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Samsung and Apple cleaned house in the ACSI's 2017 Customer Satisfaction Survey. (Image: ACSI)

Apple and Samsung dominate 2017 American Customer Satisfaction Index

The two brands claimed every spot in the ACSI's top 20 smartphones ranked according to customer satisfaction.
An alleged final design dummy for the iPhone 8. (Source: Benjamin Geskin)

The iPhone 8 isn't here yet ... but the first iPhone 9 rumors are

Even before this year's iPhone gets an official unveiling, the rumor mill is starting to spin for its successor. A report claims that Samsung and Apple have struck a deal for two models of next year's "iPhone 9," including one model with a huge display.
Apple bills its iPhone as an "easier" alternative to Android. (Source: Apple)

Apple's "Switch" webpage gets overhauled, focuses on iPhone's advantages over Android

A revamped Apple webpage attempts to explain why switching to iPhone from Android makes sense. The page mentions improved performance, photography, and ease-of-use as benefits that iPhone users enjoy.
Apple finally passed the $800 billion mark in market cap at closing on Tuesday. (Image: Apple)

Apple hits $800 billion market valuation

The Cupertino Giant set a record at market close on Tuesday by eclipsing $800 billion in market capitalization, a first for any U.S. company.
More analysts showing Huawei well ahead of competitors in China

More analysts showing Huawei well ahead of competitors in China

Huawei knocks Oppo back to second place with Xiaomi inching closer to overtaking Apple in the Chinese smartphone market.
Slightly suggestive and one-hundred-percent inedible: the Banana Phone. (Source: Indiegogo)

You can now make calls from your smartphone via banana (yes, seriously)

Call your friends or talk to Siri, just don't eat it. The Banana Phone is the $40 accessory you definitely don't need—but that doesn't mean you shouldn't buy it.
Image source: Apple

Apple reduces commissions to App Store affiliates by 64%

Apple's App Store affiliates will now earn 2.5% for apps downloaded via their affiliate ID, down from 7%.
Garmin Vivosmart 3 fitness tracker now available for purchase

Garmin Vivosmart 3 now shipping

This fitness tracker features the Elevate wrist heart-rate technology with 24/7 hear rate monitoring, also being capable of determining the user's VO2 maximum level. Garmin's Vivosmart 3 has a suggested retail price of $139.99 USD.
Facebook Messenger reaches 1.2 billion monthly active users

Facebook Messenger reaches 1.2 billion monthly active users

After breaking the one billion users barrier back in May, Facebook Messenger moves to a whole new level and leaves behind the 1.2 billion users mark, also increasing the number of messages sent per active user.
Not dead yet: the iPhone 5 (and the 5C) will still receive OS updates.

Don't worry, iPhone 5 users: Apple plans to continue issuing updates to your device

A new report claimed that Apple was dropping support for the iPhone 5 and 5C with the latest iOS 10.3.2 beta update. It is now apparent that the two devices will be covered via a second version of the update.
Misfit Flare fitness tracker now available for $59.99 USD

Misfit Flare fitness tracker now official

This basic fitness tracker uses an aluminum frame and is waterproof up to 50 meters, offering up to six months of autonomy (it uses a replaceable CR1632 coin cell battery), as well as compatibility with Misfit App and Misfit Link App.
The Pebble smartwatch can still work even when disconnected from Pebble's servers. (source: Pebble)

New Pebble update allows smartwatch to keep ticking

The latest update to the Pebble app allows the smartwatches to continue functioning even when not connected to Pebble's servers.
A new polymer can heal itself in under 24 hours. (Source: Wang Polymer Research Group)

Self-healing touchscreens may be here by 2020

A new polymer developed by researchers at the University of California Riverside can stitch itself back together from a tear or scratch in under 24 hours. The research lead thinks the material could debut on smartphones by 2020.
The U.S. House of Representatives has signed the action to repeal FCC regulations concerning user privacy.

United States House of Representatives votes to allows ISPs to sell browsing history

Both the House and Senate have now voted to allow ISPs to sell the personal data of their customers. The measure will go before President Trump, who is expected to sign the bill into action.
LG TONE FREE wireless earbuds for Android handsets

LG TONE FREE wireless earbuds hit Best Buy

These headphones were unveiled back at CES 2017 in January, and now they are finally available for purchase. Best Buy has them up for sale both in stores and online, carrying a price tag of $199.99 USD.
iOS 10.3 is now available for download. (Source: Apple)

Apple iOS 10.3 now publicly available

The update brings a shift to Apple's new APFS file system, which should increase overall system performance and better allocate storage space. There are a few other changes as well.
Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus to be manufactured in India by May 2017 as well

Apple to start making iPhones in India this spring

Although the Indian government has not accepted most of Apple's demands for financial incentives, the Cupertino giant is expected to begin iPhone manufacturing in Bangalore by mid-May.
MyKronoz ZeTime hybrid smartwatch coming September 2017

MyKronoz ZeTime smartwatch coming in September

Advertised as the world’s first fully hybrid smartwatch, the Swiss ZeTime brings together a touchscreen and a mechanical watch, promising to offer up to a month of autonomy on a single charge.
Most Android phones in the US are running old security software. (Source: Skycure)

Most Android devices are running old security patches and could be vulnerable

A whopping 71% of Android devices in the United States run security patches that are 2 months old or older. This could leave them vulnerable to exploits made known in the latest security update logs.
Wikileaks says the CIA specifically targeted Apple products

Wikileaks says the CIA specifically targeted Apple products

The notorious activist group says that the CIA developed specialized tools to specifically target and infiltrate Apple products, namely Macbooks and iPhones. The tools have been in use since at least 2008.
Apple's patented design for a iPhone/laptop hybrid. (Source: USPTO)

Apple patents designs for iPhone and iPad laptop docks

A recently-published patent reveals Apple's design for an iPhone that docks into a laptop shell. Another similar design reveals a MacBook that uses an iPad as its display.
The iPhone SE now has double its original storage capacity. (Source: Apple)

Apple upgrades the iPhone SE's storage capacity

The iPhone SE's 16 GB and 64 GB models are upgraded to 32 GB and 128 GB, respectively. The more spacious model gets a $50 price increase, while the base model's price stays the same.
The original iPhone. (Source: iDownloadBlog)

Apple's iPhone 8 will look similar to the original iPhone

Industry officials claim that Apple's next iPhone will have a curved, all-glass back case. This design resembles the original iPhone, whose back case was also curved but made of aluminum. The new iPhone is expected to be larger and slimmer than the original though.
China has been facing criticism regarding economic policies viewed as unfriendly to many foreign companies. (Source: Karishma Sheth)

Apple invests US$500 million into opening two more Chinese R&D centers

Apple has announced it will open two more research and development centers in Suzhou and Shanghai. The two additional centers will join the existing two slated to open in Beijing and Shenzhen. The total cost of the investment will be at least US$500 million.
Alexa is now available to help in the Amazon iOS app. (Source: Amazon)

Amazon's Alexa comes to iOS

The digital assistant is currently only available in Amazon's own app and is somewhat limited in what it can do. However, it can still query information, order products, and control other connected devices in a smart home.
Apple iPhone sales make up almost 80 percent of the company's profits

Apple iPhone sales make up almost 80 percent of the company's profits

Samsung and Apple may be almost neck-to-neck in terms of smartphone market share, but it's the Cupertino company that takes home nearly all the profits to be made.
As of March 2017, about 97.2% of Android devices may be vulnerable to exploits in WikiLeaks' latest documents. (Picture source: Android Developers)

Google says it has patched exploits used by the CIA

Google is confident that the latest versions of Android and Chrome are not vulnerable to the hacking tools detailed in the latest Wikileaks dump. Older versions of the software, however, may still be vulnerable.
The 2018 iPhone could feature a high performance GPU based on a new architecture. (Source: Wikipedia)

New mobile GPU architecture could power the 2018 iPhone

Apple supplier Imagination Technologies announces new PowerVR mobile GPU architecture that they say will boast 35 percent GFLOPS density improvement, 80 percent fillrate density improvement for user interface and casual gaming, and 70 to 90 percent gaming density improvement. It could hit the market by the end of 2018.
...
The "Weeping Angel" exploit tricks users into thinking the TV is powered off while it is actually on and recording. (Source: Samsung)

Wikileaks reveals trove of CIA hacking tools for iOS and Android-driven devices

WikiLeaks has released a trove of information revealing the range of the CIA's hacking exploits and cyber-ordinance, including malware to use Samsung smart TV's for surveillance.
Firefox v52 brings WebAssembly to the browser. (Source: Mozilla)

Firefox 52 released

The update brings WebAssembly, which brings near-native performance to web-based apps.
The iPhone 6 leads the failure rates, followed by the 6s. (Source: Blancco Technology Group)

Research firm finds iPhone failure rate increasing, eclipsing Android

Research firm Blancco has found that iPhones have become remarkably less reliable over the past five quarters. At the same time, Android phones have increased in reliability significantly.
Source: Verizon

Verizon will pilot 5G wireless speeds in the U.S. this year

The wireless giant will begin rolling out 5G connectivity in 11 urban centers during the first half of 2017. The new protocol will only be available to select customers.
Mac Otakara has stated that Apple may update their current iPad Pro and iPhone lines in March. (Source: Otakara)

Apple rumored to update iPad Pro, iPhones in March

According to Japanese website Mac Otakara, the Cupertino Giant will add several new sizes of iPad Pro and new colors to the iPhone SE and iPhone 7 lines.
Showtime Glass offers screen protection with some glitz. (Source: MOXYO)

Glitz and glam on the go: MOXYO Showtime Glass adds sparkle to your iPhone's screen

Showtime Glass is a tempered glass screen protector for iPhones. It has embedded glitter that "sparkles in any light condition" but is not visible when the display is on.
Of the top five market leaders in China, only Apple and Xiaomi saw a year-on-year decrease in shipments. (Source: Canalys)

Xiaomi overtakes Apple in China

Chinese smartphone makers Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi have surged ahead of Apple in recent quarters, leaving Apple in fifth place in terms of market share.
Winstron is a major Taiwanese contracted electronics manufacturer. (Source: Winstron)

Apple hopes to take over the Indian market with locally made iPhone SE

An industry source has reported that Apple will begin assembling the iPhone SE in India, through Taiwanese ODM Winstron. Assembling Apple's cheapest handset in India will help make the phone more accessible for the vast majority of the Indian market.
Verizon will begin offering plans with uncapped mobile data February 13th. (Source: Verizon)

Verizon will offer unlimited data plans starting February 13th

Big Red goes uncapped with its new unlimited data plan, an interesting move for a company known for restrictive mobile data caps. Is this a response to increasing market pressure from T-Mobile?
Xiaomi may be making its own line of SoCs, codenamed "Pinecone." (Source: Xiaomi)

Xiaomi may be making its own mobile SoC, codenamed "Pinecone"

Xiaomi may be joining Huawei as the second Chinese smartphone company to manufacture a mobile system-on-a-chip, or SoC.
Android Wear 2.0 brings better cellular calling to supported smartwatches. (Source: Google)

Google releases Android Wear 2.0

The update brings several new features to Android smartwatches including improved fitness tracking, better message response options, and Google Assistant.
The new sensor can create 64x slow motion video clips. (Source: Sony)

Super Slow: Sony develops smartphone camera capable of recording 1080p at almost 1,000 fps

The new sensor can capture 19.3 megapixel still images in 1/120 seconds and can record 1080p video at 960 fps, allowing for incredible slow-motion playback.
Firefox OS and the team behind it are officially gone. (Source: Mozilla)

Mozilla eliminates Firefox OS development team

After discontinuing Firefox OS in September, Mozilla has now disbanded the development team and will be laying off 50 employees.
Nintendo made a $569 million profit over the holidays. (Source: Nintendo)

Nintendo financial highlights: Pokemon pays big, hardware sales slow

Nintendo hit it big this holiday season with Pokemon Sun and Moon, while Wii U sales continued to falter. Smartphone app sales were mixed.
Apple has been struggling to compete with the more aggressively-priced smartphones coming out of China. (Source: CNBC)

Oppo R9 replaces iPhone as top selling phone in China

After five years, a mighty titan has been dethroned. Apple's iPhone has finally been supplanted by a fast-growing mid-range smartphone maker Oppo Electronics. Apple will have to impress with the iPhone 7 in order to win Chinese consumers back.
The classic PC game Myst is now available on Android. (Source: Google Play Store - realMyst)

Classic adventure game Myst now available on Android

The venerable PC adventure game finally comes to Android devices for an immersive gaming experience on the go.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is expected to be completely redesigned. (Source: VentureBeat)

Samsung Galaxy S8 rumored to be announced on March 29th, will be redesigned

According to rumors, The Samsung Galaxy S8 will remove the physical home button and feature much larger displays. The phone is expected to be announced on March 29th.
The Google Pixel was the first smartphone that featured Google's aptly-named personal assistant, Google Assistant. (Source: Bloomberg)

Smartphone vendors are focusing on artificial intelligence in 2017

Industry leaders across the board seem to be in agreement that the war for dominance of the smartphone market this year will be in large part decided by the smartphone with the best AI assistant. Who will win the clash between Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and the upcoming Bixby?
A long overdue update to Google Voice will be rolling out to Android, iOS, and web platforms over the coming weeks. (Source: Google)

Introducing the new Google Voice, 5 years in the making

Google Voice, a VoIP calling service that aggregates multiple phone numbers into one, has received its first update in 5 years. While the service was rumored to be killed off soon, Google has stated this is the first of many updates to come.
Fire Emblem Heroes will be Nintendo's second release on smartphone platforms. (Source: Nintendo)

Nintendo continues mobile march with Fire Emblem Heroes

Nintendo will carry on its foray into smartphone apps by launching a new game, Fire Emblem Heroes, on both Android and iOS February 2nd. In addition, Super Mario Run will also be coming to Android sometime in March.
Stroll, the first TV ad for the Apple AirPods shows how easy it is to pair them to your iPhone 7.

Apple Stroll: First AirPods TV-ads promise easy pairing

Three 15 second TV-ads and a one-minute video put the spot on Apple's wireless AirPods, that are supposed to make music life easier for Apple users, thanks to an improved pairing technique and Siri integration.
Sharp to invest over $800 million USD in OLED production

Sharp to invest over $800 million USD in OLED production

The trend towards OLED is ramping up with Sharp, JDI, LG, Foxconn, and SDP all devoting more resources to large-scale OLED manufacturing.

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Redaktion, 2013-05- 8 (Update: 2013-09-27)