Who would have thought that glass would become so important to smartphone manufacturing that device makers would start putting it on both the front and the back of $700 devices? And the company that's making out like a bandit is Corning, the maker of the super-scratch-resistant "Gorilla" tempered glass that's now in a majority of premium phones. While Corning could probably rest on its laurels for a decade or two (at least until synthetic sapphire becomes a lot cheaper), its engineers are cranking out some new novelties for manufacturers to try. Read More
Cell phones need modems. They're pretty important if your plans include making calls and accessing data. Like processors and GPUs, most phone manufacturers don't make their own wireless modems or radios, instead incorporating pre-existing designs into their phones. Sony might soon be able to roll its own wireless components: the Japanese electronics giant has announced that it has finalized plans to buy Altair Semiconductor, a designer of LTE modems based in Israel, for $212 million USD.
The acquisition will allow Sony to produce its own LTE hardware, and possibly sell it to competitors, as is already the case with Sony's widely-used camera modules. Read More
When Android founder Andy Rubin announced that he was leaving the Android team back in May of this year, it was a shock to say the least. At the time Mr. Rubin confirmed that he was staying with Google itself, but declined to say what his new role would be. Six months later, a report from the New York Times seems to have the first information on what he's been doing. I'll give you a hint: it's robots.
Photo credit: Jim Wilson/New York Times
Yes, robots. That's not some kind of corporate codename for a new hardware platform running Android, we're talking about actual robots. Read More