Sprint dates for HTC Touch Diamond and Pro leaked?

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Aug 312008
 

HTC Touch Diamond

If a leaked Sprint roadmap turns out to be accurate, you will want to circle a couple of dates in your calendar. According to the leaked document, the HTC Touch Diamond will launch on the Sprint network sometime in mid-September. The HTC Touch Pro is set to follow on October 19th.

The HTC Touch Diamond will sell for USD$249.99 with a two-year contract or USD$579.99 without contract. The HTC Touch Pro will be slightly more expensive: USD$329 with a two-year contract up to USD$579.99 without any contract.

Source: Engadget Mobile

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More rumours of Bell and Telus switching to HSPA

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Aug 312008
 

Sources at The Financial Post sources are indicating that Bell Mobility and Telus Mobility are about to announce a partnership to upgrade their networks. The two companies will spend about CAD$1 billion and spend a year upgrading from the current CDMA technology to the next-generation HSPA technology. The upgrade would have several benefits for both companies.

Both companies have been limited by the devices that they can offer to customers. For example, neither the Apple iPhone and the BlackBerry Bold are available in CDMA variants, essentially giving Rogers Wireless Canadian exclusives on these devices. The move to an HSPA network would eliminate this incompatibility.

Bell and Telus would also be able to negotiate roaming agreements with other wireless companies. With a wireless spectrum auction that just wrapped up, a number of new companies may be looking for such agreements and the new network will allow Bell and Telus to compete with Rogers for them.

Such rumours are not new and seem to be gathering momentum. Rumours of Telus switching over surfaced as far back as January 2008. Then, rumours of a partnership between Bell and Telus surfaced last month.

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Microsoft also planning Zune player updates?

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Aug 312008
 

Microsoft Zune

While Apple is rumoured to unveil a completely new iPod nano in September, it appears that Microsoft will also announce updates to its Zune players. But these will be much more modest, consisting primarily of capacity upgrades. Citing a Canadian source, Zunited reports that Microsoft will soon release a 120GB Zune, something that has already been confirmed, as well as a 16GB flash-based Zune. Pictures show that both look very similar to the current designs but with a glossy finish.

Microsoft has indicated in the past that it is planning both new software and new hardware sometime this fall.

The 120GB Zune also received FCC approval earlier (The link will open a PDF document).

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Apple planning iPod nano and touch updates?

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Aug 312008
 

Rumoured iPod nano 4G

Rumours are flying about that Apple is set to release some new iPods at an upcoming September event. Evidence for the upcoming products is coming from a variety of sources.

Kevin Rose (of Digg fame) indicates that Apple will update both the iPod nano and the iPod touch. The nano will see a significant redesign while the touch will only see minor changes. Pricing is also expected to drop. iTunes 8 could also come out at the same time but it’s not clear what new features we can expect.

Other sources also suggest that the new iPod nano will return to its roots. According to iLounge, it is expected to leave behind the short and squat form factor in favour of a longer form factor. It will sport a 1.5:1 widescreen aspect ratio display (the current nano has a 1.33:1 ratio screen) with the click wheel positioned below. It will be possible to rotate the device to watch videos.

The event is rumoured to take place on September 9th.

HTC Dream revealed in pictures

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Aug 302008
 

Pictures of the HTC Dream have surfaced, showing the device as well as the Android operating system in action. The new pictures confirm earlier rumours that the HTC Dream will have a slide-out display with a QWERTY keyboard underneath (similar to the Sidekick form factor).

The pictured HTC Dream also bears the T-Mobile logo, confirming that it is headed to the U.S. carrier.

Based on what I see in the new pictures, I’m not too impressed with the design of the HTC Dream. It looks more like a cheap plastic toy than a smartphone. Maybe pictures in a better light will do it more justice. For now though: It ain’t pretty!

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BlackBerry Pearl 8220 (aka KickStart) headed to Rogers Wireless

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Aug 302008
 

BlackBerry Pearl 8220

CrackBerry.com has landed details of pricing for the upcoming BlackBerry Pearl 8220 on the Rogers Wireless network. Unfortunately, rumours that pricing could be as low as CAD$49.99 have proven untrue. Rogers Wireless will offer the BlackBerry Pearl 8220 for CAD$149.99 with a three-year service contract (over CAD$35/month). The pricing will be in effect until November 30th according to the leaked data sheet.

This price puts the BlackBerry Pearl 8220 squarely in the same range as the BlackBerry Curve so it will be interesting to see how many people opt for the new clamshell form factor over the traditional BlackBerry form factor.

It’s not clear yet when RIM and Rogers will formally announce the BlackBerry Pearl 8220 but it will likely be very soon now.

The BlackBerry 8220 runs the BlackBerry OS 4.6 operating system and comes with quad-band (850/900/1800/1900MHz) connectivity, a 20-key SureType keyboard, a 2.6-inch primary QVGA display and secondary display (160×128 pixels), 802.11g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, a 2MP camera, an SDHC card slot, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a 900mAh battery.

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50 percent off sale at Proporta on all iPod nano cases

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Aug 302008
 

Proporta

Rumours are flying about that Apple is set to announce new iPods very soon. As a result, it could be final curtain for the iPod nano in its current form factor. Proporta has decided to pay tribute to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Generation iPod nanos by offering 50 percent discount on all Proporta branded 1G iPod nano, 2G iPod nano and 3G iPod nano cases.

The sale applies to only to 1G, 2G and 3G Apple iPod nano Proporta branded cases and will expire at the end of September or when stocks run out.

Simply visit www.proporta.com, select the case of your choice and enter the promotion code NEWBIE at the cart page to receive your discount.

How’s that for a good hint that the new iPod nanos (if they go by that name) will have a new form factor?

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Noreve opens shop in Australia

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Aug 302008
 

Noreve, the leather case maker, has landed in Australia. They have just launched NoreveAustralia.com to serve customers in Australia and New Zealand. The new site will benefit from its own customer service and local warehouse to reduce shipment costs and time.

About a year ago, Noreve launched NoreveUSA.com for its North American customers. And Noreve is not done. It also plans to continue its expansion in Asia in the near future with the addition of service to Korea, Japan, China and Hong Kong.

Source: PocketPCParadise.com

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T-Mobile expects to sell 500,000 HTC Dreams in 2008

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Aug 292008
 

T-Mobile G1 logo

According to some information received by Android Guys, T-Mobile is expecting to sell just over 500,000 Google Android-powered HTC Dreams in 2008 alone. It also looks like T-Mobile will indeed go with the G1 name that we first learned about earlier this month.

Rumours of a pre-launch sale persist and Android Guys expect that T-Mobile will only have a limited quantity of about 25,000 units available (other rumours suggest 60,000 units). The G1 should then hit the street in October.

Pricing also falls in line with what we learned earlier. A new customer should expect to pay about USD$200 with a two-year service contract. It will also sell for USD$399 without a contract. Pre-sale buyers will be able to get it for USD$150 with full discount.

Android Guys also have landed the T-Mobile G1 logo (pictured here).

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Roaming Wi-Fi 802.11r standard gets approved

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Aug 292008
 

While we still wait for the 802.11n standard to be certified, you will be happy to hear that the IEEE has ratified a different standard. The primary intention for 802.11r is in mobile phones and other mobile devices that use VoIP telephony. The new standard, also known as Fast Basic Service Set Transition, allows for transitions between access points to occur in less than 50ms, a time interval small enough that it will ensure that VoIP calls are not dropped.

To date, the 802.11 standards all revolved around a single access point. As a result, moving from one access point to another and re-establishing an authenticated connection could take as long as 100ms, enough time for a call to be dropped.

I just want to know if this means that the IEEE now has enough time to ratify the 802.11n standard.

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Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 delayed due to Windows Mobile problems?

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Aug 292008
 

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1

Register Hardware is reporting that a Sony Ericsson representative candidly told them that the reason that the XPERIA X1 is not out yet is due to issues with the device running Windows Mobile 6.1. They were not more specific than that though. As a result, the release date could be pushed back to January 2009. The same representative did suggest that there is still be a chance that it could be out by Christmas in Germany though.

Register Hardware also reports that the Sony Ericsson Official E-Shop shows a January 2009 release date but when I visited, it still showed an October 2008 date.

When it announced the XPERIA X1 back in February, Sony Ericsson indicated that it would be released in the second half of the year. It’s not the first time though that a 2009 release date has been suggested.

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BlackBerry Bold AT&T launch date?

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Aug 292008
 

BlackBerry Bold

The Boy Genius is reporting that the BlackBerry Bold will make its debut at AT&T on October 2nd. The date can be considered a pretty solid bit of info but is based on a single source at AT&T.

If The Boy Genius’ source is right, the BlackBerry Bold would land in stores on October 2nd and a full launch would follow on October 6th.

Gizmodo is reporting a different date: September 12th. Their source is dudes down at the AT&T store.

Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets!

Meanwhile, AT&T has posted a promotional page for the BlackBerry Bold on its web site.

Weekend fun: WordPlay

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Aug 292008
 

WordPlay

WordPlay is a a collection of five games designed to give you a bit of a cerebral challenge. These are Word Search, the classic word hunt game, three crossword variants, Code Breaker, Criss Cross and Bits ‘n’ Pieces, and an anagram game that comes with a Today screen plugin.

The game features both traditional and speed challenge modes, hints when you get stuck, increasing puzzle difficulty, player profiles so that you can track personal high scores and more. It is compatible with Windows Mobile devices.

WordPlay is available for USD$14.95 from our affiliate Clickgamer. A trial version is also available.

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BlackBerry Thunder headed to Verizon as the 9530 Storm

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Aug 282008
 

BlackBerry Thunder

Engadget Mobile has landed some renderings of the packaging that Verizon will use when it launches the touchscreen BlackBerry Thunder. But rather than being called the Thunder, it will be branded as the BlackBerry 9530 Storm. The Thunder brand will be used by Rogers Wireless here in Canada and by Vodafone in Europe. If indeed headed to Rogers, does this mean that the rumour that Verizon and Vodafone would have exclusivity was wrong? Or is it a three-company exclusive deal?

The packaging reveals that the BlackBerry 9530 Storm will come with a 8GB SanDisk microSD card preinstalled and a 3.5-inch stereo headset.

There is no word yet on a release date or pricing.

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Rogers extends promotional 6GB data plan and prepares new data plans

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Aug 282008
 

Rogers Wireless

Rogers announced today that it will extend its promotional data plan offering 6GB of data for CAD$30/month for an additional month. Originally introduced two days before the release of the iPhone 3G in Canada after customers complained about upcoming data plans, Rogers is not only extending the deadline but also offering it for all devices (including the BlackBerry Bold).

On October 1st, Rogers will unveil new data plans:

Cost per month (CAD$) Data maximum
25 500MB
30 1GB
50 2GB
60 3GB
80 8GB

The new plans will also be unlimited for the first three months to let customers gauge just how much data they in fact use. They will then be able to upgrade or reduce their plan without penalty. Customers will also receive a free text message when they are nearing or have crossed their limit. Rogers will also cap all data charges at CAD$100/month regardless of usage.

The announcement came on the same day that Rogers announced that 95 percent of iPhone customers used less than 10 percent of their data allotment in the first four weeks since the iPhone 3G’s release.

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