Chinese phone maker, Xiaomi, now valued at a whopping $45 Billion

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While most American’s probably haven’t heard of the Chinese phone manufacturing company Xiaomi, their immense success in China has propelled the company into new heights. With the company being previously valued at $4 billion (2012) and $10 billion (2013), rounds have now valued the company at a whopping $45 billion.

How did Xiaomi gain this much success in such a quick time you ask? Clever on-line marketing coupled with cheap/affordable high-powered devices have made them a household name in China. Not only has the company knocked off both Apple and Samsung as the the #1 smartphone manufacture in China, but they are also now #3 world-wide. With over 500 million smartphones expected to be sold in China next year (more than double that is expected to be sold in the US), one can only expect Xiaomi to grow even further. With China clearly under their belt, the Chinese company has their eyes set on the rest of the world starting with India and Brazil, and I’m sure they have hopes of someday being a household name in Europe and possibly even the United States.

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Patent portfolio sale sign of détente for smartphone industry?

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In another sign of the continuing end of hostilities between the world’s smartphone manufacturers, Rockstar Consortium, Inc. has announced the sale of 4,000 patents to RPX Corp. The portfolio was originally obtained by Rockstar in a bidding war that took place during 2011 between Rockstar and Google to obtain the intellectual property from Nortel Networks. Rockstar is a consortium made up of Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony. RPX licenses patents to companies that join their syndicate, including Google and Cisco Systems. Read more

Apple and Samsung face off in Appeals Court

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Samsung and Apple are back in court again as Samsung looks to appeal the $930 million jurors awarded to Apple for intellectual property infringement. During the oral argument hearing yesterday, discussions were technical in nature, and discussed whether or not portions of the iPhone’s design was functional or ornamental. But that wasn’t the only aspect that the three-judge panel discussed.

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Chromebooks now more popular than iPads in U.S. schools

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For the first time ever, Chromebooks surpassed iPad sales to U.S. schools. According to IDC, 715,000 Chromebooks were sold to U.S. schools in the 3rd quarter as opposed to 702,000 iPads for the same period. It might not be by much, but the spread is likely to grow.

It’s obvious the lower costs that Chromebooks enjoy is a big factor. Schools can buy Chromebooks for as low as $199 vs the iPad Air, which runs $379 after educational discounts. Let’s also not forget the full keyboard that makes things a lot easier. Last but not least, Chromebooks are easier to manage.

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iPhone 6 devices help Apple regain enterprise market share from Android

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Although Google’s Android easily dominates the operating system market on a global basis, there are still areas where Apple’s iOS prevails. One of those areas is in the enterprise where Apple enjoys a slightly more than a 2-1 lead. That dominance had been slipping a bit during Q2 of 2014, but new data from Good Technology suggests the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus helped Apple regain some share it had lost. Read more

Apple finally releases tool for de-registering phone number from iMessage

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If you or anyone you know has switched from an iPhone to an Android phone, you might be aware of Apple’s infamous iMessage bug. If you upgraded to a new device without turning off iMessage on your old iPhone first, some of your text messages would still be send and received through iMessage, not as regular text messages. This is obviously a problem when you’re using an Android phone, or literally any other kind of phone, because iMessage is exclusive to Apple devices. This bug would cause messages to never be received and sent correctly, which is a massive headache. Read more

Disney Movies Anywhere is your one stop cross-platform shop for Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies

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Disney just set history today by allowing you to purchase Disney, Pixar and Marvel movies from either iTunes or Google Play and use them on either platform. This all done through the Disney Movies Anywhere app, which was already available on iOS. With the launch on Google Play, both platforms work seamlessly.

All you have to do is create an account through the Disney Movies Anywhere app or your desktop browser. Once you link both your iTunes and Google Play accounts, movies that you purchased from either store will be visible and playable to you. This holds for not only the app, but also the Play Movies & TV app as well as iTunes. This means you can also utilize Apple TV and a Chromecast. In fact, you really don’t need the Disney Movies Anywhere app, but you might prefer it for playing your content on your tablet or phone.

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Latest Play Services APK findings show new “Copresence” app is on the way

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If a line of code hidden within Google’s latest Play Services APK and pending patents are anything to go by, it certainly looks as if the search engine giant is preparing to release a new mobile communication service, entitled “Copresence,” which should make sharing data between Android and iOS incredibly easy.

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Tablets see 11.5% growth in third quarter of 2014, Samsung still top Android tablet manufacturer

tabletShareThe back to school shopping season gave tablets a pretty solid boost in the third quarter of the year helping manufacturers to ship 53.8 million tablets over those three months. Tablets still seem as if they have more room for growth than smartphones do in an overly saturated market, although smartphones are still an extremely valuable commodity.

Year-over-year, those 53 million tablets helped market share for the devices grow about 11.5% from last year. Compared to the second quarter of 2014, tablets also saw an 11.2% sequential growth.  Read more