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Apple iPhone 6 & Apple Watch Announced

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Apple is livecasting their product announcements this morning — but not for Windows users — you’ll need a Safari browser or Apple TV to see it.

Apple is expected to unveil the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 alongside the iWatch, and will likely provide updates on iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.

Live coverage is available at C/Net, Engadget, The Verge, MacRumors, Apple Insider, NY Times, Gizmodo, Business Week, TWIT.tv, USA Today and others.

Apple’s fall product announcements included two new iPhones running IOS-8, the iPhone 6, with a 4.7-inch Retina display at 1334 x 750 resolution, and the the iPhone 6 Plus with an even bigger 5.5-inch Retina HD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution.

The iPhone 6 Plus features optical image stabilization that compensates for hand shake in low light and works with iOS 8 to reduce subject motion. High-definition video on iPhone gets faster frame rates up to 60fps for 1080p video and 240fps for slo-mo at 720p. With second generation 64-bit desktop-class architecture, the all-new A8 chip offers faster performance and is more energy efficient. With Metal, a new graphics technology in iOS 8, developers can take performance of the A8 chip even further to bring console-class 3D games to iPhone.

The new phones do not appear to support LTE Band 12, or 700 MHz Block A. The phones support LTE Band 13 (700 MHz Upper C Block ) and LTE Band 17 (700 MHz Lower B Block), which are used by Verizon and AT&T Mobility, respectively. When there’s poor cellular reception, people will be able to make regular calls over Wi-Fi. The handoff between the two networks will be seamless. In the U.S., this feature will initially be available through T-Mobile.

iPhone 6 will cost $199 (US) for the 16GB model, $299 for the 64GB model and, for the first time, a new 128GB model for $399 with a two-year contract, while the 6 Plus will cost $299 (US) for the 16GB model, $399 for the 64GB model and $499 (US) for the new 128GB model with a two-year contract.

The new Apple Watch is a new category for Apple. It features a Digital Crown to scroll, zoom and navigate, without obstructing the display. The Digital Crown also serves as the Home button and a convenient way to access Siri. The Apple Watch starts at $349 and will be available early next year in three versions: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition, the last a premium line made of 18-karat gold.

The Retina display on Apple Watch features Force Touch, a technology that senses the difference between a tap and a press and introduces the Taptic Engine and a built-in speaker that together discreetly enable an entirely new vocabulary of alerts and notifications you can both hear and feel. Apple Watch features Wi-Fi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 4.0 to pair seamlessly with your iPhone.

In March Google unveiled Android Wear, their modified version of Android for wearables. The platform runs on Samsung Gear Live, LG’s G Watch, and Motorola’s Moto 360, among others.

Like the $250 Moto 360, the $350 Apple Watch features wireless inductive charging. While Apple’s watch can’t make phone calls untethered, like Samsung’s Gear S, it has a variety of unique features with the “Digital Crown” providing innovative navigation.

The market for wearable bands such as Fitbit increased 634% worldwide in the first half of 2014 compared with the first half of 2013, according to the analysis firm Canalys. Apple custom-designed its own S1 SiP (System in Package) to miniaturize an entire computer architecture onto a single chip.

Apple Pay was introduced with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. It’s an easy way to securely pay for physical goods and services in stores or apps with just the touch of a finger. Users can pay securely and conveniently in stores by simply holding the phone near the contactless reader while keeping a finger on Touch ID. It can also be used with the watch.

The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch display compared to the 5.1-inch display on the similarly priced Galaxy S5, perhaps Apple’s biggest smartphone competitor. Resolution on the smaller iPhone 6 is 1334 x 750 compared to 1920×1080 pixels on the Samsung S5.

The 5.5-inch display on the larger iPhone 6 Plus has 1920×1080 pixels, compared to 2560×1440 resolution on the 5.7-inch display on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, announced last week. The Note 4’s pixel density is 551ppi, compared to “only” 401ppi on the Apple’s 6 Plus (not that anyone could see the difference unless you have a VR hood on).

The iPhone 6 uses an A8 64-bit processor with 2 billion transistors – double that of the previous A7 and claims 25 percent faster CPU and 50 percent better graphics performance. The new M8 motion-sensing co-processor can estimate distance, track elevation, and has a barometer sensor.

No new desktops or laptops were introduced by Apple today. TechMeme has the latest posts from bloggers and news organizations.

This year, electronics vendors will ship about 175 million phablets, according to IDC, passing the 170 million laptops expected to ship during the same period. Next year, phablet shipments will top 318 million units, surpassing the 233 million tablets forecast to ship in 2015.

Intel Developer Forum Live Keynote

Posted by Sam Churchill on

At the 2014 Intel Developer Forum (IDF14) Intel Chief Executive Officer, Brian Krzanich, shared Intel’s vision for the future, providing updates on Intel technologies. The live keynote started at 9Am this morning from San Francisco.

Multiple sessions will be running in tandem over the 3-day IDF event. Mega Sessions are presented by senior leaders at Intel and focus on today’s technology trends and innovations.

Topics include, Intel IoT Showcase, Intel® Galileo Gen 2 board (Quark), which combines Arduino simplicity with Intel performance, Intel Edison development platform for the Internet of Things, and dozens of other embedded devices and partnerships.

Intel formally announced their next-generation Skylake architecture which is the Tock to Broadwell’s Tick.

Volume production will take place in H2’2015, with product availability slated for later in the year.

Dualing Webcasts from Apple and Intel

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Dualing webstreams are expected Tuesday, reports The Oregonian. Apple is livecasting their new line of laptops, phones and wearables — but not for Windows users — you’ll need a Safari browser or Apple TV to see it.

Forty miles north, Intel will have its own livestreaming keynote by chief executive Brian Krzanich at the big (but overshadowed) Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

Krzanich takes the stage at 9 a.m. Tuesday, an hour before Apple CEO Tim Cook begins speaking at 10 a.m. This is the second straight year that Apple has jumped in with their iPhone show on the same day.

Intel has already made a flurry of announcements leading up to its keynote, showing off a fashion-conscious smart bracelet, a tablet designed for seniors, a smartwatch development deal with Fossil and formally launching its Core M processor – the company’s first chip based on 14-nanometer circuitry.

Intel shares are up 35 percent this year, fueled by unexpected strength in PC sales, its nascent contract manufacturing business, its growing tablet business and Krzanich’s efforts to diversify into wearable technologies and “the Internet of Things.”

Tablets with Core M could be priced as low as US$699, but the initial batch of detachable tablets introduced at IFA last week are priced much higher. Lenovo’s 11.6-inch ThinkPad Helix 2 starts at $999, Dell’s 13.3-inch Latitude 13 7000 starts at $1,199, and Hewlett-Packard’s 13.3-inch Envy X2 starts at $1,049.99. Those products are expected to ship in September or October.

The new Core M processors will likely be included in Apple’s iMacs and MacBooks this year. Perhaps Apple will offer both OSX and IOS functionality in a 2-in-1 device. Unfortunately, OSX doesn’t have the touch capability of Windows 8.

AWS Auction Prevents Current Dish Move for T-Mobile?

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Dish Network’s Charlie Ergen is still interested in a deal with T-Mobile, according to a Bloomberg report. Merger talks between T-Mobile and Sprint broke down last month. Iliad in late July made a $15 billion bid for 56.6 percent of T-Mobile, valuing the carrier at $33 per share. Earlier, AT&T wanted to buy T-Mobile for $39 Billion, but was rejected the the DOJ and the FCC.

The report said Ergen has not made a formal offer but said that he would be open to the idea of making one in the next few months. The report said Ergen will wait until after the conclusion of the FCC’s AWS-3 spectrum auction, which starts Nov. 13, before making any concrete moves toward T-Mobile. Anti-collusion rules for the auction kick into effect this month. Both T-Mobile and Dish are expected to participate in the auction.

Ergen has reportedly had on-and-off talks with DT for several years and is seeking to partner with a wireless carrier to host its spectrum, which totals some 55 Mhz, mostly in the 2 GHz band. DT said it is under no pressure to sell T-Mobile.

T-Mobile recently acknowledged that French mobile and Internet company Iliad is still interested in pursuing a deal for T-Mobile. Iliad’s $15 billion bid for 56.6 percent of T-Mobile, valued the carrier at $33 per share. DT rejected that offer and has since indicated $35 per share would be closer to the mark.

Related Dailywireless articles include; French Operator Iliad Bids for T-Mobile US, Dish: 5th Biggest Spectrum Holder, Unlimited Voice Not Data, New Normal, Viva la Free Network!, Sprint and T-Mobile: Joint Bidding on 600MHz?, T-Mobile/Sprint Agreement?

GM & Ford to Build Self-Driving Cars for Michigan Testbed

Posted by Sam Churchill on

General Motors announced Sunday it plans to introduce Cadillac models in two years that incorporate hands-free driving and Wi-Fi-enabled vehicle-to-vehicle communications with similarly equipped vehicles, reports C/Net. GM brands, Chief Executive Mary Barra announced the initiative in a speech at the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress in Detroit on Sunday.

In May, Google unveiled a two-seater prototype vehicle that uses built-in sensors and a software system to safely maneuver the vehicle rather than a steering wheel and accelerator and brake pedals.

Google has been leading the charge in developing self-driving technology over the past couple of years, but several automobile manufacturers have also gotten into various aspects of the autonomous driving game, including Audi, Mercedes Benz, Ford, Nissan, Delphi, Toyota, and Tesla.

GM’s “Super Cruise” semi-automated technology will automatically keep a vehicle in a specific, properly equipped freeway lane, making necessary steering and speed adjustments in bumper-to-bumper traffic or long highway trips. The feature, which was unveiled in 2012, is expected to debut in a high-end Cadillac in 2016 on a 2017 model, and will eventually trickle down to other GM brands. It would likely use the 5.9 GHz band for Dedicated Short-Range Communication (DSRC).

The Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) system would act as a natural complement to the active traffic management projects that are up and running in European countries like England, Germany, Greece and The Netherlands, according to Barra.

For example, the M4 and M5 Smart Motorways near Bristol, England now include things like variable speed limits, dynamic routing and lane markings, and improved traveler information systems.

GM is joining the University of Michigan and the state of Michigan to develop vehicle-to-infrastructure driving corridors on 120 miles of metro Detroit roadways. State officials said Ford is also part of the effort. If a driver in a V2V-equipped car brakes suddenly in heavy fog, for example, every other V2V-enabled car around it will know, MDOT notes.

When the new corridor goes on line, 9,000 V2V-equipped cars are expected to be on the road as part of the program.

The University of Michigan’s Mobility Transformation Center (MTC), a major public-private R&D initiative that aims to revolutionize the movement of people and goods in society the university announced Friday. Plans call for implementing a working system in Ann Arbor by 2021.

Here’s My Proposal for self-driving cars in Portland. See Dailywireless stories on Vehicle-to-Vehicle Network Proposed for United States, Vehicle to Vehicle Communications: Moving Forward?, FCC Moves to Add 195 MHz to Unlicensed 5 GHz band, World Congress on Talking Cars, and 5.9 GHz Hits the Road, Inside Google’s Driverless Car, Driverless Cars Rolling Out in UK, Autonet Does Control and Diagnostic Apps, Verizon Forms Connected Car Venture, Automotive Telematics Goes 4G, Ford Lowers SYNC Costs, Google’s Driverless Car Explained, World Congress on Talking Cars, Connected Car Conference

VR Cinema: Killer App?

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4, a 5.7″ phablet announced last week, is even bigger than premium flagship phones like the LG G3 with a 5.5″ display, the Sony Xperia Z3 with a 5.2″ display, and Samsung S-5, with a 5.1″ display, notes C/Net. The Note, with a Snapdragon 805, is also more powerful.

The 5″+ phablets should make tomorrow’s rumored 4.7″ iPhone 6 look downright dainty, but a 5.5″ iPhone 6L might fit right in.

The Note 4’s killer app may be VR. The Note 4-powered Gear VR headset was developed by John Carmack at Oculus, who has spent the last year spearheading this effort.

When docked, the Gear VR uses the Note 4 display and its processing power for full-immersion games and movies. The headset has its own magnetometer and accelerometer to calculate movement, as well as a proximity sensor. Built-in lenses with a 96-degree field of view sit between your eyes and the screen, and there’s a touchpad on the headset for navigating menus.


It’s expected to be available this fall in the U.S. for around $200. Whether VR cinema on an $800 phone and $200 headset will catch on is an open question.

Maybe a 5″ Huawei Ascend P7 will offer VR competition for half the cost.

Of course there’s Google Cardboard. Essentially, it’s a cardboard housing for a smartphone. You get a $10 lens kit, about $7 in off-the-shelf magnets, $3 worth of velcro, a rubber band, and an easily programmable $1.50 Near-Field Communication sticker tag for launching the companion mobile app. It lets you cruise through a landscape or city street in Google Earth, watch YouTube videos in a virtual theater or Chrome Experiments, visiting the Great Barrier Reef in a helicopter, or riding a roller coaster. The spherical videos are provided by AirPano.

Hop in the virtual pedicab. Let’s travel along the Champs-Élysées tonight!