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Microsoft Slash Prices On Surface 2 Tablets

August 26, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Microsoft Slash Prices On Surface 2 Tablets

Microsoft has lowered the prices of its Surface 2 tablets by as much as 22%, dropping the entry-level Windows 8.1 RT device to $349. It’s unknown whether Microsoft discounted the Surface 2 to clear inventory before it discontinues the tablet, in preparation for a successor, or simply to move a slow-selling product. A clue may be in the length of the limited-time sale: Microsoft said that the reduced prices were good from Aug. 24 to Sept. 27, or “while supplies last,” and set the... 

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Ready For Tablets Priced At $35 Or Lower?

August 22, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Ready For Tablets Priced At $35 Or Lower?

Generic Android tablets with 7-inch screens and quad-core chips that deliver decent performance could soon make it to market for $35 or less. Tablets with low-resolution screens are already selling for $45 on Amazon, many of which have single- or dual-core processors from a Chinese chip company called Allwinner. But the prices could fall under $35 when Allwinner ships its “fully formed” quad-core A33 chip for only $4, said analyst firm Linley Group in a newsletter this week. The chip’s... 

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SMS Audio Introduces Biometric Headphones

August 18, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
SMS Audio Introduces Biometric Headphones

Want to monitor your heart rate while running and listening to music? SMS Audio’s BioSport In-Ear Headphones, announced at an event will tell you. The headphones are good for people who work out as well as those who just want to check their heart rate, said Brian Nohe, president of SMS Audio, which was founded by rapper 50 Cent, who is the majority owner. 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, wanted headphones with top-quality audio, fit, form and functionality, Nohe said. The rapper,... 

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Apple Wants To Jumpstart iPad Sales, New Production Begins

August 13, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Apple Wants To Jumpstart iPad Sales, New Production Begins

Apple Inc’s suppliers have begun churning out new iPad tablets in an attempt to revive flagging sales of the tablet, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter. Apple, which was at the forefront of creating the tablet market in 2010 with its first iPad, has seen growth plummet from 2012, as larger phones became more popular and people delayed replacing their tablets. Mass production of the iPad with a 9.7-inch (24.6-cm) screen has already started, and it is likely to be... 

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Is Facebook Preparing For Android Wear?

August 8, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Is Facebook Preparing For Android Wear?

Facebook updated its Android app this week, adding support for smartwatches running Google’s Android Wear software. Facebook software engineer Ian Lake announced the news – rather bizarrely on Google+ – saying, “I’ve been a big fan of Android Wear since its announcement so one of the things I’ve done quite a bit of at Facebook is ensure that Android Wear is actively considered when adding new features and we take advantage of what features are provided.” The... 

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Sony Exiting E-readers Arena As Restructuring Continues

August 7, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Sony Exiting E-readers Arena As Restructuring Continues

Sony is will discontinue e-reader production following the transfer of its e-book business outside Japan to Canada’s Kobo. “Final production of the current Reader model, PRS-T3, was made at the end of May,” a spokeswoman for Sony in Tokyo wrote in an email Wednesday. “The product will continue to be available until inventory supplies last, which differs by country.” There are no plans for a successor to the device, she added. The PRS-T3 was launched last year in 20 countries... 

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Netflix Strikes Deal With AT&T To Ensure Smooth Streaming

July 31, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Netflix Strikes Deal With AT&T To Ensure Smooth Streaming

Video streaming service Netflix has agreed to pay U.S. broadband provider AT&T Inc to ensure smooth delivery of Netflix content to Internet users, according to a statement made by both companies The announcement of the deal, put together in May, comes as Netflix has been waging a public campaign against such fees, which they present as tolls, and calling on the Federal Communications Commission to review the market. Having brokered this so-called interconnection agreement, AT&T and Netflix... 

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Bose Sues Beats Over Patent Infringement

July 29, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Bose Sues Beats Over Patent Infringement

Headphone maker Bose has filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against rival Beats Electronics, which Apple recently agreed to purchase in a US$3 billion deal. In its complaint, Bose alleges that the “active noise cancellation” system in Beats Studio and Studio Wireless headphones infringes on five of its patents that relate to digital audio processing, compression and noise cancellation technology. They are U.S. patents 6,717,537; 8,073,150; 8,073,151; 8,054,992; and 8,345,888. In addition... 

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Ultra High Def TV Sales Being Hampered By Steep Prices

July 25, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Ultra High Def TV Sales Being Hampered By Steep Prices

Ultra high-definition televisions (UHD TVs) have made minor gains in the flat-panel market because prices remain too high, according to a new report from IHS Technology. Among the top 13 LCD display brands worldwide, the share of UHD TV shipments reached just 5% in May, up from 4% in April, 3% in March and 2% in February, according to IHS. While UHD TV share has grown by 1 percentage point for each of the last three months, growth hasn’t budged much since September, when the market was already... 

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Sony Wants To Capitalize On The ‘Selfie’ Boom

July 24, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Sony Wants To Capitalize On The ‘Selfie’ Boom

Sony Corp said that it has plans to invest 35 billion yen ($345 million) to increase production of image sensors for smartphones and tablets, as the company courts handset makers to get more orders for front-facing camera sensors, used to take selfies. The Japanese firm said it will increase production of stacked CMOS sensors at two factories on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, while completing work on a factory in northwestern Japan it bought from Renesas Electronics Corp for a total investment... 

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Lenovo Says It’s Still In The 8-in. Windows Tablet Game

July 22, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Lenovo Says It’s Still In The 8-in. Windows Tablet Game

Lenovo on Friday said it would continue selling sub-10-in. Windows tablets in the U.S., backing away from statements it made the day before, when it said it was pulling the ThinkPad 8 from the North American market and had discontinued offering a model of the Miix 2. “We will continue to bring new Windows devices to market across different screen sizes, including a new 8-inch tablet and 10-inch tablet coming this holiday,” Lenovo said in a press release published on its website Friday. “Our... 

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Sony’s FeliCa Smartcard Chip Is Gearing Up For Wearables

July 21, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Sony’s FeliCa Smartcard Chip Is Gearing Up For Wearables

If you’re waiting for that multi-functional smartwatch of your dreams, Sony is working to add contactless payments to wearables with a new chip. The electronics giant’s FeliCa Networks subsidiary is modifying its FeliCa contactless card technology, widely used in Japan for public transit and e-money payments, for wearables. The company is designing a low-power chip that could be used in wearables such as smartwatches and smart bands, giving them contactless e-money or transit functions... 

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Amazon.com Considering Unlimited E-book Subscription Offer

July 18, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Amazon.com Considering Unlimited E-book Subscription Offer

Amazon.com appears to be considering a $9.99-a-month e-book and audiobook subscription service dubbed “Kindle Unlimited.” The as-yet-unreleased service would offer unlimited access to more than 600,000 book titles and thousands of audiobooks on any device, according to a test page that was briefly online. The test page was cached before it was taken down. The test page was apparently first spotted by gigaom.com. Amazon.com did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The test... 

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IBM To Partner With Apple To Sell iPads, iPhones For Business Users

July 17, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
IBM To Partner With Apple To Sell iPads, iPhones For Business Users

International Business Machines Corp will join forces exclusively with Apple Inc to offer iPhones and iPads loaded with applications geared at enterprise clients this fall, the company announced. The announcement, just days before IBM releases its second quarter earnings, comes as the company attempts to shift its focus to software and services as its hardware unit continues to slump, and follows a string of mobile software acquisitions. The company hopes software sales will contribute half of its... 

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Lionsgate Joins Alibaba In TV Streaming Joint Venture

July 16, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Lionsgate Joins Alibaba In TV Streaming Joint Venture

Chinese e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba Group Holding and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp, the studio behind the ‘Hunger Games’ films, plans on offering a subscription streaming service in China, the firms said in a statement on Tuesday. The service, to be known as Lionsgate Entertainment World, will be exclusive to Alibaba’s Internet television set-top boxes and is expected to launch in August. It will give users access to Lions Gate content, including several titles from the ‘Twilight... 

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