Vendor News

Wristwatch, Phone, and Tablet?

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Asus IRISAsus shows off its next generation of mobile computing device concept at CeBIT 2011-- IRIS (Inspirational Research for Immersive Space)-- a device that turns into whatever its user needs it to be.

Using a form of paper thin flexible display, the device concept is stretchable; sliding the display's edges turns it from wristwatch size (attaching to a bracelet) to phone, tablet and gaming device.

The concept video also shows off a couple docks with built-in projectors, including an alarm-clock sized example that produces dynamic sleep environments (complete with ambient lighting and interactive 3D alarm projections).

Asus has a penchant for weird and wonderful hybrid creatures (like the Asus Eee Pad Slider), and the example shown at CeBIT actually works (sort of), but one seriously doubts the IRIS will get to exist someday. Then again, who knows what the future holds?

Go Asus Design Centre-- IRIS Project

iPhone 5-- Smaller, Cheaper, Neither?

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iphone The New York Times reports sources close to Apple say the company is looking into making the device less expensive to produce-- but not in a smaller form factor, as some other sources are saying.

The report continues that the next iPhone will also work with voice commands but will come in a size similar to the iPhone 4's.

Meanwhile Bloomberg says the new iPhone will come in a cheaper, smaller package, with a focus on streaming media and cloud-based storage.

However the New York Times' predictions are more convincing-- a smaller screen would only cause app store defragmentation (and wouldn't be necessarily cheaper to produce) as developers end up rewriting their apps. Steve Jobs himself describes the iPhone's uniformity is its "huge strength".

Either way we'll surely continue getting more news and rumours on whatever Apple's iDevice sequels will develop into.

Go Apple is Weighing a Cheaper iPhone (NYT)

Go Apple is Said to Work on Cheaper, Smaller iPhones (Bloomberg)

Nokia and Microsoft Form Partnership

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As reports speculated over the last week, Nokia and Microsoft announce what they're calling a "broad strategic partnership" taking on Google and Apple in the smartphone war.

Nokia MicrosoftThe partnership involves Nokia putting Symbian development aside in favour of using Windows Phone 7-- concentrating on hardware design instead. 

Both companies will share technology-- Nokia phones will adopt Bing and adCenter, Nokia Maps will become part of Microsoft's mapping services, while Nokia's Ovi app store will integrate with Microsoft marketplace (with Microsoft providing developer tools to app makers). This is what the 2 companies are calling "the 3rd ecosystem". 

Meanwhile, Nokia will try to retain and transition its Symbian user base, while Meego will go open-source.

In a market where both companies are underdogs, Business Insider predicts the Nokia-Microsoft alliance could take up to 34% market share-- if both work fast. Either way, the smartphone wars just got more interesting. 

Go Nokia and Microsoft Announce Partnership

Go The Smartphone Wars' Changing Face

Automatic Backups, Wire Free

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Clickfree launches a wireless version of its backup devices, Clickfree Wireless.

Clickfree WirelessUsers plug the device into each of their computers for a single time (to perform an initial backup). The device performs the  following backups automatically through 802.11n wireless, without it being connected to any computer.

Clickfree's Backuplink technology handles all backup procedures.

It also allows users to easily upload, email or burn to CD/DVD their photo files, and can archive iPod/iPhone music and playlists.

The Clickfree Wireless is currently available in a 500GB model, with larger capacities to be out in Q1 2011.

Go Clickfree Wireless