Sony has been releasing new flagship smartphones every 6-8 months recently, but that comes at a cost. Now the Nikkei business daily says Sony is planning to scale back its workforce. After cutting 1000 employees in October, Sony is expected to announce a new round of 1000 job cuts in the smartphone division to be completed by March of next year.
The US isn't the only market where carrier consolidation is the name of the game. UK carrier O2 is being purchased by Hong Kong businessman Li Ka-shing, who already owns Three Mobile in the UK. The agreed upon price is reportedly a whopping £10.25 billion ($15.4 billion). If all goes as planned, the deal would reduce the number of major UK carriers to three.
It's easy to forget, but T-Mobile USA is still owned by German firm Deutsche Telekom. In a recent speech given at the DLD conference in Munich, Germany, DT CEO Tim Höttges said that T-Mobile's un-carrier promotions won't be enough to keep T-Mobile going. The only long-term solution, apparently, is a merger.
It's no secret that Blackberry has struggled to find its footing in a post-Android/iPhone world, but the end may finally be around the corner. According to a report from Reuters, Samsung has approached the Canadian smartphone maker with an offer to buy the entire company for as much as $7.5 billion. Investors seem keen on the idea--shares of Blackberry jumped more than 30% on the news.
Capital One might not have the best mobile banking app in the Play Store (in fact, it's among the worst), but someone there at least took notice of Level Money. This young startup has a great app and an interesting approach to managing money. Now Level is part of Capital One.
Microsoft started a closed beta for Office on Android tablets back in November, but today it's opening things up. Just mosey over to the Play Store, and you can download Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for free, no beta invite required. These are still preview apps, but they seem ready for prime time.
When one of your app's core features is built around the camera, your camera interface had better be up to snuff. Take Expensify for example: this expense report app just released an update that overhauls its camera feature, which is designed to save and automate your receipt reporting. The updated "beta" camera adds a ton of useful stuff, none more so than the capability to use your phone's LED flash module, which was apparently missing before. Read More
Business owners already keep up with Yelp, as reviews can make or break sales. But at the end of the day, the mobile app remains a consumer-facing piece of software, encouraging users to check out which establishments are hot and leave their own feedback.
While Yelp isn't changing its main app, it has released a separate one that acknowledges how much attention the people running restaurants and stores pay to the service. Read More
Primer: Marketing for Startups isn't like most of Google's other Android apps. For starters, it's the first to appear in the Play Store under the publisher "Google Learn." The app also happens to be such a niche product that only a specific target demographic will benefit from it.
As the name says, Primer is aimed at helping startups manage their marketing efforts. A great deal of work and knowledge goes into getting a new brand in front of consumers and establishing awareness. Read More
T-Mobile will continue to go it alone in the wilds of the US wireless industry after French telecom Iliad has announced it is dropping plans to buy the carrier from parent company Deutsche Telekom. Iliad's leadership had imposed a deadline of mid-October to decide whether to increase its previously rejected offer of $15 billion for a 56.6% stake in the Uncarrier. That's not happening, so the dream is dead.
Iliad first announced the offer as Sprint was reportedly in the late stages of acquisition talks with T-Mobile. Read More