Asus set to unveil 10-inch Eee PC 1000 at Computex?

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May 282008
 

Asus could unveil a 10-inch version of its Eee PC as early as next week at the Computex trade show. DigiTimes, quoting notebook industry sources, reports that Asus moved up timelines in response to the MSI Wind (which also has a 10-inch display) release. ASUS will also unveil the Eee PC 901 (with Atom processor) and announce lower prices on current models.

While ASUS may announce the Eee PC 1000, initial shipments are expected to be low.

The news has been corroborated by UMPC Fever which received an invitation from Asus. Part of it reads:

We would also like to specially extend an invitation to you to attend the official global launch of the new Eee PC 901 and 1000 series.

It will be interesting to see how much the PC Eee 1000 sells for. Every iteration has increased in price and suggests that Asus is moving away from its original low-cost mandate.

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Microsoft projects 50 percent growth for Windows Mobile in 2008 and 2009

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May 272008
 

Windows Mobile

Microsoft expects to see growth of at least 50 percent year-over-year for its Windows Mobile operating system in fiscal years 2008 and 2009, according to Eddie Wu, managing director of Microsoft OEM Embedded Devices, Asia. Most of this growth is being attributed to increased smartphone demand.

Wu expects that Microsoft will meet its target of selling 20 million units of Windows Mobile in its current fiscal year (ending in June). Growth is also expected to continue at the same rate for the next two years with the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Brazil, Russia and India markets leading the way. Only a few weeks ago, Wu indicated that Microsoft expects to have a 40 percent smartphone marketshare by 2012.

Global smartphone shipments are growing at an equally blistering pace, recording a 52.5 percent growth this year (about 12 million units shipped in 2007). Gartner expects that growth will remain in the double digits in the next couple of years.

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New picture shows the BlackBerry KickStart in black

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May 272008
 

The Boy Genius has landed another picture of the upcoming BlackBerry KickStart. There are no further details about specifications but this model shows up in black rather than silver.

From earlier leaks, we know that the KickStart should come with quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE connectivity (no 3G), an updated SureType keyboard, an internal QVGA (320×240) display and an external one running at 160×128, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, a 3.5mm headset jack, and a 2MP camera. Like the upcoming BlackBerry 8900 and 9000, it will run BlackBerry Device Software version 4.6.

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iPhone headed to Nordic and Baltic countries courtesy of TeliaSonera

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May 272008
 

Apple iPhone

TeliaSonera is the latest carrier to announce that it will soon bring the iPhone to its customers.

TeliaSonera today announced it has signed an agreement with Apple to bring the iPhone to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia later this year.

More information should be revealed once Apple unveils the 3G iPhone.

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More evidence for dual-SIM E-TEN DX900

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May 272008
 

A second source is now reporting that E-TEN will unveil the dual-SIM DX900 at the upcoming Computex show in Taiwan. DigiTimes sources who are familiar with E-Ten’s product roadmap are also confirming the details first revealed by Czech language SmartMania.cz.

DigiTimes reports that the DX900 will be powered by a 533MHz Samsung processor and Windows Mobile. It will come with 3.5G connectivity, a 2.8-inch VGA display, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and a 3MP camera. These specs match those revealed by SmartMania.cz but the latter had been much more specific.

DigiTimes also revealed that Acer, which is expected to complete its E-TEN acquisition in the third quarter, will release a new Acer-branded handset by the end of the year or in early 2009. It is also expected to keep Glofiish brand.

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Willcom unveils Willcom 03 with Windows Mobile 6.1

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May 262008
 

Willcom 03

Co-developed with Sharp, Willcom has unveiled the Willcom 03 (model WSO20SH), the first Windows Mobile 6.1 device to land in Japan.

Powered by a 512MHz Intel processor and Windows Mobile 6.1 Classic, The Willcom 03 comes with a 3-inch 800×480 touchscreen display, 128MB RAM and 256MB ROM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 1Seg TV tuner, a 2MP camera, and a microSD expansion slot. It also comes with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard as well as a virtual touchpad that works as either a numeric keypad or a d-pad.

The Willcom 03 works with Willcom’s proprietary W-SIM which comes with its own integrated radio receiver (hence the Windows Mobile 6.1 Classic version). Unfortunately, that also means that when it comes out in June, it will only be available in Japan. It will be available in lime, gold or pink (certainly not the most traditional shades).

Source: Akihabara News

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Nokia N95-3 gets a ROM upgrade

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May 262008
 

Nokia N95

Nokia has released a ROM upgrade for the N95-3 (also known as the North American version of the original N95). Originally promised in early June, it is now available a bit ahead of schedule.

Firmware 20.2.011 comes with improvements like much improved boot time (19 seconds compared to 30 seconds for the previous ROM), a two second startup for the camera, Flash Lite 3 support, integration of search into the standby screen, a few N-Gage game demos and more.

Fire up the Nokia software updater to pull down the latest ROM.

Note: The update will replace the current ROM image and will erase partnership and all user data and programs on your device. Be sure to back everything up before you start.

Samsung SSD hits 256GB capacity and speeds of 200MBps

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May 262008
 

Samsung looks set to deliver on its promise and maybe even slightly ahead of schedule. Samsung has announced that it has developed a 2.5-inch 256GB SSD that features speeds of up to 200MBps read access and 160MBps sequential write access. Once introduced, the Samsung’s 256GB SSD will mark the largest capacity SSD from the global market leader in SSD sales, effectively eliminating density as a barrier to SSD adoption in the consumer space.

Using multilevel cell (MLC) technology rather than the current single-level cell (SLC), Samsung boasts comparable speeds and reliability at a significantly cheaper price. The drive will also come with data encryption capabilities to ensure that security is not compromised.

Samsung expects to start mass production by the end of the year with samples being available in September. A 1.8-inch version is set to follow by the end of the year.

No prices were revealed but that’s probably better for our health and wallets.

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Asus Eee PC desktop to be called EBOX?

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May 262008
 

Rumoured Asus EBOX

Asus appears set to formally unveil its Eee PC desktop at the upcoming Computex show in Taiwan. Leaked information to the Inquirer has revealed the name of the device as well as some specifications details. Both the name and specs conflict with those of an earlier leak though.

Formerly known as the E-DT, Asus will introduce it as the EBOX when its makes its debut on June 3rd. In terms of specifications, the Inquirer has learned that it will forego the SSD for a 160GB hard drive and will come with 2GB RAM and the same version of Linux as on the Eee PC. The Inquirer also confirms that the EBOX looks like the leaked images we saw earlier.

One detail that was not revealed was whether Asus will continue to use the Celeron processor (its original plan) or if the EBOX will come with an Atom processor instead. Originally expected in April or May, the delay may be in part to Asus having decided to offer an Atom processor instead.

When Asus first revealed plans to expand the Eee PC brand into desktop, it indicated that it was aiming for a price point of between USD$200 and USD$300. Hopefully they are on target.

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Unlocked HTC Touch Dual now available in U.S. at Best Buy

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May 262008
 

HTC Touch Dual

On the occasion of the Memorial Day weekend, Best Buy has launched the unlocked HTC Touch Dual on its web site and stores. With no carrier subsidies, it will sell for USD$549.99. But you have a bit of time to save up as it is currently only available for pre-order.

Sporting Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, it will also come with quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900Mhz) and dual-band HSDPA (850/1900Mhz) connectivity, Bluetooth 2.0, and a 2MP camera. It will also come with a slide-out 20-key thumb keyboard (rather than the 12-key version). On the software side, it will include TouchFLO, HTC’s own interface and Live HTC Home featuring time and weather display, quick launcher, and one-touch ring-tone settings

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Palm Treo 850 specifications revealed

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May 252008
 

Palm

First we saw leaked pictures of the upcoming Palm Treo 850 (codename Skywriter). Now you can add leaked specifications courtesy of TamsPPC.

The Treo 850 will be powered by a 400MHz processor (reported earlier) and Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. It wil come with GMS/GPRS/EDGE and UMTS/HSDPA (3.6) connectivity, a 320×320 touchscreen display, aGPS, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, 256MB NAND-Flash (175MB user available) and 32MB SDRAM, a 2MP camera, and a microSD expansion slot (located under the battery). It will also pack a 1500mAh battery. It will measure 113 x 60 x 14mm.

Best of all is Palm’s decision to include a micro-USB connector for power and synchronization.

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Hop-On releases disposable “Anti-iPhone” mobile handset

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May 252008
 

Hop-On Hop1800

We first found out about Hop-On’s plan to offer disposable cell phones for about 13 Euros (about USD$20) back in April. The Hop1800 is now available both in the U.S. and other countries across the world. One of the new breed of ultra convenient cell phones, the pre-paid HOP1800 is ideal as a backup cell phone, when traveling abroad, or for anyone looking for a super affordable cell phone that does one thing extremely well: make phone calls.

The Hop1800 comes in two versions: The first features dual-band 850/1900MHz GSM connectivity while the second offers 900/1800MHz band coverage for Europe and Asia. Other than that they are identical. It comes with a tactile numeric keypad with Braille markings, support for polyphonic ring tones, 4 hours of talk time and 150 hours of standby time. It only weighs 77 grams. As expected, it does not come with a display. There are no contracts; you simply buy a local SIM card, pop it in and away you go.

The Hop1800 will be available in the U.S. at retail and convenience stores for USD$10. To promote recycling, Hop-On will give you a USD$5 rebate if you return it rather than simply throwing it away. It’s not clear where in which other countries it is available currently.

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Asus Eee PC Tablet coming?

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May 242008
 

Asus may be getting set to unveil an Eee PC tablet according to a report in Current.com.au. In an interview with the site, Asus Australia national retail manager, Emmanuele Silanesu, indicated that the Eee PC division of Asus was considering other form factors. One such design could use a touchscreen display and it could be revealed as early as the Computex show in June in Taipei.

Asus has already announced that it will grow its Eee brand to include desktops and televisions. So a tablet PC would not be be completely unexpected. But Silanesu also warned that the branding of the upcoming device is still undecided. It may yet end up as something other than an Eee PC. Perhaps an Asus R2?

With every new iteration of the Eee PC, the price has gone up. If a tablet Eee PC does get announced, it will be interesting to see what it sells for.

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HTC Releases TyTN II Windows Mobile 6.1 update

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May 242008
 

HTC TyTN II

HTC has released the Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrade for the HTC TyTN II. It also comes with a display performance update that should help with video issues reported by some users.

It is available for download through the HTC e-Club. A free registration to the HTC e-Club is required.

No word yet on if and when AT&T Tilt users will get the upgrade.

Note: The update will replace the current ROM image and will erase partnership and all user data and programs on your device. Be sure to back everything up before you start.

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HTC now hiring in Canada

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May 242008
 

HTC

It would appear that HTC is expanding its operations into Canada. To date, all operations have been run out of the U.S. but two new positions are now open in Canada.

The first, a Commercialization Product Manager, will be based in Toronto, Ontario. Unfortunately, little other information is available. The second position, a Regional Sales Manager for Canada, will be based in Montreal, Quebec. This role will manage relationships within HTC’s key carrier accounts in Canada in order to achieve defined business goals. They will work closely with the National Sales Manager or Director for the respective carrier business units.

Are these the first steps in a greater HTC presence in Canada?

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