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Moshi for iPad
  • iPad mini front mock-up

    While waiting for Apple to unveil the iPad mini on October 23rd, we’re all over leaked photos and specs for the new device. We’ve seen plenty of mock-ups until now, but Sonny Dickson, a researcher at 9to5Mac posted some photos on his Twitter feed that are rumored to be actual pics of the tiny Apple tablet.


    Many of the pictures show the iPad mini next to the new iPad. There's a dramatic size difference between the two. The mini looks to be 7.85 inches with an anodized aluminum case. There’s a rear-facing camera, two rear speakers and a nano-SIM card slot for wireless internet access.  It will likely be equipped with the Lightning dock connector, too.


    Actual pic of the iPad mini on top of the new iPad?

    The Wall Street journal reports that Apple is so sure that the iPad mini will be a huge seller that they and their suppliers are busy making 10 million of them.


    Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire are both priced at $199. TechCrunch is reporting that the iPad mini will come in at around $300.


    Apple will make the official iPad Mini announcement on October 23rd. the iPad Mini preorder date for October 26th and we can find in stores on November 2nd.



    This post was posted in Apple, News and PR, Tablets and was tagged with iPad mini release, iPad mini specs, iPad mini

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  • Just like our Facebook posts create histories of our lives that can’t be erased, we generate indelible electronic paper trails whenever we use our mobile devices. Verizon Wireless is only the latest tech company to collect information on its subscribers and then sell it to advertisers who might be interested in seeing what we buy and where.


    Verizon calls their new data collection program “Precision Market Insights.” Verizon collects geographic data from the apps we use and the websites we access. They then turn around and share the information with businesses that are interested in selling us stuff through advertising on our smartphones and other mobile devices.


    Verizon is adamant that the program is legal and doesn't violate any privacy laws because they keep user identities anonymous. Earlier this year, Bill Diggins, the U.S. head of Precision Market Insights, spoke about what the Verizon program allows the company to do. Of subscribers Diggins said, "We're able to view just everything they do.”


    Verizon is latest mobile service provider to use what’s called “data-mining.” MIT’s Technology Review reported that in 2010 AT&T began tracking how and when text messages are sent. They believe these are indicators of social trends and human behavior. The MIT researchers also stated that many tech companies perform similar data analyses. Facebook and Google have been doing it for awhile, too.


    What cell companies don’t want you to know is that you can opt out of these kinds of data-mining programs. In the case of Verizon, customers can log in to their MyVerizon account and opt out any time.




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  • Japanese telecommunications company Softbank will purchase an ownership stake of 70% in Sprint for $20 billion that includes $8 billion in stock. Softbank is calling their new acquisition “New Sprint.”


    Sprint is the U.S.'s third-largest mobile carrier behind Verizon and AT&T. The Sprint purchase is the biggest-ever overseas acquisition by a Japanese company. It’s the latest consolidation among big players in the U.S. mobile industry. (T-Mobile recently announced their partnership with MetroPCS.)


    Softbank’s CEO Masayoshi Son stated his case for this being a good partnership for both companies. One big reason is that they are both developing LTE on the same frequency. Combining their efforts will move the process along more quickly and cost less to implement.


    If nothing else, Softbank/Sprint will present some big competition for AT&T and Verizon – companies that almost completely own the U.S. telecom market. The technology required to bring the latest phones, national networks and high-speed connectivity to the market is too expensive for all the smaller carriers. As Dan Hesse, Sprint’s CEO, described it “This is pro-competitive and pro-consumer” because it helps fight the “AT&T and Verizon duopoly.”


    With some of the Softbank cash infusion, Sprint can focus on improving its unlimited data plan for smartphones. Sprint is the only one of the three that still provides unlimited plans to new customers.


    Right now Sprint is also the only major carrier that still offers both the iPhone and an unlimited plan. If Sprint can expand its 4G network to more markets, they will have a very valuable product for consumers.


    When the news hit yesterday, it crashed the Sprint website. It’s back up now.




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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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