Amazon Pushes its Digital Services with New Kindle Fire HDX

Kindle plans to unveil two new versions of its Kindle Fire tablet today, featuring a faster processor and graphics, improved screen quality and a lighter, slimmer design. The Kindle Fire HDX, available with 7-inch or 8.9-inch screens, will undercut the price of competitors including Apple’s popular iPad and, not surprisingly, focus on sales of services such as digital music and e-books. “We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Continue reading Amazon Pushes its Digital Services with New Kindle Fire HDX

Acer Announces 4K for Phone and Touch for Low-End Laptop

Acer announced that its Liquid S2 smartphone will offer 4K video recording capability. While offering 4K video recording on a smartphone may currently seem unnecessary, it may become a more widely adopted feature of upcoming handsets. Meanwhile, Acer will also be including a touchscreen option for its low-end E1 laptop. The option of touchscreen for the Acer laptop may help overcome some of the initial confusion faced by Windows 8 users. Continue reading Acer Announces 4K for Phone and Touch for Low-End Laptop

Nook Video Apps Now Available for iPad and Android Tablets

Now that Barnes & Noble is getting out of the tablet business, the company announced it is launching free Nook Video Apps for Android, iOS and Roku devices. The new apps enable users to purchase or rent movies for streaming and includes integration with individuals’ UltraViolet collections. No longer keeping content exclusive to Nook devices, the retailer has also updated its Android and iOS e-reader apps with the ability to read Nook Comics titles, previously not available outside of the Nook ecosystem. Continue reading Nook Video Apps Now Available for iPad and Android Tablets

LTE Networks in Asia Could Set the Stage for U.S. and Europe

Carrier aggregation allows for splicing and rearranging of the electromagnetic spectrum to create a super-charged network connection. A number of companies are experimenting with the technology, while networks in Asia are already touting faster speeds and breakthroughs in 4G. In June, SK Telecom announced its LTE-Advanced service with speeds two times faster than that of LTE, and 10 times faster than 3G. South Korea’s LG U+ followed in July, leaving Europe and North America to play catch up. Continue reading LTE Networks in Asia Could Set the Stage for U.S. and Europe

Nokia Launches Lumia 1020 Smartphone with 41MP Camera

Nokia has unveiled its new Lumia 1020, confirming the rumors that the smartphone touts a 41-megapixel camera. It features six-lens Carl Zeiss optics (including wide angle), auto and manual focus, and captures 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second. Preorders for the Windows Phone 8 device begin tomorrow, available in the U.S. exclusively through AT&T for $300 with a two-year contract. The Lumia 1020 is expected to hit shelves July 26. Continue reading Nokia Launches Lumia 1020 Smartphone with 41MP Camera

Smartphones Merging with Cars Creating Connected Vehicles

Many cars made today are embedded with new technologies, which are leading to partnerships between auto manufacturers and wireless companies. These agreements are resulting in vehicles with always-on, fast wireless connectivity, providing the groundwork for new services, such as smartphones integrating with cars, and perhaps car-to-car communication. But with new forms of connectivity come new distractions and potential dangers. Continue reading Smartphones Merging with Cars Creating Connected Vehicles

Market Forecast: Mobile Devices to Outnumber People by 2017

According to CCS Insight’s new market forecast, more than 6.6 billion mobile phones will be in use worldwide by the end of 2017, and two-thirds of them are expected to be smartphones. Teamed with the growing adoption of tablets, by 2017 mobile devices are projected to outnumber people on the planet for the first time. Additionally, CCS predicts sales of 4G devices to grow tenfold between 2012 and 2017, to 650 million units. Continue reading Market Forecast: Mobile Devices to Outnumber People by 2017

T-Mobile Starts Nationwide 4G LTE Launch in Seven Cities

T-Mobile has begun rolling out its nationwide 4G LTE, launching the new mobile broadband service in seven cities this week. The provider is expected to launch in more locations soon. While CEO John Legere calls the network “smoking fast,” it remains to be seen how T-Mobile’s offering will compete in the expanding 4G marketplace. However, since T-Mobile is relatively late to the market, it may have some advantages. Continue reading T-Mobile Starts Nationwide 4G LTE Launch in Seven Cities

Google Glass Gets One Step Closer to Being On Your Head

It’s a real possibility that Google Glass, the wearable computing device designed to reduce distraction and allow for communicating in a new way, could be in consumers’ hands by the end of the year. It’s the anti-smartphone, writes The Verge, designed to rewire the way we think about and interact with each other and technology. But the question remains: Who would want to wear the device in public? Continue reading Google Glass Gets One Step Closer to Being On Your Head

AT&T to Expand 4G LTE Network with Verizon Spectrum Deal

AT&T announced it will acquire licenses for Verizon’s 700MHz spectrum, which would allow AT&T to expand its 4G LTE coverage to 42 million people across 18 states in the U.S. The carrier will spend $1.9 billion to acquire the licenses from Verizon. AT&T will also provide licenses of its AWS spectrum to Verizon in markets including Los Angeles, Fresno and Portland in order for Verizon to further deploy its own network. Continue reading AT&T to Expand 4G LTE Network with Verizon Spectrum Deal

CES 2013: T-Mobile Swings for the Fences with 4G Deal

T-Mobile USA, Inc. has entered into a deal to become the “Official Wireless Sponsor” of Major League Baseball (MLB). The multi-year, multimillion-dollar partnership will see T-Mobile working with MLB and its digital subsidiary MLB Advanced Media L.P. (MLBAM) to create value-added capabilities that will enhance presentation of the games and appeal to MLB fans. Continue reading CES 2013: T-Mobile Swings for the Fences with 4G Deal

Kajeet Strikes Deal with Clearwire to Launch 4G Mobile for Children

Mobile virtual network operator Kajeet is partnering with WiMAX carrier Clearwire in a move that could sell 4G modems and hotspots to families with children, reports GigaOM. The deal will officially allow Kajeet and Clearwire to resell 4G connections. Kajeet currently sells mobile broadband dongles and hotspots to schools, but may be looking to expand into a broader consumer base. Continue reading Kajeet Strikes Deal with Clearwire to Launch 4G Mobile for Children

Sprint to Limit Unlimited 4G Mobile Broadband: Will Smartphones be Next?

  • Sprint announced it will replace its unlimited 4G mobile broadband for mobile hotspots and devices with three new tiered data plans.
  • Starting in November, “users of mobile hotspots, USB modems, tablets and notebooks will pay $45 for 3GB of combined 3G and 4G, $60 for 5GB and $90 for 10GB of combined data,” where before only 3G data had limits.
  • “Sprint was already showing signs that it couldn’t keep up the unlimited game forever,” reports GigaOM. “It announced last month that it was doing away with unlimited data for its smartphone hotspot feature and was capping data at 5GB a month.”
  • Some are concerned that this prefaces the end of Sprint’s unlimited data plans for smartphones, a differentiating factor from other providers and a selling point for the Sprint iPhone.

Will $700 Prove too Steep a Price for 4G LTE Tablet?

  • The HTC Jetstream tablet (formerly named Puccini), will be available through AT&T beginning this Sunday.
  • Notable features include: a Snapdragon 1.5 GHz dual core processor, front-facing camera, 8-megapixel rear camera, and HTC scribe stylus pen.
  • The Jetstream runs Android 3.1 Honeycomb on a 10.1-inch screen and will be AT&T’s first tablet with real 4G LTE.
  • According to the company press release: “HTC Jetstream is AT&T’s first tablet to showcase the Android 3.1 OS. The brand new operating system was designed from the ground up for devices with larger screens. It improves on Android favorites with new interactive and resizeable widgets plus improved multi-tasking, browsing, notifications, and customization.”
  • However, the $700 price tag, “discounted” with a 2-year contract (and $35/month data plan), may prove off-putting to some consumers.

Verizon Video: VOD Mobile App Launches for Android this Week

  • Verizon Wireless launches Verizon Video this week — a new version of its video-on-demand application for mobile phones, providing Android users with more than 250 current full-episode TV shows from ABC, NBC, CBS, MTV, Comedy Central, Disney Channel, ESPN, Cartoon Network and others.
  • Premium content is also available including live sports coverage from NFL Mobile, NFL RedZone, NBC’s Sunday Night Football and NFL network.
  • The 4G LTE and select 3G service will cost $10/month or $3 for 24 hours.
  • According to the press release: “Verizon Video updates V CAST Video on select devices and current V CAST Video subscribers will be prompted to update the app the next time it launches. After the upgrade, it will then appear under the name Verizon Video.”
  • The Verizon Video app is powered by RealNetworks.

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