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With the big-name phone makers unlikely to announce much at this week’s CTIA show in Las Vegas, a bunch of lesser-known brands are hoping they can grab a moment or two in the spotlight.
On the show floor and through various events, parties and meeting rooms, are companies such as Kyocera, Alcatel One Touch and Coolpad.
The CTIA show has traditionally taken a back seat to events like the Consumer Electronics Show and Mobile World Congress, but this year’s show is expected to be particularly short of announcements from the biggest names in wireless.
But smaller names are eager to fill the void. Alcatel One Touch, for example, is trying to position itself as a key player for carriers looking to offer high-end smartphone features at entry-level prices.
“They need choices,” said Steve Cistulli, who left Samsung earlier this year to become senior VP of North America for Alcatel One Touch. “Currently, their top two choices are quite expensive.”
That said, Alcatel now has to battle bigger names as well as negative reviews for its early product work.
Meanwhile, Kyocera took to the frosty Minus5 ice bar at the Mandalay Bay casino and resort to introduce their latest waterproof phones.
There, the company showed off two new phones in the Hydro line, one headed for Sprint and Boost Mobile and the other destined for U.S. Cellular.
Caterpillar, meanwhile, is well known for heavy equipment, but not so much for phones. The company is hoping to change that with a partnership with Bullitt Mobile to make a rugged Android phone with the Cat brand.
And these are but a few of the not-yet-household-names looking to grab a slice of the fast growing — and increasingly competitive smartphone market.
As for the big-name players, only Verizon Wireless is promising significant news. The company has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday with COO Marni Walden. But don’t expect to hear about some snazzy new device; the focus will be on the company’s efforts to reach new segments of the market.
That said, all the top carriers and hardware vendors are here (except Apple), so we’ll be sniffing around the various parties and gatherings to see if we can’t dig up some interesting stuff. (Tips are also welcome.)
Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to testify before a Senate subcommittee Tuesday to refute charges the company paid no taxes on tens of billions of dollars in overseas income
The Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is expected to release findings Tuesday claiming Apple didn't pay taxes on at least $74 billion in overseas income. In response, Apple has released a statement explaining that the U.S. tax system "has not kept pace with the advent of the digital age and rapidly changing global economy" and that the company has paid "an extraordinary amount in U.S. taxes."
The Senate contends that Apple set up subsidiaries in other countries for which it paid no taxes to any government. However, Apple says the units were not designed to avoid taxes, but because the company sells the majority — 61% — of its products outside the U.S. The subcommittee is looking especially at Apple's Cork, Ireland, subsidiary from which it runs its European, African, Middle Eastern, Indian and Asian operations. Apple claims it pays local taxes on overseas earnings and pays U.S. taxes on income from its Irish units. Read moreMore about Taxes, Apple, Congress, Senate, and Business
President Barack Obama is set to make a statement at 10 a.m. ET on the deadly tornadoes that struck Moore, Okla., Monday. Early reports Tuesday indicate 51 people were killed in the storm, though that number may change in either direction as the day goes on.
Obama called Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin Monday evening to offer federal support for the area hit by the storm, including funds for temporary housing and home repairs as well as loans to help families cover uninsured losses. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is also providing assistance to the affected communities
Pres Obama talks on the phone w Oklahoma Gov Mary Fallin today twitter.com/petesouza/stat…
— petesouza (@petesouza) May 21, 2013 Read more
More about Barack Obama, Us World, Politics, Us, and Oklahoma
Sprint on Tuesday upped its bid for Clearwire to $3.40 per share, slightly above the amount Dish Network said it was willing to pay for the network provider.
The move comes just ahead of a vote of Clearwire shareholders scheduled for later Tuesday — a vote that clearly wasn’t going to go Sprint’s way. Sprint, which already owns just more than half of the Clearwire, needed the approval of the majority of Clearwire’s minority shareholders — some of which vocally opposed the deal.
With the new offer, Clearwire said it is adjourning the scheduled meeting without taking any action, and its board will review the new offer. The meeting is now set to resume May 30.
“Consistent with its fiduciary duties and in consultation with its financial and legal advisors, the Special Committee of the Clearwire Board of Directors will review this revised proposal from Sprint,” Clearwire said.
It’s unclear though whether the bump will be enough to satisfy shareholders such as Crest Financial, who have said they believe that Clearwire is worth significantly more than Sprint’s original $2.97-per-share offer. Sprint’s offer has also been contingent upon its deal with SoftBank going through, and Dish Network is also offering a rival bid for Sprint.
Sprint touted the benefits of its increased bid, while also saying it was the company’s “best and final offer.”
“The revised offer demonstrates Sprint’s commitment to closing the Clearwire transaction and improving its competitive position in the U.S. wireless industry,” Sprint said in a statement. “Sprint’s proposal provides a clear path forward for Clearwire and the merger provides attractive value for shareholders of both companies.”
I didn't realize it at the time, but Lego Batman: The Movie is something that I should have already seen. I purchased Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes just under a year ago. It's a testament to how little time I've had to play video games that I haven't worked my way through it enough to even notice that the film I was watching two days ago is merely a re-purposed version of that game's cut scenes. The old bits are apparently reanimated and there are new scenes in order to craft a full film, but the core content of the film's 71-minute running time is basically the video game's cut scenes made into a feature-length animated film. I'm not sure if such a thing has ever been done before, that's a question for a Forbes video game columnist like Erik Kain and/or Paul Tassi. But it is both ingenious and diabolical. Most gamers with enough time to properly play through last year's video game are also wise enough to know that this is recycled material, while those who don't have the game won't care about this film's origins. It's two products for the price of one. But putting aside its complicated history, it's a very slight but ultimately amusing bit of very G-rated superhero fun.