Broadcom Raises Stakes in Takeover Bid for Rival Qualcomm

In what it calls its “best and final” offer, Broadcom raised its takeover bid yesterday for chipmaker Qualcomm from about $70 a share to $82 a share, or about $121 billion. The new offer comes a month before Qualcomm’s next shareholder meeting. A takeover would result in a company whose products would be used in most smartphones worldwide. However, “Qualcomm’s leadership fiercely opposes” the acquisition, reports The New York Times, “while analysts have said that even if shareholders approved the deal, it could be rejected on antitrust grounds.” Continue reading Broadcom Raises Stakes in Takeover Bid for Rival Qualcomm

LG Display Signs Deal to Supply LCD TV Panels to Samsung

LG Display, a major panel supplier for Apple, will reportedly supply TV displays to rival Samsung as early as this year in a deal that is expected to replace the Sharp-Foxconn venture as a lead supplier to Samsung. A deal between LG Display and Samsung (the world’s largest television manufacturer) would mark a first for the South Korean rivals. Sharp and Foxconn are cutting back production of LCDs, which would also likely impact panel supply and display prices throughout the industry. Meanwhile, Sharp and Foxconn are considering expansion into the U.S. Continue reading LG Display Signs Deal to Supply LCD TV Panels to Samsung

Sharp May Sell to Foxconn, Rather Than Japanese Consortium

Troubled Japanese LCD manufacturer Sharp is in talks to sell to Taiwanese company Foxconn. According to Foxconn chairman Terry Gou, the two companies have cleared 90 percent of the obstacles to sealing a final deal. If the deal does go through, it will mark significantly new openness of Japanese companies to foreign suitors. Also wooing Sharp is Innovation Network Corp. of Japan (INCJ), a Japanese government-supported consortium that has already acquired the display businesses of Toshiba, Hitachi and Sony. Continue reading Sharp May Sell to Foxconn, Rather Than Japanese Consortium

Chinese Company Offers Unbreakable Sapphire-Screen Phone

Desay, a Chinese manufacturer that supplies companies like Ford and Apple, has released an “unbreakable” smartphone. The display is made with sapphire, the second hardest mineral after diamond. The 5-inch Magical Mirror X5 costs $160, which reportedly does not cover the production costs of the phone. Apple had previously planned to use sapphire screens in the iPhone 6, but the company they were working with failed to produce enough of the mineral. Continue reading Chinese Company Offers Unbreakable Sapphire-Screen Phone

Google’s Self-Driving Car Faces New California DMV Rules

California’s DMV requires — in new rules which will take effect September 16 — that, when necessary, a driver must be able to take “immediate physical control” of any vehicle on public roads. This process has traditionally involved a steering wheel and brake and accelerator pedals, which could be a setback for Google’s self-driving car, that does not include these parts. While Google said that it will add them for testing purposes, it is unclear what the company will do in the future. Continue reading Google’s Self-Driving Car Faces New California DMV Rules

Samsung Works to Stay Atop Competitive Smartphone Market

Top smartphone maker Samsung Electronics lost global market share for the first time in four years, falling to 31.2 percent of the market. Samsung’s profit margin on smartphones remained at the same 19.8 percent from last year, but the rising costs of smartphone component parts will make it difficult to maintain the same profits. Meanwhile, Apple’s market shares are also slipping, as affordable alternatives from Lenovo and Huawei are on the rise in the smartphone market. Continue reading Samsung Works to Stay Atop Competitive Smartphone Market

Tactus Brings Shape-Shifting Touchscreen Buttons to iPads

While touchscreen devices have keyboards integrated directly onto their screens, many people miss the tactile feel of a traditional keyboard. Tactus Technologies, a company we first reported on during CES 2013, has developed shape-shifting touchscreen buttons to meet the needs of these consumers. The tech is coming to market later this year with an iPad accessory that will feature transparent morphing buttons that use small fluid-filled channels and elastic blisters to make the buttons rise during use. Continue reading Tactus Brings Shape-Shifting Touchscreen Buttons to iPads

Gartner Report Forecasts Increase in Global Device Shipments

A new report from Gartner forecasts that combined global shipments of PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones will reach 2.5 billion units in 2014, a 6.9 percent jump from the previous year (device shipments increased 4.8 percent in 2013). Gartner also predicts that the drop in sales of traditional PCs will continue to impact overall growth of devices, and the trend of substituting tablets for PCs will decline. As device saturation reaches a new high, pressure on margins is expected to lead to declining prices and emphasis on new features. Continue reading Gartner Report Forecasts Increase in Global Device Shipments

Lenovo Expands its Mobile Patent Assets with New Purchases

In January, PC maker Lenovo announced it would expand its mobile efforts with the proposed acquisition of Google’s Motorola Mobility for $2.9 billion. Now the Chinese company plans to spend $100 million on patents related to 3G and 4G tech from U.S.-based Unwired Planet. Already one of the biggest smartphone vendors in China, Lenovo plans to use the 21 patent families from Unwired Planet to grow its smartphone and mobile business in new markets. Continue reading Lenovo Expands its Mobile Patent Assets with New Purchases

CE Manufacturers Concerned Over Lack of Global 4K Standards

Journalist and ETCentric community member Adrian Pennington published a story last week regarding the need for global UHD standards, which included comments by Pixel Power CTO Nick Wright. “The staggered introduction of Ultra HD 4K production, distribution and display equipment risks fragmenting the market, adding unnecessary cost and yet again ending any chance of fielding a single, worldwide television standard,” writes Adrian. “The issue is causing concern among many manufacturers.” Continue reading CE Manufacturers Concerned Over Lack of Global 4K Standards

Microsoft Working on Free Version of Windows 8.1 with Bing

Microsoft is said to be experimenting with a free version of its Windows 8.1 operating system in hopes of increasing the number of users. Sources familiar with the plans say “Windows 8.1 with Bing” will bundle key Microsoft apps and services. The company aims to introduce Windows 8.1 with Bing as a free or low-cost upgrade for Windows 7 users. The new Bing-powered software may also be offered to computer manufacturers as part of recent license cuts for sub-$250 devices.

Continue reading Microsoft Working on Free Version of Windows 8.1 with Bing

Rovi Pays $69 Million to Acquire Voice Search Startup Veveo

Rovi announced that it is purchasing video discovery and voice search startup Veveo and the company’s IP for $62 million in cash and up to an additional $7 million based on performance milestones. The acquisition of Veveo’s technology is expected to bring new voice search capability to Rovi’s video discovery platform. Veveo uses natural language processing combined with semantic tech to integrate intuitive search and recommendation features into video discovery applications. Continue reading Rovi Pays $69 Million to Acquire Voice Search Startup Veveo

Task Force on File Formats and Media Interoperability Launches

Key media organizations have announced the launch of the Joint Task Force on File Formats and Media Interoperability, which plans to work with manufacturers, broadcasters, ad agencies, standards organizations and trade associations to develop greater efficiencies and cost savings for the exchange of file-based content. The initial focus will be to collect and analyze requirements for a machine-generated and readable file interchange and delivery spec for the media industry. Continue reading Task Force on File Formats and Media Interoperability Launches

New Samsung Smartwatch to Use Tizen Rather Than Android

Amidst the rapid growth of the wearables market, Samsung intends to bypass Google’s Android operating system in favor of the Tizen OS for its new version of the Samsung Gear smartwatch. Hoping to avoid giving Android the same boost it received in the smartphone and tablet markets, Samsung is aiming to develop more of its own software and services. Samsung is expected to unveil the updated Gear smartwatch along with a new HTML5 version of Tizen at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week.

Continue reading New Samsung Smartwatch to Use Tizen Rather Than Android

Foxconn and Former Android Exec Rubin Are Talking Robotics

Foxconn executives have been in talks about robotics with former Android executive Andy Rubin, specifically to discuss new robotic technologies and speed up deployment of robots in its factories. Rubin asked Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou to help integrate a tech company that’s being acquired by Google, which last year acquired eight other robotics companies. In the meeting, Gou was said to have expressed excitement over automation technologies demonstrated by Rubin. Continue reading Foxconn and Former Android Exec Rubin Are Talking Robotics

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