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E FUN has announced the Nextbook Flexx 8, an 8" tablet that is powered by Microsoft Windows - is now available at Walmart.com - and can be upgraded to Windows 10. Nextbook also includes one year of Microsoft Office 365 Personal and 60 Skype world minutes per month.
The tablet has the following specifications: Intel Atom Z3735G quad-core CPU, 1GB RAM, 8" 1280x800 IPS screen with capacitive multi-touch, and 32GB internal storage. The Flexx 8 also features Bluetooth 4.0, micro USB port, micro HDMI port, audio jack, front webcam and 2-megapixel back camera.
The tablet is available at Walmart.com for just $99.99.
A major counterfeit operation focused on creating fake Apple iPhone smartphones was busted in China, with Beijing police arresting nine suspects. The take down occurred in May, but Chinese officials only just now publicly announced the successful operation.
The group created more than 41,000 fake iPhones since setting up shop in January, racking up an estimated $19 million in just a short time. A married couple reportedly ran the operation, and they had "hundreds" of people working in the factory.
This particular factory was discovered when US authorities seized a few of the counterfeit devices.
It may have taken more than three years, but it looks like the Merchant Customer Exchange's CurrentC mobile payment platform could launch next month.
CurrentC received funding from Walmart, Best Buy, Target and other retailers - and has undergone limited testing throughout 2015. CurrentC was expected sometime in "mid-2015," and the first-generation will require customers to scan a barcode at checkout to help pay for items.
The service is "making good progress" towards launching an app for consumers, according to Scott Rankin, COO of MCX, in a statement to Bloomberg. "We expect there to be more than one successful player in mobile payments, and we expect to be one of them."
Thanks to a leaked benchmark, we now know that Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Note 5 will feature an 8-core processor and 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM. Samsung will be using its own octo-core Exynos 7420 SoC inside of the Galaxy Note 5.
The Geekbench result was used on a Verizon-powered Galaxy Note 5, with the model name of 'SM-N920V'. The benchmark has the Galaxy Note 5 has a single-core result of 1418, while the multi-core result was 4399. These scores are very similar to that of the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, so we should expect the same performance on the Galaxy Note 5 that we had in the S6 and S6 edge.
Samsung is expected to unveil its new Galaxy Note 5 next month, with rumors pointing to August 12. The Galaxy Note 5 should feature a 5.67-inch 1440p Super AMOLED display, the aforementioned 8-core processor, 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and Samsung's new Shannon 333 LTE modem.
Shell and PayPal want drivers in the UK to embrace the "Fill-Up & Go" mobile payment program, giving customers the chance to scan a QR code into the mobile app. Once a customer scans a QR code at their gas pump, they can select how much fuel they wish to purchase, and then pump the gas.
Monetary amounts are tied to each customer's PayPal account, and is designed to streamline gas purchases for commuters - and those not interested in going inside.
Both companies initially announced their testing plan in early 2015, and with half of Shell customers only purchasing gas before leaving the station, a mobile offering seems like a clever idea.
The smartphone market enjoyed a strong second quarter of 2015, with manufacturers shipping 337.2 million smartphones, according to IDC. It's an impressive 11.6 percent growth year-over-year, and is the second highest quarterly total that IDC has analyzed.
"The overall growth of the smartphone market was not only driven by the success of premium flagship devices from Samsung, Apple, and others, but more importantly by the abundance of affordable handsets that continue to drive shipments in many key markets," said Anthony Scarsella, research manager of the IDC Mobile Phone team.
Not surprisingly, Samsung and Google led the market - but Chinese smartphone manufacturers are making up ground. Samsung has 21.7 percent market share, ahead of Apple's 14.1 percent, with Huawei (8.9 percent), Xiaomi (5.3 percent), and Lenovo (4.8 percent) making gains.
It looks like mobile users are gobbling up huge amounts of mobile data, with the market estimated to reach 52 million terabytes in 2015, a whopping 59 percent year-over-year increase, according to the Gartner research group. Not surprisingly, Gartner believes the market will continue to evolve - and increase through 2018.
"Mobile data traffic is soaring worldwide, more than tripling by 2018," said Jessica Ekholm, research director at Gartner. "New, fast mobile data connections (3G and 4G) will grow more slowly, from 3.8 billion in 2015 to 5.1 billion in 2018, as users switch from slower 2G connections and consume more mobile data."
To help adapt to the changing market, Gartner recommends communication service providers (CSPs) "rethink" their data caps. During a recent survey, 36 percent of US respondents said they would wait until they arrived to a Wi-Fi area to download apps, stream video, or carry out other activities that require a large amount of data.
Chinese tech company Huawei has a lot to be happy about, with 30 percent growth in overall revenue and a massive 39 percent global smartphone sales jump during the first half of 2015.
Shipping 48.2 million units during Q1 and Q2 in 2015 gave the Chinese company a whopping 87 percent boost in handset sales - and is now competing with Xiaomi and Apple for the top spot in China. In impressing fashion, Huawei fended off a Chinese market slowdown that hit Xiaomi, Samsung and Apple in China.
Huawei, currently the No. 4 largest smartphone maker in the world, created a roadmap that focuses on low-cost models for emerging markets and high-end devices for established markets. Consumers have a large variety of different phones to choose from at the moment, with most devices powered by Google Android.
Mobile payments in the United States and UK just aren't as popular in other regions of the world, and there is a lot of work left to be done. As Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and other rival mobile payment platforms look promising, businesses must be willing to gamble on mobile payments.
Cash and debit/credit cards won't suddenly go away, and companies must inform customers while upgrading their hardware - but there is great potential for Apple, Samsung, and other companies trying to take advantage.
"Rather than seeing it as a challenge, they should take it as an opportunity to rethink their strategy," said Dan Wagner, CEO and founder of Powa Technologies, in a statement published by Tech Radar. "Taking physical cash out of the equation creates a huge amount of freedom, enabling them to completely restructure the retail experience and do away with cumbersome tills and queues entirely."
With the release of the Galaxy Note 5 reportedly pulled up into August, it looks like Samsung isn't just preparing one big phone, but two. The Galaxy S6 edge+ has just appeared in some leaked photos, with a 5.7-inch (or so) display.
Inside of the Galaxy S6 edge+ we should find the same 8-core processor that powers the S6 edge, the Exynos 7420 processor. So what's different? Well, the 5.7-inch (or so) display is much bigger than the 5.1-inch display found on the S6 edge, but it should have fans of bigger smartphones happy.
We should see the Galaxy S6 edge+ unveiled alongside the Galaxy Note 5 next month.