MediaFile

Sports Illustrated unveils another digital app subscription plan

sports illustratedTime Inc’s Sports Illustrated unveiled the details of another subscription plan for the Samsung Galaxy tablet computer and Android based smartphones — the print version of its  parent Time Warner Inc’s “TV everywhere” idea currently touted by Chief Executive Jeffrey Bewkes.  Like TV Everywhere, magazines everywhere charges one price for access to content across print and digital platforms.

The SI digital and print subscription plan comes on the heels of  a Time Inc announcement about a similar subscription plan for SI and People for  Hewlett-Packard’s forthcoming tablet device the TouchPad.

“The key to the media business is habituation,” said Time Inc EVP and Chief Digital Officer Randall Rothenberg.

Indeed, the SI digital app subscription plan is available everywhere with one glaring exception: Apple’s iTunes store.

That was the elephant in the room this morning when  Time Inc executives showed off the SI app on various devices. Currently, only single copy editions of SI are available on the iPad and iPhone. It’s a sore point among publishing executives who depend on subscriptions for circulation and more important, advertising revenue.

The world wants cheap but stylish phones. Can Android deliver both?

KOREA/Cheap and stylish are more likely to be antonyms when describing mobile phones. But the global market will reward a smartphone that can deliver on both fronts, a goal that Android phones seem best suited to reaching.

That is one conclusion to be drawn from a survey from Nielsen on mobile phone usage by 15-24 year olds around the world. The survey had some interesting insights, such as Italy’s position as the market with the highest percentage of young people owning a smartphone (47%). The U.S. was the only major market surveyed where smartphone owners were more likely to be female (55%) than male (45%).

Only one in six smartphones owned by people in the age group surveyed were purchased by parents, so the results can help shed light on what features appeal the most to consumers under 25. For the most part, those features varied by country.

A “completely new” iPad, says Jobs, for the holidays

APPLE/The iPad will have just a smattering of competition for the holiday season, but nonetheless, Steve Jobs says he is basically reinventing Apple’s tablet as consumers prepare to hit the stores over the next five weeks.

Apple on Monday announced the latest software update for the iPad, bringing multitasking, AirPrint and a few other goodies to the touchscreen tablet.  While these features are certainly nice (they came to the iPhone earlier this year), Jobs took it a bit further. And he of course didn’t pass up an opportunity to smack his tablet rivals, which include Samsung and Research in Motion.

“iOS 4.2 makes the iPad a completely new product, just in time for the holiday season,” Jobs said in a news release. “Once again, the iPad with iOS 4.2 will define the target that other tablets will aspire to, but very few, if any, will ever be able to hit.”

FT hearts tablets so much, it’s spreading the joy among staff

SINGAPORE/It’s not hard to see why newspaper companies, saddled with plunging circulation and big iron presses , are so ecstatic over tablet devices. They bring a form of hope that hasn’t crossed this industry’s path since newspapers dominated classified advertising in the 1980s and 1990s making them fat with revenue and profits. Tablet computers, like Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, just might spark renewed interest in wilted newspapers among consumers and help ease the legacy costs of paper and ink.

Consider News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch who has often expressed his love for the iPad and is busy building a team to produce a tablet-only newspaper The Daily.

The  Financial Times is just as enamored and is spreading the joy offering its employees a nice chunk of change to go toward the purchase of an iPad or other tablet.

CES: Samsung demos camera, media frame, MID with LTE links

Samsung showed off these prototype gadgets at the Consumer Electronics Show as part of a selection of demonstrations Verizon Wireless put together to highlight potential uses for a high-speed wireless network based on LTE technology. Samsung was very coy about potential availability but it was happy to give a basic view on how the devices could work. The idea is for photos to be sent wirelessly from a camera to devices such as a prototype media frame that could receive video as well as photographs. Samsung’s mobile Internet device, a small hand-held gadget with a screen larger than a phone, could potentially record video and stream it directly to the picture frame over LTE.  Here’s the demo:

dellPhone a rumor at best – Michael Dell

The Web may be buzzing with stories about whether computer maker Dell should or shouldn’t get into the cell phone market, but the company itself  has tried to stay out of the public discussion. 
Michael Dell said on Friday that reports of Dell’s cell phone ambitions were “best described as a rumor” when chased by reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. 

The analysts had this to say about the computer maker doing battle with rivals such as Apple in the cut throad phone market as well as in computers. 

 Some were encouraging:

“This strategy makes a lot of sense. Smartphones are a big opportunity and in a way they’re canibalizing notebook and netbook sales to a degree,” said Kaufman Bros analyst Shaw Wu. “It’s probably minor today but could become bigger over time as smartphones get more powerful. It’s better to go embrace the threat than doing nothing.”

CES: Palm in spotlight on Day 1

Palm Pre

The official start of the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas saw PDA pioneer Palm unveiling its answer to the popular iPhone smartphone and a new, Web-oriented operating system. Investors pushed the stock up 30 percent for two consecutive days and bloggers affirmed their optimism in early hands-on reviews.

Gizmodo’s Adrian Covert admired the Palm Pre’s intuitive design and “beautiful” screen. And Engadget’s Joshua Topolsky found switching between applications graceful and simple.

Elsewhere in Vegas, Sony continued blazing the organic light-emitting diode trail showing off a bendable OLED video screen that would make it possible to literally wear what you want to display. Actor Tom Hanks demonstrated a pair of prototype Sony eyeglasses with built-in video screens for watching full-length movies.

CES: Samsung gadgets get reporters hot and bothered

If gadgets were fashion models, Samsung would probably send its TVs, Blu-ray players and camcorders sashaying down the runway, with reporters and photographers scrambling to get close. That’s how proud they were of their gadgets at the Consumer Electronics Show — admittedly, they were all slim, sexy and worth a slip of drool.

The South Korean electronics giant paraded a number of new or upgraded TV models in Las Vegas today, including a line-up of high-definition TVs that are supposed to be more energy efficient because they use LED as a light source rather than traditional cathode lamps.

Jongwoo Park, Samsung’s president of digital media, was quite bullish when asked about the tiny LED TV market. “We’re going to create the market,” he said.

Apple’s ghost hovers over IFA

A worker cleans parts of the Samsung exhibition stand at the Internationale Funkaustellung consumer electronics fair in BerlinApple‘s ghost was hovering over the feast of gadgetry at IFA, the world’s largest consumer electronics fair in Berlin. Unlike most of its competitors, Apple itself didn’t have a stand – its still very much alive chief executive Steve Jobs doesn’t like to share the limelight with others.But Apple was the benchmark against which many of the journalists and trade buyers present assessed rival wares. Two products were touted as Apple killers, though neither quite makes it.

The one that comes closer is iRiver‘s SPINN media player, which is a similar size to Apple’s iPod Touch but 40% lighter and has a touchscreen with superior OLED technology, which makes it ideal for watching video. The SPINN’s angular metal case contrasts with the more rounded Touch and is named after an knob built into its top right corner that allows users to easily flick through photos and music.

Buyers in the market for a dedicated music and video player may overlook the SPINN’s lack of wifi to connect to the internet, which the Touch has, but the SPINN’s Achilles’ heel is its meagre 8 gigabytes of memory. This is enough for thousands of songs but only three or four films. The top-of-the-range Touch has four times the capacity.

Gorgeous to gimmicky – new tech at Berlin’s IFA show

Technicians mount a new generation of OLED TV screen on the Samsung exhibition stand at the Internationale Funkaustellung consumer electronics fair in BerlinThe genuinely gorgeous and the jaw-droppingly gimmicky are rare sights on the floors of TVs and tumble dryers on show in in Berlin at IFA, which claims to be the world’s largest consumer electronics fair, but this year Sony takes the dubious accolade of having both on show within a few metres of each other.

First the sublime: Sony’s XEL-1 TV, based on OLED technology, will go on sale in Europe for the Christmas season for around 3,000 euros after being available in Japan for almost a year. With just an 11 inch diagonal, you don’t get much screen size for your money, but you do get a TV that’s just three millimetres thick and has strikingly more vivid picture than conventional LCD technology.

Of course, Sony isn’t going to be alone with OLED televisions for long. Samsung also has an impressive array to go on sale next year, though theirs will be pricy too — product executive Noh Young Joong told Reuters they would likely cost two to three times as much as equivalent-sized LCD units.