Apple Inc., which has been working secretly on a car, is pushing its team to begin production of an electric vehicle as early as 2020, people with knowledge of the matter said. The timeframe -- automakers typically spend five to seven years developing a car -- underscores the project’s aggressive goals and could set the stage for a battle for customers with Tesla Motors Inc. and General Motors Co., both of which are targeting a 2017 release of an electric vehicle that can go more than 200 miles on a single charge and cost less than $40,000. “That’s the inflection point -- the proving ground -- that brings on the electric age,” Steve LeVine, author of “The Powerhouse,” a book about the automotive battery industry, said on Bloomberg TV Thursday. “Now you have Apple coming in and this is critical mass. Was GM really going to be able to match Tesla? Apple can.” Apple, which posted record profit of $18 billion during the past quarter, has $178 billion in cash with few avenues to spend it. The Cupertino, California-based company’s research and development costs were $6.04 billion in the past year, and Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook is facing increased pressure to return cash to shareholders. The CEO has been pushing the iPhone maker to enter new categories to further envelop users’ digital lives with Apple’s products and services.
Vid Toymaker Mattel has unveiled a high-tech Barbie that will listen to your child, record its words, send them over the internet for processing, and talk back to your kid. It will email you, as a parent, highlights of your youngster's conversations with the toy. If Samsung's spying smart TVs creeped you out, this doll may be setting off alarm bells too – so we drilled into what's going on.
BlackBerry rolled out a major software update on Thursday, allowing users of its entire suite of BlackBerry 10 devices such as the Z10, Q10 and Z30 to access Android applications, and a host of other features, including Blend. The company said the BlackBerry 10 OS 10.3.1 gives users the ability to access both the BlackBerry World appstore and the Amazon Appstore that provides access to a host of Android applications previously unavailable on the BlackBerry platform. In addition, BlackBerry said the new software will allow its users to access its new BlackBerry Blend feature that impressed many, when it was unveiled last year. The Blend feature lets users get message notifications, read and respond to work and personal email, text and other messages, while also accessing files, calendars, contacts and other media, on whatever device one is using. It works across a host of operating systems including Apple's Mac OS, Microsoft's Windows platform and tablets powered by Google Inc's Android software.
The LG G Pad 8.0 is an 8 inch tablet that runs the Android operating system. It weighs 342g, has a 5 MP camera and all the bells and whistles one would expect in a high end device. Cost R4 500
The Sony Xperia™ Z3 Tablet Compact is a 8 inch tablet running Google’s Android operating system. It is beautifully designed and is just 6.4 mm slim and weighs only 270 g. It is also waterproof and features the impressive Triluminos display technology and has a 15 hour battery life. Cost R9 500
This article first appeared on 702 : TECHNOBYTE for 20 February 2015