Galaxy S5 takes Ice Bucket Challenge, nominates iPhone 5s, HTC One M8 and Nokia Lumia 930

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 22, 2014

Samsung’s marketing department has cleverly piggy-backed on the popularity of Ice Bucket Challenge, a phenomenon which has taken the world by storm.

For those who’ve been sleeping under the rock lately, the initiative saw such celebrities and Silicon Valley execs as Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook and marketing honcho Phil Schiller, along with former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and many others, getting ice baths in the name of helping fund ALS research and benefitting the Motor Disease Association.

The official YouTube channel for Samsung Mobile UK this morning posted a video depicting its Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone taking the challenge.

Needless to say, the waterproof handset (IP67-certified) passes the test.

The best part is when Samsung nominates three handsets from its rivals: Apple’s iPhone 5s, HTC’s One M8 and Nokia’s Lumia 930. Read More


How the Apple-Beats deal affects HP, AT&T and others

By Joe Rossignol on May 31, 2014

If you haven’t been following the latest news, it is a prerequisite to know that Apple has acquired Beats for $3 billion before reading further. The announcement has created a lot of confusion in regards to what the acquisition means for Beats and existing partnerships with the brand. Just to be clear, Beats collectively refers to both Beats Electronics, which markets high-end headphones, speakers and audio software, and the streaming music service Beats Music.

Prior to being acquired, Beats had several partnerships with other brands, including companies that are direct competitors with Apple. Most notable is Hewlett-Packard, which uses Beats Audio branding and technologies in its product lineup. AT&T has an exclusive deal with Beats Music to sell subscriptions and an unlimited music downloading family plan, and design firm Ammunition has a partnership to create Beats products. Even HTC has been in the mix.

Read ahead to find out how the Apple-Beats deal affects all of these deals…

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Apple joins Google, HTC and others to curb smartphone theft

By Jake Smith on Apr 15, 2014

Apple has entered into the “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” with HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and others, to curb the smartphone theft epidemic that has been plaguing many city streets.

Under the voluntary agreement, the manufacturers are planning to add several new security features to their smartphones going on sale after July 2015, to make for an industry standard.

Under the Commitment, manufacturers’ smartphones must:  Read More


HTC launches new ‘One (M8)’ flagship handset

By Cody Lee on Mar 25, 2014

Following Samsung’s unveiling of the Galaxy S5 last month, HTC today introduced its new flagship smartphone: the HTC One (M8). The handset is the direct descendent of the critically-successful HTC One, and it encapsulates the company’s latest effort to boost flagging device sales.

The new One is both bigger and faster than its predecessor. While it keeps the same gorgeous all-metal body, the display has been bumped from 4.7 to 5-inches, and the quad-core processor runs at 2.3GHz. It also sports 2GB RAM, an UltraPixel camera, a 2600mAh battery and more… Read More


WSJ: Apple hiring engineers from HTC and other Asian firms to speed up product launches

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2014

Unlike the specs-obsessed technology industry which has always been dependent on frequent product refreshes, Apple continues to traditionally update its iPhone annually. Now, some industry peers – such as Sony – warned that the company may be “missing out” by not updating the iPhone twice per year.

Playing on this sentiment, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is now adding “hundreds of new engineers” and supply-chain managers in China and Taiwan. The company is hiring away these people from various tech firms, including rival HTC, reportedly in order to speed up product development and launch a wider range of devices… Read More


HTC infographic sheds light on ridiculously complex Android OS update process

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 27, 2013

HTC, the struggling Taiwanese handset maker and one of the early Android backers, on Thursday released an interesting infographic which details the incredibly slow, painful and complex process of developing, testing, certifying and deploying Android OS firmware updates to devices in the wild.

According to Apple, 74 percent of devices had iOS 7 installed two and a half months following its release versus 1.1 percent of devices running Android 4.4 KitKat, as per Google’s developer dashboard. Compared to the ease of applying iOS updates, the Internet giant is unable to just launch a new Android OS software update by making it live on its servers.

Instead, the anatomy of an Android firmware update resembles a no-man’s land where carriers, handset vendors and chipset makers, each with its own vested interests, often stall or even block these updates as a way of nudging customers to upgrade their hardware instead.

Often times, Android OS updates for specific devices never arrive at all and would get lost in the complex approval and certification limbo involving at least four stakeholders agreeing in order for an Android update to make it to customer devices… Read More


Samsung barred from proactive use of Apple-HTC deal in litigation

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 8, 2013

In spite of the massive coverage concerning the high-profile Apple vs. Samsung trial, it’s easily overlooked that Apple first went thermonuclear on Android by suing HTC. Following the rise of Samsung and subsequent decline of the Taiwanese handset maker, Apple and HTC in November 2012 announced a global settlement on patent litigation.

Terms of the deal have never been made public, but we do know the two sides agreed to a ten-year cross-licensing for all current and future patents and I guesstimated the deal’s value to at least $3 billion.

Yesterday, Judge Lucy Koh issued an order granting Apple’s motion to exclude last year’s Apple-HTC settlement and license agreement at the pending Apple vs. Samsung retrial. The ruling conditionally bars Samsung from pointing the jury to the Apple-HTC settlement deal… Read More


Samsung fined $340,000 over faking negative web comments about competition

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 24, 2013

Throughout last year, Apple-friendly web sites were infested with an avalanche of ugly comments by anonymous posters concerning the iPhone, iPad and the Apple brand in general. While website owners were reluctant to publicly point the finger of blame at the South Korean conglomerate, many had suspected it was no coincidence given Samsung was riding high on its anti-Apple ad campaign.

Conveniently, hate-spewing quickly died down after Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) in April launched an investigation into Samsung’s tactics following the company’s admission of guilt about, in its own words, the “unfortunate incident” which occurred “due to insufficient understanding”.

Though Samsung  said it had“ceased all marketing activities that involve the posting of anonymous comments,” the FTC – after finding Samsung indeed hired a “large number of hired writers and designated employees” to trash-talk competition in web comments – has now decided to slap the Galaxy maker with a $340,000 fine… Read More


Amazon said to be working with HTC to build smartphone

By Cody Lee on Oct 16, 2013

We’ve been hearing about Amazon’s plans for the smartphone space for years now—at least since 2011. Pundits feel that since the tech giant has already waded into the hardware waters with a tablet, a handset is the obvious next step.

But the chatter has really picked up over the past week or so, with the Financial Times, and now Bloomberg, reporting that Amazon has been in talks with HTC since June to develop handsets for sale to users of Amazon’s Prime service… Read More


HTC’s new ‘One max’ with fingerprint sensor launches to poor reviews

By Cody Lee on Oct 14, 2013

It was bound to happen. You knew that once the iPhone 5s debuted with a fingerprint sensor, other manufacturers would follow suit. No, Apple wasn’t the first to implement such a feature, but it has a way of mainstreaming stuff like this.

Today, HTC unveiled the ‘HTC One max,’ a 5.9-inch smartphone that includes a dedicated fingerprint sensor. Located on the rear of the device, the feature is activated via a swipe and can be programmed to recognize 3 different fingers… Read More


Are Samsung drones trolling Apple?

By Ed Sutherland on Apr 24, 2013

We don’t usually go in for conspiracy theories, but one is drawing quiet a bit of attention – and factual basis. Has corporate giant Samsung, stung by its more than $1 billion patent lawsuit loss to Apple in 2012, waging war on the iPhone maker? A number of signs point to the affirmative, including an apparent tactic to swamp any critics with pro-Samsung comments.

Along with blatant examples of the business press spinning news against Apple and for Samsung, there has been reports of fake Samsung product reviews. Additionally, we’ve seen up-close attempts by pro-Samsung ‘trolls’ to dominate comments… Read More


Hero devices help LG join Apple and Samsung at the top of the smartphone food chain

By Ed Sutherland on Apr 11, 2013

LG is now the No. 3 smartphone maker, for the first time, as sales of its higher-end handsets lift it above HTC and other brands scrambling for the scraps left by Apple and Android. Although Samsung and Apple combined for 71.4 percent of the market, sales by the South Korean LG rose to 3.2 percent as HTC fell to fourth place on word of disappointing profits, according to research firm Strategy Analytics… Read More


German court invalidates Apple’s slide-to-unlock patent, but it’s not big deal

By Ed Sutherland on Apr 5, 2013

A German court ruled invalid Apple’s patent for a sliding touchscreen unlocking image, marking another win for allies of Google’s Android mobile operating. In its ruling in favor of the Google-owned Motorola, the country’s Federal Patent Court slammed the iPhone maker’s slide-to-unlock patent as devoid of “technological innovation.” Still, a long-running patent dispute which began in 2011 may still live on as Apple’s legal team prepares for a round of appeals, according to Friday reports… Read More


Facebook Home for iOS? Talk to Apple, Zuck says

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 4, 2013

Facebook has found a new home on Android, so to speak, as the social networking giant at a news conference earlier today unveiled a Home launcher, a new feature for select Android devices which marries cherry-picked Facebook applications to a beautiful user interface described as putting “people first in an app first world.”

Alongside the new software shell, Mark Zuckerberg and HTC’s Peter Chou announced the HTC First, an Android smartphone born out of the collaboration between Facebook and HTC which runs the Home interface. Zuckerberg confirmed his company will be rolling out the new launcher to select Android devices beginning April 12, as a free app download from Google’s Play Store.

But what about iOS? iPhone users are unfortunately shut out. Initially hiding behind ‘Apple’s walled-garden’ argument, Zuckerberg in wide-ranging interviews with Forbes and shed more light on the matter… Read More


HTC shows off new ‘First’ smartphone running Facebook Home

By Cody Lee on Apr 4, 2013

Facebook’s media event just ended and as expected, most of what was talked about had to do with a new Facebook experience on Android. The social network unveiled a new ‘people first’ launcher, or shell if you will, for Android devices called Facebook Home.

But software wasn’t the only topic of discussion today. Right before ending the press conference, Mark Zuckerberg pulled a Steve Jobs’-like ‘one more thing,’ and called HTC’s CEO Peter Chou on stage to introduce the long-rumored HTC First smartphone… Read More


Is this Facebook’s upcoming smartphone?

By Jeff Benjamin on Apr 2, 2013

A new image of what is purportedly the upcoming Facebook phone has been leaked on Twitter. The image, first posted by @evleaks, shows off a generic looking Android device made by HTC.

It’s widely expected that Facebook will announce its first real foray into the hardware business on Thursday, this, by means of a partnership with handset manufacturer HTC. Last week, Facebook sent out invites that stated: “Come see our new home on Android.” It looks like that was more than just an invitation, as it also reveals the purported name of the device: Facebook Home. Read More


Facebook reportedly preparing to launch a smartphone

By Cody Lee on Mar 28, 2013

Just a little bit ago, Facebook sent out press invitations for a media event next week. The keynote will take place at 10:00am PST on Thursday, April 4, at the company’s headquarters on 1 Hacker Way in Menlo Park. What is it going to be talking about? Maybe its new smartphone.

Yes, I know. We’ve heard this rumor enough now that it’s almost meaningless. But it sounds like it’s for real this time. A new report says the handset, which is being built by HTC, has a 4.3-inch display, an iPhone-like Home button and is running a forked version of Android… Read More


HTC targets iPhone users with new data migration software

By Cody Lee on Feb 26, 2013

If you’re HTC, I’d imagine you’d try anything at this point to drum up buyers for your new flagship handset. After suffering steep losses over the last several quarters, the Taiwanese electronics giant desperately needs the HTC One to be a hit.

And it’s latest effort isn’t a half-bad one. In an attempt to make it easier for iPhone users to make the switch to the One, HTC has enabled it to extract data from backup files. This will allow for automatic transfers of photos, videos and more… Read More


HTC unveils its new flagship, the One

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 19, 2013

Earlier this morning, Taiwanese handset maker HTC at a high-profile media event in London introduced its latest flagship handset, the One. In terms of speeds and feeds, this Android LTE device seems a winner: it sports a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor with 2GB of RAM, has front-facing speakers complete with a dedicated amplifier that play Beats Audio and boasts a 4.7-inch 1080p display coated with Gorilla Glass 2.

Encased in an Apple-like aluminum-clad chassis, the phone is bound to turn heads with its sleek appearance measuring 0.37 inches thick and weighing in at 143 grams. On the software front, the One runs HTC’s Sense 5 UI layer on top of Google’s latest Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system.

And borrowing from Windows Phone, there’s a new feature called Blink Feed, basically a glorified Flipboard-like aggregator that turns your home screen into an endless stream of social updates, email messages and news articles. More tidbits and a few press shots right after the break… Read More


HTC to host huge media event tomorrow morning

By Cody Lee on Feb 18, 2013

HTC has sent out invitations for a huge media event tomorrow morning. How huge? Huge enough to spread across two continents. The handset-maker will be hosting simultaneous keynotes in both London and New York.

What’s on the menu? Well, it’s no secret that the company has a new flagship handset in the wings. And word has it that it’s readying a new version of its ‘Sense’ Android shell. But the real question is: does anyone care? Read More

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