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One analyst believes the Apple Watch will be the company's most profitable item ever

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2015 19:21

One analyst believes the Apple Watch will be the company's most profitable item ever Last week, Apple began pre-orders on the Apple Watch and its hundreds of varieties before the smartwatch goes on sale officially this Friday.

Carl Howe of Think Big Analytics has been one of the biggest bulls on the launch of the device, suggesting that Apple has already sold over 3 million units at an average price of over $500, selling 1.8 million Sports (starting at $349), 1.3 million Watches (starting at $549) and 40,000 Edition (priced at $10,000 or higher).

"I've built a simple model that predicts that the initial run of watches was more than 3 million units and will yield Apple Watch revenues of over $2 billion for the first two weeks of sales," said Howe. "The model suggests that while Sport Watch will lead sales in volume, selling 1.8 million units through May 8, Apple Watch will actually lead in revenue during that period, garnering about $900 million versus Sport's $675 million. I also believe that Apple's decision to introduce the Edition will be validated by $500 million in sales on only 40,000 units." If accurate, the figure crushes all other smartwatches to date, including the popular Moto 360, and that's only with pre-order sales.

In addition, Howe believes the device will be Apple's most profitable, with gross margins over 60 percent compared to the already large 35-40 percent it sees for its iPhone line. "Why? Because the core electronics modules in the expensive models are the same ones used in the Sport models, and they just don't cost that much," noted Howe.

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AfterDawn: News

Tidal will let you bring over your Spotify, Rdio playlists

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2015 19:00

Tidal will let you bring over your Spotify, Rdio playlists Tidal, the high-fidelity music streaming service recently acquired by Jay-Z, has announced a new partnership that will help rival service users to bring over their existing playlists.

The partnership is with a company called Soundiiz, which will let you connect to your Spotify, Rdio, Xbox Music, iTunes and Soundcloud accounts to convert your playlists over to Tidal.

Soundiiz is currently in beta and nearly everyone who has used it says there are plenty of glitches to go around, mainly related to translation and text issues.

Overall it appears that Soundiiz, and Tidal in general are still works in progress but Jay-Z and his group of A-list musician friends are well on their way to competing with the big boys.

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AfterDawn: News

AMD: Microsoft to launch Windows 10 at the end of July

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2015 18:33

AMD: Microsoft to launch Windows 10 at the end of July According to chipmaker AMD, Microsoft's heralded launch of Windows 10 will take place at the end of July.

Speaking during the company's recent earnings call, CEO Lisa Su let slip the release time frame, which has generally been acknowledged as "Q3" for the time being.

"With the Windows 10 launch at the end of July, we are watching sort of the impact of that on the back-to-school season, and expect that it might have a bit of a delay to the normal back-to-school season inventory build-up," said Su.

Microsoft will release Windows 10 in 190 countries and in 111 different languages over the summer but consumers willing to deal with bugs can download the Technical Preview here (you will need to sign up for the Windows Insider Program).

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AfterDawn: News

OnePlus One now available without an invite and not only during flash sales

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2015 18:12

OnePlus One now available without an invite and not only during flash sales About a year ago, Chinese startup OnePlus launched the OnePlus One flagship smartphone and it quickly gained accolades for its smooth operation, high-end specs and rock bottom price.

There was a major catch, however, as it was nearly impossible to get the device unless you received an invite from an existing owner or through promotions being thrown by the company. Late last year, the company changed the model a bit offering the One through flash sales every few weeks for a couple of hours in addition to the invites.

Reads the company's release: "Since the early days, our company has changed quite a lot. We've grown to over 700 employees and have sold over one million OnePlus Ones worldwide. We've also learned an immeasurable amount from all of you. We pour over your comments on our forums and social media and soak in the feedback you give us at events all around the world. We try to not just listen, but also act on these lessons. Your feedback has resulted in a wider range of accessories, better logistics options and an evolution from invites to pre-orders to Tuesday Open Sales. Now, we're taking it one step further.

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AfterDawn: News

Site owners beware: 'Mobile-geddon' is almost upon us

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2015 20:28

Site owners beware: 'Mobile-geddon' is almost upon us On Tuesday, Google will update its mobile search algorithm, a move that will likely affect millions of sites and has already been dubbed 'Mobile-geddon.'

The algorithm will soon begin favoring sites that are mobile-friendly (meaning they easily resize to all screen sizes and have larger text and are easy to navigate), and non-mobile-friendly sites will get lowered in search rankings.

Google says about 60 percent of total Internet traffic now comes from mobile devices and they want these users to have good experiences when searching. Google first noted the changes back in February giving webmasters over two months to update their sites.

The change has already been called mobile-geddon because it is expected hurt millions of small business websites that may not be tech savvy enough to have 'mobile-friendly' experiences or are just outdated after having paid for a custom site years ago.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft forced to pull Windows 10 Technical Preview for some Lumia phones following reports of bricking

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2015 19:41

Microsoft forced to pull Windows 10 Technical Preview for some Lumia phones following reports of bricking Microsoft has decided to pull a recent build of its Windows 10 Technical Preview for a few of its cheaper, low-end Lumia smartphones after early testers reported their phones bricking after the update.

The affected models are the Lumia 520, 525 and 526, which is a shame given that the phones are some of the most popular Windows devices Microsoft/Nokia has launched to date.

"We are seeing some reports of failures on Lumia 520/525/526 devices when trying to roll back to Windows Phone 8.1 using the Windows Phone Recovery Tool. We are pausing build availability for these devices temporarily while we investigate the issue and work with customers who have reported problems," said Microsoft.

The build in question is 10051, released last week to the Windows Insider program for 'Fast Lane' users who are willing to work with buggier operating systems get quicker updates.

Microsoft should be quickly working on a fix for the build which is an important milestone for Windows 10 thanks to the addition of the Project Spartan browser.

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AfterDawn: News

AMD has another poor quarter as they continue restructuring efforts

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2015 19:17

AMD has another poor quarter as they continue restructuring efforts AMD has reported another poor quarter as the company continues to restructure its core businesses.

For the quarter, the company had revenue of $1.03 billion, a large 26.4 percent decrease year-over-year and the company had a net loss of $180 million.

A good chunk of the losses came via the ongoing restructuring fees AMD is paying to get out of the dense server business, where it is winding down its Seamicro brand. For the quarter, the wind down cost $75 million.

Computing and Graphics saw a major 38 percent revenue decline year-over-year thanks to lower desktop and notebook processor sales as well as GPU channel sales. The Enterprise, Embedded and Semi-Custom segment fared better with a mere 7 percent YoY decline in revenue. AMD saw the declines due to lower server processor sales. The company is now banking on the upcoming Carrizo APU to offset losses.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony's HDR-compatible Android TV 4K TVs are headed to the U.S

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2015 18:41

Sony's HDR-compatible Android TV 4K TVs are headed to the U.S A year after launching their first 4K TV sets, Sony is now taking pre-orders for six new HDR-compatible 4K sets ranging from 43-inches to 75-inches.

"Sony has always been the leader in 4K and our exclusive Sony technologies have been at the core of providing TV lovers with the best picture quality, no matter what content they are watching. Our decade of experience allows us to now improve color accuracy and clarity even better than before," said Taka Fujita, vice president of home entertainment and sound at Sony Electronics. "And now, by pairing our unrivaled picture quality with Android TV, we are setting out to provide our customers with the best user experience possible."

In case you didn't catch that, the new TVs will run on Google's Android TV platform that offers connectivity to Google Play, casting features, Android gaming and the ability to use your Android phone as a remote.

Adds Sony: "The full 2015 4K Ultra HD lineup is powered by the X1 processor engine, maximizing contrast, color and clarity in both HD and 4K content. While Sony TVs have had expanded color, brightness range and upscaling for years, the X1 processor takes another step forward in improving these features. Thanks to X-Reality™ PRO Picture Engine, developed from over ten years of experience in upscaling, all existing HD content is upscaled to super clear 4K quality. And TRILUMINOS™, found on the X850C series and up, provides the widest color range ever and dynamic color correction ensures colors are as consistent and accurate as possible."

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AfterDawn: News

R.I.P FM radio (in Norway)

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2015 18:08

R.I.P FM radio (in Norway) According to a new report, the country of Norway will shut down FM radio beginning in 2017, with the nation moving to Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB).

The Norwegian Ministry of Culture made the decision, and if it's true, will mark the first time a country has killed the long standing radio standard.

"Listeners will have access to more diverse and pluralistic radio-content, and enjoy better sound quality and new functionality," Minister of Culture Thorhild Widvey said in a statement. "Digitization will also greatly improve the emergency preparedness system, facilitate increased competition and offer new opportunities for innovation and development."

The Ministry says transmitting through FM radio is eight times more expensive than its digital counterpart. DAB has been around since 1995 and DAB+ was introduced in 2007.




AfterDawn: News

The Pirate Bay is fully back as registrations reopen

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2015 17:34

The Pirate Bay is fully back as registrations reopen Months after the site was raided and taken down, The Pirate Bay is finally completely back as new registrations have reopened for the public.

The site returned from its 8 week downtime in January but registrations had been closed for security reasons and also to avoid spam and other abuse as moderators worked overtime to get everything back in shape.

"The registrations remained closed as a security precaution. But now that the mods are back and stable, new accounts won't flood the site with fakes," The Pirate Bay said.

Moderators have taken down thousands of suspicious accounts that could have been used to flood the site with malware and other fake downloads but they will certainly still have their hands full with registrations reopened.

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AfterDawn: News

WhatsApp adds ability to backup and restore from Google Drive

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2015 11:37

WhatsApp adds ability to backup and restore from Google Drive Following last week's Android update to Material Design, the WhatsApp team is still hard at work, adding the ability to backup and restore from Google Drive.

Using the popular cloud service, you can back up and restore your conversation history as well as any included media.

Starting with WhatsApp 2.12.45, if you head to Settings -> Chat Settings -> Chat Backup you can choose the frequency of your backups and whether you want to be able to backup over Wi-Fi-only or over data (which is generally not recommended).

Those who have tested the new app say videos don't appear to be backed up but convos and photo media seem to work seamlessly.

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AfterDawn: News

WhatsApp on track for 1 billion users by the end of the year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2015 11:16

WhatsApp on track for 1 billion users by the end of the year Massive messaging app WhatsApp has announced 800 million monthly active users, on pace for the 1 billion mark by the end of the year.

CEO Jan Koum revealed the new impressive milestone, which shows that the company is adding 100 million active users every quarter since last January.

Facebook acquired the messaging service last year for about $22 billion in stock, one of the largest tech acquisitions of all-time. Facebook has 1.4 billion users and its own Messenger app has nearly 600 million.

WhatsApp is expected to begin being profitable for Facebook after it reaches 1 billion users.

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AfterDawn: News

WhatsApp sees huge growth, soon has a billion users

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 19 Apr 2015 10:03

WhatsApp sees huge growth, soon has a billion users When Facebook last year announced it will acquire WhatsApp many sighed in frustration and went even so far as switching messengers. There was a slight rebellion behind the scenes, also fueled by the decisions concerning Facebook's own Messenger.

It seems that the move has anything but reduced the popularity of the world's most popular IM software. New figures suggest that WhatsApp has already over 800 million users and is closing fast on a billion.

The messenger platform is finding new users in a never before seen pace. In the past three months alone it has increased its user base by an incredible one hundred million.

Facebook is yet the only one to break the coveted billion user base but even its own Messenger has "only" 600 million users.

One of the more important factors to such an aggressive growth is most likely the addition of free calls to other WhatsApp users. If WhatsApp continues on this pace it'll reach the goal later this year.




AfterDawn: News

Google will support Chrome for XP until end of the year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Apr 2015 23:12

Google will support Chrome for XP until end of the year A year ago, Microsoft stopped support for their decade-old Windows XP operating system, meaning the millions of users still running the OS are vulnerable to exploits. Google wants to help.

Says Google: "At the operating system level, computers running XP are inherently in danger of being infected by malware and viruses, making it increasingly difficult for Chrome to provide a secure browsing environment. That's why we strongly encourage everyone to update to a supported, secure operating system.

That said, we know that not everyone can easily switch to a newer operating system. Millions of people are still working on XP computers every day. We want those people to have the option to use a browser that's up-to-date and as safe as possible on an unsupported operating system."


Google had promised to keep Chrome on XP support through April 2015, and now that we are here, Google says support has been extended until the end of the year.

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AfterDawn: News

Netflix orders 'Our Planet,' an eight part nature documentary in 4K

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Apr 2015 22:17

Netflix orders 'Our Planet,' an eight part nature documentary in 4K Netflix has ordered "Our Planet," an eight-part nature documentary from the makers of the popular "Planet Earth" series.

The series will explore remote wilderness areas including deep ocean and polar ice caps and be filmed in 4K. The project is in conjunction with Silverback Films and the conservation group WWF and will be filmed over the next four years before release in 2019.

Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey are behind the new series, and the same team created "Planet Earth," "Frozen Planet," "Blue Planet," "Earth," "Bears," "African Cats" and "Chimpanzee."

"Netflix is proud to be the global home for perhaps Silverback's most ambitious project to date," said Lisa Nishimura, VP of Netflix original documentaries. "The 'Planet' projects have enjoyed great success on Netflix and have helped launch new technologies for viewing at home. We think watching 'Our Planet,' fully on-demand in 4K, will be an unforgettable experience for our members."

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