Now here's an unfortunate case of being the wrong brand at the wrong time: The CEO of ISIS Mobile Wallet announced Monday that the company is planning to rebrand as a result of the conflict taking place in Iraq. As you may recall, a militant group called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has also been frequently referenced by the acronym ISIS, and the mobile wallet service is apparently uncomfortable with such an association. No word on what the new brand will be as yet, but while you're guessing, have a look back at our recap of the last 24 hours!
Target Now Offering $100 Gift Card with iPad Purchases
If you've been holding off on the purchase of an iPad Air or iPad mini with Retina Display and happen to be a frequent Target shopper, this is apparently your week. The bullseye retailer is currently offering a $100 Target GiftCard with the purchase of either iPad model, which makes Apple's tablet just about the cheapest we've ever seen. While you're there, pick up some iTunes Gift Cards, which are also 10 percent off for a limited time, and if you need some accessories such as cases, cables or chargers for that new iPad, Target also has you covered there with a 15 percent discount.
British Science Students Launch iPhone Into Space
Yahoo News (via Sky News) is reporting that U.K. science students from the Giles Academy in Boston, Lincolnshire spent two years planning and raising funds to put an iPhone into space, courtesy of a helium balloon — and they've got the video to prove it. Coupled with a GPS tracker and a small flight computer capable of tracking altitude, the unspecified iPhone model recorded the entire journey on video in just over two and a half hours as the balloon ascended 18 miles above the Earth. Amazingly, the bundle returned by way of a parachute after the balloon popped from the thin atmosphere, landing 40 miles away in Norfolk.
Samsung's "Next Big Thing"? Apparently Lower Profit Margins
The New York Times reported Monday that Apple rival Samsung Electronics is anticipating a 24 percent year-over-year decline in revenue, missing analysts' expectations of roughly eight trillion won for a profit of 7.2 trillion won (US$7.1 billion) for the latest quarter. While that's nothing to sneeze at, Samsung executives are apparently spooked by the numbers, judging from a statement blaming the dip on "the overall smartphone market as well as increased competition in China" and some European markets. Also to blame: A heavier marketing spend on promotions for the Korean manufacturer's flagship handset, the Galaxy 5S. Could Apple be next?
Skype 5.2 for iPhone Resurrects Voice Messaging Support
Microsoft-owned Skype announced Monday the release of Skype 5.2 for iPhone, an update that will come as a big sigh of relief for users who prefer to dabble in voice messaging, a feature newly returned to the redesigned app. Skype users can also now view contact profiles by simply tapping on a contact and selecting their profile from the menu, a trick that also works during one-to-one conversations as well. Last but not least, Skype 5.2 for iPhone delivers a new "add participants" option to introduce other users to an existing conversation, because, you know, the more, the merrier, right?
Prepaid LTE Service Rumored to Arrive on Verizon July 17
DroidLife is reporting that Verizon Wireless may finally be answering the prayers of prepaid users next week by opening the gates to its gigantic 4G LTE network at long last. According to an unnamed source, as of Thursday, July 17, Verizon's ALLSET prepaid plans will deliver unlimited talk and text along with 500MB of data for $45, and for the first time ever, those bits and bytes will be of the LTE flavor. Coupled with a rumored promotion of 500MB of free data for signing up for auto-pay, that LTE bucket of data could jump to 4GB for only $20 per month more. It's unknown if prepaid 4G LTE data will be throttled or bring an increase in price, but the details should become clearer next Thursday.