Items tagged with smartphones

It hasn't been a rough stretch for BlackBerry over the past several years. The once dominant smartphone outfit has tried numerous strategies to claw its way back to relevance—a name change, new CEO, inevitable layoffs, and more recently going all-in with Android. Unfortunately, nothing seems to be working for BlackBerry, and its flagship Priv handset isn't the savior the company hoped it would be.An executive at AT&T who asked not to be blamed put it rather bluntly when speaking with CNET, saying the Priv is "really struggling." The executive noted also noted that AT&T is seeing more returns... Read more...
We're careless creatures, there's no denying that. It's why we lose our car keys, forget concert tickets at home, and misplace our smartphones. Google can't help you with the first two, but if you happen to lose your Android device, or even worse it ends up stolen, don't panic, the search giant launched a new feature that can help you track it down. According to Google, "millions of phones are stolen every year in the U.S. along, and countless more are lost in taxis, cafes, and couch cushions around the world." That's life and while it's easy to tell someone not to stress over it, these wonderful... Read more...
Microsoft has found a new partner in the smartphone sector in Xiaomi, a major player in China that's looking to expand its reach into other territories. To help it do that, Microsoft sold Xiaomi around 1,500 of its patents for an undisclosed sum. The two also entered into a cross-licensing deal as part of what they're describing as a long-term pact. Here's the thing—Microsoft doesn't have anywhere near the same level of market share in the smartphone segment as Google with its Android platform or Apple with iOS, but it's still managed to make a few bucks from the category. One way is through royalties... Read more...
The OnePlus team made a lot of fans happy today. How so? Not only is OnePlus ditching its reviled invite system for its OnePlus 3 release, it's saying goodbye to the invite system forever. That's right, invites are gone forever, and so are the headaches on both sides of the equation that accompanied them. "With the OnePlus 3, we’re officially saying goodbye to invites. It’s a big step for us as a company, our fans, and fellow tech enthusiasts," OnePlus stated in a blog post. "After sending out millions of invites over the past two years, it’s hard to not think back to the early days and how far... Read more...
In the United States, the smartphone market feels almost like a two-horse race between Apple and Samsung, with HTC galloping a fair distance behind. But lest anyone forget, Sony offers some intriguing handsets under its Xperia banner, four of which are arriving unlocked in the next couple of months. Forgiveness is easily granted for anyone who forgot about Sony's Xperia line. Sony doesn't put the same level of effort in pushing its smartphone line up in the U.S. market as it does in other territories, though perhaps this is the beginning of a changed mindset. Not only is Sony bringing four new... Read more...
It seems as though Microsoft is coming around to the realization that it has a snowball's chance in hell of competing with Android and (to a lesser extent) iOS for smartphone market share, so it's pulling back even further than it already has. Or more specifically, Microsoft's is "streamlining" its smartphone business, which entails another round of layoffs. In a memo sent to employees, Microsoft's head of Windows and devices, Terry Myerson, announced the layoffs saying the bulk of them will occur in Finland. He also denied the notion that Microsoft is abandoning the smartphone sector altogether,... Read more...
Remember the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man that lumbered through New York City in the original Ghostbusters? That's how big Android has become, which coincidentally is on its Marshmallow release. That's not to say that Android is bloated and slow, just that it's really big—out of the 349 million smartphones shipped in the first quarter of 2016, Android was installed on over 293.7 million of them, according to Gartner. Android now accounts for 84.1 percent of all smartphones in the world, up from 78.8 percent in the same quarter a year ago. Meanwhile, its closest rival (iOS) is now at 14.8 percent,... Read more...
Verizon plans on raising its data limit for prepaid smartphone plans. Starting May 15th, the data limit on Verizon's $45 a month plan jumps from 1GB to 3GB, while the $60 plan has been doubled to 6GB. This includes unlimited talk and text in the United States. The $45 plan comes with free texting to Mexico and Canada while the $60 plan comes with free texting and calling to both countries. There is, however, a catch -- you will need to set up Auto Pay in order to reap the benefits. Verizon’s Vice President of Consumer Pricing, Rob Miller, stated, "Whether you're just starting out with your own... Read more...
It's hard not to cringe whenever HTC releases an earnings report these days, though if you're hoping for the handset maker to turn its fortunes around, its latest financial report is especially stomach turning. HTC's revenue during the first quarter for the period ending March 31, 2016, plummeted 64 percent to NT$14.8 billion (around $463 million), down from NT$41.52 billion (around $1.3 billion) in the first quarter of 2015.That led to an operating loss of NT$4.8 billion (around $150 million), down from posting a profit of NT$360 million (around $11.6 million) in the same quarter a year ago. It's... Read more...
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...
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