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RumorTT: More talk on Apple's 'watch computer' floats around, rumors of a 100 person team circling

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Feb 13, 2013 6:38 am

A new rumor has crawled out of the probably dusty and dirty rumor mill, this time coming from Bloomberg. Peter Burrows and Adam Satariano report that Apple have a team of around 100 product designers working on a 'wristwatch-like' device that shares functions from iOS devices.

 

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The report listed managers, members of the marketing group and engineers that worked on both the iPad and iPhone. Two specific Apple employees are named, first, James Foster, who is a Senior Director of Engineering and another manager named Achim Pantfoerder, who are said to be on the - what I'm calling - iWatch team.

 

Pantfoerder has been credited with multiple patents, one of which is a joint patent with Apple's Tony Fadell for integrated proximity and light sensors that ended up getting baked into the iPod touch, iPhone and iPads, as well as another patent in relation to Apple's stereo headset jacks, and more. We should see this third rumor as solidification of Apple releasing a wearable computing device, and not just some rumor from 'sources within the upstream supply chain'.

Apple enjoys success in Japan, tops their mobile industry for the first time

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 13, 2013 5:41 am

Japan's mobile market is a new territory for Apple to conquer, but it looks like last year was good to them as the iPhone maker scooped up the top spot in Japan's mobile phone market for a twelve-month period for the first time ever.

 

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Apple took 16% of Japan's mobile market - this includes smartphones and feature phones - in Q4 2012, giving them an overall 15% share of the year as a whole. This pushes Apple just ahead of Japan locals Sharp and Fujitsu who both held 14% share eacj, according to a new report from Counterpoint Research.

 

Apple have previously taken the top spot in Japan's mobile industry but it has always been short lived and usually happened at the beginning of new product launches, like the iPhone 4S' launch in 2011. Apple reaching the top is a big fact, with Sharp being knocked off their top spot after a six-year run as number one.

Continue reading 'Apple enjoys success in Japan, tops their mobile industry for the first time' (full post)

BlueStacks provides the ability to run Android apps on Microsoft's Surface Pro

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Feb 13, 2013 4:37 am

BlueStacks is at it again, this time updating their application to work with Microsoft's Surface Pro, as well as Windows 8, providing the ability to run Android apps on the tablet and OS, respectively.

 

 

The latest version of their app fully supports Windows 8, right down to the charms bar and rotation support, as well as being optimized for the Surface Pro. Best of all, BlueStacks' app is free, giving you the ability to run Android apps on Windows 8 devices, or if you were lucky enough to score one of Microsoft's Surface Pro tablets in the last couple of days.

Continue reading 'BlueStacks provides the ability to run Android apps on Microsoft's Surface Pro' (full post)

LG unveils their Optimus G Pro, features a 5.5-inch display, curved glass

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 13, 2013 3:31 am

I've said it previously, but I think we're going to see LG really crank up their quality moving into 2013 and it looks like this is happening. Today we have the unveiling of the South Korean-based company's Optimus G Pro.

 

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LG's Optimus G Pro features a 5.5-inch display, and a curved glass design available in both black and white which LG says produces a "2.5D effect". The aforementioned 5.5-inch display ushers in 1920x1080 pixels, a quad-core processor that we should expect to arrive as Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro.

 

We should expect a launch later this month, but LG haven't stated whether this would be locked to just South Korea or not. We should hear more later this month at Mobile World Congress.

Corsair acquires Scotland-based Simple Audio

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 13, 2013 2:37 am

On their rampage for world domination, Corsair have just acquired Scotland-based Simple Audio. Simple Audio have been around for five years and is mostly known in Europe for their networked set-top receivers.

 

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These receivers are capable of sharing music from PCs, Macs, TVs, iPods and MP3 players, so we should expect Corsair to expand their audio lineup in the coming months and years. Corsair's acquisition will see Simple Audio's products jump across the pond, hopefully sooner rather than later.

 

Corsair haven't said anything about the amount of money they paid for Simple Audio, but the American computer component maker have said that they'd been checking out Simple Audio's dance moves for a while now - even since 2010 - and felt that now is the right time to acquire them.

New Batman Arkham game coming this year, not developed by Rocksteady Studios unfortunately

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 13, 2013 1:23 am

The two Batman games we've been treated to over the last few years have been homeruns for Rocksteady Studios, but according to the latest investor from Time Warner, we should expect a third Batman Arkham game this year, not made by Rocksteady Studios. Time Warner's CFO and Chief Administrative Officer, John K. Martin, said:

 

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And we also have a strong games release this year, which will include the next release in the Batman Arkham franchise. So all in all, we expect Warners to post another very strong year in 2013. And with a little luck, the year should be as good or maybe even a little bit better than 2012.

 

VG247's sources have confirmed that Rocksteady Studios' hands won't be all over this one, sadly.

PlayStation 3 users finally get Skyrim DLC, Dragonborn now available

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 13, 2013 1:07 am

If you've been waiting around for the Skyrim DLC to come to PlayStation 3, your wait can finally come to an end. Over the next three weeks, Sony will be releasing one DLC pack per week. First up for release is Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC which is available for only $9.99 for the first week. After which, it will set you back $19.99.

 

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Users will be able to pick up Hearthfire next week, so stay tuned for news about when that is released.

Continue reading 'PlayStation 3 users finally get Skyrim DLC, Dragonborn now available' (full post)

Analyst says iTunes is Apple's fourth largest business

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 13, 2013 12:28 am

According to an analyst, Apple's fourth largest business is iTunes. Horace Dediu from Asymco says that the $13.5 billion in revenue generated by iTunes last year is enough to make it one of Apple's main focuses. According to Dediu, iTunes revenues have been rising "steadily and rapidly."

 

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iTunes has apparently managed to have an average growth rate of 30 percent over the past two years. Due to Apple's Mac and iPod businesses shrinking, Dediu predicts that iTunes could soon become Apple's third largest business. Whether or not this negates the RIAA's argument that pirating is bad, it can be shown that digital sales are certainly growing despite pirates.

 

"Indeed, if seen in isolation, iTunes plus Accessories combined is a bigger business in terms of revenues than any of the other phone vendors except Samsung," Dediu said.

Amazon is most reputable US company, forges ahead of Apple

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 12, 2013 11:27 pm

In a new Harris poll that sought the opinions of more than 14,000 people, Amazon has come out on top in two of the six categories. The poll asked respondents to rank companies based upon six criteria: social responsibility; emotional appeal; financial performance; products and services; vision and leadership; and workplace environment.

 

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Amazon pulled out a win in the "emotional appeal" and "products and services" categories. Amazon managed to place in the top five for the other four categories. Overall, Amazon managed to come out with a grade of 82.62, which makes this the fifth year in a row that they placed above 80 out of 100.

 

"Our results show that Amazon has managed to build an intimate relationship with the public without being perceived as intrusive," Robert Fronk, executive vice president of Reputation Management at Harris Interactive, said in a statement. "And as the company that is so widely known for its personal recommendations, more than 9 in 10 members of the public would recommend Amazon to friends and family."

 

Google made it into the top five for five of the criteria and Apple, just four. Still, tech companies appear to be doing well when it comes to reputation. Even Facebook made it into the Top 60 companies.

Snapchat beta testing self-destructing videos in Android version of app

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Apps | Posted: Feb 12, 2013 11:02 pm

Snapchat users running the app on Android haven't been able to send candid, self-destructing video messages, though this should soon change. Snapchat is beta testing the ability for Android-based Snapchat users to send videos that self-destruct Mission Impossible style before launching the update for all Android users.

 

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Yesterday, an invitation may have popped up and--pardon the pun--self-destructed on your device. If you missed registering for the beta, you'll have to wait until the app is updated in the Google Play Store. This could take a few days to a few weeks depending on how many bugs are found by the beta testers.

 

Of course, we caution users that the ability to save videos and pictures by looking into the app's files before viewing still exists. If there is something you can't have getting out, we recommend not sending it via Snapchat.

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