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Amazon executive blames bad pricing for lacking Fire Phone sales

10/31, 1:59pm

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.

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Samsung Galaxy A5, A3 introduced with metal unibody design

10/31, 7:02am

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.

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Hands On: Organ Trail Director's Cut (iOS and Android)

10/31, 1:23am

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.

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LG Display develops screen for smartphones with 0.7mm bezel

10/30, 9:21am

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.

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Motorola buyout deal closed, mobile device maker now Lenovo subsidiary

10/30, 8:47am

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.

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Apple, Samsung still tops in smartphone market, but Xiaomi rising fast

10/30, 12:44am

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.

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Google holding second Project Ara developer conference in January

10/29, 1:34pm

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.

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CurrentC payment system customer emails stolen

10/29, 12:40pm

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.

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Huawei brings Honor 6 to Europe, launches Honor 4X in China

10/29, 11:45am

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.

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Oppo launches N3 with rotating camera, 4.85mm-thick R5 smartphones

10/29, 8:01am

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.

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FTC launches suit against AT&T for unlimited data plan throttling

10/28, 1:51pm

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.

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Verizon adds Motorola Droid Turbo to Droid smartphone range

10/28, 1:50pm

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.

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Motorola commences sales of Moto 360 in UK, discounts Moto X

10/28, 11:52am

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.

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Sprint adds 12-month option to 'iPhone for Life' leasing plan

10/24, 4:58pm

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.

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Samsung's Knox Android security suite under fire from new researcher

10/24, 8:59am

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."

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Sprint increases Family Share Pack range with 1GB plan for $20

10/24, 8:08am

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.

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LG reveals Nuclun octa-core processor, confirms G3 Screen smartphone

10/24, 6:32am

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.

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Facebook unleashes Rooms, brings communities back to chat rooms

10/23, 7:55pm

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.

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Microsoft confirms shift away from Nokia, new brand debuts in France

10/21, 3:56pm

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.

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Review: Kenu Airframe Plus

10/21, 3:06pm

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.

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LG reportedly preparing launch of first smartphone with Odin processor

10/21, 9:09am

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.

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HTC Desire 820 mini goes on sale in China with 5-inch 720p display

10/21, 7:27am

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.

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OnePlus One pre-orders open for one-hour window on October 27

10/20, 3:52pm

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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We're hiring: paid mobile app reviewer position available

10/17, 10:05am

Get software and money for writing app reviews for MacNN, Electronista

MacNN and Electronista are hiring paid app reviewers! We're looking for writers who have a familiarity with and own iOS and OS X devices, with Windows and Android gear a bonus. The ideal candidate has four hours free per day, and is available five days a week of your choosing. Applicants will be expected to write two reviews of software we would provide, of approximately 400 words in length, in a daily shift. Interested? Look inside for more details.

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Nvidia, Sony, HTC detail devices set to receive Android Lollipop

10/17, 5:59am

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.

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HP dropping remaining support for webOS, cloud services ending 2015

10/16, 10:38pm

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.

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CBS launches cord-cutter subscription for live stream, back catalog TV

10/16, 10:33am

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.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition spotted on Android website

10/16, 8:06am

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.

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Lenovo forming new phone brand in China to compete with Xiaomi

10/15, 9:57pm

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.

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Motorola details first smartphones receiving Android Lollipop update

10/15, 8:00pm

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.

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Verizon changing Edge program, shifts upgrades to every 18 months

10/15, 5:19pm

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.

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Google Nexus 6 launches with 5.96-inch Quad HD display

10/15, 1:16pm

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.

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Android L now called Lollipop, ships on new Nexus devices

10/15, 12:58pm

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.

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Asus PadFone X mini heading to AT&T, GoPhone with Intel Atom processor

10/15, 10:27am

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.

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BlackBerry Classic resurfaces, compared to BlackBerry Passport

10/15, 7:26am

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.

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Oppo teases aluminum construction, swivel camera of N3 smartphone

10/13, 5:16pm

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.

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HTC launches One M8 Eye in China with 13MP rear Duo Camera system

10/10, 8:37am

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.

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Verizon-exclusive Sony Xperia Z3v shipping later this month

10/10, 7:10am

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.

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Specific date for WiMax shutdown leaked, later confirmed by Sprint

10/09, 10:59am

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.

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HTC launches Desire Eye smartphone with 13MP front camera

10/08, 5:18pm

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.

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AT&T fined $105M by FTC over cramming, $80M offered as refunds

10/08, 4:09pm

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.

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Briefly: SoundFocus' sound system iPhone case, XML Editor 16.1

10/08, 3:15pm

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.

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Plastc launches physical credit card substitute Plastc Card

10/07, 12:37pm

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.

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Nokia India factory to close in November, 6600 workers fired

10/07, 11:44am

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.

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Apple to buy up 25 percent of world's DRAM by 2015, analyst claims

10/07, 1:56am

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.

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Review: Huawei Ascend P7

10/06, 8:02pm

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.

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Rumored HTC Desire Eye resurfaces with front-facing 13MP camera

10/06, 6:40am

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.

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T-Mobile CEO John Legere laughs at iPhone 6 bending controversy

10/05, 6:35pm

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----."

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Disney axes two Star Wars mobile titles, both less than a year old

10/04, 10:40am

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.

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Microsoft patent lawsuit against Samsung unsealed, $1B paid annually

10/04, 8:21am

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.

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