It's not everyday that someone gets to tour the factory where the iPad is made. Often it is reserved for Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, or Bill Weir of Nightline. Thanks to American Public Media's Marketplace, we can now all take a peek inside the factory and see where one of Apple's hottest gadgets gets made.
"When I gave examples of some of the American media coverage of the working conditions at Foxconn, many workers laughed, telling me it's not really that bad" Schmitz wrote. "But that doesn't mean the workers don't have complaints." Schmitz is partially responsible for debunking Daisey's "theatrical" version of what happens in the Foxconn plants.
"The first misconception I had about Foxconn's Longhua facility in the city of Shenzhen was that I've always called it a 'factory' -- technically, it is," Schmitz wrote. "But after you enter the gates and walk around, you quickly realize that it's also a city -- 240,000 people work here. Nearly 50,000 of them live on campus in shared dorm rooms."
So take this unique chance to take a gander inside the factory where the iPad is made. See it being built and tested. Watch the video above.
If you want to take your subsidized phone off of the carrier it was made for, you need to a code from your cell carrier. This will allow you to then use any network with the correct technology (GSM/CDMA). Starting yesterday, Wednesday, April 11, customers wishing to unlock their device will now have to wait 30 days and ensure their first payment has been made to Three.
In addition to the waiting, you will have to pay a fee of £15.32 for them to unlock the device. Devices are locked to a carrier because the carrier often subsidize the phone. They need to have the phone active on their network to gain that money back. The fee cannot be added to a customers bill and must be paid with a credit/debit card.
To get a phone unlocked, you have to call in--the stores cannot do it. 3 says: "In most cases, once the payment has been made we can give the unlock code to the customer straight away. Where that isn't possible it may take 2-3 days to get the unlock code processed. Throughout the process we'll text to advise when the code is ready, and if there's a problem we will also text the customer to let them know when to expect the code."
Samsung have just priced their new Galaxy Tab and Player series, where we now know the pricing of the 7- and 10.1-inch tablets. The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 will be $250, with its bigger brother, the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 will be priced at $400.
On top of this, Samsung have also unveiled the price of their Galaxy Player 3.6 which will cost you $150, or the 4.2 version for $200 exactly. Both of the Galaxy Tab 2 tablets will sport the latest Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich, we well as an integrated IR blaster for universal remote capabilities, and more.
The two new Galaxy Player devices come in the aforementioned 3.6- and 4.2-inch variants, and should give Samsung yet another arm into the market with new customers wanting their latest wares. I wouldn't mind getting a few of these Galaxy devices for more video reviews, what do you think?
This is something that I've been dreaming about ever since I first got a cell phone. The FCC and all four major wireless carriers in the United States have agreed to create a central database of stolen phones. This will allow all of the carriers to deny service to any reported stolen phones. No longer will there be a temptation to steal phones.
Additionally, carriers will start to encourage users to use lock screen passwords. The new database has come around due to the staggering statistics regarding phone theft in the United States. "We made sure that they saw the statistics, that they understood how important this was to the police chiefs," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. "And to their credit they said, 'You know what? You're right. This is a priority, we're going to get it done.'"
The debate began a few months ago due to the increase of violent crimes involving cell phone theft. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this will reduce cell phone theft, at least to some degree, because the phones will be rendered useless. However, they could be stolen and resold to an unsuspecting customer. This, I believe, will result in some residual cell phone theft.
Following in the footsteps of AT&T and Sprint, Verizon has announced that starting April 22 they will charge you a $30 fee to have the privilege to sign a new two-year contract and upgrade your phone with a new, subsidized, one. It's just another way that cell carriers are trying to recoup their margins that have been undermined by subsidies for the iPhone and similar.
Verizon tries to claim the fee is for some other uses, but in my opinion, it's strictly for profit margins: "This fee will help us continue to provide customers with the level of service and support they have come to expect which includes Wireless Workshops, online educational tools, and consultations with experts who provide advice and guidance on devices that are more sophisticated than ever."
There is a way to mitigate the cost of upgrade. Verizon notes that if you make use of its "green trade-in program" that the fee can be mitigated or completely offset. The program is available here. If you are due for an upgrade and are on Verizon, I highly suggest that you do your upgrade before April 22.
Intel have announced something out of the blue today, a reference design for a new 7-inch tablet that has quite the special ability: it can run either Windows 7 or Android operating systems. The 7-inch tablet would sport Intel's Atom processor, and would be tailored to students and developing countries.
Intel's "Studybook" is made from a single piece of plastic that is designed to resist liquid spills and survive up to a 27-inch drop onto concrete. The Studybook sports a rubber band reinforcing the bezel and around the ports to keep sand and other elements out. The 7-inch tablet weighs in at 525 grams, with the reference design featuring a 1.2GHz Intel Z650 Atom "Oak Trail" CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 1024x600-pixel capacitive touch screen, USB 2.0, HDMI, microSD/SIM slots, WI-Fi, dual cameras and varying storage from 4GB to 32GB.
Battery life isn't too bad, with Intel rating it at 5.5 hours on active usage, which is quite poor compared to the iPad and Android-based tablets that are hitting 10 or so hours on a single charge. The Studybook does have a trick up its sleeve, though: it can run either Windows 7 or Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Windows 7 will be available first, with Android ready by mid-summer. Intel will also bundle e-reader, note-taking and drawing apps, as well as digital textbooks from Kno.com and other education-based apps.
One industry analyst has suggested that the next iPhone, the iPhone 5, will feature a unibody construction, somewhat akin to the MacBook Pro. The sixth-generation iPhone is expected to launch in October of this year with a larger 4-inch screen and LTE connectivity. Production is expected to begin in June of this year.
The investor says that the redesigned case will probably be the driving force to cause current iPhone owners to upgrade. The analyst wrote: "In our view, this will be the most significant iPhone upgrade with a four-inch screen and a new, sleek look that we believe will require a Unibody case. This new, sleek look will be the most important reason that consumers decide to upgrade."
"We (Microsoft) know we don't have anything to lose. But, our competitors have a whole lot (to lose)." Apparently, Microsoft has been backed into a corner and, like an animal backed into a corner, is going to fight. This rumor says that Microsoft is trying to bring Kinect UI to Windows Phone 8 at launch, or shortly there after.
Right now, bringing Kinect UI to Windows Phone is purely a developmental effort, however, it has been receiving more and more resources as time has passed. Company execs have been encouraged by the massive support for Apple's Siri, even though it's only in beta stage. People seem to like the idea of talking to a phone.
However, before this can be brought to the mainstream, several challenges still await Microsoft such as where to place the 3 cameras required. "Kinect has three cameras, one of which his infrared. We can't put an IR camera on a smartphone, and without it, NUI won't work in dark." So Kinect UI could end up being a daytime toy only.
Kinect NUI is going to be closely tied to Microsoft's TellMe since Kinect can already, allegedly, understand more voice patterns than the competing Siri. If Microsoft pulls this off, they will receive massive amounts of attention, even if it is only daylight capable. Time to play the waiting game and see what happens. More as it comes.
I always love new product announcements because they give me something to look forward to. Tuesday, Toshiba obliged me by announcing a new line of tablets dubbed the "Excite" family. These new tablets will come in 7.7-inch, 10-inch, and 13-inch sizes, and all will have Tegra 3 quad-core processors.
All of the WiFi-only Excite tablets will sport 1GB of RAM. They will come with the now common place front and rear camera, which are 2-megapixels and 5-megapixels, respectively. The 13-inch tablet will weigh in at 2.2 pounds and feature a 1600x900 screen and provide a respectable 13 hours of battery life. It is only 0.4-inches thick.
The lesser Excite 10 will sport a 1280x800 screen, weigh in at 1.32 pounds, and is only 0.35-inches thick. It is said that it will get 10 hours of battery life, but we all know how those rated times go. The two bigger tablets will both get an SD card slot and the smallest will get a microSD slot.
The Excite 7.7 will start at $499.99, the Excite 10 at $449.99, and the Excite 13 at $649.99, all for 16GB of storage. The Excite 10 will launch first on May 6, followed by the Excites 7.7 and 13 on June 10. It will be interesting to see how it stacks up against the competition. More as it comes.
Samsung's 5-inch stylus-sporting GALAXY Note is now available in a color that will appeal to the ladies out there, pink. The pink GALAXY Note smartphone is rolling out to South Korea, and slowly in Hong Kong. The pink GALAXY Note will be retaking in Hong Kong for HK$5998 (approx. US$772) and comes with the original protective case.
Samsung have enjoyed success with the GALAXY Note smartphone, as it has pushed past five million units sold, which would be why Samsung have let loose with a pink-colored phone. We all know this is going to sell well, and not bomb. Ladies love the GALAXY-branded phones, and when its in pink, how will it be resisted?
Will you pick up a pink GALAXY Note for yourself (if you're a female reader), or for a loved one or friend, if you're a male reader? It looks quite nice in pink, if my wife didn't already have the GALAXY S II, I'd most likely buy her one of these.
Lenovo have just unveiled their latest Android-powered tablet, the 9.7-inch IdeaPad S2109. The tablet rocks Google's latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, a 9.7-inch 1024x768 IPS-based screen, which doesn't beat the new iPad, but keeps up with the iPad 2.
The S2109 does however, sport micro-HDMI, micro-SD expandable memory card slot, as well as a micro-USB port. What is weird here, is that Lenovo have given the S2109 a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, but no rear-facing camera. Yes, no rear-facing camera is present on the IdeaPad S2109.
Lenovo are claiming a respectable 10-hour battery life on the new tablet, and they've also thrown in four SRS TruMedia-branded speakers on the S2109. At the moment, we don't know what SoC or onboard memory for the S2109, these specs should float out in a few weeks time.
Samsung could delay the release of their GALAXY Note 10.1 tablet due to wanting to show up Apple at the tablet game they're fiercely competing in. At the moment, specs for the unreleased GALAXY Tab 10.1 have pointed toward the recycled Galaxy Note chip, which is a dual-core 1.4GHz part, to the quad-core 1.5GHz Exynos 4412 chip.
Would anything else be changed apart from upgrading from the dual-core 1.4GHz chip to the quad-core 1.5GHz chip? We don't know yet, but in order to "outsmart" Apple's new iPad that sports the A5X processor, Samsung would have to bake a full quad-core processor into their GALAXY Note 10.1, according to claims from industry insiders.
At the moment, Samsung has their lips sealed when it comes to revealing information on the GALAXY Note 10.1, which we don't even know the official release date on it yet. More news as it comes.
A prototype HTC One X for AT&T has been sold on eBay and promptly purchased by an XDA Developers forum member @voteccow. The device itself clearly shows that it was not meant for sale, and was most likely used by an AT&T technician for network verification and device testing.
The device was being tested for AT&T, and is the One X handset that sports Qualcomm's latest and greatest Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor, and not the International version which features NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra 3 processor. @voteccow showed off several pictures as well as offering the XDA Developers forum members a tease of the pre-release OS built t hat might help in hacking efforts to root the device. Currently, the bootloader installed on the device is locked.
HTC's One X has been received well lately, where the dual-core Snapdragon S4 really kicks some ass, as well as having a great display. The processor also beats out NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra 3, which is quite the feat considering the S4 is only a dual-core. The other highlights filling out the HTC One X is that it sports a unibody polycarbonate body and high-resolution 4.7-inch 720p S-LCD display.
Future Samsung devices under the GALAXY branding have just had an injection of new names as Samsung have just filed trademark applications for three more GALAXY devices with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The names in the filings were the GALAXY Lift, GALAXY Perx, and GALAXY Sire. Nothing else is known but the classification of them being under "Mobile telephones; Smartphones."
Samsung have filed trademark applications for quite a few new phones over the last few months, with January seeing the Joy and Fresh, and February seeing Awaken, Axiom, Heir and Rite. The latest three filings include GALAXY in their name, which would indicate the phones will be Android-based devices, the special names are the sort that would normally be reserved for a US-specific phone, as most international models keep their names if they stay intact.
On top of this, filing for trademark protection for a name is no guarantee we'll even see the devices, but we get to see the thought process and somewhat of a direction from Samsung. We should see at least a couple of these models released eventually.
Samsung's iPad competitor, their GALAXY Tab range has a new entry and it has better pricing than ever, the GALAXY Tab 2 10.1-inch tablet will start at just $399.99. The $399.99 pricing is coming from Office Depot of all places, but hey, no one can complain about that price.
Considering most 10.1-inch tablets are at the $499-or-so mark, this is a great price bracket to hit. It's only 8GB, but the GALAXY Tab 2 range has expandable storage through microSD card, and its not like they're overly expensive for an 8, 16 or 32GB card.
You can hit up the GALAXY Tab 2 10.1 right now at that price, and be sure to let us know how she performs. Strangely, when I looked, it wasn't there. We'll keep an eye on it for now.
Someone who lives in Seattle has found a nice piece of information regarding the upcoming Kindle's screen. It would appear that the new Kindle will feature a screen that is front-lit as opposed to most LCDs theses days which are back-lit. Amazon, apparently, purchased a company which was the world leader in light-guide technology.
The device which was seen by our friends over at TechCrunch was crudely camouflaged inside a cardboard box. The screen was, obviously, clearly visible from the box. I say obviously because it would be pointless to have the device if you couldn't use it. The viewer describes the screen as a soft glow as opposed to the harsh "flashlight" of a back-lit LCD.
Size and shape were impossible to tell due to the cardboard camouflaging it. This should be a nice change from the current generation of e-readers which feature an e-ink screen which isn't quite the same as paper. I still prefer my books in paper, but it looks like that could change with this new Kindle.
ASUS have announced that their PadFone will be available for pre-order starting tomorrow in Taiwan. The official launch of ASUS' PadFone was opened with an introduction from ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih and a detailed product presentation by ASUS CEO Jerry Shen.
I am very excited to deliver the ASUS PadFone into the hands of our customers. It is an ultra-savvy intelligent device that combines the function of a phone, a pad, as well as a notebook. It was built to offer users an unrivalled level of performance, customization and choice in how they connect with their digital world. Welcome to the future.
If you're based in Taiwan, you can head down to any participating Chunghwa Telecom and Senao stores throughout Taiwan starting on April 20th, with pre-orders beginning tomorrow. Taiwan is the first market to enjoy ASUS' latest product. ASUS PadFone sports a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED qHD display, the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera with a Fuji image processor, and rounds out with Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS.
This is a change of tune for Apple. I've always known them as the company who refused to admit that there was ever anything wrong with their hardware and instead blamed the user. Well now, however, Apple is actively investigating claims that the iPad 3's WiFi is having issues. There's been many complaints regarding WiFi since the launch.
Reports have said that connections on the new iPad are either slow or drop often. 9to5Mac has laid eyes on an internal AppleCare document which notes the reported Wi-Fi issues on the new iPad. Apple confirms: "symptoms can include, but are not limited to: intermittent connectivity, slow Wi-Fi speeds, and WiFi network not seen".
Apple wants these malfunctioning iPads to be sent to the engineering department so as to be analyzed. Customers are to revive a replacement in exchange for their current iPad. If you have a new iPad that is experiencing WiFi issues, call Apple so that they can replace it and figure out what's going on with it.
Sony are not really power players in the market, but all it takes is one great phone that makes everyone fall in love. Apple did it. Samsung did it. Sony could do it with their unreleased and now trademarked Xperia Duo handset.
Initial reports on Sony's Xperia Duo had it featuring a 4.5-inch qHD screen, 1.5GB of RAM, and a dual-core 1.4GHz CPU. The rear-facing camera was meant to standout, considerably, at 12-megapixels. Something like this, if marketed right, and priced right, could really hit the ground running.
Sony have applied for a trademark with the USPTO for the Duo naming, which means the smartphone is beginning to take shape. Earlier reports had it pegged for a September release, and keep in mind that any filing with the USPTO can be one beast in the submission, and something else entirely when the finished product hits shelves.
RumorTT: Persistant smaller 7.85" iPad talk won't go away, rumors of a prototype are bouncing around
Talk of a 7.85-inch iPad has been around for quite some time now, but now we're hearing more from John Gruber of Daring Fireball, where he comments in episode #86 of The Talk Show, at 1 hour and 19 minutes into the show. The information of the smaller iPad comes from a question from host Dan Benjamin:
Is Apple going to come out with a 7″ iPad, and if not: why not?
Gruber replies with:
Well, I don't know. What I do know is that they [Apple] have one in the lab…a 7.85 inch iPad that runs at 1024×768…it's just like the regular iPad shrunk down a bit. I've heard from multiple people that this is something that they're kind of noodling with.
Gruber explains that you can get a feel for how a 7.85-inch iPad would feel, by taking a screenshot of a regular iPad in portrait, then turning it into horizontal mode to view the screenshot smaller. This allows you to experience the interface at roughly the same size as a 7.85-inch iPad.
Samsung have just dropped the golden nugget of info leading us to believe we should expect a launch event for the GALAXY S III in London on May 22. We talked about this a few weeks ago, with a rumored May 22 event on London, and now it seems the event is taking form.
The new information comes in the form of a flyer, found on Daum by Phandroid, includes half of a device, which looks slick and slim, and the words being the most important bit here, which I'll quote:
Samsung Galaxy S III, New Generation Coming, May 22nd, London, United Kingdom
Not much else is given, but with most of rumors pointing to a May 22 event, and or launch, this seems like the real deal. I'm far too far away to attend the event, else I'd be there with bells and whistles on, and maybe even naked to get some attention from Samsung. Ok, maybe not naked, but you get my excitement factor here.