Also, Nintendo continues to struggle, new Samsung smartphones are incoming, the LG 5K TV you can’t afford, Sony rejects EA Access, and Windows Phone 8.1 inspires a brilliant fan-made trailer.
Is The Tablet Boom Coming To An End?
According to the CEO of U.S. retailer Best Buy, sales of tablets are “crashing.” Does this signal the end of the tablet boom that has taken place over the last few years?
Hubert Joly told Re/code, “The tablets boomed and now are crashing. The volume has really gone down in the last several months … The issue has then been that, once you have a tablet of a certain generation, it’s not clear that you have to move on to the next generation.”
So, according to Joly, people who have bought tablets at Best Buy aren’t seeing any need to buy replacements due to a lack of innovation. And that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. Which leads us to believe that while true geeks will continue to upgrade their tablets every year, the mainstream will stick with what they already have. Which equates to a sharp drop in sales.
Microsoft Fights The Feds Over Your Email
Microsoft now fighting the feds. US gov’t arguing email content a business record not protected by 4th Amendment. 1/4 http://t.co/TVe9D3CpTO
— Thomas Drake (@Thomas_Drake1) July 31, 2014
Microsoft isn’t particularly known for being on the side of consumers, but its latest effort to stop the U.S. Government having access to your emails suggests it’s not always the bad guy.
The U.S. Government is arguing that emails stored in the cloud no longer belong to an individual but instead become part of the business records of the company which owns the servers. If this stance was accepted then the government would have the right to access emails stored online anywhere in the world without the need for a search warrant.
Microsoft is opposing the government at a hearing in federal court in New York, with Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith stating the company’s case in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. You can ridicule Microsoft all you want, but in this case the company appears to be fighting for a just cause.
Nintendo Still Struggling To Sell Wii U
Nintendo is still struggling to convince gamers they need a Wii U. That’s the big takeaway from the Japanese company’s latest earnings report that showed the company suffered an operating loss of $92.7 million in the first fiscal quarter of 2014. Sales of the Wii U hardware are up — to 510,000 between April and June — but not enough to suggest any kind of upwards momentum.
Samsung Teases Two New Smartphones
Remember when Samsung seemed like an unstoppable smartphone juggernaut (a year ago)? Not anymore. http://t.co/xbhHggvUqi
— Shira Ovide (@ShiraOvide) July 31, 2014
Samsung has teased two new smartphones due for release within the next six months. According to The Wall Street Journal, one will have “a large screen” while the other will feature “new materials.”
The new models were teased during a disappointing earnings call in which Samsung reported that net profit fell 19.6 percent on the previous year. Samsung still made $6.1 billion in three months, so any talk of a crisis is pure hyperbole.
The TV We All Want But Can’t Afford
You can now purchase a 105-inch, 5K curved-screen television set from LG. That is if you have a spare $117,000 burning a hole in your pocket. LG showed off the 105UC9 at CES 2014, and now it’s actually available to buy.
The “5K” assignation comes from the fact that this beast of a TV boasts a higher resolution than those shoddy 4K pretenders. If you have this kind of money then please do something more worthwhile with it than buying a new television set.
Sony Rejects EA Access For Lack Of Value
Sony apparently refused EA Access because they reckon it’s not good value. In other news, would you like to hear about Playstation Plus? :D
— Corey Marshall (@Teamugi) July 30, 2014
Sony has rejected bringing EA Access to PlayStation 4 because it doesn’t represent good value for money. EA Access is the publisher’s new subscription-based service for its titles, and is launching exclusively on Xbox One. We now know why.
A Sony representative told Game Informer, “We evaluated the EA Access subscription offering and decided that it does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect. We don’t think asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer.”
Meanwhile, Sony requires PS4 owners to buy a PlayStation Plus subscription in order to play online, and is currently testing PlayStation Now, a new paid-for streaming service based on the Gaikai technology Sony acquired in 2012. We’re sure the two are completely unconnected. /sarcasm
A Fan-Made Trailer For Windows Phone 8.1
And finally, Windows Phone has so far struggled to establish itself as a viable alternative to Android and iOS, despite being a very capable mobile operating system. Perhaps Microsoft should consider turning to fans of Windows Phone, who, judging by this trailer posted to Vimeo, could do a better job of selling the third mobile OS than the company itself.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Do you think the tablet boom was a passing fad? Do you support Microsoft in its quest to protect your emails from prying eyes? Do you think Nintendo will survive despite the failure of the Wii U?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Veronica Belmont via Flickr