Seriously, what on Earth are you waiting for? If you’re awake and reading this right now, you know very well that Apple and its partners are now officially accepting preorders for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. That’s right, the latest and greatest from Cupertino is now ripe for the picking. Hoping to snag one before they’re sold out? There’s no telling how long preorder inventory will last, but you’d better hurry if you want to guarantee that you have a new iPhone in your hand next Friday.
Apple (AAPL) and HTC (2498) last week ended their patent disputes with a 10-year licensing agreement that covers all current, pending and future patents. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, although the Cupertino-based company is believed to be making between $6 to $8 for every Android smartphone HTC sells. According to Reuters, Samsung (005930) filed paperwork on Friday asking a United States judge to force Apple to hand over a copy of its agreement with HTC. The iPhone-maker had previously stated that it was not interested in licensing its patents, claiming that doing so would prevent it from permanently banning devices that infringe its technology. Experts note, however, that HTC would not have settled with Apple had it not included all of its patents. Samsung is now arguing that Apple’s willingness to license its patents to HTC indicates that the $1.05 billion in damages Samsung is required to pay should be sufficient compensation.
Not to be outshone by HTC and Samsung, Sony was on hand at tonight’s AT&T holiday unveliling with a flagship of its own, the Xperia TL. It’ll be on AT&T shelves in time for the holidays, and Sony is playing to win. On-board we’ve got a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor (more than likely a Snapdragon S4 of sorts), a full gig of RAM, and Ice Cream Sandwich, with Jelly Bean “coming soon.” Essentially, it’s an Xperia T with AT&T LTE support.
A few days back Verizon finally got the LTE Galaxy Nexus updated to Jelly Bean, and that means new factory images to play with. Google has updated the Nexus factory image page to include build JRO03O, which is unadulterated, pure Android and frankly sexy as hell. Ask anyone who just got the update — Jelly Bean brings the Galaxy Nexus right up to the front of the smartphone pack, even with the “dated” hardware of the year-old Galaxy Nexus.
Apple on May 1st filed a motion in the Northern District of California alleging that Samsung intentionally destroyed documents it was ordered to hand over to the Cupertino-based company, Network World reported on Friday. Apple referred to Samsung’s actions as a “spoilation of evidence” and wants the Judge to inform the jury that the South Korean vendor acted in bad faith in failing to meet its legal duty. If the jury finds Samsung liable for infringement, they may presume that the infringement was “intentional, willful, without regard to Apple’s rights,” and the documents in question would have been advantageous to Apple’s position. The iPhone-maker said Samsung’s actions “vast quantities of relevant evidence in blatant disregard of its duty to preserve all such evidence.” A hearing on Apple’s motion is scheduled for June 7th. Samsung’s reply brief is due by May 15th, however the smartphone vendor is seeking an extension to May 29th and would like to see the hearing pushed back to July 10th.
A recent patent application from Microsoft reveals that the software giant is looking to bring real-time hand-gestures to tablets, PatentBolt reported on Monday. The patent summary doesn’t provide an extensive overview of the invention — instead, the company states “its sole purpose is to present some concepts disclosed herein in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.” Microsoft goes on to say that there is “a need to provide simple, accurate, fast and computationally inexpensive methods of object and hand pose recognition for many applications.” The application highlights Microsoft’s image processing system, which will be incorporated into the tablet to be used to classify images captured by the camera. The classification information can then be used by the tablet to control software and the user interface.
Google on Wednesday announced a major redesign for its Google+ social networking site that will introduce a more functional and flexible user experience. The new interface focuses on customization, Google’s Hangout video chatting service and features that will make it easier to discover new conversations and profile pages. One of the first improvements users will notice is a revamped navigation bar located on the left-hand side of the screen. The “ribbon of applications” can be dragged, dropped and placed in any order. The new interface also features a Facebook-like chat bar on the right with a “Trending” widget to help users discover popular topics on Google+, and a dedicated Hangout page will provide users with quick access to popular hangouts, tips and live broadcast. The new design is slowly rolling out and will be available over the next few days. A video highlighting the new Google+ can be found after the break.
A teacher’s aide at an elementary school was fired last year for refusing to give her Facebook login credentials to her supervisors, ZDNet reported on Sunday. In April 2011, Kimberly Hester signed on to Facebook while she was not at work and jokingly posted a picture of a co-worker’s pants around her ankles, with the caption “Thinking of you.” A parent and Facebook friend saw Hester’s photo and complained to the school. A few days later, the superintendent reportedly requested three times that she hand over her user name and password. Hester refused each time, and was put on paid administrative leave and eventually suspended as a result. She is now at the center of a legal battle with the school district, with arbitration scheduled for May. The House of Representatives last week shot down a proposed amendment to FCC legislation that would have prevented current and potential employers from seeking access to employees’ Facebook accounts.
Research In Motion will give prototype BlackBerry 10 smartphones to as many as 2,000 developers who attend the BlackBerry 10 Jam conference that runs alongside the annual BlackBerry World expo in early May. The handsets will be prototypes that are running “a modified version of the PlayBook OS which will help developers design their apps for the BlackBerry 10 smartphone form factor,” a RIM spokesperson told BGR. The device will not be an early version of a device intended for release, RIM clarified. Instead, it is a reference platform intended to allow developers to test applications on a smartphone running the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha operating system. BlackBerry 10 Jam takes place from May 1st through May 3rd in Orlando, Florida.
Sprint and HTC delivered invitations to the media on Tuesday evening for a joint event that will be held on April 4th in New York City. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and HTC President Jason Mackenzie will both be on hand, and while the subject of the event remains a mystery, rumors from earlier this week point to a flagship device launch. A report on Monday suggested that Sprint is planning to release the HTC One X on June 10th, and the sleek Android 4.0 phone could very well be the focus of next month’s press conference. The One X would be among Sprint’s first LTE-enabled devices, and it features a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, a 4.6-inch high-definition display and a class-leading 8-megapixel camera powered by HTC’s dedicated ImageChip. BGR will be be on hand to cover the event live on April 4th.
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