmers in respects to their interactions with their performance data. Users of the Sports Watch can upload and access their key performance information to the app without needing to connect to a computer.
Big Cyber Monday deals found from TigerDirect, Best Buy
Cyber Monday has finally arrived, and online shoppers can take advantage of big sales this holiday season. We've gathered up some great deals on a variety of electronics, including TVs, smartphones, e-readers, tablets and hard drives.
Similar BenQ smartphones differ in processor choice, rear camera
Display manufacturer BenQ has rejoined the smartphone industry, by introducing a pair of quad-core devices in Taiwan. The F3 and A3 are both entry-level Android devices with similar 4.5-inch 960x540-resolution IPS displays, and though they both share the same external design and similar internal specifications, the two differ in terms of processor and rear cameras.
Oppo smartphone with 13MP swivel camera expands to Europe, US
Chinese phone manufacturer Oppo has revealed it will be shipping the N1 to the United States and Europe, starting from December 10th. The smartphone, originally launched in September, offers a unique 13-megapixel camera in a rotatable housing, allowing it to be used on both the front and back of the smartphone, as well as for alternative camera angles.
Third in Galaxy Grand range launch expected before Mobile World Congress
Samsung is not content with releasing an update to the Galaxy Grand, as the phone producer is working towards yet another version, according to a rumor. The Galaxy Grand Lite is said to be a mix between the original and the Galaxy Grand 2, launched earlier this week, and though it will have relatively similar specifications, the major change will be a 5-megapixel camera instead of the 8-megapixel version used previously.
Nokia successor says it's targeting Android devices
Jolla CEO Tomi Pienimaki says that his company's Sailfish OS is indeed compatible with Android devices and that Jolla will make it available to run on those devices in the near future. Pienimaki's remarks came in the course of an interview with Talouselama Magazine, and the Jolla chief pointed to the Chinese market as a potential area of expansion for the company. He also reaffirmed that Jolla is both a devices business and an OS business.
LG will add Android KitKat to G2 late in first quarter of 2014
The LG G2 will receive the latest version of Android early next year, allowing the device to skip past Android 4.3 entirely. Version 4.4 of the mobile operating system, also known as KitKat, will appear on the company's flagship smartphone late in the first quarter of 2014, or near the end of march, according to details passed from LG Canada to Mobile Syrup.
Moto X sees big price cut for holiday season
Motorola is offering a steep discount on its Moto X flagship smartphone on Monday. The manufacturer announced a $150 discount on the device last week that will go into effect on Cyber Monday, the day many online retailers give discounts on purchases. The phone will be available starting at $350 with the discount.
Microsoft soon to hold three-quarters of own mobile destiny
Nokia's Lumia line of smartphones now accounts for more than three out of four total Windows Phone devices in the hands of consumers, according to Ad Duplex. ZDNet reported this week on Nokia's increasing dominance over the Windows Phone environment, revealing numbers indicating that the soon-to-be Microsoft-owned line of devices has only grown its share as the platform has gradually expanded. Most of Nokia's growth, though, has come in the low-end handset market, an arena where competition is increasing rapidly.
Allows scaling for different phone, tablet szies
RunRev has released v6.5 of LiveCode, its simplified app development tool for iOS and Android apps. The update primarily adds resolution independence -- meaning that the same app can quickly be rescaled for any screen size, whether on a phone or a tablet. This includes accommodation for displays with high pixel densities, such as the iPhone 5s and iPad Air.
win one of 15 iD America prizes!
Black Friday is on, and to kick the Giveaway Blitz off today we are giving away 15 prizes from ID America. We have five of each of the following; the CrossLink Universal Sync and charge cable, the Cosmopolitan leatherette portfolio case and the Wall St for iPhone 4/4s, 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4. We don't want to waste any more precious Black Friday shopping time, so enter the giveaway and get started with the madness!
Quad-core ARM 64-bit designs being readied for 2014
Qualcomm, Nvidia and Broadcom are prepping s 64-bit quad-core chips for introduction in smartphones and tablets in the first half of 2014, reports Digitimes. The report aligns with ARM's roadmap for 64-bit chips that will see its partners begin mass production of 64-bit chips using its Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 designs in early 2014. Although not mentioned in the report, Samsung is also expected to produce a 64-bit Exynos Octa chip for its forthcoming Galaxy S5 that will use ARM's big.Little arrangement pairing four high-performance 64-bit cores with four low-power 64-bit cores.
Smartphone data consumption higher on phablets
Owners of smartphones with larger screens consume considerably more data on their devices than do the owners of smaller devices like Apple's iPhone. The finding comes from new figures out from The NPD Group, which looked at monthly Wi-Fi and cellular data consumption among American consumers. For the three months ending July 2013, NPD found that the owners of smartphones with screens sized 4.5 inches and larger used 44 percent more data than those with smaller devices.
Cross-carrier stolen phone database will connect with international versions
Work on a national stolen phone database covering AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless handsets has been completed, according to an announcement from CTIA. The wireless association revealed that the multi-carrier database has been implemented before its November 30th deadline, one which it hopes to connect to overseas carriers to protect against thefts worldwide.
AT&T killing support for U-Verse on Xbox 360 at end of 2013
AT&T will stop supporting the Xbox 360 under its U-Verse service after December 31st of this year. The service, which allowed the game console to act as a secondary set-top box for watching TV, with a representative advising Polygon that it was being pulled due to "low customer demand," and that it will not appear on the Xbox One. An e-mail sent out to a number of subscribers details a $99 credit to cover part of the cost of Xbox Live Gold membership, as well as the required conversion kit.
Real-world use makes Apple the more valuable mobile platform
Various studies from a variety of analytics firms which measure real-world interaction with devices (rather than the nebulous "shipments" number) have once again determined that Apple's iOS platform far outweighs Android in two key areas: rewarding developers and user interaction. A study by Adfonic found that ad impressions on iOS outpaced Android (which supposedly has about a 6x larger base) by two to one. A Business Insider report found that developers for iOS make five times what they do on Android.
New iPhones, NTT DoCoMo contributing factors
The iPhone accounted for 76 percent of Japanese smartphone sales during the month of October, according to Kantar World Panel data. Specific reasons for Apple's dominance are unmentioned, but are likely attributable to two factors. The first is the launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c on September 20th, since model refreshes always cause a surge in Apple sales. The other, though, is the addition of NTT DoCoMo as a carrier.
Moto X wood options will be available in coming weeks
The Moto X will have options for a wood backing in the future, but not in time for Thanksgiving, according to a Reuters reporter on Twitter. Despite this, Motorola is allegedly aiming to offer the backing option to customers through Moto Maker in the coming weeks, "in time for some holiday shopping." Original sightings of the backing showed options for Ebony, Rosewood, Teak, and Bamboo, though it is not clear which of these will be offered to customers.