Get ready for an influx of $199 to $249 Windows laptops
A big reason why Chromebooks are selling so well is because they offer up basic functionality at dirt cheap prices. However, what would happen if Windows laptops could easily be found at the same price points? It's a question that will get answered within the next few months. That's because Intel, Microsoft, and notebook makers are collaborating on entry-level laptops that will sell for $199 to $249.
Preliminary data from International Data Corporation (IDC) indicates that the tablet market expanded 11 percent year-over-year in the second quarter of 2014 on shipments of 49.3 million units around the globe. That's not bad, though it's down 1.5 percent sequentially. According to IDC, smartphones with big screen displays have cut into the market for tablet PCs.
While AMD and Intel were watching from the sidelines as the market transitioned to mobile, ARM was busy "earning and burning, snapping necks and cashing checks," to borrow a line from Step Brothers. It's a bit more competitive today, though ARM was able to gain a foothold in the mobile market and continues to ride the momentum. As such, ARM said it added 41 licensed customers to its portfolio, bringing the total number of licenses signed to more than 1,100.
Sony can be considered a pioneer in the portable music player business, and if you lived through the cassette tape era, then there's a good chance you owned a Walkman. Believe it or not, Sony continued to manufacture cassette-based Walkmans in several different markets all the way up through near the end of 2010. While nowhere near as popular as they were in the 1980s an 1990s, Sony's Walkman brand is seeing a bit of a resurgence courtesy of its NWZ-ZX1, a high-resolution audio player for consumers with deep pockets.
Cortana, Siri, Google Now, meet BlackBerry Assistant
Starting soon, pretty much any smartphone you buy will come with a virtual helper. Microsoft's Windows Phone platform has Cortana, Apple's iOS software has Siri, Google's Android OS has Google Now, and beginning with BlackBerry 10.3, BlackBerry users will have BlackBerry Assistant to boss around and ask for help. BlackBerry Assistant is the Canadian handset maker's equivalent to all the others, and it will act similarly.
VIA today unveiled its new Viega ruggedized Android tablet. Armed with a 10.1-inch display, the Viega features IP65 certification and rocks a durable design that protects it from spills, rain, dust, shock, vibration, drops from up to two meters, and more. It has tempered glass to prevent cracks in the panel from cutting your workday short when you're out in the field, and an "extra long-life polymer batter pack" that's good for up to 9 hours of runtime.
A dispute over unauthorized in-app purchases made by children
Amazon had a chance to settle with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission out of court over allegations that it let children make millions of dollars worth of unauthorized in-app purchases, but apparently the offer wasn't too good to refuse. Having rejected the settlement, the FTC is now suing Amazon for an undisclosed sum of money, and also to force the e-commerce giant to make some changes to such purchases.
College students cherish laptops more than any other electronic device
Within the next year or so, there's a good chance that tablet shipments will outnumber traditional PC sales. Be that as it may, tablets are still relegated to being mostly content consumption devices, and if you want to get some real work done, you'll need a real PC. That sentiment is underscored by a new AMD survey that reveals the laptop as the most important electronic device among college students.
Business upgrades from Windows XP will help prop up the PC market
Sometimes down but never out, traditional PCs have been doing more than just hang around, they've been leading the market despite slumping sales. Looking into next year, Gartner predicts that tablets will outsell combined desktop and notebook systems for the first time, though if you look at the market as a whole, the worldwide PC market is on the verge of a revival after dipping 9.5 percent in 2013.
HTC One (M8) sales helped get the company back in black
It's been several years now since HTC was on top of the world as the most active player in the Android space. During that time, it seemed HTC had a license to print money as each quarter yielded a bigger profit than the last. But the good times came to an end when Samsung rose to prominence in the Android space, and more often than not, HTC posts a loss these day. Not last quarter though. HTC is once again profitable and it has its One (M8) handset to thank for that.