The world of international commerce is a complicated one, and the particular path a product takes as it evolves from raw materials, to discrete components, to a final, assembled gadget can have a big impact on what it ends up costing. Right now, shoppers in the U.S. are concerned about what impact new tariffs on Chinese imports might have on all manner of consumer goods, from cars to portable electronics. Now some newly published rulings spell out exactly what what kinds of gadgets we may be about to see become slightly more expensive. Read More
Amazon announced a new feature today that makes it easier for international users to import goods from the United States. The new service, which Amazon is calling the International Shopping Experience, offers access to a wide selection of products with understandable pricing that includes import fee estimates. Read More
Are you ready to play Electronic Arts' latest $60 roster update? Well hold your horses, because NBA Live 16 doesn't come out for another couple of weeks. But if you're just desperate to try it out in a sort of roundabout way, you can download the official companion app on the Play Store. Well, I say "companion app," but it doesn't have any of the management or social features you might expect from similar game-augmenting apps. Nope, the only thing it does is stick your face in the game.
In and of itself, the "GameFaceHD" feature is actually pretty cool. Not original or unique (the Game Boy Camera was doing this almost 20 years ago), but cool. Read More
Instragram made the jump to the big 4.0 back in June, introducing the ability to record video clips over twice as long as those made using Vine. There was a catch, though. While many Android devices could playback video, only those running Jelly Bean could capture it. With the update rolling out today, handsets running Ice Cream Sandwich will also get to feel the love. And as any Instagram user would expect, these videos are just as susceptible to filters and frames as the photos the service is known for.
The update also introduces the ability for users to import pre-existing video clips directly from their Android devices. Read More
Apple has filed a new complaint with the ITC against HTC over the same data-tapping patent that caused a substantial disruption of HTC's supply line into the United States, and resulted in delayed or stifled launches for a number of phones.
After removing the multi-option dialogue that appeared upon pressing a phone number in an email or webpage from its devices, HTC proclaimed it was clear of Apple's patent on data-tapping techniques. Apple seems to think they're wrong - and is now claiming that a core Android functionality (long-press URL action prompting a multi-selection dialogue) is infringing on the patent. Read More
Official word from HTC on the customs review of its smartphones is that the process has been completed (confirmed for the EVO 4G LTE, AT&T One X). The review was the result of an Apple lawsuit at the ITC for patenting infringement, which culminated in the issuance of an exclusion order for all HTC smartphones entering the US. The statement, below:
“HTC has completed the review process with US Customs and HTC devices have been released, as they are in compliance with the ITC’s ruling. Future shipments should continue to enter the US and we are confident that we will soon be able to meet the demand for our products.”
HTC has been deliberately vague here, so it's hard to say exactly what is meant by "completed the review process." While HTC did confirm that the EVO 4G LTE and AT&T One X had been cleared, it provided details for no other potentially affected hardware. Read More
According to an exclusion order issued by the ITC, some of Motorola Mobility's smartphone devices are in violation of four claims in a Microsoft patent related to scheduling meetings in a calendar. The specifics really aren't important - basically, the ITC found that Motorola infringed a Microsoft patent related to mobile software for creating and sending meeting invitations.
Motorola and Google had argued that an exclusionary order banning the import of offending Motorola devices wasn't in the public interest, but the judge didn't buy it. More importantly, it's unclear exactly which Motorola devices fall under the scope of the exclusionary order, which should go into effect roughly 60 days from now. Read More
The blogosphere is currently aflutter with talk of the ITC (International Trade Commission) patent infringement decision in favor of Apple, and the resulting court order banning the import of infringing HTC devices starting April 19, 2012 (4 months from now). The ITC ruled that HTC infringed on two, relatively narrow claims in a patent related to "data tapping" that occurs at the system level in Android.
You know how your phone can automatically "see" an address or phone number on a web page or e-mail and send you to the appropriate app? That's what the ITC claims HTC, and by relation Android, is infringing on. Read More
Now, this all based on one German online retailer (where imports of the Tab 10.1 were banned), but it's very interesting nonetheless. It appears that a new version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been launched in Germany, called the Tab 10.1N. The difference? So far, all we see is a re-designed bezel and the fact that it's now shipping with Android 3.2. Take a look at this comparison shot from Mobiflip:
The Tab 10.1N is above, and the old Tab 10.1 is below. And below that is an iPad 2. If you look at the bezel design, the Tab 10.1 originale has a bezel more similar to the iPad 2 - a very minimal metal frame along the edges. Read More