Seems that today is a big rumor day, as on top of the Amazon-Netflix acquisition, we also hear rumblings of an $800 Apple tablet netbook that will finally be released this October. Don’t get me wrong, we all knew that Apple would have a touchscreen tablet coming soon enough, just look at all the optimizations in Snow Leopard and you’ll soon realize that the OS is definitely a lot more finger-friendly than any other on the market. The China Times is saying, however, that this Apple tablet is almost hear, and that it should drop sometime in October. Hey - what better time for Apple to release a long-awaited, hotly-anticipated product than right before the holiday shopping season kicks off?
To the average Amazon consumer, this may be an odd pairing at first glance. However, as broadband penetration becomes more widespread throughout the US, digital movie download services will slowly drive a nail through physical disk media rental services. Both Amazon and Netflix offer movie streaming services right now. Many users of the Netflix service have complained about the lack of newer content being available. Amazon however, offers new movies for rent and download. Together, though, you have one hell of an offering.
A Netflix acquisition for Amazon would mean up airing of these two services, which in the eyes of many a digital downloader would be perfection.
Of course this is all rumor, and we won’t know for sure until something official comes out of either camp. However, looking at the stock surge, there certainly seems to be something up at Netflix. Do note, however, a similar rumor cropped up about two years ago, and nothing ever came of it.
Read More | Bloomberg
Look like the reasoning behind Google announcing their new Chrome OS yesterday was to take some of the steam away from a Microsoft announcement due this Monday. Word on the street is that Microsoft is set to announce a web-based Microsoft Office product at this Monday’s Worldwide Partner Conference, taking place in New Orleans.
So, what are the clues that a new Office in the cloud is on its way? Well, for starters, my pal Robert Scoble has been giving hints about a Microsoft product that he has seen, but can’t talk about, hinting at what Microsoft will be dropping on Monday. He did specifically state that is isn’t the new Microsoft non-IE browser, and that the product does run in a browser, including non-IE browsers.
Also, check out Office.com. Looks like the current owners of that domain are getting ready to move off of it, so that someone new can step in. Yup.
Remember, Google also removed the beta tag from their suite of products just the other day as well, to appease business users and maybe lure them into using Google’s online office suite. It seems that all signs point to Microsoft announcing a web-based Microsoft Office suite, which would run completely in the browser. Think about it - Microsoft Office is huge, some consider it a resource hog, and that is the allure of Google Docs and the rest of the Google offering. If Microsoft put it online, without all the bloat, that makes it a lot tougher for Google to defeat.
Read More | Robert Scoble's FriendFeed
Sorry to all you hopefuls out there, but Nokia won’t be releasing an Android-based smartphone later this year. Where would such a thought come from, you ask? Well, earlier this morning, The Guardian said it would happen, and that a Nokia Android phone would be announced in September. Seemed odd, since Nokia is the full owner of the Symbian OS, but stranger things have happened. However, soon after the article was posted, Nokia show it down anywhere they could, including on Twitter:
“re: Nokia’s rumored Android phone and you can quote me on this: We (Nokia) are NOT making an Android smartphone. Symbian is our platform…”
While we take most denials with a grain of salt, we believe them. At ease, Symbian fanatics.
It looks like cameras may be coming to the iPod touch and iPod nano lines, if these case designs are any indication. Manufacturers over in Asia are starting to leak case designs for the next refresh of the iPod line-up, which will happen in September more than likely. As you can see, the iPod touch case design includes a hole for a camera that would be at the top-center of the device, right next to the Wi-Fi antenna. On the iPod nano case, which you can see after the break, you’ve got a space for a camera on the top corner.
According to TechCrunch:
One of our sources in Asia say that Apple has placed an order for a massive number of camera modules of the type that they include in the iPhone. These are inexpensive cameras, in the $10 range. And the size of the order, our source says, means they can only be used for one thing - the iPods.
Could Apple be making a play to become to top mobile photo and video recording device manufacturer with the next refresh of the iPod? That just may be the case, and it would be a smart move. With the huge numbers that the iPhone and iPod lines sell, Apple would shoot to the top of services like YouTube and Flickr in terms of which device was used to shoot the media that is uploaded.
As an aside, last year, case designs were leaked that gave away the new form factor of the iPod nano, weeks before it was officially announced by Apple. We can still take this story with a grain of salt, but I think all signs point to “Yes” on this one.
Read More | TechCrunch
Zune is no stranger to rumors and leaks from the Microsoft camp. The latest from the rumor mill is of course regarding the newly announced Zune—Zune HD. According to the tipsters, the Zune HD will be available in 16GB and 32GB and to be priced anywhere from $249 to $279. It is also said that Microsoft is considering a 64GB model later in the year. (Editor’s Note: We are also hearing about a 64GB iPod touch.) The source claims that movies will finally be coming to the Zune Marketplace—a believable statement, as Zune will offer HD videos on the Xbox 360 starting this fall.
Read More | Slash Gear
Apple will announce the iPhone Video at WWDC 2009 this coming Monday. That won’t be a surprise though, as many are expecting it, Walt Mossberg said it, and Apple needs to counteract the Palm Pre launch.
What you don’t know, though, is that Apple will likely make the iPhone Video available the same day. Yes, you will be able to pick up the next version of the iPhone on Monday, if you get to an Apple Store before they sell out.
So, you know that Zune HD we brought up the other day? Looks like it is definitely the real deal. In fact, Neowin just published a list of specs that they were able to confirm through Microsoft. We should make note that this isn’t a full list of specs either, but rather what Microsoft was willing to let out for the moment. Take a look:
- 3.6 inchish OLED full touch screen
- NVIDIA Tegra powered
- 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 120GB versions
- HDMI Connection to stream straight to your TV
- HD Radio
- Web Browser
- WiFi compatible, with wireless marketplace
- Released early fall
- International release of the Zune device itself
- Home AV packs, Car packs, Charge packs
We are working on getting independent confirmation of what we see above, and we will let you know when that happens.
Read More | Neowin
If what you see above is truly the Zune HD, the next iteration of Microsoft’s flagship PMP, then color us both curious and impressed. Impressed by the seemingly high definition screen, curious at the lack of the Zune hardware’s calling card, the Zune pad. Could we be looking at the first touch screen Zune, sporting an HD display? If so, we’d like one immediately. Time to make some phone calls.
Read More | Engadget
We’ve been hearing that video recording would be coming to the iPhone for a while, but now we’ve got the evidence to back it up. Our friends over at MacRumors got ahold of a leaked screenshot showing a toggle within the Camera app that lets you choose between snapping a photo and recording a video. In order to enable the feature, plist config files in the current iPhone 3.0 firmware need to be edited so as to make it appear that a video camera is present. Other hidden features include a compass, camera auto-focus, and voice control, which we assume is for voice dialing.
One would imagine that new features like these would require some sort of newly updated iPhone to take advantage of them. Coincidentally, the iPhone 3.0 software will be made available in June—just in time for the next iPhone to launch. We are officially excited.
Read More | MacRumors
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