Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 25, 2013 05:58 PM
Americans replace 130 million mobile phones annually, and not even 10 percent of those get recycled. Even those consumers that try to hold out from snapping up new technology immediately find themselves practically begging their phones to fall apart so they can make the upgrade in good conscience.
Google-owned Motorola is aiming to help the problem with its modular smartphone project, Project Ara. The company has just signed a deal with a South Carolina 3D printing company to create a modular phone production platform that can be scaled for mass distribution. The pieces only need to be snapped into a a frame if and when an upgrade is needed.
The modular smartphones will allow consumers to decide what elements are most important to them. If it is the camera, for example, a higher-quality camera module can be bought and snapped into place. If it is a different kind of display, the consumer will have access to that as well. Information Week calls it “Lego-style customization.” Such a phone, of course, would mean that smartphone sales in general could go down and less phones would be wasted.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 3, 2013 12:51 PM
Walmart has its Straight Talk mobile plan and Tesco just launched its own tablet. And now, Target is debuting its own pre-paid mobile plan, Brightspot, this weekend.
The new mobile service uses T-Mobile’s network and offers up unlimited talk and texting for $35 a month. For $50 monthly, customers can have unlimited data though high-speed data use will be capped at 1GB each month, AllThingsD reports. As a bonus, Brightspot customers will pick up a $25 Target gift card every six months they are with the program.
“Target guests have been asking us for new mobile plan options to meet their changing needs, and Brightspot combines the flexibility of a pre-paid program with 4G data on one of the nation’s premier networks,” Target VP of Electronics John Butcher said in a statement.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 25, 2013 05:42 PM
Amazon may the third player in the tablet race behind Apple and Samsung, but the bookseller-turned-e-commerce king has now upped the ante and introduced the third version of its Kindle Fire tablet, the Fire HDX. Available on pre-order now, the new HDX will cost consumers between $229 and $479 and comes in two sizes, 7-inch and 8.9-inch. The Kindle Fire HD price subsequently dropped to $139.
Those prices will keep the Kindle offerings at a lower price point than Apple's iPad and iPad Mini devices, however they are more expensive than the previous line of Fire devices. But of course, new features including "higher-resolution screens, faster processors, weigh(ing) less than their predecessors, and hav(ing) 4G wireless capability," justifies the price increase, Bloomberg notes.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 23, 2013 05:55 PM
Following a chaotic opening sales weekend for its new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, Apple reportedly sold a combined 9 million smartphones, breaking its own sales record.
The record-breaking launch marks an important step in Apple's journey back to smartphone dominance, as it recently has lost market share to rival Samsung, which is the largest mobile manufacturer in the world. But if an inventory sell-out in 24 hours says anything, it seems that Apple's one-two punch, with the advanced, fingerprint-scanning 5s and the cheaper, plastic and colorful 5c, may be paying off.
“This is our best iPhone launch yet,” CEO Tim Cook said in a press release. “The demand for the new iPhones has been incredible, and while we’ve sold out of our initial supply of iPhone 5s, stores continue to receive new iPhone shipments regularly. We appreciate everyone’s patience and are working hard to build enough new iPhones for everyone.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 10, 2013 05:11 PM
The mobile industry's most highly anticipated event of the year has come and gone, leaving some innovation in its wake—but very little surprise.
Today's iPhone event at Apple's Cupertino, Calif. headquarters confirmed a handful of rumors that have been circulating for weeks: two iPhones, the upgraded 5S and the more affordable, plastic 5C. The colorful 5C, which is essentially the iPhone 5 in a plastic shell, is the company's first foray into a value-centric device—a metric that will lend itself well in important mobile markets like China and India.
Available globally on Sept. 20, the two new devices will grant the company access into markets where it has previously encountered obstacles, though Cook and his colleagues did not mention any specific deal with China Mobile, the country's largest mobile provider. They did, however, highlight several providers in Japan that will offer the new iPhones.
While more was revealed—additional details of iOS 7, updated camera functions, a new, faster processor chip—there was no mention of wearables, including Apple's eventual release of its rumored iWatch, leaving it more difficult to declare a winner in the latest mobile wars, especially between Apple and rival Samsung, which debuted its Galaxy Gear smartwatch and new Galaxy Note phablet last week.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 3, 2013 01:47 PM
In what may be the last notable move from exiting Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, the company acquired Nokia's devices and services division and its intellectual property for $7.2 billion.
While the brands have been connected since 2011, when Nokia adopted Microsoft's software across its smartphones, the merger will create a hardware and software supplier bolstered by the addition of Nokia's 32,000 employees. Ballmer believes that a deeper integration between devices, software, and services is required to compete with Google and Apple and that vertical integration will better finance the development of the Windows Phone platform.
While the deal at first glance seems to be a departure from the "One Microsoft" idea that Ballmer debuted in July under his restructuring plan, the company has outlined a connection between the success of its mobile venture and its other devices. "Success in phone is important to success in tablets. Success in tablets will help PCs.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 13, 2013 11:48 AM
Medical care, insurance, banking: Members of the US Military have access to countless services that are uniquely designed to serve them, though, when it comes to communication, a vital service for families that are spread across the world, there has never been a specialized service provider—until now.
This Veteran's Day, Nov. 11, anyone associated with the US Military, including active service members, veterans and family members can sign on with Defense Mobile Corp., an independent company that will provide affordable 4G mobile phone service. The network will run on Sprint, with plans ranging from $20 per month to $60 per month for a family plan, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. Also, members will have access to the latest smartphones, including the iPhone 5, Galaxy S 4 and the HTC One.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 12, 2013 12:46 PM
From AT&T to Verizon Wireless and every Sprint and T-Mobile in between, smartphone companies are doing everything they can to attract and retain customers in this never-ceasing battle. The most recent punches were thrown by Sprint and T-Mobile.
Sprint, hoping to jump up from its position in third place in the US, announced that it would be guaranteeing unlimited data services for the lifetime of an account, Reuters reports. Verizon Wireless and AT&T ditched the unlimited idea toward the end of last year and most folks were thinking Sprint would eventually follow them.
"We are distinctly different in our market position (from) AT&T and Verizon," Sprint Chief Executive Dan Hesse told the Associated Press.Continue reading...