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Moshi for iPad
  • With the iPad Mini expected to launch soon, the question is not will people want it, but how much will they pay

     


    It won't be a few weeks until Apple actually holds its iPad Mini event. But the October 23 date can't come quick enough for some who are already speculating about all the details Apple is expected to reveal later this month.


    One of the big revelations we're all waiting for regarding the new mini tablet is how much it will cost. And today rumors that sound at least possible (if not probable) began to circulate about the iPad Mini's price.


    One of the leaks, first reported by German blog Schimanke, reportedly comes from the inventory of Media Market, a European electronics retailer, and sets the iPad Mini's starting price at around €249 (about $322 U.S.) That includes the Value-Added Tax that applies in Europe or on European goods sold in North America.


    German blog Schimanke leaked the reported price of the new iPad Mini: starting at €249

     


    Meanwhile, TechCrunch, which reported on the Schimanke leak, has had the good sense to ask whether this estimate is even remotely possible.


    After having looked into the newest iPad's bill of materials (BOM) cost – which essentially summarizes the total cost of each of the tablet's major components – TechCrunch found that Schimanke's estimate is, in fact, within the realm of possibility.


    The Bill of Materials cost for the newest iPad

     


    Factoring in "Apple’s famed commitment to high profit margins," TechCrunch writes that "the iPad Mini reportedly starts at $316.05 for BOM and manufacturing cost per unit, and is sold for $499, giving a rough margin of $182.95."


    As for the the top of the line devices, "the margin jumps considerably, with the $829 64GB Wi-Fi+LTE iPad apparently carrying a manufacturing cost of $408.70, parts included, for a difference of $420.30."


    We won't really know for sure until Apple officially announces the new device's cost, as it's expected to do at the October 23 event, but it seems likely that it'll be in the neighborhood that the rumors so far have described.




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  • Does your smartphone’s battery run out of charge way more frequently than manufacturers claim? The big touch screens, fast processors and complex apps that are packed onto our mobile devices suck up a lot of power. Most of us know that it’s too much to ask that a battery lasts a week on one charge, but there’s no excuse for not being able to make it through a day.


    The idea of carrying an extra battery or charger around, positioning a charger, dock or car charger at each stopping point, or keeping track of every available outlet isn’t very appealing to most. But when you have a phone that is your lifeline to calls, texts, apps, internet and Wifi, you do what you have to do.


    Imagine even having 20% charge left at the end of each crazy, busy day. If you haven’t included battery life as a high priority for choosing your next phone, tablet or notebook, maybe it’s time you did.


    PC Magazine recently did some testing of their own, and published their study of the 10 top phones. It's a short list of Android phones that delivered at least eight hours of talk time. The magazine’s in-house experts know that talk time doesn’t account for all the other ways we use our phones throughout the day, but it's still a good indication of how long you can expect your battery to last.


    For most smartphones running on a 3G network, the average talk time is a little over six hours. Even if you’re out of the house for 12 hours, that should be more than enough juice to get you through the day without a charge. If your device's battery doesn't give you that kind of energy, maybe it's time for a new one.




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  • Ashton Kutcher snaps a self-portrait on his new iPhone 5

     


    Not so long ago, when celebrities made an appearance on the red carpet, the talk was of the gorgeous date they had on their arm. But of late, the talk's more likely to be about the new gadget they've got in their hand.


    These days, smartphones are celebrities in their own right. And even in paparazzi shots of famous actors and musicians, they often steal the spotlight. So, which devices have the biggest claim to fame, and what A-listers are using them these days?


    Pure Mobile took a dive into the glitz, the glamor, and the hardware and found out which smartphones stole the lead roles and which have been given bit parts.


    Jessica Alba at the nail salon on her iPhone 4S

     


    BlackBerry and iPhone – in all its incarnations – seem to be the top celeb cellphone choices.


    Apple not only claims a VIP user-base including Jessica Alba, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Justin Bieber and many more, it's also among the leaders in smartphone market share period. And it just stands to reason that, if millions of ordinary people are dying for the iPhone 5, celebrities might want one too.


    Sure enough, Ashton Kutcher already using one. And Brad Pitt brought his out at Cannes to snap pictures of the event. We can only wonder when pal George Clooney will upgrade from his iPhone 4 so as not to be outdone.


    George Clooney at the airport with his iPhone 4 (he's probably upgraded since)

     


    Brad Pitt snapping pictures at Cannes on his iPhone 5

     


    But while Apple's iPhone is a smash hit outside of Hollywood, BlackBerry maker RIM has been steadily slowing its user growth. Still, that doesn't seem to have affected its popularity amongst actors, celebutantes and other popular figures.


    Not content with using just an iPhone, Kim Kardashian uses a BlackBerry as well, and sometimes uses both at once. Geez, we didn't know she was even able to formulate two thoughts at the same time!


    Equal opportunity texter Kim Kardashian simultaneously uses an iPhone and a Blackberry

     


    Eva Longoria does a walk and talk on her BlackBerry

     


    Eva Longoria also loves her BlackBerry, as do Snoop Dogg (err, Lion), Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake – all three like to Tweet from a BlackBerrys. So, even though BlackBerry has lost some of its regular audience to Apple and Samsung, it's still one of the top two in Tinseltown.


    Victoria's Secret models promote the Samsung Galaxy Note in Toronto

     


    It's pretty much the opposite case with Samsung. Though the smartphone maker is perhaps Apple's biggest rival these days, the few results we got when searching for celebrities with Samsung devices – like the Galaxy Note or Galaxy S III – were actually from events held or promoted by Samsung.


    Sure Ashley Simpson has been spotted with one, but when's the last time anyone even cared she existed? And the Victoria's Secret models shown with the Galaxy Note (above) were actually hired to promote the device.


    Guess whose famous hands are holding this BlackBerry

     


    But who can claim the most famous user? Sure, the word "famous" is subjective, but most would agree that a figure who's known by nearly everyone in nearly every country, has influence on the world stage, and who is important enough to interrupt any T.V. show on any channel whenever he feels like addressing the press would be top choice.


    Yep, we're talking about the President. BlackBerry has scored possibly the most illustrious user a smartphone maker could ever hope for with Barack Obama.


    But it isn't just that President Obama uses a BlackBerry, he absolutely loves it! He's been described as a BlackBerry addict, and actually fought for the right to keep his "CrackBerry" once in office.


    Yes, president Obama has been described as a BlackBerry addict

     


    "They’re going to pry it out of my hands," the New York Times cited him as saying around the time that aides were trying to take it away. He's since been allowed to keep his beloved smartphone, though it had to go through White House encryption standards.


    Also, there's little chance that the President could ever be wooed by Apple. The Washington Times reported that, when handed an iPhone by an aide on the campaign trail last month, he looked "befuddled."


    Obama seemed unused to the device, saying "Oh, I got to dial it in. Hold on, hold on. I can do this. See, I still have a BlackBerry."




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  • Whether by accident or not, Apple seems to time its events to overshadow those of its competitors.

     


    Here's the thing with Apple. Rumors surface, and create a little buzz, until one of its competitors announces news of their own, and the Apple rumor dies. And then wham! Apple comes out and makes the revelation everyone thought they would, trumping all the interest in whatever it was their competitor has just announced.


    Pure Mobile reported yesterday that Samsung has sent out invitations for a special Galaxy Note II event in New York City scheduled for October 24. It's the kickoff to the the new device's world tour, and was likely to get the lion's share of tech reporting and headline space. Until...


    Well, it turns out that the Galaxy Note II will have to share the spotlight, since Apple's just announced it will be holding an event for the iPad Mini – get this – October 23.


    Likely to be unveiled October 23, Apple's iPad Mini is expected to be slightly smaller and slightly cheaper than its predecesor

     


    When we initially reported on rumors of an iPad Mini event, we cited Forbes (among others) who said to expect invitations to start rolling out on the October 10. That makes us only a couple of days behind schedule.


    The New York Times' AllThingsD reports that Apple is likely to officially unveil the new iPad Mini at the event. That's just one day ahead of Samsung's event, and only three days ahead of Microsoft's plans to launch Windows 8. Seems, like Apple is well timed, indeed.


    Apple promised earlier this year that 2012 would give Apple fans "a lot to look forward to"

     


    Meanwhile, says the Wall Street Journal, we can expect more than just a display of the smaller next generation iPad October 23:


    "Traditionally, when Apple unveils its new devices, it offers two things that competitors sometime do not: a specific date for when the device will be available and a specific price."


    But we're already guessing that the new tablet will be cheaper than the full-sized iPad and we'd be willing to stake a fortune on an iPad Mini launch safely before Christmas.




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  • Sony has decided to buck the trend that’s been taking us towards ever-smaller tablets with the first Godzilla of tablets – the Sony VAIO Tap 20. This tablet/portable all-in-one pc has a 20-inch screen, weighs a hefty 11.5 pounds AND can run on its rechargeable battery for up to 3 hours. What would you call it?


    The Tap 20 is impressive. It is sleek like tablet with less bulk than most laptops. Its stand allows the 20-inch touch-screen tablet to be laid flat or propped at almost any angle. While there’s no disc drive, its wireless keyboard and mouse lets it function like an all-in-one.



    Sony is hoping that the tablet will be recognized for its versatility, particularly suited to the needs of families. It’s a desktop, laptop, all-in-one and tablet. It looks like the only thing the Tap 20 is not is a smartphone.


    Here’s a short run-down on a few more of the Tap 20’s specs.


    Hardware


    • Third-gen Intel Core i3 processor
    • 4GB of RAM (configurable to 8GB)
    • 500GB hard drive that you can also configure with i5 and i7 CPUs
    • 20-inch, 1,600 x 900 display that uses IPS technology that should create decent viewing angles even when a group is crowded around the screen
    • Built-in NFC
    • Video playback engine is powered by Sony Bravia picture-quality technology
    • 1.3-megapixel webcam
    • Dual speakers and a subwoofer


    Sony has designed in some durability. They claim that the Tap 20’s display is "drop-resistant" and the rubber seal around the bezel is supposed to keep water out of the motherboard.


    On the software front, the Tap 20 includes Artrage Studio Pro, Fingertaps (a Sony-made app that combines drawing functions with to-do lists and reminders) and My Daily Clip app that turns the tablet into a game board.


    A good-sized inventory of Sony apps are ready for download in the Windows Store including the Socialife aggregator, Music by Sony, VAIO Movie Creator and the photo and video organizer - Album by Sony.


    The Tap 20 starts at $879. Fully-loaded, it will sell for around $2,500. Sony says the machine will go on sale in the US on October 26th, the same day Windows 8 launches.




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  •  


    We at Pure Mobile do love a good mobile device event, and Samsung has promised us yet another one.


    In addition to the rumors of an upcoming Galaxy S III Mini event in Germany (which we reported on last week), Samsung has confirmed an October 24 event in New York City as the first US stop on the Galaxy Note II's World Tour.


    This Samsung "Save the Date" teased with a pic of a stylus but no mention of the Galaxy Note II

     


    Late last month, Samsung was already teasing the affair, with a "Save the Date" card showing a stylus pen and the tagline "The Next Big Thing Is Here." However, the next generation Galaxy Note "phablet" was never shown. But the official invitations, which started rolling out yesterday, do show and name the device, removing all previous doubts.


    The official press invite confirms the Galaxy Note II as the focus of the October 24 event in New York

     


    Still, this is likely to be the beginning rather than the end of all speculation about the new combination phone and tablet. It doesn't mark the release of the new Galaxy Note II, and it won't be the first time the device has been seen.


    So what can we expect to learn about the latest smartphone in Samsung's Galaxy lineup?


    Well, for one, we may finally get some sort of confirmation on the Galaxy Note II's American release date. And hopefully, Samsung will be giving us some notion of its price, too.




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  • It might look like Apple has its hands full with out of control iPhone 5 sales and an impending iPad mini launch, but they have made time to put a couple of great new iPod models together. Apple has just hit us with a seventh-generation iPod nano and a fifth generation iPod touch.


    At a glance, you might mistake the iPod touch for the iPhone 5. The new iPod touch uses the same 4-inch display and is exactly the same height as the iPhone 5, making it taller than the iPhone 4/4S and all previous touch devices. With its loop button and wrist strap in place, it looks like a really thin digital camera.


    The iPod touch has Apple’s dual core A5 chipset, with twice the processing power and up to seven times the graphical abilities of the last touch. This chipset is more than enough to keep iOS 6 in the groove. It really shines when it comes to gaming and multimedia apps. The 5th-gen is available in 32 GB and 64GB versions. This touch also gives you Siri, Apple Maps, the new Facebook integration, and AirPlay Mirroring.


    The iPod nano is the most frequently redesigned Apple product. This nano is smaller than the palm of your hand, but twice as long as the last nano version. It definitely is a stripped-down mini music player. It's a typically Apple-slick device, but it does little more than play audio files.


    In one of the first nano reviews, The Verge noted that the lack of iCloud capability keeps users stuck in the traditional iPod setup of having to manage their music files via iTunes, a concept dating back over decade.


    As The Verge report put it, “It’s like taking a time machine to 2010. If you’re cool with managing files, the new iPod nano is the best dedicated music player on the market. It’s the sort of product that only Apple can make; a seamless slice of metal and plastic that feels essentially inevitable once you hold it.”


    Just like the iPhone 5, the new iPods use the tiny Lightning jack. Be warned, neither model ships with an AC adapter. You’ll need to charge them up using your computer or through a USB-based AC adapter.



    This post was posted in Apple and was tagged with Apple iPods, new iPods, iPod Nano, iPods, iPod Touch.

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  • Whenever an operating system upgrade lands on the market, cell phone manufacturers have to decide whether or not to deliver a version that is compatible for every device still in use. In some instances the equipment isn’t capable of handling the software. In others, it’s a decision solely driven by economics.


    Most of us understand that if we’re still using a phone with an antenna, we shouldn’t expect to get an Ice Cream Sandwich update. However, if we have a smartphone that is capable of handling an update, has a significant problem that will be fixed with an impending OS revision or was bought before an update was released and we were told the phone would get the update, can't we expect equipment makers to provide an update for that device?


    Recent decisions by equipment manufacturers like Motorola and Apple to not provide an OS upgrade for some of their older devices has left many consumers going “What the...?!”.


    In the case of Motorola, they were a member of the Android Upgrade Alliance, promising customers they would upgrade specific phones for 18 months after they came out – commitments that probably drove sales of a few devices.


    Recently, Motorola quietly abandoned its update pledge, killing off plans to ever update some of their recent releases like the Photon 4G, The Electrify and the Atrix 4G, a flagship phone that debuted on AT&T. The result is that thousands of people in the middle of two-year carrier contracts will never get Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and will have to keep using Android 2.3, or Gingerbread. Since ICS was a major OS update, Motorola customers with lose out on lots of new features like visual voice mail, app folders and resizeable widgets, not to mention security updates.


    If you’ll recall, Apple did the same thing to its older device-holders back in June. Apple released system requirements for machines eligible OS X Mountain Lion upgrades and later revealed that pre-2007 iMacs, pre-2008 Mac Pros, MacBook Airs released in the first half of 2008 and MacBook Pros released before mid-2007 wouldn’t be getting iOS 6.



    We spend way too much money on our smartphones and tablets in the first place. If equipment manufacturers aren’t willing to keep investing in products for as long as we, their customers, are under contract they aren’t keeping their part of the bargain.




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  • Leaked pictures of what appears to be an LG-made future Nexus device surfaced this week

     


    They usually stand for "life's good," but this week, LG's trademark letters stood for something else entirely – "leaks guaranteed."


    If you're building a new smartphone, as LG appears to be, you can pretty much assume someone's going to get a picture of it, and that before too long, the whole of the internet is going to see it.


    All that glitters is not yet to be sold: the sparkly backing of the new LG E960

     


    The leak in question this time is what appears to be an LG-made Nexus device. Judging by the leaked photos, which appeared in the XDA-Developers forum, Engaget says the LG E960 "appears to be a variant of the Optimus G – until you realize that it's using software navigation keys, doesn't quite resemble the international or AT&T Optimus G models and is oddly badged as the 'Full JellyBean on Mako.'"


    The "next Nexus," LG's E960, is shown running on Android 4.1.2

     


    Both Engaget and Mobile Syrup are hailing the new Android-powered LG smartphone as the future Nexus device, with the latter noting the similarities between the E960 and the LG Optimus G.


    It's apparently got the same "rather boxy design, a 1280×768 4.7-inch IPS screen, a 1.5Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage and that awesome-sounding 13MP camera," says Mobile Syrup.


    The device also bears some resemblance to Samsung's Galaxy Nexus, though the E960's corners seem more rounded than those of of the LG Optimus G, and it's backing is flatter, with a sleeker design than that of the Galaxy Nexus.


    A shot of the new LG device, minus the spyproof backing

     


    Meanwhile, says Mobile Syrup, the fact that the E960 has recently passed through FCC  certification "showing off PCS and AWS bands for HSPA+ and AWS bands for LTE," hints that the new smartphone is likely to be available on a number of networks, potentially making it "one of the most multi-faceted unlocked phones on the market."


    Based on the assumption that LG is in fact producing the next Nexus device – which it probably is – there's talk that the LG E960 may be ready by early November.




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  • Word has it that AT&T will take preorders for their Windows Phone 8 devices starting on October 21st. Microsoft’s official launch date for its new OS is October 29th, so AT&T and any of the other carriers won’t be letting them loose before then. According to The Verge, the Microsoft announcement will probably identify a market entry date for its devices in early November.


    AT&T will offer the HTC 8X, the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820, as well as Samsung’s Ativ Smart PC and Asus’ Vivo Tab RT tablets, all equipped with Windows Phone 8. The Lumia 820 will be available from other carriers, such as T-Mobile, but the Lumia 920 will be exclusive to AT&T.


    AT&T plans to carry additional HTC smartphones that run on Windows Phone 8. The HTC One X+ and One VX would be available "in the coming months."


    Recent market share data shows that devices powered with Microsoft’s Windows Phone occupy just 3.5% of the smartphone market. Microsoft updated its mobile OS in June, adding support for multi-core processors, higher screen resolutions and near-field communication (NFC). Window Phone shares the same source code as Microsoft’s Windows 8 desktop OS. We’ll see where Microsoft takes that connection in the future.




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