Microsoft to release tablet PC weeks ahead of Apple

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Google launches Nexus One phone

Three years after rumors of a Google phone first surfaced, the search giant Tuesday took the wraps off its own branded mobile phone, the Nexus One. Initially available on T-Mobile’s network or unlocked, Google said the phone will also become available from Verizon as well as Vodafone in Europe. Customers can buy the phone now on a new Google Web page. It costs $530 unlocked, or $179 with a T-Mobile contract.  The manufacturer  HTC made the phone — photos and details of which were leaked online in advance of Tuesday’s announcement. The phone is based on the Android operating system designed by Google.  While Android got off to a relatively slow start, with just one phone model on the market for about a year, it has recently shown signs of posing a threat to Apple’s iPhone dominance. There are now more than a dozen models of Android phones available.

Apple buys Quattro Wireless

Apple has acquired Quattro Wireless, according to a confirmation posted on the mobile advertising company’s blog. Quattro has an ad serving, tracking and analytics platform to help advertisers engage with mobile consumers.  The blog entry did not give details on the acquisition. On Monday, the Wall Street Journal  said Apple planned to pay US$275 million for Quattro.
Apple could use an advertising platform to generate more revenue from the iPhone, and potentially from the tablet computer it is rumored to be developing.

E-reader sales to double in 2010

Just weeks after Amazon announced its Kindle e-reader was the most gifted item ever from its Web site, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) predicted the good times will continue in 2010 as e-reader sales double again. Shipments of the popular devices are expected to continue their momentum after doubling last year, according to researchers from the CEA, speaking at a meeting in Las Vegas ahead of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
A number of new companies are expected to announce e-readers during CES this week, and some have already jumped the gun. For example, Skiff and telecom giant Sprint said they will team up to provide newspapers, magazines and e-books over 3G networks for the Skiff Reader. Another company, Spring Design, said its Alex eReader, which uses Google’s Android OS, will have access to over 1 million books online through a deal with Google

HP to manufactur Microsoft-powered tablet PC

Just as the e-reader market is heating up at CES, a news report says that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will announce a multimedia tablet computer on Wednesday to be made by Hewlett-Packard. Ballmer will reveal the touchscreen, slate-style computer during his keynote speech at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), The New York Times said. The announcement would occur weeks before Apple is rumored to launch its own tablet device.

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