Top News for January 28, 2014

Amazon

Here are today's top stories from Tech News Today for January 28, 2014:

  1. Online retailer Amazon is planning to sell a TV box that doubles as a gaming console for less than $300. The information comes from the video game blog VG twenty four seven, which claims several sources who have been briefed on the hardware. Like Amazon’s Kindle tablets, the box will run on Android, according to the report. The device is being created by Amazon’s design subsidiary Lab 126, according to the post. Read more at vg247.com.

  2. More than one billion smartphones were sold last year, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, a 38.4% increase over 2012. Apple and Samsung are the only companies with double-digit smartphone market share and together enjoy the lion share of industry profits. But that combined market share is declining according to both International Data Corp. and Strategy Analytics, both of which show Apple and Samsung’s combined market share dropped from about half the market to about 47-48%. In earnings calls Apple reported the sale of 51 million iPhones in the fourth quarter of 2013. Samsung sold 86 million. Big numbers, but these leaders are being overwhelmed by smaller upstarts and fast growth in China, India and other emerging markets. Huawei, LG and Lenovo all grew twice the industry average and now own a combined 14% market share. Read more at appleinsider.com.

  3. Apple may be working on touch screens that double as solar chargers. A newly granted patent describes a laptop with a see-through touch display that charges the laptop through solar power. The display could also be made non-transparent. When the laptop is closed, the outside lid could show certain information. The patent comes in the wake of a prediction by Seeking Alpha investment blogger Matt Margolis that Apple was working on a future iPhone that charges right through the screen, which will be made from sapphire glass rather than Gorilla Glass. His prediction was based on an analysis of Apple patents, job postings, capital equipment announcements and other information. Read more at bgr.com.

  4. Serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis and former Atlantic Wire editor Gabriel Snyder have launched a mobile news app and website called Inside, which will have between 700 and a thousand updates on any given day - each one of them will be “written by humans — no algorithms." Inside's summaries includes a photo, headline and about 300 characters worth of description about the news. It's designed to cut back on linkbait and unnecessary aggregation. Read more at gigaom.com.

  5. [Google is now offering prescription Google Glass eyeglasses. For $225 more than the $1,500 price of Google Glass, Google will sell you titanium frames in any of four styles and eight colors. Google also added two more options for clip-on sunglasses for Glass at $150. Google Glass available currently only to about 30,000 people (including Jason and me), But is expected to ship this year. Read more at theverge.com.

  6. A developer named Steven Troughton-Smith has posted a video to YouTube that he claims is iOS in the Car, Apple’s upcoming car dashboard system. The system is running in a simulator, and Troughton-Smith claims that iOS in the Car is already present in iOS 7.0.3, but can’t be activated by default. Read more at gigaom.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for January 28, 2014.