Here’s a bold move for the “Uncarrier.” T-Mobile will be offering 200 MB of data access free of charge to any and all T-Mobile tablets. No strings, no commitments, just free data. CEO John Legere talked up the free data packages that will be available starting November 1st, all while taking a few potshots at other carriers. He considers the fact that most tablets are WiFi-only and tethered to smartphones “silliness” that needs to stop, and he thinks T-Mobile will be the first step in moving tablets in that direction. Of course, 200 MB isn’t a whole lot of data, so T-Mobile will also be offering a $5 plan that gives you 500 MB for a day and a $10 plan that gives you 1 GB for a week. It’s not unlimited data, but hey, it’s convenient and cheap.
On top of the new data packages, T-Mobile will also offer their selection of tablets for $0 down, with monthly payments working similarly to their smartphone payment plans. They hinted that the $0 down may not be permanent, so if you’re in the market for a new tablet, you may want to check out T-Mobile pretty soon.
If T-Mobile had better coverage in my area, I would jump at the chance for something like this. Are any of you planning on taking up their free data offer? Let us know in the comments.
source: The Verge
A cooperative effort between Japanese companies Sony Mobile Display, Toshiba Mobile Display, and Hitachi Displays, collectively known as Japan Display Inc., has announced their success in producing a 4K resolution screen (3840×2160) in a 12.1-inch form factor. The screen uses TFT LCD technology to produce a 365 pixels per inch picture. According to JDI, they have also managed to control heat and power usage for the display and kept it thin enough so that it could actually be deployed as part of a consumer device such as a notebook computer or a tablet device. The product is being shown at the FPD International 2013 event in Japan this week.
Many people have expressed skepticism at the need for 4K resolutions on anything smaller than a large television, but it seems manufacturers are continuing to work on producing screens capable of this resolution in a mobile device. Do you think the market will reach the point where 4K capable devices are the standard?
source: Japan Display Inc.
If you’ve taken a few economics courses, you know all about how cost curves work. I won’t get down to the nitty gritty, because, after all, this isn’t an economics site. All you really have to know is that as production output shrinks, the cost to produce goods gets higher per unit.
As you probably know by now, HTC isn’t selling too many phones these days. Because of this, they have to manufacture less phones so they don’t end up with a surplus. However, if they were to produce less devices at their current factories, the costs for producing these devices per unit increases too much for the company to make a worthwhile profit.
It seems like the only option now is to outsource— which is exactly what they’re about to do.
Over the weekend, we learned that the Sony Xperia Z1 Mini could possibly be heading over to the U.S. as the Xperia Z1S. Now new information has revealed that Sony Mobile could be hosting an event on November 12 to launch the smaller handset globally. Another possibility for the event could be a budget phablet released in emerging markets.
While the screen of the Z1S is smaller than the flagship Xperia Z1, the internal specs are set to be toe-to-toe with the full size handset. Stay tuned for more info as an invite would have to be sent out relatively soon.
Source: Digi-Wo (translated)
Via: Phone Arena
Rumors flew in regarding the Galaxy S4 mini, and we had a pretty good idea that it would be headed to the United States on four carriers. All we needed was confirmation.
And guess what? Now we have that.
In a press release, Samsung announced that the phone is US-bound, and will be available from Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and US Cellular.
The device is similar to its bigger brother, but has a smaller frame and lesser internals. It features a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display at 960×540 resolution, a dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.7GHz, 1.5GB RAM, 16GB internal storage which is expandable via microSD, an 8 MP rear shooter, and a 1,900mAh battery.
The phone ships with 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and the most recent version of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI— this means that you’ll get most of the same software add-ins that the full S4 has. Samsung also made it known that the device will receive a software update which will allow it to support Galaxy Gear.
Previously being limited to just the Galaxy Note 3, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear is going to be compatible with eight other devices. The company announced today that the Galaxy S III, S4, Note II, Galaxy S4 mini, S4 Active, Mega 5.8, Mega 6.3, and S4 zoom are all en route to be used with the Gear smartwatch. The catch is that the S III, S4, and Note II will receive Android 4.3 first, with the other devices receiving an update at a later date. Hit the break for the full press release. Read more
Samsung and Corning just made some interesting adjustments to their current 40-year partnership. Samsung and Corning already have a joint venture called Samsung Corning Materials. Ltd. Samsung owned a 43% stake in the company, but they will receive $1.9 billion in convertible preferred Corning shares as well as invest $400 million in new convertible preferred shares. I know it’s confusing, but the end result is that Samsung will have a 7.4% stake in the company on an as-converted basis.
What’s even more important is that Samsung and Corning signed a new long-term supply agreement that lasts until 2023. This is obviously a smart move for Samsung in that they won’t have to worry about other manufacturers jumping ahead of them. It doesn’t mean other manufacturers won’t use Gorilla Glass, it just means they won’t get preferred treatment. For Corning, it’s a win because they will gain more flexibility in serving customers, managing capacity, and minimizing capital spending as they expand production of Gorilla Glass and develop new specialty glass applications.
Full presser after the break.
The LG G Flex may not be the first smartphone with a curved display, but it will be the first curved smartphone with rear power and volume controls. That and 50-cents might get you a cup of coffee, but LG needs some recognition now that Samsung took the crown for the first curved smartphone, the Galaxy Round.
The G Flex should be unveiled next month and will probably be as limited as the Galaxy Round. Neither device is going to be popular since they are still evolving. One day we will have smartphones that we can actually bend, but for now it’s going to be flexible displays that are inflexible. Hit the break for a couple of more images and get an even better look with the G Flex’s first video appearance.
Cher Wang was one of HTC’s co-founders, and remains chairwoman and largest shareholder of the company today. However, before now, she’s always taken a slightly hands-off approach with HTC, allowing others to run the company. After HTC posted their first ever unprofitable quarter, Wang has decided that it’s time to step in and make some changes as to how the company is run. According to HTC Ben Ho, Wang is now clocking in twice as much each week in an attempt to right their sinking ship.
Wang held a meeting with employees to clarify a few things, namely that Peter Chou is still head of HTC. She doesn’t want his job, but would rather take some of the burden off of him to allow him to do what he does best; engineering great products. Wang will be more involved in sales and operations, which she obviously has a great deal of experience with. She does want HTC devices to be more focused around the end-user as opposed to being catered to what cell carriers want, so that should absolutely be a great change in terms of what HTC designs from here on out. They’re also planning on taking another look at the mid-range market instead of focusing just on the high-end market, which is exactly the opposite of what we’d just heard out of HTC the other day, but maybe Wang can clear up some of that muddled messaging.
Hopefully this marks the beginning of the end of HTC’s poor performance, and it’s not too little too late.