Thursday, 25 April 2013

Apple Apps Surpass 45 Billion Unique Downloads, Developer Payments Surpass $9 Billion

The Apple App Store continues to prove that the third-party app atmosphere is alive, well, and extremely profitable.
During the company’s Q1 financial call on Tuesday, it was revealed that 45 billion unique app downloads have been completed. Apple announced four months ago that the Apple App Store had achieved 40 billion unique app downloads.
Apple Apps Surpass 45 Billion Unique Downloads, Developer Payments Surpass $9 Billion

Based on current numbers, Apple’s App Store is experiencing 800 app downloads per second.
Apple’s app store currently houses 850,000 iOS apps with 350,000 apps designed for the Apple iPad.
To put those numbers in comparison, Apple’s iPad line now has the same number of iOS apps that were offered for all Apple devices in January 2011. At the time of its 350,000 apps total, the Apple iPad was home to just over 60,000 software options.
Based on current numbers, the Apple iPad has experienced a 483 percent increase in the number of apps available over a two-year period.
The Cupertino software and hardware giant also revealed that its Apps are now available in 155 countries. Ninety percent of all Apple iPhone users now have full access to the Apple App Store catalog of programs.
In mid-February, Apple revealed that it had paid $8 billion to developers, a number that in the last two months has increased to $9 billion.
Apple, Inc. is now paying $1 billion per quarter to its developer base, money that is paid via a combination of app and in-app purchases.
$4.5 billion of Apple’s payments to developers have been paid out in the last four quarters of business.
With more developers figuring out how to generate revenue for their programs, the amount being paid out by Apple is likely to increase during future financial calls.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Sony's all new Xperia Tablet S

The latest tablet from Sony
Sony Malaysia today launched their stylish new Sony Xperia Tablet S, officially joining the Xperia family of devices.
Thinner and lighter than the original Sony Tablet S at a mere 8mm thick, the Xperia Tablet S possesses a slim new aluminium body and splash-proof design that makes it at home both indoors and outdoors. Running an NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 quad-core processor and Android 4.0.3 operating system, it’s got all the power you need to enjoy your favourite media, apps and games.
Made for sharing, the new Xperia Tablet S lets you create individual profiles for family and visitors using the ‘Guest mode’ letting you customize their apps and access for a truly personalized experience.
It’s also easy to share content, with applications available to let users throw their pictures, video content and much more onto DLNA compatible large screen TVs to enjoy.
A full range of accessories are available for the Xperia Tablet, encompassing a choice of colourful colours, stands and docking solutions for your every need.
The new Xperia Tablet S WiFi and Wi-Fi + 3G versions are now available, With the 16GB WiFi and 3G model retailing for RM 1,799, the 32GB WiFi and 3G model retailing for RM 1,999 and the 16GB WiFi only model retailing for RM 1,399.
Key specifications
ModelXperia™ Tablet S
LCD23.8cm (9.4”) (1280 x 800) IPS OptiContrast™*
Operating SystemAndroid 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
ProcessorNVIDIA® Tegra®3 quad-core
Storage16 / 32GB
Wireless connectivityBluetooth® 3.0,
Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), 3G (3G models)
InterfacesMulti Port, SD Card, Microphone, Headphone Out, Stereo Speaker
SensorAmbient light sensor, Gyro, Compass, Accelerometer, GPS
Camera1.0 effective megapixels HD web camera (front)
8.0 effective megapixels HD camera (rear)
Dimensions241.2mm (W) x 8.8mm (H1) / 11.85mm (H2) x 174.4mm (D)
Weight570g (Wi-Fi models) / 585g (3G models)
Battery Capacity 6000 mAh, provides up to 10 hours Internet browsing  / 12 hours video playback **

 OptiContrast is a trademark of Sony Corporation.
** Battery life depends on device settings, usage, the condition of battery pack, and many other factors. Testing based on product connected to Internet via Wi-Fi, Internet browsing and video playback (6 Mbps 720p H.264 Baseline encoding).
Actual performance may vary based on settings, environmental conditions, wireless connectivity and other factors. Maximum battery capacity will normally decrease with time and use
For more information, visit

Monday, 15 April 2013

Samsung Freaked Out By Better HTC One, iPhone Build Quality, May Change Direction

The Samsung Galaxy S4 will release with the same type of build factor we have witnessed on the Samsung Galaxy S IV and various other smartphones from Samsung. While the tech giant has stuck with a more plastic feeling design that could change with the Galaxy S 5 and other future high-end devices.
Samsung Freaked Out By Better HTC One, iPhone Build Quality, May Change DirectionAccording to a rumor from SamMobile Samsung is a “bit worried” that the stronger steel and glass build factors found on other high end devices may draw customers away from its super popular Galaxy smartphone line. The rumor specifically points towards the strong build factor of the new HTC One handset and Apple’s entire line of high-end iPhone smartphones.

The rumor suggests that Samsung may already be working towards stronger design builds that
would help the Galaxy line gain an even more loyal following.
When Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S4 by touting its software and not its design and other hardware features many analysts publicly noted that the company did not appear to be focused on strong build factors.
Despite the plastic design factor an early review of the Galaxy S4 from the team at tech media was glowing and HTC has since announced plans to fight back with a massive smartphone ad spend.
The move to create better aspects for all of its smartphone components is an important step for Samsung as it continues to experience more competition in the already crowded Google Android OS market. The company already offers its own UI on top of the traditional Google Android OS.
Another rumor suggests that Samsung is already working on a stronger build factor for its upcoming Galaxy Note III tablet device which will arrive in Fall 2013.
Samsung is rumored to have created a Galaxy S4 steel molded smartphone that was very popular internally. Samsung has not said why it did not choose that steel based design based on its popularity among Samsung workers.

Saturday, 13 April 2013


The latest version of VW’s popular compact hatchback is bigger, more spacious, lighter, and more fuel-efficient

• Sporty GTI®, thrifty TDI® Clean Diesel, and turbocharged Golf will be offered
• First U.S.-market Volkswagen to use the new MQB modular architecture
• All models are lighter than the cars they replace
• Seventh-generation Golf A7 will go on sale in the U.S. as a 2015 Model
• 2015 Golf models are currently estimated to improve fuel efficiency by as much as 15 percent over current Golf sixth-generation models

Herndon, VA -  The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf manages to do the seemingly impossible. While it’s bigger and more spacious than the car that it will replace, it’s also lighter and more fuel-efficient. Based on the new MQB (modular transverse matrix) architecture, the 2015 Golf ends the cycle whereby new versions of a car end up heavier than the models they replace.

Thanks to the extensive use of high- and ultra-high strength steels, the new Golf bodyshell is 51 pounds lighter than the current sixth-generation Golf, and offering an enhanced crash structure. Throughout the car, incredible attention to detail has seen optimization of components—such as the seats, air conditioning unit, and even the electrical architecture—to save weight.

The 2015 Golf is 2.2 inches longer and 0.5 inches wider than the current car. It is also 1.1 inches lower, which benefits both aerodynamic performance and the car’s proportions: the CdA number has been reduced by almost 10 percent compared with the Golf A6. The interior package has been optimized to give 0.6 inches more rear-seat legroom and 1.2 inches of additional shoulder room in the back.

Like the current car, the 2015 Golf will come in three guises. The Golf will be powered by a 1.8-liter turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder TSI® engine, built at a brand-new plant in Silao, Mexico, that is part of Volkswagen’s ongoing $5 billion investment in the North American market. The Golf TDI Clean Diesel model will be powered by a new 2.0-liter common-rail, turbocharged, direct-injection diesel engine. And the sporty GTI will also receive a new Silao-built EA888 engine.

The seventh-generation Golf will go on sale as a 2015 model. It will be built at Volkswagen’s Puebla, Mexico factory.

The design team, led by Walter de Silva (Group Design) and Klaus Bischoff (VW Brand Design), created a timeless and sophisticated new Golf, using the principles of Volkswagen’s Design DNA. This design language creates cars that are modern and progressive yet have a familiar feel. In the case of the new Golf, the car incorporates the classic C-pillars and other elements that hark back to previous generation Golf models, such as the side windows, the roofline, and wheel arches that are redolent of the Golf A4.

According to Klaus Bischoff, the form language is: “logical, product-focused, pure and precise. The Golf’s proportions have completely changed with the seventh generation, making the car look more confident than ever.”

Thanks to the MQB architecture, which dictates a fixed relationship between the front wheel centerline and the pedalbox, the car’s proportions have changed. The front wheels, for example, are now 1.7 inches further forward than on the current Golf design. This has created what Bischoff calls “a cab backward impression”. That’s what we call the proportions of premium-class vehicles, where the hood is long and the passenger compartment is a long way towards the back.”

Compared with the Golf A6, the new car’s front end looks completely different, thanks to the way that the hood slopes down into the front fenders instead of the fender peaks being higher than the hood. The front end of the Golf has a very strong horizontal graphic, with a relatively narrow radiator grille.

The new Golf has a strong character line that flows all the way around the car beneath the door handles, being interrupted only by the wheel arches. The line in the side of the car is picked up by the chrome bars in the radiator grille and in the white lateral bars of the taillight clusters. The line is designed to lower the car’s visual center of gravity and give it a more solid stance on the road. There’s a second line along the shoulder that runs under the mirrors from the headlamps back to the rear side window, which emphasizes the car’s premium proportions.

At the back, the clean surface around the VW badge, the wide rear window, and the geometric taillights are typical Golf features, even though the lines are completely different. The tailgate, for instance, allows for a lower load height than before, at just 26.2 inches, while the overall effect emphasizes the additional width of the new car.

The sporty nature of the Golf is enhanced with the GTI model. Its mission is reflected by its red-painted brake calipers, twin chrome tailpipes, and a lowered sport suspension. The exterior of the compact hatchback also scores with GTI-specific wheels and low-profile tires, special side skirts, a rear diffuser, and smoked LED taillights with LED license-plate illumination.

The new Golf interior package is larger, despite the car having a lower roofline. The interior is now 0.6 inches longer, which is reflected in 0.6 inches more rear-seat legroom. In the front, the shoulder- and elbow room are increased by 1.2 and 0.9 inches, with commensurate improvements in the back by 1.2 and 0.8 inches. The cargo capacity is eight percent greater, too, and the floor of the trunk area can be removed to further increase stowage space.

The new interior also benefits the driver ergonomics. The seat position has been shifted back by 0.8 inches and the steering wheel adjustment range has been modified. Simple things that make a big difference have been optimized by use of the MQB architecture: the space between the brake and gas pedals has been increased by 0.6 inches and the shifter position has been raised by a similar amount, so it now rests better in the driver’s hand.

Every element of the interior has been redeveloped and redesigned. The wide center console is now oriented towards the driver, a feature that’s more typical of premium vehicles rather than compacts. In the middle of the console, beneath the hazard warning light switch, is the infotainment screen. For the first time, Volkswagen is using touchscreens with a proximity sensor, allowing drivers to change functions with a swipe of the hand, just like a smartphone. Even the base radio has a 5.8-inch touchscreen. The new navigation systems are DVD-based with a 3D display.

Located beneath the infotainment module are simple, well laid-out controls for the climate control system. Beneath it, the lower section of the center console has a stowage compartment that integrates the Media Device Interface/iPod® cable. The new Golf has improved stowage all around the cabin, with a sliding tray underneath the driver’s seat (manual seats only), six cupholders (counting the pair integrated into the rear armrest), and a large glovebox that houses the CD changer and SD-card slot.

The whole interior is finished in high-quality materials. Soft-touch plastics abound, along with chrome, aluminum, and piano black surfaces that have a premium feel and look. The cruise control is now operated though steering wheel buttons rather than the column stalk. New white lighting for the buttons and switches underscores the interior’s upscale look and feel.

The GTI, as with previous model years, has a number of interior differences to the Golf. The interior is highlighted by sport seats with distinctive GTI plaid pattern, a black headliner, and red ambient lighting. The car also offers classic GTI features such as a sport steering wheel, GTI shifter knob grip and instrument cluster, special trim inserts, and stainless-steel pedals and foot rest.

Engines and Transmissions
Volkswagen pioneered the use of small displacement, highly efficient turbocharged engines in the U.S., starting with the 1.8T engine in the 1998 Passat. Since then, Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder has set the benchmark for small displacement turbocharged engines.

The Golf will feature a new EA888 Gen 3 turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder engine made in Silao, Mexico. This 1.8-liter engine will produce 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque and will offer highly competitive fuel economy. The engine makes the same power as the 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine used in the Golf A6, but produces an additional seven pound-feet of torque, delivered lower in the engine speed range. It will be mated to manual and automatic transmissions.

The EA888 Gen 3 engine family is designed to be lighter and more fuel-efficient than the Gen 2 units, such as the 2.0-liter unit fitted in the current GTI. Engine weight has been reduced by eight pounds, to 290 pounds overall. Among the improvements on this engine are: a thinwall crankcase casting; exhaust headers that are integrated into the cylinder head; smaller diameter main bearings; roller bearings for the twin balancer shafts; and a crankshaft that has four counterweights instead of eight.

The TDI Clean Diesel model will use the new EA288 turbocharged, common-rail, direct-injection four-cylinder engine that makes 150 horsepower—an increase of 10 hp over the current engine—and 236 pound-feet of torque. This powerplant shares only the bore spacing with the previous diesel engine that shared the same designation. A number of changes have been made to help reduce emissions, such as: use of a complex exhaust gas recirculation system (with a cooled low-pressure AGR); integration of the intercooler with the intake manifold, which also improves throttle response; and packaging the exhaust after-treatment components close to the engine.

The engine also has a number of modifications to help minimize friction and optimize fuel economy: there are low-friction bearings for the camshaft and balancer shafts, piston rings that have less pre-tension, and the oil pump is a two-stage device with volumetric flow regulation. As with the current Golf, the new TDI model will have a standard six-speed manual transmission with the option of a DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The GTI will also use an uprated version of the EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI engine. Final horsepower and torque figures have yet to be released, but it is expected to make about 210 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Like the current GTI, the engine will drive the front wheels via either a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG transmission. It is expected that the European Performance Pack will be offered during the GTI’s lifecycle.


All versions of the new Golf have the XDS® electronic differential lock, a feature that was developed for the current GTI. This system electronically monitors input from various wheel sensors and, in the event of slippage, transfers extra torque to the front wheel with the most traction, thus helping to improve handling and traction.

Another new feature is progressive steering, which incorporates a new steering rack and a more powerful electric motor. Where “normal” steering racks have teeth that are spaced consistently, the progressive system has a different tooth pitch in the center than it has on the outside. The lower steering ratio in the center means that the car responds more quickly when entering a turn, while the higher ratio at the ends of the rack reduces the amount of effort needed near full steering lock, such as when you’re parking.

Safety and Security
As well as offering no fewer than six standard airbags, the new Golf features as standard a new safety system called Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. The new system automatically brakes the vehicle when it is involved in a collision in order to help reduce residual kinetic energy. The system is triggered when the airbag sensors detect a primary collision and it is limited to a maximum retardation rate of 0.6g by the electronic stability control (ESC) unit. The driver can effectively override the system at any time; for example, it is disabled if it recognizes that the driver is accelerating. The system is also deactivated if the driver initiates braking at a higher rate than 0.6g.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Eos, Golf, Golf R, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg, and Routan vehicles through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at or to learn more.

This press release and images of the 2015 Golf and GTI are available at

“DSG”, “GTI”, “TDI”, “TSI”, “VW”, “Volkswagen”, “XDS”, all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. “iPod” is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.

Features and technical data apply to models offered in the USA. They may differ in other countries.

Where stated, fuel economy values are forecast manufacturer values for the USA; EPA estimates were not available at time of release.

Airbags are supplemental restraints only and will not deploy under all crash circumstances. Always use safety belts and seat children only in the rear, using restraint systems appropriate for their size and age


March sales total 37,704, up 3.1 percent, and best March since 1973

• March sales total 37,704 units representing an 3.1 percent increase versus the prior year
• Best YTD since 1973 with 98,178 units delivered, up 4.0 percent vs. 2012
• Chattanooga-built Passat delivered 9,521 units for the month, 34 percent diesel
• Jetta Sedan achieved 12,872 deliveries in March
• High-mileage, clean diesel TDI models accounted for 22.6 percent of sales in March

Herndon, VA -  Volkswagen of America, Inc. (VWoA) today reported 37,704 units sold in March, a 3.1 percent increase over prior year sales and best March since 1973.

“Last month marked our 31st consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases and our strongest March in 40 years,” said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “While we are cautious in terms of economic outlook, we expect to see continued growth at a moderate pace in the months ahead.”

Jetta sedan, the volume leader for Volkswagen, delivered 12,872 units. Jetta SportWagen closed the month with 2,133 units, up 5.6 percent versus the prior year.

The Chattanooga-built Passat continued to deliver strong results with 9,521 units sold and best year-to-date with 25,909 units delivered. In March, 34 percent of the Passat’s sold were diesel.

The Beetle and Beetle Convertible delivered 2,599 and 1,483 units, respectively, for the month.

The Tiguan saw a significant increase in sales with 3,304 units sold, up 24.3 percent, marking the best March and best year-to-date ever for the vehicle.

Total sales of the Golf (including Golf R and GTI) were 2,854 units. The next-generation “A7” Golf will debut at the New York International Auto Show on March 27. The “A7” Golf is off to a strong start in Europe and received the prestigious European Car of the Year Award. In addition, last week at the New York International Auto Show, the vehicle was also named the World Car of the Year.

Volkswagen’s high-mileage, clean diesel TDI models accounted for 22.6 percent of sales in March, a 6.6 percent increase over the prior year.

Model Line March '13 Actual March '12 Actual Yr/Yr % change March '13 YTD Actual March '12 YTD Actual Yr/Yr % change
Golf 1,505 1,687 -10.8% 4,757 4,108 15.8%
GTI 1,122 1,677 -33.1% 3,075 4,193 -26.7%
Golf R 227 269 -15.6 691 735 -6.0
Total Golf/GTI 2,854 3,633 -21.4% 8,523 9,036 -5.7%
Jetta 12,872 12,947 -0.6% 32,359 34,205 -5.4%
SportWagen 2,133 2,019 5.6% 5,136 4,561 12.6%
Total Jetta 15,005 14,966 0.3% 37,495 38,766 -3.3%
Beetle 2,599 1,969 32.0% 7,320 4,673 56.6%
NBC 1,483     2,690    
Total Beetle 4,082 1,969 107.3% 10,010 4,673 114.2%
Eos 403 664 -39.3% 977 1,448 -32.5%
Passat 9,521 10,032 -5.1% 25,909 24,539 5.6%
CC 1,770 1,327 33.4% 4,085 4,155 -1.7%
Tiguan 3,304 2,659 24.3% 7,961 7,247 9.7%
Touareg 726 748 -2.9% 2,524 2,302 9.6%
Routan 39 590 -93.4% 704 2,207 -68.1%
Total Sales 37,704 36,588 3.1% 98,178 94,373 4.0%

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Eos, Golf, Golf R, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan vehicles through approximately 610 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at or to learn more.

The new Golf is ‘World Car of the Year 2013’

New York -  The new Golf just keeps on winning: an international expert jury today named the bestseller from Wolfsburg ‘World Car of the Year 2013’. The globally sought-after prize was awarded at the New York International Auto Show. The ‘World Car of the Year’ title is a further milestone in the growing list of awards for the Golf.

Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, explained: “We at Volkswagen are all delighted that the Golf has been named ‘World Car of the Year’. To win this award again shows that the Golf is and remains in a class of its own all around the world. This car sets new benchmarks again and again, not least in terms of efficiency and environmental credentials. Soon, for instance, the Golf will also be launched as a plug-in hybrid and as a 100% electric car.”

For over 30 years, the Golf has been an established feature of the motoring scene around the globe. For the seventh generation of the bestseller today’s prize represented its 17th award since being launched in November 2012. In giving their reasons for the award, the jury said: “The Golf is just the right size – it’s spacious, practical and comfortable. It has got a fresh, progressive design, a new range of engines, plus an impressive list of equipment and safety systems. If there is a car for everyone, the Golf is it.”

It was only three weeks ago that the compact car from Wolfsburg was crowned European Car of the Year. Further accolades from home and abroad, such as ‘The Best Cars of 2013’, ‘Auto Trophy 2012’ and the ‘Top Gear – All the car you’ll ever need’ award, round off the list of successes.

The ‘World Car of the Year’ jury consists of 66 motoring journalists from 23 countries, who rate new cars appearing on the world market not only for the award, but also in their daily reporting work for millions of drivers and car enthusiasts. Volkswagen has for a long time been a firm fixture in the ‘World Car of the Year’ awards: the model before the current Golf for instance, won the renowned prize back in 2009. In 2012, the cherished international trophy went to the company’s smallest car, the up! And 2010 was also dominated by Volkswagen: the Polo was crowned overall winner and the BlueMotion models of the Polo, Golf and Passat took the title ‘World Green Car of the Year.’

The seventh-generation Golf will go on sale as a 2015 model. It will be built at Volkswagen’s Puebla, Mexico factory.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Airbag Recall Issued By Four Japanese Automakers

Airbag Recall Issued By Four Japanese Automakers
An airbag recall was issued by Toyota, Honda, Mazda, and Nissan for 3.4 million vehicles around the world. The airbags, all supplied by Takata Corp., have a risk of catching fire or injuring passengers.
Thursday’s airbag recall is the largest of its kind for Takara, the world’s second largest supplier of airbags and seatbelts. Shares in the company’s stock took a 10 percent hit immediately following the announcement.
The recall is also the largest in the automotive industry since Toyota pulled more than seven million vehicles off the market last October.
The recall includes some of the top-selling Japanese cars like the Toyota Camry and Corolla, the Nissan Maxima, and the Honda Civic. All of the vehicles included in the airbag recall were manufactured in or after 2000.

Spokesman Hideyuki Matsumoto stated that Takata produced the faulty airbag inflators from 2000 until 2002. A spokesperson for Toyota added that five incidents have been reported to the automaker, though no injuries were reported.

The issue happens in the case of an accident. The front passenger’s airbag may not inflate properly, because of a manufacturing defect in the propellant for the airbag’s inflator. Toyora, Honda, and Nissan all stated that there have been no reports of injuries or deaths related to the recalled parts.
The recall is the largest for Takata since 1995. The Tokyo-based company was involved in a recall that year for defective seatbelts. That recall included eight million vehicles. Along with Japanese automakers, Takata also supplies airbags and seatbelts to major automakers like Diamler AG and Ford Motor Co. It is not clear if the other two companies were affected.
Takata spokesman Toyohiro Hishikawa added that some non-Japanese automakers were also sold the faulty airbags, though he declined to give their names.

The majority of the vehicles affected by the airbag recall were built between 2000 and 2004. The inflators are not expensive to replace, but it will take between one and three hours to exchange them. The cost of the recall was not announced. It is not clear when automakers will inform customers affected by the massive airbag recall.

Daydreaming While Driving More Deadly Than Texting, Says Study

Daydreaming While Driving More Deadly Than Texting, Says Study
Daydreaming while driving is more dangerous than you might expect.
A new study says drivers are five times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash because they had daydreamed than if they were distracted by the use of an electronic device.

That’s according to new research by the Erie Insurance Group, which carried out the study just in time for the catchily named National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
Of 65,000 fatal accidents that took place in the US over the last two years, the study identified 10 % as being caused by some form of distracted driving. That’s in line with industry estimates, though there were more surprising discoveries beyond that statistic.
According to the research, 62 % of the crashes were the result of drivers being “lost in thought.” That description covers drivers failing to notice a lethal curve in the road, rushing through a red light, bumping into the back of another vehicle, or some other driver error. Meanwhile, “mobile phone use” was said to have caused only 12 % of fatal accidents.
The study listed other forms of distractions including:
> Kids or other vehicle occupants — 5 %
> Reaching for an object elsewhere in the car — 2 %
> Rubbernecking — 7 %
> Eating or drinking — 2 %
Erie Senior Vice President Doug Smith remarked:
“Distracted driving is any activity that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off your primary task of driving safely. We looked at what law enforcement officers across the country reported when they filled out reports on fatal crashes and the results were disturbing. We hope the data will encourage people to avoid these high-risk behaviors that needlessly increase their risk of being involved in a fatal crash.”

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Apple iPhone Screen Size Rumor Points To Two, Maybe Three Options

Apple iPhone Screen Size Rumor Points To Two, Maybe Three Options
Apple is developing “at least two screen sizes” according to a new rumor from Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White.
White met with a company inside of Apple’s supply chain and learned that the Cupertino based company has been testing various screen sizes. There is the very real possibility that Apple could release three screen sizes if everything tests as expected.
In a memo to investors Brian White writes:
“We believe Apple is coming around to the fact that one size per iPhone release does not work for everyone and offering consumers an option has the potential to expand the company’s market share.”
In his Apple iPhone screen size analysis White also predicts that Apple will ship its newest hardware offerings in July 2013. White believes Apple at that time will also announce its new lower-cost iPhone model. Unlike recent rumors White claims that Apple is not likely to sell a new iPhone for under $300 without a contract. Recent rumors have suggested that an entry-level iPhone could sell for $150 to $200 on contract.
Given that Apple iPhone’s already start at $299 for base models, selling a “low-cost” model for the same price with a rumored plastic body build seems counter-productive.
White writes:
“We believe this price point is reassuring for investors that Apple wants to expand its market reach with consumers in developing countries such as China. However, the company will also manage its margin profile and brand accordingly.”
If Apple releases its new iPhone with several screen sizes and also offers a low-cost option it could do away with previous models. Analysts fear that too many iPhone models on the market could confuse customers. Apple currently sells the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and iPhone 4.
Apple could be forced to remove several models from the mix in order to reach the needed production levels for the various new models it would begin selling in July.


iPhone 5 Pre-Orders Start At T-Mobile

iPhone 5 Pre-Orders Start At T-Mobile
The Apple iPhone 5 is now available for pre-order at T-Mobile. In a move that is decidedly T-Mobile focused, the mobile network is allowing customers to pay $20 per month for two years or pay the full cost for the smartphone upfront.
T-Mobile is selling the iPhone 5 unlocked for $580 (16GB), $680 (32GB), and $780 for the 64GB model.
The mobile network recently rolled out unlimited pricing for its customers while promising to change the mobile landscape in the United States.
iPhone 5′s purchased from T-Mobile will work on outside networks including AT&T and international providers. The pricing is pretty close to the prices being offered by AT&T for off-contract iPhone smartphones. T-Mobile will also allow iPhone customers with older devices to join its network via an over-the-air update. Older devices will only be able to run on AT&T LTE and not T-Mobile’s AWS HSPA spectrum.
Customers looking to get started with a new T-Mobile plan can purchase a $50 option with 500MB of unthrottled data. T-Mobile also offers an unlimited data plan with voice and text calling for just $70.
T-Mobile customers who pre-order an iPhone 5 today can expect the smartphone around April 12.
The move is big news for T-Mobile customers who have heard rumors of the iPhone’s arrival at the mobile network for the last year.
T-Mobile was never willing to sink huge losses into the product line while further lining Apple’s pockets. At the same time, the wireless carrier over the last year has actively campaigned for customers to bring their iPhone based smartphones to the network in unlocked form.
Are you willing to pay full-price for an iPhone 5 on the T-Mobile network?

iPhone 5S Release Date June 20, On Sale In July

The iPhone 5S release date is June 20 of 2013 according to some reports. The Apple iPhone 5S is also expected to be on sale by July.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Apple iPhone 5 release date was originally thought to be June 29, a date would mark the sixth anniversary since the release of the original iPhone. Apple is calling the iPhone 5S event “Original Passion, New Ideas.”
This name probably makes reference to the fact that former Apple CEO Steve Jobs will not have any input for the next generation of Apple products. This makes Apple fans watch the advent of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5S very closely.
Very few rumors regarding the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 have surfaced at this time. The company is expected to add a faster processor, improved retina display, and potentially a low-cost version of its popular iPhone line.
Mac-oriented web site MacFan suggests that the Apple iPhone 5S release date is a Galaxy S4ctually set for an Apple event on June 20. They also claim Apple will launch the much-rumored low-cost iPhone in August and target it as a pre-paid device for developing markets such as China and India.
A June 20 event makes sense because it would immediately follow Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which has been used to announce the iPhone 4, 3GS, and 3. Announcing the iPhone 5S sooner, rather than later, would also allow Apple to steal some of the thunder from the Samsung Galaxy S4. The new variant of the iPhone 5 could also compete with Samsung’s plans for a Galaxy S4 mini.
What do you think of Apple’s alleged plans to announce the iPhone 5S on June 20?

Blackberry Z10 Arrives At AT&T Wireless, Best Buy

Blackberry Z10 Arrives At AT&T Wireless, Best Buy

The Blackberry Z10 is now officially available to AT&T Wireless customers.
The first Blackberry smartphone is the first to feature the Blackberry 10 OS. Sales for the OS have been slow in other countries where it has already been released.
AT&T customers can pick up the smartphone for $199 with a two-year contract.
News of the AT&T sales cycle comes just half a day after Blackberry (formerly Research In Motion) tweeted that the device is now available at Best Buy.
Blackberry tweeted:
“3, 2, 1…#BlackBerry10! US: purchase your new #BlackBerryZ10 RIGHT NOW at @BestBuy_Deals:”
Blackberry has financed the specialized training of employees who will now serve at Blackberry 10 experts at 1,400 Best Buy locations around the United States. The company hopes that, by offering expert insight into its smartphone, it will lead to a higher level of user acceptance.
The Blackberry Z10 is also rumored to be preparing for a T-Mobile launch followed by Verizon Wireless in April 2013. Sprint Wireless has already announced that it will not offer the Blackberry Z10. Sprint in response will offer the Blackberry Q10, a smartphone with a built-in QWERTY keyboard.
The BlackBerry Z10 with its Blackberry 10 OS also offers a 4.2-inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels of resolution.
The Z10 also operates alongside an 8-megapixel camera and a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor.
Rumors have been circulating that Blackberry could eventually sell of its hardware division and focus on its more competent software division. Another rumor suggests that the company has had a difficult time in producing the devices, which has led to lower than expected supply levels for the company’s Z10 smartphone.
Do you think the Blackberry 10 OS and the Blackberry Z10 will instill new confidence in the one-time mobile darling? Or has Blackberry fallen too far behind the times to put a dent in the mobile smartphone market?

Friday, 5 April 2013

Automotive: Volkswagen Passat Salon

 This is our favourite Passat, because it provides all the performance and kit you want while keeping purchase prices and running costs reasonable.



4 out of 5 stars
Review-OnRoad There are three turbocharged petrol engines – the lively 120bhp 1.4 TSI, a muscular 158bhp 1.8 TSI and an even punchier 207bhp 2.0 TSI. The entry-level diesel is the 1.6 TDI, which has only 104bhp, but is impressively flexible and willing. Beyond that, there are two strong 2.0 TDI units, with either 138- or 168bhp, and the range gives buyers the choice of six-speed manual and six- or seven-speed DSG

Ride & Handling

  • 4 out of 5 stars
    Review-OnRoad The Passat is at its best on the motorway, where it’ll happily sit for hour after hour. It’s undemanding to drive everywhere else, with light steering and supple suspension. You still feel too many bumps, though, and the steering offers little feedback, so don’t expect to enjoy driving your Passat. Body control could be tighter, too, although it’s not worth spending the extra on the optional Adaptive Chassis Control system.



    4 out of 5 stars
    • Review-OnRoad There are three turbocharged petrol engines – the lively 120bhp 1.4 TSI, a muscular 158bhp 1.8 TSI and an even punchier 207bhp 2.0 TSI. The entry-level diesel is the 1.6 TDI, which has only 104bhp, but is impressively flexible and willing. Beyond that, there are two strong 2.0 TDI units, with either 138- or 168bhp, and the range gives buyers the choice of six-speed manual and six- or seven-speed DSG gearboxes. - United States

Automotive: 261 MPG Volkswagen XL1 Plug-In Hybrid Goes Into Production

The Volkswagen XL1 debuted today with the announcement that the Beetle for a new century will get 261 MPG. The 261 MPG VW hybrid car gets this fuel efficiency by limiting passengers to two seats and the car is constructed from carbon fiber, aluminium and titanium.
Volkswagen claims the hybrid car will do 261 mpg, or 313 mpg by European standards, using diesel fuel. The XL1 will travel 31 miles on electricity alone before switching over to diesel, which has a  limit of 310 miles. These numbers will probably represent a theoretical maximum, with the EPA likely to give the Volkswagen a much lower fuel efficiency rating than 261 MPG.
The Volkswagen XL1 is powered by a a two cylinder, 0.8 liter diesel mounted in the rear of the XL1, which means the trunk is in the front. The hybrid engine is linked to a 7-speed transmission, a 5.5 kWh lithium ion battery and electric motor. The two-seat body of the XL1 has a 0.189 drag coefficient and weighs just 1,752 pounds. In comparison, a Toyota Prius has a 0.25 drag coefficient and weighs about double.
Yahoo Auto points out that Volkswagen had to make a few sacrifices to reach 261 MPG:
“That efficiency comes with a few sacrifices, with speed first among them. Together, the electric motor and engine produce 68 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque. VW says that’s enough to launch the XL1 to 62 mph in 12.7 seconds — although it suggests not doing so. Top speed is limited to 99 mph. And the two seat interior of the XL1 has to look stylish, because there’s nothing behind the seats; the XL1 will offer a limited amount of space under the hood.”
Fox News says the Volkswagen XL1 will be manufactured in low volume and potentially cost $100,000 or more. Holger Boch, the Volkwagen XL1 project leader, explains who they think will buy this expensive vehicle:
“It’s clearly going to cost a lot more than a Golf – it’s made of carbonfibre and has two engines. The people who buy it will be people who like technology and who like being seen in a low-CO2 car.”
At what price point would you be interested in buying a plug-in hybrid like the Volkswagen XL1 that can get 261 MPG?

Volkswagen Malaysia Car Model and Price

Automotive: BMW Recall: Over 30,000 Vehicles Affected

A new BMW recall has been issued for certain models of its utility vehicles because of an issue which may cause brake leakage, according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The latest recall by the popular German car manufacturer covers over 30,000 of its 2007 through 2010 X5 utility vehicles. The affected vehicles were manufactured between September 12, 2006, through March 18, 2010.
The BMW recall pertains to X5 models within the specified date range that are equipped with an 8-cylinder engine. The recall was issued by the car company in response to a faulty vacuum pump component in the vehicle brake system.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s report:
“The brake vacuum pump may leak a small amount of lubricating oil into the hose. The contamination could result in a loss of power assist braking.”
In the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration filing, BMW indicates that the defect could “increase stopping distance and lead to a vehicle crash.”
According to Reuters, BMW has indicated that it will make free replacement parts available to customers affected by the recall.
Beginning in February, the auto manufacturer will contact consumers and BMW dealerships directly about the recall.
The BMW X5 is considered a luxury utility vehicle with a price range of approximately $48,000 to $65,000 in the United States. BMW said they have not received reports of accidents or injuries in connection with the brake vacuum pump detailed in its filing.

Customers with questions concerning the BMW recall can contact the automaker by calling 1-800-525-7417, or by email at

Automotive: Toyota Recalls One Million Vehicles For Wiper, Airbag Issues

Toyota is recalling more than one million vehicles for windshield wiper and airbag issues. The vehicles affected include the company’s Corolla as well as Lexus sedans.
Toyota Recalls One Million Vehicles For Wiper, Airbag IssuesNaoto Fuse, a spokesman for Toyota Motor Corporation, stated on Wednesday that there have not been any accidents or injuries as a result of the defects.
The recall comes after the Japanese automaker received 46 reports of airbag problems from North America and 25 reports of problems with the windshield wipers, reports Fox News.
The Toyota Corolla and Corolla Matrix are being recalled for air bags that improperly inflate. The recall includes 752,000 vehicles in the US and thousands of similar cars in Japan, Mexico, and Canada. They were manufactured between December 2001 and May 2004.
The windshield wiper problem can happen if there is heavy snowfall. The issue affects all three Lexus IS models that were manufactured between May 2005 and October 2011. There are 270,000 vehicles affected in the United States.
Yahoo! News notes that the recall is the third for Toyota since October that involves more than a million cars. It also comes as the Japanese automaker is trying to salvage its reputation from a series of recalls between 2009 and 2011. Those recalls involved accelerator problems that could cause the vehicle to crash.
Toyota will add an electrical signal filter to the recalled cars to fix the airbag issue. The repair is expected to take between one hour and an hour and a half.
The company agreed last month to pay over $1 billion to settle lawsuits in the United States by customers that alleged the value of their cars went down after the company’s recalls. Executives with the company stated with the agreement that they do not admit fault but that they want to put the recall crisis behind them. › Vehicles › Cars

Automotive: Toyota, BMW Working On New Battery Technology

Toyota and BMW are partnering up to work on new battery technology as well as a new fuel cell vehicle system. Both projects are aimed at creating more environmentally friendly vehicles.
The two companies are beginning research into a lithium-air battery, which will be more efficient and more powerful than the lithium-ion batteries currently used in hybrid and electric vehicles.
The two companies hope to complete research on the fuel cell vehicle system, which will include a hydrogen tank and motor, by 2020, reports Reuters.
Toyota Vice Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, who led development on the Prius hybrid in the late 1990s, stated:
Toyota, BMW Working On New Battery Technology“In order for FCVs (fuel cell vehicles) to become more widely used, it needs to be cheaper. That would require a great deal of time and cost for development.”
Uchiyamada spoke at a news conference with BMW in Nagoya in central Japan. He added, “By bringing together the wisdom of two companies, we can aim to make FCVs more popular much quicker.”
The Miami Herald reports that both sides assured on Thursday that their partnership will not involve a capital alliance, though it will span a wide range of green vehicle technology. BMW AG board member Herbert Diess added that the partnership between Toyota and BMW will help both companies boost their competitiveness in new technologies.
Diess added during the news conference, “We really share the same vision.” The two companies pooling their resources will also likely help the technology develop more quickly. BMW is known for its sporty cars and strong design. Meanwhile, Toyota is known for innovation and its solid engineering.
Global automakers are often forging partnerships like the one between Toyota and BMW in order to become more competitive in a growing market.

Automotive: Audi

Self Driving Car From Audi A7 Seen At CES 2013A self driving car from Audi was spotted navigating the hotel parking garage near the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) 2013. The self driving car was capable of driving itself to and from a parking space all by pressing a button in a smartphone app. Unfortunately, this was done more as a gimmick, or as a proof of concept, rather than as an unveiling of a new line of driverless cars.
Unlike the Google-modified Prius, which is a true autonomous vehicle that can drive itself all over the nation, the Audi demo vehicle looks like an Audi A7 luxury vehicle. When self-driving the vehicle only moves a couple miles per hour. It’s intended to replace the valet system where you simply press a button on your smartphone and your car comes to pick you up.
According to The Verge, the way that Audi pulls off this trick means that we likely won’t see this feature in real usage for another 10 years:
“[I]t’s being guided by an array of laser scanners embedded in the garage that communicate to the car over Wi-Fi, keeping it abreast of its precise location and any obstructions nearby. In other words, much of the work is being outsourced to the parking garage itself. This trick isn’t going to work just anywhere — you’ve got to be in a venue that’s been specially fitted with equipment that the car can talk to as it maneuvers.”
According to Tech Spot, “Audi still has a long way to go before something like this can be implemented in the real world where things like pedestrians and weather conditions must be accounted for. Either way, it’s pretty cool to think that we will eventually have self driving vehicles someday.”
Audi Malaysia