Stories for Jul. 29, 2014
In Brief

In emerging markets, smartphones are gaining ground based on crazily low pricing. Check out this Gadget piece about recent figures from South African retail giant Pep. In the second half of 2013, 1 percent of the pre-pay phones Pep sold were smartphones. That was up to 13 percent in the first half of this year, and soon it will be 30 percent. Much of this is down to the arrival of super-cheap, WhatsApp-centric Android phones priced as low as R399 ($38). Now consider that Microsoft just killed off Asha, the low-end Nokia line that’s been its big contender in markets such as this. Those cheap new Lumias had better be really cheap.

In Brief

Peggy JohnsonQualcomm EVP Peggy Johnson is leaving the company that’s been her home for 24 years, a source tells Gigaom. And according to a report in Re/Code, she’s departing for Microsoft to take on a high-level executive post. Johnson is the highest ranking female executive at Qualcomm, and she’s also part of the inner circle. She’s on Qualcomm’s executive committee and has headed up key divisions of the company. As President of Qualcomm Internet Services, she launched BREW, a predecessor of the moden mobile app store. In her current role she’s in charge of developing new markets for Qualcomm’s core wireless technologies as well as overseeing Qualcomm Labs.

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Stories for Jul. 28, 2014

Billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar says First Look Media, the new journalistic venture he is backing with a $250-million investment, will now be focusing more on a series of experiments aimed at figuring out how journalism can serve small communities of interested readers Read more »

In Brief

Apple is buying the iOS podcast app Swell for $30 million, according to a Recode report. The transaction, which hasn’t been confirmed by either Apple or the Swell team, looks like a talent acquisition, as the app is reportedly being shut down later this week. Swell is one of a number of apps that puts a new spin on podcasts by streaming shows directly to mobile phones and using content recommendations for better discovery.

Stories for Jul. 27, 2014
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