Nintendo Struggles with Wii U, Lowers Sales Projections

The holiday season didn’t go as well as Nintendo had hoped. “Nintendo Co. slashed its sales outlook in the wake of disappointing holiday demand for its new Wii U videogame console, which it had been banking on to rekindle consumer excitement,” reports the Wall Street Journal. Wii U was launched last November and was Nintendo’s first new videogame console in six years. Continue reading Nintendo Struggles with Wii U, Lowers Sales Projections

App & Mortar Economy: New Battle for Consumer Relationships

Instead of using the term “mobile commerce,” analytics provider Flurry describes “App & Mortar” trends in its new report about the rise in smartphone shopping. “This report confirms what we already knew about mobile commerce, but takes it a step further by figuring out who is benefiting the most right now from the trend. Surprisingly, it’s physical retailers,” according to AllThingsD. Continue reading App & Mortar Economy: New Battle for Consumer Relationships

U.S. Copyright Office Says it is Illegal to Unlock Phones

It is now illegal for U.S. customers to unlock phones to enable them to work on different networks. “The U.S. Copyright Office is no longer granting unlocking an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DMCA makes it illegal to ‘circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access’ to copyrighted material, in this case software embedded in phones that controls carrier access,” explains Wired. Continue reading U.S. Copyright Office Says it is Illegal to Unlock Phones

RIM Changes its Name, Unveils Surprising BlackBerry Z10

In his review of the new BlackBerry Z10, personal-tech columnist David Pogue reverses his earlier suggestion that Research In Motion’s smartphone was doomed. While the once dominant BlackBerry has dropped to a single-digit percentage of the market and the company’s stock has plummeted, Pogue surprisingly notes that the new phone is “lovely, fast and efficient, bristling with fresh, useful ideas.” Continue reading RIM Changes its Name, Unveils Surprising BlackBerry Z10

Positive Review for Radically Changed Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft released its newest version of Office this week with radical changes including a new subscription-based pricing model, automatic year-round updates and close tie-ins to the cloud. Documents can be saved to Microsoft’s SkyDrive, an effort to compete with products like Google Drive, giving users the chance to store and share with remote access. Continue reading Positive Review for Radically Changed Microsoft Office 365

Amazon Elastic Transcoder for Converting Video in the Cloud

Amazon’s new Elastic Transcoder service allows people to upload and convert digital video to h264, AAC and MP4 formats for smartphone and tablet playback. The service offers 20 free minutes of transcoding per month, after which Amazon offers tiered plans starting at $0.015 for SD or $0.030 for HD per minute. The prices undercut existing cloud services like Zencoder, and the service is more convenient than purchasing external transcoding equipment. Continue reading Amazon Elastic Transcoder for Converting Video in the Cloud

Windows Phone Usage: Nokia to Pay Microsoft $1B in Royalties

Microsoft has been paying $250 million per quarter since 2011 in platform support payments to Nokia for using the Windows Phone brand. While this amount has exceeded what Nokia pays Microsoft to use its software, this is about to change. Nokia recently announced that it plans to pay Microsoft $1 billion in royalties for Windows Phone mobile software usage. Continue reading Windows Phone Usage: Nokia to Pay Microsoft $1B in Royalties

PCs Are Not Dead Yet, But Could Soon See Significant Change

The era of smartphones and tablets has not killed the personal computer, but has significantly impacted the PC industry. Desktops and notebooks no longer serve as the only devices on which people work, and expectations have shifted with advances in technology. Consumers no longer demand the highest power out of computers (since they are powerful enough to do most tasks already), but rather stress the importance of factors such as battery life. Continue reading PCs Are Not Dead Yet, But Could Soon See Significant Change

Mobile: Amazon Acquires Voice Recognition Company IVONA

Amazon has acquired IVONA Software for an undisclosed sum. Amazon already uses IVONA voice recognition software on the Kindle Fire, which helps users navigate the touchscreen and enables other voice commands. Amazon may now integrate the software into other Kindle products, and could also use the technology to create a competitor to Siri as rumors persist that Amazon could be working on a smartphone. Continue reading Mobile: Amazon Acquires Voice Recognition Company IVONA

8-inch Galaxy Note Tablet to Headline Mobile World Congress

Samsung will officially release its 8-inch Galaxy Note tablet at Mobile World Congress, according to reports from Korea’s iNews24. The tablet will look similar to previous Galaxy Tab designs and will “come in 3G and Wi-Fi models with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, a 1280 x 800 display, 5-megapixel back camera, and 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera,” according to previous leaks, reports The Verge. Continue reading 8-inch Galaxy Note Tablet to Headline Mobile World Congress

Apple iPhone Sales Strong, but Fewer Buying Newest Models

Even though Apple experienced a successful fourth quarter with its popular iPhone, “underneath the big numbers at the largest U.S. carriers are signs Apple Inc. faces a rapidly changing marketplace that could erode its dominance,” suggests the Wall Street Journal. It seems that customers are purchasing iPhones at a rapid rate, but aren’t buying newer, more expensive models with the same frequency. Continue reading Apple iPhone Sales Strong, but Fewer Buying Newest Models

Smartphone Users Consume More Mobile Data than Tablet Users

For the first time, smartphone users consistently consume more mobile data than those using tablets, according to mobile analysis provider Arieso. Of those users, iPhone 5 owners are the “hungriest,” calling for up to 50 percent more data than the iPhone 4S user and four times as much as the iPhone 3G user. In an interesting statistic, Arieso reveals that 40 percent of all data is consumed by just 1 percent of mobile users. Continue reading Smartphone Users Consume More Mobile Data than Tablet Users

Wearable Technology: Smart Watches and Other Notable Trends

As wireless technology advances and smaller devices become more powerful, wearable technology has begun to expand beyond niche markets into more mainstream applications. Christian Lindholm of design firm Koru expects the trend of wearable technology in 2013 and highlights the products he thinks will make the largest splashes, including watches, sensors and glasses. Continue reading Wearable Technology: Smart Watches and Other Notable Trends

Connected Cars are an Extension of the Smartphone Revolution

The idea of “connected cars” served as one of the highlights of CES as Chevrolet, Ford and others embrace the relationship between smartphones and cars. The combination of existing cellular and Bluetooth technologies can help create smarter vehicles that not only enhance entertainment, but also aid drivers with diagnostics, safety, charging schedules and other vehicle-related issues. Continue reading Connected Cars are an Extension of the Smartphone Revolution

Mobile: Amazon Could Challenge Apple in Smartphone Market

Amazon’s rumored entrance into the smartphone market could potentially complement the company’s struggling Kindle Fire and surging app store sales. An Amazon smartphone would not only push forward the already growing app store, but could give the company an outlet for mobile advertising — an area in which its unique collection of data could help predict future purchases. Continue reading Mobile: Amazon Could Challenge Apple in Smartphone Market

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