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Amazon hints that it may return to the smartphone market after its $170 million Fire phone fiasco



Amazon may yet return to the smartphone market, despite the high-profile flop that was the Fire phone. 

jeff bezos
jeff bezos
  • An Amazon executive told The Telegraph that it needs to create a “differentiated idea” to be able to return to the market.
  • Amazon’s first smartphone was a fiasco. The Amazon Fire phone was rolled out in 2014 and pulled a year later, resulting in a $170 million write off.
  • Analysts say that creating a smartphone today would facilitate the growth of its Amazon Alexa services.

Amazon’s first attempt at creating and selling its own smartphone was ultimately a flop but it’s not ruling the market out altogether.

Dave Limp, senior vice president of devices and services at Amazon, told The Telegraph , that provided Amazon can create a “differentiated idea” for a smartphone, then it will make a second attempt at this.

“It’s a big market segment and it would be interesting,” he said. “We need to keep experimenting and the things we want to experiment with are the ones that are truly differentiated.”

He Limp: “The answer [to whether we’ll try another phone] is the same as to whether we’re going to build a personal computer. What we need to do in order to enter into something new is we have to have an idea to differentiate it.”

An Amazon spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment to confirm whether this is already a work in progress.

Amazon launched its first Amazon Fire phone in 2014 , only to kill it a year later .

Amazon Fire Phone

BusinessInsiderAmazon Fire Phone

Just months after it was rolled out, the company admitted to taking a $170 million hit in its earnings because of the Fire phone and related supplier costs. It was also left with $83 million worth of unsold phones after it failed to take off, Fortune wrote at the time.

Limp initially blamed the phone’s flop on it being badly priced (its prices were later slashed ). But in comments since then, he has pinned its problems to the fact that Amazon didn’t create a product that was differentiated enough for customers. “It just didn’t resonate to the next level of masses,” he said in 2016 .

Last July , industry analysts began to speculate that Amazon could be developing smartphones once more after it dropped a hint in an earnings release. “We want customers to be able to use Alexa wherever they are,” Amazon said in the release.

“We suspect, though this is admittedly speculation, that Amazon will have to re-enter the phone market either directly or indirectly in order to drive Alexa adoption,” Benjamin Schachter, a technology analyst at Macquarie wrote in a note to clients at the time.

“We don’t see how Alexa can evolve to its fullest potential without being available prominently on the main device that so many people carry everywhere, the smartphone. It is hard to see how they don’t do this.”


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SanDisk’s 1TB microSD card is now available




The definitive storage upgrade will cost you $449

SanDisk’s 1TB Extreme microSD card is the biggest capacity that it’s ever sold, and you can buy one… for $449.99.

As for where you can buy it right now, it’s available on SanDisk’s storeB&H Photo is also accepting orders for the memory card. Amazon has a product listing, though it’s currently unavailable in the US. You can purchase it through Amazon if you live in SpainGermany, or the UK. Per Tom’s Guide, though, depending on where you live, deliveries have been delayed up to three months at the time of writing.

SanDisk’s Extreme lineup of microSD cards advertise 160MB/s read and 90MB/s write speeds, and its new high-capacity card follows suit. As such, it’s the better choice over SanDisk’s Ultra microSD card if you capture a lot of 4K video. File transfers and load times should be a little quicker, too. If you’re interested in getting one of these 1TB microSD cards, you should make sure that your device is compatible. Nintendo’s FAQ doesn’t put a cap on on card sizes accepted by the Switch, though Amazon’s Fire tablets top off at 256GB of microSD storage.

Owning the first-ever 1TB microSD card seems cool. But if that distinction isn’t as important to you as saving money is, there are a few smaller options that are at their best prices yet. Samsung’s 512GB microSD card costs $99.99 at Amazon. Alternatively, SanDisk’s Ultra 400GB microSD card is down to $56.99.


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For 5G Nokia smartphones, HMD enters into a patent-licensing agreement with Qualcomm




We know that HMD is one of the Android manufacturers supposed to bring a 5G smartphone in 2019. Now, HMD has entered into a patent-licensing agreement with Qualcomm that will allow it to bring its 5G smartphone to the market.

Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) and HMD Global Oy today announced that HMD Global has entered into a direct worldwide license arrangement with Qualcomm to cover branded single-mode and multimode devices manufactured and marketed by HMD Global under the Nokia brand. Under the terms of the agreements, Qualcomm has granted HMD Global royalty-bearing patent licenses to develop, manufacture and sell branded 3G, 4G and 5G single-mode and multimode complete devices.

So, as mentioned in the paragraph taken from the press release Qualcomm has now granted HMD license to develop, manufacture and sell 5G smartphones.

We earlier covered a leak that claims a Nokia 9 PureView successor coming as the first 5G Nokia smartphone in 2019. We can’t vouch for the legitimacy of this leak but so far Snapdragon 855 is the processor that can support 5G and is available for production.


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Powerbeats Pro: 9 tips and tricks to master Beats’ completely wireless earbuds




The new Powerbeats Pro offers everything Apple’s AirPods ($199 at Amazon) do, but design for those who are more active. They’re sweat- and water-resistant and have Apple’s H1 chip for easy pairing, Hey, Siri functionality, extended range and long battery life.

Apple began taking preorders last week, with deliveries of the black Powerbeats Pro expected May 10. The remaining three colors won’t ship until later this summer.

With nearly the same feature set as the AirPods, the Powerbeats Pro go beyond being just another pair of Bluetooth earbuds. Learn how to master your Powerbeats Pro with pairing, battery life, and physical controls.

Pair to your iPhone, iPad

Pairing the Powerbeats Pro with your iPhone is way too easy. Jason Cipriani/CNET

Pairing the Powerbeats Pro with your iPhone takes two seconds — literally. Unlock your phone and open the charging case. An animation will show up on your phone; tap Connect.

This same process will also work on an iPad or iPod Touch ($200 at Walmart) running the latest version of iOS. As with Apple’s AirPods, the initial pairing of the Powerbeats Pro will sync across all Apple devices using your iCloud account. So that two-second process just paired it with your iPhone, Mac, iPad and Apple Watch ($349 at Amazon).

Pair with an Android phone

Of course, you can still use the Powerbeats Pro with a non-Apple device. If you haven’t already paired the earbuds to another device, open the case next to your Android phone and go into the Bluetooth settings menu on your phone.

If you have paired the earbuds with another device already, place both earbuds in the case and then hold in the button near the front of the case until the status light begins blinking white.

‘Hey, Siri’

Thanks to Apple’s H1 chip that’s used in the Powerbeats Pro, the earbuds support the “Hey, Siri” wake command out of the box. Whenever you’re using the earbuds, just say “Hey, Siri” followed by a command to play music, check messages, or ask Siri questions. You don’t have to wait for Siri to respond after the initial wake phrase — just keep talking.

Turn off Automatic Ear Detection

Powerbeats Pro auto ear detection
If you’re not a fan of auto-play or auto-pause, you can disable it. Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The Powerbeats Pro will automatically detect when they are put in or taken out of your ears. If you’d rather not have audio pause or start automatically, you can disable it.

While using the Powerbeats Pro, open the Settings app on any iOS device and select Bluetooth. Tap on the “i” next to the Powerbeats Pro name > toggle Automatic Ear Detection to the Off position.

Rename your Beats

If you want to personalize the name used in Bluetooth menus for your Powerbeats Pro, you can do that in the same Bluetooth settings. On any iOS device go to Settings > Bluetooth > tap the “i” next to the Powerbeats Pro name > Name. Type in your custom name and exit the settings app.

Physical controls

Both earbuds have volume controls as well as a button that can trigger Siri and control media playback. The Beats logo is a multifunction button, with various presses triggering different controls. Here are the actions we’ve discovered so far:

  • Long press: Triggers Siri
  • Single press: Play/Pause
  • Double press: Skip track
  • Triple press: Go back one track

And yes, the physical controls even work on non-Apple devices. 

Check battery life

Powerbeats Pro has some of the same features as Apple’s AirPods, such as easily checking battery life. Jason Cipriani/CNET

Checking the battery life of your earbuds and the charging case by placing the earbuds in the case and opening it next to your unlocked iPhone. A pop-up similar to the initial pairing prompt will show up, detailing the battery life for all three pieces.

Another option is to enable the Battery widget in the Today view and viewing battery life when you’re actively using the Powerbeats Pro.

Get a better fit

Inside the box, under the charging case, you’ll find an instruction booklet, a USB Lightning cable for charging the case, and three additional sets of tips for the earbuds. Each set is a different size, which should help you find the best fit for inside your ears.

The Powerbeats Pros wrap around the back of your ear, and that, too, is adjustable. The ear hook bends in every direction, so you can position each earbud for a tighter or looser fit based on your comfort.

Fast charging

Place the earbuds into the charging case for a quick top-off. David Carnoy/CNET

The charging case can fast charge your earbuds. A 5-minute charge gives you 1.5 hours of use, while a 15-minute charge gives you 4.5 hours of use. In total, the Powerbeats Pro has a battery life of up to nine hours.

In case you’re curious: Charging the earbuds is done by placing them in the case. The right earbud needs to go on the right side of the case, and the left goes on the left. As you place the earbuds into the case, magnets will guide the earbud into the right spot. The charging case is charged via a Lightning port on the back of the case.

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Source: Powerbeats Pro: 9 tips and tricks to master Beats’ completely wireless earbuds

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