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Windows 8 touch PC demand strong

Demand for Windows 8 touch-screen PCs is strong, according to two analysts who spoke with CNET.

"Touch machines are actually selling above expectations," said Bob O'Donnell, a program vice president at IDC.

And that means supply shortages. "Some vendors are actually facing shortages because touch panels are in limited supply. Vendors are saying they can't get as many touch-based machines as they would like to meet the demand that they're seeing."

Rhoda Alexander, an analyst at IHS iSuppli, echoed O'Donnell's comments. "We've talked to a number of PC makers … Read more

Four app tips from a developer with 20 millions downloads

These days, lots of folks are talking about apps and how they might join what looks like the app gold rush. Unfortunately, like the gold rush of yore, most people will come away deeply disappointed.

A recent New York Times article by David Streitfeld, "As Boom Lures App Creators, Tough Part Is Making a Living," showed the reality of trying to make it in the app-making world. In the piece, one unscientific survey of developers showed these stats: "A quarter of the respondents said they had made less than $200 in lifetime revenue from Apple. A quarter … Read more

Election, iPhone 5 top Yahoo's list of 2012's popular searches

The iPhone 5 couldn't quite edge out the election to be No. 1 on Yahoo's list of most-searched terms for 2012. But it came pretty close.

Yahoo today released its data for the most-searched terms in 2012. The lists include information on "obsessions" (viral sensations), memes, gadgets, Olympians, sports teams, songs/music lyrics, TV comedies, "what is" searches, how-to searches, recipes, and several others.

At the top of the list of terms most searched overall, unsurprisingly, was "election," followed by iPhone 5. Rounding out the top five were Kim Kardashian, Kate Upton, … Read more

Crave giveaway: Vinci Tab II tablet for kids

Congrats to David A. of Torrington, Conn., for winning a Guild Wars 2 Collector's Edition and five game access codes in last week's giveaway. This week's prize is the best Black Friday deal you could possibly get -- a free Android touch-screen tablet designed, tested, and FDA-approved for children 18 months and older.

Yes, the 7-inch Vinci Tab II is a tablet just for children -- or, as my CNET colleague James Martin likes to call it, a "chablet." It comes preloaded with educational material designed to simulate a kindergarten curriculum and aimed at engaging developing minds in areas such as social skills; language and literacy; and math and logical reasoning. Apps can be used in English, French, Spanish, and Chinese. … Read more

Texas Instruments exits consumer phones, lays off 1,700

Texas Instruments is officially getting out of the consumer smartphone business, as major phone suppliers like Apple turn to internal chip designs.

"TI...will reduce costs and focus investments in its wireless business on embedded markets with greater potential for sustainable growth. Cost reductions include the elimination of about 1,700 jobs worldwide," TI said in a statement today.

While TI didn't mention any names, one of the most telling statements alluded to companies that are now designing their own chips. That would include Apple, which designs processors for its iPhone.

"Large customers are increasingly developing … Read more

Microsoft Surface edges out Samsung in display tests

Microsoft's Surface RT tablet topped Samsung's Galaxy tablet in a "shoot-out" done by display testing firm DisplayMate Technologies.

The Surface RT's display outperformed all of the standard resolution full size 10-inch tablets that DisplayMate has tested to date in its Shoot-Out series, Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies, said in a research note today.

"On-screen text is significantly sharper, it has a better factory display calibration, and also significantly lower screen reflectance than the iPad 2 and all full size 1,280x800 Android tablets," Soneira said in a statement.

For example, it bested … Read more

AT&T to sell Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Android slate on November 9

AT&T today announced that it will soon be offering the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 tablet. Initially announced for the carrier back in late September, we've had to wait until today to learn final pricing and exact availability. That said, the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet arrives on Friday with a $499.99 price tag. Subscribers can add the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 to an existing account for as low as $10 per month on a Mobile Share plan.

Like Sprint's forthcoming version of the Samsung device, the Galaxy Tab 2 10.… Read more

Android gains in tablets, Apple slows in third quarter, IDC says

Apple's tablet market share took a hit as consumers "sat out" the third quarter in anticipation of the iPad Mini, analyst firm IDC said. Android tablets made gains as a result.

After a strong second quarter, Apple's unit shipment growth slowed in both consumer and commercial (including education) markets, according to an IDC report published Monday.

"We believe a sizeable percentage of consumers interested in buying an Apple tablet sat out the third quarter in anticipation of an announcement about the new iPad Mini," said IDC analyst Tom Mainelli in a statement.

Apple's … Read more

Sprint to sell its first LTE tablet

If you're a Sprint customer but aren't interested in a new iPad Mini, perhaps the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is more your speed. The carrier just confirmed that it will sell the larger Android slate, its first to offer 4G LTE data, starting on November 11 for $549.99. … Read more

For holidays, T-Mobile goes big on Android and Windows Phone 8

Hurricane Sandy forced T-Mobile to cancel a Holiday Showcase event planned for New York City today, but the storm didn't prevent the carrier from announcing its 2012 product lineup for the holiday season. The iPhone is absent, of course, but T-Mobile will deliver a strong lineup of Android and Windows Phone 8 tablets and smartphones. As you'd expect from the carrier, some devices, like the LG Optimus L9 and Nokia Lumia 810, are decidedly midrange. Yet, other handsets, like the HTC Windows Phone 8X and new LG Nexus 5 are top of the line.

Here's the skinny … Read more