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LG steps up smartphone effort with new flagship G3
by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) May 27, 2014

Intel, China's Rockchip in Android tablets alliance
New York (AFP) May 27, 2014 - US computer chip giant Intel announced Tuesday a partnership with Chinese tech firm Rockchip to produce low-cost Android-based tablet computers.

The two companies will produce "a range of entry-level Android tablets worldwide" with the Intel Atom processors.

"The strategic agreement with Rockchip is an example of Intel's commitment to take pragmatic and different approaches to grow our presence in the global mobile market by more quickly delivering a broader portfolio of Intel architecture and communications technology solutions," said Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich in a statement.

"We are moving with velocity to grow Intel's offerings for the growing global tablet market."

Rockchip CEO Min Li added in the same statement that "the combination of Intel's leading architecture and modem technology with our leading mobile design capability brings greater choice to the growing global market for mobile devices in the entry and value segments."

Jack Gold, analyst at J. Gold Associates, said the deal will help Intel gain access "to the mass Chinese market for lower end tablets and potentially smartphones."

"This is a win-win strategy, giving Intel a massively expanded sphere to sell chips to (via Rockchip) in the rapidly growing low-end tablet market, primarily Android based," Gold said in an email.

"This gives Intel a better ability to compete against the ARM ecosystem," referring to devices using the platform of British-based ARM Holdings.

Intel has been pushing further into mobile devices and the "Internet of things" to make up for slowing sales of personal computers, a market it dominates.

LG Electronics went big in style on Tuesday with a flagship G3 smartphone aimed at turning heads away from market titans Apple and Samsung.

LG introduced G3 smartphones at simultaneous events in a half-dozen cities, saying they would hit US soil by September in deals with an array of telecom service carriers.

The successor to the LG G2 has a 5.5-inch (14 centimeter) display with screen quality four times that of standard high-definition resolution and extensive battery life.

Features crafted in to entice smartphone lovers includes ramped up camera capabilities that include advanced hardware; letting people take "selfies" with gestures, and laser-enhanced focusing.

"It makes selfies simple," head of LG Europe product marketing James Marshall said in a presentation streamed to a press event in San Francisco.

"Let's face it, around the world we are obsessed with selfies."

"Selfies" refer to pictures people take of themselves using front-facing cameras in smartphones.

Along with touches such as curving the G3 to make it fit more naturally in a hand, LG overhauled the user interface to make it simpler.

Among improvements is the ability to unlock a G3 by "knocking," or using a series of finger taps, and a built-in virtual assistant of sorts referred to as Smart Notice.

Smart Notice offers suggestions based on factors such as user behavior and location.

For example, it will notice which apps aren't used and offer to help remove them or pop up a shopping list memo when it notices that it has reached a preferred market.

LG also added a "kill switch" that allows G3 owners to lock, wipe clean, or permanently disable a lost or stolen smartphone.

"The smartest innovation in a fast evolving smartphone market is creating harmony between advanced technology and a simplified user experience," said LG Electronics mobile communications company chief Jong-seok Park.

"The LG G3 is the result of our effort to actualize that idea into a tangible product."

The G3 is South Korea-based LG's latest champion in a smartphone arena dominated by Apple and Samsung.

G3 handsets are powered by Google's free Android software.

LG was the fifth largest global smartphone vendor in early 2014 with a 4.4 market share, according to figures from research firm IDC.

Samsung was firms with 30 percent, to Apple's 15.5 percent, followed by China's Huawei (4.7 percent) Lenovo (4.6 percent), IDC said.




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Sony to sell PlayStation in newly opened China market
Shanghai (AFP) May 26, 2014
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