News

iPhone 6’s sapphire displays may be limited

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Apple’s iPhone 6 was supposed to introduce a new, tough display of synthetic sapphire but “bottlenecks at various levels” of sapphire production may lead to a shortage of displays or complete scrap of the plan, reports Network World.

Apple, and its sapphire furnace partner GT Advanced Technologies, have been adding capacity and ramping up sapphire production at a new factory in Mesa, Ariz. But they face challenges because of the sheer scale of creating sapphire covers for millions of smartphones, possibly in the two sizes that Virey says Apple will introduce later this year: with 4.7- and 5.5-inch screens. Sapphire is second in hardness only to diamond, so sapphire smartphone screens would be more resistant to scratching and breaking than even the treated glass, such as Corning Gorilla Glass, used today.

The plan is ambitious and revolutionary in providing more damage-resistant displays with superior resolution. But with an estimated output of 5 million displays per month and a current capacity of 2.1 million displays, Apple may have to delay or scrap the program. The last time Apple sold a mere 5 million phones in one month was in 2009. In October and November of 2013, Apple sold 51 million iPhones. It is possible that Apple could limit the sapphire display to one model iPhone to gauge consumer interest.

Deutsche Telekom Says No Offers Beat T-Mobile’s Standalone Value

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As reported by Bloomberg earlier this month, Deutsche Telekom CEO announced that:

“We’re open to a transaction that creates value for all T-Mobile US shareholders, compared with continuing the business on its own,” Timotheus Hoettges said today on Deutsche Telekom’s earnings conference call. “Right now, there’s no such offer on the table.”

Urging that U.S. regulators consider blending phone and cable industries, Hoettges was concerned that the FCC is moving in the wrong direction.

Tom Wheeler, chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, said yesterday that “four national wireless providers is good for American consumers.” Hoettges responded that yesterday’s slump in share prices of Sprint and T-Mobile “couldn’t have been a clearer signal” that such thinking damages the smaller operators.

The mobile industry is about to become unbundled

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WIRED reports:

On Wednesday, Virgin Mobile and Sprint announced a new mobile-phone data plan called Custom, a prepaid family plan that lets users grab as much data as they want from either Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest for just $12 a month. For $22 a month, they can get unlimited access to all four. And for an extra $5, they get unlimited music streaming too. It’s undoubtedly an attempt by the two companies to grow their market share and lure a lower income demographic to their services, but it’s also an early indicator that the telecom industry is about to get the Netflix treatment.

The comparison isn’t 100% accurate since Netflix sells a bundle of movies, television shows, and original programming but it is clear that the mobile industry is thinking outside the traditional plan. This is always a good thing.

Giv is a no-contract provider that gives back

Mumbai_Guy_on_phone_November_2011_-2-5_CloseupNo-contract mobile providers are growing in number. (They should encompass 50 percent of the market by the end of 2015.) The market is getting further disrupted by a new provider that donates to charitable causes with every plan:

Giv offers two “Unlimited Everything” plans that start at $40 per month, compared with companies such as AT&T that have unlimited plans starting at $100 per month. The provider donates 8 percent of individual phone plans to charities of the customer’s choice.

In an industry that is constantly changing, Giv makes a unique impression with their charitable offerings.

Data centers look to mobile phones for tomorrow’s tech

BalticServers_data_centerMore computing power doesn’t necessarily mean bigger servers. With more data and computing resources heating things up, data centers need to find new ways to keep things cool. WIRED reports:

Still, the significant shift here isn’t just in going from bigger to smaller. It’s about eliminating all vestiges of the proprietary hardware used in networking and storage in favor of commodity components available through the mobile supply chain. It’s about this commodity hardware performing the function of proprietary systems today.

Picture a bunch of dirt cheap, cell-phone-like machines—all connected together with sophisticated software—instead of those power-sucking, refrigerator-sized boxes.

Ever seen a mobile phone with a fan or on-board cooling device? No, because they’re designed to operate at great temperature variations, which translates into power and cooling optimizations. Those power and cooling costs will therefore be drastically reduced from today, and these datacenters will use much less power and probably also less floor space per unit of CPU. The new mobile-defined datacenter will therefore be more efficient to operate and cheaper to make because the baseline hardware comes directly from the mobile supply chain.

Phone unlocking law will give consumers more mobility

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Last week, President Obama signed a bill making it legal for consumers to “unlock” their phones and take them to different carriers:

The bill, known as the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, reverses a decision made by the Library of Congress two years ago that said it was illegal for consumers to “unlock” their cell phones for use on other networks without their service provider’s permission. That means that providers like AT&T or Verizon could legally keep a consumer’s phone “locked,” in which case the person would face large costs switching carriers or attempting to link to other carriers overseas while traveling.

Not only is this law good for consumers but it is good for the environment. Previously, consumers with no power to unlock their devices might have simply thrown them away. Laura Moy, an attorney at Public Knowledge says this law should, “keep millions of devices out of landfills.”

CellPoint Announces Dallas / Ft. Worth Facility

DALLAS / FORT WORTH, TEXAS — CellPoint Corporation, the California-based display remanufacturer, is proud to announce the opening of its new Fort Worth, Texas facility. Wholly-owned by CellPoint Corporation, the new location will house a state-of-the-art LCD display remanufacturing facility. Specializing in repairing and refurbishing LCDs, touchpanels, and LCMs, the facility will be able to take in scrap condition displays and repair to “like new” condition at a fraction of the cost of buying new.

Headquartered in Orange County, California, CellPoint currently has remanufacturing and logistics facilities in Shanghai and Hong Kong. The new Fort Worth location expands CellPoint’s global footprint and extends CellPoint’s ability to reach its customers. Centrally located in Centerpoint, Fort Worth — the wireless hub of America — CellPoint’s new facility will be able to service carriers, OEMs, and support companies quickly and conveniently.

CellPoint is completing a renovation of the new Fort Worth location to make it a full service remanufacturing facility capable of supporting all CellPoint’s business. The facility will come online and be customer-ready by the end of May 2014.

CellPoint Corporation, a global manufacturing firm based in Orange County, CA, assists manufacturing companies with creative and innovative solutions to reduce manufacturing costs and increase product value. The firm delivers repair services and products to Fortune 500 companies, has over 100 employees in two wholly-owned factories in Shanghai, PRC, and Ft. Worth, Texas.