Roku has announced pricing and availability for its Streaming Stick device that plugs into an HDTV to serve on-demand channels over the internet, without the need for a separate Roku set-top box.
The stick, about the size of a packet of chewing gum, will be available in the US in October for $100. It plugs into an HDMI port that is enabled for MHL technology – many new TVs and other devices are beginning to feature such ports – and does not need a separate power supply. Simple.TV followed up on Thursday with its own shipping announcement for its Broadcast TV -streaming box. Read more
Apple has reset the bar for the smartphone industry with the unveiling of an iPhone 5 in San Francisco.
The new device is thinner and longer than the current iPhone 4S, with a 4in screen. It includes 4G LTE connectivity and a new A6 processor twice as fast as the previous one. It features a new connector and improved camera. Apple also updated its iPod line with new nano and touch models and upgraded its iTunes store and software.
For more detail on how the announcements unfurled, see our live blog from the event after the jump. Read more
Amazon has taken on Apple with a range of new Kindle Fire tablets in different screen sizes that claim better performance and significantly undercut the iPad on price.
At a media event in Santa Monica, California, Jeff Bezos, chief executive, announced an 8.9in 32Gb Kindle Fire HD tablet (pictured left) that would cost $499 and feature 4G LTE connectivity when it ships on November 20.
An upgraded version of the original Kindle Fire sets a new low $159 price point for a 7in tablet from major manufacturers. The Fire undercuts Google and Asus’s $199 Nexus 7 and challenges Apple, which is rumoured to be launching a mini-iPad in October. International availability for the Fire was announced for the first time. Read more
Sony’s huge push into 3D led by Sir Howard Stringer has dominated its announcements at recent consumer electronics shows on both sides of the Atlantic, with new products and frequent instructions to the audience to don their 3D glasses during presentations.
But 3D, which has failed to give a significant lift to Sony’s consistently loss-making TV business, didn’t rate a mention when Kaz Hirai, who took over as chief executive in April, conducted Sony’s press conference at the IFA show in Berlin on Wednesday. Instead, the event climaxed with the unveiling of an 84in 4K LCD TV. Read more
A year after launching its first tablet, Sony has announced a next-generation version, the Xperia Tablet S.
The new slate is a slimmer version of the original, battery life has been boosted from eight hours to a claimed 10 hours and new accessories have been added. The Tablet S was unveiled at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin along with new smartphones, hybrid PCs and an 84in 4K LCD TV. Read more
It has not been a great week for Sony employees, as the Japanese consumer electronics group carries out some late-summer pruning on its businesses. Around 1,000 people at Sony Mobile’s operations are to be let go, with two-thirds of the redundancies falling in Lund, Sweden, as the headquarters of the mobile phone unit moves to Japan.
This was widely expected after Sony bought out Ericsson from their Sony Ericsson joint venture last year. In April this year, Sony had announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs globally. About half of these would come from the sale and spin-off of two subsidiaries, but detail about the rest is just starting to trickle through. Read more
In the second week of Apple v Samsung at a court in San Jose, their patent dispute took a more serious turn, after the titillating revelations of the first week included Apple designs for a 7in iPad, one with a kickstand and Samsung considering a Retina display-like tablet, writes Constance Nuttall.
Testimony from expert witnesses this week shifted the focus towards the patented materials. Those called by Apple claiming that aspects of certain Samsung smartphones and tablets were easily confused with Apple products, namely the iPhone and iPad. Read more
Roku and Vizio are the battling underdogs of the US TV industry, surviving and even prospering against bigger players thanks to their aggressive pricing strategies and rapid innovations.
Roku’s set-top box for streaming internet content has held its own against Apple TV, while Vizio has duelled effectively with Samsung over TV sales leadership. Now Roku has earned fresh legitimacy with a $45m investment led by News Corporation and its part-owned broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting. Read more