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As Foxconn Moves Into The TV Business, The New York Times Sees Nothing But Apple

Last week, The New York Times published a look at Foxconn’s push into creating its own products, specifically branded televisions. It’s a pretty good report, with a pretty big flaw; In an attempt to catch readers interests, and page views, reporter Lin Yang focuses on Apple, not Foxconn. The article frames Foxconn’s move into making their own televisions as a move away from Apple, Foxconn’s biggest customer. But Foxconn isn’t moving away from Apple, and Apple isn’t moving away from Foxconn.
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Press for Android
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Press for Android is One Feature Away From Being The Best News Reader Out There

Press for Android

I’ve been testing Press since its release a few weeks ago, in hopes of writing a full review. I didn’t write a review because I didn’t see the point: Press is the best news reader for Android, and it’s a strong contender for Reeder’s design crown. The interface is minimalist without being stark, and the designers put in just enough features to give power users what they need without overpowering more casual news junkies. It works great on tablets, more than can be said for most Android apps, and syncs with Google Reader.

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OpenSignal: The Best Android App to Keep Track of Your Carrier (So Far) (Updated)

Open SignalNetwork signal apps on Android are a dime a dozen. Most of them manage to do a pretty good job gathering information about your network, but all but a select few fall apart displaying that data. It’s easy to gather and show exact information about signal strength, but interpreting that data and presenting your interpretation in a meaningful way isn’t as easy. It doesn’t help that most of the network signal apps in the Play Store seem to be built by and for engineers with a bare minimum of design experience (here’s looking at you network signal info or network signal booster). They’re great for power users, but not so good for casual tinkerers.

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Netbooks Are Dead, Long Live Tablets

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Image Credit: bit-tech

If you were hoping CES 2013 might bring about a netbook resurgence you may want to brace yourself: ASUS and Acer, parents of the lilliputian notebook category, announced Sunday that they’ve stopped manufacturing netbooks.

Netbooks may have been doomed from the start, but the beginning of their five year journey shook the technology industry to its core. The tiny Atom processors that powered first generation netbooks couldn’t run Windows Vista, forcing Microsoft to finally focus on cutting crap and cruft out of Windows. They also gave Linux its first real chance to challenge the desktop market, a chance ultimately squashed by an undead Windows XP and consumer confusion (I have fond and not-so-fond memories of hours spent trying to help my school librarian fix the awful Linux installation on his EEE PC).Their low price point was the catalyst for Apple’s research into creating a lower cost computer that wasn’t crippled and compromised, an investigation that helped create the first iPad, and introduced computers to all kinds of neglected, price conscious markets.

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2012 in Review: Android

YearInAndroid_Lead

Join Current Editorials as we take a look back at the top trends, gadgets, and companies of 2012 in our year-end series “2012 in Review.”

Two new versions of Android, new flagship phones, new tablets—2012 was good to Android fans. While the rest of the mobile world didn’t exactly stand still, few ecosystems were the subject of as much news coverage and occasional drama as Android was. Let’s take a look back at what happened this year, and what 2012 meant for the future of Google’s mobile operating system.

2012 was a big year for Android smartphones. Anyway you slice it, the market for Google-powered phones grew by leaps and bounds, putting even more space between it and Apple’s iPhone. Microsoft’s Mango point release to Windows Phone failed to put a dent in Google’s march forward, and the once menacing Redmond software company found itself (again) rebooting its mobile operating system. RIM was… well, let’s not talk about RIM. Thorsten Heins has his work cut out for him.

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Horace Dediu Analyzes Samsung’s Marketing Spending, Confirms It’s Really High

Samsung Electronics Marketing Expenses

Image Credit: asymco

In a recent analysis of Galaxy Note II sales numbers, we speculated Samsung’s largely successful marketing campaign was helping it overcome the traditional problems associated with selling t’weener devices. In “The cost of selling Galaxies,” a recent post over at asymco, Horace Dediu analyzed Samsung’s sales numbers and found a strong correlation between marketing spending, a combination of advertising dollars and other forms of promotional spending, and growth in handset sales. As you can see from the chart above, Samsung’s marketing budget dwarfs the advertising budgets of other large technology companies. The strategy’s working for Samsung, but it comes at a price—the Korean electronic giant’s handset profit margins, while high, are not as high as they could be. Be sure to check out the source link for an in depth look at Samsung’s advertising budget and the affect it has on the handset market.

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With the Wii Mini, Nintendo Pays for the Future with the Past

Yesterday Nintendo announced a new game console.

I yawned. You yawned. The entire Internet yawned.

The Wii Mini is a small, $99 console only available, for now at least, in Canada. It’s black and red, small, and works with “most” Wii accessories.

It doesn’t have a fancy gimmick.

It doesn’t come bundled with a free game, not even Wii Sports.

It doesn’t even have, as Andrew Webster at The Verge highlighted, access to the Internet.

It doesn’t make sense.

Why launch a new version of the Wii with the Wii U for sale? Why take the chance that someone will buy this instead of Nintendo’s more expensive hardware? Why is Nintendo doing this?

The answer comes from another doesn’t, one that’s been brushed aside in the flurry of coverage that’s built itself up around the Wii Mini’s launch.

It doesn’t cost much.

It doesn’t cost much because Nintendo doesn’t have to pay much.

The Wii is an old console built on old technology. Old technology is inferior to new technology, but it’s also cheaper. The Wii Mini takes the Wii’s sparse, old hardware and trims it down every more. It’s a value proposition, not just for the customers who never had the money to buy a console, but for Nintendo itself.

Stripping out anything a bargain hunter might not care about pushes down Nintendo’s costs, and pushes up their margins. Nintendo gets a chance to clear out its inventory of old Wii parts without sacrificing profits, all while capturing a few customers they may not have been able to pocket this holiday season.

Launching a brand new hardware platform is an expensive proposition. The Wii U might be profitable after Nintendo sells just one game, but it’s still not the money machine its predecessor was. Nintendo understands that, so they’re pulling a classic consumer electronics play—juicing revenue and keeping profits high with older hardware while selling a new console that will, hopefully, create new revenue streams over time.  It’s a strategy as old as home computers themselves. Apple used profits from its aging line of Apple II computers to subsidize its Macintosh division. Sony kept the Playstation 2 on the market long after the Playstation 3’s launch, and it continued to outsell its Blu-Ray progeny well into the last generation of home consoles.

The Wii U is an audacious console, and it may fail miserably, bringing mighty Nintendo down with it. 400,000 consoles is a good start, but Nintendo needs to build on that foundation if it wants to stay relevant and profitable. Building isn’t cheap. It requires investment in new games, advertising, and supply chains.  The Wii Mini is not a product I’m going to buy. The Wii Mini isn’t audacious, sexy, or even that fun, but it, and products like it, look to the past to ensure Nintendo will have the money it needs to build a future.

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Fake Press Release Claimed Google Purchased WiFi Company

Image Credit: prweb

Image Credit: prweb


A fake press release pushed out today on PRWeb.com, a press release wire service, claimed that Google bought ICOA, a company that provides public WiFi access in the United States, for four hundred million dollars. ICOA provides wireless service for restaurants, airports, and other high traffic areas, and runs back end services for other companies in the public hotspot business. TechCrunch, Gizmodo, and other high profile technology news services reported on the press release. The fraudulent press release, which apparently originated in Aruba, was most likely designed to temporarily drive up the price of ICOA shares.

Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land has an excellent analysis of what happened today, with a look at how companies like Vocus, PRWeb’s owner, can manipulate the rapid online news cycle and pollute search engines.

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