Vendor News

Huawei to Build Nexus 7 Tablet Successor?

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Nexus 7Leaker Evan Blass takes to Twitter to claim Google is working with Huawei on a 7-inch tablet-- a successor to the 2013's Nexus 7 featuring 4GB of RAM (there's only so much one can leak in 140 characters, after all).

Further details on the tablet are surprisingly scarce. Back in April Huawei reportedly got the trademark to the name "Huawei 7P," marking a possible clue to a device akin to the Nexus 6P, another Google device built by Huawei. Even earlier, in December 2015, Tech Times claimed Google was to launch a new Nexus 7 in May 2016 featuring "flagship specifications" and "drawing inspiration from the Pixel C tablet."

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Microsoft and Lenovo Deepen Relationship

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Lenovo smartphoneMicrosoft announces a "deepening of strategic relationships" with Lenovo in a deal having Lenovo preload Microsoft apps on select devices, as well as a "patent cross-licensing agreement."

The Microsoft apps in question are of the productivity variety, such as Office, OneDrive and Skype. They will be found in premium Android-powered Lenovo smartphones and tablets.

“Our collaboration with Microsoft will create new opportunities for our customers to take advantage of some of Microsoft’s most popular apps,” Lenovo says. “Installing Microsoft apps and services on our devices will bring additional value to consumers around the globe.”

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Apple Sells 1 Billion iPhones

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Apple loves big numbers, and a recent employee meeting had it reveal a pretty big iPhone-related one-- iPhone sales have officially reached the 1 billion milestone.

billionth iphone"iPhone has become one of the most important, world-changing and successful products in history. It's become more than a constant companion. iPhone is truly an essential part of our daily life and enables much of what we do throughout the day," Apple CEO Tim Cook says. “Last week we passed another major milestone when we sold the billionth iPhone. We never set out to make the most, but we’ve always set out to make the best products that make a difference. Thank you to everyone at Apple for helping change the world every day."

The announcement comes 9 years after the revelation of the first iPhone, and almost 5 years the death of the late, great Steve Jobs. It also comes at a perhaps not-so-great time for the smartphone, as fiscal Q3 2016 sees iPhone reach a historic low of 40.4 million, a -15% Y-o-Y decline from the 47.54m sold the previous year.

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Microsoft Offers Surface-as-a-Service

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Microsoft presents what it describes as a more flexible model for the sale of hardware at its Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC)-- Surface-as-a-service.

Microsoft SurfaceAs the name might suggest, Surface-as-a-service allows partner to lease Surface hardware and associated cloud software on a subscription-based basis. In Europe the scheme sees launch through ALSO, and involves a Surface tablet bundled with Windows 10, Office 356 and other ISV software.

"This will complete your ability to offer services for cloud, Windows 10, Office 365 and for Surface so you can have one end-to-end holistic offering for your customers," Windows and devices boss Yusuf Medhi says.

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Incipio Buys Skullcandy

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Accessory maker Incipio buys into audio with headphone vendor Skullcandy, in a deal worth approximately $177 million in cash.

SkullcandyThe deal covers the two headphone brands owned by the company, Skullcandy and Astro Gaming.

“We have long admired Skullcandy’s culture of innovation and ability to create pioneering audio experiences with quality and style," Incipio says. "Skullcandy and Astro amplify our dynamic mix of products and brands, while bolstering the technical and operational capabilities that serve as the foundation of our platform. The team at Skullcandy and its international presence will also allow us to accelerate the global impact of our multi-brand offense.”

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