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Sony continues to struggle in the smartphone market, and plans to drop its low-end smartphone offerings in China, Central America, South America, and additional select emerging markets. Looking ahead, Sony wants to focus on high-end devices sold in the United States, Japan and Europe, according to the unnamed sources.
The Japanese company might cut its smartphone sales target again in 2014, with a Q2 earnings call scheduled for October 31. The company previously said it hoped to sell 50 million smartphones throughout the year, but that figure was cut to 43 million in July.
The technology world has evolved at a rapid pace, and Sony has largely been unable to keep pace with rivals. Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi all surpassed Sony device sales, as the cheaper Chinese rivals provide cheaper phones that have risen in popularity.
We already know to expect big things from Motorola with its upcoming Droid Turbo, but the latest leaks are starting to confirm these specs. We also know that Motorola should be shipping out its new smartphone with Android 4.4.4 KitKat, and not the newly-announced Android 5.0 Lollipop.
The latest leaks show us that we should expect the Droid Turbo, or DROID TURBO for dramatic effect, will include 3GB of RAM, 32GB of on-board flash storage, and a 2560x1440 QHD panel. What is weird, is that we will be seeing Motorola release this new high-end handset with Android 4.4.4 KitKat, and not Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Less than one year after purchasing Nokia's mobile business, Microsoft has decided to drop Nokia branding from upcoming smartphones. Nokia France confirmed it will switch to "Microsoft Lumia," and the rebranding change will continue in other countries, Microsoft has confirmed. Microsoft paid $7.2 billion for Nokia in April, and wants to move forward with its own advertising and marketing efforts without references to Nokia.
As recent as the Nokia Lumia 730 and 830 product announcements made in September, the Finnish brand name was highlighted - but as Microsoft continues an effort to make branding easier - it only makes sense that future products will be referred to as Microsoft Nokia.
Microsoft is desperate for success in the mobile markets, and "Windows Phone" devices are now simply being referred to as "Windows."
The city of Chicago is the top market for wireless service in the United States, leading the way in overall performance, with top three positions in speed, reliability and population, according to RootMetrics. Verizon Wireless was the best service in Chicago, followed by Sprint, AT&T, and then T-Mobile, the group also noted.
"Chicago fared better than most other large markets," said Julie Dey, RootMetrics VP of marketing, in a statement. "It came in No. 1 in overall and in data performance, but single digits in the other categories with the exception of texts. I think what that means for Chicago folks is positive. There are many great options for mobile carriers, and all of them are pretty good. It's a good thing for consumers."
In overall comparison, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Lansing, Michigan, Rockford, Illinois, and Spokane, Washington round out the top five.
The US wireless carrier industry has evolved into a competitive market, giving wireless subscribers more options to choose from. Both T-Mobile and Sprint are currently engaged in a price battle that has seen prices drop like a rock, but that hasn't stopped either company from offering the latest Google Android and Apple iPhones - paired with unlimited voice, text and large data limits - to woo users.
T-Mobile currently has three individual smartphone plans available for $50 per month or less, and offers subscribers on a budget wider variety. Meanwhile, Sprint currently has two plans that cost $50 per month, and unlimited talk, text and data plans for the Apple iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus start at just $50 per month.
If you're two-year contract is up, and you want to turn the screws on your carrier, then now might be the time to see if they are offering customers any incentives.
Samsung has been itching to get into that enterprise and government market, and thanks to the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP), a joint activity of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Samsung is now approved and has a handful of its Galaxy devices on the Commercial Solutions for Classified program listing.
These devices include the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition), Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy Alpha, Galaxy Tab S 8.4, Galaxy Tab S 10.5, and the Galaxy IPSEC Virtual Private Network (VPN) Client. All of these devices feature Samsung's Knox technology, which is a security platform that allows users to use their smartphones and tablets for both work, and personal purposes. Samsung's CEO and President of IT and Mobile Business, JK Shin, said "The inclusion of Samsung mobile devices on the CSfC list proves the unmatched security of Samsung Galaxy devices supported by the Knox platform".
This move isn't a massive one, but it's a step towards something that could spell change for Samsung. A company that sells hundreds of million of handsets, Apple's biggest competitor by far, is now dealing with the government on NSA-approved smartphones and tablets with true government-ready security.
If you've been on the hunt for a OnePlus One smartphone, then be sure to mark Monday, October 27 on your calendar. The new pre-order system will be based on a first-come, first-serve sale of the company's current inventory, so it's possible many customers will have to wait until later to get their hands-on a OnePlus One.
OnePlus previously provided invites in batches of 20,000 and 30,000, ensuring its servers will be ready for an anticipated wave of pre-orders. During the one-hour time window starting at 11:00 EST on October 27, consumers can pre-order the 16GB $299.99, or 64GB $349 device - in an effort to continue driving demand for the smartphone.
"... We believe that we're forcing positive change within our industry by increasing consumer choice and building better quality products. This is why we have to be conservative and only produce the amount of devices we're 100% sure will be sold," the OnePlus blog noted.
Futuremark recently opened up its PCMark for Android software to members of the press, and found that the NVIDIA Shield, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and Samsung Galaxy Note III lead Android smartphones and tablets based on performance. PCMark for Android tests everyday activities on Android-based devices, including Web browsing, watching videos, working with texts, and photo editing.
Based on battery life, the ASUS Fonepad 7 FE170CG (8 hours, 09 minutes), Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet (7 hours, 48 minutes), and OnePlus One (7 hours, 40 minutes) lead the way, based on PCMark for Android.
PCMark for Android is a realistic approach to benchmarking Android smartphones and tablets, using native APIs instead of abstract algorithms. A free version should be released on Google Play before the end of the month.
Consumers are extending the lives of their tablets - and many others are turning their attention to phablets - which negatively hit tablet sales in 2014, according to the Gartner research firm. Global tablet sales will reach 229 million units in 2014, an 11 percent surge year-over-year, but manufacturers will need to create appealing offers to win over potential customers.
Phablets, 2-in-1 convertible laptops and other devices have become cheaper, and have become more appealing to consumers. Gartner believes there will be 155 million fewer tablet replacements through 2018, along with 90 million fewer new tablet purchases in the consumer market.
"The market is clearly favoring those vendors offering value in lower-priced smartphones," said Roberta Cozza, Gartner research director, in a press statement. "This trend has become more apparent, especially in the second quarter of 2014 when most of the top Chinese smartphone vendors grew volume and market share. As smartphones reach lower prices, Gartner expects nine out of 10 phones to be smartphones by 2018."
Ubisoft is nowhere to be found when it comes to the new iPad Air 2 from Apple, especially with crazy, insane numbers like 120FPS. But, the full specs on the new iPad Air 2 show that there are some big upgrades in Apple's thinner iPad Air, especially when you consider there was nothing but a Touch ID addition to the 'new' iPad mini 3.
We have an iPad Air 2 that is 18% thinner than the iPad Air, at just 6.1mm, Apple's new A8X processor backed up by the M8 co-processor, 120FPS video recording abilities with its 8-megapixel iSight camera, Touch ID, and more. We have it at 9.4 inches high (or 240mm), and 6.6 inches wide (or 169.5mm), up to 10 hours of battery life, and AirPlay Mirroring (photos, audio and video out) to Apple TV (second-generation or later).
Apple's new iPad Air 2 will be available for pre-order on Apple's website starting tomorrow, October 17, starting at $499 for the 16GB model, $599 for the 64GB model, and $699 for the 128GB model.