Items tagged with smartphones

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...
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...
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