A Smartphone Maker Besides Apple Had a Banner Year

Apple’s not the only smartphone maker with big increases in 2014. Reuters.com says Huawei’s smartphone sales are up 40%, and revenues by a third. They shipped 75 million smartphones in 2014.

9to5mac.com reports that iPhone 6 users are finding that cards can’t be added back into Apple Pay after a restore of the phone. So far, the only fix is for Apple to replace the phone.

A $2000 light bulb will be out in May. Developed by Dyson, of vacuum and fan fame, it lasts 40 years. Bgr.com says the LED lamp will save enough energy to be worth it in difficult to access commercial spots like airport and mall ceilings.


HTC Goes Big With High Megapixel Cams in New Smartphone

HTC will show it’s new flagship smartphone, code named ‘Hima’ at CES next week. 9to5google.com says it has a 5 inch screen and a 20.7 megapixel camera, and a 13 megapixel front facing ‘selfie’ camera!

LG has rolled out a new ‘Art Slim’ series of TV’s that are 75% slimmer! They’ll be showing off a .3 thick 55 inch one next week, and cnet.com reports the 65 inch screen is barely thicker. They’re 25% lighter weight, too!

Virtual reality headsets are cool, but you need content, and now Samsung has introduced a service called Milk VR featuring 360 degree content. TechCrunch.com notes that Samsung wants it to become the YouTube of VR content.


Samsung Continues to Move Out of High End Smartphones

Samsung continues to regroup, and now will drop one of their best phones,  the metal Galaxy Alpha, in favor of cheaper phones. Theverge.com says poor battery life and the cost doomed the model.

Riding on the success of Apple Pay in the US, the Cupertino giant is in talks to launch the smartphone based NFC payment system in Britain in the first half of 2015. Macrumors.com reports that banks there may be an easier sell than users.

Kim Dotcom’s company Mega may be getting ready to launch a fully encrypted video call service. Thenextweb.com says the browser based service will include high speed file transfers.


Nokia Is Going to Build An Aluminum Body Tablet

Nokia is jumping back into the tablet business. Slashdot.org says they’ll launch a one piece aluminum bodied tablet running Android Lollypop in China  on January 7th.

Legendary film company Kodak is going to roll out a smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show. According to engadget.com, the Android phone will be made for them by British firm Bullitt, who make the ruggedized Caterpiller phones.

LG and Mercedes-Benz are partnering to make a system to power self driving cars. Techcrunch.com says the system is based on LG’s Advanced Drive Assist Program. LG’s entertainment systems are also slated to go into Mercedes cars.


PlayStation Games On TV Without the PlayStation

If you’re a gamer, and thinking about a new TV, Samsung will have TVs that play PlayStation games without the playstation next year. Cnet.com says they’ll use Sony’s PlayStation Now service.

The HTC One M8 is one of the very best Android phones, and HTC has announced you can buy it or any HTC phone from their website at 20% off. Bgr.com reports the deal lasts until January 2nd.

Google will rat you out to the FBI if you post YouTube videos threatening to  kill cops. Engadget.com says it’s an automated system…they’re not really screening all those videos.


Apple May Add a 4 Inch Model to the iPhone 6S

After going big with the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple is rumored to be looking at a return to a 4 inch model with an iPhone 6S Mini. Appleinsider.com says an analyst at Cowen and Company indicates it would have specs like last year’s iPhone 5S. This would be the first time Apple has had 3 different sizes of a current model if it happens.

Techcrunch.com reports that Samsung has released Look At Me, and app for autistic kids. It’s supposed to help kids to make better eye contact. Developed by South Korean psychologists and professors, it’s on Google Play.

App maker Confide is offering services to entertainments, labels, and networks. Cnet.com says their app has end to end encryption, and automatically self destructs…leaving no embarrassing email trail. No word on whether Sony has reached out to them.


Samsung Tizen Phone Coming Soon

After several delays, Samsung will release it’s first Tizen powered phone, the Z-1, next month in India. Gigaom.com says it’s not aimed at top line handsets like iPhone and the Galaxy S5, but to break Android’s hold on the medium and lower price markets.

If you’re a procrastinator and want a full sized tablet, Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is $299 today only. Theverge.com reports that’s 30% off, but you’ll have to spring for expedited shipping to get it by Christmas.

Appleinsider.com notes that a survey by Piper Jaffray indicates potential Apple Watch buyers are taking a wait and see attitude. Only 7% of iPhone buyers presently plan to buy the smart watch. Apple will need a killer app to get that number up.