Apple gets a trademark for their retail store design

Apple has been granted a trademark for the distinctive design of their chain of retail stores. Although the claim was rejected twice in the past, Apple managed to successfully convince the US Patent and Trademark office the third time with a lengthy, 122-page document detailing the reasons.

The trademark includes use of items such as a paneled facade of glass, recessed lighting units and lined rectangular tables, but as usual, the trademark is for the sum of parts rather than any individual item.

While it’s easy to look at this and scoff, it’s fairly common practice for companies to get a trademark on a distinctive design that they have come up with, with examples such as the shape of the Coca-Cola bottle or the Swiss Federal Railways watch face that Apple was recently found using in iOS. A trademark by definition is a ‘recognizable sign, design or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others’ and differs from a patent. But while other store designers can still use individual elements of Apple’s store (as many do), if the final result ends up looking exactly like an Apple Store, they better lawyer up.



Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 gets special Garnet Red Edition, costs $220 with a bonus book cover

Samsung must really love the Garnet Red color – first the Galaxy S III got that color option, then the Note II and the Galaxy S III mini followed suit and now it’s turn for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. It’s a special edition that will arrive just in time for a Valentine’s day gift.

The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Garnet Red Edition comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of box (the base model got it as an update) and Samsung is throwing in a matching Garnet Red book cover (those go for $50 if bought separately).

Other than that the device is unchanged – you still get a 7” 1024 x 600 PLS LCD screen (170ppi), dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU and PowerVR SGX540 GPU, microSD card slot and built-in IR remote.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Garnet Red Edition will be available at, Walmart, Office Depot, Fry’s, Tiger Direct, Toys”R”Us and other retailers for $220 (keep in mind the $50 cover that comes with it). It’s a limited edition, so it will be available while supplies last. The black and white versions are available as usual ($200, a red book cover is available for $50).

The hardware is a bit old, so before you decide to get one, you should take a look at the Nexus 7 ($200, 216ppi screen, quad-core CPU, no microSD card slot) and the Barnes & Noble Nook HD ($200, 243ppi screen, heavily customized UI). Neither of them is available in red though.

ZTE announces the 8-inch V81 slate with a 4:3 display

ZTE has unveiled the V81 slate featuring an 8-inch 4:3 display with a resolution of 1024×768 pixels, which is ready to take on the Apple’s iPad mini and Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 8.0.

The ZTE V81 is powered by a dual-core 1.4GHz processor and comes with 1GB RAM.

The rest of the specs include 4GB of internal storage expandable via a microSD card slot, a 2MP rear and a 0.3MP front snappers, a 3.5mm audio jack, an HDMI port and a 3700 mAh battery. The connectivity package has 3G with HSPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and USB. There is no info on GSM connectivity and NFC, so we have to assume they won’t be available on the V81. Update: According to the official specs sheet, it will support GSM connectivity and most probably GSM telephony too.

ZTE V81 stands at 200x156x11.07 mm and runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

There is no info on the pricing and availability though. I guess the slate will debut at the MWC next month in Barcelona as ZTE usually brings plenty of new devices to the capital of Catalonia .


NVIDIA allegedly to manufacture low-cost Android devices for other companies

Following the rather modest success of the Tegra platform in the smartphone and tablet segment, it seems NVIDIA is now gunning for a bigger share of the pie, so far dominated by the likes of Qualcomm and Mediatek.

According to Eldar Murtazin of, NVIDIA is planning on manufacturing smartphones and tablets of its own and will be selling them to companies to be rebranded and sold under their brand.

The plan is to manufacture reference designs for smartphones and tablets, the way they do it for their computer graphic cards (or Intel does for their phones). Then, instead of selling these designs under their own brand name, NVIDIA will license it to companies, who will then rebrand them and sell it in markets around the world. We already see this happening a lot in markets such as Russia and India, where several companies are selling what are essentially cheap, China-made devices under their own brand name.

What this will do is help increase the penetration of the Tegra platform, especially into the budget handset market, which undeniably forms the major portion of all the Android device sales.

This plan is expected to go into action by May-June this year, with both budget as well as premium tablets being released under various brand names that may or may not have the NVIDIA logo on them.


808 Pureview Turns Out to be The Last Symbian Phone from Nokia

This is a bad news for the Symbian fans among us. After decades of working with the OS — which lead the mobile phone race by distance — Nokia has finally announced that it’s ditching Symbian for Windows Phone OS.

Needless to say, the decision was expected given the success of Lumia and Asha series of phones.

Although the decision, I think, came quicker than it should’ve as the company still sold 2.2 million of Symbian devices in the last quarter, Nokia has finally decided to call it a day on the OS.

Compared to those 2.2M phones, 4.4 million phones of the lumia series were sold and an even more astonishing 9.3 million phones of the Asha series. The devices which contributed to those 2.2 million phones were unarguably the Nokia 808 Pureview and the N8.

The Nokia 808 PureView, a device which showcases our imaging capabilities and which came to market in mid-2012, was the last Symbian device from Nokia.

The last Symbian device, the 808 Pureview boasted the best camera among all its competitors with a 41 megapixel sensor with Carl Zeiss lens and Pureview camera technology, not to mention the special ‘looseless zoom’ feature. Most of this technology was built by Nokia themselves in house.

This cuts the race down to 2 OS in the Nokia team and the smartphone race to 1. With no Symbian phones left, Nokia can now fully concentrate on the phones which sell the most. In case you don’t know, a Windows Phone with a better Pureview camera is expected to be released this year.

The Lumia 920, Nokia’s current flagship also boasts a Pureview camera but doesn’t yields quite nearly as good results.

So this is the end of Symbian. So long old fella. We hope you rest in peace. Long Live Lumia.

Nokia updates its maps – supports more countries and roads

Nokia has updated the map data, which is used on its navigation apps – such as Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive for Windows Phone, as well as the web service.

The update includes three new regions, more detailed coverage in some of the previously supported areas as well as new or amended roads in various countries worldwide.

The three new regions entering the services are Israel, Serbia and Kosovo. They got detailed road maps and satellite views like the others.

Russia, Norway and Sweden maps now offer higher detail levels in woods areas for better orientation. The pedestrian paths also got updated with more routes to include lesser known parks. Greece, France and Ireland maps now offer better detail in less populated areas too.

Finally, the maps various countries were updated with new roads. For example 133 000 km of new roads were added to the UK map.

So, if you are using a Nokia mapping solution and you are using offline maps, now is a good time to check for updates.


BitTorrent Sync joins the cloud storage race, hopes to use the BitTorrent network to beat Dropbox

Creators of the BitTorrent open source protocol have launched their own cloud storage service called BitTorrent Sync and it is rather unsurprisingly, based on the same protocol.

The service comes with its own application allowing users to store and sync folders to multiple devices. Interestingly, the service offers unlimited amount of storage making it a match made in heaven for large teams who collaborate on large files.

It works just as any cloud storage solution out there with the little detail that BitTorrent Sync omits the server part. This means that you’re essentially creating your own “cloud” between you and parties you choose using the help of the little app.

The advantage this gives you is that no third-party has access to your files and there aren’t any messed up privacy policies involved.

Currently, BitTorrent Sync is in pre-alpha development stage with the company gradually inviting users to give its latest service a test run. The app is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X and you can apply for an invite from the source link below.

Source | Via