I've had this question on my mind for quite some time now. Covering both GPS and smartphones for CNET, it's been interesting to watch these two areas of technology converge. More and more smartphones (such as RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130, Nokia N95, and Samsung BlackJack II) offer integrated GPS, and it seems people want this functionality in their phone...or so I thought.
Is Apple really that much of a chip hopper?
If Apple follows through and uses a chip designed by its latest acquisition, PA Semi, in a future product, the company will have made major bets on Power, x86, ARM, and Power again in just this decade. What, no love for SPARC or MIPS?
A PA Semi representative on Wednesday confirmed last night's news that Apple has paid $278 million for the low-power chip designer. Led by prominent chip designer Don Dobberpuhl, the two-and-a-half-year-old company makes chips for embedded devices based on IBM's Power instruction set.
So what might … Read more
When we saw pictures of the "Buddha phone," we didn't actually think we'd see it for real. So when one of my colleagues said he saw one at Sim Lim Square (the gadget bazaar of Singapore), I knew I had to see it with my own eyes.
Unlike the laughable Lillian Too Lucky Dragon handset, the Buddha phone drew a much more subdued reaction. Maybe because the shopowner got a little suspicious of my close scrutiny and fusillade of questions. I swear he had me in the corner of his eye even while attending to other … Read more
Although some have been critical of Apple over the past year about its decision to block third-parties from creating applications for the iPhone and its reluctance to bring much-desired functionality to the device, the company has turned the tide and is doing everything right.
Over the past year, Apple has learned quickly that the cell phone business is extremely difficult to be successful in and realized that its tried and true tactic of keeping its device closed off to outside companies is not the best way to do business.
If nothing else, Apple has gone through the growing pains of selling a cell phone to the world and has the scars to prove it. But in recent weeks, the company has turned the tide. Instead of floundering like many other companies in its position, Apple adapted and has single-handedly built the framework it needs to become the dominant player in the cell phone industry.… Read more
At a swanky meeting yesterday, we got to play with Nokia's glossy new Xpress Music handsets, the 5320 and the 5220. Both are set to be affordable, mid-range models available from the third quarter of this year in the U.K. During our swift fondling sessions with the phones, we formed some early opinions.
Firstly, and most importantly as far as music phones are concerned, Nokia told us it has put brand-new audio chips inside these two new models to improve sound quality over previous handsets. This is a sensible decision, as more people are turning to mobiles as … Read more
New York City's controversial prohibition of cell phones on school grounds can continue, a state appellate court has unanimously ruled.
The city's school system instituted the possession ban in September 2005 as part of its efforts to maintain school security and discipline, contending the mobile gadgets can promote cheating and harassment, and began confiscating them from students the next year. But parent advocates had challenged the rules as overly broad and irrational, arguing that cell phones were a "lifeline" for families trying to reach their students, particularly during their commutes and after-school activities.
We've had Sony Ericsson's W380i strapped to our heads for a fair while now and, while it's not quite as inveigling as Jaffa Cakes, it's given us numerous happy times. In fact, as clamshells go, it's pretty snazzy. True, it's a music phone that needs an adaptor just to use normal headphones, but it's still more enjoyable to use than, say, something like the Nokia N95, which sports a native 3.5-millimeter adapter.
Aesthetics aside, the W380i is easy to use as an MP3 player--its dedicated Walkman button gives quick access to your … Read more
Paris-based phone designer extraordinaire ModeLabs continues to make its mark on the mobile landscape in Europe, with diverse handsets ranging from an MTV-branded slider to Tag Heuer's "Meridiist," with varying degrees of success.
Its latest offering is a new Levi's handset--not the dubious red tag version seen recently--to be marketed exclusively by French telecom Orange. Unlike the original steel-case model, the new version is a slider that claims to be the first mobile phone with a design that "combines a metal and soft touch finish," according to Gadgetizer (PDF). What does that mean? Who … Read more
Apple has reportedly made a rare acquisition, snapping up low-power chip company PA Semi one day before reporting its quarterly earnings.
Forbes reported late Tuesday that Apple has agreed to purchase the company for a middling $278 million, quoting Apple spokesman Steve Dowling as confirming the deal. PA Semi made its debut a few years back designing low-power chips based on Apple's old friend, the Power architecture.
It's not clear what Apple might have in mind for PA Semi. I'd doubt Apple plans to get into the chip design game anytime soon, although having low-power chip experts … Read more
So last week, when I was waiting to receive a new phone that I had ordered, I dusted off a spare 6126 that we had around the office. Unless I'm on vacation, I'm one of those people who has a hard time going without a cell phone.
For the first few days, the 6126 worked fine. Though it's … Read more