Qualcomm has launched Gimbal, its take on Apple's iBeacon, a system of context-aware proximity beacons intended for shopping, social networking, mobile services, and more. Using small, battery powered Bluetooth dongles which create localized hotspots to interact with iOS and - eventually - Android devices, Qualcomm says Gimbal can push product information, sports team details, topical adverts, and other content whenever a smartphone comes into range, just as iBeacon promises only with eventual cross-platform support.
There's nothing like a next-generation smartphone rumor to start your day off right, especially when it comes from the folks at Oppo. The brand Oppo has presented several surprisingly interesting devices in the recent past, notably the Oppo Find 5 and the Cyanogenmod-laden Oppo N1. This week we're to understand that the Oppo Find 7 is under construction, with some wholly next-level specifications.
This week we're getting another look at the Qualcomm Toq smartwatch, a device that was revealed by the processor manufacturer earlier this year. This device was revealed on the same day the Samsung Galaxy Gear was shown off, the Samsung device aimed at consumers, the Qualcomm device directed at a crowd that's made up of more early adopters and developers. Here we've got a device that's essentially the polar opposite of the Pebble smartwatch as well - made to be elite, not for the everyman, and sporting the best of the best in display technology, according to Qualcomm.
The Qualcomm smartwatch by the name "Toq" has appeared ready for pre-order this week, showing just a few months after its initial reveal this September. This watch works with a Qualcomm Mirasol display and works with several Qualcomm bits and pieces inside, the entire package acting as something of a full demonstration of the powers of Qualcomm in the flesh - or the metal, plastic, and glass, as it were.
We've been covering the NSA and other spy agencies pretty faithfully here at SlashGear, and while all that cloak-and-dagger, hack-and-spy, Big-Brother-Is-Watching-You drama can be provocative, that's not why we cover it. We cover it because it affects the tech industry and, by extension, the gadgets we obsess over. The reverberations of mass data surveillance by governments do eventually make their way down to consumer tech. Today we're seeing one way spying has chilled the industry that underpins our toys. Take the recent decline in US tech sales in China and yesterday's statements by executives from Qualcomm and Cisco, for example.
Having pushed the Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor earlier this year and seeing applied to a relatively large cross-section of top-tier smartphones and tablets alike, Qualcomm has brought on the next step in the Snapdragon 805 here at the tail end of 2013. This processor will work in machines inside 2014 and will bring on - first and foremost - support for Ultra HD video playback. What's especially interesting about this ability is the fact that while some mobile smart devices have already been able to record Ultra HD starting at 4K, they've not been able to play it back - Qualcomm makes it so here with the 805.
Qualcomm has been showing off its own smartwatch for a while now. The smartwatch is called the Toq and we spent hands on time with it in September. The watch was previously tipped to launch on October 10, but that didn't happen. Qualcomm has come back and announced a new launch date for the device.
This week the folks at Motorola have pushed the first cross-carrier availability of the customization-included Moto X, and following up rather quick they'll push a machine called Moto G. UPDATE: Moto G launched - this battle is now updated with 100% accurate and official specifications! This slightly smaller device will be the "budget-friendly" Motorola device expected to have been launched when the Moto X was first teased, and here just before Motorola makes it all official themselves, we've got a bit of a comparison chart to make the differences between these devices clear.
Qualcomm is powering many smartphones these days, one of which includes the recently released Nexus 5. In that case we are looking at a 2.26GHz Snapdragon 800, however there are many others such as the HTC One, which sports a Snapdragon 600. While we mention that quite a few devices are running on Qualcomm power these days, that just speaks to their Q4 2013 earnings report, which in this case is showing a revenue of $6.48 billion.
Qualcomm's outspoken Chief Marketing Officer Anand "Things That Are Dumb" Chandrasekher has been demoted, in a way, after stating that Apple's 64-bit system-on-a-chip, the A7, is a "gimmick." He wasn't fired, just reassigned, but he is no longer listed as being on the leadership team on the Qualcomm website, and the company has publicly censured Chandrasekher. The reasons for Chandrasekher's criticism and for Qualcomm's ensuing response are of both a technical and a political nature.