Apple Debuts New iPhone 4

The smartphone market is getting more and more competitive as new devices find their way into circulation but far and away the biggest star and most iconic device remains the iPhone.

Today, confirming early expectations, Apple kicked off its WWDC event with the debut of the groundbreaking phone’s fourth generation.

Lighter and more industrial than prior versions, the phone gleams from a thinner steel and glass case.

Smaller in footprint but bigger in battery life and brighter in display, the phone can deliver 40 hours of music, 10 hours of wireless net connectivity and over 300 hours of standby time.

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Skype to Charge for 3G Connected Service After 2010

It’s official, there are no more free rides for smartphone data users.  AT&T is phasing out its unlimited data plans (for new customers), and now Skype, just days after rolling out its first 3G friendly application will go from free to paid (sort of, anyway).

Skype confirmed that it’s free Skype to Skype VoIP calling service over 3G networks will cease being free at the end of the year.   Click to Read More

Sonic Solutions Buying DivX

In a deal aimed squarely at the evolution of Internet video infrastructure, Novato based Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ: SNIC) said Wednesday that is has signed a definitive agreement to acquire video compression specialist, DivX (NASDAQ: DIVX) for $323m in cash and stock.

Subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close in September.  If approved, it will provide DivX shareholders with $3.75 in cash and .514 shares of Sonic stock for each share of DivX stock they hold.

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AT&T To Stop Offering Unlimited Data Plans

Smartphone use is on the rise, and along with it, consumers’ appetites for mobile data services are growing exponentially.   Hoping to profit from the growth, and to stave off potential profit stifling network load, AT&T announced on Wednesday it will cease offering unlimited data plans to mobile customers.

Existing customers will be grandfathered in to their prior plans but begging Monday (the same day a new iPhone is expected to debut) new AT&T mobile customers will have to choose between two data plans.

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Sony Showcases Amazing Rollable Screen

From WiFi to Bluetooth, mobile technologies have begun to shift where we consume information and entertainment.  Touchscreens and voice automation have similarly begun to shift how we interact with it.  In the coming years, changing display technologies will likely have a similar effect on where and what we see.

Case in point – this week Sony revealed a new prototype OLED display so flexible it can be rolled and unrolled around a tube no wider than a pencil.  We’re not talking a screen that can just bend, this can literally roll and unroll. (Watch the video. More After the jump)

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By the Numbers: New PC Sales Data

Consumer demand for mobile PC’s (defined as laptops, tablets and netbooks) is on the rise.   According to research from Gartner, global shipments jumped 43.4%  in the first quarter, their highest in eight years.

With average prices down (off 15.7% year over year), increased consumer demand (as opposed to professional) was a key driver.

Asus and Acer, both pushing several inexpensive products, saw the largest growth rate among manufacturers.  The companies’ shipments were up  113% and 48% respectively.

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Smartphone Use Pushing Mobile Data Demand Skyward

Smartphone use (particularly iPhones) is addictive and contagious.  Sit down in a public place – a coffee shop, a bar, a book store – and chances are you’ll see someone whip out their phone.  Within minutes, sometimes just seconds, someone else will follow.   I’ve been out with friends and seen three out of five people at a table all “plugged in.”   They were texting, gaming, checking emails, scanning news.   Funny thing is, not one of them was actually using the phone to talk.

Phones have become our anytime, all-the-time, information portals and the trend isn’t slowing down.

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