Smartphones

CEA Wants Senate to Say “Ándale! Arriba!” to Spanish TV
July 18, 2006

CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro expressed concern Monday over provisions in S.2686, a telecom bill governing the transition of networks from analog to digital television. In a letter addressed to the Senate, Shapiro claimed that wording in the bill allowing two extra years for Spanish-language stations to make the switch “sets the wrong tone for consumers and the public interest.” According to The Budget Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, all networks have until February 17, 2009 to switch to digital. The provisions in S.2686, also known as The Communications, Consumers’ Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006, would allow all Spanish-language

Alpine, Spokesmodel Launch Online Training Program
July 17, 2006

Alpine’s “Learn It! Win It!” program encourages participants to do just that. If they learn enough about Alpine’s products, as measured by a series of quizzes, they earn the chance to win a $28,000 AlpineF#1Status system. The program, for authorized Alpine dealers only, is completely online, and consists of 12 10-minute sessions hosted by automotive industry spokesmodel Courtney Day. Any dealer who completes all of the sessions, scoring 100 percent on the quizzes that close each, is eligible to win the prize. Other prizes include equipment packages, head units, amplifiers, speakers, subwoofers and t-shirts. Authorized dealers can register

Motorola Opens “Global Flagship” Store in China
July 14, 2006

The first of four planned Motorola retail outlets in China opened Thursday in Shanghai. This “Global Flagship” location follows the establishment of 50 smaller outlets in China, Russia, Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia. The flagship concept, if successful here, will likely be implemented in other countries, though the U.S. is not on that list. Jeremy Dale, Motorola’s vice president of global retail and channel marketing, explains that wireless carriers are the chief sellers of mobile phones in the U.S., whereas retail stores are the more preeminent cell phone source in much of the rest of the world. However, Nokia, one of

I’ve Got One Skype in My Pocket ...
July 13, 2006

SanDisk and Skype have teamed up to create a chewing-gum-pack-sized USB drive that will carry personalized software (like Skype) from computer to computer. The upshot is that you can carry your personal Skype preferences with you and use the program to place PC to PC calls (audio or video) from any PC without actually downloading the software onto that PC. SanDisk’s Cruzer Micro and Cruzer Titanium lines that support this functionality are enabled with a platform called U3, which allows applications to be pre-loaded onto flash drives. When you’re finished your call, you need not leave any of your personal information on the PC, just

MTI Releases New Display Product for Handheld Devices
July 12, 2006

MTI announced on Tuesday the latest in their Freedom line of merchandising systems, the Freedom LP. The display is designed specifically for such devices as MP3 players, PDA’s and cell phones. Ultimate Electronics has been announced as being among the first to install these displays, which they will use to merchandise iPods, among other products. The system comes bundled with a universal power feature and smart power cables which automatically deliver the appropriate voltage to whatever devices are plugged in to the display. This feature, along with the modular design, is geared toward making the swapping out of individual

Cell Phones to Be Available in Vending Machines
July 11, 2006

TelePlus Group has united with vending machine manufacturer U-Select-It (USI) and vending machine software producer VendNovation to bring their cell phones to an automated kiosk near you. The machines will be available in such locations as malls, airports and hotels. The target audience will be travelers, who can use TelePlus phones and the accompanying service to navigate foreign terrain in their native language via TelePlus’ 24/7 live private assistant. The machines will accept credit cards and communicate with the TelePlus platform in France via a wireless or Ethernet connection. Along with the phone and service, customers can also purchase additional

iBiquity.com Launched to Support HD Radio
July 10, 2006

HD Radio licenser and developer iBiquity Digital has launched a website, www.iBiquity.com, that caters to the needs of retail, automotive, broadcasting and equipment sectors who need industry-specific HD Radio information and materials. A consumer-oriented site, www.hdradio.com, has also been created. iBiquity Digital Corporation’s President and CEO, Bob Struble claims the new site “is designed to allow companies in each sector to quickly locate relevant information about HD Radio technology — such as licensing details and technical support.”

Cellfire Brings Mobile Couponing Stateside
July 5, 2006

The concept of mobile couponing, long accepted in foreign markets such as China, where customers can redeem McDonald’s discounts stored on their cellphones, has yet to catch on in the States. All of that is going to change if mobile advertising firm Cellfire has anything to say about it. Their mobile coupon service went nationwide last week, with clients such as T.G.I. Friday’s and Hollywood Video already signed on with more expected to follow. Shoppers with compatible cellphones can download the Cellfire application from the company’s website (www.cellfire.com) then browse discounts which they can then download to their phone

Verizon Slashes Prices
July 5, 2006

In an attempt to curry favor with current customers while luring new ones, Verizon has cut prices in several key areas of service. Cancellation fees are no longer the same for a customer quitting at the beginning of his or her contract as at the end. Those fees will now be prorated based on how much time a customer has left on their plan. Verizon CEO Denny Strigl says of termination fees, “The number of complaints on this issue is the single largest that our customers have.” Verizon will also now allow customers already on a plan to upgrade to

NAVTEQ Introduces Next-Gen Fuzzbuster
June 29, 2006

Next time you’re on a cross-country trip, NAVTEQ’s equipment can not only tell you where you’re going, but how to get there without a speeding ticket. The new Camera Alert feature lets you know where all the speed trap cameras are located on a given route. It updates the information on a monthly basis, and lets you geo-reference camera locations on your own to further shore up the database and eliminate false positives due to invalid data. NAVTEQ “field analysts” actually drive around looking for cameras to confirm their location. They won’t tell you where the actual human cops are, though, so don’t throw