Amazon’s smartphone said to feature unique, tilt-based gesture interface

By Cody Lee on Apr 22, 2014

According to a bevy of recent reports, Amazon is preparing to launch a smartphone. It’s a tough market to try to bust into this late in the game—with Apple and Samsung taking home a large share of the profits already—but from what we’ve heard, the e-commerce giant is going to try to differentiate itself with unique features.

Today, following up its report from last week on a purported prototype of the Amazon phone, BGR has offered up some new details. Apparently, in addition to glasses-free 3D and head-tracking tech, the handset will also feature a number of motion-based gestures that can be activated by tilting the device in various directions… Read More

 

WSJ: Amazon preparing to launch 3D smartphone in September

By Cody Lee on Apr 12, 2014

The Wall Street Journal added its weight to speculation that Amazon is preparing to launch a smartphone. The outlet reported late yesterday that the e-commerce giant has been showing off prototypes of the handset to developers, and it plans to take it public later this year.

What’s really interesting about the device is that The Journal says its screen is capable of displaying three-dimensional images without the need for special glasses. And it accomplishes this by using retina-tracking technology that’s embedded into four front-facing cameras… Read More

 

Meet Project Ara, Google’s modular smartphone

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 4, 2014

Last October, Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group, then a subsidiary of Google, announced an interesting partnership with PhoneBloks with the goal of creating highly modular smartphones that customers could build and update themselves much like LEGO bricks.

Basically a free, open hardware platform, Project Ara calls for a structural metal endoskeleton frame designed to hold a bunch of different items in place.

Swappable parts would include commonly used phone components like a display, keyboard, battery, electrical components, cameras and custom 3D-printed module enclosures. The audacious idea behind Project Ara is to allow folks to easily swap out malfunctioning modules or replace components with better parts as technology evolves.

Those who custom-build PCs will know what I’m talking about. It’s interesting that the 100 engineers strong ATAP group, led by former DARPA director Regina Dugan, was not included in Google’s sale of Motorola to Lenovo and instead got folded into Google’s Android team to work under the direction of Android’s new head, Sundar Pichai.

Today, Google posted a video providing a glimpse into the DIY smartphone project, ahead of the first Ara Development Conference which runs April 15-16 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California… Read More

 

Amazon said to be launching smartphone with 6 cameras soon

By Cody Lee on Mar 20, 2014

With Amazon set to unveil its set-top box next month, the e-commerce giant is approaching full-on Apple competitor. It has the tablets, and the ecosystem, all it needs is a smartphone. And according to a new report, that could be arriving soon as well.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a solid reputation for accurately predicting tech company product plans, says Amazon is preparing to launch its long-awaited handset within the next 3 months. And get this: apparently it’ll have 6 cameras… Read More

 

Apple picks up ground on rivals in US smartphone race on strong Christmas quarter iPhone sales

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 16, 2014

Although we won’t get to see some cold, hard numbers in terms of the iPhone’s market performance until January 27, when Apple is scheduled to deliver its earnings results for the calendar 2013 holiday quarter, it already looks like the “disappointing” dual-iPhone launch has altered the landscape in the United States in Apple’s favor.

Research firm NPD on Thursday published its survey of U.S. smartphone ownership, showing the Apple handset growing its share of domestic customers to 42 percent, a notable jump from the 35 percent share in the year-ago quarter… Read More

 

Apple-Samsung smartphone duopoly to continue into 2014

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 17, 2013

The smart device duopoly of Apple and Samsung is set to continue into 2014, new research finds. Although growth is slowing amid lack of ‘wow’ factor, smartphones will account for three-quarters of the 2.5 billion devices expected to sell next year.

In other words, smartphones will comprise an astounding 1.9 billion handsets sold next year.

Google’s Android mobile software will have 42 percent of the market with Apple’s iOS garnering fourteen percent in 2014. Microsoft is predicted to become the #2 platform with a fifteen percent share of next year’s market, according to Gartner… Read More

 

The problem with smartphones: they’re losing their cool and wow factor

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 17, 2013

It has been six years since Apple introduced the original iPhone. The event was likened to a seismic shift that ignited the push to adopt smartphones in the United States. Now with up to 70 percent of subscribers owning smartphones, the big three carriers are searching for ways to encourage upgrades.

However, the push comes as consumers complain the ‘wow’ factor is missing from the industry. The slowdown in smartphone upgrades – evident in Samsung and Apple’s sales – fell nine percent in 2012 with 68 million U.S. subscribers upgrading their devices, according to a Wednesday Wall Street Journal report… Read More

 

On average, an iPhone is used an hour and 15 minutes per day

By Ed Sutherland on May 29, 2013

As the world migrates from dumb feature phones to more powerful smartphones, there are a greater number of options available beyond just talking and texting. What features are most used by smartphone owners and is the pattern different based on whether the handset is powered by Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android? To start, iPhone owners tend to spend more time with their smartphone compared to Android users, new marketing research indicates.

The typical iPhone owner spends one hour and 15 minutes using the Apple smartphone – 26 minutes more than owners of Android handsets, according to Experian Marketing Services. Additionally, Android owners typically make voice calls while iPhone owners are busy texting, emailing and taking photos… 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

 

Rumor: Facebook to announce mobile OS next week

By Cody Lee on Jan 12, 2013

The Facebook Phone is one of the longest-running urban legends in the tech world. I can remember it being reported on as far back as 2010, and I’m sure it goes back further than that. But thus far, nothing has materialized, and Mark Zuckerberg himself has even denied its existence.

Despite all of this, a new report is out today claiming that the social network indeed has a handset in the works. And according to the usual “sources familiar with the matter,” it’s going to use its just-announced January 15th media event to unveil it to the world…

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