iControlPad turns your iPhone into a PSP – video

Posted in iPhone News by admin. Published June 4th, 2008

Only this week we first reported on iControlPad, an addon case-like device that would offer PSP-like pad controls for the iPhone that would be quite useful for gaming.

Now there’s a new video that’s been posted on the official site of a prototype in action. You can check it out below.

The technology looks very promising… Would Apple consider buying it out?

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Samsung Competes With iPhone in Netherlands

Posted in iPhone News by admin. Published June 2nd, 2008

Menno Van Den Berg, marketing manager for corporate clients of Samsung Electronics Netherlands, explains details about “SGH-P960” mobile phone to participants at a launch event in Amsterdam.

/ Courtesy of Samsung Electronics

With the European Union choosing DVB-H as the mobile-television standard over other versions of the technology in March, Samsung Electronics will commercialize a handset supporting the new format as a pre-emptive measure in the Netherlands.

But Samsung officials couldn’t be happy with the news that Apple’s iPhone is virtually ready to penetrate the Dutch market via the Netherlands’ biggest mobile operator KPN ― probably an ominous sign for Samsung with expected soaring marketing costs.

On Sunday, Samsung Electronics said it will commercialize the “SGH-P960’’ mobile that supports DVB-H OMA-BCAST technology in the Netherlands from Thursday via KPN ― for the first time in Europe.

The handset enables users to watch television programs with clearer images thanks to digital natural image engine technology. The device adopts a 2.6-inch QVGA liquid crystal display screen and features a 3.0-megapixel camera, Samsung said.

“The timing of the launch has been delayed for one month for technical reasons,’’ a Samsung spokesman said.

“Currently, we have no detailed idea of how many European mobile operators will support the DVB-H OMA-BCAST technology and in that sense the launch is a kind of litmus-test,’’ he added.

Samsung’s new phone has been in line with the Dutch incumbent player’s plan to launch a large-scale network that will offer TV through mobile phones from Thursday in time for the start of the Euro 2008 football championships.

The number of mobile phone users in the Netherlands rose to 18.9 million in 2007, representing a penetration of 115 percent due to the large number of cancellations of traditional telephone connections, according to industry estimates.

DVB-H, or digital video broadcasting for hand-held devices, which is also a sister standard of DVB-T, is the most widely used mobile-TV format in Europe and is supported by handset makers including Nokia, Motorola as well as Samsung and LG Electronics.

The European Commission said its latest decision ordering EU member countries to promote DVB-H over rival standards was necessary to get the technology off the ground.

“Samsung took a meaningful step. However, marketing costs will rise further in the Netherlands,’’ said a local analyst. KPN will launch broadcasts of 10 channels on Thursday and will initially sell two mobiles ― one from Samsung and one from LG, while it also plans to launch Nokia handsets, as well.

“As far as I know, talks regarding the sale of Apple’s iPhone on the Dutch market via KPN will be finalized soon, which is not great news for Samsung,’’ the spokesman said.

[Thanks: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr]

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Is Apple working on a solar-powered iPhone?

Posted in iPhone News by admin. Published June 1st, 2008
Drawings from Apple's patent for a 'solar iPhone'
Apple has taken a shine to using solar cells in its mobile devices. A patent application unearthed by MacRumors.com describes technology to integrate solar cells into portable devices. The named inventors of the patent application are Apple employees, some of whom are iPod engineers.

Using small solar panels to charge portable devices is nothing new — there are several products already available that we’ve written about before. Apple appears to be trying to innovate in the integration of the solar cells into a portable device.

Rather than make a separate charger, Apple engineers have sought to package solar cells right into the device in an unobtrusive way. Electricity-generating cells could be placed underneath the device’s display. Specifically, the patent application found by MacRumors.com details the use of a semitransparent display with a solar cell placed underneath it.

Sandwiched together, the device’s cover would have “at least one glass layer coupled to the solar-cell layer; and a flexible printed circuit board (PCB) layer coupled electrically and mechanically to the solar-cell layer,” according to the patent application. This integrated design would allow the mobile device, be it a PDA or portable music player, to be charged from daylight without having a separate solar panel that needs to be plugged into it.

The patent application also describes using multiple solar cells coupled to specific electrical components within a device, including the data-processing system and the memory. Drawings from the application show ways that a solar cell could be placed on the back cover of a device. Electricity generated from the cells would be fed to the device’s rechargeable battery.

In an older patent, Motorola sought to build a display that would allow enough light in to reach solar cells that charge a device. Its display calls for “organic light-emitting diode displays, and touch-sensitive displays are stacked with one or more solar cells.” Having a solar cell integrated into a display or cover, however, makes the device more likely to absorb light than if the panel is placed on the back. More significant, though, are the attempts by Apple and Morotola to package a solar cell into a device.

Separate solar chargers can be small, but they add to the number of items consumers have to carry around. Also, many solar chargers are essentially just small solar panels without the ability to store electricity for later.

What remains to be seen is how much power an integrated cell, hidden behind a display, can generate. This is dependent, of course, on the availability of light. But most likely, any solar-powered iPod or iPhone would include an AC adapter for standard charging.

Drawings from the patent application by Apple employees

Drawings from the patent application by Apple employees

[Thanks: http://www.smartplanet.com]

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