Calcalist was wrong, half wrong anyway – it turns out instant messaging and VoIP app Viber really was in acquisition talks, but not for the suspected $300-400 million. Instead, the deal is worth the whopping $900 million.
Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten will acquire Viber to compete with the highly successful Line app, which had 300 million users last year and is targeting 500 million this year. Read more »
Nokia officially announced the Nokia Lumia Icon, a.k.a. Icon, and the first teaser videos are out. By the looks of it, Nokia is still touting its quality audio recording feature by comparing it to the Galaxy S4.
Check out how clearly the Lumia Icon can pick out voice in the midst of revving hot-rod engines. Read more »
Benchmarks are a big part of our reviews and Basemark X is one of the newer ones we’re using. The company behind it, Rightware, just announced that it has covered all three major smartphone OSes, which is a must-have for inter-platform comparisons.
The latest version, Basemark X 1.1, is based on Unity 4.2, a popular game engine and IDE. Read more »
HTC launched customizable Double Dip cases for its HTC One flagship. The protective cases are split into three parts and you can customize the color of each one.
Just to be clear, those are cases – HTC isn’t painting the One in wildly different colors, like Motorola does with the Moto X. Read more »
We’ve seen the HTC M8 (the HTC One’s successor) star in plenty of leaks but they all have something in common – low quality photos. XDA-Developers user hamdir collected all leaked photos and created beautiful renders of the M8.
Some of the things are dubious – like the second camera. The images that showed it were called out as fakes by an HTC regional director, but there are plenty of leaked images that feature a second opening above the camera (including back covers). Read more »
Verizon just announced that the Nexus 7 with LTE will be available on its network this Thursday. No, there’s no new Nexus 7 tablet, this is the 2013 edition of the Google slate. It’s exactly the same device that went on sale in the US in September last year, just that now it has (finally!) received certification to use Verizon’s LTE.
There was some finger-pointing between Verizon, Google and Asus that ended with the carrier deciding to wait for Android KitKat update, citing issues with the Jelly Bean software. Read more »
First announced in early 2012, the Modern UI based Firefox web browser is ready for download (if only in beta form). The browser is optimized for touchscreen interaction and makes use of Windows 8 features like swipe gestures, the Share charm and, of course, tiles.
Traditional Firefox features like the Awesome bar and Firefox Sync are available too. Read more »
The growth spurt experience by smartphones has jumped to tablets too – the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 dwarfs the 7 and 10-inch Android tablets and is the biggest tablet we’ve had in our office.
How much do those couple of extra inches matter anyway? The Note Pro 12.2 screen has nearly 50% more surface area than a 10.1″ tablet. Read more »
2013 saw Twitter’s IPO but it has not been a good year for the concise social network. The company filed its 2013 financial report with the SEC and posted a whopping $511 million net loss in Q4.
Revenue for the year doubled compared to 2012, however the first three quarters weren’t too kind to Twitter either and the net loss for the full year is $645 million. Read more »
Did you know that 50 Cent used to have a BlackBerry? That’s old news now – at an interview at CES the rapper mentioned that he switched to an iPhone because that’s where “all the cool stuff” is and mentioned the camera will be the primary consideration when he starts looking for a new phone.
Someone at Nokia’s marketing team caught wind of that and, of course, sent 50 Cent a Nokia Lumia 1020. Read more »
Satya Nadella stepped in as CEO of Microsoft effective immediately and his first email to employees sets the tone for his reign. Analysts describe him as a safe pick and it shows – Nadella has asked Bill (he’s on a first name basis with Mr. Gates) to “devote additional time to the company, focused on technology and products”.
The new CEO won’t be hiding behind the back of the original one though, he points out specifically mobile and the cloud as areas of great interest for the company (he was in charge of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise division). Read more »
Samsung has secured the smartphone crown and it was clear the next battle with Apple will be over tablets. Strategy Analytics reports that Samsung is catching up to Apple by overtaking the iPad maker in emerging markets.
Apple had the biggest market share in 2012 in all markets, but in 2013 Samsung pulled out in front in Central and Eastern Europe (25% market share), Latin America (22.8%), the Middle East and Africa (18.3%). Read more »
Qualcomm, a major player in the mobile market, published its report for the quarter that ended in December. Revenue is up to record levels, but missed analysts’ expectations and net income is down year on year.
Revenue for the quarter was $6.52 billion, up 10% year on year. On that Qualcomm made $1.88 billion in net income, down 2% YoY, with an effective tax rate of 18%. Read more »
Sony launched the slimmer, lighter PlayStation Vita PCH-2000 in Japan late last year and the refreshed portable has now made its way to the UK. Its launch price is lower – £180 (the original launched at £200) – and it features more internal storage and better battery life to boot.
Another change in the PCH-2000 compared to the original is that the 5″ qHD AMOLED has been replaced by an IPS LCD of the same resolution. Read more »
The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact promises to be everything the big Z1 is except in a smaller package. The reduction in size, however, meant less room for the battery and the Z1 Compact has a 2,300mAh battery compared to a 3,000mAh battery for the big one.
That’s still great for the class – the HTC One mini has a 1,800mAh battery and the two are roughly the same size. Read more »