Daily Tech Briefing: Oct. 16, 2014

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2014-10-16 Print this article Print

Asus puts Intel Atom, modem into PadFone X Mini; Slow BlackBerry Passport smartphone availability worries analyst; IBM launches Internet of Things Foundation; and more.


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On Oct. 14, Intel executives announced that the chip maker's Mobile Communications Group lost $1 billion during the third quarter while only generating $1 million in sales.

However, Asus, AT&T and Intel later announced that Asus will use an Intel Atom processor and the chip maker's XMM7160 LTE modem in its new PadFone X mini.

This is a 4.5-inch 4G LTE smartphone that becomes a 7-inch tablet when docked. The device will be available Oct. 24 from AT&T for $199.99 with the carrier's GoPhone plan.

When BlackBerry first began accepting preorders for its Passport smartphones on Sept. 24, the first 200,000 preorders sold out quickly. However, Michael Walkley, a communications technology analyst with Canaccord Genuity recently lowered his financial estimates for BlackBerry through fiscal year 2015 due to the sales delays caused by tight supplies of the new Passport smartphones.

He added that by 2016, BlackBerry is expected to recover from the tight supplies and will see more of a financial turnaround.

IBM announced that it has extended its Bluemix platform-as-a-service technology to help developers build applications for the Internet of Things. The company unveiled a set of digital tools that enable developers to build an IoT application in just a few minutes.

The new service, called the IBM Internet of Things Foundation, makes it possible for a developer to quickly and easily extend an Internet-connected device such as a sensor or controller into the cloud, build an application for that device that can collect the data and send real-time insights back to the developer's business.

Qualcomm officials announced that they are moving forward with the planned $2.5 billion acquisition of British chip maker CSR.

CSR has expertise in a range of areas, including Bluetooth technology, automotive infotainment and indoor location, all of which are expected to become increasingly important as the Internet of Things expands.

Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf explained that CSR's capabilities will help Qualcomm with its growing IoT ambitions.


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