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RumorTT: Apple has began cutting iPhone 5 production

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 9, 2013 2:01 pm

This morning, reports are coming in that Apple has began to cut production on its iPhone 5 model. The report comes from Brian Blair of Wedge Partners, an analyst who closely follows Apple's production numbers. Apple's core suppliers are said to be expecting a cut as large as 20 percent for orders of components that make up the iPhone 5.




"So, when they make a dramatic change in their forecast, they need to let their suppliers know," Blair said. "And this is coming from some of our supply-chain work out of China and Taiwan that has let us know, not exactly, but that there's been roughly this kind of a change in their forecast for the period from June to December, about a 20 percent cut in what they've been telling their suppliers to be ready for."


Industry insiders say that Apple has cut iPhone sales forecast down from 115 million units to about 90 million units. Cutting back production is usually seen as an indication that Apple is getting ready to release its next generation in the iPhone series, so maybe we will begin hearing a solid release date for the iPhone 5S as well as that low-cost, budget level iPhone as well.

Target begins offering gift cards with every iOS device purchase

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 9, 2013 12:07 pm

Retail giant Target has begun offering gift cards in varying amounts for the purchase of iOS devices. The gift cards range from $50 all the way down to $10 and are available for Apple devices ranging from the current iPad models, iPod touch, Apple TV, and iPhone 5.




Purchasing a 16 GB full-sized Wi-Fi equipped iPad for $500 will net you a $50 gift card, while the $330 16 GB iPad mini with Wi-Fi will see a $40 gift card find its way into your pocket. Apple's $100 TV unit will score consumers a shiny new $10 gift card, with a $229 16 GB iPod touch coming with $20 free dollars from Target.


A $150 16GB iPhone 5 will reward you with a $25 gift card and can be activated on AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint. It is unclear why Target is offering these discounts, but it might be safe to assume that Target is looking to clear the existing warehouse stock to make room for upcoming new devices for the holiday season.

Facebook rolls out Android app update, adds folders to Facebook Home

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Jul 9, 2013 11:05 am

Facebook Home appears to be nothing more than a novelty for most Android users, with many reverting back to their stock Android skins just after a few hours after installing the service. One of the biggest gripes I have heard is the lack of folders for the home screen.




Today, Facebook has answered the cries echoed by so many in an update that was pushed out to the Google Play Store. The new update brings folder support which allows smartphone owners to drag one app on top of another to start a folder. Folders can be named, moved, and added to a person's application drawer for even faster access.


"An improved launcher is the most requested item Facebook has received since the launch of Home, and the team continues to make updates to Home in order to provide consumers with the best experience," a Facebook spokesperson told CNET. "For example, last month, Facebook added a dock to the Home launcher and the team is currently working on widget support that will put Home's launcher on par with stock Android launchers."

Windows 8.1 official release to ship to vendors in August

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Jul 9, 2013 10:03 am

This morning, Windows chief Tami Reller announced that the company's PC and tablet vendor partners will receive a "near-final" version of Windows 8.1 in late August. Why August? This will give PC OEMs and system builders enough time with the software to prepare devices for the upcoming 2013 holiday season.




With Windows 8.1, users will notice the return of a start button, enhancements to the desktop mode, and changes to the start screen. Multitasking enhancements also make their way into the operating system as well as the inclusion of several long-sought after features such as Facebook for Windows 8.

LeakedTT: Droid Ultra Specs and Image leaked, will officially be announced later this week

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 9, 2013 8:33 am

In a day that can only be described as "Leak Day," a new image of Motorola and Verizon's upcoming Droid Ultra has arose from everyone's favorite leaker @evleaks. Unlike previously thought, the Droid Ultra will become Verizon's flagship Android device for the second half of 2013 and the Droid MAXX will become the mid-high grade offering.




The Droid Ultra is said to feature a full 1080p 5-inch display, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, and 2GB of RAM. A 10-megapixel rear camera will handle the imaging duties, which is said to be comprised of a super high-end imaging sensor that handles low light situations exceptionally well. Motorola is expected to host press events later this week on July 10 and 11 at Google's Mountain View headquarters and we are anticipating that the entire new Droid lineup will be unveiled then.

Samsung to launch four different versions of Galaxy Note III by year's end

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 9, 2013 7:32 am

Today, a Korean news outlet is reporting that Samsung's Galaxy Note III will come in three flavors when it launches later this year. The phablet will be joined by two siblings that, as far as hardware is concerned, will be the same device.




The differences will arise with different configurations of displays, cameras, and cases in a bid to appease different segments of the market. The premium Galaxy Note III S is said to feature a flexible display and an all metal chassis. A midrange device will feature a 1080p non-flexible display with the same metal case. A lower resolution 720p variant could make an appearance and feature a plastic case.


As with all rumors, you should take this information with a healthy dose of salt, but as we've seen with the Galaxy S4 line, Samsung loves creating variants of their flagship devices. We can expect to see the official reveal of the Galaxy Note III during the IFA trade show in Berlin later this month.

Google teams up with Maker Faire for the second year of Maker Camp

By: Charles Gantt | More News: | Posted: Jul 9, 2013 6:06 am

Google announced today that it has once again teamed up with Maker Faire to produce the second year of its online summer camp called Maker Camp. The online summer camp teaches teens how to build, hack, and explore over a six week period in which Google hosts virtual field trips to NASA, Cern, and Disney Imagineering.




Each day attendees of Maker Camp join counselors on a new project or field trip which utilize Google hangouts to get advice and share their experiences. Teens are able to join from their desktops, mobile devices, and as of this year, visit a local Maker Camp affiliate site, such as a library or hacker space, where they can assemble in person.


Projects include things such as making a tensile strength tower, glowing candy, and potato cannons. At the kickoff event today at San Francisco's Exploratorium, campers raced boats that were built from 2-liter soda bottles which taught them important facts about fluid dynamics and rotor technology. Anyone interested in following along with Maker Camp can visit Source #1 below to join in all the fun.

Continue reading 'Google teams up with Maker Faire for the second year of Maker Camp' (full post)

Facebook finally rolls out Graph Search for all US users

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jul 9, 2013 4:55 am

Early this morning, Facebook finally switched on Graph Search for all of its English-speaking users in the US. By expanding its test program that was rolled out in January from a few thousand users to a few million users, Facebook can now see how its new search performs on a massive scale.




Graph search is a tool that allows people to search Facebook's fast database using natural language searches to find almost anything the social network has ever indexed. An example of one search would be: "Photographs of my friends taken before 2005" or "restaurants in New York City my friends have visited and liked." Facebook would then return results based on your query.


I feel the graph search, while cool, is not really useful past searching for restaurants, photos, or places. I have been a member of the beta program since the week it was released and to be quite honest, the novelty wore off very fast. In the past few months, Facebook has modified the search so much that now most results are quite broad and not a specific as they used to be.

Continue reading 'Facebook finally rolls out Graph Search for all US users' (full post)

DirecTV and Time Warner Cable both place last minute bids for Hulu on July 5 deadline

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 9, 2013 4:11 am

July 5 was the deadline for all bidding proposals to buy the content streaming service Hulu. The date was set by the Board of Directors after bids were received from everyone including Yahoo, AT&T and the Chernin Group in recent weeks. Today, we found out that both DirecTV and Time Warner Cable also submitted their bids before the deadline was up.




DirecTV apparently placed a bid to acquire the company as a whole, while Time Warner Cable reportedly offered up a proposal to become an investor alongside the service's current owners: Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox Inc., and Comcast.


No word on how much each bid was for, but with Yahoo's bid around $1.1 billion, we can assume that similar offers were in the same ballpark. It looks like Hulu will get purchased by someone, and let's all hope that the service actually improves over the current state it is in.

Beats Audio working on partnership with A&TT to create music streaming service

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Audio, Sound & Speakers | Posted: Jul 9, 2013 3:03 am

Beats Audio has been jockeying to get their music streaming service Daisy off the ground for quite some time now. Today, we're hearing reports that the company is working to partner with AT&T in an effort to leverage the wireless carrier's marketing muscle to finally get the service up and running.




Earlier today, CNET reported that Beats co-founder Jimmy Lovine has been seen in meetings with executives from both AT&T and big-name music labels trying to iron out deals that would give AT&T customers free trial periods of the Daisy service.


Lovine is no stranger to asking big name investors for help. Back in March, he reportedly sought out billionaire Len Blavatnik who led a group of investors to a $60 million round of funding for Daisy. Today's rumor, combined with that report, means that Daisy may finally take flight and rival such music streaming services a Spotify, Xbox Music, and Google Play Music.