It's still officially summer, yet major electronic companies have already announced a slew of holiday gift ideas: iPhones of different colors, video game players and a new category of wristwatches designed to mimic the functionality of smartphones.
Much of the early attention has been on smartwatches. Although the devices have been around for years, consumer interest has been low. Samsung Electronics Co. is hoping to change that with its $300 Galaxy Gear. When it's linked wirelessly with newer Samsung phones and tablets, the Gear lets you set alarm clocks, check email and Facebook updates, and make phone calls on your wrist, secret agent-style. The watch will be available in a few weeks in six colors.
The Gear's unveiling came as Qualcomm Inc. said it will start selling its Toq smartwatch before the end of the year. Sony Corp., meanwhile, has an updated SmartWatch 2 device coming. And Apple Inc. is widely believed to be working on an iWatch.
What's behind the sudden rise of the smartwatch? Consumer electronics companies are trying to create a new type of device for people to spend money on now that many of them already own smartphones and tablet computers. That doesn't mean companies have given up on phones and tablets, or other gadgets.
Here's a look at what's in store as manufacturers and retailers try to get a jump on the holiday shopping season.
The iOS software that runs iPhones is showing signs of aging, so Apple is refreshing its look and functionality. Recent phones can get the iOS 7 update for free, starting next Wednesday. The software also comes with the new iPhones going on sale on Sept. 20.
Apple is departing from its practice of keeping choices simple. In the past, Apple released one iPhone a year, in black or white. This time, the company has a regular model, the iPhone 5S (selling for $199 with a two-year service agreement) and a less expensive model, the iPhone 5C (which goes for $99). The 5S comes in three colors and the 5C in five.
Samsung, meanwhile, announced the Galaxy Note 3, the latest phone in a line that comes with a stylus for handwriting on its large, 5.7-inch (measured on the diagonal) touch screen. Sony will have the Xperia Z1, notable for its high-resolution, 20.7-megapixel camera and the ability to attach better lenses. Both devices use Google's Android operating system. (continued...)
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Posted: 2013-09-16 @ 12:33pm PT
For Android tablets, Pipo Electronics new Pipo Pro Series is getting much notice for its design and features and the 8.9-inch Pipo M7 Pro ($255) is comparable to the new Nexus 7 and LG G-Pad but with a more competitive price -- and packs in a solid device that offers an 8.9" 1900X1200 display that uses Samsung PLS technology, along with a Quad-Core processor - 1.6 GHz / 2GB Ram - 16GB memory; and also offers GPS navigation, Bluetooth, a MicroSD memory card slot, premium speakers, a long-lasting 6300 mAh battery; plus the advantage of Dual WiFi (2.4/5.0 GHz), quality Dual Cameras, and an option to use standard Android 4.2.2 O/S or a user friendly Windows style interface -- a 3G HSPA+ edition is also available for $30 more which works with GSM wireless carriers worldwide, and an Android phone SIM card may be used interchangeably with both a phone and tablet.
One source the Pipo M7 Pro is available through is TabletSprint.