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Sharp and Foxconn enter into manufacturing partnership

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Sharp on Tuesday announced that is has entered into an manufacturing partnership with Foxconn that will see the manufacturing giant take a 10% stake in the Japanese electronics company. Hon Hai has invested nearly 67 billion yen ($809 million) in Sharp in exchange for roughly 121.65 million new shares, which will be spread out between four Foxconn companies. Sharp CEO Takashi Okuda said, “Until now we have handled all of our R&D and manufacturing, but going forward we will need to include partnerships in our approach,” pledging to leverage both companies’ strengths to get products to market efficiently. Each company will hold a 46.5% stake in Sharp’s Sakai plant in western Japan, with the remaining 7% owned by Sony.

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TiVo Premiere 500GB coming Sunday along with lower prices for service, XL and Elite DVRs

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

The new TiVo Premiere featuring an upgraded 500GB hard drive (65 percent more storage than the old 320GB unit) that we spotted this morning is official, and will start shipping March 25th — but that’s not it. As we also noted, it only requires a one year service agreement at $14.99 per month or $12.99 for users with multiple boxes, which is cheaper than last year’s $19.99 / month package (Lifetime Service is still available as well). If you need more hard drive space, THX Certification or more tuners then you’re also in luck, as price cuts are in order for the 1TB Premiere XL (down $50 to $249) and the 2TB Elite models (down $100 to $399). The new pricing should let multi-TiVo homes compete even better with cable company DVR offerings, and once the new multiroom boxes arrive this summer things should only get better. Stake out various online retailers or your local Best Buy to snag one or three on Sunday, but until then check out the press release after the break for all of the numbers.

Continue reading TiVo Premiere 500GB coming Sunday along with lower prices for service, XL and Elite DVRs

TiVo Premiere 500GB coming Sunday along with lower prices for service, XL and Elite DVRs originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 23 Mar 2012 13:15:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Google to sell stake in Clearwire at a huge loss

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Google on Friday filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to sell its entire stake in Clearwire. The Mountain View-based company spent $500 million in 2008  to acquire a 6.5% stake in Clearwire, and now the search giant is now looking to sell its share for $47 million, less than a tenth of the original investment. Clearwire was the first company to roll out a 4G network in the U.S., however the WiMAX technology the network was built around failed to gain widespread adoption, with every major carrier instead deploying or looking to deploy 4G LTE service. Even Clearwire’s largest shareholder, Sprint, announced plans to launch a 4G LTE network in mid-2012. According to the SEC filing, Google will exit Clearwire in an effort to rebalance its investment portfolio. The sale is expected to close by the end of March.

[Via The Verge]

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Sony completes Sony Ericsson buyout

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Sony on Thursday announced the transaction to acquire Ericsson’s 50% stake in Sony Ericsson has been completed. Sony and Ericsson announced the deal last October, which was worth €1.05 billion in cash and made Sony Ericsson a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony. The company will be renamed to Sony Mobile Communications and will “further integrate the mobile phone business as a vital element of its electronics business, with the aim of accelerating convergence between Sony’s lineup of network enabled consumer electronics products, including smart phones, tablets, TVs and PCs.” Read on for Sony’s press release.

Sony Completes Full Acquisition of Sony Ericsson

Sony to Rename the Company Sony Mobile Communications and Accelerate Business Integration

February 16, 2012, Tokyo, Japan – Sony Corporation (“Sony”) today announced that the transaction to acquire Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson’s (“Ericsson”) 50% stake in Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB (“Sony Ericsson”) has been completed as of February 15, 2012 (Central European time). This marks the completion of the transaction jointly announced by Sony and Ericsson on October 27, 2011, and makes Sony Ericsson a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony.

Sony will rename Sony Ericsson “Sony Mobile Communications”, and further integrate the mobile phone business as a vital element of its electronics business, with the aim of accelerating convergence between Sony’s lineup of network enabled consumer electronics products, including smart phones, tablets, TVs and PCs.

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HTC developing music streaming service, wireless boombox?

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
After having already acquired a stake in Beats Audio, HTC is reportedly looking to expand its reach even further, with the help of a new music streaming service. That’s according to a report from GigaOM, which cites unnamed sources “familiar with the company’s plans.” These plans apparently include a new line of tablets and handsets, along with the aforementioned streaming service, to be spearheaded by Jimmy Iovine — Beats head and Chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M. Details, of course, remain scarce, but GigaOM‘s sources say that the service will be included as a default client in HTC’s handsets and tablets, and that it could launch as early as this month, at Mobile World Congress. The idea, apparently, is to differentiate Peter Chow’s company from its competitors, and it’s one that’s been in the works for quite some time. Insiders say the manufacturer is planning to launch a new tablet at this year’s MWC, as well, and is reportedly working on a new, Bluetooth-controlled wireless boombox. We’ll have to wait a bit longer to see whether any of this actually plays out, but we’ll certainly be keeping close watch over it.

HTC developing music streaming service, wireless boombox? originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 15 Feb 2012 07:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sony ST25i ‘Kumquat’ Android smartphone possibly leaked

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Next month we’re sure to hear about the latest smartphones from several of the world’s largest phone makers during Mobile World Congress, however that hasn’t stopped a number of leaks from occurring ahead of the show. The latest is a possible image of what is presumed to be Sony’s upcoming ST25i “Kumquat” Android smartphone. Specs are still slim at this point and we’re a bit suspicious since it still features the “Sony Ericsson” branding, but this could easily be an early prototype since even the smartphones on display at CES featured the Sony Ericsson name. Sony recently announced it was purchasing Ericsson’s stake in the Sony Ericsson joint venture and its newest phones are now branded “Sony,” but Xperia Blog, which leaked the image, said Sony may still launch devices with Sony Ericsson branding. 

[Via Engadget]

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More than 50% of mobile phones sold this year will be 3G or 4G capable

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

More than 50% of all phones sold this year will be capable of running on 4G or 3G data networks, according to a new report from ABI Research. “As the festive cheer of the holiday season dies away, the mood among handset vendors remains quietly confident regarding 2012,” Jake Saunders, vice president of forecasting for ABI Research said. “The outlook will yield growth in the order of 8%, netting 1.67 billion handsets shipped worldwide by the end of 2012. Particularly notable is for the first time, 3G and 4G handset shipments will capture more than 50% of total handsets shipped.” Read on for more.

ABI Research also said Samsung has continued to push its smartphones into emerging markets while Apple is targeting South America and Brazil and seeing more success in China than it has in India. “North America may only represent 15% of feature and smartphone units shipped globally, but due to the high proportion of high-end smartphone sales, it constitutes 40% of total smartphones sold by value. It underscores what is at stake in the patent battles between Apple, Samsung, Motorola, Google, HTC, Microsoft, and even British Telecom,” says Kevin Burden, vice president and practice director, mobile devices.

3G and 4G Handsets Will Capture More than 50% of Handset Sales in 2012

SINGAPORE – January 5, 2012

“As the festive cheer of the holiday season dies away, the mood among handset vendors remains quietly confident regarding 2012,” observes Jake Saunders, vice president of forecasting. “The outlook will yield growth in the order of 8%, netting 1.67 billion handsets shipped worldwide by the end of 2012. Particularly notable is for the first time, 3G and 4G handset shipments will capture more than 50% of total handsets shipped.”
In the second half of 2011, tier one smartphone vendors began redoubling efforts to promote their smartphone line-up to upwardly mobile, aspirational smartphone owners in emerging markets. Samsung, with its varied smartphone segmentation strategy, has been making substantial inroads into the emerging country smartphone market. Apple is expanding sales channels in emerging markets, with greater success in China than it’s having in India, but is also targeting South American markets such as Brazil. HTC is gaining traction in China, but developed markets such as North America and Europe continue to be the mainstay of its “ship into” markets. RIM, despite its weakness in apps-capable smartphone markets, continues to do well in messaging-centric emerging markets such as Indonesia. Nokia hopes to benefit from Windows Phone 7 Lumia series launches in India (Dec-2011) and China (in 1Q-2012).

The North American handset market, driven primarily by smartphones, is proving oblivious to the Euroland debt crisis. North America is estimated to have closed 2011 with 228 million handsets shipped, for a year-on-year (YoY) growth of 14%, the region’s highest YoY growth in more than five years.

“North America may only represent 15% of feature and smartphone units shipped globally, but due to the high proportion of high-end smartphone sales, it constitutes 40% of total smartphones sold by value. It underscores what is at stake in the patent battles between Apple, Samsung, Motorola, Google, HTC, Microsoft, and even British Telecom,” says Kevin Burden, vice president and practice director, mobile devices.

ABI Research’s new study, “Mobile Device Shipment Market Data,” provides critical data on vendor market share, vendor ASPs, and handset shipments.

It is part of the firm’s Smartphones & Mobile Devices Research Service.

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Kazuo Hirai to take over as Sony president, Stringer remains as CEO

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Kazuo Hirai will take over as the president of Sony in the next few months, Nikkei reported on Friday. Howard Stringer, who previously had served as the president, chairman and CEO of the company will remain on board as chief executive officer. Sony is expected to be a big presence at the Consumer Electronics Show this year and could unveil a “different kind of TV set” early next week. Sony also recently announced that it will purchase Ericsson’s stake in its Sony Ericsson joint venture for $1.47 billion.

[Via The Verge]

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Sony sells its stake in Samsung LCD team-up for $939 million

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Sony and Samsung have decided to part ways on their seven-year-old LCD venture. Possibly due to Sony‘s recent struggles in the increasingly competitive world of TV division, Samsung will buy up its 50 percent share for around $939 million. The Japanese company has agreed to a new strategic agreement to source Sammy’s LCDs in the future and, according to Sony, will continue “cooperative engineering efforts focused on LCD panel technology.” Its full explanation follows after the break.

Continue reading Sony sells its stake in Samsung LCD team-up for $939 million

Sony sells its stake in Samsung LCD team-up for $939 million originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 26 Dec 2011 01:52:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Turn your Kinect hack into a startup with Microsoft’s Accelerator program

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

Wanna turn your Kinect hack into, um, money? Microsoft can help you out, now that it’s teamed up with TechStars to launch the Kinect Accelerator — a program designed to turn Kinect-based ideas into real world startups. To participate, innovators must first apply to the Accelerator before the January 25th deadline. Ten applicants will then be accepted to a three-month incubation program, and rewarded with $20,000 in seed money. To participate, however, you’d have to relocate to Seattle for the duration of the program, scheduled to kick off this Spring. Plus, if you manage to bring your company to market, you’ll have to set aside a six percent common stock stake for TechStars, which is both funding and spearheading the initiative. For more details on how to apply, hit up the source link below.

Turn your Kinect hack into a startup with Microsoft’s Accelerator program originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 20 Nov 2011 05:21:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sony scrambles to reverse losses, will split television business into three parts

Monday, October 31st, 2011


Sony announced on Monday that it will split its television business into three different branches in an effort to reverse a course that has the arm headed to its eighth consecutive annual loss. The three new branches include LCD TVs, next generation TVs and outsourced televisions, Reuters said on Monday, and the changes will go into effect on Tuesday, November 1st. “By dividing into three divisions, we will make clearer the misson and responsibilities of these,” a Sony spokesperson said. Additionally, Sony is said to be in talks to sell its 50% stake in S-LCD to Samsung, its partner in the joint venture. 
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Nokia CEO wary of Motorola/Google deal, warns Google’s Android partners

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Speaking during a seminar in Helsinki, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop gave a gloomy response to Google’s planned $12.5 billion takeover of Motorola Mobility. “If I happened to be someone who was an Android manufacturer or an operator, or anyone with a stake in that environment, I would be picking up my phone and calling certain executives at Google and say ‘I see signs of danger ahead,’” Elop said. “The very first reaction I had was very clearly the importance of the third ecosystem and the importance of the partnership that we announced on February 11, it is more clear than ever,” Elop added, noting Nokia’s recent agreement to launch smartphones running Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. HTC, Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson all voiced support for the merger, which Google’s CEO Larry Page said will help it in its patent battles against Microsoft and Apple.

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Sunday, June 19th, 2011

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Reserve Power: when inventor meets informercial, Part 1

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Ross Rubin contributes Reserve Power, a column focused on personal perspectives and products.

They come from across the country to a conference room at Telebrands, the Fairfield, NJ-based infomercial marketer that serves as the arbiter in the TV show Pitchmen. It was Inventors Day, an event that the company holds around the country about every six weeks. Those who submit the best ideas to inventorsday@telebrands.com are invited to present. At stake, the chance to design Telebrands’ next hit product and become a millionaire. And all that stood between them and fortune was a convincing pitch to the judging panel (made up of CEO A.J. Khubani, his wife Poonam Khubani, and marketing advisor Don Braca) and a permanently installed five-foot long model of a PedEgg — invented by the Telebrands CEO in ’97 — signed by company well-wishers.

Continue reading Reserve Power: when inventor meets informercial, Part 1

Reserve Power: when inventor meets informercial, Part 1 originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 18 Jun 2011 20:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Quadrocopter plays the piano, wishes us a happy and complacent holiday (video)

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Our worst frienemies, the quadrocopters, have decided to act cute for the holidays and play us a merry little jingle. Yes, the guys and gals behind the Flying Machine Arena have put together an airborne robot sophisticated enough to lay down a few seasonal notes on a Yamaha electronic keyboard. And we’re still sitting around debating inconsequential topics like net neutrality — all of human civilization is at stake here, people! Be a good citizen and watch the video after the break to scout out any weak points to this most imminent threat to humanity’s survival.

Continue reading Quadrocopter plays the piano, wishes us a happy and complacent holiday (video)

Quadrocopter plays the piano, wishes us a happy and complacent holiday (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 22 Dec 2010 11:14:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Screen Grabs: Jeremy on Vampire Diaries uses LG Quantum to find the undead, look dreamy

Saturday, November 6th, 2010
Screen Grabs chronicles the uses (and misuses) of real-world gadgets in today’s movies and TV. Send in your sightings (with screen grab!) to screengrabs at engadget dt com.

What’s a major corporation to do when it’s trying to bring its stake in the smartphone world back from the dead? Why, call in the help of some vampires, naturally. Character Jeremy Gilbert from CW’s Vampire Diaries looks like he’ll be tapping away on an LG Quantum in the next episode, calling up Bing Maps and then getting an aerial view of some mysterious compound. Vampire hideout? Werewolf den? Factory where they make really great hair product? You’ll have to tune in to find out.

Screen Grabs: Jeremy on Vampire Diaries uses LG Quantum to find the undead, look dreamy originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 06 Nov 2010 20:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Motorola asks court to invalidate Apple patents, preempt another lawsuit

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

The smartphone intellectual property wars are seriously heating up, as Motorola sided with HTC this week in an effort to cover its own rear. Remember those twenty patents Apple aimed at the Taiwanese OEM? Motorola says they’re no good, and is trying to get them thrown out of court — an important tactic, because if the patents do hold water and are successfully used against HTC, Apple might turn around and sue Motorola with them too. That’s because there’s more at stake here than OEM phones, but Android as a whole, and as such other manufacturers that implement Android might potentially be targets as well. Oh, and don’t think this is Motorola’s first salvo in the arena, either — it’s also suing Apple outright to get the point across, and is similarly being targeted by Microsoft for smartphone patents of its own. We’re just two guns shy of a Mexican standoff, folks.

Motorola asks court to invalidate Apple patents, preempt another lawsuit originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 17 Oct 2010 10:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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