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Apple, Samsung effectively tied for lead in global smartphone market

01/29, 10:02am

The timing of Apple's surge during the last quarter and Samsung's respective slump has put the two corporations in a dead heat in terms of smartphone marketshare, according to Strategy Analytics. The research firm estimates that the companies each shipped about 74.5 million smartphones worldwide; while only Apple has announced that figure specifically, Samsung says that of the 95 million handsets it shipped in total, the number of smartphones went into the "high 70 percent range." That could mean anything between 71 and 75 million units.

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Microsoft releases Outlook preview, ships Office for Android apps

01/29, 7:36am

Microsoft has made its Office apps available to all Android users, following the limited preview release and the iOS version. The apps, including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, are accompanied by a new preview of another Office app, with a rebranded version of email app Acompli as Outlook downloadable from both Google Play and the iTunes App Store.

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Briefly: Gmail 'Send Money' option in UK, Sky Go app on PlayStation 3

01/29, 5:58am

Google is adding the Send Money option to Gmail in the United Kingdom. Originally available to US users since 2013, the option allows users to attach funds to an outbound email by selecting the £ symbol, which can also be used to request money, with funds transferred between users via Google Wallet. The feature is rolling out to all Gmail users in the UK over the age of 18 in the coming weeks.

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Facebook quarterly results reveal high mobile advertising revenues

01/28, 9:05pm

Facebook's latest quarterly earnings reveal the social network is in good shape and continuing to beat projections, with a lot of it down to the continued increase of mobile devices to access the service. The social network's total revenues of $3.85 billion with earnings per share of $0.54, up from the previous quarter's $3.2 billion revenue and $0.40 earnings.

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TracFone settles with FTC over 'unlimited' plan throttling complaints

01/28, 7:19pm

A carrier has settled with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over complaints it offered mobile phone contracts that claim to have "unlimited" data, but turn out do not. TracFone was accused by the FTC of capping and throttling customers on the "unlimited" plans, with the carrier agreeing to pay out $40 million in refunds to consumers as part of its settlement.

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BlackPhone manufacturer plugs text messaging bug in secure smartphone

01/28, 3:58pm

A flaw in a security-focused Android smartphone's software caused it to be susceptible to attack, according to a security researcher. A now-patched vulnerability in an app included on the BlackPhone allowed attackers to read encrypted messages, contacts stored on the smartphone, and to also remotely control device functions.

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Sony reportedly plans 1,000 more layoffs from mobile division

01/28, 1:13pm

Sony is planning to cull 1,000 more jobs from its smartphone arm, as it continues to counter its financial problems and become more profitable, a report claims. The under-performing mobile phone unit will apparently undergo layoffs in Europe and China, on top of existing plans to cut 1,000 positions within the division by October.

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French law proposes holding tech companies accountable for hate speech

01/28, 11:05am

French lawmakers want to hold tech companies accountable for online hate speech. A proposed law, which will apparently be presented next month, will make Google, Facebook, and any company that offers online services to the public "accomplices" to hate-speech crimes, in an attempt to coerce them to monitor their services more closely, and force the removal of terror-related content.

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ZTE Blade S6 revealed with octa-core 64-bit processor, 13MP camera

01/28, 9:22am

Chinese device producer ZTE has introduced a new mid-ranged smartphone in its Blade series, this time with an octa-core processor. The Blade S6 uses the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage, and an Adreno 405 GPU, all packed behind a 5-inch HD IPS In-cell display within a 7.7mm-thick body.

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Briefly: Motorola discounts in February, Amazon Fire Phone deal in UK

01/28, 5:22am

Motorola will be offering multiple discounts on devices in its mobile store, as part of a Valentine's Day promotion. From February 3 until February 14, the manufacturer is discounting pre-tax purchases worth $500 by $100, or $35 off $250 purchases, though an customers registering for the promotion within a one-hour window on February 2 will get codes worth $140 and $50 off the $500 and $250 respective purchases.

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AT&T takes $4B loss on $34.4B in revenues last quarter

01/27, 9:07pm

AT&T earned consolidated revenues of $34.4 billion in the last quarter, an improvement from last quarter's $32.9 billion, and a year-on year increase of 3.8 percent -- 4.5 percent if a loss-laden sale of its Connecticut wireline properties is taken into account. Even so, it made for a total loss of $4 billion, or $0.77 per share, something the carrier warned about last week.

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Apple Q1 breakdown reveals 18 percent decline in iPad shipments

01/27, 5:16pm

Beyond its official press release, Apple has posted a detailed breakdown (PDF) of its fiscal first quarter. The document is the only one to mention iPad sales, and reveals that shipments dropped 18 percent year-over-year to 21.42 million. Revenues for the tablet fell 22 percent to $9 billion.

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Apple posts $74.6B in Q1 revenues based on iPhone, Mac sales

01/27, 4:48pm

Apple has posted the results of its first fiscal quarter for 2015, which actually ended on December 27. The company says it achieved record quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion, and similarly record-setting net profits of $18 billion, or $3.06 per share. The figures compare against $57.6 billion, $13.1 billion, and $2.07 in Q1 2014; gross margins increased from 37.9 percent to 39.9 percent. Apple notes that international sales made up 65 percent of the recent quarter's revenues.

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Google Fiber heading to Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham

01/27, 2:51pm

Just as expected, Google has revealed the next locations it will be launching Google Fiber, following its existing installations in Kansas City, Provo, and Austin. Confirming earlier reports, the high-speed Internet service will be rolling out in Atlanta, Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee; and Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte in North Carolina.

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Verizon pays $5M to settle FCC rural call completion investigation

01/27, 2:11pm

Verizon has agreed to settle an investigation with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over complaints that it itself had failed to investigate issues with rural calls. After admitting its failure, Verizon has agreed to pay a fine of $2 million, as well as implementing a "compliance plan" which involves spending an extra $3 million on sorting out rural call completion issues.

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