The Apple v. Samsung rivalry took an interesting turn on Monday with the Korean smartphone maker's announcement of a second consecutive quarter of declining profits compared to Cupertino's quarterly earnings growth last week, which revealed the company sold far more iPhones than analysts expected. All eyes now turn to July, when Samsung will reveal how their latest Galaxy 5S may (or may not) boost their fortunes...
As Expected, Apple Quietly Bumps MacBook Air Specs
It seems like only yesterday that we reported a MacBook Air refresh was imminent, and just like clockwork, Apple has delivered the goods with an overnight update to their U.S. online store. The slimmest Macs to date have received updated Intel Haswell processors, along with $100 price cut which makes the 11-inch base model only $899 and the 13-inch model a more affordable $999 — and the same price drops apply to models with more generous amounts of onboard storage as well.
FreedomPop Adds Sprint iPhone to Free Wireless Service
Freemium wireless provider FreedomPop announced Monday that they've added iPhone 5 to the company's no-contract lineup, offering free talk, text and data. Similar to FreedomPop's earlier foray into Android devices, the latest deal involves refurbished Sprint-compatible hardware at the one-time price of $349, which includes 200 voice minutes, 500 text messages and 500MB of data each month; unlimited plans start at $5 per month. iPhone 4, 4S or 5 owners with a Sprint-compatible device can also bring their own handset and take advantage of the same deal, while iPhone users on other carriers can download a free app to take advantage of the same free voice and text service on existing devices.
Apple Executives to Headline Re/code Conference Next Month
AllThingsD may be gone, but Re/code is very much alive and well and will be returning to Rancho Palos Verdes, California next month for the annual tech conference hosted by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher since 2003. Now christened The Code Conference, the May 27-29 event will feature a bevy of familiar tech faces including former iPod boss and Nest co-founder Tony Fadell, BlackBerry CEO John Chen and Google co-founder Sergey Brin. Apple will also be represented at the conference with not one but two faces: Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, and Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi. Sadly, the event has long since sold out, but if history is any indication, there will be plenty of online videos to watch after the conference wraps up.
Facebook Messenger Hits 5.0 with Video Sharing
Social networking giant Facebook updated their free Facebook Messenger app for iPhone on Monday, adding the ability to send videos from the Camera Roll and have viewers watch them without having to leave the app. Version 5.0 also brings instant photo sharing that doesn't require users to leave a chat in progress, the ability to press and hold down on a sticker to access that pack and improved search functionality. As always, Facebook Messenger 5.0 is a free download from the App Store.
Sorry Twitter, Social Media Isn't Really Helping TV Networks
Re/code reported Monday that microblogging service Twitter may not really be doing much to help television networks "deliver eyeballs to your shows" after all. According to the Financial Times, a wave of chatter about the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi across Twitter and Facebook didn't actually translate to big ratings for NBC. “I am saying the emperor wears no clothes. It is what it is. These are the numbers," explained NBCUniversal research chief Alan Wurtzel. Maybe they should talk to SyFy, who saw a record number of viewers tuning in for last year's Sharknado, largely on the strength of the B-movie being talked up on social networks, including Twitter.