Musical.ly has a new video chat app, but you can’t use it yet

The team behind Musical.ly has a new video messaging app it says will be the “ultimate video messenger” —  just don’t expect to be able to use it yet.

Called pingpong, details about the app are scarce but it appears as though the company may be positioning it as a possible Snapchat competitor.

The app was quietly added to the App Store Feb. 9, according to analytics from App Annie, but it appears as though it’s still in some sort of pre-launch phase as users can’t log into the app or access anything beyond the initial launch screen. 

Still, we can glean a few details based on the App Store description and the app’s slash screen. Described as “the ultimate video messenger” in its App Store description, pingpong allows you to record video messages you can share with your friends. 

While it’s not clear how long the messages can be or whether they disappear after a certain period of time, the simple interface visible in the one screenshot in the App Store looks as though regular Snapchat users will be more than comfortable using pingpong. 

A representative for Musical.ly did not respond to Mashable’s request for comment on the app.

Pingpong isn’t Musical.ly’s first foray into a more personal video app. The company launched a group video chat app in January, called Squad, which enables group video chats. Pingpong, on the other hand, appears to be geared more toward recorded video messages. 

h/t: ProductHunt

Google is being investigated in South Korea for anti-competitive practices

Why it matters to you

If Google has indeed hindered Samsung’s development of another operating system, it could have limited the software options you’ve had access to.

Google is in a bit of hot water in South Korea over yet another anti-competition investigation. In this case, the Fair Trade Commission, or the FTC, is investigating whether or note Google has hindered Samsung’s development of its own operating system.

In 2011, Google and Samsung both signed the Mobile Application Distribution Agreement, which basically states that all of Samsung’s Android smartphones have to use Google as the default search engine. Not only that, but Samsung’s devices also need to have Google apps — like Gmail, YouTube, and the Google Play Store — pre-installed. In addition, an anti-fragmentation agreement was reached, and under that agreement, Samsung can’t develop its own Android-based operating system.

More: Google Fiber, AT&T Fiber turn Kentucky city into gigabit battleground

This isn’t the first time Google has faced antitrust charges in South Korea. The company was also investigated when South Korea’s top search engines, Naver and Daum, claimed Google’s agreement with Samsung violated antitrust laws. Those charges were eventually cleared in 2013.

The bad news for Google is that on top of the newly opened investigation into whether or note the company obstructed Samsung from developing its own mobile operating system, the FTC has also said that it will be reopening the 2013 case, suggesting that since the case was closed, the market has changed.

It could be problematic if Google is found guilty, as the company could face a hefty fine. Of course, this is all par for the course for Google, which was fined $6.75 million in an antitrust case last year by Russian regulators.

It will be interesting to see how this case affects Google and its relationship with Samsung. The South Korean firm has long been trying to reduce its dependence on Google, and has been developing Tizen, its own operating system, for some time now. Is that operating system not on Samsung’s phones because of its agreement with Google? Only time will tell.

AI Deconstructs Phone Sales Pitches

SaaS solutions firm Gong last week released the findings of a study on sales phone conversations, including an analysis of gender speaking patterns.

Women delivered slightly longer sales monologues, averaging about 9-12 seconds longer than those their male counterparts gave, but men generally spoke faster, the study found.

Men tended to speak at a faster pace, averaging about 2.88 words per second compared to the average 2.79 seconds for women, the study found. Men also paused longer — averaging about 1.5 seconds compared to women’s 1.3 seconds.

Women had a higher degree of success in progressing deals, with a 54 percent probability of reaching the next milestone, while men registered a 49 percent probability, the data indicated.

Devil in the Details

To carry out the research, Gong used artificial intelligence and machine learning technology that was developed to recognize sales conversation patterns.

The technology is designed to help companies increase sales win rates, decrease the length of the sales cycle and drive more revenue, the company said.

Using AI to examine speech patterns used during a sales call can reduce the guesswork involved in improving sales conversations, according to Gong.

Its cloud-based AI software is designed in particular to improve the performance and productivity of B2B sales teams by tracking details in sales conversations — but this is just part of what Gong can provide to sales teams.

Gong’s AI package combines natural language processing tools with machine learning to analyze, categorize and even quantify sales conservations that can be used to determine what is working — and more importantly, what isn’t.

Always Be Closing

The use of machine learning and AI can catch subtle details, providing benefits that go beyond human critiques.

“You can gather a lots of data from monitoring these calls,” said Greg Sterling, vice president of strategy & insights at the Local Search Association.

“Machines can identify the patterns and trends, and for this reason it can be an important tool to identify what is working and what isn’t working,” he told CRM Buyer.

Of course, the golden rule in sales is one made famous in Glengarry Glen Ross — “ABC,” as in “always be closing.”

“Successful salespeople optimize on closing, and regardless of approach they compensate to ensure that closing rate,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

However, the result is an optimized process based on the peculiarities of the individual salesperson, and capturing one aspect of a successful salesperson’s process and applying it to another may not be so easy, he told CRM Buyer.

“The change won’t match their personality,” Enderle pointed out, so “the end result, even after time, may be lower performance than it was before.”

Sales Machine

Where this technology could help might be with those just entering the sales game.

Salespeople who apply the deep learning to their own personalities should be able to approach the performance of successful salespeople more closely and far faster, suggested Enderle.

“It is generally far easier to optimize someone that is new and hasn’t developed layers of habits than it is to try to super-optimize someone that has already learned a complex set of behaviors that are now optimal for them,” he added.

As a result, “this data can be used to bring salespeople up quickly and make them very successful — but it could also damage existing successful salespeople, because it is likely to break their already validated process,” Enderle pointed out.

Learning Curve

Such technology can benefit sales teams, but it is unlikely to replace the experience or talent of sales professionals — and companies that try to rely too much on the AI’s findings may not see the results they expect.

“The danger is that there can be an over reliance on machine learning to create the right formula for a sales call, which is really as much an art as it is science,” Local Search Association’s Sterling added.

“There are a lot of factors to consider, and a lot of intangibles in sales,” he said. “Machines are just a tool to help, but it is important to note that machines can’t craft the perfect pitch, and it would problematic to think they can.”


Peter Suciu is a freelance writer who has covered consumer electronics, technology, electronic entertainment and fitness-related trends for more than a decade. His work has appeared in more than three dozen publications, and he is the co-author of Careers in the Computer Game Industry (Career in the New Economy series), a career guide aimed at high school students from Rosen Publishing. You can connect with Peter on Google+.

How Verizon's new 'unlimited' plan compares to the competition

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Some five and a half years after killing its unlimited-data plan, Verizon (VZ) is resurrecting the offering, putting the carrier back on an even footing with competitors like AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.” data-reactid=”23″>Some five and a half years after killing its unlimited-data plan, Verizon (VZ) is resurrecting the offering, putting the carrier back on an even footing with competitors like AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The move, announced Sunday, completes a remarkable turnaround for the industry. Back in mid-2012, only Sprint (S) offered a plan with unlimited full-speed data, which, given its horrible network then, wasn’t too appealing anyway. But in August 2012, T-Mobile (TMUS) added an unlimited plan to its stable of offerings. In January, AT&T (T) brought back unlimited data for its subscription-TV customers. And now Big Red has joined the trend.” data-reactid=”24″>The move, announced Sunday, completes a remarkable turnaround for the industry. Back in mid-2012, only Sprint (S) offered a plan with unlimited full-speed data, which, given its horrible network then, wasn’t too appealing anyway. But in August 2012, T-Mobile (TMUS) added an unlimited plan to its stable of offerings. In January, AT&T (T) brought back unlimited data for its subscription-TV customers. And now Big Red has joined the trend.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Here’s how Verizon’s unlimited plan compares to the competition’s.” data-reactid=”25″>Here’s how Verizon’s unlimited plan compares to the competition’s.

Prices and prioritization

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Verizon’s Unlimited offering can actually be considered “unmetered,” as it does have some limitations. But that’s also the case with the unlimited-data deals from each of the three other nationwide carriers.” data-reactid=”27″>Verizon’s Unlimited offering can actually be considered “unmetered,” as it does have some limitations. But that’s also the case with the unlimited-data deals from each of the three other nationwide carriers.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="And the severity of the restrictions on each so-called unlimited plan often has little do with how much more or less it costs next to competitors’ plans — a lineup in which Sprint is cheapest, followed by T-Mobile, then Verizon and finally AT&T.” data-reactid=”28″>And the severity of the restrictions on each so-called unlimited plan often has little do with how much more or less it costs next to competitors’ plans — a lineup in which Sprint is cheapest, followed by T-Mobile, then Verizon and finally AT&T.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Here’s how the plans shake out:” data-reactid=”29″>Here’s how the plans shake out:

  • AT&T (reserved for DirecTV and U-verse TV subscribers): $100 per month for one line, $40 per month each for the second and third lines. The fourth line is free.
  • Sprint: Sign up now through March 31, 2017 and you’ll pay $50 per month for one line, $40 for the second and nothing for the third and fourth lines through March 31, 2018. After that you’ll pay $60 a month for one line, $40 for a second and $30 each for the third and fourth. If you sign up after March 31, 2017, you’ll pay the standard $60 a month for the first line, $40 for the second  line and $30 each for the third and fourth lines.
  • T-Mobile: $70 per month for one line, $60 for the second line and $20 each for the third and fourth lines.
  • Verizon: $80 per month for one line, $60 for the second, $22 for a third and $18 for a fourth.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The most obvious limit is the point at which your data speeds slow if your carrier’s network becomes congested. This doesn’t mean getting kicked back to 2G speeds — the fallback, unmetered data service AT&T, Sprint and Verizon provide on their limited plans — but could mean slower webpages and poor streaming quality. It’s hard to say how much this could impact you, though, as user reports about the severity of this “deprioritization” have varied widely.” data-reactid=”35″>The most obvious limit is the point at which your data speeds slow if your carrier’s network becomes congested. This doesn’t mean getting kicked back to 2G speeds — the fallback, unmetered data service AT&T, Sprint and Verizon provide on their limited plans — but could mean slower webpages and poor streaming quality. It’s hard to say how much this could impact you, though, as user reports about the severity of this “deprioritization” have varied widely.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="AT&T and Verizon will start to deprioritize your date after you use 22 GB in a month, while Sprint sets its limit at 23 GB. T-Mobile says ranking among the top 3% of its users, which the carrier says equates to burning more than 28 GB a month, will see your data fall to a lower priority level.” data-reactid=”36″>AT&T and Verizon will start to deprioritize your date after you use 22 GB in a month, while Sprint sets its limit at 23 GB. T-Mobile says ranking among the top 3% of its users, which the carrier says equates to burning more than 28 GB a month, will see your data fall to a lower priority level.

Other caveats: hotspots, high-def video

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="What about using your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, otherwise known as tethering? AT&T’s unlimited plan bans that, while Sprint limits it to 5GB a month. Verizon, meanwhile, includes 10 GB of tethering. As of Monday morning, T-Mobile offered unlimited tethering but at painfully slow 3G speeds; that afternoon, it reversed course and said it would include 10 GB of full-speed tethering starting Feb. 17.” data-reactid=”38″>What about using your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, otherwise known as tethering? AT&T’s unlimited plan bans that, while Sprint limits it to 5GB a month. Verizon, meanwhile, includes 10 GB of tethering. As of Monday morning, T-Mobile offered unlimited tethering but at painfully slow 3G speeds; that afternoon, it reversed course and said it would include 10 GB of full-speed tethering starting Feb. 17.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Video also faces limits on most of these plans. While Verizon offers unlimited high-definition video streaming, Sprint and AT&T constrain streaming to 480p resolution, or DVD quality. AT&T lets you opt out of this “Stream Saver” feature to watch movies at a higher resolution. Sprint (which also limits music streaming to 500 kilobits per second and gaming to 2 megabits per second) charges $20 extra per line for an “Unlimited Premium” plan that enables high-definition video and quadruples music and gaming speed limits. ” data-reactid=”39″>Video also faces limits on most of these plans. While Verizon offers unlimited high-definition video streaming, Sprint and AT&T constrain streaming to 480p resolution, or DVD quality. AT&T lets you opt out of this “Stream Saver” feature to watch movies at a higher resolution. Sprint (which also limits music streaming to 500 kilobits per second and gaming to 2 megabits per second) charges $20 extra per line for an “Unlimited Premium” plan that enables high-definition video and quadruples music and gaming speed limits.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="T-Mobile’s Monday switcheroo also ended the carrier’s policy of limiting streaming video to 480p resolution. You’ll be able to get higher resolution streams starting Feb. 17. If you’re already on the carrier’s T-Mobile One unlimited plan, you’ll also be able to switch to this upgraded version Feb. 17.” data-reactid=”40″>T-Mobile’s Monday switcheroo also ended the carrier’s policy of limiting streaming video to 480p resolution. You’ll be able to get higher resolution streams starting Feb. 17. If you’re already on the carrier’s T-Mobile One unlimited plan, you’ll also be able to switch to this upgraded version Feb. 17.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere.T-Mobile CEO John Legere.

View photos

After Verizon announced its new ‘unlimited’ plan, T-Mobile announced updates to its own unlimited plan.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="T-Mobile and Verizon also specify that you must enable automatic payments on your account to get the advertised pricing for their plans, while Sprint requires that you use paperless billing. If you’re fond of mailing back a check each month, look elsewhere. ” data-reactid=”59″>T-Mobile and Verizon also specify that you must enable automatic payments on your account to get the advertised pricing for their plans, while Sprint requires that you use paperless billing. If you’re fond of mailing back a check each month, look elsewhere.

Your alternatives

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Whether these mostly-unlimited options work for you depends not on how much data you use, but on how you use it. ” data-reactid=”61″>Whether these mostly-unlimited options work for you depends not on how much data you use, but on how you use it.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="If you regularly use your phone as a hotspot, AT&T is out of the question while T-Mobile and Verizon clearly beat Sprint. If, however, mobile video dominates your data use and you watch on larger-screen devices, T-Mobile and Verizon’s support for HD streaming and AT&T letting you turn off Stream Saver may count in their favor.” data-reactid=”66″>If you regularly use your phone as a hotspot, AT&T is out of the question while T-Mobile and Verizon clearly beat Sprint. If, however, mobile video dominates your data use and you watch on larger-screen devices, T-Mobile and Verizon’s support for HD streaming and AT&T letting you turn off Stream Saver may count in their favor.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Some of these plans include bonus features that may help tip the decision for you. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, for example, include free roaming in Canada and Mexico. T-Mo also sweeps taxes and fees into its unlimited plan’s advertised price, unlike the other three carriers.” data-reactid=”67″>Some of these plans include bonus features that may help tip the decision for you. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, for example, include free roaming in Canada and Mexico. T-Mo also sweeps taxes and fees into its unlimited plan’s advertised price, unlike the other three carriers.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="What about the old, unlimited-data plans AT&T and Verizon yanked off their sites a few years ago? ” data-reactid=”68″>What about the old, unlimited-data plans AT&T and Verizon yanked off their sites a few years ago?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="In Verizon’s case, you should almost certainly drop it: That old plan’s combined price for unlimited data, 450 voice minutes and only 250 text messages — tethering excluded — now stands at $95 after a $20 increase imposed on those grandfathered subscribers. ” data-reactid=”69″>In Verizon’s case, you should almost certainly drop it: That old plan’s combined price for unlimited data, 450 voice minutes and only 250 text messages — tethering excluded — now stands at $95 after a $20 increase imposed on those grandfathered subscribers.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="At AT&T, stand pat. The old unlimited-data option, combined with 400 minutes of calling and 200 texts, will cost $85 after a $5 price hike next month. Both old and new unlimited deals block tethering.” data-reactid=”70″>At AT&T, stand pat. The old unlimited-data option, combined with 400 minutes of calling and 200 texts, will cost $85 after a $5 price hike next month. Both old and new unlimited deals block tethering.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Either way, check your bill to see just how much data you use — the answer might mean the limited plans at AT&T, Sprint and Verizon suit you better. (Note that VzW’s listed prices for 2 GB, 4 GB and 8 GB plans exclude a $20 per month line-access charge factored into its $80 advertised unlimited-data rate.) Buying more data than you use, subject to conditions you’re more likely to notice, is not bandwidth management but an unprofitable form of psychological self-care.” data-reactid=”71″>Either way, check your bill to see just how much data you use — the answer might mean the limited plans at AT&T, Sprint and Verizon suit you better. (Note that VzW’s listed prices for 2 GB, 4 GB and 8 GB plans exclude a $20 per month line-access charge factored into its $80 advertised unlimited-data rate.) Buying more data than you use, subject to conditions you’re more likely to notice, is not bandwidth management but an unprofitable form of psychological self-care.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Disclosure: Verizon is in the process of buying Yahoo Finance’s parent company, Yahoo.” data-reactid=”72″>Disclosure: Verizon is in the process of buying Yahoo Finance’s parent company, Yahoo.

More from Rob:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Email Rob at rob@robpegoraro.com; follow him on Twitter at @robpegoraro.” data-reactid=”81″>Email Rob at rob@robpegoraro.com; follow him on Twitter at @robpegoraro.

 

How Verizon's new 'unlimited' plan compares

<p type="text" content="Some five and a half years after killing its unlimited-data plan, Verizon (VZ) is resurrecting the offering, putting the carrier back on an even footing with competitors like AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”23″>Some five and a half years after killing its unlimited-data plan, Verizon (VZ) is resurrecting the offering, putting the carrier back on an even footing with competitors like AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

<p type="text" content="The move, announced Sunday, completes a remarkable turnaround for the industry. Back in mid-2012, only Sprint (S) offered a plan with unlimited full-speed data, which, given its horrible network then, wasn’t too appealing anyway. But in August 2012, T-Mobile (TMUS) added an unlimited plan to its stable of offerings. In January, AT&T (T) brought back unlimited data for its subscription-TV customers. And now Big Red has joined the trend.” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”24″>The move, announced Sunday, completes a remarkable turnaround for the industry. Back in mid-2012, only Sprint (S) offered a plan with unlimited full-speed data, which, given its horrible network then, wasn’t too appealing anyway. But in August 2012, T-Mobile (TMUS) added an unlimited plan to its stable of offerings. In January, AT&T (T) brought back unlimited data for its subscription-TV customers. And now Big Red has joined the trend.

<p type="text" content="Here’s how Verizon’s unlimited plan compares to the competition’s.” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”25″>Here’s how Verizon’s unlimited plan compares to the competition’s.

Prices and prioritization

<p type="text" content="Verizon’s Unlimited offering can actually be considered “unmetered,” as it does have some limitations. But that’s also the case with the unlimited-data deals from each of the three other nationwide carriers.” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”27″>Verizon’s Unlimited offering can actually be considered “unmetered,” as it does have some limitations. But that’s also the case with the unlimited-data deals from each of the three other nationwide carriers.

<p type="text" content="And the severity of the restrictions on each so-called unlimited plan often has little do with how much more or less it costs next to competitors’ plans — a lineup in which Sprint is cheapest, followed by T-Mobile, then Verizon and finally AT&T.” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”28″>And the severity of the restrictions on each so-called unlimited plan often has little do with how much more or less it costs next to competitors’ plans — a lineup in which Sprint is cheapest, followed by T-Mobile, then Verizon and finally AT&T.

<p type="text" content="Here’s how the plans shake out:” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”29″>Here’s how the plans shake out:

  • AT&T (reserved for DirecTV and U-verse TV subscribers): $100 per month for one line, $40 per month each for the second and third lines. The fourth line is free.
  • Sprint: Sign up now through March 31, 2017 and you’ll pay $50 per month for one line, $40 for the second and nothing for the third and fourth lines through March 31, 2018. After that you’ll pay $60 a month for one line, $40 for a second and $30 each for the third and fourth. If you sign up after March 31, 2017, you’ll pay the standard $60 a month for the first line, $40 for the second  line and $30 each for the third and fourth lines.
  • T-Mobile: $70 per month for one line, $60 for the second line and $20 each for the third and fourth lines.
  • Verizon: $80 per month for one line, $60 for the second, $22 for a third and $18 for a fourth.

<p type="text" content="The most obvious limit is the point at which your data speeds slow if your carrier’s network becomes congested. This doesn’t mean getting kicked back to 2G speeds — the fallback, unmetered data service AT&T, Sprint and Verizon provide on their limited plans — but could mean slower webpages and poor streaming quality. It’s hard to say how much this could impact you, though, as user reports about the severity of this “deprioritization” have varied widely.” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”35″>The most obvious limit is the point at which your data speeds slow if your carrier’s network becomes congested. This doesn’t mean getting kicked back to 2G speeds — the fallback, unmetered data service AT&T, Sprint and Verizon provide on their limited plans — but could mean slower webpages and poor streaming quality. It’s hard to say how much this could impact you, though, as user reports about the severity of this “deprioritization” have varied widely.

<p type="text" content="AT&T and Verizon will start to deprioritize your date after you use 22 GB in a month, while Sprint sets its limit at 23 GB. T-Mobile says ranking among the top 3% of its users, which the carrier says equates to burning more than 28 GB a month, will see your data fall to a lower priority level.” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”36″>AT&T and Verizon will start to deprioritize your date after you use 22 GB in a month, while Sprint sets its limit at 23 GB. T-Mobile says ranking among the top 3% of its users, which the carrier says equates to burning more than 28 GB a month, will see your data fall to a lower priority level.

Other caveats: hotspots, high-def video

<p type="text" content="What about using your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, otherwise known as tethering? AT&T’s unlimited plan bans that, while Sprint limits it to 5GB a month. Verizon, meanwhile, includes 10 GB of tethering. As of Monday morning, T-Mobile offered unlimited tethering but at painfully slow 3G speeds; that afternoon, it reversed course and said it would include 10 GB of full-speed tethering starting Feb. 17.” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”38″>What about using your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, otherwise known as tethering? AT&T’s unlimited plan bans that, while Sprint limits it to 5GB a month. Verizon, meanwhile, includes 10 GB of tethering. As of Monday morning, T-Mobile offered unlimited tethering but at painfully slow 3G speeds; that afternoon, it reversed course and said it would include 10 GB of full-speed tethering starting Feb. 17.

<p type="text" content="Video also faces limits on most of these plans. While Verizon offers unlimited high-definition video streaming, Sprint and AT&T constrain streaming to 480p resolution, or DVD quality. AT&T lets you opt out of this “Stream Saver” feature to watch movies at a higher resolution. Sprint (which also limits music streaming to 500 kilobits per second and gaming to 2 megabits per second) charges $20 extra per line for an “Unlimited Premium” plan that enables high-definition video and quadruples music and gaming speed limits. ” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”39″>Video also faces limits on most of these plans. While Verizon offers unlimited high-definition video streaming, Sprint and AT&T constrain streaming to 480p resolution, or DVD quality. AT&T lets you opt out of this “Stream Saver” feature to watch movies at a higher resolution. Sprint (which also limits music streaming to 500 kilobits per second and gaming to 2 megabits per second) charges $20 extra per line for an “Unlimited Premium” plan that enables high-definition video and quadruples music and gaming speed limits.

<p type="text" content="T-Mobile’s Monday switcheroo also ended the carrier’s policy of limiting streaming video to 480p resolution. You’ll be able to get higher resolution streams starting Feb. 17. If you’re already on the carrier’s T-Mobile One unlimited plan, you’ll also be able to switch to this upgraded version Feb. 17.” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”40″>T-Mobile’s Monday switcheroo also ended the carrier’s policy of limiting streaming video to 480p resolution. You’ll be able to get higher resolution streams starting Feb. 17. If you’re already on the carrier’s T-Mobile One unlimited plan, you’ll also be able to switch to this upgraded version Feb. 17.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere.T-Mobile CEO John Legere.

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After Verizon announced its new ‘unlimited’ plan, T-Mobile announced updates to its own unlimited plan.

<p type="text" content="T-Mobile and Verizon also specify that you must enable automatic payments on your account to get the advertised pricing for their plans, while Sprint requires that you use paperless billing. If you’re fond of mailing back a check each month, look elsewhere. ” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”59″>T-Mobile and Verizon also specify that you must enable automatic payments on your account to get the advertised pricing for their plans, while Sprint requires that you use paperless billing. If you’re fond of mailing back a check each month, look elsewhere.

Your alternatives

<p type="text" content="Whether these mostly-unlimited options work for you depends not on how much data you use, but on how you use it. ” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”61″>Whether these mostly-unlimited options work for you depends not on how much data you use, but on how you use it.

<p type="text" content="If you regularly use your phone as a hotspot, AT&T is out of the question while T-Mobile and Verizon clearly beat Sprint. If, however, mobile video dominates your data use and you watch on larger-screen devices, T-Mobile and Verizon’s support for HD streaming and AT&T letting you turn off Stream Saver may count in their favor.” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”66″>If you regularly use your phone as a hotspot, AT&T is out of the question while T-Mobile and Verizon clearly beat Sprint. If, however, mobile video dominates your data use and you watch on larger-screen devices, T-Mobile and Verizon’s support for HD streaming and AT&T letting you turn off Stream Saver may count in their favor.

<p type="text" content="Some of these plans include bonus features that may help tip the decision for you. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, for example, include free roaming in Canada and Mexico. T-Mo also sweeps taxes and fees into its unlimited plan’s advertised price, unlike the other three carriers.” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”67″>Some of these plans include bonus features that may help tip the decision for you. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, for example, include free roaming in Canada and Mexico. T-Mo also sweeps taxes and fees into its unlimited plan’s advertised price, unlike the other three carriers.

<p type="text" content="What about the old, unlimited-data plans AT&T and Verizon yanked off their sites a few years ago? ” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”68″>What about the old, unlimited-data plans AT&T and Verizon yanked off their sites a few years ago?

<p type="text" content="In Verizon’s case, you should almost certainly drop it: That old plan’s combined price for unlimited data, 450 voice minutes and only 250 text messages — tethering excluded — now stands at $95 after a $20 increase imposed on those grandfathered subscribers. ” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”69″>In Verizon’s case, you should almost certainly drop it: That old plan’s combined price for unlimited data, 450 voice minutes and only 250 text messages — tethering excluded — now stands at $95 after a $20 increase imposed on those grandfathered subscribers.

<p type="text" content="At AT&T, stand pat. The old unlimited-data option, combined with 400 minutes of calling and 200 texts, will cost $85 after a $5 price hike next month. Both old and new unlimited deals block tethering.” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”70″>At AT&T, stand pat. The old unlimited-data option, combined with 400 minutes of calling and 200 texts, will cost $85 after a $5 price hike next month. Both old and new unlimited deals block tethering.

<p type="text" content="Either way, check your bill to see just how much data you use — the answer might mean the limited plans at AT&T, Sprint and Verizon suit you better. (Note that VzW’s listed prices for 2 GB, 4 GB and 8 GB plans exclude a $20 per month line-access charge factored into its $80 advertised unlimited-data rate.) Buying more data than you use, subject to conditions you’re more likely to notice, is not bandwidth management but an unprofitable form of psychological self-care.” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”71″>Either way, check your bill to see just how much data you use — the answer might mean the limited plans at AT&T, Sprint and Verizon suit you better. (Note that VzW’s listed prices for 2 GB, 4 GB and 8 GB plans exclude a $20 per month line-access charge factored into its $80 advertised unlimited-data rate.) Buying more data than you use, subject to conditions you’re more likely to notice, is not bandwidth management but an unprofitable form of psychological self-care.

<p type="text" content="Disclosure: Verizon is in the process of buying Yahoo Finance’s parent company, Yahoo.” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”72″>Disclosure: Verizon is in the process of buying Yahoo Finance’s parent company, Yahoo.

More from Rob:

<p type="text" content="Email Rob at rob@robpegoraro.com; follow him on Twitter at @robpegoraro.” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”81″>Email Rob at rob@robpegoraro.com; follow him on Twitter at @robpegoraro.

 

Nokia’s Android phones 2017: Rumors and news leaks

Nokia is back — and it’s back with a vengeance. The Finnish company finally launched its first Android-powered smartphone, the Nokia 6, but we’re expecting to see a lot more action this year. While these devices won’t be made by Nokia, they will follow the company’s design guidelines and will retain the brand name.

HMD Global will be exclusively manufacturing these devices. Originally, we thought there would be up to four new phones in 2017, but the rumors suggest there will actually be as many as six or seven. The rumors come from Malaysian distributor Avaxx, which said Nokia will aim to launch phones in all price ranges.

Here’s everything we know about Nokia’s 2017 Android phones so far.

Nokia 6

The Nokia 6 is the company’s first Android smartphone, which debuted late last year. It packs some pretty decent specs — including 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and the “latest version of Android.” On top of that, the device boasts a 16MP rear-facing camera, and an 8MP front-facing camera — all for only $245.

Unfortunately, it’s not all good news — the device comes with a somewhat disappointing Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, and it’s only available in China. Evan Blass, also known as @EVleaks, said the company will introduce the Nokia 6 at Mobile World Congress this month for a more global audience.

Nokia 5 and Nokia 3

Blass also said Nokia’s MWC announcement would include three other devices, two of which will be the Nokia 5 and the Nokia 3. Don’t expect flagship specs, though, as the two Android 7.0 Nougat smartphones will have lesser specs than the Nokia 6 to hit lower price points.

The Nokia 5 is rumored to have a 5.2-inch screen with a 1,280 x 720-pixel resolution, and it will be powered by the same Snapdragon 430 processor but with 2GB of RAM. The rear camera will pack 12 megapixels, but the rest of the specs are expected to match the Nokia 6. It’s why the device is rumored to cost only 199 euros, or about $211.

The Nokia 3 will be the runt of the litter and will only cost 149 euros, or $158. Detailed specifications for the device were not mentioned by Blass.

Nokia 3310

A feature phone may also be a part of the MWC announcement, according to Blass. It’s rumored to be a modern iteration of the popular Nokia 3310, a phone that was known for its long battery life and indestructible build quality. All we know is that the phone will cost about 60 euros, or about $64.

An Android Lumia 1020? ‘Nokia 8’ surfaces

A YouTuber uploaded footage of alleged Nokia devices powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 and 835. The device was at Qualcomm’s booth at CES 2017 and the chipset manufacturer reportedly asked people not to take videos or photos of the device. The YouTuber, whose account is named Total Tech, didn’t comply.

Before we take a look at the video — it should be noted that we can’t verify this information, and the devices do not have any “Nokia” branding, so we’re casting a heavy dose of skepticism here. The YouTuber says Nokia and Qualcomm “have been working together on the Snapdragon 835 and the 10 nanometer process for the chip with Samsung for a while, according to inside sources, and Nokia has been their hardware reference provider for the 821 and 835.”

More: BlackBerry CEO John Chen and Rudy Giuliani sat down to talk cybersecurity

Again, we can’t verify these insider sources’ claims, and whether or not Nokia has been in partnership with Qualcomm. Total Tech claims the device in his video is an upcoming device named the Nokia 8.

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The video shows the difference in camera stabilization between a Snapdragon 821 processor and the Snapdragon 835. Total Tech says both devices are the Nokia 8 with the two processors — the one with the Snapdragon 821 will come with 4GB of RAM, and the Snapdragon 835 variant will have 6GB RAM.

Both allegedly also feature electronic image stabilization, a 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display, MicroSD card support up to 256GB, 64GB and 128GB internal storage options, dual front-facing speakers, and LED notification lights.

Total Tech also says the Nokia 8 will have a 24-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization, as well as a front-facing camera with 12-megapixels — it’s unclear if this applies to both models.

What’s interesting is the back of the device, which Total Tech briefly shows in the video. There’s a large camera, like the one found on the back of the Lumia 1020 Windows Mobile device. That camera packed 41-megapixels and featured Carl Zeiss optics — it’s quite possible the partnership could come into play again.

Gear up for Mobile World Congress

In a Facebook post, Nokia Mobile teased the already announced Nokia 6 and said more announcements will come on February 26. That date is a day before Mobile World Congress begins in Barcelona — it’s usually the day smartphone manufacturers announce their flagship products for the year.

We’ll have to wait and see what to expect, but if Blass is correct we can expect the Nokia 6, Nokia 5, Nokia 3, as well as the modernized Nokia 3310. Stay tuned.

The Nokia E1 could be on its way

HMD just launched the Nokia 6, but it already looks as though the company is prepping another release. The new E1 was just leaked online, with both specs and photos appearing in a post from Nokia Power User. This could be the rumored Nokia 5 mentioned above, but some of the specs don’t match.

Design-wise, the phone looks pretty different from the Nokia 6, taking a much more rectangular approach that’s similar to some of Sony’s handsets. The only photo we have is blurry, so we’re looking forward to a slightly more detailed look.

Unfortunately, the leak doesn’t show the flagship device we’re all waiting for from Nokia, but rather a more budget-friendly device. Under the hood, the phone will feature a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 425, along with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a 13MP rear-facing camera. It will run Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.

If accurate, we should expect this device to be priced at around $200 or lower — that’s considering the fact that the Nokia 6 comes in at $245, and features slightly better specs than the E1. While the Nokia 6 is only going on sale in China, it’s not yet known where the E1 will be launched.

Nokia Pixel

It’s highly unlikely the Pixel name will be used on any version actually put on sale, but an unreleased Nokia phone used in a benchmark test has that name attached. Sadly, it’s not the most exciting phone we’ve seen, and definitely occupies the lower end of the smartphone scale.

The Nokia Pixel, as it’s known here, has a basic dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor inside with 1GB of RAM, resulting in a very ordinary performance test on the Geekbench website. The good news is it has one of the newer versions of Google’s operating system, Android 7.0.1, installed. No other specification details are revealed in the test, so the screen size and resolution are a mystery, but don’t expect it to challenge the Galaxy S7 on either.

Earlier leaks have detailed more technically impressive phones, indicating that the company will launch a complete range of smartphones, with models suited to all wallets, and for all markets around the world.

Flagship Nokia phones

According to a report in Nokia Power User, there are two Nokia-branded Android handsets bound for 2017, and alleged images have leaked of both.

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“Trusted sources” told the publication that the two handsets, one smaller (5.2 inches) and one larger (5.5 inches), have “sturdy” metal bodies characteristic of Nokia’s historical designs. And one of their rumored features has the potential to break new smartphone ground. The phones’ cameras are being described as the “most sensitive ever” to come to market, and are reportedly the product of a years-long, $1.35 billion graphene development effort. Another reported innovation is a “touch & hover” interaction that might, much like Microsoft’s scrapped McLaren project, use a combination of sensors to respond to finger gestures.

nokia-android-leaked_02

More: Phoenix from the flames: Nokia’s coming back to mobile

Other highlights include water and dust resistance up to IP68, fingerprint sensors, and OLED displays with QHD (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) resolutions. In terms of software, the handsets will reportedly sport an improved version of Nokia’s predictive Z-Launcher — a newer version than the beta available in the Google Play app store, apparently — atop the very latest version of Android, Android Nougat.

Under the hood, both Nokia Android N powered phones will pack the Snapdragon 820 processor. We don’t know details regarding RAM, storage and camera at this point of time, but the leak suggests that sensors on the two phones will be the most sensitive ever and will be based upon Nokia’s extensive research on wonder material “Graphene.”

Built by HMD Global, designed by Nokia

It won’t be Nokia at the helm of the forthcoming devices’ development, technically speaking. HMD Global, a Finnish company co-founded by former Nokia executives Arto Nummela and Florian Seiche, acquired the rights to the company’s mobile brand from Microsoft in May. HMD has a contract with FIH, a subsidiary of iPhone manufacturer Foxconn, and under a strict licensing partnership, follows Nokia’s design and hardware guidelines in exchange for access to the company’s extensive patent library.

More: Nokia may be cooking up a giant 18.4-inch tablet for MWC

In recent years, the company has struggled to gain a foothold in the high-end mobile market. Following the company’s adoption of Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system in 2011 and its acquisition by Microsoft in 2014, sales of its handset suffered — shipments in 2013 alone were down 22 percent year on year, according to Strategy Analytics.

Following Nokia’s divestiture from its parent company earlier this year, things haven’t looked much better. In April, thanks in part to lower-than-expected smartphone shipments, it announced 900 million euros in downsizing measures — a plan which in part involved the layoffs of 1,400 staff members in Germany, 1,300 in Finland, and 400 in France.

Despite the Finnish company’s woes, though, it’s setting its eyes on the future. It teamed up independently with Foxconn to produce the N1, an Android-based tablet. It dipped its toes in virtual reality with the Ozo, a $60,000 professional-grade 360-degree camera. And it acquired French fitness device company Withings last year.

“We have been reinventing ourselves for 150 years using this amazing brand,” Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia’s consumer Nokia Technologies division, told Digital Trends in June. “We’re starting to focus on people’s happiness and health in a way that wasn’t possible before because the technology wasn’t possible before. You can expect some really surprising products in the next year or two directly from this company as we turn a new chapter.”

Article originally published in July 2016. Updated on 02-13-2017 by Julian Chokkattu: Added rumors about the Nokia 6, Nokia 5, Nokia 3, and Nokia 3310.

Verizon Caves, Launches New Unlimited Data Plan

Facing growing pressure to respond to growing wireless data demands in the U.S. mobile phone market, Verizon finally relented. The company on Sunday announced its own unlimited smartphone option while keeping alternatives open for lighter data users.

Verizon Caves, Launches New Unlimited Data Plan

Verizon’s new introductory plan provides unlimited data on smartphones or tablets, along with unlimited texts and phone calls, for US$80 per month. The deal is restricted to customers who sign up for autopay.

The Verizon plan includes HD video streaming, mobile hotspot service, calling and texting to Canada and Mexico, and 500 MG a day of roaming in those countries.

Customers also will have the option of adding a connected smartwatch, GizmoPal or other connected device for $5 a month, or an overseas TravelPass allowing up to 500 MB per day for $10 a month.

Customers will get 10 GB of 4G LTE data per month, and 3 GB after that, the company said. After 22 MB of data usage, Verizon may “prioritize” customers in the event of network congestion.

“We’ve built our network so we can manage all the activity customers undertake,” said Ronan Dunne, president of Verizon’s wireless division.

Verizon customers who don’t use a lot of data will have other options, including 5G small, medium and large plans, he said.

Bad Business?

Verizon, one of the leading wireless carriers in the U.S., has resisted offering unlimited plans for years — last month, it even ran a full page ad touting the fact that it didn’t have to so.

Most customers did not need unlimited plans, former CFO Fran Shammo told a Goldman Sachs investor conference last fall, warning that unlimited plan abusers can “wreak havoc on your network and hurt cash flow.

All of the competing firms with unlimited plans eventually would show “cracks in the armor,” as tests showed problems due to the high usage of video under those plans, he also warned.

Verizon claims to have the nation’s largest 4G LTE network, covering 2.4 million square miles and 314 million people.

Resistance Was Futile

Verizon was forced to react to competing plans because new customers were choosing its competitors and some existing customers were jumping ship, suggested telecom analyst Jeff Kagan.

“It was never a matter of it, only when Verizon Wireless would do this,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

T-Mobile, considered the market leader in terms of promoting unlimited plans, reported last month that it added 8.2 million net customers in 2016, marking the third year in a row that it added more than 8 million customers.

Told You So

The CEO of T-Mobile took to his familiar practice of throwing shade on Twitter, blasting Verizon for coming late to the party.

Verizon’s unlimited plan “might be the most expensive ever,” Legere also tweeted, and he suggested they might want to include taxes and fees, as T-Mobile does.

Legere returned to social media Monday afternoon to announce that T-mobile would one-up Verizon by throwing in HD video and 10 GB of hotspot data.

The Verizon bashing didn’t end with T-Mobile, as Sprint piled on.

“Not much we can say to speculate on Verizon’s decision making, except they’re likely trying to catch up to Sprint,” said John Votava, spokesperson for Sprint.

“Verizon said time and time again that customers don’t need unlimited. Now they’ve changed their tune,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

The Sprint unlimited plan offer allows customers to get unlimited talk, text and data for $50 per month, Votava said, noting that the deal is available until the end of March.


David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain’s New York Business and The New York Times.

Donald Trump didn’t tweet this morning and it freaked people out

Donald Trump thinks very hard about something that kept him too occupied to tweet
Donald Trump thinks very hard about something that kept him too occupied to tweet

Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

So it’s come to this. 

In an era where how often President Donald Trump tweets has become as much of an obsession as the content of those tweets, we’re all apparently way more  mystified that Trump actually didn’t manage to fire off his usual round of tweets until later in the morning. 

In fact, some deep digging found that Monday was the first weekday that Trump didn’t tweet before 8:15 a.m.

Trump finally tweeted mid-morning about his meeting with Canadian prime minister and international heartthrob Justin Trudeau.

There are far more important things to worry about than the president’s tweets, like, say, North Korea’s recent missile test or the brazen lack of security taken by the administration in dealing with North Korea’s missile test while the president dined at Mar-a-Lago. 

Or that, by this standard, the president gets weekends off, which doesn’t seem like the kind of break the leader of the free world should get. 

But people couldn’t help but speculate over why Trump skipped his usual early morning rage-tweeting.

Or maybe staff managed to take his phone away from him again. Or they gave him a new coloring book. Or maybe he was just working.

Well, probably not that last one. 

Never fear, Trump eventually got back to tweeting, so we can rest easy knowing our president is still dedicated to using social media to give us all something to write about on slow news days. 

And it looks like Trump will be getting more help to do so in the near future. CNN is reporting that the administration could soon be bringing in some social media ninjas and/or rock stars to make sure the president ups his brand engagement across the web.

Neither the White House or Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks have responded to requests for comments on the story, so we’ll just wait for Trump to weigh in on — where else? — Twitter. 

The first certified commercial flying car hits the market

PAL-V is already taking preorders for the first-ever flying car.

It’s called the Liberty, and it looks like a three-wheeled car when it’s on the road and a helicopter when it’s in the air.

The Dutch company says it’s initially constructing only 90 models, so don’t expect to see many of these right away.

Pricing starts at $400,000 for the base model, which can rise to as high as $600,000 with all the extra features.

If that’s out of your budget, don’t worry; you can always put down a $2,500 refundable escrow deposit and save up until its launch at the end of 2018.

<p type="text" content="Source: https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/13/pal-v-begins-pre-sales-of-its-flying-car-starting-at-400000/” class=”canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm” data-type=”text” data-reactid=”14″>Source: https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/13/pal-v-begins-pre-sales-of-its-flying-car-starting-at-400000/

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Nikon restructuring causes casualties to bottom line, camera line and production line


Nikon’s process of restructuring in the face of challenges to the digital imaging space has proven more costly than expected in more ways than one. A rough year means the company will not only miss profit expectations, but will have to buy out a thousand employees and end its DL line of compact cameras.

The company described the costs of the restructuring (announced in November) as an “extraordinary loss” — meaning abnormal, not eye-popping, though it is both. The writedowns total nearly ¥30 billion, or around $264 million.

The workers Nikon is asking to retire early (with a bonus) will come largely from a semiconductor lithography plant northwest of Tokyo, the Nikkei reported. That side of the business has been struggling for years, so it’s not entirely unexpected, but that doesn’t make it any less painful for those affected. Expenses related to this process, totaling another ¥16.7 billion, will be recorded as a second “extraordinary loss” later this year.

The other loss is the DL series, Nikon’s latest attempt to compete in the popular luxury compact category dominated by Sony’s RX100. The last DL was announced early last year.

Nikon is best known for its cameras, but smartphones have devastated the space and the company is among many like it hoping to salvage profits by focusing on more specialized devices and components.

Featured Image: Nikon