GLOBAL TECH WRAP: 'Facebook phone' tipped for April 4
Facebook has sent US media invites for an April 4 event in California to promote "our new home on Android."
Some are assuming the event will be to unveil a long-rumoured "Facebook phone" - and if so, the invite implies it will run on Google's Android software.
Some reports say the Facebook phone will be made by HTC (the Taiwanese phone maker that makes its own brand handsets, plus budget house brand budget Androids for telcos around the world including Telecom and Vodafone.
Others aren't convinced it will be a Facebook phone at all.
Around half of Facebook's billion users check in from a mobile regularly, and mobile advertising is the social network's fastest growing revenue category. But then again, Facebook seems to be doing just find in mobile already via its iPhone and Android apps. Why release its own phone, and compete with the likes of Samsung who currently promote Facebook integration on their mobiles? Answers on April 4 (or for NZers, April 5).
Elsewhere in global tech news, Amazon is buying Good Reads, a site that lets you share what you're reading with people in your social network. The price is a reported $US170 million.
BlackBerry has turned a surprise $US98 million profit for its quarter ending March 2 on revenue that dropped from $US2.6 billion from $US2.7 billion.
The Canadian smartphone maker said it sold 6 million handsets during the quarter, on million of which were its new, BlackBerry 10-based Z10 all-touchscreen phone (still not released in NZ). The new model has yet to prove itself in the marketplace, however. The bulk of Z10 sales were to Brightstar, a distributor that supplies phones around the world.
Reviewers like the Z10's design, clever predictive typing and single update feed, but not its dearth of apps, and lack of cloud features.
The bad news: the worldwide number of BlackBerry users fell by 3 million to 76 million.