2013

CES 2013: Hyundai to integrate Apple’s Siri into its vehicles

After General Motors announced in November it was going to be one of the first car companies to market its new Chevy Sonic and Spark vehicles with the new Siri Eyes Free feature, today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas car maker Hyundai Motor Company also confirmed it will integrate the feature into its vehicles, although the company did not specify which models will be part of the initiative. More information right past the fold…

Amid iWatch talk, Pebble teases ‘big news’ at CES

Pebble, the company behind the upcoming smart watch of the same name,  is telling its Kickstarter backers that “it’s time” for some “big news” as the company promises to livestream its CES news event January 9 at at 12pm ET. For those unaware, their Pebble E-Paper Watch has been long in the making and last April became the most highly funded Kickstarter project to date, which tells you there’s certainly some demand for such a product.

Should the company finally releases its iOS and Android smart watch, it could breathe new life into the product category that cries for a sprinkle of Apple magic. Or perhaps Pebble Technology figured it better release its gizmo ahead of a rumored iWatch Apple’s reportedly been collaborating on with Intel? Either way, looks like 2013 will be the year of smart watches…

Instagram-Facebook data sharing goes into effect January 16

Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook in September, just posted an interesting update on its blog confirming plans to share data on users with Facebook, the #1 social network that claims nearly one billion users worldwide. Instagram’s updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy will go into effect starting January 16 to enable deeper integration between the two service, making it easier to “fight spam more effectively, detect system and reliability problems more quickly and build better features” for everyone by understanding how Instagram is used.

Under the new terms, Instagram can also share User Content and your information with businesses that are “legally part of the same group of companies that Instagram is part of”. In other words, Facebook now has access to Instagram user data. The social networking behemoth is allowed to use this information to “help provide, understand and improve” both its own and Instagram’s service…

Rumor: iPhone 6 with NFC, stronger battery, super HD camera, 4.8-inch screen in June 2013

So, are you tired of the iPhone 5 already? Feeling the after-announcement blues, sort of like the after-Christmas let-down? Cheer up, Apple fans, the iPhone 5S (or the iPhone 6 or whatever Apple calls it) is coming next June or July. According to one Wall Street observer, the new iPhone will include a “super HD” camera and screen, stronger battery and NFC.

What’s more, the iPhone 5S will arrive in a rainbow of colors, or at least 6-8 different colors, according to Jefferies analyst Peter Misek. Also on tap: the iPad 5 with an IGZO screen and more colors…

Google I/O 2013 slated for May 15-17 at San Francisco’s Moscone West

Save the date for Google I/O 2013: today, the search giant confirmed its upcoming annual developer conference will run in San Francisco from May 15 through May 17, 2013. The three-day pilgrimage, just 162 days away, is bound to garner media interest with updates to Google’s key consumer products, namely Android, Nexus gadgets and the Chrome browser.

And what technology conference would it be without a few surprise announcements here and there? Curiously enough, with Google I/O 2013 the company is back to holding its biggest yearly event ahead of Apple, whose WWDC normally runs in June or July…

Samsung to re-brand itself at CES 2013

It is no secret that the Samsung logo along with its brand appearance isn’t the best fit to convey the South Korean conglomerate’s many business. Samsung makes refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, smartphones, tablets, networked TV sets, computers and many more items. It’s also a big player in construction, weapons tech, life insurance, advertising and theme park industries, to name a few.

The word on the street is that the company will launch a new brand image at CES 2013 and has enlisted the talent of Scott Bedbury, a freelance brand consultant who has also worked with Starbucks and is now reportedly tasked with creating a “more vibrant International brand image alongside the likes of arch rival Apple”…

IHS iSuppli predicts off the sales for the iPad mini in 2013

Just as Apple revived a dormant tablet industry, the iPad maker is expected to double the market for seven-inch tablets. Thanks to its incoming smaller iPad, demand for tablets in the seven-inch range will grow to a third of the overall market by 2013, a market research firm announced Tuesday.

“Just as Apple has dominated the market for 9.7-inch tablets with its iPad, iPad 2 and new iPad models, the company is poised to rule the market for 7.x-inch products”, said Rhoda Alexander, director of tablet and monitor research for IHS iSuppli. Indeed, the market for such tablets will increase 100 percent this year and next, according to the research firm…

Analyst says T-Mobile could finally land the iPhone in 2013

Here we go again. T-Mobile USA, the nation’s fourth-largest carrier and the only major U.S. telco without Apple’s iconic smartphone, should finally land the latest iPhone early next year, if an analyst with Morgan Stanley is to be trusted.

This isn’t the first time analysts made such an estimate and the carrier on its part has been appeasing to its iPhone-totting customers with free support to unlockers, Nano SIMs for the iPhone 5 and a broad marketing push to sell Apple users to its unlimited data plans…

AuthenTec tells clients to buy fingerprint sensors elsewhere in 2013

Earlier in the summer, smart sensor maker AuthenTec agreed to be bought by Apple for $356 million. Still pending approval, the transactions left even the seasoned watchers scratching their head.

People began wondering whether Cupertino might leverage AuthenTec’s fingerprint sensors to bolster enterprise security in iOS devices. Or, perhaps, Apple was keen on tapping AuthenTec’s sensors to add consumer features to iPhones, iPods and iPads, the stuff like finger-based unlock or a secure e-wallet service.

The deal remains shrouded in a veil of secrecy because Apple isn’t talking much and neither is AuthenTec. A report out this morning claims that AuthenTec’s current clients are “in a state of panic” as the company is telling them it will stop offering its technology and NFC/fingerprint sensors as of next year…