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Investor group to buy BlackBerry for $4.7B

Ailing smartphone maker BlackBerry has finally found a buyer. Fairfax Financial Holdings, which has a 10 percent stake in BlackBerry, will lead a consortium that plans to buy back shares not held by Fairfax at $9 per share, which comes out to a total of roughly $4.7 billion, taking the company private in the process…. Read More

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Report: Amazon may offer its smartphone for free

Amazon wants to offer people a five-finger discount on their upcoming smartphone, according to a new report. Former Wall Street Journal reporters Amir Efrati and Jessica Lessin, citing sources at Amazon with knowledge of the company’s plans, say that the Seattle-based retail giant is contemplating a plan to make a big splash in the smartphone market… Read More

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Why is Jeff Bezos hanging out in Silicon Valley this summer?

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is not enjoying this beautiful Seattle summer. Instead, it appears Bezos is camped out in Silicon Valley helping some of his employees with new hardware devices. Sources tell Brad Stone from Businessweek that Bezos is heads-down in the Bay Area working with Amazon’s Lab126 hardware-focused unit. Lab126 is responsible for the design and… Read More

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T-Mobile lambasts AT&T’s competing early upgrade plan

Less than a week after T-Mobile unveiled a program called JUMP! that allows customers to upgrade their phones twice a year with a $10 per month subscription fee, rival AT&T debuted its own upgrade program Tuesday called “Next” that gives customers a chance to ditch their two-year contracts and pay 20 monthly installments without a down payment in… Read More

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Nokia debuts Lumia 1020 with 41MP camera, available July 26 for $299 on AT&T

Nokia today officially unveiled its new Lumia 1020, complete with an impressive 41-megapixel — yes, 41-megapixel — camera. The obvious draw for Nokia’s newest device is the PureView 808 camera, which features optical image stabilization, 6-lens Zeiss optics, a xenon flash and the ability to capture 34 and 38 megapixel-photos in 16:9 or 4:3. The device also… Read More

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Apple gaining ground on Android thanks to T-Mobile

The latest U.S. smartphone market share numbers from Kantar show Apple gaining ground on rival Android. While Google still led the way with 52 percent of the market, Apple’s iOS share increased 3.5 percent to 41.9 percent in the three-month period ending in May, compared to just a 0.1 percent growth on Android. Windows Phone,… Read More

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Want to pay lower cell phone taxes? Move to Oregon

If you want to save money on state and local cell phones taxes, living in Oregon, Nevada or Idaho might be a good idea. The Tax Foundation just put together this map from a study that was conducted earlier this year detailing combined federal-state-local wireless service tax rates for each state. Nebraska had the highest… Read More

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Study: One-third of Americans now own tablets

A new report from the Pew Internet Project found that 33 percent of Americans now own a tablet, a number that has nearly doubled in just the past year. In May 2010, only three percent of adults 18 and older owned a tablet. Two years later, that number jumped to 18 percent, and in just the… Read More

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This app uses Kinect technology to prevent you from running into things while texting

Good news for smartphone addicts who just can’t keep their eyes off the iPhone: There’s an app in development designed to alert you of oncoming traffic. Juan Hincapié-Ramos, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Manitoba’s, is working on early-stage development of an app called CrashAlert that uses a depth-sensing camera to alert you of oncoming… Read More

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Mobile manners: The top 5 most annoying cell phone pet peeves

Smartphones, for the most part, are pretty awesome tech tools. But they also pissed us off sometimes just as much as they help. A Microsoft Safer Online Facebook poll found the top-five mobile pet peeves: Checking phones constantly Talking loudly Using or not silencing phones when appropriate Using phones during face-to-face conversation Delaying traffic by using phones What… Read More

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These sensor-infused socks track your steps and ID injury-prone running styles

In the past few years, you’ve heard of smartphones, smart-watches and most recently, smart-glasses. Now, courtesy of a Redmond-based startup, we have yet another ordinary product attached to your body that’s becoming more intelligent: smart socks. Meet Heapsylon, a company founded two years ago by three Microsofties that is developing what is essentially a pedometer… Read More

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Amazon’s 3D smartphone screen would break the mold

How’s this for a crazy story? The Wall Street Journal reports today that Amazon.com is working on “a high-end smartphone featuring a screen that allows for three-dimensional images without glasses.” The report is a surprise because Amazon has been focusing more on lower-cost hardware that it can sell at or near cost, undercutting its competitors while aiming… Read More

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T-Mobile sold 500,000 iPhones in Q1, but revenues fall 7%

Bellevue-based T-Mobile USA posted first quarter earnings late Tuesday and it was largely a mixed bag. Though revenue declined 7 percent from the same time last year, the company saw the first growth in branded customers since the first part of 2009. T-Mobile’s adjusted earnings, excluding interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), was $1.2 billion. That’s… Read More

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IDC: Smartphones now more popular than feature phones

These days, it’s almost surprising to see someone using an old-school flip phone, and now some numbers from the IDC prove that a majority of people are using smartphones for the first time ever. Shipments of smartphones took over those of feature phones in the first quarter, as more than half of cellphone shipments (418.6 million) were… Read More