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This week in tech history: Zune 2.0 and Droid Incredible leaks, Palm rumors, and Apple conspiracy

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April 10th, 2017

HTC Incredible / Droid Incredible (2010)

It was 10 years ago this week that the first details of the second-generation Zune leaked, turning out to be right on the mark in hindsight. The Microsoft follow-up to the Zune 30 included one model with a bigger 80GB mechanical hard drive — the Zune 80 — and a smaller version with either 4GB or 8GB of flash memory. Here's Gizmodo’s then editor-in-chief Brian Lam describing the leak via Zunescene, which, sadly, can no longer be seen. The site’s as gone as Microsoft's desperate attempt to compete with the iPod at a time when it should have been focused on the recently announced iPhone. Microsoft abandoned Zune hardware (and this guy) in 2011, and Gizmodo was auctioned off to Univision five years later, the same year Lam sold The Wirecutter to The New York Times for around $30 million. Hey, at least somebody emerged from the Zune era for the better.

Seven years ago today and The Boy Genius was leaking the full specs for the oft-leaked HTC Incredible. The phone featured specs like a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, a fast Sense UI that masked some of the uglies found in Android 2.1 Eclair, 8GB of onboard storage, 748MB of ROM, an 8-megapixel autofocus camera, and a 480 x 800 AMOLED display that still required a "capacitive touchscreen" descriptor. Here's a snippet from Joshua Topolsky's review of the Droid Incredible variant released by Verizon:

"Let's just put this out there: the Droid Incredible is the best Android device that you can purchase in America right now. It's better than the Droid, better than the Nexus One, and certainly beats the pants off of any previous generation handsets like the Eris, myTouch, or Cliq. It's not just a very, very good Android phone (though it is); it's also an excellent smartphone no matter how you cut it."

It was also this week in 2010, that Palm takeover rumors were running rampant. On April 13th, Reuters reported that Palm Inc had approached Huawei for acquisition talks. Reuters listed HTC, Lenovo, Dell, Microsoft, Nokia, ZTE, and Motorola as other possible suitors — but not HP, who just two weeks later would announce plans to purchase Palm for $1.2 billion. HP would oversee the company's demise and become the mortal enemy of one Dieter Bohn. WebOS was sold to LG for use on its TVs, while the Palm trademark was sold to TCL who's done shit-all with it as far as anyone can tell. Palm's post-Pre legacy can best be summed up with two words: Bean Bird.

Five years ago Tuesday, the US accused Apple of conspiring with five of the nation's largest publishers to keep ebook prices artificially high. Apple was found guilty and forced to pay a $450 million fine. The video above, shot by Kara Swisher on her Flip camera in 2010, certainly didn't help Apple's case.