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Intel may have been late to the smartphone game, but is quickly picking up allies to promote its mobile hardware. The company is working with Lenovo, a top-five ranked smartphone manufacturer, and the companies will have two new devices announced by the end of February 2015.
Intel will reportedly offer its 64-bit Atom CPU and LTE-Advanced modem chips for the devices, with one phone aimed for China - and the other mobile device will be available in emerging markets.
Even if these devices aren't going to be high-priced models available in the US, it's an important step forward for Intel. The company still isn't in the same neighborhood as Qualcomm when it comes to smartphones and tablets, but shows Intel is ready to fight for everything it can gain in 2015. The 4G system-on-a-chip platform from Intel, being promoted as SoFIA, indicates Intel's seriousness in providng a processor and modem together.
BlackBerry has publicly launched its Classic smartphone, the company's latest effort to appeal to consumers that have been lost to Google Android-powered smartphones and the Apple iPhone. Classic should be somewhat nostalgic for consumers, as its physical design resembles something close to the Bold and Curve smartphones.
The device is powered by BlackBerry 10, utilizes a physical QWERTY keyboard, dual-core Qualcomm processor, 16GB storage, 8-megapixel rear-camera and 2-megapixel front camera, and 3.5-inch display. AT&T and Verizon Wireless plan to offer Classic in the United States - an unlocked version of the phone is available for $449.
"The conversation about BlackBerry has changed in the last year," said John Chen, BlackBerry CEO, during a launch event at Cipriani restaurant in Manhattan. "We are here to stay, there is no question about that. Now we have to engineer our growth."
The Delhi High Court has given Xiaomi a bit of a reprieve, allowing the Chinese mobile manufacturer the chance to sell its Qualcomm-based devices until Jan. 8. Xiaomi will have to turn over $1.60 for all devices sold, but will be able to allow consumers to purchase products until the deadline in three weeks. Qualcomm received patent licenses from Ericsson to use its patented technologies, an argument Xiaomi plans for 2015.
Earlier, a single judge passed an order that stopped Xiaomi from importing and selling its smartphones to India - its biggest target market outside of China - and a legal fight seemed imminent.
Ericsson wants Xiaomi to hold a license to have their smartphones imported to India, and the issues will be put on the table during the next legal hearing on Feb. 5. However, Xiaomi says it has a licensing agreement with Qualcomm to utilize its chipsets for the Xiaomi Mi3, Xiaomi Redmi1S and Redmi Note 4G for sale in India.
Samsung is ready to throw down with Apple in another market, planning to utilize its own mobile payment system to compete against Apple Pay. The company will reportedly work with LoopPay, and a working prototype of a mobile service has already been created, according to reports.
LoopPay wirelessly transmits information to a store's point-of-sale (POS) checkout terminal, and the customers won't need to swipe a debit or credit card. The company also has a fob so select devices can be tapped at the checkout terminal.
Apple Pay - which is expected to accelerate the mobile payment system - is only available on Apple iPhones, which leaves a significant amount of smartphone owners out of the loop. However, there is concern that another major competitor will only fragment the budding market further, and cause consumers to be more hesitant.
Analogix Semiconductor has announced that it has shipped over one billion DisplayPort devices, a number that includes various tablets, smartphones, and notebooks that allow them to connect with the latest in TV, projector and monitor technologies.
If you don't know about Analogix, they're a semiconductor firm most famous for SlimPort, an impressive technology found in various few smartphones and tablets on the market. Analogix's Chairman and CEO, Kewei Yang, said that the industry's growing acceptance of DisplayPort technology has helped the company grow considerably. He continued "The adoption of DisplayPort for both internal and external screen connectivity has been exceeding our expectations. Demand for SlimPort-enabled smartphones, tablets and notebooks is also fueling the company's sustained sales."
The company isn't stopping there either, with new SlimPort Transmittors coming soon, with the release of DP Alternate Mode over USB Type-C specification being published by VESA. Andre Bouwer, the Vice President of Marketing for Analogix said "Customers are using SlimPort transmitters to support the DP Alternate Mode over Type-C. In fact, DP1.3 over a USB Type-C connector is the only generally available consumer standard capable of transferring 8K content." So there you have it, the company is already teasing 8K content being made possible over DP1.3 over USB Type-C, impressive.
The Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are extremely popular smartphones - demand has been very tight, and supply constraints have eased only slightly. However, supply still hasn't caught up with such strong demand, with 56 percent of models available in store as of Friday, December 12, according to figures compiled by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.
Mid-November statistics indicated there was only little supply, and Munster predicts it will be close to the end of the quarter before the numbers reach 80 percent supply.
Apple previously said it didn't have interest in larger-screened iPhones, but reversed its decision after Google Android smartphones began to take over. Each new generation of iPhone tends to do well, but the large screen devices have captured a large amount of attention from Apple enthusiasts.
After The Australian released reports on some possibly dodgy conduct by tech-giant Telstra back in October 2014, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) were urged to investigate - eventually ruling that Telstra's ads were misrepresenting the price of their iPhone 6 phone and plan bundle.
Telstra has rolled over to this claim, paying the fine in full. The ads in question were run in local newspapers, claiming that the phone and accompanying phone plan would cost consumers only $70 AU per month, with the fine print stating that there was a sneaky $11 AU per month handset payment applicable - raising the total cost to $81 AU.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims commented that "consumers should be able to understand the true cost of an advertised product so they can make informed purchasing decisions," further warning that all "businesses must be careful about using attention-grabbing headline prices to ensure that their advertisements do not mislead consumers about the actual price they will have to pay. This is especially the case for bundled goods and services like phones and plans."
Google has pushed out an update for the Nexus 5 smartphone, providing the Android 5.0.1 Lollipop factory image. There's not much else to tell you here, but if you've been waiting for a factory image to sprinkle into your Nexus 5 handset, here it is.
Google has pushed out an update for Google Now for both iOS and Android, which provide control to Nest, the smart thermostat. You can now use your Next with over two dozen voice commands, either through Google Now, the microphone, or search box on Chrome.
Google Now will also display a card notification letting you know when your Nest is changing things in your home or office, with location-based actions delivering the right temperature, at the right time. You can pre-heat, or pre-cool your home for when you're coming home from the shops, or from work, for example.
Owners of the Nest thermostat will have to authorize your account and opt into the voice command functions before this will work. You'll also have to hit up the Google Now card too, but once you have, it's all smooth sailing.
CES 2015 kicks off in Las Vegas on January 6, with the latest rumors pegging Samsung on unveiling its new Galaxy S6 smartphone. The second rumor is that the Galaxy S6 will be announced alongside a new Galaxy Edge of some sort, with a new curved AMOLED screen.
MAS analysts are predicting Samsung is aiming to sell around 45 million Galaxy S6 handsets, while 10 million or so Edge handsets should be sold. The Galaxy S6 is rumored to sport an 8-core processor, 5.5-inch QHD (2560x1440) panel, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of flash storage. We should hopefully see some new cameras baked into the flagship handset, and hopefully more.
The news comes just weeks after Samsung shifted out some of its top executives after the 'failure' of the Galaxy S5, and promised to cut down the amount of smartphone offerings in 2015.