I worked as a high-end audio salesman for 16 years and spent another 16 reviewing audio products. Here's what I learned: The very best gear is always expensive. Sure, there are occasional examples of affordable products that are remarkable, but they never get remotely close to what true high-end gear can offer. Beyond price the main thing that separates high-end companies from mass-market brands is high-end designers are all about maximizing performance. Mainstream audio companies rarely try to make the best possible sounding gear. They know that features, wireless connectivity, styling, compact size, cheap pricing, marketing, distribution, etc. -- … Read more
Penguin has become the latest book publisher to settle federal charges of e-book price-fixing, leaving only Apple and Macmillan to fight the Justice Department allegations.
In an antitrust lawsuit filed in April, federal prosecutors accused Apple and five book publishers of conspiring to artificially hike prices. The same day, the Justice Department announced it had reached settlements with three publishers but said Apple and the other two publishers had opted to fight the charges. Lagardere SCA's Hachette Book Group, News Corp.'s HarperCollins Publishers, and Simon & Schuster (owned by CBS, which publishes CNET) agreed to settle.
Penguin added … Read more
In the brave new world of connected personal computing devices, Hewlett-Packard is a distant No. 4, with Samsung and Apple leading the way.
Think of IDC's "Worldwide Smart Connected Device Market" report as the 21st century equivalent of PC maker rankings.
Personal computing today includes tablets and smartphones, not just the laptop in your father's home office.
That global smart-connected device market grew 27.1 percent year-over-year in the third quarter to a record 303.6 million shipments valued at $140.4 billion, IDC said today in a research note.
"HP, which is virtually non-existent … Read more
The 20 percent increase that Apple's now paying Samsung for the mobile processors it uses in iOS devices was scheduled at the beginning of this year and not simply payback for any legal losses, according to a new report.
Seoul-based newspaper The Hankyorek (via The Street) reports that the two companies agreed on the new processor prices earlier this year, contradicting an earlier report that suggested Samsung strong-armed Apple into paying more when the iPhone and iPad maker could not find a replacement.
The reported 20 percent increase brings a 1 percent to 2 percent hit on Apple's … Read more
Apple's Web site may have unintentionally leaked yet another detail about the iPhone 5: the prices for the unlocked version.
A search on Apple's Web site for "iPhone 5 factory unlocked" initially comes up empty, but a sidebar shows results for the iPhone 5 with prices that would fall in line with past unlocked prices. Apple Insider reader Dhaval Dinani first spotted the results.
PayPal is getting competitive for the holidays. The payment service will refund customers up to $1,000 if they find that an item purchased through PayPal is advertised for cheaper elsewhere during the holiday season.
From today through December 31, PayPal will price-match your purchases with a limit of $250 on a single item, according to a blog post from PayPal Shopping Specialist Claudia Lombana.
"If the item you purchase is advertised for lower with any merchant within 30 days of purchase, you can receive a reimbursement for the difference," Lombana writes. "It doesn't matter if … Read more
The company, which provides an app for locating and booking car service, says today that it has reinstated "Surge Pricing" in the city. Basically what that means is car drivers can charge astronomical fees to shuttle riders around. Yesterday, that would have been about double the normal fare, based on what Uber ended up paying drivers.
In New York, where public transportation has been hobbled by the natural disaster, … Read more
T-Mobile is the first carrier out of the gate to bring its customers the much-anticipated Samsung Galaxy Note 2. As of today, any T-Mobile user can snap up the device.
Rumors floated this week that the carrier was already receiving shipments of the "phablet" in its retail stores. Samsung had planned a Galaxy Note 2 launch event today, but until T-Mobile's announcement it was unclear when exactly users would be able to get their hands on the device.
T-Mobile will sell the phone for $369.99 with a new, two-year service agreement. That makes it the priciest … Read more
While we all patiently wait for Justin Yu's airline troubles to dissipate, CNET editors David Carnoy and Ty Pendlebury join Jeff on the show to chat about the world of self-publishing, the best places to find FLAC music, Microsoft Surface, Xbox Music, and the places you're most likely to break your iPhone.
Topics from today's show:
- Check out David's new book "The Big Exit." Or, for a chance to win a digital or hardcover copy, send an e-mail with "The Big Exit" in the subject line to the404 [at] cnet [dot] com.
- Microsoft Surface dates and prices
- Don't worry, the iPad Mini will come in just 24 easy-to-understand versions.
- Xbox Music is coming. Don't call it Zune!
- Ty's FLAC music-finding guide