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Blackberry both Realistic and Optimistic about Launch in U.S. Blackberry both Realistic and Optimistic about Launch in U.S.

March 22, 2013 - On Friday, Blackberry will be facing many jaded customers upon its launch in the U.S. of its new generation smartphone. The launch is the company’s final effort to show after many product delays and subpar performances that the mobile device makers can be competitive.

The CEO of the company, Thorsten Heins said the company would fight to regain each customer. In January, the company changed from Research in Motion, to Blackberry to reflect its focus on the company’s most important and primary product.

The new phone, the Z10 is a capable performer, but many wonder if it is strong enough to help Blackberry make a comeback, but observers say that will not be an easy proposition. The handset once was the dominating phone in the global smartphone market. However, it lost ground to competitors such as Samsung, which uses the Android operating system by Google and Apple that uses its own iOS.

In 2011, Blackberry had only 10.3% of the world market and that dropped to only 4.6% during 2012.

The company is betting nearly everything on the two models that will be released of which the Z10 is one and will be available starting Friday. Those who have reviewed the phone called it smooth, stylish and sleek but said it lacks one feature that stands out above the rest.

Investors are hoping the new Z10 makes a splash in the market as they have helped push the stock up more than 150% in just six months.

Heins said his expectations are simple on the Z10 launch: maintain the current customer base the company has, acquire some converts or try to persuade formers owners or users of Blackberry to return to the fold.

However, the CEO would not set any targets for sales for the launch of the phone. He said the company’s object was not take the lead in the smartphone market from Apple of Samsung, but to maintain the share Blackberry has while making modest gains to secure a strong third place.

Keep by Google to be Evernote Rival Keep by Google to be Evernote Rival

March 21, 2013 - Google did not surprise anyone Wednesday, when it unveiled new note taking service Keep, which will be available on Android as well as on the Internet.

Google Keep, just like Evernote its rival, allows its users to make lists, take notes, make voice reminders as well as save photos that have been stored on Google Drive and synced amongst all linked devices of Google. On Wednesday, the service was unveiled by Google only days after Google Reader was shuttered.

Google said that each day everyone needs to make themselves reminders or jot something down and to solve that problem they created Google Keep. With the new Keep, ideas can be jotted down quickly and checklists can be kept track of easily. Google Drive stores the notes and they are synced to all the devices making them easy to access at all times.

If that was not enough excitement for a day, Google’s is promoting that Keep notes have the ability to be color coded and prioritized based on their importance. Those using the Keep app on an Android operated device can also obtain the lockscreeen widget for Google Keep as well.

Unlike it rival Evernote, Keep has only been released on an app for its Android operating system as well as on the web, although that is not that much of a surprise to many. Google Keep is easily downloaded on devices running the Android 4.0 or higher and it is free. No word has been released on when apps for Windows Phone, Blackberry or iOS will be released.

Smartphone HTC One launch is delayed. Smartphone HTC One launch is delayed.

March 20, 2013- The new smartphone HTC One has been delayed reportedly due to sourcing components problems and is now putting pressure on Peter Chou the CEO to resign.

On the HTC website home page is a graphic that states quite clearly “the wait is over” referring to the new HTC One smartphone with a camera that is referred to as “Ultrapixel,”

Nevertheless, for those consumers looking for the phone and executives at the company trying to regain the lost position the company has suffered in the smartphone industry, the waiting game will continue.

The release of the phone was delayed by HTC reportedly because of problems with metal casings and sourcing other camera components. One leading newspaper in the industry said that Chou, the CEO of HTC could come under heavy pressure to step down from his board. The report claims that Chou said he would resign if the new smartphone did not turn out to be a success.

The delay means the earliest the phone will now be available in any market around the world is the end of March. Many markets will have to wait until sometime during April to receive the phone. This will put additional pressure on the company, based in Taiwan.

HTC has dropped down the smartphone makers’ ranking since its revenues peaked in August of 2011. During the fourth quarter of last year, the company barely made a profit, as its revenues dropped by 62% from 2011. In just the first two months of 2013, revenues dropped by 27% compared to the same period 12 months ago.

The delay is due to sourcing parts for the smartphones, which became more difficult because HTC is not seen any longer as a phone maker that is tier one or top level. In 2011 marked the first year, the company did not pay a bonus to its staff at year end.

Samsung designing wristwatch similar to Apple Samsung designing wristwatch similar to Apple

March 19, 2013 - Samsung Electronics, the South Korea based electronic giants, is developing a digital device that resembles a wristwatch, said a source with knowledge of the situation. That means the electronics maker is joining its biggest rival Apple in developing the new product as smartphone growth in sales begins to slow.

The device being developed by Samsung will do a number of the tasks the smartphone does, said the source, without going into actual details. The source would not be identified because Samsung was not ready to reveal the plans to the public about its new product.

Samsung was not willing to discuss at detail about what products were in its pipeline but said it was constantly exploring and developing new technologies into various form factors.

The New York Times released a report last month that said Apple had been experimenting with a device that was similar to a watch, would have the same operating platform as the iPhone, and would be made out of curved glass.

Stock values for both Apple and Samsung have been hit hard of late, as the two top mobile device makers in the world are releasing products that have not overwhelmed consumers as of late.

Following the launch of its latest smartphone, the Galaxy S4 last week, shares of Samsung fell close to 5% or approximately $10 billion in only two trading days. That was partly due to concerns that its newest flagship product does not contain the “wow factor” that many had hoped and expected.

The Galaxy S4 was unveiled with huge fanfare last Friday in New York as the newest challenger to the iPhone by Apple. It offers some improvements to its predecessor but media reports suggest the new features might not be enough to excite consumers in the tech industry that lives and dies through innovation.

Apple hit with Setback in Mexico Apple hit with Setback in Mexico

March 17, 2013- A technology services business in Mexico is hoping to receive huge compensation from Apple, the Cupertino, California based technology giant along with local wireless operators for the use of Ifone, its brand name, after the Supreme Court of Mexico upheld a ruling from a lower court. The ruling said the local company owns and makes correct use of the brand in Mexico.

The original dispute with Apple started in 2009. Apple tried to register the name for its phone in Mexico, but was told by the Industrial Property Institute that the name they wanted to use was already being used.

Apple in turn sued in an attempt to have the brand Ifone revoked, saying it had expired for the company in Mexico who had originally used it. However, a federal court in Mexico found that the brand, which was registered back in 2003, was being used correctly. This week, Apple’s appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court.

Legal counsel for Ifone said the court’s decision gives the company the right to continue with its other claims that have been submitted to the IMPI. Those claims are for damages that resulted from Apple using the name and by three mobile service providers in Mexico: Telefonica, Grupo lusacell and Telcel.

Ifone, which is based in the Mexico’s capital of Mexico City, specializes in telecommunications systems that are server-based. It is also the representative for AltiGen Communications a communications solutions provider.

This ruling is another setback in Latin America for Apple. Last month authorities in Brazil rejected the attempts of Apple to register its iPhone name because an electronics maker in Brazil already had the rights for the name in the country. The electronics company was given five years to use the name and just prior to the five-year term expiring, the company launched a smartphone with the name Iphone.

Samsung Out Spends Apple in Smartphone Advertising Samsung Out Spends Apple in Smartphone Advertising

March 13, 2013 - New research that was released Tuesday says that Samsung spent over $401 million on print, billboard, internet and television advertising during 2012. The South Korea-based electronics giant passed HTC and Apple, its biggest rival in advertising. In 2011, Apple outspent Samsung by a margin of three to one.

The advertising data showed that Samsung boosted its spending in the U.S. on advertising by over $323 million from 2011 to 2012. Apple, which was the second biggest spender in advertising dollars, increased its spending from 2011 to 2012 from $253 million to over $333 million.

Contrary to Apple and Samsung, HTC, which was the third largest spender in advertising, cut its budget from $124 million to $46 million between 2011 and 2012. The other three companies in the top five in advertising dollars spent were Blackberry followed by Nokia. Both Blackberry and the Finnish smartphone maker Nokia cut their advertising in the U.S. between 2011 and 2012.

Even though there was a huge influx of advertising spent in 2012 by Samsung that was used to promote products such as the Galaxy S III, the electronics giant still could only manage second place behind the iPhone from Apple as the most effect smartphone brand in the United States. However, Samsung was named the overall top tech brand for 2012.

Samsung has spent a great deal of its advertising budget on poking fun at the ongoing litigation Apple has worldwide due to lawsuits regarding patents. Currently Samsung leads the worldwide sales of smartphones and at this point the race involves only the South Korea based giant and Apple.

For this year, industry experts believe Samsung will continue a huge marketing and advertising blitz in the U.S. as this week it will be unveiling its latest smartphone the Galaxy S4, which is expected to happen in New York at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday March 14.


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