There's near universal agreement that Steve Jobs is going to unveil the next iPhone at next week's Worldwide Developers' Conference keynote in San Francisco. Whether it's next week, next month, or next year, however, it raises a thorny semantic question: what will it be called? Most wags are dubbing it "the 3G iPhone," as it's certain to include the high-speed 3G (third-generation) wireless capabilities missing on the original model. But it's still going to be the second-generation iteration of the product--thus, "the 2G iPhone." Which one's correct? … Read more
AT&T wireless subscribers who were hoodwinked into signing up for recurring charges for ringtones and other content will receive refunds as part of a class action settlement.
Customers will get refunds for charges that appeared on their bills between January 1, 2004, and May 30, 2008, the Associated Press reported Monday.
This is the first nationwide settlement that refunds customers' money from charges for third-party content, the news service reported. Jay Edelson, who filed the claim on behalf of the plaintiffs, has filed similar lawsuits against Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, and T-Mobile USA.
This latest decision could boost … Read more
A start-up called Ozmo Devices is taking on the popular short-range wireless technology Bluetooth with a new flavor of Wi-Fi.
On Monday, the Bay Area start-up, which has raised $12.5 million since 2005, officially introduced a new low-powered Wi-Fi chip and software that will allow device makers to connect accessories like headsets, computer mice, speakers, and keyboards to laptops, mobile phones, and other consumer electronics using Wi-Fi.
For laptop and device manufacturers, using Ozmo's software means not having to include a separate Bluetooth radio in these devices to connect peripherals. With the Ozmo software installed on their devices, … Read more
Semiconductor sales grew 5.9 percent worldwide in April, a healthy clip given the current sluggish economy, the Semiconductor Industry Association reported Monday.
Chip sales rose to $21.2 billion in April, up from $20.1 billion a year ago and flat with the previous month. The SIA noted April sales were essentially in line with historical industry patterns.
"Despite steep increases in energy costs that have diminished the disposable income of consumers, worldwide sales of semiconductors grew by a healthy 5.9 percent compared to April 2007," George Scalise, SIA president, said in a statement.
Weakness in … Read more
The Federal Communications Commission is considering a new plan that would require winners of an upcoming spectrum auction to provide free wireless Internet services.
The FCC could soon vote on a plan to auction off 25 megahertz of spectrum in the 2155MHz band of spectrum. As part of its plan, the commission would require the winner of those licenses to provide some free wireless Internet service.
The FCC sees the plan as a way to provide broadband Internet service to millions of Americans who either can't afford or don't want to pay for high-speed Internet access. Few details … Read more
CARLSBAD, Calif.--The D6 conference wrapped up on Thursday with a session on broadband access: Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher interviewed Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon Wireless, and Kevin Martin, chairman of the FCC.
Mossberg started by putting a chart up showing how far behind the U.S. is in broadband access, and how expensive our access is. Martin said you need to look at the unique demographics of the U.S., and if you compare some states, like Massachusetts, to Korea, then they'll hold up better. Of course, providing access to less-advantaged areas is still a challenge.
So … Read more
Demand in emerging markets fueled worldwide growth in the cell phone market for the first quarter of 2008, according to a new report from Gartner.
The firm published a report on Wednesday that said worldwide sales had increased by 13.6 percent in the first quarter compared to the first quarter of 2007. Much of this growth came from developing markets.
Sales in Asia jumped 26.6 percent from the same quarter in 2007 driven by demand in India and South Korea, as consumers upgraded their handsets before extending carrier contracts. Sales also increased by 25.8 percent in Eastern … Read more
Cell phone subscribers in the U.S. are spending more on their wireless handsets, another sign that the smartphone revolution has arrived.
On average cell phone subscribers are spending about $101 on new devices. This is $9 more than they spent on handsets just six months ago, according to a J.D. Power and Associates survey released Thursday. This is the first substantial increase in the average sale price of mobile devices in two years, the consumer survey company said.
What's driving this price jump? Smartphones and other feature-packed phones. Devices, such as Research In Motion's BlackBerry and … Read more
Research In Motion, the maker of BlackBerry smartphones, will meet with Indian officials again Thursday to hash out an agreement over security concerns, Reuters reported Wednesday.
India's security agencies have been pushing RIM to allow it to intercept e-mail that travels across its secure network. Under Indian law, the government has a right under certain circumstances to intercept electronic communications for security purposes. The Indian government believes that it needs access to these mobile e-mails to help thwart terrorists, who are increasingly using the Internet and e-mail to communicate with each other.
According to Reuters, Andimuthu Raja, India's … Read more
If you use a Motorola Razr cell phone, don't accept JPEGs from strangers.
A vulnerability has been discovered in the phones that could allow a hacker to send a corrupt JPEG image via Multimedia Messaging Service that could be leveraged to run malicious code on the phone. However, you would have to accept the image for download before that could happen.
The specific flaw exists in the JPEG thumbprint component of the EXIF parser, according to an advisory released by security firm TippingPoint's Zero Day Initiative on Tuesday.
"Although the possibility of this vulnerability occurring is very … Read more