In today’s mobile news roundup: Apple sent invites for October 23 event; Uber pulls out taxi hailing app in NY; Google’s rumored $99 holiday tablet; and HTC’s new 5” smartphone.
Apple sent invites for October 23 event
After months of waiting, Apple finally sent out invites for an event happening on October 23, a few days ahead of Microsoft’s big Windows 8-Surface event. The invite was minimalistic, but it’ll draw your attention because of it’s rainbow-esque theme. A simple “We’ve got a little more to show you,” at the bottom of the invite hints at the iPad Mini while the colorful theme suggests that the iPad Mini might come in various colors, like the new generation of iPod Touch. The event will be at 10 a.m. PT in San Jose’s historic downtown California Theater.
Analysts see the arrival of a smaller iPad as the downfall of all the other tablets available in the market.
“These competitors have a tough enough time competing against the 10-inch iPad,” Stern Agee analyst Shaw Wu said. A smaller version “will make the competition even tougher. It tells you how hard it is to beat Apple. These other companies have to either lose money or break even on these products.”
Uber pulls out taxi hailing app in NY
Uber, the company that brought us the taxi-hailing app, is pulling out their service in New York. It’s not because the app failed, but because the demand was higher than the available number of Taxis in New York.
According to Uber, there were 160 cabbies who participated in the Uber TAXI beta with one top UberTAXI driver making $168 in additional fares in a single day, and another reporting $586 in additional fares over a week by using Uber Taxi.
In Uber’s eyes, the app was a success and blames New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission for not being able to supply enough taxis. Uber claims that TLC “put up obstacles and roadblocks in order to squash the effort around e-hail, which they privately have said is legal under the rules.” But they are not abandoning the project entirely and hopes to bring the app back to NY commuters. They’ll also be offering the app to Boston and Toronto commuters, while their Uber Black and UberX offerings are still available in New York.
Google’s rumored $99 holiday tablet
According to Taiwan-based supply chain makers, Google is readying a $99 tablet in time for the holiday season. The $99 tablet will be produced by Quanta Computer and will feature a single-core processor from WonderMedia Technologies and a HUVA TN panel made by HannStar Display.
Quanta declined to comment on the rumor, as did Asustek, who, in collaboration with Google, developed the Nexus 7 tablet available in the market today. Asus stated that they have no plans of making a $99 tablet but that doesn’t mean Google is not.
HTC’s new 5” smartphone
Taiwanese phone manufacturer HTC unveiled the J Butterfly, a smartphone that features a 5” full HD Super LCD 3 display with a 440ppi resolution in Japan. IT features 2GB of RAM, 16GB internal storage, microSD card slot, quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 processor, an 8MP rear camera, which can take still images up to 3280×2464 and record videos in 1080p, and a 2,020mAh battery. Though this model will only be sold in Japan, HTC stated that the display found on this model will be featured in other models in various markets.
For more on the presumed iPad Mini event, see Kristen’s segment on this morning’s News Desk program with Kristin Feledy below.