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Video: Amazon's new tablet

The big news this week is undoubtably from Amazon. The company unveiled their first fully fledged tablet the Kindle Fire at a very reasonable price of $200 at an event in New York City Wednesday. The Wi-Fi only tablet has 8BG storage and a dual core 1GHz processor. It has a 7-inch screen and a resolution of 1024 x 600. Amazon said that the tablet has a battery life of 8 hours of continuous reading with the Wi-Fi turned off.

The Kindle Fire is available for pre-order now and will begin shipping November 15. The company also announced two more models in the sub $100r category. They use the traditional e-ink display and have long battery lives...ranging from a few weeks to a few months depending on usage. The basic Wi-Fi only Kindle is priced at $79, while the Kindle Touch goes for $99. There's also a 3G version for $149. The Kindle Touch will ship on November 21.

Apple plans to hold an iPhone special event next Tuesday October 4 at its Cupertino headquarters. Our colleagues at Macworld expect to see a new iPhone or possible new iPhones as well as iOS5, the next major release of its mobile operating system that it previewed at WWDC. There could also be an updated iPod Touch. You can follow Macworld's liveblog and we'll of course have complete coverage right here next week.

Only a few days after the in car service called OnStar made what a US senator called brazen changes to its privacy policy, the service offered by General Motors said it would revert back to its previous terms of service. Through the use of GPS technology and a two-way connection between the car and the company, OnStar is able to track drivers' locations and give them alternative driving directions, emergency response in the case of an accident, and a host of other services. OnStar ignited a firestorm of criticism when it announced it would continue to collect information about customers of its onboard auto services even after their subscription ends. The company apologised and said it would stop tracking customers if the service is cancelled.

Linda Marshall?President, OnStar?I am sorry for any confusion we might have caused. We've listened and decided we will not make the proposed change to our policy when it comes to keeping a data connection to your vehicle should you decide to cancel the service.

OnStar typically collects data about customers' location, speed, driving habits and odometer mileage.

We have a couple of items for you in our news in brief this week. Nokia is planning to lay off an additional 3500 employees as the company continues to restructure after announcing its decision to focus on Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system. The affected employees work in manufacturing, location and commerce, and supporting functions.

Foxconn, the maker of electronics equipment including Apple's iPhone said a fire broke out on Tuesday at one of the company's facilities in China. It was quickly put out and no injuries were reported. The fire comes months after an explosion at another factory in Chengdu. <END>

Chengdu, China


May 2011
More than a third of all Android phones in the U.S. are equipped with 4G and the number is rapidly increasing, according to a study by Localytics.  In the 3rd quarter of this year more than 36 percent of Android phones were equipped with 4G, growing from 23 percent in the first quarter of this year. Android 4G growth is driven by Sprint's HTC Evo 4G and Samsung's Epic 4G along with Verizon's HTC Thunderbolt and Samsung's Droid Charge.

Windows Phone 7 users will finally be getting the Mango update. It will be pushed to existing Windows Phone 7 users over the next few weeks. Mango includes more than 500 features designed to improve multitasking, offer more dynamic information and make apps and the OS work together more efficiently.

Sony has acquired a small medical researcher in the U.S. and plans to enter the market for portable medical testing. The Washington based Micronics specializes in developing portable devices that can be used to perform tests on body fluids such as blood and saliva. Sony hopes to use optical technologies it developed for its Blu-ray players and other consumer products in the new devices.

Well that's our show for this week. Thanks for joining us here on World Tech Update. Next week I'll be in Tokyo for the annual Ceatec electronics show. We'll also have coverage of the iPhone announcement so next week's show won't be one to miss. As we head out this week we'll leave you with shots of the new devices from Amazon. I'm Nick Barber and for all of us here at the IDG News Service thanks for watching and I'll see you next week from Japan.

 


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