By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Richardson, Texas — Chinese handset maker ZTE is expanding its selection of unlocked smartphones available to U.S. consumers.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.
Denver - Wilson Electronics is launching its first 4G cellular-signal booster for the custom-install market.
The $1,249-suggested CI2070 boosts 4G and earlier-generation wireless signals to deliver coverage indoors up to 80,000 square feet. It’s promoted as the lowest priced and “best value” cellular amplifier for 80,000-square-foot spaces.
Waterloo, Ontario — BlackBerry will go private under a proposed deal in which a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings will buy BlackBerry for about $4.7 billion.
Fairfax, which already owns about 10 percent of BlackBerry's common shares, signed a letter of intent to buy BlackBerry and has six weeks to perform due diligence. Fairfax would get a termination fee if BlackBerry accepts another offer in the meantime.
Waterloo, Canada – BlackBerry’s decision to focus on the enterprise and prosumer markets could give rivals a minor market-share boost given BlackBerry’s IDC-estimated 3 percent share of the North American consumer-smartphone market.
New York – BlackBerry is reportedly going to lay off 4,500 employees and write off a record amount of inventory when it announces is fiscal second quarter financial Friday, Sept. 27.
According to Bloomberg and other published reports, BlackBerry will report a loss for the quarter of close to $995 million on sales of $1.6 billion.
Overland Park, Kan. – Sprint became the last of the four national carriers to launch a frequent trade-in plan for unsubsidized phones and tablets.
For now, the Sprint One Up program is available beginning today only through Sprint’s company-owned stores, not through indirect retailers, but a spokesperson told TWICE, “We do plan to expand the Sprint One Up to additional channels.” The program also isn’t available currently in Florida and Washington D.C.
Dallas – An AT&T-network version of Google’s Nexus 7 tablet became available on the Google Play store, which last week began offering a version that runs on the T-Mobile network.
The AT&T version became available Sept. 17 at $349 following Sept. 10 availability of the T-Mobile version, which is also priced at $349 but with free 2GB data for one month. Both versions come with 32GB embedded memory
Overland Park, Kan. – Sprint is expanding its presence in the Costco chain to 100 more stores, joining 106 Costco stores that began last fall to sell Sprint products and services.
In the stores, Sprint-network handsets are sold in wireless kiosks and dedicated retail spaces managed by Seattle-based Wireless Advocates, which provides similar services for Staples and the Army and Air Force Exchange Service. Wireless Advocates supplies Costco with salespeople, products and services.
Arlington, Va. – Smartphone users average almost two hours per day on their device, according to a Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) report.
The CEA’s Smartphones: Consumer Behavioral Trends found people spending 114 minutes per day on their smartphone.
Talking remains the top activity with owners chatting for about 23 minutes per day, followed by texting 20 minutes; writing and reading email, 18 minutes; surfing the web, 16 minutes; and social networking 11 minutes.