Latest on Tech: Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Expansion on Phones, Google Inc (GOOG) HD Video Call, Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)’s Silence on Release

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Editor’s Note: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)

Woz: Apple may have to build a non-iPhone phone (CNET)
The whole point of Apple was always to think the unthinkable. So it’s always lovely when co-founder Steve Wozniak says what he’s thinking, in what always seems like an unfiltered way. In an interview with Reuters in Singapore, Woz confronted the issues facing Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and mused that specific products might have to be created for certain parts of the world. Admitting that some might find the concept “almost treasonous,” he wondered whether Apple shouldn’t get together with Chinese partners and build a phone appropriate to the local market. It shouldn’t be called the iPhone. Indeed, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) should put its brand on it, but only “inspect it to make sure it’s a quality product.”

Cook, Page

Google Hangouts to use VP8 for HD video chats soon (Phandroid.com)
Not satisfied with the current quality of Google Hangouts? According to GigaOM, things are about to get better really soon. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is apparently in the process of implementing VP8 encoding for Google Hangouts, which will give Google the flexibility they need to be able to deliver 10-way video calls in HD quality. HD encoding is possible with the current H.264 codec, but the processing power required to facilitate multiple HD streams at the same time isn’t practical for the lightweight experience Google is looking for.

Why is Microsoft keeping the final release of Windows 8.1 secret? (ZDNet)
Windows 8.1 has been released to manufacturing. OK, technically that’s incorrect. It’s actually been released to manufacturers, as in original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs. But it hasn’t been released to developers and IT pros, as was the case with prior Windows versions. The initial reaction to the official news, even from normally sympathetic quarters, was scathing. Why is Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) holding the final Windows 8.1 bits close and refusing to share them with its traditional partners?

Star Wars channel for Apple TV? (San Antonio Express)
A rumor spreading hope throughout the galaxy claims The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) is seeking to launch an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV app that will stream live production news from the sets of the upcoming Star Wars movies as well as other Star Wars related info. Jedinews over in the U.K. started the hullabaloo citing an unnamed source claiming the app will be ready in time for Christmas and will begin by exclusively streaming, for a limited time, the last episodes of “Star Wars The Clone Wars.”

Google’s Nexus 4 Smartphone Gets $100 Cheaper Amid Low-Cost iPhone Rumors (TIME)
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Nexus 4 made a splash last fall simply because it was well-built and inexpensive, and yet it didn’t require a two-year contract with a wireless carrier. Now, it’s even cheaper. The Nexus 4 now costs $200 for the 8 GB model and $250 for the 16 GB model–a $100 price reduction from before. Those prices aren’t incredible if you’re used to buying your phones through major wireless carriers at subsidized prices, but compared to most unlocked phones, the Nexus 4 is cheap. And it’s a decent phone, running the latest version of Google’s Android operating system.

Cheaper iPhone: Good for Apple? (CNBC.com)

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