Lenovo owned Motorola has been slapped with a $5m class action lawsuit over allegations of shoddy customer service and not honoring warranty policies.
News of the lawsuit comes via Trusted Reviews, which learned this week that the complaint was filed against Motorola on 21 April in Illinois, accusing the company of “unfair, unscrupulous, immoral and oppressive” business practices.
The lawsuit’s main plaintiff, Douglas Lynch, decided to take legal action after a long-drawn out battle over a Moto 360 repair. He contacted Motorola for a replacement after the backplate of his smartwatch cracked, and was informed that a replacement would take four days to reach him.
The replacement failed to arrive, and Lynch was eventually sent a Moto 360 two months later that was a cheaper model than the one he had purchased.
Lynch isn’t alone in having a bad experience with Motorola. Girard Gibbs LLP, one of the law firms handling the case, told Trusted Reviews that Motorola owes “thousands of people” compensation.
This is evident on Reddit, where pissed off Motorola customers have flocked to tell similar stories.
One Redditor said: ”I have had some of the worst support from them on my Moto G 3rd gen I bought last year.
“I tried to buy an extended warranty plan they supposedly offered, but their website was so jankedy that even after a few escalations over a FEW MONTHS to various higher ups in their support department with no resolution to the problem I finally just gave up and decided to never buy a Motorola phone again.”
Another added: “Wish someone would do the same in the UK as they wouldn’t replace my 6 month old 360 and I ended up having to pay about £120 to get it fixed when it was a hardware problem.”
Esfand Nafisi, an attorney at Girard Gibbs LLP, explained that the actual compensation owed is “likely higher” than the $5m referred to in the original filing, adding: “We want these issues to be resolved for all consumers.”
Motorola said in a statement: “Motorola has a long history of providing exceptional products and services to its customers. We are aware of the lawsuit, and are investigating the claims, which we believe to be without merit.”
Intel has called for the standard 3.5mm headphone jack to be dropped in favor of connections like USB-C.
Intel does not think there is much wrong with the 3.5mm audio jack, but apparently there are more advantages to a digital connection. USB-C would allow would mean higher quality and “cleaner” audio, apparently. USB-C could also allow for headphones to track health data like your body temperature and tell the doctors if your ears are bleeding.
At present, Intel is finalizing the USB Type-C Digital Audio technology and plans to release its specification later in Q2. The company does not reveal a lot about the standard right now, but notes that it is working on updating the USB Audio Device Class 2.0 specifications to support new connector, expand the list of recent audio specifications and features, improve power management and simplify the discovery and configuration model to make the upcoming headsets as easy to use as today’s headsets.
Intel calls like this can be taken with a grain of salt. OEMs are the people who decide this sort of thing, but with Intel’s support maybe more companies might consider it. However digital is not all it is cracked up to be. In the audio world there is a new trend back to old style vinyl and tube amps are still a thing.
At the moment there is no actual music being produced and those who can actually write good music are dying off, so it probably does not matter what headphone socket you have – there is going to be nothing worth listening to in a few years.
Nintendo has confirmed that its next-gen console, the Nintendo NX, will launch in March 2017.
Causing many to screw up their Christmas lists, the company told shareholders during its earnings call on Tuesday: “For our dedicated video game platform business, Nintendo is currently developing a gaming platform codenamed ‘NX’ with a brand-new concept. NX will be launched in March 2017 globally.”
Probably also causing some to cancel a trip to Los Angeles, Nintendo said that the NX will not be demonstrated at the upcoming E3 video games conference in June, despite speculation that Sony plans to show off its so-called PlayStation 4.5 console.
Nintendo’s keynote at the games show will focus instead on the next Legend of Zelda game, which will launch simultaneously on the Wii U and Nintendo NX in 2017. Rumour has it that Smash Bros 4, Splatoon and Super Mario Maker are all set to receive an NX makeover too.
A launch is now less than a year away, but we still don’t know much about the Nintendo NX, which Nintendo confirmed this week is just a codename for the incoming console. However, rumour claims that it will arrive as a hybrid between a home console and a mobile games console to sit alongside the New Nintendo 3DS.
Nintendo president and CEO Tatsumi Kimishima reiterated in December last year that the company is “not building the next version of Wii or Wii U” and that the device will be something “unique and different”.
News of the Nintendo NX’s launch date no doubt came as the firm looked to play down the fact that its profits fell 61 per cent year over year. Worked, didn’t it?
Apple apparently does not plan to make enough of the newly launched iPhone SE model, the Nikkei report said.
The company’s shares fell 1.8 percent to $110.05. Shares of some Apple suppliers also fell following the report. Skyworks Solutions Inc was down 1.4 percent, Broadcom Ltd fell 2.4 percent while Jabil Circuit lost 1.7 percent. The Nikkei reported in January that the technology giant was expected to cut production of its iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models by about 30 percent in the quarter ended March, but production was expected to return to normal in the current quarter.
The production cut could last longer than the one it implemented in 2013, when Apple cut production orders for its cheaper iPhone 5C a month after its launch, the Nikkei said.
Apple has told parts suppliers in Japan and elsewhere that it will maintain the reduced output level in the current quarter, the Nikkei report said.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In January, Apple said it expected a fall in revenue for the quarter ending March – its first forecast for a revenue drop in 13 years – as the critical Chinese market showed signs of weakening. It also reported the slowest-ever increase in iPhone shipments.
Global smartphone sales in 2016 are expected to grow at their slowest rate – in single digits in percentage terms, according to research firm Gartner Inc.
Cloud storage provider Box Inc announced a new service that allows businesses in Europe and Asia to store data regionally, at a time when governments demand greater protection for their data in the backdrop of revelations about massive U.S. surveillance programs.
Box Zones, to be available next month, uses the cloud services of Amazon.com Inc and International Business Machines Corp to store its customers’ data across Germany, Ireland, Singapore and Japan, Box said on Tuesday.
The company, which serves about 57,000 customers including Unilever Plc and Home Depot Inc, has witnessed rising demand for its current add-on services such as KeySafe and Governance.
The European Union and the United States agreed on a Privacy Shield framework in February after two years of difficult talks aimed at ensuring that Europeans’ data transferred by companies across the Atlantic would be afforded the same level of protection as in Europe.
After years of negotiation, it has finally sealed its on-again, off-again deal to buy troubled Japanese components and consumer electronics vendor Sharp.
Foxconn Technology Group will pay ¥389 billion (US$3.43 billion) for a 66% stake in Sharp, the two companies said Wednesday.
The deal gives Taiwan-based Foxconn access to a captive market for its assembly services but also to a broad range of electronic components and consumer devices that could allow it to take a larger share of the value added between design and delivery. Foxconn, which employs thousands of workers in China, assembles products for a number of companies including Apple’s iPhone.
For years, Sharp was a household name for its TVs, but it also sells printers, projectors, phones and point-of-sale systems. Foxconn’s majority ownership of Sharp will put it into competition with some of its own customers.
Sharp also makes many of the components in those products, including LCD panels, power supplies, radio receivers and image sensors, and sells them to other manufacturers too. The deal will give Foxconn more control over its supply chain.
It pioneered the use of IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) to make brighter LCD displays, a technology that Apple was repeatedly rumored, with each new generation of iPhone, to be ready to adopt, but never quite seemed to get around to.
The head of Sharp’s LCD unit, Tetsuo Onishi, isn’t waiting for a Foxconn-led turnaround: Sharp announced Monday that he will leave Thursday, the last day of the company’s fiscal year.
When Sharp reports its full-year results, they are likely to make grim reading. President and CEO Kozo Takahashi said Tuesday that the company is considering lowering its financial results estimates for the year to March 31 due to a decline in sales, particularly in China.
The move will allow U.S. computer maker Dell to trim some of the $43 billion in debt it is taking on to fund its pending cash-and-stock acquisition of data storage provider EMC Corp, a deal worth close to $60 billion.
The Japanese company said it would pay around $3.05 billion, an amount that excludes debt and unspecified advisory fees.
The sale will also offer NTT Data, one of the world’s largest technology services companies, a bigger foothold in the United States, where it is looking to expand in healthcare IT, insurance and financial services consulting.
Dell has also made progress in syndicating $10 billion of its financing package for the EMC acquisition dubbed ‘term loan A’, people familiar with the situation said earlier. This is expected to be increased in size by $500 million to $750 million due to strong demand, with the extra money to be used to downsize some of the more expensive tranches of the remaining $33 billion in financing, the people added.
Formerly known as Perot Systems, Dell’s IT services division is a major provider of technology consulting to hospitals and government departments. Founded in 1988 by former U.S. presidential candidate Ross Perot, it was acquired by Dell in 2009 for $3.9 billion.
However, Dell has since divested some of the unit’s operations and integrated some others, which it is not including in the sale. Some of the unit’s capabilities were seen by Dell as redundant in the wake of the acquisition of EMC.
Dell has also been speaking to private equity firms about selling Quest Software, which helps with information technology management, as well as SonicWall, an e-mail encryption and data security provider, Reuters has previously reported. Together, Quest and SonicWall could be worth up to $4 billion.
Dell’s acquisition of EMC, which is backed by founder and Chief Executive Michael Dell as well as private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, is subject to approval by EMC shareholders. EMC is expected to hold a shareholder vote on the Dell deal in May, allowing for the transaction to be completed sometime between July and October.
Besides the fact that chip is pretty good, since the Qualcomm has been seen at all the fashionable places and all the right people promoting the chip heavily. As a result it will be adopted by Samsung, LG, Sony, HTC, Xiaomi, Vivo and LeTV.
Qualcomm senior vice president for global marketing Tim McDonough has confirmed that more than 100 mobile devices powered by Snapdragon 820 chips are currently under development.
But mobile is only the tip of the iceberg for the Snapdragon 820 platform. It has been earmarked for VR (virtual reality) devices, robots and commercial drones. There will also be a Snapdragon 820A to enable automakers to develop driving assistance systems and telematics/entertainment systems for connected car applications.
All up this means that this year will be Qualcomm’s and more than make up for the embarrassment of last year’s over heating 810 fiasco.
Last year, it was loose lips in the supply chain for console manufacture, now it’s seemingly loose lips within Nintendo’s own marketing department, but there’s a common thread to every leak or rumour that spreads about the platform holder these days – they all point to a late 2016 launch for the company’s next console platform, codenamed NX.
The numbers Nintendo was said to be targeting for NX that were floated around from sources at overseas parts suppliers checked out pretty well. Similarly, the more recent marketing leak has lent significant credibility by being on the money regarding the now-announced Pokemon Sun and Moon titles. It’s all still in the realm of rumour – a dedicated faker could have done the maths required to arrive at plausible manufacturing numbers for NX, just as we did when we dissected the claims; someone with knowledge of a soon-to-be-announced Pokemon game could have tacked on fake information about an upcoming console in order to troll gaming forums. It happens.
Besides, in the skeptics’ corner, there are some solid reasons to question the 2016 launch window. For a start, there’s the simple fact that we know nothing about NX. It’s already March, and all we know is a codename and some vague, hand-waving stuff about the console bridging home and handheld paradigms. That’s pretty much it. Assuming a November launch, that would leave Nintendo with a grand total of eight months to unveil, explain, market and promote an entire new console launch – even assuming that they were to start that process tomorrow. It’s not impossible, of course; that eight months would encompass E3, GamesCom, Tokyo Games Show and as many Nintendo Direct shows as the company wanted, so getting the message out there is plausible… But bear in mind that this is also the year in which Nintendo’s mobile gaming partnership with DeNA will bear its first fruit, and while I maintain that the company views that as a support to its console business, not a replacement for it, it’s reasonable to be dubious of the idea that it would willingly completely overshadow the marketing of those games with a blitz of promotion for a new console.
There’s also the simple matter of history to consider. Nintendo has never, as far as I can recall or uncover, announced a console in the same calendar year that it released it. The pattern for its systems’ pre-launch promotion has been fairly consistent since the turn of the millennium; a slow build-up from the reveal of hardware to further details and the introduction of software, with a launch often as much as 18 months after the unveiling. Compressing that into eight months (or seven, or six) might be possible, but it would be totally outside the pattern of what Nintendo has done up until now with its consoles.
On the other hand, Nintendo is in a pretty unique situation right now. It has a new CEO who, although he’s essentially pledged to follow the path Iwata set the company upon, will also have his own way of doing things and his own vision for the firm. It also has an absolute albatross in the form of the Wii U, which has not been saved from commercial disaster even by successful, acclaimed games like Splatoon and Super Mario Maker – and, almost uniquely for the company, it faces giving the Wii U an early bath at the same time that its all-conquering handheld platform, the 3DS (which has done very well despite not matching sales of its predecessor, the DS) is also slowing down significantly. Nintendo does face entering 2016 without a particularly strong handheld or home console platform and only the 3DS’ installed base to keep things ticking over – which might be a significant impetus to speed things up on the introduction of something new.
Let’s think in more details about the factors that would be involved in launching the NX by the end of the year. It would absolutely have benefits; perhaps the most clear one is that it would prevent 2016 being a “wasted” holiday season for Nintendo. The flatlining Wii U and the rapidly slowing 3DS suggest that without the introduction of a new platform this year, holiday 2016 will likely be Nintendo’s worst for many years – arguably not something Kimishima will want on his report card so early in his tenure. A rapid build-up and launch for the NX would give the company a blow-out Christmas, since Nintendo platforms pretty much always do well at launch – and of course, this would also place NX in the window to receive a prettied-up port of the upcoming Zelda title for Wii U at the same time as the Wii U version itself launches, a mirror of the very successful strategy the company used for Twilight Princess across the GameCube and Wii a couple of hardware generations ago. Even if the game isn’t totally exclusive to NX, a Zelda game at launch would be an enormous boon for the new platform and a great way to ensure a solid holiday season.
It’s definitely a short period of time, though, and the window in which Nintendo can announce the console is probably quite limited. It’s highly unlikely that it would wait for E3 to unveil its plans; much as turning up with a brand new console to the show would be a very effective way to “win” E3, it’s probably more sensible to unveil some aspects of the device, at least, in a Nintendo event well ahead of the show. Indeed, if NX details aren’t revealed to some degree either this month or next, I suspect a 2016 launch can be said to be entirely off the cards – although I wouldn’t actually put money on that, since if we’re talking about reducing the pre-launch promotion window from 18 months to 8 or 7 months, why on earth not make it six, or five, or four?
In fact, it might be more instructive to think about that window in terms of how other devices manage it. Consoles are actually quite unusual in having a lengthy, protracted period where everyone is talking about them, everyone is showing off software for them, but nobody can buy them. Compare that to smartphones or tablets, which are generally available to buy within a matter of days or weeks after they’re first unveiled. That short lead time doesn’t seem to stop Apple’s devoted fans from camping out to buy a new iPhone; perhaps a short lead time for a console might actually spur fans to excitement, rather than denying the new system a build-up? If the NX console is really a complex concept that it takes people a while to get their head around, then perhaps that will be problematic – you don’t want to launch a device that hardly anyone actually understands yet – but if it’s merely an interesting twist on the familiar, then perhaps a short, intense few months of promotion is actually a marketing advantage over a year or more of drawn-out arguments regarding the merits of a still-vapourware device.
Whatever Nintendo actually plans for the NX, it will represent a very dramatic choice for the company. A 2016 launch will be an aggressive strategy that overturns its previous approach to console launches and suggests dramatic reforms under Kimishima’s guidance. Pushing its launch out into next year, though, will leave the company facing a bleak holiday season with an ailing, albeit still popular, handheld device and a home console that’s almost totally dead in the water – and even with the prospect of a Zelda swan song on the Wii U, that will be a bitter pill to swallow for Nintendo. The company is, in some regards, painted into a corner – no matter what it does next, it’ll require a very different Nintendo difference.
DisplayPort 1.4 will allow 8K displays to hook up to laptops, smartphones and other devices via a USB Type-C port. The new standard was announced by VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) on Tuesday.
The USB Type-C connector is already gaining popularity, so DisplayPort 1.4 will be easy to implement in devices. There’s another 8K connector called SuperMHL under development that requires new ports but can also be slapped on USB Type-C connectors.
4K TVs are gaining popularity, but will be replaced by 8K in the coming years. Sharp was to first to retail an 8K TV for a whopping $133,000. Other top TV makers have shown 8K TVs, and may release them in time for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, which will be broadcast in 8K.
It’s still a challenge to transfer 4K video in real-time through USB Type-C port considering the amount of bandwidth required. But VESA has figured out a way to resolve the issue of 8K video transfer. A Display Stream Compression (DSC) technology in DisplayPort 1.4 is designed to compress video into smaller packets, which will make it possible to transmit 8K video from a device to displays. VESA says video quality won’t be affected by the compression.
The new standard is a big jump from the older DisplayPort 1.3 standard, which is already in PCs. The 1.3 standard had bandwidth to support two 4K monitors.
DisplayPort is especially popular in business PCs, while HDMI is the display connector for consumer PCs and devices. The DisplayPort protocol has its own connector, but has over years evolved to work with Thunderbolt, USB Type-C and other connector technologies.
It is not clear whether DisplayPort would abandon its own connector and move over to USB Type-C.
The comment by a Toshiba spokesman followed a report by the Sankei newspaper that said the Japanese conglomerate is planning to pull out of PCs as it restructures its business following a massive accounting scandal.
The Sankei said Toshiba, Fujitsu Ltd and VAIO are in talks to merge their PC businesses. Toshiba would consign production of its Dynabook brand to Fujitsu and VAIO factories while it focuses on design and development, helping it cut costs, the paper said.
When it comes to the problem of handling errant drones, there’s been a number of high-tech solutions — from radio jamming to laser beams to nets launched by other drones – but a group in The Netherlands has a rather unique low-tech solution that’s much more elegant.
The Guard From Above says it is training birds of prey to attack drones, taking advantage of their natural predatory instincts and precision in the sky.
A video posted by the company on YouTube shows a bird attacking a DJI Phantom drone as it hovers, grabbing the drone with its feet and flying away with it.
The bird’s claws have scales that should prevent it from getting injured by the fast rotating blades, said the company. But it did say it is investigating extra protective measures that could be taken.
It also appears to be a concern to the Dutch National Police, which is investigating the use of birds to take down drones. The police have asked the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) to research potential danger to birds.
To date there have only been a handful of incidents in which drones were used to breach security and get to places they are not supposed to be, such as The White House lawn or the roof of the Japanese Prime Minister’s office.
Tech companies are also racing to provide high-tech solutions to skittish security agencies. In the meantime, a decision by police on whether to move ahead with using the eagles is expected by the end of the year.
The electronics conglomerate has started accepting bids, with early interest shown by the Development Bank of Japan Inc, said the sources, who declined to be identified because they are not authorized to talk to the media.
The state-owned bank has already invested in Seiko Holdings Corp’s semiconductor operations.
The sale would exclude Toshiba’s mainstay NAND flash memory operations, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter and one person familiar with the discussions.
On the block are businesses that handle system LSI and discrete chips, which are widely used in cars, home appliances and industrial machinery. The loss-making operations posted sales of 330 billion yen ($2.78 billion) in the year ended March 2015.
A Toshiba spokesman told Reuters the company hasn’t made a decision yet on the sale of its chip operations, while a spokeswoman at the Development Bank of Japan declined to comment.
Following the accounting scandal, Toshiba has been focusing on nuclear and other energy operations, as well as its storage business, which centers on NAND flash memory chips used in smart phones.
The Tokyo-based company, which is selling off non-core chip operations, plans to invest heavily in its flash memory production capacity in Japan to better compete with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
Worldwide IT spending shrank by nearly 6% last year — the largest one-year decrease research firm Gartner says it has ever seen. The global forecast for 2016 is for an improving, but relatively flat, $3.54 trillion. That would be a 0.6% increase.
Gartner blames a strong U.S. dollar for the global decline, because it effectively increased the price of exports by as much as 20%. Political and economic instability in countries such as Russia and Brazil also contributed to the spending problems. By comparison, the U.S. saw an increase in IT spending.
In the U.S., IT spending increased 3.1% to $1.14 trillion. The U.S. forecast this year is for a 1.2% increase.
Globally, “we’re just in this anemic growth period,” John-David Lovelock, a research vice president at Gartner. The countries who saw the most problems with IT spending include Russia, Japan and Brazil.
The economic issues also changed how firms bought IT products and services, said Lovelock.
Instead of buying a product license for $1 million, for instance, users are switching to SaaS products for $100,000 a year. Cloud services have also replaced physical servers, he said.
Globally, there were declines in every area of IT spending, including software, devices and services. The only area to post growth was data center systems spending, largely thanks to cloud.
The IT area expected to see the largest gains this year is software; it is expected to rise 5.3% to $326 billion globally. CRM is the hot area, as users seek to integrate social media with the business needs.
Huawei Technologies Co became the first Chinese handset vendor to ship more than 100 million mobile phones in a year when its 2015 shipments defied a market slowdown and jumped 44 percent, thanks to strong sales domestically and in Western Europe.
Shenzhen-based Huawei disclosed on Wednesday it shipped 108 million smartphones last year, as it sought to shed its budget supplier image to target higher-margin premium models. In comparison, the global industry is expected to have grown at a single-digit rate in 2015 for the first time.
Huawei’s upbeat performance comes at a time when industry leaders Samsung Electronics Co and Apple Inc are potentially facing a tough year ahead.
Samsung said it expected a difficult business environment in 2016 due to a weak global economy and heightened competition, while a Nikkei report said Apple was expected to cut production of its latest iPhone models by about 30 percent in the January-March quarter due to mounting inventories.
Chinese handset makers are providing stiffer competition for the smartphone industry giants as cost-conscious consumers are looking for cheaper alternatives with similar features and frills.
“There are increasingly more Chinese vendors who can offer good products, so you don’t necessarily have to buy a phone from Samsung,” said Avril Wu, analyst at research firm TrendForce.
“They (Chinese vendors) are taking market shares from the top leaders.”
But it was too early to say if Huawei could stay as a solid contender to Samsung and Apple, as smaller Chinese players such as Xiaomi Inc and Lenovo Group Ltd often swapped rank after price wars, analysts said.
“In China it’s true that Huawei grew tremendously over the past six months, but it’s a bit of a dog fight within the Android ecosystem,” said Carolina Milanesi, analyst at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.