Sony has finally jumped on the e-reader price drop bandwagon today by slashing the prices on all three of their current models. The Pocket Edition sees a 20 dollar cut from $169 to $149 USD, the Touch Edition drops from $199 to $169, and the high end 3G Daily Edition gets the biggest cut; dropping $50 from $349 to $299.
When it comes to protecting my gadgets, I want a case that is slim and doesn't add bulk to the device. The last thing I want is a big and bulky case, but I do want protection from drops.
Ten One Design has unveiled a new case for the iPad that is called the Particle. The Particle is a very low profile case that has rubber feet and fits around the sides of the iPad.
Qualcomm has been operating its MediaFLO mobile broadcasting service for a while now and it's the service behind the mobile TV offerings from AT&T and Verizon here in the states. Qualcomm has been talking up new features for the iPad and its service.
The new iPad features will involve an app for playback on the iPad and a hardware device called the PocketFLO. PocketFlo is a small box that records programs and then streams them to the iPad via WiFi.
Computex 2010- Computex is in full swing and so far there hasn't really been anything earth shattering announced. One of the cooler things to be unveiled at the show is new touchscreen tech from Quanta.
The new tech is called dispersive signal technology (DST) and was developed with help from 3M. Quanta expects the new DST tech to hit market later this year. DST is a touchscreen with an extra later of glass. The screen is able to find the location of a finger or a stylus on the screen using the shock created when the screen is touched.
Borders is working on offering a full line of eReaders in its physical locations around the country. The company says it plans to offer a good, better, best line up. The Libre is now up for pre-order at Borders.com.
I would assume the Libre to be the low end offering for the company with a price tag of only $119.99. You can pre-order the Libre now for delivery on July 2.
COMPUTEX Taipei 2010 - Synaptic is the company behind some of the touch pad tech we take for granted to day on notebooks and netbooks. The company is behind much of the gesture supporting tech that is on notebooks and netbooks we all use.
At Computex the company has shown off a sweet new tech called TouchPad-IS that is capable of accurately recognizing up to four fingers. The technology can also recognize the difference between fingers and the palm of your hand to eliminate accidental activation when you hit the track pad with your hand.
Wacom has been making pen tablets and pen enabled displays for specialty industries for a long time. The company makes displays aimed at the professional designer and medical industries. The screens let artists draw directly on the screen and doctors can do things like make notations directly on digital x-rays.
Wacom has unveiled a pair of new pen-enabled displays called the DTU-2231 and the DTU-1631. Both are interactive pen displays and are aimed at presenters and other uses. The 2231 is a 21.5-inch screen with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and the 1631 is a 15.6-inch screen with a 1366 x 768 resolution.
If you are one of the many business types that have to give many presentations to people in PowerPoint or Keynote, you probably don't like being stuck behind the computer the whole time. Kensington has a new product that will give you a lot of roaming range during your presentation.
The device is the new Wireless Presenter Pro with a Green Laser Pointer. The device is a wireless controller that needs no drivers to work with PowerPoint or Keynote.
It has a USB adapter and four buttons with a 150 foot operating range. The green laser pointer promises to be ten times more visible to the eye than a red pointer. The device can be pre-ordered now for $79.99.
Google's Android operating system edged out Apple's iPhone operating system for the No. 2 spot in the U.S. consumer smartphone market in the first quarter, research firm NPD Group reported Monday.
According to NPD, devices running Android accounted for 28 percent of the units sold to U.S. consumers in the first quarter of 2010. BlackBerry devices made by Research In Motion, which use RIM's homegrown operating system, took the top spot with 36 percent of the U.S. market. Apple's iPhone, which had been in the No. 2 spot previously, fell to third place with 21 percent of the market.
NPD's figures are based on self-reported consumer surveys and they estimate the number of devices sold to consumers. The figures do not include sales of devices to business customers through enterprise contracts.
Android is an operating system that is available on several different models of phones made by different manufacturers, such as Motorola, HTC, and Samsung. Meanwhile, Apple's operating system is used only on Apple's own iPhone.
Ross Rubin, an analyst with NPD, attributed the strong growth in Android to the fact that devices using Android software are now available on all major U.S. carrier networks. Verizon Wireless, in particular, has helped fuel success for the operating system. Verizon launched a major marketing campaign for devices, such as the Motorola Droid, last year. And Verizon, the largest U.S. wireless operator, has also been including Android devices in its buy-one-get-one free smartphone promotion. T-Mobile USA also features Android phones as its flagship smartphones, and AT&T has begun selling Android phones.
"The wireless carriers in the U.S. are still the king makers in the mobile market," said Rubin. "Verizon in particular is what is making the Android so successful right now with its promotions and marketing."
Rubin said that strong sales of the Motorola Droid, HTC Droid Eris, and RIM's Blackberry Curve via these promotions have helped keep Verizon's smartphone sales on par with AT&T in the first quarter. NPD's data suggests that smartphone sales at AT&T account for nearly a third of the entire smartphone market, about 32 percent. Verizon Wireless accounted for 30 percent of smartphone sales. T-Mobile made up 17 percent of all smartphone sales and Sprint brought in 15 percent of all smartphone sales.
There is no question that Apple's iPhone is still very popular. Last month, AT&T reported that it had activated about 900,000 iPhones for new customers during the first quarter. It also sold another 1.8 million iPhones to people who were already AT&T customers. Without the iPhone, AT&T's subscriber growth for contract customers would have been negative.
But the NPD findings suggest that sales of the phone could be even higher in the U.S. if the device was available on other carrier networks, such as Verizon Wireless. Reports surfaced in March that the iPhone could be coming to Verizon soon. But definite plans for a Verizon iPhone have still not been announced.
"If the iPhone was available today on Verizon, Apple would certainly grow market share," Rubin said. "But it's harder to say what will happen in the long term. It's difficult to know what the feature-set will look like on phones in a year. But it's clear the iPhone still has enough cachet today to pick up market share."
Goodbye, Slate, hello, Hurricane! HP is expected to release a webOS-running tablet called the Hurricane, as soon as the third quarter of this year. While a challenge to the iPad, the Hurricane could be more of a threat to Microsoft.
Hewlett-Packard could be releasing a tablet running the Palm's webOS operating system as soon as the third quarter of 2010, according to a report from The Examiner, which attributes the information to "an insider at HP."
The tablet, according to the report, would be called the HP "Hurricane."
The news follows recent rumors that HP has canceled its planned HP Slate, a tablet that would run the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system. Whether or not the Hurricane would be a Slate with its innards replaced is unclear - though what is known is that HP had every intention of putting webOS to work for it.
HP acquired the highly-praised webOS platform in its recent purchase of smartphone-maker Palm, and stated outright an expectation to deploy it on various devices.
"The combination of HP's global scale and financial strength with Palm's unparalleled webOS platform will enhance HP's ability to participate more aggressively in the fast-growing, highly profitable smartphone and connected mobile device markets," HP said in an April 28 statement on the acquisition.
That HP should release a tablet was expected too, with analysts such as Chris Schreck, with IMS Research, writing in a May 3 report, "[WebOS] uses standard development languages already common among PC developers. If HP can create a compelling tablet offering that people are willing to buy, the barriers to entry might be fairly minimal."
Still, a third-quarter tablet launch is a faster turn-around time than many expected.
"Third quarter is pretty fast," analyst Roger Kay, with Endpoint Technologies, told eWEEK. "That schedule seems to imply that the project was already underway when the deal was announced. HP was very circumspect two weeks ago at an analyst day held in Cupertino.
While, thanks to the Palm technology, an HP webOS tablet could best Apple's iPad in the multitasking department, it is HP's longtime partner Microsoft that's expected to most intensely feel the effects of such a device.
"Microsoft itself is finding the tablet PC market more complicated than expected," Technology Business Research Analyst John Spooner wrote in an April 30 research note. "In the end, we believe a webOS tablet will be better received than a Windows tablet, which may lead to adoption of webOS tablet PCs in the enterprise."
No details about pricing, or potential carrier partners, for the Hurricane have emerged.
Fujitsu Laboratories was among the first to show off a color e-paper screen for eReaders and other devices. The company is now showing off a new and improved version of the device with much better specs.
The new screen has a 7:1 contrast ratio and a much faster rewrite speed of 0.7 seconds compared to the original screen. The resolution of the screen is 1024 x 768.
Fujitsu claims that the screen has the highest color-level quality of any e-paper screen on the market. The screen will be shown off at the Fujitsu Forum 2010 show in Tokyo this month.
One of the things that some people in Europe and Asia can do with their mobile phones that most of us in the US can't is pay for things using their phone. Visa and Apple have announced that they are working together to change that.
The two companies will offer a new method that will allow iPhone users to make contactless payments using the iPhone and an Apple certified hardware accessory. The accessory will likely be a case.
Using the accessory the user can pay for items with a linked Visa card wherever terminals with contactless technology is available. There is also mention of a memory card for other devices to allow the same functionality.
Microsoft has announced that its long talked about Kin One and Kin two handsets are now available to purchase. The devices are both Verizon exclusive and you can get them today.
The Kin One will sell for $49.99 after a new contract and $100 mail-in rebate. The Kin Two is available for $99.99 after contract and rebate. That makes these some expensive feature phones.
Another big issue is that Verizon requires the devices to carry a smartphone plan, even though they are not smartphones. I predict a big bag of fail at the prices the phones are selling for today.
The iPad is a very cool device that has all sorts of functionality from video playback to web surfing and more. If you are looking for an easy way to get video onto the iPad, Cyberlink has a new software update for MediaShow Espresso 5.5 that is just for you.
The new update has added output profiles for video that is geared specifically to the iPad. The best news is that the update is free for those who already own the software.
The software also packages video for optimal playback on other platforms and devices. Both HD and SD content are supported by the software.
Choiix whom is a sub division of Cooler Master that delivers a range of notebook accessories, has just made an announcement that introduces their new PowerFort 10Whrs Rechargeable Power Backup Battery Pack to market.
This is designed to get you out of trouble when you're on the go and your devices run out of power. It has a wide range of support for many devices, not only limited to various MP3 players, cell phones, GPS and PDA devices, but also support for iPads, iPods and iPhones.
Choiix says their Power Fort is capable of charging a device faster than most conventional chargers with a maximum output of 1.5A. The advanced version of the Power Fort includes a universal AC USB adaptor and also an adapter to be able to charge it while in the car.
Full details in the press release here.
Placing a sturdy foot in the smartphone and tablet markets, Intel has today launched its Moorestown platform which comprises a 45nm Atom X6xx series SoC (System-on-Chip) with a 140 million transistor count, and the MP20 controller hub.
The platform promises massive power savings compared to Intel's pre-gen product, with a >50x reduction in idle power, >20x reduction in audio power and 2 to 3x reductions when browsing and watching videos.
Intel says Moorestown is capable of giving mobile devices over 10 days of standby power and 4 to 5 hours when used intensively for browsing and watching video (of which it's said to be capable of 1080p decoding and 720p recording). The GMA 600 graphics core also has support for OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenGL 2.1 and OpenVG 1.1.
Other features include WiFi, 3G/HSDPA and WiMAX and it can be used with OS's including Android, Meego and Moblin 2.1+.
With the official launch today being a hard one, Intel's new low-power platform is available to device manufacturers right now, so it shouldn't be too long before we see Moorestown equipped units announced.
For further details, check out Intel's full announcement here.
If you're a little daring and keen to look at how it's coming along, Apple's iPhone OS 4.0 has reached beta 3 stage and is available for download onto your beloved iPhone.
Of course, if you want it you'll need to be a member of Apple's iPhone dev program. Good luck!
If you are holding out for some nice Android tablets to it market before you jump on the tablet bandwagon, the Aigo N700 specs have surfaced. The tablet is an Android device.
It has a 7-inch screen with a resolution of 800 x 480 and runs the NVIDIA Tegra2 T20 platform. The processor for the tablet is a Cortex A9 dual-core at 1GHz.
The N700 has 512MB of RAM, up to 32GB of storage, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G capability, and more. A 1.3MP camera is built-in and power comes from a 2-cell 3120mAh battery.
There are tons of people out there who spend lots of time playing World of Warcraft. WoW is the most popular MMORPG title on the market despite having been around for a long time now.
The iPad is a very nice mobile gaming platform, but the lack of Flash support makes the device miss some of the more popular titles out there like Farmville and others. The online gaming service Gaikai has been used to stream WoW to the iPad.
The game service typically uses Flash to let players play games in a browser window. Exactly how the service is operating on the iPad is unknown. I bet we hear more about it soon enough.
The iPhone is one of the biggest competitors to the line of RIM Blackberry smartphones. It would make sense that RIM might want to battle Apple in the new tablet market against the iPad.
Rumors have a new tablet coming from RIM in 2011 dubbed the Blackpad. The tablet is said to run the full Blackberry OS from the smartphones.
The OS would offer all the features that users of the Blackberry phones have come to know. I would bet the Blackpad if it turns out to be true would have physical keyboard, Blackberry is known for its keyboards.
Whilst the first round of iPad availability in the WiFi-only version resulted in astonishing sales; over 300,000 in the U.S. alone during the first 24 hours, it seems a hell of a lot more people were keen to hold out for the 3G version.
Since the iPad 3G hit the market last Friday, by Sunday afternoon it was estimated that around 300,000 of these were sold (though that figure includes 22 days of preorders). This isn't quite the level of sales we saw when the first round of iPads came out, but it's certainly still a highly successful one.
The estimated 300,000 sales figure comes from Piper Jaffray analyst, Gene Munster. In contacting 50 Apple stores on the Sunday afternoon, it was also learned that 49 of these were completely sold out of iPad 3Gs! Looking at the big picture, Munster has calculated that Apple has now sold more than a million iPads in total.