ZTE trade sanctions temporarily lifted by U.S.

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After seeing itself slapped with restrictions on being able to buy components produced in the U.S., ZTE has earned a bit of a reprieve as the U.S. Commerce Department has announced they are temporarily lifting the sanctions that were put in place earlier this month. The Commerce Department indicates the move comes in response to ZTE’s cooperation with the U.S. government in dealing with the original trade issue, although Commerce reserves the right to re-institute the restrictions at a later time if deemed necessary. Read more

Galaxy Labs menu is missing on Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge handsets in the U.S.

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In recent weeks, there’s been a fair amount of hoopla about Android’s app drawer. There have been rumours that Android N could do away with the app drawer entirely, and we’ve seen LG place the app drawer on the G5 within the Easy Home launcher for some reason. Then we get to Samsung, with its Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones showing the app drawer in its usual place on the home screen, with the option to disable it via the device’s Galaxy Labs menu. Except in the United States, that is.¬† Read more

HTC One M9 to be available in U.S. starting April 10th

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HTC announced earlier today that they were launching a new UH OH Protection program to help ease the mind of customers who invest in the new HTC One M9 smartphone. In a webcast announcing this new program, HTC Americas president Jason Mackenzie also took some time to field questions. During this stage of the webcast, he indicated April 10th is the date HTC has targeted to make the HTC One M9 available to U.S. customers. Read more

U.S. Government secretly orders Verizon to provide call logs of all customers [updated with statement]

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Generally speaking, whatever the U.S. government wants, the U.S. government will get— and obtaining information from U.S. wireless carriers is no exception. In a classified court order obtained by the folks at The Guardian, the National Security Administration (NSA) requested call detail on all Verizon Wireless customers. The court order specifically highlights the NSA wants all call data within the U.S. and abroad— so the requested call log data isn’t just limited to phone calls made to numbers within the mainland U.S— while also looking for specific identifiers such as a device’s IMEI number, trunk identifier and of course, the time and duration of any given call. So in essence, the government will pretty much have an open book full of sensitive information that could allow it to more easily keep an eye on select customers.

What’s surprising is that the NSA clearly intended that this court order should not be disclosed to the general public, with no apparent reason. Perhaps the NSA is trying to use the court order to get a leg up on any potential threats to the general public, but this is a potentially troubling decision that has been made. Here’s hoping that not too much will come out of this recent news.

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Lenovo eyes U.S. smartphone market for 2014 and beyond

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Chinese manufacturer Lenovo wants to enter the U.S. smartphone market within the coming year, as the company’s CEO, Yang Yuanqing, says “smartphones are our new opportunity. As a public company, you always have to consider how to grow.”

Lenovo has enjoyed much success in China thus far, as the company is the second leading smartphone vendor there, trailing only Samsung. Last year, Lenovo focused on entering markets including Russia, Indonesia, and India. This year, their sights will be set on the United States and Europe.

If Lenovo wants to make any kind of dent in the smartphone market in the U.S., you should expect them to release some high-end devices in the coming year.

Source: Wall Street Journal

 

The first batches of Google Glass could be made inside the U.S.

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It appears Google may manufacture units of their infamous Google Glass in the U.S, as opposed to abroad. According to a new report from the Financial Times, Google will work with Foxconn to produce units of Google Glass in Silicon Valley, California. This idea that Google will manufacture Google Glass locally is no surprise really. Google’s headquarters is located in Mountain View, California, while Foxconn’s manufacturing plant is steps away in Santa Clara, California— so it makes sense that an innovative product such as Google Glass would require special attention by Google and be manufactured locally, as opposed to being manufactured abroad and would almost be an expensive proposition for the search giant.

So far this decision is only mentioned to be for the initial 8,000 units meant for contest winners who won the #IfIHadGlass contest earlier this year. Whether or not Google plans to keep production within the U.S. after a global launch remains to be seen.

Source: Financial Times

[Infographic] U.S. mobile phone usage statistics

With Google‘s latest boast of over 900,000 daily activations and sales of Apple’s iPhone proving to be a worthy runner up, it stands to reason that there are quite a few smartphones in circulation. The US Census Bureau for 2011 told us that there were 311,591,917 people living in the United States. Digital marketing and design company Steadyrain estimate that 232,000,000 Americans are equipped with a mobile communication device, an incredible two thirds of the population.

There’s plenty of other fascinating information covering everything from web browsing to video streaming however you don’t need to take it from me. Check out the full infographic below and be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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