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Best Buy set to launch Internet service

best-buy-logoThe top consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy Co., recently announced the company would offer its own branded wireless Internet service through a partnership with Sprint, called Best Buy Connect.

The service will launch in a few days on July 11, and will be available with or without terms starting at $29.99 for 250MB, according to the company.

Best Buy Connect VP Jed Stillman said today in a statement, “We are building on a great brand and foundation to enable people to rely on us for one-stop shopping and support for their mobile computing experience,”

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Investors bullish on RIM with new initiatives in China

The Research In Motion stock (TSE:RIM) is surging in past mid-day trading as the company confirmed today it would launch a new BlackBerry application store in China.

BlackBerry smartphones already available in China through China Telecom, but the application store comes as the company tries to make its devices more consumer friendly as competing products such as the iPhone from Apple become more enterprise capable.

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Nokia Mobile exec says no plans to launch Google Android powered product

symbian-logoTraditional phone-makers such as Nokia have seen slumping sales and losses in market share as competition in the mobile space has greatly intensified over the last few years, namely with the introduction of the iPhone from Apple and now more recently, Android from Google.

Google specifically has made its Android operating system open source, allowing device makers to use its advanced operating system to power their devices without licensing fees.

Today, Anassi Vanjoki, the top man at Nokia’s Mobile Solutions, confirmed via a blog post that the company has no plans to release any devices powered by Google Android, instead, opting for its now open-source Symbian platform.

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Microsoft brings Windows Live with IM to the iPhone

Microsoft Corporation today made available (iTunes) Windows Live Messenger on the iPhone.

The application is the first official release of the instant messaging and social networking client on the iPhone, years after the iPhone first launched.

The application includes support for push notifications, meaning users can sign in and leave the application on in the background to receive notifications and alerts without straining the battery; similar to how the BlackBerry works.

Users were previously able to use popular third party multi-client instant messaging applications on the platform that also include push notifications, however, this release from Microsoft is more comprehensive and includes more than just messaging capabilities.

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Google readying Google Music web-based music store, iTunes competitor

Google Corp. is planning to launch an online music store, simply named Google Music; with the service launching as early as by the end of next month.

The new product will be in direct competition with Apple’s iTunes music store, which is the biggest online music web store in the world.

Google Music works by allowing consumers to make purchases from the Google Market from their web-based PC, with the DRM-free music files being automatically pushed to their Google Android powered mobile device.

Google will also be offering a local application on your PC that would allow you to stream music from your Android device to your PC.

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Google Maps with Biking directions now available on BlackBerry

Today the search giant, Google, updated its Google Maps application for BlackBerry devices to version 4.2 that includes support for Google’s latest mapping project, Google Maps Bike, which allows users to get directions optimized for biking.

The new program offers users the ability to plan routes based on bike trails (indicated by dark green), dedicated bike lanes (indicated by light green), or by regular roads that are good for biking (indicated on the map by a dotted green line).

Google firstly made the biking feature available for Google Android-based mobile devices, and today made the application available for BlackBerry devices as well.

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Google AdMob acquisition clears FTC antitrust inquiry

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has completed an inquiry into the Google AdMob acquisition; after concerns fearing competition in the mobile advertising realm would decline given AdMob has the highest market share in the mobile advertising market.

The FTC said in a statement, “[it] was concerned about the loss of head-to-head competition,” given Google has about 65-percent of the global online search market, and is also the market leader when it comes to online advertising.

The FTC said its decision to clear the acquisition was based on Apple announcing it would enter the space with iAd, and its acquisition of Quattro Wireless.

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Why RIM needs to push BlackBerry 6 out before June 7

BlackBerry WES 2010 April conference where BlackBerry 6 was unveiled

Competition in the mobile space has been intensifying ever since the iPhone truly revolutionized the mobile realm, followed more recently with the Android mobile operating system developed by Google that has recently seen record sales.

Research In Motion, the maker of the popular BlackBerry enterprise centric (turned consumer friendly) messaging device has traditionally enjoyed a competitive edge (and arguably still does) over other platforms with its superior messaging capabilities, mainly seamless push e-mail and PIN messaging with BlackBerry Messenger.

RIM has traditionally been focused on developing handsets that are geared towards enterprise with an efficient and functional operating system that is designed to serve its primary purpose: mobile messaging, e-mail, and notifications.

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Mobile market grows 56% in Q1, Apple challenges RIM’s second top spot

The market research firm IDC published a report today on global smartphone sales, indicating the market grew 56.7-percent in Q1 2010 with 54.7-million units shipped, compared to 34.9-million units shipped in the same period last year.

The smartphone market also grew by a record 38-percent in the final quarter of 2009 year-over-year.

Most notably, Apple was able to double its iPhone sales over the same period last year, as the company introduced the iPhone in emerging high-growth markets such as China.

According to the report, Apple sold 8.8-million iPhone devices, putting the company in the third top spot of global mobile vendors.

Apple is expected to unveil its latest iPhone model sometime this June, with the more redefined OS 4 that will bring many new features including multi-tasking, enhanced e-mail and personal information management, among other key enhancements.

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Samsung posts record quarterly earnings, fueled by semiconductor growth

The South Korean-based global electronics giant, Samsung, late today published [PDF] earnings for the first quarter of 2010.

The company had the highest earnings ever recorded in a single quarter, reporting a massive USD $3.6-billion profit, largely attributable to increasing demand for semiconductors as the global economy begins to pick up again.

The company’s semiconductor unit had the most year-over-year growth of 57-percent, as the company sold 8.2-trillion Won worth of semiconductor chips, of which 5.59-trillion Won was from memory chips alone, which those sales increased by 76-percent from the same period in 2009. 30-percent of aggregate semiconductor sales were attributable to personal computer parts.

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