The wheels of industry are cranking today with tablet news from Apple and Toys R Us, a new “vanity number” service for mobile phones plus a porn-site with a conscience.
Tab Treats: Apple’s Far East factories are cranking out as many as 10 million of the not-yet-announced iPad Mini to deliver in the final quarter of the year, reports the Wall Street Journal. Announcement of the 7.85-inch (not Retina) screened device is likely Wednesday, with product shipping Oct. 17.
On the dedicated children’s tablet front, Toys R Us aims to hold the price and build a market for its own Android 4.0 based Tabeo tablet at $149.99 (coming Oct. 21) by keeping the device exclusive to its stores and on-line site and backing it with more than 7,000 apps.
Still, the concern’s newly launched , family friendly Toy RUsMovies.com site for streaming and downloading movies also plays on PCs, Macs and other Adobe Flash-enabled devices. Some hot releases like “”Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” are debuting on the site even before available on DVD/Blu-Ray, bragged a company spokesperson. Most titles will be available “the same day they hit retail store shelves” while TV shows will be available “the day after they air, with no subscription offered.” Movies start at $2.99 for a 24-hour rental, $5.99 for a digital download. TV shows will go for 99 cents or $1.99.
User Error: In other Apple news, the company has finally acknowledged (in a blog post) the existence of a “purple haze” spoiling many a photo shot with the new iPhone 5’s camera. But the blog then suggests it’s a user–error thing. You’re pointing the camera at the wrong angle, people, letting a strong rear/side light source reflect on the camera lens and cause a “flare up” of the lens’ purple coating. So just move the damn sun!
Also, the now craved after Lightning to 30-pin adapter allowing iPhone 5 users to plug their new phones into older “Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad” products is finally shipping . . . . in Australia first, almost a month after the phone was released. Guess no one saw this problem coming.
On a more positive note, the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center reports the iPhone 5 ranks better/lower in toxic chemical content than its' arch rival Samsung Galaxy S III. But the true winners – most evident when the phones are finally recycled - are the top ranked Motorola Citrus, followed by the iPhone 4S and the LG Remarq. A full report is at HealtyStuff.org.
Vanity, Thy Name is: If you think nothing of spending extra to get a custom license plate that pronounces you “STUD 1” or whatever, you’ll probably like the new vanity phone number service. Available first to Sprint customers for $3 a month, the deal lets you pick a combination of numbers which spell out your name, tag, team or whatever for friends to then call you with. First they tap “star star” (aka asterisk, asterisk) then the name to get hooked up. The software company Zoove behind the project hopes to have other big mobile carriers on board with service in 2013.
Windows To the World: The first Windows 8 laptops, some boasting a touch screen feature are coming . . . . in another month. The OS itself is set for Oct. 26 release. According to a Bloomberg report, Intel chief Paul Otellini told his staff that W-8 is a work in progress - i.e.. not exactly finished.
Enjoy The Bulge: Lucky you if your Entertainment Weekly (the one with Tina Fey on the cover) has a big bulge inside. 1,000 copies of the mag were packed with an ultra-thin color screened Android device, complete with a wireless 3G connection to T-Mobile, camera, speaker and keyboard, all to display tweets and trailer previews for the CW network.
Promising kicks and conscience is a new British-based non-profit porn site – Come4.org – that aims to invest generated revenues in worthy causes. Want to help them get off the ground? The group is still looking for funders.