Lime green Motorola Q 9c headed to Alltel and U.S. Cellular

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Mar 312008
 

Motorola Q 9c

Motorola announced today at its Moto Q 9c is headed to Alltel and U.S. Cellular this summer. For those that are not too keen on the lime green, both companies will also offer the Q 9c in licorice (red or black licorice?) with a silver sail band. This is pretty much the same device as Sprint already offers.

The Motorola Q 9c is powered by a 312MHz Intel XScale processor and Windows Mobile 6 Standard. It comes with CDMA and EVDO Rev.0 connectivity, a 2.4-inch QVGA display, a QWERTY thumb keyboard, 64MB RAM and 128MB ROM, Bluetooth with A2DP support, a 1.3MP camera and a miniSDHC slot.

Alltel will offer the Motorola Q 9c for USD$99.99 after a USD$100.00 mail-in rebate with a two-year service agreement and to existing eligible customers on qualifying rate plans. U.S. Cellular did not disclose pricing.

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What if T-Mobile or AT&T brought the iPhone to Canada?

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Mar 312008
 

Apple iPhone

We haven’t had an iPhone in Canada rumour in far too long. Fortunately, 9to5Mac has come to our rescue with a bit of conjecture.

Many are trying to figure out who is behind Niagara Networks Inc.’ bid in the upcoming Canadian wireless auction. The company made a credit deposit of CAD$881 million for licenses that would cover the entire country. Two big names being thrown around as those mysterious backers are those of T-Mobile and AT&T. Do you see where this is going?

Assuming that Niagara Networks and their friends with deep pockets win enough licenses to launch a nationwide network, could they enter the market with a big splash by offering the Apple iPhone? If the company is indeed backed by either T-Mobile or AT&T, both already offer the iPhone somewhere in the world. Perhaps Apple would find negotiations with them easier than with Rogers.

If this is true though, it could certainly be a while longer before we see the iPhone in Canada.

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Cheaper iPhone model to help Apple sell 45 million iPhones in 2009?

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Mar 312008
 

Apple

If recent rumours about the upcoming 3G iPhone are not enough, now market research firm Piper Jaffray is predicting that Apple will also soon offer up a lower priced iPhone model. By early 2009, Piper Jaffray expects that the iPhone will have grown into a family of three models. Essentially, the current iPhone would be bracketed by the 3G iPhone on the higher end and this new value iPhone on the lower end.

Piper Jaffray expects that the 3G iPhone will arrive in June and will then be followed by this new model that will cost between USD$200 and USD$300. Such a strategy would follow what Apple did with the iPod, first introducing one model and eventually growing it to what it is today (shuffle, nano, Classic, Touch, etc).

Combined with the expectation that Apple also plans to expand the number of countries where the iPhone is offered, Piper Jaffray expects that Apple could sell as many as 45 million iPhones in 2009. They see expansion into Canada, Mexico, Australia, Italy and Japan in 2008 with China, India and Spain possibly following in 2009.

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VITO announces EyePhoto for Windows Mobile photo viewing

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Mar 312008
 

VITO EyePhoto

VITO Technology announced the release of EyePhoto, a new application designed for viewing photos on Windows Mobile devices, today. One of the main features is the gesture-based controls. Slide your photos with finger and enjoy watching them.

EyePhoto also lets you organize your photos into photo albums. Tapping a photo tile opens up the full screen photo. A double tap will allow you to zoom in or out. It also offers smooth flipping of pictures and support for portrait and landscape modes. When navigating through folders on your device, EyePhoto will only show you those that contain JPEG pictures. EyePhoto is compatible with Windows Mobile 2003, 5.0 and 6 Pocket PC or Smartphone.

VITO EyePhoto is available for USD$14.95 directly from VITO Technology. A trial version is also available.

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ASUS Eee with Windows XP to land in U.S. in early April

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Mar 302008
 

ASUS Eee PC

Laptop Magazine, the same folks that were behind the interview with Asus CEO Jerry Shen that revealed new details about the upcoming ASUS Eee PC 900, are reporting that the Windows XP version of the first generation Eee will go on sale in the U.S. in the first half of April.

Hardware specifications (900MHz Celeron processor 4GB SSD, 7-inch 800×480 display, and 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi) are the same as those of the Linux Xandros version but it will run Windows XP Home Edition instead. XP does take up some 1.8GB of the 4GB SSD, according to a review done by Laptop Magazine. Fortunately, ASUS will apparently bundle a 4GB SDHC card with the Eee to alleviate the storage limitation.

Best Buy will begin to offer the Windows XP ASUS Eee PC 4G on April 9th for USD$399. It’s not clear what other channels will also offer it and when.

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WiMax Nokia N810 spotted but pulls disappearing act

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Mar 302008
 

The oft-rumoured Nokia N810 WiMAX Edition is pretty much official after Nokia let it slip on its European site for a short period of time. A link to a currently inactive sitelet and an image were available just long enough to be spotted by eagle-eyed visitors before it vanished again.

The N810 WiMAX Edition looks like the N810 except for a black brushed aluminum finish. It’s not clear at this time whether specifications will be the same or if it will come with a few upgrades (other than WiMAX).

The Nokia N810 WiMAX Edition is expected to get its formal unveiling at CTIA which starts on April 1st.

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More predictions of Q2 release for 3G iPhone

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Mar 292008
 

Apple iPhone

A Bank of America analyst is the latest to indicate that Apple will release the 3G version of its iPhone sometime in the second quarter of the year. The client note indicated that a significant production build of a 3G iPhone would take place in June after a small build in May. The prediction is based on some channel checks rather than mysterious Asian sources.

Meanwhile, Gartner was backtracking from a story that broke earlier in the week where one of its analysts reported that Apple had already placed a 10 million unit order with suppliers for the 3G iPhone. Gartner now indicates that it does not know whether Apple has in fact placed the order but that it believes that the next generation iPhone would come with 3G capabilities.

If nothing else, the frenzy that surrounds the 3G iPhone seems to be reaching the same proportions as the one that preceded the release of the first iPhone.

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First pictures of desktop version of the ASUS Eee PC?

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Mar 292008
 

Rumoured ASUS E-DT

The upcoming ASUS E-DT, the desktop version of the ASUS Eee PC, appears to have been outed. The pictures landed by Hot Hardware show a desktop that shares many traits with the Nintendo Wii and Apple Mac mini. Sitting on a ring stand, it features a simple design with only a power button with LED and a pinhole (suggesting that the unit could come with an optical drive).

Unfortunately, the pictures do not come with any new technical details.

ASUS first announced plans for a desktop version of its successful Eee PC back in January. Expected in May or June, it should sell for between USD$200 to USD$300.

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HTC expanding into new Asian markets

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Mar 292008
 

Jack Tong, vice president of HTC Asia Pacific, has announced that HTC will expand operations into a number of new countries. These include Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

Tong also expects that smartphone sales in India, Australia and Southeast Asian countries will continue to grow strongly in 2008. For example, sales in Australia are expected to double this year to about 100,000 units.

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Ericsson to offer demonstration of 42Mbps HSPA at CTIA

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Mar 282008
 

News of four-times faster EDGE from Nokia Siemens Networks is so yesterday. Ericsson announced today that it plans to
demonstrate end-to-end HSPA Evolution technology offering speeds up to 42Mbps at CTIA Wireless 2008 next week. These speeds are achieved by combining new higher order modulation technology (64QAM), together with 2×2 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antenna technology.

HSPA Evolution is the next step for WCDMA/HSPA. HSPA is used on some 185 networks in 80 countries. Ninety of these networks having been deployed by Ericsson, giving them the possibility of upgrading at a future date. Ericsson indicates that the first step of the HSPA evolution will be introduced during 2008 so some of us may not have to wait too long to see speed improvements.

The demonstration will make use of a handheld form-factor device based on Ericsson Mobile Platforms access technology.

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Boy Genius offers up screenshots of HTC Manila

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Mar 282008
 

Manila is the codename for the upgrade to the TouchFLO user interface that HTC is currently working on. It first surfaced back in late January. The Boy Genius has landed some new pictures of Manila running on an unreleased VGA HTC device. Things seem to have changed a bit since then.

Rumoured HTC Manila

The Boy Genius also reveals that Manila is not TouchFLO 2.0 but a more significant upgrade. According to him, TouchFLO 2.0 contains updates to the scrolling and the cube but nothing else.

Now, if we could only get some details on that mysterious HTC VGA device running Windows Mobile 6.1…

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Palm Treo 800w headed for a July release at Sprint?

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Mar 282008
 

Rumoured Palm Treo 800w

A leaked Sprint product roadmap indicates that the oft-in-rumours Palm Treo 800w could finally hit the street this summer. Assuming the document is genuine, Sprint will launch the Treo 800w in July.

The roadmap slide also reveals a few specifications details. The Treo 800w will run on Windows Mobile 6 (could that be bumped up to 6.1 by the summer?) and will come with EVDO Rev.A connectivity, QWERTY thumb keyboard, GPS, Wi-Fi, and a 320×320 display. Models with and without a camera will be available.

There is no word yet on pricing and availability on other networks.

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Canadian iPhone trademark ruling coming soon?

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Mar 282008
 

Apple iPhone

One reason that the iPhone has not launched in Canada is that Canadian company Comwave Telecom Inc. claims to own the rights to the iPhone trademark in Canada. Last year, the company filed a motion opposing Apple’s trademark application with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO).

According to updates to the Apple filing, CIPO will provide an initial report on the trademark validity in late June. The decision will likely play a role in the outcome of the whole trademark dispute with Comwave.

Comwave president Yuval Barzakay has indicated that the dispute can only be settled in one of two ways: Apple gives up on its Canadian trademark or buys it from Comwave. The ruling could decide just how much Apple would be willing to pay.

Source: Electronista

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Nokia Siemens Networks to make EDGE twice as fast

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Mar 282008
 

Nokia Siemens Networks announced today that it has come up with a way to double the speed of its EDGE networks. Called Dual Carrier EDGE, the new software will be an upgrade to existing EDGE-capable GSM networks.

Nokia Siemens Networks also revealed that it will continue to develop the EDGE technology and will soon introduce EGPRS 2 which will allow downlink speeds of up to 1.2 Mbps and will double uplink speed to up to 473 kbps. EGPRS 2 will effectively quadruple the speed of EDGE.

While it looks like the carriers will need minimal hardware upgrades for Dual Carrier EDGE, it’s not so clear whether current phones will be compatible with it.

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Amazon MP3 vaults into second place behind iTunes

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Mar 272008
 

The Amazon MP3 store which launched only last September (and even that was only the beta launch) is on a bit of a tear. USA Today reports that it is now only second to iTunes in terms of digital music sales. What is not so clear is just how much of a lead iTunes may have as Amazon did not disclose specific sales numbers.

Part of Amazon MP3’s success can be attributed to the fact that it sells songs in MP3 format without any copy protection. Apple iTunes songs come in the AAC format and much of the catalog still comes with DRM. In terms of numbers, Amazon MP3 offers some 4.5 million songs in DRM-free format compared to only 2 million (from a 6 million song catalog) for Apple. Amazon MP3 also has broader music label support with EMI, Warner, Sony/BMG and Universal on board whereas iTunes only has support from EMI and from EMI and some independent labels.

Overall, digital music sales are continuing to grow. According to Nielsen SoundScan, some 239 million digital tracks have been sold so far this year compared to 189 million for the same period last year. Meanwhile CD sales continue to drop (74.3 million this year compared to 89.2 million last year).

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