Microsoft has rolled out a new smartphone in the Lumia range called the Lumia 530. The smartphone is set to land in Europe next month and will sell for €85 before taxes and subsidies. Odds are the cheap device will be free on certain tariffs.
The smartphone has a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor and runs Windows Phone 8.1. Other hardware features include a 5MP camera, 4-inch screen, and interchangeable colored shells.
The 4-inch screen has a native resolution of 854 x 480 and Microsoft will offer dual and single SIM versions of the smartphone. Microsoft has also unveiled a new mobile speaker along with the phone called the Bang by Coloud designed to plug in with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Its internal battery is good for eight hours of playback.
There are many mobile wallet apps out there that allow you to do things like store credit cards and debit cards. There are also different wallet apps that allow you to send money digitally to other users. Amazon has launched a new wallet app called Amazon Wallet that is designed to be used at the point of sale in stores.
Amazon Wallet lacks some of the features you might expect with an inability to store credit cards or debit cards and no ability to send payments. That may not be a big deal to some security conscious users out there. What Amazon Wallet can do is store your gift cards and loyalty cards.
Using the app, you can scan or type in gift card and loyalty card numbers. The goal is to help you reduce clutter in your wallet. Perhaps future updates will let you add in credit and debit cards for use at the point of sale. The Amazon Wallet app is available on the Amazon Appstore and Google Play.
Microsoft reported its quarterly earnings this week looking at most aspects of its business. One of the things that didn't get talked about during the quarterly report was exactly how sales for the Xbox One are going. Early in the launch cycle for the new console, Microsoft was bragging frequently about how the console was selling.
All we heard on sales stats for the console during the earnings report was that Microsoft shipped 1.1 million Xbox One consoles in the last quarter. Microsoft has only moved 100,000 more consoles than it did last year in the same period when the Xbox One wasn't available.
The last official Xbox One sales figures came in May of this year when Microsoft said it had shipped over 5 million Xbox One consoles to retailers around the world. That number put it about 2 million units behind the PS4 in sales.
Apple posted its quarterly profits this week and shed a bit of light on sales for its popular iPad and iPhone devices. While iPhone sales are up, sales of iPad tablets are slowing with sales slumping to 13.3 million units during the quarter, a 9% decline.
This marks the second quarter in a row where sales of the iPad have been on the decline. CEO Tim Cook says that the key to reviving iPad sales is to get more of the tablets into the business world. Cook notes that Apple has 76% of the commercial market with its products, but tablets are used less often in the commercial setting than laptops.
Apple admits that sales for the iPad last quarter were less than some analysts predicted, but says that sales were in line with its own predictions. "We still feel the category as a whole is in its early days and there is significant innovation that can be brought to the iPad and we plan on doing that," Cook said.
Google is offering a new prize for anyone who can build a better power inverter. The price is a cool $1 million and it is being offered as part of the little box challenge. To win designers need to build a better small-scale power inverter than is available today.
What Google and the other firms backing the prize are looking for is a kW-scale power inverter with a density of at least 50W per cubic inch. Some believe that a power inverter of this type will allow the unlocking of billions of dollars of commercial value from the electric grid.
Google says, "We believe that inverters will become increasingly important to our economy and environment as solar PV, batteries, and similar power sources continue their rapid growth. More broadly, similar forms of power electronics are everywhere: in laptops, phones, motors drives, electric vehicles, wind turbines, to give just a few examples. We expect that the innovations inspired by this prize will have wide applicability across these areas, increasing efficiency, driving down costs, and opening up new uses cases that we can't imagine today. It also doesn't hurt that many of these improvements could make our data centers run more safely and efficiently."
Flir is a company that has been making thermal imaging cameras for commercial and military use for a number of years. The company has been under pressure to branch out into the broader consumer market and has an interesting new product to help. The new product is called the Flir One and it is an accessory for the iPhone 5 or 5S smartphones.
The accessory camera will sell for $349 making it much cheaper than the $1000 price the next cheapest thermal camera sells for. A version of the Flir one for Android users will roll out next year.
Flir thinks that consumers will see the benefit in a thermal imaging camera that sells for $350. Using the camera people can do things like check for cold or hot air leaking into or out of a home allowing them to better insulate and save money on heating and cooling. Developers are working with Flir now on making apps to take advantage of the camera.
Muscle car fans are probably familiar with the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat; the car is one of the most powerful production muscle cars in the world. Dodge gave the Hellcat a massive amount of power with an engine making 707hp and claiming the horsepower crown in the muscle car realm.
With the Camaro ZL1 packing 580hp and the Shelby GT500 packing 662hp, you might expect the Hellcat with significantly more power to be price a lot higher, and it is more expensive. The sales price for the Hellcat is going to start at $60,990. The Camaro ZL1 starts at $57,650 and the GT500 starts at $55,935.
707hp is an insane amount of power to come from a factory engine in a car meant for the streets. The Hellcat will go on sale this fall along with the other available versions of the car. The SRT 392 version of the car will sell for $46,990.
Electronic Arts posted its results for the first quarter of the fiscal 2015 year (the three-month period that ended on June 30) where the company saw a net revenue of $1.21 billion. This is an 8% increase compared to EA's revenue in the previous quarter, which was $1.12 billion.
When comparing to year-over-year results, it's an increase of 27.9%. The company has also increased its digital revenue by a little over 9% in the last three months too, increasing this revenue from $491 million to $536 million. EA's net income dropped 8.7% for the last quarter, dropping from $367 million in Q4 of fiscal 2014 to $335 million.
If we compare it to the same quarter of last year, EA's net income has increased by a whopping 50.9%. The company took the time to announce two delays for two of its biggest franchises, with Dragon Age: Inquisition being pushed back a month into November, and delaying Battlefield: Hardline into 2015.
Rumors continue to swirl that Apple is getting ready to launch a smartwatch in the US. A patent has now been granted by the USPTO that covers an electronic wristwatch that was originally filed in July 2011. The patent certainly shows what Apple was thinking about a wearable device as far back as three years ago.
The patent is US Patent 8,787,006 and went public yesterday. If you are hoping that the patent will shed light on what the iWatch, or iTime device might be like, all the patent really shows is what Apple was thinking in 2011. The watch in the line art with the patent looks nothing like the bangle we have seen in concept renderings.
The watch in the patent is a wristband that has a mobile device component that can be clipped onto the band worn on the wrist and can function when off the band too. The patent does call the device iTime, but no note of a trademark being filed for that name has been found. This patent almost looks like a spinoff of the iPod nano watchbands that were common a few years ago.
EA has delayed a second game today, with the first being Battlefield: Hardline pushed back into sometime next year, but Dragon Age: Inquisition is also getting a little more time in the oven. Bioware's upcoming fantasy RPG has a new release date of November 18, 2014 - an extra month of waiting.
Executive Producer on the game, Mark Darrah, explains: "I'm writing to let you know that Dragon Age: Inquisition has a new release date of November 18, 2014 in North America (November 21st in EU). We appreciate the enormous support we've received from all of you to get to this point, and while this extra few weeks may not seem like a lot, I know the game you'll play will be all the better for it".
Darrah continued: "Since we began working on Dragon Age: Inquisition almost four years ago, our goal was to create the best Dragon Age experience ever. It was that goal that motivated many of our decisions: moving to Frostbite, bringing race choice and customisation back, improving tactical camera, building a team of characters whose relationships evolve based on your actions, and most importantly, crafting an epic, nation-spanning story that both draws upon past games and takes you to many new places in the realm of Thedas".