Pluto TV continues its climb into relevance. For those of you who don't know, Pluto TV is a television service that provides access to news, live sports, and themed channels for free. The company just received a $5 million investment from Samsung of all places. This money will be used to expand Pluto TV's content and marketing reach. Read More
Republic Wireless, the mobile virtual network operator that was doing hybrid Wi-Fi service before it was cool, is now an independent republic. The company received a $30 million capital investment from its parent corporation Bandwidth, according to The Verge, which allowed it to become its own separate entity. The Republic Wireless blog says that aside from a necessary change in names on customers' Terms of Service agreements, no significant changes to the service or business model are planned. Read More
At the beginning of this year, we heard news of Microsoft investing some of its millions into Cyanogen Inc., the commercial arm of CyanogenMod. Bloomberg later reported that the Redmond-based giant decided not to invest in the startup and was instead possibly considering another form of partnership. Now Cyanogen Inc. has announced the results of its latest round of funding, and Microsoft's name is nowhere to be found.
Cyanogen Inc. says it has successfully completed an $80 million round of Series C financing, and it will use its new funding to hire folks and speed up the development of its mobile platform. Read More
When we hear about smartphone advancements, usually it revolves around cramming more pixels onto our screens or beefing up our devices with even more powerful processors. Yet in this move to take everything mobile, where are the bigger batteries?
Dyson, the company that makes that cool-looking fan you picked up the other day, wants to help change things. The hand dryer-producer has invested $15 million in Sakti3, a Michigan-based company whose battery technology potentially has a higher energy density than the Lithium ion batteries powering our smartphones and Dyson's handheld vacuums.
No, it doesn't run Android. Yes, it's still relevant. Read More
Alibaba runs a global e-commerce site that is one of the most visited in the world. Now it wants to get into the smartphone business. If this idea sounds funny, remember, Amazon has been trying to do the same thing.
But Alibaba is taking a different approach. Rather than come out with its own brand, it's reportedly purchasing a $590 million stake of the existing China-based smartphone maker Meizu. According to Reuters, this is a minority stake in the company, not enough to give Alibaba control.
Alibaba already has an operating system in mind for Meizu's phones. It develops YunOS based on the Android Open Source Project but releases it as an alternative, similar to Amazon's approach. Read More
There are many ways to go after a competitor, and Microsoft isn't storing all of its eggs in one basket. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the company that challenges Android with Windows Phone is investing in Cyanogen Inc.
Yes, we're talking about the same Cyanogen that was built around a custom ROM towards the end of 2013. Microsoft is reportedly a minority investor in a round of equity financing that accumulated roughly $70 million for the startup, during which investors have valued the company in the hundreds of millions. Counting this latest round of financing, Cyanogen Inc. Read More
There's big money in online storage, in case the presence of Google, Microsoft, and a seemingly endless parade of startups didn't tip you off. Box.com has been one of the more consistent rivals to Dropbox, Google Drive and
SkyDrive OneDrive, and it looks like the small company is about to up its game in a big way. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Box is preparing for an initial public offering.
Box is particularly worthy of note for Android users, since partnerships with some OEM manufacturers have made promotional accounts with up to 50GB of cloud storage available. Read More
Sure, Verizon's running those ads that tells you how obvious it is their network is best, but AT&T wants you to know it's not sleeping on the job. Today, the carrier announced that it plans to have LTE coverage for 300 million people by the end of 2014. For those counting, that leaves only about 10 million out in the entire country.
The plan comes as part of a $14bn investment into wireless and wireline services—$8bn of which is going to wireless—that is expected to be carried out over the next three years. The new 2014 estimate will add an extra 50 million LTE customers on top of the already expected 250 million people covered by the end of 2013. Read More
SoftBank, a Japanese telecommunications and Internet corporation, has confirmed via a press release and a live event in Tokyo the $20.1bn investment that would give SoftBank a 70% ownership of Sprint. The news hit the rumor mill 3 days ago and was pretty much confirmed by CNBC yesterday. The transaction is expected to close in mid-2013 pending regulatory approval.
Roughly $12.1bn will be paid to the shareholders at $7.30 a share and $8bn will be used to "strengthen Sprint's balance sheet," grow the network, and perform "strategic investments."
Sprint's shares closed at $5.73 last Friday for a +144.87% gain this year so far. Read More