Report: Apple and Google Battle for Top Spot in Global Brands

This year’s edition of Interbrand’s “Best Global Brands” report places Apple in the No. 1 spot as the world’s most valuable brand for the second year in a row. Apple and No. 2 brand Google knocked Coca-Cola to the No. 3 spot last year. The top three positions are the same for 2014. The report, which provides a ranking of the top 100 valuable global brands, list a growing number of technology brands. Microsoft, Samsung and IBM are listed in the top 10, while Intel, Cisco, Amazon, Oracle and HP are in the top 20. Continue reading Report: Apple and Google Battle for Top Spot in Global Brands

Nokia Experiments with Broadcasting TV Through LTE Network

Nokia is testing a new service in Munich that would allow viewers to get TV broadcasts from the Bayerischer Rundfunk company through airwaves on the LTE network. Nokia has already tried LTE-Broadcast technology in the U.S., but this trial is more like a traditional broadcast network because it sends out the same video signals to everyone. LTE-Broadcast is an industry standard, and if it’s successful, broadcasters will be able to reach millions of people through their mobile devices. Continue reading Nokia Experiments with Broadcasting TV Through LTE Network

Nokia Plans to Spin-Off MixRadio Music Service as Standalone

As a result of Microsoft’s recent downsizing, Nokia has plans for its MixRadio streaming service to become a standalone company. While the app will still be included in handsets running Windows Phone software, MixRadio will now have the opportunity to pursue other platforms including iOS and Android. MixRadio offers themed playlists — online and through an app — free with no advertising. The service also provides users with an option to pay monthly for enhanced features. Continue reading Nokia Plans to Spin-Off MixRadio Music Service as Standalone

Microsoft Makes Opera Default Browser on Android Handset

Microsoft has unveiled its first Android smartphone, the mid-range Nokia X2 Dual SIM, and has made Opera the handset’s default Web browser. The $135 Linux-based device features a 4.3-inch WVGA display, 5-megapixel camera (with LED flash and autofocus), 1GB of RAM and a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor. With a tiles-based home screen similar to Windows Phone, the X2 comes with preloaded services such as Skype, Outlook, OneDrive, HERE Maps and the ad-free MixRadio. Continue reading Microsoft Makes Opera Default Browser on Android Handset

SK Telecom Introduces New LTE-Advanced Broadband Service

Korea’s largest mobile operator, SK Telecom rolled out its new LTE-Advanced broadband service last week. South Korean customers will now have access to 4G wireless network speeds up to 225Mbps (three times faster than other current mobile connections). This speed will allow users to download 800MB movies in less than half a minute. A new version of the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be the first to support LTE-A speeds, while LG and Pantech plan to launch compatible devices next month. Continue reading SK Telecom Introduces New LTE-Advanced Broadband Service

NTT Docomo Plans Trials of New High-Bandwidth Network Tech

Japanese mobile giant NTT Docomo is currently planning new wireless trials that could increase the capacity of future mobile networks to 10 Gbps (1,000 times today’s LTE networks). The new radio technologies could become an important part of a future 5G standard. NTT Docomo is working with Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Fujitsu, NEC, Nokia and Samsung to perform lab trials at Docomo’s research & development facility in Yokosuka, which is expected to be followed by outdoor trials in 2015. Continue reading NTT Docomo Plans Trials of New High-Bandwidth Network Tech

Samsung Opens Five-Story Innovation Museum in South Korea

Samsung opened its Samsung Innovation Museum at the company’s headquarters in South Korea this month. The museum features some of the most iconic inventions of the modern era, including Samsung TVs, smartphones and semiconductors. The creation of the museum is an effort by Samsung to escape its image as a “fast follower,” and showcase itself as an innovator. The five-story museum occupies about 118,000 square feet. It comes as Samsung goes up against Apple again in patent court.  Continue reading Samsung Opens Five-Story Innovation Museum in South Korea

Carriers and Smartphone Makers Commit to Anti-Theft Tech

Last week, the five largest U.S. cellular carriers and leading smartphone makers announced a voluntary commitment to add new anti-theft tech to devices being released next year. Supporting companies include Apple, Google, HTC, Huawei, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung. The commitment means that devices sold after July 2015 will have the ability to allow users to wipe data remotely, and prevent the device from being reactivated without permission from the owner. Continue reading Carriers and Smartphone Makers Commit to Anti-Theft Tech

DARPA Converts Army Surveillance Drones into Mobile Hotspots

DARPA’s Mobile Hotspots program is converting retired RQ-7 Army drones into wireless hotspots to provide Wi-Fi to soldiers in remote areas. The drones will be able to transfer data at one gigabyte per second — about the same connectivity of a 4G smartphone — to give troops the same communication capabilities, including access to tactical operation centers and mission data, that others in more central conflict zones have. DARPA is retrofitting the drones with small Wi-Fi antennas. Continue reading DARPA Converts Army Surveillance Drones into Mobile Hotspots

Phone Makers Target Emerging Markets with Low-End Devices

Although high-end smartphone makers such as Apple and Samsung usually get the most press, other established companies are attempting to tap into emerging markets by focusing on inexpensive, low-tech versions of their phones. At the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, companies including Nokia, Google and BlackBerry displayed phones priced between $100-$200. Other companies are aiming to go even lower, below $100, including China’s ZTE Corp. Continue reading Phone Makers Target Emerging Markets with Low-End Devices

DEW Conference: Futurist Rob Tercek on Internet Companies

Millennials, who typically get their video from Vine, Instagram, Snapchat and other social and online sources, are developing a new vernacular for viewing, said futurist Rob Tercek at the Digital Entertainment World conference in LA last week. He believes that the DreamWorks deal to produce children’s content for Netflix is a play by Netflix to capture and cultivate a generation of viewers, similar to the way Apple seeded schools with Apple computers. Similar trends are playing out with various Internet companies. Continue reading DEW Conference: Futurist Rob Tercek on Internet Companies

WhatsApp Announces New Voice Service After Facebook Deal

During a keynote at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum announced that the mobile messaging service would start to offer voice calls. The move could help justify the massive $19 billion price tag of the recent Facebook deal. While the marketplace for Internet phone services is already crowded, WhatsApp could become competitive since it is now backed by social giant Facebook. The voice service is planned to launch in April. Continue reading WhatsApp Announces New Voice Service After Facebook Deal

Phablets Poised to Become Multibillion Dollar Market by 2018

Phablets — smartphones with screens larger than 5.5 inches — could grow to become a multibillion dollar market in the coming years. Initially ridiculed by some analysts, the ‘phone-tablets’ are experiencing unexpected success with consumers in global regions such as East Asia. Juniper Research forecasts phablet shipments will increase by 100 million units over the next four years (20 million shipped last year). By 2018, Juniper expects manufacturers to ship 120 million units per year. Continue reading Phablets Poised to Become Multibillion Dollar Market by 2018

CES: Qualcomm Outlines Plans for Tablets and Connected Cars

Qualcomm’s CEO-elect Steve Mollenkopf shared his vision for 2014 during a CES press event, a vision that includes more robust and feature-rich operating systems enhancing the tablet market (providing opportunities for Qualcomm’s mobile Snapdragon chips), a growing trend in smart wearables (including Qualcomm’s Toq), and a new era of connected cars (aided by the new Snapdragon 602A). The AEC-Q100 compliant 602A is designed to meet auto industry standards for temperature, quality and longevity. Continue reading CES: Qualcomm Outlines Plans for Tablets and Connected Cars

CES 2014: Compelling Products Generating Early Buzz (Part 2)

Yesterday we published a first pass list of products and services we’re looking forward to seeing next week at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. Today we’re continuing the list with more that should be of interest to those who work in entertainment media technology. While yesterday’s report focused on gaming, wearable devices, connected vehicles and 3D printing — today’s list takes a look at cameras and camcorders, media players, streaming media and some very large Ultra HD televisions. Continue reading CES 2014: Compelling Products Generating Early Buzz (Part 2)

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