By Jonathan Soble and Lindsay Whipp
OK, so you know selfies are a thing – who doesn’t? But what about encasing that selfie-taking mobile phone in a case shaped like a Chanel perfume bottle?
Meet the Smelfie (Perfume + Selfie) – a thing, apparently, among women in China. And it hasn’t escaped the notice of product designers at Sony. Read more
By Dan Thomas, telecoms correspondent
Sony will bolster its mobile range with a large screen “phablet” phone that is sized neatly between the high end smartphone and tablet launched last year to revive the Japanese group’s ailing devices business.
At 6.4 inches, Xperia Z Ultra acts perfectly as a small video screen, with a remarkably clear luminous display that carries HD videos with great clarity using Sony Bravia TV technology. Read more
The Computex show in Taiwan this week has featured some inventive takes on computing, including Asus’s Transformer Book Trio that works as a Windows 8 notebook and desktop as well as an Android tablet.
Next to that, announcements from Sony and Toshiba around the show seem rather conventional, with pens featured and the latest fourth-generation “Haswell” Core processors from Intel. Read more
Sony is rightly mounting a competition for a cuter name for the SRS-BTV5, first shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in January and available this month in black, white or pink for $70 (£55).
I like to roll this small audio ball of a wireless speaker in the palm of my hand and pet it like an executive toy, before tucking it away in its string bag for travelling. Read more
Sony teased gamers with details of its next-generation PlayStation 4, expected to launch around Christmas, at an event in New York this week. But with no console to be seen, promises of improved graphics and social gaming features did not appease the concerns of those who worry that the group could be close to losing its last chance at a comeback. Read more
Sony, you big tease. Taking a leaf from Apple’s playbook, the Japanese electronics group has posted a page on its website suggesting that a new Playstation games console is in the offing for 2013.
Sony Computer Entertainment put a page on its website titled Playstation 2013 with a video trailing a mysterious event on February 20 in New York. The page invites users to register for updates and ‘be the first to know’. Read more
Interesting commentary from around the Web on the tech story that made headlines this week.
The curtain came down on the International Consumer Electronic Show on Friday, bringing an end to the largest event in its history. As expected, the Las Vegas show was filled with TVs, smartphones and computers. But despite the acres of print and online space given to covering the show, there has been no shortage of tech commentators questioning its continued relevance. Read more
Sony is calling its new smartphone, launched at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a ‘super phone’, winding the clock back to the time of super models, super cars and when the Japanese group ruled the high-end electronics market. Daniel Thomas, telecoms correspondent, says the device is grown-up but far from revolutionary.
Sony has announced new TVs, content and distribution services for the Ultra HD standard it refers to as 4K, where screens have four times the number of pixels as the current Full HD standard.
At its press conference at the International CES consumer electronics show here in Las Vegas on Monday, it also showed a prototype TV where 4K was combined with another hot technology – OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diodes) – although the demonstration failed. Read more
In a week of big numbers for a previously slumping video game industry, Activision has come up with the biggest one of all – $500m in sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops II in its first 24 hours.
On Monday, Microsoft announced $220m in first-day sales for Halo 4 and then revealed, on the 10th anniversary of Xbox Live on Thursday, that a record 442m hours were played on it last week. Meanwhile, Sony announced sales of the PlayStation 3 had passed 70m and Nintendo expects the Wii U to sell out when it goes on sale in the US this weekend. Read more
AT&T has launched two smartphones licensed to kill the opposition with their specifications.
I felt rather like Q, 007’s gadget meister, in testing the Sony Xperia TL (a.k.a. the Bond phone), and the LG Optimus G quad-core, LTE smartphone, available since November 2 for $100 and $200 respectively with their two-year contracts. Read more
Behind every daredevil stunt or eye-popping event of late, a pint-sized point-of-view camera costing a few hundred dollars has been there to capture the moment through the eyes of the performer.
And, until a new thrust by Sony into a booming category, behind every “action cam” there has been a maverick entrepreneur pursuing a dream, which in the case of GoPro could lead to a $500m reported IPO next year. Read more
Contour is first out of the gate with a new hands-free video camera going on sale today, ahead of fresh competition from Sony and an expected product announcement from GoPro in October.
The Contour+2 is the only camera of this type, popular with sports enthusiasts, to be made available in the Apple Store and it has a much improved iOS app to go with it. 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
HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba have been showing the shape of Windows 8 computing to come, unveiling hybrid PC/tablet devices that take advantage of the new dual-mode operating system when it launches on October 26.
HP has been demonstrating its Envy x2 (pictured left) to media in San Francisco, while its Asian rivals launched their takes on hybrid computing at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin. None of them have anything to fear from Apple in this area, in terms of patent disputes or rival devices, with Tim Cook, chief executive, describing such designs as being as unsatisfactory as combining a toaster with a refrigerator. 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
A major investor in Gaikai, the cloud gaming service bought by Sony for $380m last week, has said the console maker could do something revolutionary with its acquisition that would transcend its hardware business.
“I think [Gaikai] will really show its true promise in the hands of Sony,” Mitch Lasky, general partner at the Benchmark Capital VC firm (pictured left), told the GamesBeat 2012 conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. “My hope is that we are going to see ‘PlayStation as a Service’,” he said. Read more