Apple to announce Q4 earnings on October 28

Apple is set to announce earnings for its fiscal 2013 fourth quarter (translating to the third calendar quarter) on Monday, October 28, according to today's note on the Apple Investor web page.

The conference call with investors is scheduled at 2pm Pacific / 5pm Eastern, after the markets close.

Eagle-eyed watchers will be keeping an eye on newswire services as Apple usually posts a media release announcing key quarterly metrics just after 1:30pm Pacific / 4:30pm Eastern...

Sprint activates 1.5M iPhones in Q1, 43 percent to new customers

Sprint Nextel, the nation's third-largest wireless carrier, Wednesday posted its fiscal 2013 first quarter earnings. The telco saw strong smartphone sales of five million units, with iPhone sales exceeding 1.5 million with 43 percent to new customers.

A whooping 86 percent of quarterly Sprint platform postpaid handset sales were smartphones. Sprint described the 43 percent of iPhone sales that were to new customers as a rate "that continues to outperform larger competitors"...

Verizon in Q1 activated 4M iPhones out of 7.2M smartphones

Verizon just posted its calendar 2013 first quarter earnings. The nation's top wireless carrier activated four million iPhones on its network throughout the quarter, half of which were the iPhone 5. The figure beats the 3.5 million unit consensus and represents a 25 percent increase over the 3.2 million iPhones Verizon activated a year ago. Representing just over 55 percent of all smartphone activations for the quarter, the iPhone during Q4 2012 represented nearly two-thirds of activations, which isn't surprising given the holiday rush, iPhone 4/4S price cuts and the iPhone 5 launch hype.

The company added 720,000 net new subscribers, including 677,000 people who signed two-year contracts, up 35 percent year-over-year. Turnover rate increased slightly to 1.01 percent from 0.96 percent a year ago. Smartphones represented 61 percent of contract subscribers, a record smartphone penetration. Shares climbed 1.94 percent during Thursday’s pre-market session...

Foxconn expectedly experiences sales lull amid seasonal iPhone decline

Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn, assembles many Apple products, including iPhones and iPads.

And with an estimated 60 to 70 percent of its revenues owed to the Apple orders account, Foxconn's earnings are scrutinized for any possible hint which could point to increasing or decreasing demand for Apple products.

Today, the contract manufacturer has posted a nineteen percent decline in sales in the first quarter compared with a year earlier. As you'd expect, Reuters immediately speculated the numbers are down because the company is "hurt by disappointing demand for the iPhone"...

Samsung to preempt the iPhone 5S with the Galaxy S IV rocking a full HD display

South Korea-based Samsung through its subsidiary Samsung Electronics is expected to update the flagship Galaxy S III smartphone in the first quarter of this year. The Galaxy S IV successor is expected to make much noise ahead of Apple's next iPhone release, especially with its full HD 1080p five-inch display and powerful innards thought to run Samsung's new quad-core system-on-a-chip.

And if you consult Samsung's latest AMOLED release schedule, the first device incorporating the firm's full HD mobile display is coming in the first quarter of 2013...

CES 2013: $150 Pebble smart watch starts shipping January 23

The Pebble project has gone a long way since its early Kickstarter days. In fact, last April it became Kickstarter's most highly funded project to date. Nine months later, the customizable electronic-paper watch gets its release date as the company just confirmed in a media conference that the E-Paper Watch will be shipping to its backers on January 23...

CES 2013: Magic Cube laser-projects a big virtual keyboard on any surface


Fan-made concepts envisioning an iPhone with a laser projection keyboard are so captivating that even Fox 5 News thought the iPhone 5 has one built-in. While we have our doubts as to whether or not Apple would even consider such a technology, the prospect is tantalizing, at least on the paper. And now, one company has sought out to turn it into a reality. Enter the aptly named Magic Cube from Celluon.

What this gadget does is it enhances your device with a cool laser projection keyboard while also doubling as a virtual multi-touch mouse for your computer. Just to dispel any doubts: it’s not a proof-of-concept. This thing is as real as real gets and works as advertised. The little Bluetooth accessory will effectively laser-project a full-size QWERTY keyboard on nearly any flat, opaque surface to let you type away on its big virtual 'keys'...

Steve Ballmer crashes CES keynote and other Qualcomm tidbits


Though Microsoft passed on this year's CES keynote, that didn't stop the company's boss Steve Ballmer from making his trademark entrance to last night's keynote by Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs. His running out on stage wasn't on par with the previous bigger than life entrances and the now famous 'developers' chant and was in fact a prearranged surprise, but it's still kinda noteworthy. Ballmer basically praised Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors that power new Windows 8 and Windows Phone devices. Qualcomm made a number of announcements at the show and the company's keynote wasn't short on celebrities...

CES 2013: Sharp talks IGZO display tech


Sharp, one of Japan's three struggling consumer electronics giants (the other two are Sony and Panasonic), showed off its IGZO panels at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Last we heard, Apple was hoping to use IGZO tech in upcoming products. It's interesting Sharp's demonstration included Corning, the maker of the iPhone's cover glass that in its third-generation boasts 40 percent higher scratch resistances and 50 percent better overall strength. Sharp's IGZO technology requires only a fraction of energy compared to traditional LCD screens and provides richer, livelier colors, deeper blacks and overall sharper images while maintaining the thinness of in-cell display tech featured on the iPhone 5...

CES 2013: Griffin’s new PowerDock charges five devices simultaneously

Griffin Technology is on a roll at CES 2013. Among the product announcements they made at the show is this ultimate charging station that I'd definitely make good use of, the PowerDock 5. As the name implies, the main advantage is its  design which makes possible charging of up to five iPhones, iPods or iPads at once, an indispensable feature for families that mostly use Apple's mobile products (I know, filthy rich people).

Each of its five charging bays conveniently has a 10-watt, 2.1-amp power supply so you can store and charge, say, five power-hungry, full-size third and fourth generation iPads simultaneously. As if that weren't enough, the badass accessory even accommodates your iPads in their cases. What more could you ask from a charging station?

CES 2013: a ‘smart’ fork arrives, but will it help you eat less?

We already have smart TVs (Samsung leads the charge), as well as smart ovens, smart laundry and smart vacuum (all coming from LG in 2013). Heck, we're increasingly wearing app-enabled smart watches around our wrist (we're looking at you, Apple). It really is no surprise then that gadget makers now expect we'll monitor our eating habits using a 'smart' fork?

Enter the Hapifork from Hapilabs, an unusual app-enabled accessory coming this Spring to "greatly improve your digestion", up to the point where "you’ll likely start losing weight". I'm not entirely convinced science exists to back that claim...

CES 2013: Lego debuts iOS-friendly Mindstorms EV3 programmable robots

Toy maker Lego announced at CES 2013 a new line of iOS-compatible toys that let children and robotics hobbyists create and command robots "that do what you want". The kit turns your Lego creations into live robots that can be programmed without a computer. Previous Mindstorms incarnation dating as far back to the original model released in 1998 all required a PC. The Mindstorms EV3 kit comes with the EV3 Intelligent Brick, a programmable unit that un‐tethers robots from the computer and sports its own ARM9 CPU with 64GB of RAM and 16MB of flash storage...