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Archives from month » January, 2012

Verizon Smartphones To Be 4G LTE All The Way

iPhone 4 Black 16GB (Verizon)

iPhone 4 Black 16GB (Verizon)

Verizon has confirmed all their smartphones are going to be 4G LTE enabled. Not only that, everything that Verizon offers in terms of tablets, wireless hotspot devices and netbooks will come with 4G LTE fully enabled. So that would include all the iPhones, Blackberry and Windows Phone and Windows 8 devices that they will be selling. However, this new rule is not going to be applicable all across their range off offerings.

Verizon phones on the push-to-talk network will be on 3G-only for the time being till they decide otherwise. Other than that, Verizon is very strong on their stance on providing 4G for (almost) everything that they provide on their network. This perhaps is the reason why they have chosen to offer only one Windows Phone so far in to the game. Verizon has been talking to the press about their intentions to support Windows Phone fully and not be biased towards Android and iPhone. And now that more 4G LTE Windows Phone devices have been announced, they probably would be added to the Verizon network to increase the number of Windows Phone devices on offer. These are likely to include the HTC Titan II and Nokia Lumia 900 that we saw yesterday.

Verizon is all abuzz with talks of their superfast LTE network. They cannot stop talking about it in fact and that’s because they do have a lot to talk about. This is one network that has been playing LTE to the hilt. They have bought up strategic spectrum, they are all about offering high quality handsets and their network roll out is pretty fast. In fact, if they are only offering 4G smartphones, high end is all they are going to have on their roster. There are no mid-range 4G LTE models from a renowned maker so far. That’s going to happen once LTE becomes more universal like 3G is right now for smartphones.

According to Verizon, the 4G roll out will be fully in place by the end of 2013. They will be bringing LTE to all places that have EV-DO now. LTE from Verizon apparently has a coverage of 190 markets and 200 millions people.

Verizon has the clear lead over the competition now as far as LTE concerned. They have the largest LTE network and its definitely fast. However, that does not cover outages like the ones that happened only last month and many before that also. It shows that the network is still in its initial phase.

According to Verizon, they are almost pioneering LTE in this market for others to follow and build on. Talking about others, AT&T and Sprint are hard at work on their own LTE networks. Sprint has been actively acquiring 4G smartphones and will soon be part of the very strong competition that Verizon is bound to face no matter how fast they roll out. In the end, it is going to reach the same level of competition that these carriers have on other fronts.

 


BlackBerry PlayBook Software Update Hopes To Refresh RIM Tablet

Blackberry Playbook 7-Inch Tablet (16GB)

Blackberry Playbook 7-Inch Tablet (16GB)

Research In Motion, the company behind the iconic Blackberry series of smartphones aimed at the enterprise sector, has released the next version of the OS for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. This update brings in a series of updates that the platform badly needed like a calendar, email and contacts app. Previously all of these features were only available when the user would connect the device to a BlackBerry phone.

The new software update also brings better bridging capabilities to the PlayBook for other BlackBerry devices. Now the tablet is better equipped to work in tandem with BB phones. Opening websites, photos and files from the phone on the tablet is much easier and straightforward. A BB phone can now also be used as a remote control for the tablet.

The Playbook will now be able to sync profile information from LinkedIn and Twitter accounts that have been linked to the user’s profile on the tablet. So now you can have those social network connections residing on your tablet as well.

The update also brings more content to the mix. Users can now access a web store that has thousands of movies and TV Shows for streaming and downloading. There are also thousands of apps from RIM partners.

Another great new feature is access to Android apps — these apps can be ported over to the PlayBook to be used natively by the user. Stability might be an issue every now and then but it is a great feature to have and it also expands the app selection by huge margin. More native apps are coming from RIM sponsored developers in the second half of this year apparently.

The BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 update has been rolled out as a free update for owners and users as of earlier this week. RIM hopes to attract new developers with this effort and have another go at capturing some amount of the growing tablet market. However, not everyone is sure about this.

Technology gurus and market analysts are overall happy with the update but most have noted that this update brings together everything that was required but it requires something to capture the attention of the audience once more. Right now people are vaguely aware of a tablet called PlayBook from BlackBerry.

Reviewers love the new smooth and sleek feel of the tablet and how the interface does not jump around anymore. They also like the Bridge feature that allows for quick, on the fly sharing of content through remote control.

It is clear that RIM is struggling to sell them but this update does have the potential to changes things around. For those who need a productivity come entertainment tablet at a low price that has been reasonably well built — the 64GB version is selling for about $340, which less than half of what the version originally costs. This is a good time to make a killing for anyone looking for a bargain tablet and given the time, that would be a lot of people. So all that RIM needs to do right now is to highlight the new look and feel of the software with the latest features and lure buyers for the BlackBerry PlayBook.


Samsung TV Will Support Voice Commands And Gestures

 

Samsung UN60D8000 60-Inch 1080p 240 Hz 3D LED HDTV (Silver)

Samsung UN60D8000 60-Inch 1080p 240 Hz 3D LED HDTV (Silver)

Samsung announced their new line of voice and gestured controlled smart TV’s this week at CES 2012 in Las Vegas, USA. These TV’s will come with special microphones and cameras in order to listen to and see the user and interpret their speech and gestures as commands. In order to remain competitive, LG Electronics announced a similar model, which will have a special remote that has a microphone embedded in it. The user will be able to speak in to the microphone in order to input text on screen to update a twitter account or to make searches. LG’s model however, won’t allow the user to perform other functions such as channel changing and selecting programs. Samsung’s model on the other hand would be able to recognize hand gestures and move the onscreen cursor and also launch apps.

These TVs are amongst the many smart TVs and web connected TV models that are being shown at the CES exhibition floor right now.

The show also features Google’s attempt to get in to the living room as well by making software for these TVs to use. The search giant announced its partners for the Google TV project just ahead of CES and there are models on display right now that show off Google TV. Sony has so far been the most visible supported who has made an announcement saying that they will be releasing a blu-ray player with Google software in it. This player will also come with a remote that has a microphone in it for voice searches.

According to industry experts, there are some major interface challenges to overcome before Smart TVs like the one from Samsung become mainstream in the market. Even though they have been around since as early as 2008, they have not taken off mainly because it is very hard to navigate the Internet with a conventional TV remote. And this is not for dearth of companies trying to overcome the barrier also.

LG had already introduced a motion sensitive remote called “Magic Wand” that could used the same way Wii controllers are used. Now the company is going one step further and introducing a Kinect style 3D camera that sits on top of the TV and watches the user for gestures. This will allow them to control the onscreen cursor with their hands to match up to .Samsung

The latest innovations in controller-less interfaces such as the Kinect are making experts hopeful about 2012. This year might just end up being the year when the smart TV finally took off. Google certainly hopes it will as the company renews its effort to spread its presence across to the living room as well.

In the meantime, Samsung’s TV will be using its camera to try and recognize which user is in front at the moment. It will then use this data to bring up that user’s personal ‘hub’ of applications. I wonder what it will do when the whole family joins in.

Another problem that is hold smart TVs back is that the TVs themselves do not have the source of the content. It is the set top box used on top of the TV that gets most of the interaction from the user as a result of this. This is why there’s innovation happening in that area as well.


iPhone Demand Steady And Good Long Past 4S Release

Apple iPhone 4S 16Gb White Factory unlocked MD237LL/A

Apple iPhone 4S 16Gb White Factory unlocked MD237LL/A

According to a recent study conducted by ChangeWave Research, both Apple and Samsung are fast establishing themselves as really strong players in the smartphone market. This is at least true for the US markets and we all know how popular the iPhone 4S is right now even though it was released quite a few months back now.

The analysts reached this conclusion after going through the results of a regular buyer poll that it conducts amongst 4000 buyers. It is true that the sampling is a small one but it still reflects change and evolution of brand perception over time because it is conducted regularly.

The poll’s December 2011 results show that out of all the consumers who were polled and who were planning to buy a handset during Q1 2012 — 13% wanted buy a Samsung handset (Android in most likelihood) and a 54% majority wanted to go for an Apple product i.e. an iPhone. And if you think that is a great portion, it is actually a downfall for Apple.

During the same poll in September, a massive 65% people had said that they are planning to buy an iPhone during the last quarter of the year. This fall however does not reflect negatively Apple’s popularity in anyway amongst smartphone users. According to ChangeWave this is a common phenomenon for the iPhone where there’s always a survey to survey drop in demand as the time span since launch increases every time. Interest is sure to plunge after all the early adopters and then all the holiday buyers have made their purchases.

But this time there’s an exception to this rule. Apple has apparently never dominated buyer opinions this much beyond the initial two months after a major launch. In comparison, Samsung did see a growth but it was of only 5% from September’s figures to December’s 13%.

Other companies also figured on the polls but they had a very small slice of the pie. Motorola figured in the charts and they even rose a little in the opinions from September to December but they were still at a meager 7% at the end of 2011. HTC was also in single digits in September at just 6% but surprisingly their share of planned buying in December fell to just 3%. That at least explains why HTC has not been faring well of late.

RIM is clearly dying a slow and steady death right now. In September their share of the planned buying pie was just 3% and at the end of 2011 in the December poll their share fell to 2%. RIM also fared very poorly amongst the satisfaction surveys, with only 22% BlackBerry users giving a “very good” feedback in the satisfaction area in the ChangeWave poll.

To put it in to perspective, the same rating for the iPhone was a whopping 75% amongst its users. Apple once again held the highest level of approval. Samsung and HTC followed close behind with 47% of their respective user bases rating their user satisfaction as “very good”.


iPad 3 And iPad 4 Both Tipped For This Year

Apple iPad 2 Tablet (16GB, Wifi,) NEWEST MODEL

Apple iPad 2 Tablet (16GB, Wifi,) NEWEST MODEL

According to a report published by industry news source Digitimes, Apple has plans to launch not one but two iPad models this year. The first model, dubbed iPad 3, will be released in Marhc this year. It will feature a QXGA 1,536×2048 pixel HD ‘Retina Display’ and a battery life that is much longer than current generation iPads.

Also mentioned in the report — Apple’s plans to drop the prices of iPad 2 to $399 when the latest model launches in March. Following up this move will be another new model of the iPad in the month of October this year. This one is being called the iPad and Apple intends to launch it with “killer apps” according to the Digitimes report. It might even appear simultaneously with the new iPhone. BGR reported last month that a completely redesigned iPhone with aluminum casing will be appearing in the fall of 2012.

The iPad 4 will apparently have a 9.7inch display along with heavily upgraded hardware and integrated software. Which sounds like yet another showstopper for the year. However, two hero product launches in one year does not make much sense for the company. Unless of course they are going to treat one of these launches as an upgrade rather than a new product launch.

Looking at it from that perspective, it is possible that the company is going to upgrade the current model in March and then launch a major product version in Fall. However, Apple is not foolish enough to launch an iPhone and an iPad side by side. That would dilute the effect of either launches.

Reports outside Digitimes suggest that the upgrade in March will be the only iPad launch of the year. The other model that Digitimes is talking about is in fact an early prototype of the 2013 model. Apple will maintain production of the iPad2 and will continue selling the older tablet at a lower price. So it is unlikely that we will see two iPad launches this year.

Apple is currently dormant in terms of new product launches and announces. However, that is only because it is in between product cycles and the year has just began. After losing its creator and mentor Steve Jobs, the company has a lot to prove to the market in regards to their vision for the future. However, the Steve jobs effect will last for a quite a while. So this year’s products should create as much interest as they created last year. That would include both the iPad and the iPhone.

In the meantime, Apple products have not seized selling at all. The iOS products are especially going very strong in the market. The Chinese launch of the iPhone 4S has received a tremendous response and their HongKong launch was followed by all units selling out of the single store within the first few hours. So Apple is still going as strong as they were this time last year, perhaps even stronger than this time last year.


Belkin N900 DB Dual-Band Router Has True 450Mbps Speeds

Belkin N750 Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router (Latest Generation)

Belkin N750 Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router (Latest Generation)

Belkin has finally stepped up to the challenge thrown at it by rivals Netgear and Cisco and released a true 450Mbps Wireless-N dual-band router. It is called the N900 DB Dual-Band N+ Router (model number F9K1104) and it is currently the top of the line router from the company — the absolute best that you can buy for this purpose. This finally brings Belkin’s offers up to the same level as Linksys E4200 v2 by Cisco and the WNDR4500 from Netgear. It seems to be a follow up from the Belkin N750 DB Dual-Band Router.

The new N900 DB has the capability of providing full 450Mbps data rate throughput on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands (hence dual-band). Belkin has also highlighted the fact that it utilizes a better wireless broadcasting technology called MultiBeam technology. This apparently creates a stronger, more consistent signal has makes for better network speed throughout the covered area and creates less WiFi dead spots. This is done through as many as six embedded MultiBeam antennas inside the router, which create this stronger wireless effect over a longer range without a drop in the connection quality.

The router also has advantages like two high-speed USB 2.0 ports for attaching printers and storage; a 600MHz processor for powering media intensive multitasking (like printer and Network Attached Storage (NAS) working together); multiple Gigabit Ethernet ports; Intellistream QoS feature for prioritized gaming and video streams.

Design wise the router is almost the exact copy of the Belkin N750 DB Dual-Band Router and some of the other models as well. The entire unit stands up vertically on a provided stand. Since it has multi-array antennas to create the MultiBeam effect, this design helps it expose those antennas to proper transmission positions that lying flat on a surface would not have done. This can be verified by the fact that the N900 has no visible antennas like its competitors. It can easily be passed off as an external storage unit till someone checks the back. The back has an array of 4 Ethernet ports (all of them gigabit presumably), 1 extra Ethernet port for a non-LAN function, 2 USB (2.0) ports and the usual power socket.

Belkin N900 DB

Belkin N900 DB

It has a smooth and shiny black finish, which will be a fingerprint magnet if you are in the habit of moving your router around a lot. Otherwise it will just continue to look good with its curvy design that bulges at the sides a bit.

The only problem here is that even though the announcement has happened, interested Gearheads and Networking gurus will have to wait till April of this year to get their hands on one of these. Till then, they will just have to do with Belkin’s previous models which also provide dual-band operation and very high speeds with Wireless-N support. The predecessor model to the N900, the Belkin N750 DB Dual-Band Router, is a good example of this.

Overall, this makes the market for modern high-speed routers much broader and gives the customer more choice — which is always a good thing.


Nikon D4 Comes Out Amidst Tumultuous Leaks

Nikon D3S 12.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD and 24fps 720p HD Video Capability (Body Only)

Nikon D3S 12.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD and 24fps 720p HD Video Capability (Body Only)

The Nikon D4 has been leaking heavily for quite some time on the internet and now it is finally here. The company has released it as a follow up to the popular high end model Nikon D3S and there are improvements in all the key areas. Better autofocus ability, increased durability, video capabilities are better and overall performance is smoother.

Even though it is replacing the Nikon D3S, the company will not be merging its pro bodies with vertical grips in to on united line of devices like Canon does. The D4 should become available in the market before the 1D X and it will cheaper too — it is likely to ship in February for around $6,000. The price is cheaper probably because it has a marginally slower burst and the viewfinder is not as magnified. These features in a DSLR become more expensive after point even with a 1 frame increase per second or a fraction increase in magnification. It has in fact retained the viewfinder from the D3S, which is actually quite good.

The D4 has also retained the same number of autofocus points as the Nikon D3S but the company has apparently simplified the use of various autofocus features in the D4. It is actually quite challenging and confusing to use in the D3S. The newer model also has one more stop of AF sensitivity at low light, which is a very good thing and it also puts the new camera at par with what rival Canon has to offer.

The D4 has much better video capabilities apparently. Not only does the camera have a full set of necessary frame rates, it also has a feature for using the Live View contrast detection to augment AF during video capture. It has headphone and mic ports with controls for audio levels and even supports uncompressed HDMI output directly from the body.

For video files, the Nikon D4 uses H.264 B-frame compression. This technique uses bi-predictive compression to reduce file size. However, it is not as good as Canon’s I-frame which uses intraframe-only compression to deliver compressed files also but with better quality. The Nikon model has 1.5x and 2.7x crops in video mode for better zoom with the given lens. However, what it is lacking is a pixel-per-pixel video capture mode to capture motion footage in full 1920×1080 resolution. The new camera also touts a newer and faster processor which the PR mentions as a 16-bit processor. But 16-bit could also mean that it has a 16 channel read out and thus not that much faster. This sensor apparently produces less rolling shutter.

 

Nikon D4

Nikon D4

This sensor has 7.3micron pixels as compared to 1D X’s 6.95micron, which means larger photosites and hence better low light performance in video also. It has face detection just like the 1D X, probably thanks to a better metering sensor and the Expeed 3 imaging engine.

Continuous shooting is at 10Fps at full resolution and full autofocus. It can be pushed up to 11fps with AF fixed at first frame and 12fps at 8megapixels. There’s also a multi-shot HDR with a 9-frame exposure with +/- 5 stops bracketing and time-lapse ability too. It also has Ethernet port and support the Nikon WT-5A Wireless transmitter.


Google TV Models On Their Way From Sony, Vizio, Samsung & LG

Sony NSX-40GT1 40-Inch 1080p 60 Hz LED HDTV Featuring Google TV, Black

Sony NSX-40GT1 40-Inch 1080p 60 Hz LED HDTV Featuring Google TV, Black

Google is back again with its Google TV initiative. The Mountain View, CA, based Internet Search Giant has announced its hardware partners in the project right ahead of the CES 2012 Event. The event itself will see the unveiling of the hardware associated with the Google TV initiative.

The companies named in the announcement were common names from Google’s past efforts. The company named Sony, LG, Samsung and Vizio as hardware partners for producing and selling Google TV products. Sony already has such products in the market and has worked with Google before to produce those Google TV models. So it will be interesting to see what is new about the models are about to be unveiled at the CES event a few days from now. Sony has released both Google TV set top boxes and integrated TV’s. Amongst the other companies, Samsung and Vizio had shown off prototype models of their own Google TV products at last year’s CES. Those devices however never made it to the market.

The only name that is missing from Google’s roster this time is past partner Logitech. Not with much experience in making TV’s, the accessory maker backed out of the project after their initial offerings failed to gather much interest in the market. After very meager sales, the company stopped making and marketing the products altogether. Overall, these internet connected TV devices ultimately faced so many returns that they actually ended up not moving the number that they had sold.

This time, Google has made a few changes in the chip also. Marvel and MediaTek will be fabricating the chips for all Google TV devices. According to the statement, LG is getting ready to “showcase a new line of TV’s powered by Google TV running on their own L9 chipset. Google also mentioned that Samsung and Sony too will have new Google TV devices to show off at the CES and those will be on the market within this year. LG made an independent statement on the same topic, only adding a small detail that said some of the new Google TV’s will also be 3D.

In the meantime, Vizio will apparently hold “private demos at CES showcasing their new line of Google TV-powered products,” — said Google. And that covers all the companies that Google talked about in the statement.

So it looks like Google will have quite a busy schedule at CES this year. On top of the many Android related events that it will surely be having, Google TV will also be joining to make for a well-rounded event for Google. The company is expected to show off some more Android 4.0 devices and may be even talk about or unveil the special Android tablet that it is going to market in the near future. Other than that, Google is also likely to have major presence in the mobile related announcements as 4G LTE Android devices are shown of by different carriers and manufacturers.


MSI GT783 Gaming Laptop Launched With GTX 580M GPU

MSI GT780DXR-095US 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop - Black

MSI GT780DXR-095US 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop - Black

For those gamers who demand top notch gaming performance on the go, MSI has launched the GT783 series gaming laptops. Packing the powerful GTX 580m GPU from NVIDIA, these supercharged 17inch mobile gaming machines come with 2.2GHz Core i7 2670QM quad-core processor and a dedicated 2GB graphics memory. This is standard across the GT783 series, as is the 17.3inch full 1080p HD display which will make your games come alive. This series is the follow up to the similarly specced GT780DXR-095US laptop.

Meanwhile, the GT783R variant comes with a whopping 12GB of DDR3 RAM and twin 750GB HDDs in a RAID array. If you are looking for more performance, there’s the GT783 with a mindboggling 16GB of DDR3 RAM. This laptop trades in the twin 750GB HDDs for a 128GB SSD for super fast performance. Both have their own unique advantages and at 8.6 pounds, neither are really meant for constant lugging around. However, if you want to carry your gaming rig around, this is definitely one of the best options.

As you can imagine from the configuration, the price tag is on the pocket-burning side of things. The GT783R can be yours for $2,300 and the GT783 is going for $2,500. For those who want to get started immediately, there’s a bundle featuring Battlefield 3 pre-installation with a headset, gaming mouse and some accessories.

Given the performance hardware on these laptops (including the older GT780DXR-095US), it will have absolutely no problems burning through the latest games even at high FPS settings. This would mean really smooth gameplay with some amazing results. No one should ask about the battery life though. With that much system memory and graphics memory always at work in tandem with the powerful CPU and GPU — you will be lucky to have one full fragging session without plugging your laptop in to a wall socket. But then, you are certainly not looking to play in the bus or while travelling in the train with these 17inch beasts. So most gamers would be content with the amazing performance they are getting.

Both of these laptops are essentially desktop replacements and are meant to save space on your desk and account for a good amount of portability without sacrificing on performance.

Both laptops have identical design and are different only in terms of internal hardware. It has specific gaming oriented design features such as different key backlight colors for separate keyboard regions. It also has dedicated shortcut buttons on top of the keyboard for quick access to various features. It has a completely black plastic finish with the MSI logo in silver on the back cover and underneath the display.

MSI GT783 Gaming Laptop

MSI GT783 Gaming Laptop

Comparable models on the market include the 18inch Alienware M18x, which comes to about 3,500 with an anodized aluminum chassis and more SSD storage. In comparison, you are getting almost the same performance parts without the extra 1.1inch diagonal screen space, metal chassis and the extra SSD storage for about $1000 less. Looked at from this angle, it’s actually a pretty good deal. There’s also the predecessor model called the GT780DXR-095US which is also a 17inch gaming laptop and now it comes for around $1700 and has very similar specs with Core i7 quad-core processor, 12GB RAM, 128GB SSD and 1.5GB Graphics memory with a GTX 570M discrete GPU. Quite the bargain actually.


Nokia Smartphone Division Might Be Taken Over By Microsoft

Nokia Lumia 800 black 16GB -FACTORY UNLOCKED

Nokia Lumia 800 black 16GB -FACTORY UNLOCKED on Amazon

Rumors about Nokia’s smartphone division being bought out by Microsoft have started to make the rounds once again. Even though it was denied by Nokia previously, the rumors have resurged across the Internet after a post by Eldar Murtazin on the MyNokiaBlog. According to his post, the executives of both companies will be meeting at Las Vegas soon (possibly during the CES 2012 event) and will come to a decision regarding the buy out.

Murtazin’s post names Steve Ballmer and Andy Lees from the Microsoft side and Stephen Elop and Kai Oistamo from the Nokia side as the main people who would be deciding how this deal happens if it happens at all. According to the post, the smartphone division would then be absorbed in to Microsoft to turn in to an in-house division. Products from this division would be released under a separate brand and not as ‘Nokia’.

The main Nokia company would then be selling basic phones and Smartphone bridge models to actual smartphones — something that it has been excelling at for a very long time. These two categories are where Nokia makes the most number of sales, thanks to its wide price-sensitive audience around the Asian regions. However, if this goes through then it will also be the death of Nokia as we know it. It will no longer be able to compete with the big players in the market and will have to be content with making cheap phones for the rest of its existence.

According to the original post, the decision currently rests with Microsoft more than it does with Nokia. Microsoft still has not decided whether it needs to have an in-house hardware division for making smartphones but Nokia’s portfolio of smartphone patents is quite tantalizing for the Redmond giant.

Once this happens, Elop will apparently resign as CEO from Nokia later this year and the branding shift will happen in the second half of 2012.

Nokia has not confessed to any such intentions but industry experts have a different view on the situation. Since the very beginning of the Microsoft & Nokia collaboration, it has been clear that it is different from all other third party tie ups that Microsoft has for Windows Phone.

Nokia has far greater flexibility when it comes to customizing Windows Phone and its engineers have closely worked with Microsoft engineers to develop the platform. In addition to this, some of Nokia’s patent technologies such as the NAVTEQ location service, have been making their way in to Windows Phone as core features rather than just something that is present on Nokia made Windows Phones. Microsoft has spent its own marketing funds to help sell the Nokia Windows Phones and figures are to the tune of $200M.

Microsoft’s take over might also be influenced by Google’s decision to by off Motorola Mobility. This would mean both its rivals — Google and Apple — having their own in-house smartphone hardware development unit. In the face of this situation, Microsoft might indeed feel the need to invest in Nokia’s smartphone division and make it its own.