We, the Internet, won

The
Federal Communications Commission has approved real net neutrality
protections, which prevent Internet access providers like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon from becoming the gatekeepers to everything online.http://ift.tt/1AwKJKf

Today’s vote puts control over the Internet where it belongs: in the hands of the people who use it everyday and in every way.

The FCC
now has the authority to require that providers act as “common
carriers” for all content. That means that they can only connect
Internet users to the places we want to go, without slowing our ability
to communicate with the people, websites, and services of our choosing.

This
is how the Internet was designed to work. And phone and cable companies
hate that. They’ve been fighting a decades-long campaign to re-engineer
the open Internet so it works for them. Instead of an open network,
they wanted a series of walled gardens, where they get to decide which
websites flourish and which wither on the vine.

That’s what Comcast was trying to do when it blocked access to file-sharing services in 2007. It’s what AT&T was doing from 2007 to 2009, when it forced Apple to block Skype and other competing voice over Internet services from the iPhone. And it’s what several smaller ISPs were doing when they intercepted user search queries and redirected them to other websites.

Today’s vote gives the FCC the power to end all of that. Common carriage is the legal framework at the core of net neutrality.
According to settled law, common carriage applies to any carrier that
“holds itself out to carry for all people indifferently.”

This makes common carriage “of substantial social value,” Columbia University economist Eli Noam wrote in a 1994 paper
in which he accurately predicted industry efforts to kill the standard.
“It extends free speech principles to privately owned carriers,” he
wrote. “It is an arrangement that promotes interconnection, encourages
competition, assists universal service and reduces transaction costs.”

What
Professor Noam knew in 1994 is still true today. And it’s perhaps even
more relevant: Common carriage is the basis for protecting free speech
over private networks.

Hundreds of millions of people now speak
via digital platforms. The sheer scale of free speech today is without
precedent in human history, and common-carrier rules—even more than the
First Amendment—will protect our rights to connect and communicate going
forward.

AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon have spent more than $785 million on lobbyists and campaign contributions, with a good portion of that expense devoted to killing this idea.

They’ve argued in court that free speech protections under the First Amendment should only extend to their corporations, which—in a twist worthy of Orwell—have the constitutional right to “edit” all communications that pass over their networks.

But this prolonged campaign to erase the historical importance of common carriage lost a huge battle today.

And
that’s no small thing. The FCC’s vote on Thursday may be the most
important victory for the public interest in the agency’s history.

While
we have to go over all the fine print, the FCC, for once, has stood up
for the public and our rights to connect and communicate. And the public
will stand up for the FCC, too—as long as it’s protecting common
carriage on the free and open Internet.

Tim Karr is the Senior Director of Strategy at Free Press, an independent organization devoted to protecting media and Internet freedom.

Photo via Wingchi Poon/Wikipedia (C -BY SA 3.0). Remix by Fernando Alfonso III.

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HTC One M9 store images hint at an evolutionary phone design

HTC One M9 in silver and gold


HTC’s plans for March 1st might just be out in the open. MobileGeeks has spotted German store listings for a new One phone whose images bear an uncanny resemblance to the One M9 spy photos
from last month, complete with an oversized camera space and a flashy
silver-and-gold color scheme for one model. The claimed 2GHz Snapdragon
810 chip, 20-megapixel rear camera and 4-megapixel front shooter will
all sound familiar if you’ve been following rumors, but there are a few
new twists here. The BlinkFeed news stream is different enough to
suggest new software, and the body is a tad thicker than its predecessor
— possibly to offer space for the new camera, a bigger battery
(supposedly 2,900mAh) or both. It’s hard to say for sure that this is
what you’ll see in a week’s time given contrasting reports, but this is at least plausible.

HTC One M9 in black / dark gray

HTC One M9 store images hint at an evolutionary phone design

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy Alpha: Battle of the Better Galaxy, Go Fab with Phablet or Slick and Classy with Alpha?

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy Alpha

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy Alpha: Battle of the Better Galaxy, Go Fab with Phablet or Slick and Classy with Alpha?

With the series of smartphone launches and announcements that Samsung
made, two in particular stood out; the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the
Samsung Galaxy Alpha.

According to CNET, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 packs a stunning 5.7
inches of Quad HD AMOLED display. This means that the phone has a pixel
resolution of 2,650 x 1440 pixels and 515 pixels per inch density, which
completely blows competing smartphones out of the water.

The Samsung Galaxy Alpha comes with a humble 4.7 inches of 720 pixel
Super AMOLED screen. Even with the quaint 720p screen, the display still
looks gorgeous and colorful, according to Droid Life.

The Galaxy Note 4 also packs quite a punch against the Galaxy Alpha
in terms of their processors. The former comes equipped with either the
1.9 GHz Octa-core Exynos 5433 or the 2.7 GHZ Qualcomm Snapdragon 805
chipset bundled with a graphic processing unit of the Adreno 420. It
also has 3 GBs of RAM for multitasking and heavy gaming.

However, the Galaxy Alpha doesn’t go too far as it comes packed with a
2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801 processor and an also quite big 2GBs of RAM. It
can still compete with the Galaxy Note 4’s Qualcomm chipset by an inch.

Taking pictures is far better on the Galaxy Note 4 as it has a 16
megapixel rear camera with a very useful OIS or optical image
stabilization. The OIS keeps pictures from being blurry or out of focus
by internally balancing the jittery hands of the user when they take
photos. For selfies, the Note 4 comes with a 3.7 megapixel camera.

This time, the Galaxy Alpha is a little bit far behind the camera
game. It is equipped with a 12 megapixel camera in the rear and a 2.1
megapixel camera for the front.

Both devices have 32GBs of internal storage.

While the Galaxy Alpha has its own feature advantages like the
fingerprint scanner, the Galaxy Note 4 has a larger battery capacity of
3,220 mAh. The clear winner is the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, but consumers
will have to dish out over $600 for the phablet. In the end, it still
boils down on the buyers’ preferences, budget, and intentions with the
phone.

 : Trending : Hallels

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Samsung Note 4 & Alpha Teardown

Samsung released their latest 5.7inch flagship Galaxy Note 4 ahead of
schedule in South Korea, and then followed it up with the release of
the Samsung Galaxy Alpha in Europe. The Galaxy Alpha with its 4.7 inch
display is Samsung’s thinnest and first metal-framed device in their
Galaxy product line to date. Both devices are the Samsung alternatives
to Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6 phones released on September 19.

Apple iPhone Comparison
Apple iPhone Comparison
Figure 1: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 & Galaxy Alpha

Both the Note 4 SM-N910K and Galaxy Alpha SM-G850F relied on
Samsung’s own Exynos application processors, the Exynos 5433 and the
Exynos 5430 respectively.

Apple iPhone Comparison
Apple iPhone Comparison
Figure 2: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Exynos 5433 & Samsung Galaxy Alpha Exynos 5430

Unlike the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices which both used
the same baseband processor, the Qualcomm MDM9525M, Samsung brings the
Intel X-Gold PMB9933 XG726G into the Alpha, and Samsung’s own Shannon
303 into the Galaxy Note 4. There are rumors the basebands will be
different in the models released for the US market.

In the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung used many of their Shannon chipsets to
support other functions such as power management, RF, and one IC who’s
function we have not yet determined. TechInsights first spotted Shannon
in
the Samsung Galaxy Lite SGH-T399 in 2013 and again in the recently
released Samsung S5 Mini SM-G800F. However in those devices, Shannon
was only used for power management and the RF transceivers. With the
addition of so many of the Shannon ICs in a flagship like the Galaxy
Note 4, it would appear Samsung is expanding Shannon into becoming an
entire design solution.

Overall, Samsung takes the majority of the design wins in the Galaxy
Note 4 with the Shannon ICs and other Samsung components such as the
Exynos 5433 processor. Both the Galaxy Alpha and Note 4 use S3FWRN for
the NFC controller, S5C72C for image processing, as well as the Samsung
memory ICs.

Galaxy Note 4 Board Shots

  • Apple iPhone 6 Teardown

  • Apple iPhone 6 Teardown

  • Major Component List / Design Wins

    Front Board Shot
    • Samsung Shannon 303 Baseband Processor
    • Samsung K4P1G324EQ-MGC1 Mobile DDR2-S4 SDRAM – 128 MB
    • Samsung Shannon 60X6R8 Power Management
    • Maxim MAX77843 USB Interface / Li-Ion Battery Charger
    • Avago ACPM-8117 RF Power Amplifier Module
    • Maxim MAX98504 Audio Amplifier
    • Samsung KMR21000AM-A805 Multi-chip Memory – 3 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM, 32 GB MLC
    • Samsung Exynos 5433 Exynos 5 Applications Processor
    • Wacom W9012 Digitizer Controller Module
    • Samsung S5C72C1A01 Image Processor
    • Samsung S3FWRN NFC Controller
    • Bosh Sensortec BMP180 Digital Barometric Pressure Sensor
    • Yamaha YAS532B 3-Axis Electronic Compass

    Galaxy Alpha Board Shots

  • Apple iPhone 6 Teardown

  • Apple iPhone 6 Teardown

  • Major Component List / Design Wins

    Front Board Shot
    • Intel PMB9933 XG726G X-Gold Baseband Processor
    • Samsung KMR2M0009M-A803 Multi-chip Memory – 2 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM, 32 GB MLC
    • Maxim MAX77804 Interface PMIC
    • Murata E702A7 WiFi/Bluetooth Module
    • RF Micro Devices RF8095 Multi-mode – Multi-band Power Amplifier
    • Skyworks SKY7851 Antenna Switch
    • RF Micro Devices RF8081A Envelope Power Tracking
    • Yamaha YAS532B 3-Axis Electronic Compass
    • Samsung Exynos 5430 Applications Processor
    • Wolfson Microelectronics WM5110E Audio Hub CODEC w/ Voice Processor DSP
    • Samsung S5C72C1A01 Image Processor
    • Broadcom BCM47531 GPS / GNSS Receiver

    Cypress Semiconductor takes its usual spot in both devices,
    supporting the lower two touch buttons. In the Galaxy Note 4 our analyst
    found the CY8CMBR3155-LQXI capacitive touch controller, part of the
    Cypress Semiconductor CapSense portfolio.

    Apple iPhone Comparison
    Figure 3: Cypress Semiconductor Touch Controller in Galaxy Note 4

    Unknown WiFi / Bluetooth Module

    It is unknown which manufacturer is supporting the WiFi / Bluetooth /
    ANT+ features in either the Galaxy Alpha or Galaxy Note 4. Both of the
    phones have a similar multi-die module found in other Samsung Galaxy S5
    phones where the the WiFI / Bluetooth controller ICs were embedded.

    Design Win Surprise

    Our analysts found two different STMicroelectronics touchscreen
    controllers in the Display / Touchscreen subsystems of the Samsung
    Galaxy Alpha and the Galaxy Note 4. We suspect these are both two-die
    packages and will confirm it in our Deep Dive analysis of both products
    in the coming weeks.

    Apple iPhone Comparison
    Apple iPhone Comparison
    Figure 4: STMicroelectronics Touchscreen Controllers Found in Galaxy Note 4 & Alpha

    CoG Quick Estimates

    All four devices are currently in process for a full Deep Dive
    analysis. The Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus reports are expected to
    be completed at the end of October, 2014. The Samsung reports are
    expected to be available at the beginning of December.

    Apple iPhone Comparison
    Figure 5: Estimated Costs Comparison of the Galaxy Alpha, iPhone 6, Galaxy Note 4, and the iPhone 6 Plus

    Displays and Touchscreens

    The final cost of the Galaxy Note 4 is estimated to be higher than
    the iPhone 6 Plus. This is greatly due to the higher priced Display /
    Touchscreen subsystem cost of the Galaxy Note 4. The Super AMOLED
    display of the Note 4 has a cost premium which increases as the panel
    size increases. Also impacting the costs of the Note 4 display is higher
    pixel count.

    Apple iPhone Comparison
    Figure 6: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 & Apple iPhone 6 Plus Display Specifications

    The Takeaways

    An initial design win observation of the Galaxy Alpha, Samsung tapped
    themselves to support applications with the Exynos 5430 with support
    from their own memory ICs. For envelope power tracking. instead of using
    the R2AA217C from the reclusive R2 Semiconductor (as they did in the
    Samsung Galaxy S5 mini), Samsung used the RFMD RF8081A. Other than
    finding STMicroelectronics supporting the main touchscreen controller
    function, there were not any significant design changes from other
    Samsung Galaxy phones.
    The Galaxy Note 4 did surprise us with the STMicroelectronics touch
    solution and with the number of ICs from Samsung’s Shannon chipset. The
    Shannon ICs and the number of additional Samsung ICs seen in the Galaxy
    Note 4 may suggest Samsung is not only hard at work at designing their
    own total design solution for mobile devices, but they are also willing
    to use their own designs in their high-end, flagship smartphones.

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    Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Alpha – Phone specs comparison

    phonephone

    Design
    Device type Galaxy Note 4 Galaxy Alpha
    OS Android (5.0, 4.4) Android (4.4.4) TouchWiz UI
    Dimensions 6.04 x 3.09 x 0.33 inches (153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm) 5.21 x 2.58 x 0.26 inches (132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7 mm )
    Weight 6.21 oz (176 g)

    the average is 4.8 oz (138 g)

    4.06 oz (115 g)

    the average is 4.8 oz (138 g)

    Display
    Physical size 5.7 inches 4.7 inches
    Resolution 1440 x 2560 pixels 720 x 1280 pixels
    Pixel density
    515 ppi 312 ppi
    Technology
    Super AMOLED Super AMOLED
    Screen-to-body ratio 74.39 % 70.22 %
    Colors 16 777 216 16 777 216
    Touchscreen Multi-touch Multi-touch
    Features Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Scratch-resistant glass (Corning Gorilla Glass 4) Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Scratch-resistant glass (Corning Gorilla Glass 4)
    Camera
    Camera 16 megapixels 12 megapixels
    Flash LED LED
    Aperture size F2.2 F2.2
    Focal length (35mm equivalent) 31 mm 31 mm
    Camera sensor size 1/2.6″
    Features Back-illuminated
    sensor (BSI), Autofocus, Touch to focus, Manual focus, Digital image
    stabilization, Optical image stabilization, Face detection, Smile
    detection, Exposure compensation, ISO control, White balance presets,
    Burst mode, Digital zoom, Geo tagging, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR),
    Panorama, Macro mode, Night mode, Scenes, Effects, Self-timer, Voice
    activation
    CMOS image sensor, Autofocus, Touch to focus, Manual
    focus, Digital image stabilization, Face detection, Smile detection,
    Exposure compensation, ISO control, White balance presets, Burst mode,
    Digital zoom, Geo tagging, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR), Panorama,
    Scenes, Effects
    Camcorder 3840×2160 (4K) (30 fps), 1920×1080 (1080p HD) (60 fps) 3840×2160 (4K) (30 fps), 1920×1080 (1080p HD) (60 fps), 1280×720 (720p HD) (120 fps)
    Features Optical image stabilization, Continuous autofocus, Picture-taking during video recording Digital image stabilization, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR)
    Front-facing camera 3.7 megapixels 2.1 megapixels
    Hardware
    System chip
    Exynos Octa 7 Exynos 5 5430
    Processor
    8-core, 1900 MHz, ARM Cortex-A57 and ARM Cortex-A53 8-core, 1800 MHz, ARM Cortex-A15 and ARM Cortex-A7
    Graphics processor ARM Mali-T760 ARM Mali-T628 MP6
    System memory
    3072 MB RAM 2048 MB RAM
    Built-in storage 32 GB 32 GB
    Maximum User Storage 25 GB
    Storage expansion microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC up to 128 GB
    Battery
    Talk time (3G) 20.00 hours

    the average is 15 h (921 min)

    11.00 hours

    the average is 15 h (921 min)

    Capacity 3220 mAh 1860 mAh
    Multimedia
    Music player
    Filter by Album, Artist, Playlists Album, Artist, Playlists
    Features Album art cover, Background playback Album art cover, Background playback
    Radio FM
    Speakers Earpiece, Loudspeaker Earpiece, Loudspeaker
    YouTube player Yes Yes
    Internet browsing
    Browser Google Chrome Google Chrome
    Built-in online services support YouTube (upload), Picasa/Google+ YouTube (upload), Picasa/Google+
    Technology
    GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
    UMTS 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz
    FDD LTE 700 (band
    17), 800 (band 20), 850 (band 5), 900 (band 8), 1700/2100 (band 4), 1800
    (band 3), 1900 (band 2), 2100 (band 1), 2600 (band 7) MHz
    800 (band 20), 850 (band 5), 900 (band 8), 1800 (band 3), 1900 (band 2), 2100 (band 1), 2600 (band 7) MHz
    Data LTE Cat 4 (150/50 Mbit/s), HSDPA+ (4G) 42.2 Mbit/s, HSUPA, EDGE, GPRS LTE-A Cat 6 (300/50 Mbit/s), HSDPA+ (4G) 21.1 Mbit/s, EDGE, GPRS
    Micro SIM Yes
    nano-SIM Yes
    Positioning
    GPS, A-GPS, Glonass GPS, A-GPS, Glonass
    Navigation Turn-by-turn navigation, Voice navigation Yes
    Connectivity
    Bluetooth 4.1, EDR 4.0
    Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, n 5GHz, ac 802.11 a, b, g, n, n 5GHz, ac
    Mobile hotspot Yes Yes
    USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    Connector microUSB microUSB
    Features Mass storage device, USB Host, USB charging Mass storage device, USB charging
    Other NFC, DLNA, MHL, Tethering, Computer sync, OTA sync, ANT+, Infrared, MirrorLink NFC, DLNA, Tethering, Computer sync, OTA sync, ANT+
    Other features
    Notifications Haptic feedback, Music ringtones (MP3, WAV), Polyphonic ringtones, Vibration, Flight mode, Silent mode, Speakerphone Haptic feedback, Music ringtones (MP3), Polyphonic ringtones, Vibration, Flight mode, Silent mode, Speakerphone
    Additional microphone(s) for Noise cancellation
    Sensors Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass, Hall, Fingerprint ID, Gesture, Barometer Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass, Hall, Fingerprint ID, Gesture
    Other Voice dialing, Voice commands, Voice recording Voice dialing, Voice commands, Voice recording

     – Phone specs comparison

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    Report: To better squash software bugs, Apple is set to launch an iOS public beta program

    Later
    this year, the iPhone maker will begin offering the first-ever public
    beta program for the iOS operating system, according to 9to5Mac.

    Building on the success of last year’s OS X Public Beta program,
    Apple is planning to release iOS 8.3 as a public beta, as early as
    mid-March. The public beta will launch via the company’s existing
    AppleSeed program and will match the third iOS 8.3 beta for developers.

    The first iOS 8.3 beta
    was released to developers on Feb. 9. It features new wireless CarPlay
    capabilities, a new emoji picker, and support for Google’s two-factor
    authentication system. It also introduces Apple Pay support in China.

    Apple’s iOS public beta program is expected to continue with iOS 9,
    which will launch in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).
    An iOS 9 public beta will arrive in mid-summer, with a final release
    set for the fall.

    According to 9to5Mac:

    The main goal of the iOS beta program will be a more
    reliable and widely tested operating system by the time of the wider
    consumer launch, as Apple has come under fire for lack of quality
    control in iOS 8. Launching public beta versions of iOS will also reduce
    the demand for unauthorized sales of beta downloads from developer
    accounts, which enabled some consumers to test-drive future iOS
    features.

    I also like that the proposed program provides a safeguard where the
    public isn’t involved in the process until at least two beta versions
    are released to developers first. This should ensure that most of the
    more significant early beta nuisances are eliminated prior to a public
    launch.

    Apple is currently testing three iOS 8 betas.

    Besides iOS 8.3, the company recently released iOS 8.2 beta 5 to developers. Cupertino is also testing iOS 8.4 internally. The iOS 8.2 update allows the upcoming Apple Watch to talk to iPhone, while iOS 8.4 is rumored to feature Apple’s rebranded Beats streaming music service.

    We’ll let you know when Apple officially announces the company’s new iOS beta program.

     — AppAdvice

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    Nexus 6 vs. Galaxy Note 4: A game of Battleships

    Google and Samsung. The two pillars of Android are good at being
    partners, but their rivalry is even more exciting to watch. Especially
    when they pull out their best. The Nexus 6 and the Galaxy Note 4. The
    two want to be the defining Android device, the benchmark for all other
    phones to go by. What they certainly don’t want is share – the fame,
    love, the profits.

    Galaxy Note 4 vs. Nexus 6

    Although the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Motorola Nexus 6 come from
    very different company cultures, they are actually surprisingly similar
    – in a good way! They have a solid metal frame with a soft-touch
    plastic back, a large AMOLED screen with slim bezels, a beastly chipset
    and a quality camera with OIS. Yet, each has its own advantages.

    Motorola Nexus 6 over Galaxy Note 4

    • Bigger screen – 6″ vs. 5.7″
    • Fast-track Android updates
    • Stereo speakers
    • Basic water resistance
    • Built-in wireless charging (Qi)

    Samsung Galaxy Note 4 over Nexus 6

    • Pressure-sensitive stylus functionality (S Pen)
    • Split-screen multitasking
    • More compact
    • Storage expandable via the microSD slot
    • Fingerprint sensor (PayPal-certified for all it’s worth)
    • Higher resolution still camera – 16MP vs. 13MP
    • High FPS video mode (1080p @ 60fps, 720p @ 120fps)
    • Heart rate and blood-oxygen sensors, UV sensor (offering mainly gimmicky functionality)
    • IR blaster

    Google is sub-contracting its Nexus devices and didn’t favor Motorola
    (until recently a wholly-owned subsidiary) over other makers. Now that
    Motorola changed hands, Google saw it off with a bang, the first Nexus
    phablet. Samsung worked on two Nexus iterations too, but those days are
    gone. Now it likes to assert its leadership and TouchWiz is front and
    center to maintain brand identity.

    What brought the two together is technology, the best of it. Google
    guided Motorola to get the best hardware available. Samsung went after
    the best components because they’re trying to dominate the landscape by
    offering more features than anyone else.

    The different corporate cultures do transpire in certain ways.
    Samsung wants to be a market leader – in business (S Pen attracts heavy
    note-takers), in e-commerce (fingerprint-secured mobile payments), in
    healthy lifestyle (with a bunch of sensors and relevant software).

    Motorola Nexus 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 before the fight

    Until now Google just wanted a platform to show off its software, but
    with the Nexus 6 it feels like it’s promoting the entire Google
    ecosystem. There are stereo speakers (to support Google Play Music), a
    large screen (Play Movies), capable camera (for Google+ Photos and
    YouTube), but no expandable storage (you are supposed to use Google’s
    cloud storage instead).

    There’s one thing the two companies have in common though, they want
    to be the ones steering Android as it continues its road to market
    domination. Google is pulling the reins through tight control over the
    OS, while Samsung is flexing its manufacturing muscle. The outcome here
    will depend on both hardware and software. Jump to the next page to see
    which way the first battles for the Android throne go.

     – GSMArena.com

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    Sony to spin off video and audio units

    BBC News –

    Kazuo Hirai, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sony

    Sony chief executive Kazuo Hirai has been struggling to turn around its television and smartphone businesses

    Sony has said it will
    spin off its video-and-audio business into a separate company as part of
    a three-year plan to return to profit.

    The loss making Japanese electronics giant firm plans to achieve an operating profit of 500bn yen (£2.17bn) by March 2018.

    Sony added it would shrink its head office as part of the restructuring.

    The firm has forecast a loss of 170bn yen in the year to March compared with a 40bn yen loss last year.

    Last September, Sony issued its sixth profit warning in two
    years saying it expected losses of 230bn yen, more than four times its
    original forecast of losses of 50bn yen for the year.

    It also said it would not pay a year-end dividend for the first time.

    On Wednesday, Sony chief executive Kazuo Hirai said the
    company must not be afraid to change if it hoped “to grow in a Sony-like
    way”.

    He said the Japanese electronics firm would no longer pursue
    sales growth in areas such as smartphones where its has suffered
    competition from rivals Apple and Samsung.

    Mr Hirai said instead it would focus on profitable businesses
    areas, including entertainment operations such as TV programming and
    the PlayStation game business.

    The video-and-sound unit will be spun off by October, he added.

    Sony hack
    Other parts of Sony may also be spun off, Mr Hirai said, with
    the computer chips and batteries divisions likely candidates, but
    details had yet to be decided.

    He added he could not “rule out considering an exit
    strategy”, from Sony’s TV and mobile phone units in the company’s
    clearest statement to date about the possibility of selling or finding
    partners for the struggling units.

    Sony said it still sees its film division as a growth area
    despite the cyber attack it suffered in December, which saw emails from
    Sony Pictures executives leaked online.

    The cyber attack came as Sony Pictures prepared to release
    its film The Interview, which involves a fictional plot to kill the
    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

    Sony has struggled in recent years as it fell behind in
    fast-growing areas such as smartphones and flat-screen TVs. Sales of
    blu-ray DVDs have also declined with the growth of online movie
    streaming services, such as Netflix.

    Splitting out divisions would help to make the company more
    nimble, making each operation more accountable for results, Mr Hirai
    said.

    Sony spun off its TV unit last year and exited the personal computer business.

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    Sony will sell a ‘premium’ memory card alongside its $1,200 Walkman

    Sony will sell a ‘premium’ memory card alongside its $1,200 Walkman:

    Never mind that Sony plans to spin off
    its audio and video business. For now, the company is pressing ahead
    with plans to sell high-end A/V gear, even if it’s not exactly sure
    who’s going to buy it. According to the Wall Street Journal,
    Sony next month will beginning selling a “Premium Sound” memory card
    aimed at audiophiles that claims to produce less electrical noise when
    reading data. All told, the 64GB SR-64HXA microSDXC card will retail for
    the equivalent of $160 in Japan. So how much of a “premium” is that?
    Quite a big one: A “regular” 64GB Sony microSD card can be had for just $29 on Amazon. Surely, then, a card this expensive isn’t for everyone, but Sony is betting at least somebody will be into it — specifically, the sort of audio geek who would buy its $1,200 high-fidelity Walkman. “We aren’t that sure about the product’s potential demand,” a Sony spokesperson told the Journal, “but we thought some among people who are committed to great sound quality would want it.”

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