Items tagged with smartphones

The market hasn't shown a ton of interest in Microsoft's Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL handsets so the Redmond outfit is making an offer it hopes customers will have a tougher time refusing. If you purchase an unlocked Lumia 950 XL smartphone from the Microsoft Store, Microsoft will throw in an unlocked Lumia 950 handset at no additional cost.That's a savings of $549, the retail cost of the slightly smaller Lumia 950, though you'll have to pony up a premium-tier $649 for the Lumia XL handset. The deal is in play until either May 1, 2016 or when Microsoft depletes its inventory, the latter of which... Read more...
A city in Germany has embedded LED traffic lights into sidewalks so that pedestrians who are too busy looking at their smartphone won't accidentally walk out into oncoming traffic. Sadly, this isn't a belated April Fool's story, and it begs the question, has it really come to this? And at the risk of sounding crass, isn't there a cutoff point where we stop interfering with natural selection? The city of Augsburg came up the idea after noticing that walkers were so engrossed with their smartphones that they weren't paying attention to traffic signals. By installing LED traffic lights right into... Read more...
Microsoft made it clear that now is not the time to focus its efforts on becoming a leader in mobile, but even so, it isn't abandoning the smartphone sector or its Windows 10 Mobile platform. Windows 10 Mobile remains a key part of Microsoft's ongoing strategy to unite devices from different categories with a single platform, and its latest Windows 10 Mobile preview build (14322) underscores that desire by introducing a bunch of feature updates and fixes. The new build is available to Windows Insiders subscribed to receive fast ring updates, which are less polished than builds that get released... Read more...
AT&T just bumped its wireless activation and upgrade fee to $20 per smartphone on several of its plans, a 33 percent increase from its previous $15 charge, though save some of your outrage for Verizon. It was Big Red that rolled out a new $20 upgrade fee earlier this week, which AT&T apparently took as an opening to do the same. Sure, we're just talking about a $5 price hike here, but what's annoying about the fee increase is that it's an arbitrary bump on top of what's an arbitrary charge to begin with. Does it really cost $15 or $20 for the dude in a blue shirt standing behind the counter... Read more...
LG's attempt to shake up the smartphone industry begins in earnest early next month, which is when the South Korean electronics maker plans to ship its modular G5 handset to the United States. The "early April" release isn't much of a surprise—LG had previously announced plans to ship the G5 to Canada on April 8. You'll be able to find the G5 at major carriers and retailers, including AT&T, Best Buy, Best Buy Mobile, B&H, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. What's unique about the G5 is that its modular design allows it to plug into a host of companion devices that LG calls "LG... Read more...
In the wake of Apple's fight with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over certain iPhone security features, French parliament officials voted to penalize smartphone makers that refuse to hand over encrypted data in cases involving terrorism. The legislation is being introduced as an amendment to a penal reform bill. This is not something that is favored by the government. Instead, it was drafted by rightwing opposition. Though it ultimately passed a vote in France's lower parliament, it must also pass subsequent votes in the National Assembly and Senate before it becomes law. That's going... Read more...
Competition is heating up in the high-end handset market thanks to some compelling options by Chinese manufacturers. Just last week, Xiaomi made a splash with its Mi 5, a decked out phone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and a starting price of just $300. Now Huawei is answering the call for a flagship with its forthcoming P9, which has been spotted in the wild.An anonymous source provided VentureBeat with a series of photographs and a full list of specs for the P9, one of several devices the company is working on. The P9, also known by its codename Eva, is expected to launch sometime in... Read more...
Today's smartphones are more capable (and storage hungry) than ever—they can play high-end games, record 4K resolution videos, and snap point-n-shoot quality pictures, to name just a few of the storage hogging things you can do with your phone. To that end, Samsung today announced that it's begun mass producing the industry's first 256GB embedded memory based on the Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 2.0 standard for next generation handsets.This is exactly what the smartphone sector needs, as Samsung knows from personal experience—after being criticized for not including a microSD card slot in its... Read more...
In early December, Mozilla pretty much confirmed that the end was near for Firefox OS on smartphones. “Firefox OS proved the flexibility of the Web, scaling from low-end smartphones all the way up to HD TVs,” said Mozilla SVP of Connected Devices Ari Jaaksi at the time. “However, we weren’t able to offer the best user experience possible and so we will stop offering Firefox OS smartphones through carrier channels.” This week, Mozilla solidified those plans to axe Firefox OS for smartphones by announcing that support will be yanked in the coming months. “We are announcing our plan to end-of-life... Read more...
Google might be taking a page from its rival and changing the way it operates in the mobile phone space, at least on the manufacturing side. Rather than continue to outsource production to established players like HTC and LG, Google's now interested in controlling the entire process from start to finish, much like Apple.The way it works now is Google partners up with third-party handset makers and gives them a list of features, requirements, and specifications for whatever Nexus phone it has on tap. Over the years, companies like ASUS, Samsung, Motorola, and Huawei have played major roles in bringing... Read more...
China continues to swell with smartphones—the latest data from Strategy Analytics pegs China's smartphone shipments as having grown 3 percent year-over-over to a hit record 438 million handsets in 2015. That's especially good news for Xiaomi, which retained its top spot with a 15.4 percent share of the market, but not so much for Samsung. The South Korean handset maker was pushed out of the top 5 rankings and now occupies the catch-all "Others" category, which collectively accounts for more than four out of 10 handsets (43.1 percent) in China. However, the fifth most popular smartphone brand in... Read more...
Look around at any given time and you're likely to see multiple people actively using a smartphone. They're everywhere these days, and in the fourth quarter of 2015, hundreds of millions of more smartphone devices infiltrated the market—404.5 million to be exact, up 6 percent annually from 380.1 million units shipped in Q4 of 2014, according to Strategy Analytics Wireless Smartphone Services.Now here's where things get weird. Looking at the period from Q4 2014 to Q4 2015, the smartphone industry saw its slowest growth rate of all time, which Strategy Analytics blamed on increased penetration in... Read more...
Though they're bitter rivals in the mobile space, Samsung and Apple often show each other the sincerest form of flattery, which is imitation. You can argue that one copies the other more often, but they both do it, often to the benefit of customers. The latest example of this has Samsung planning to roll out a Galaxy smartphone upgrade program similar to the one Apple offers for its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s Plus devices.Details are in short order, but it's said the program will kick off with the launch of Samsung's forthcoming Galaxy S7, which is expected to happen around March. Like Apple's program... Read more...
Legislatures in New York have drafted a bill that, if passed, would require Apple and other smartphone makers to provide backdoors to encrypted handsets for law enforcement officials or otherwise eliminate encryption altogether. Failure to do so would result in a $2,500 fine per device, a sum that would quickly add up. Apple and Google have been at the forefront of the encryption debate in favor of user privacy. New iPhone and most new Android devices come encrypted without any easy means of decrypting data without a key. Even if summoned by law enforcement to unlock a device, Apple and Google... Read more...
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