Wednesday 19 December 2012

19/12/2012: HTC cut backs start, Zuckerberg gives half a billion to charity, Samsung issues Exynos statement and much more!

HTC to cut back on device development and cutting Q1 shipments?

   Ohhh HTC, the company we all know and love for their use of premium materials and tiny batteries in their latest smartphones. It seems things really are starting to look bad for the Taiwanese manufacturer if Digitimes’ industry sources have got this one right. 

   Digitimes' sources believe that:
“HTC has suspended development of a number of new models for 2013, reducing the visibility of its orders for handset components.”
   They believe that HTC expects to see smartphone shipments rise somewhere in the region of 10-15% in Q1 next year, which is down compared to the 20-30% growth they saw in the same quarter this year!

   The reason HTC will welcome in the new year in miserable style is in part due to HTC’s Windows 8 smartphones, the 8X and 8S which have not set the world ablaze the way HTC and Microsoft had hoped, despite Nokia 'selling out' of their Lumia 920's.

   HTC seems to be stuck between pillar and post at the moment; they're aiming for a flagship set of phones per year, but they've been forced to develop more to generate extra sales. This is at the same time that Samsung and Apple have run away with the smartphone sales and even Sony has over taken HTC in sales in the UK!

   The HTC M7 or whatever the European equivalent of the Droid DNA turns out to be will be able to turn HTC's fortunes around assuming they can get it to market sooner rather than later. But, we fear a lot of people will be waiting to see what Samsung's Galaxy S4 will be as they will go out of their way to trump HTC's offering! HTC haven't commented on the issue, but we will update the post if we hear back from HTC!
Digitimes Via DroidDog.

Mark Zuckerberg gives $500million of shares to charity. That's what we call Christmas spirit!

   No matter what you think of Mark Zuckerberg it's hard to offer criticism for his latest good deed; a donation of $500 million of shares (that's 18million shares) in Facebook to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. This charity helps various organisations with health and education provisions, so it is certainly worthwhile! The full quote posted on Zuckerberg's Facebook Timeline is embedded below!

Two years ago, Priscilla and I signed The Giving Pledge, committing to donate the majority of the money we earn to charity.
Our first major project has been around education reform with Startup: Education in Newark, NJ. I'm really proud of the work we've done there, helping leaders like Governor Chris Christie and Mayor Cory Booker sign the most progressive teachers contract in our country, opening four new district high schools, 11 new charter schools and more.
Today, in order to lay the foundation for new projects, we've made a contribution of 18 million Facebook shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Together, we will look for areas in education and health to focus on next. I'm hopeful we'll be able to have as positive an impact in our next set of projects.
Facebook Via HotHardware.

A statement from Samsung on their Exynos vulnerability.

   Over the weekend we learnt of and reported the vulnerability which affects Samsung's Exynos processors inside the Galaxy S2 and S3, the Galaxy Note 1 and 2 and every other device which is powered by Samsung's Exynos processors.

   Samsung France issued a statement French publication Le Monde and a separate one to Android Central. The statements reassured users that they are working on a "very quick" roll out of an update and they reiterated that the vulnerability is only an issue if "a malicious application is installed". If these applications are still very rare, but there are a lot of Android devices so someone somewhere will be affected. The full statement to Android Central read:
"Samsung is aware of the potential security issue related to the Exynos processor and plans to provide a software update to address it as quickly as possible.
The issue may arise only when a malicious application is operated on the affected devices; however, this does not affect most devices operating credible and authenticated applications.
Samsung will continue to closely monitor the situation until the software fix has been made available to all affected mobile devices."
   This is not perhaps a big of an issue as some people are making out, but it does have to potential to be problematic. Remember just to be vigilant when you're installing apps and only use trusted vendors in the Play Store!

   We'll let you know if we hear any more!
LeMonde Via Engadget and AndroidCentral.

In other news:

  • Ofcom has released their 7th quarterly report on the amount of complaints each service provider in their respective industries received compared to their competitors! You can see our full write up here!
  • Sprint has agreed a $120million break up fee if their deal with ClearWire doesn't go through for what ever reason, and there's a good few reasons why it won't! The way Sprint are looking at it is that the potential gains from this deal out weight the risk of losing that much money from the deal.
    Via DroidDog.
  • Google Play Books received a nice little update today which added in support for 'reading aloud', different zooming options and some note making features. The 'read aloud' feature is not quite as polished as Audible for Amazon's books, but it'll only get better with time and it is a good start! Do you use Google's book solution over Amazon's Kindle app? Let us know in the comments below!
    Via Slashgear.
  • A consortium of 12 companies including Apple, Research In Motion, Google, Samsung, Adobe, HTC, Facebook, Fujifilm, Huawei, Amazon, Shutterfly and Microsoft has teamed up and bought the digital-imaging patent portfolio as well as some other Kodak patents today. The acquisition set them back a total of $525 million which they'll split 12 ways!
    Via TechCrunch.
  • Vodafone UK has announced that the Nokia Lumia 920 will be available on their network at some point early next year! You can check out their full blog post here for more information!
    Via Twitter (Tweet embedded above).
  • Nintendo's head honcho, Satoru Iwata, has said that the Wii U will receive another software update at some point this month which will help to improve the frustratingly slow software loading times on the new console! We'll let you know when the update hits!
    Via Engadget.
firstataAnd finally, today a leaked picture of the Acer V360 has been leaked by one of Mr Blurrycam's best photo shoots to date! The device seems to be a mixture of the Nexus 4 and the HTC Sensation XE; with buttons which are part of the screen and the red speaker grills which remind us very much of the Sensation XE.  The red in this phone is symbolic of Acer's partnership with DTS on this phone, as you can see the DTS logo is stamped on the back of the phone above some interesting design circles which may well protect the camera when the phone it put on a desk!

   Other than that the rumours specs are said to include a dual-core processor, a qHD (960x540p) 4.5" screen, a 5MP rear-facing camera and a micro-SD card slot. This will all be running on Android 4.1.1 to begin with, although we're not sure there will be too many updates forthcoming for this one! The main selling point of the phone is obviously the sound partnership with DTS so we expect some beefy speakers and perhaps to EQ tweaks included in the phone too! The device itself is tipped to be released in Q1 next year! We'll have to wait and see how much this thing will be when it comes to market!
Via Slashgear.


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