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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.