الجمعة، 13 ديسمبر، 2013

China Mobile Offers $919 Discount on Samsung to Sony Phones

China Mobile Offers $919 Discount on Samsung to Sony Phones
DecJunMarSep75.0080.0085.0090.0095.00941:HK81.300.35
 0.43%* Price chart for CHINA MOBILE LTD. Click flags for important stories.
China Mobile Ltd. (941) is offering smartphone discounts of as much as $919 and early access to “star models” while advertising its fourth-generation wireless service on a website featuring a picture of a stylized apple.
The world’s biggest phone company, which has yet to announce an agreement to offer Apple Inc.’s iPhone, is relying on popular handsets such as Samsung Electronics Co. (005930)’s Galaxy Note II to lure users. China Mobile received regulatory approval on Dec. 4 to start commercial service on the world’s largest 4G mobile network, after three years of trials, as it tries to attract smartphone users seeking faster downloads.
In an advertising blitz on billboards at bus stops and subway stations across Beijing, smartphones from Samsung, Sony Corp. (6758),HTC Corp. (2498) are prominently featured. Domestic vendors in China Mobile’s first wave of eight 4G handsets include ZTE Corp. (763), Huawei Technologies Co., and the Coolpad brand of China Wireless Technologies Ltd.
“The subsidy levels of these first wave, mid-high-end 4G handsets are good,” Nicole Peng, the China research director for Canalys, wrote in an e-mail. “At this time of the year, operators usually push harder the high-end devices, as December and January is an important gifting season. And for China Mobile from now till the next six months is a crucial time for them to get ahead of competitors in acquiring 4G users.”

Two-Year Commitment

To receive the maximum handset discount of 5,580 yuan ($919), users are required to make a two-year commitment to a 488-yuan monthly service plan, according to promotion materials available at China Mobile outlets. At that level, the user could chose any of the eight devices for free, as the most expensive of the group is the HTC 8088 priced at 4,821 yuan.
The Sony M35T, the least costly of the foreign brands, is priced at 2,999 yuan and requires a monthly plan of 258 yuan for a free handset. The Samsung N7108D costs 4,201 yuan, requiring a monthly plan of at least 388 yuan.
ZTE’s U9815 device costs 3,800 yuan and is free with a monthly plan of at least 328 yuan.
China Mobile rose 0.4 percent to close at HK$81.30 in Hong Kong trading. The stock has dropped 9.9 percent this year compared with a 2.6 percent advance for the benchmark Hang Seng Index.
China Mobile’s Beijing branch is also running a promotion for its 4G service that offers registrants priority access to unnamed “star models.” The web page features a picture of an apple, without making any reference to Cupertino, California-based Apple, or the iPhone. The page doesn’t say which handset will be offered, or when. More than 29,000 registrants have applied since the site went up yesterday, according to a counter displayed on the page.
China Mobile spokeswoman Rainie Lei and Beijing-based Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu both declined to comment on the Apple imagery in the 4G promotion, or to provide any update on the status of talks between the two sides.
To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Edmond Lococo in Beijing at elococo@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe atmtighe4@bloomberg.net

ARM targets mobile gaming with Geomerics acquisition

ARM targets mobile gaming with Geomerics acquisition

ARM hopes the deal will help it boost sales of its Mali graphics processor

الأحد، 1 ديسمبر، 2013

Smartphone shipments to surpass 1B this year

(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)
The world will see more than 1 billion smartphones shipped in 2013, research firm IDC said on Tuesday.
Shipments this year will be more than 39 percent higher than those in 2012 and will soar to 1.7 billion by 2017, said IDC. Though smartphones are close to a saturation point in mature markets, demand continues to surge in emerging markets.
Several factors are behind the seemingly unstoppable growth, according to IDC, but lower prices are the major ingredient. The average selling price (ASP) of a smartphone is expected to drop to $337 this year, a decline of 12.8 percent from 2012. That average price will fall to $265 by 2017, predicts IDC.
Those lower prices will put more smartphones into the hands of mass market users. And those are people who might have otherwise opted for a feature phone.
"The game has changed quite drastically due to the decline in smartphone ASPs," IDC program director Ryan Reith said in a statement. "Just a few years back the industry was talking about the next billion people to connect, and it was assumed the majority of these people would do so by way of the feature phone. Given the trajectory of ASPs, smartphones are now a very realistic option to connect those billion users."
(Credit: IDC)

Amazon now a prime source for U.S. Cellular prepaids

Amazon now a prime source for U.S. Cellular prepaids

A handful of U.S. Cellular's basic phones and Androids are now for sale on Amazon.
by Jessica Dolcourt
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LG's Splendor is one prepaid phone you can now buy on Amazon.
(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)
Starting today, online retailer Amazon will start selling select prepaid cell phones from U.S. Cellular.
The phones range from basic handsets that cost $30 to more-powerful $300 Androiddevices, and include (alphabetically) the Alcatel Shockwave, Huawei Ascend II,Kyocera Dura Pro, LG Envoy II, LG Freedom,LG Splendor, Motorola Defy XT, Samsung Freeform 5, and ZTE Director.
U.S. Cellular's plans encompass pay-as-you-go minutes that start at $10 per month and span unlimited voice and text with 2GB data for $65 per month. You can learn more at Amazon and U.S. Cellular's Web sites.
Originally posted at Android Atlas

BlackBerry launching BBM Channels, its answer to Twitter

BBM Channels
(Credit: Brian Bennett/CNET)
BlackBerry's response to the social network craze, BBM Channels, is rolling out starting on Tuesday.
Device owners running BlackBerry OS 5 or higher will soon have access to Channels, allowing them to communicate with companies, brands, and other luminaries. The idea is somewhat simple: a company, let's say, creates a Channel, and BBM users can then send messages, post questions, and otherwise communicate with that company. The company, meanwhile, can share messages, pictures, and animated GIFs through the service.

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Announced in May, BBM Channels is surprisingly similar in its functionality to Twitter. Both services allow companies or brands to set up dedicated pages where they can communicate with fans (and detractors). In addition, BBM Channels can be created by individual users, which others can follow, similar to Twitter's own social mechanism.
BBM Channels will start to roll out on Tuesday starting at 12 p.m. PT. BlackBerry expects to launch BBM Channels for iPhone and Android handsets "in the coming months."

iPhone 5S or Galaxy S4 owner? What's your problem?

iPhone 5S or Galaxy S4 owner? What's your problem?

(Credit: FixYa)
Unhappy with your battery-sucking iPhone 5S or your overheating Samsung Galaxy S4? You're not alone.
Battery life and overheating issues were just two of the problems cited by users of four of today's top smartphones in a new report from tech Q&A site FixYa.
Released on Tuesday, FixYa's Black Friday Smartphone Report revealed the top gripes among its site users about the iPhone 5S, Galaxy S4, HTC One, and Moto X. The report bears theBlack Friday name as FixYa has aimed it at consumers who plan to shop for a new smartphone the day after Thanksgiving.
The top grievance among iPhone 5S users was battery life. Of course, that's nothing new. iPhone and smartphone owners in general often bemoan the short life their devices get on a single charge. But this remains a frustrating dilemma for people who travel and find their phones out of juice long before the day is over.
The new fingerprint sensor on the 5S also aroused concerns among people fearful that their fingerprints may end up in (on?) the wrong hands. But Apple has stressed that the fingerprint password is stored locally and not uploaded to any cloud-based system. Display size was a third issue among iPhone users who want a bigger screen. That wish could be granted with next year's iPhone, which rumors say will undergo a bump in screen size.
Overheating was the top problem cited by owners of Samsung's Galaxy S4. People say the phone becomes hot to the touch when used for a long time. The Galaxy S4 uses a plastic body as opposed to the aluminum chassis found on other smartphones, one factor that may be to blame for the increased heat.
Like the iPhone, the Galaxy S4 has trouble sustaining enough battery life on a single charge. Users said that running multiple apps or snapping lots of photos with the camera tended to deplete the battery. S4 owners also complained that the screen is darker compared with that of other phones.
Grumbles about poor battery life hit the HTC One as well. Some said the battery also takes a long time to charge. Additionally, users voiced complaints about hearing an audible hiss in the background during phone calls and a lack of high-quality photos from the camera.
Finally, the Moto X was faulted for its limited storage space. The base model offers just 16GB of storage, while the more expensive version increases that to 32GB. But there's no SD slot to expand the capacity. Users also criticized the poor quality of the Moto X's 720p display and its inability to capture high-quality photos.

HP pushing Windows 8.1 hybrids for holidays, says CEO

HP pushing Windows 8.1 hybrids for holidays, says CEO

Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman believes tablet-laptop hybrids will drive consumer holiday sales.
by Brooke Crothers
HP Spectre x2 Windows 8.1 hybrid tablet-laptop.
HP Spectre x2 Windows 8.1 hybrid tablet-laptop.
(Credit: Hewlett-Packard)
Hewlett-Packard is banking on "convertible" tablets to power its consumer holiday sales, CEO Meg Whitman said Tuesday.
"We've got a lot of convertibles in the market, so do our competitors, and we're advertising behind those because we think that's a really innovative form factor that's the best of the tabletand the best of the PC," she said in response to an analyst's question during the company's earnings conference call.
HP reported better-than-expected earnings on Tuesday.
Whitman said demand won't be known until after the holidays.

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"I think it's too early to tell how the demand for convertibles is going whether it's in the commercial space or the consumer space this Christmas season...I think we will know more after we get to the Christmas season on the consumer side," she said.
Though Whitman used the term convertible to generally describe its hybrid devices, theSpectre x2 and Pavilion x2 are technically detachables. That is, the display portion can be detached from the keyboard base and be used as a standalone Windows 8.1 tablet.
Convertibles, like HP's EliteBook Revolve, generally have touch displays that remain attached but can swivel.
Specs are pretty impressive for the Spectre x2. It sports a 13.3-inch 1,920x1,080 display, a 128GB solid-state drive, Intel HD 4200 graphics, USB 3.0 and HDMI ports, and an extra battery in the keyboard base for up to 9 hours of combined battery life, HP says.
And it's one of the first fanless products to use a mainstream Intel Core processor. In this case, a Core i5 4202Y processor, Intel's most power efficient mainstream Core chip. Typically, all laptops powered by Core i3, i5, or i7 processors require a fan to keep the chip cool.
At the Microsoft Store, it's priced at $999.