Happy New Year from Gadgetorama

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Dec 312008
 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all! 2009 is nearly here in Toronto but I know that many of you are already celebrating. I would like to wish all the very best for 2009 to you and yours.

As usual, I will spare you yet another top whatever list for 2008 but two stories that stuck out for me were Apple’s continued shakeup of the smartphone world with the iPhone 3G and Google Android. It will be interesting to see how Apple can keep its momentum going (iPhone nano?) and I suspect that Android will be another disruptive force in the year to come.

As always, I would like to thank you for your support. That so many of you grace this site is good motivation for me to deliver as much coverage as I can on a daily basis!

Now, bring on 2009 and all its exciting new gadgets and news!

Larger Apple iPod touch device in the works for late 2009?

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Dec 302008
 

Apple

Crunchgear is reporting that three independent sources have told it that Apple is working on a large screen iPod touch device. At least one of these sources has apparently seen and touched a prototype.

The new device would sport a display measuring either 7 or 9-inches.

Rumours of an Apple tablet have swirled around for a while now, going back as far back as January 2007. Apparently, Apple has been experimenting with such devices but did not bring them to market due to concerns that users would not like the device. With touchscreen devices and the iTunes App store now well established in the marketplace, it would appear that Apple is about to have a change of heart.

Apparently, Apple is now talking to OEMs in Asia and could bring it to market in late 2009. There is no information on pricing at this point in time.

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Google Android already hurting Windows Mobile sales?

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Dec 302008
 

Google Android

Smart House is reporting that an unnamed HTC executive has admitted that sales of its first Google Android-powered device is already having an impact on Windows Mobile device sales. Unfortunately, the story does not provide any details to substantiate this claim.

With HTC already working on successors to the successful G1 currently offered by T-Mobile and other manufacturers also jumping on the Android bandwagon in 2009, it will be interesting to see just how far Android can go in 2009. Digitimes Research has already estimated that Android device shipments could reach 8 million units in 2009.

Microsoft simply cannot rely on device manufacturers to come up with their own interfaces for Windows Mobile. It needs to tackle the threat of the new operating systems, like the iPhone OS and the forthcoming Palm Nova OS to name only two, head on to remain relevant.

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OQO to unveil updated Model 2+ at CES 2009?

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Dec 302008
 

OQO appears to be set to announce an update to their Model 02 UMPC at CES 2009. The new Model 02+ will reportedly feature a faster 1.86GHz Intel Atom processor, an OLED touchscreen display, and worldwide 3G connectivity. The naming convention suggests that the form factor will be unchanged though.

With 2GB of RAM, the Model 02+ should also be twice as fast as the current Model 02.

OQO will formally announce the Model 02+ at CES 2009. Pricing should be revealed then.

Source: Gizmodo

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Early 2009 T-Mobile product roadmap revealed?

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Dec 302008
 

T-Mobile

The Boy Genius has gotten their hands on what appears to the T-Mobile product release roadmap for both January and February 2009. If the leaked document turns out to be accurate, you can look forward to the following:

  • January 21: Sony Ericsson TM506 in red and Nokia 7510
  • January 28: T-Mobile Shadow
  • February 4: Motorola Renew and Samsung t119
  • February 18: RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 and Samsung Memoir

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More hints about upcoming Apple iPhone nano

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Dec 292008
 

Rumours of an impending iPhone nano announcement continue to swirl around. A second case manufacturer has now added the iPhone nano to its list of iPhone models. Unlike the not-so-well-known XSKN, this time it’s Vaja that has now listed the yet-to-be-announced model.

While no product page is yet available, visitors can now sign up to be the first to be notified when the cases are released.

Source: MacRumors.com

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Glofiish finally makes dual SIM DX900 mobile phone available

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Dec 292008
 

Dual SIM Glofiish DX900

We’ve known about the dual SIM Glofiish DX900 for quite some time. With only days to spare before the end of the year, it has finally become available if only in a very limited fashion.

The DX900 is powered by a 533MHz Samsung S3C processor and Windows Mobile Professional with the Spb Mobile Shell user interface. It has one SIM that supports quad-band (850/900/1800/1900MHz) GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band (850/1900/2100MHz) HSDPA/UMTS connectivity and a second that supports tri-band (900/1800/1900MHz) GSM/GPRS/EDGE connectivity. It also comes with a 2.8-inch VGA touchscreen display, 128MB RAM and 256MB ROM, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, GPS (with SiRFstar III chipset), an accelerometer, a 3MP back-facing auto-focus camera, a 0.3MP front-facing camera, and a microSD card expansion slot.

The Glofiish DX900 is now available in Russia. There is no word on if and when it will be available in other countries (although I suspect other European countries will see it fairly soon as it is now available for pre-order through Expansys UK.

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HTC out of the running for next Sony Ericsson Windows Mobile phone?

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Dec 292008
 

DigiTimes is reporting that Sony Ericsson is set to outsource the production of its second Windows Mobile phone to a company other than its current supplier, HTC (the manufacturer of the XPERIA X1). Three Taiwanese companies are reportedly under consideration, Mobinnova, Pegatron Technology, and an undisclosed third one.

Interestingly, HTC is apparently not even part of the discussions to secure the manufacturing contract for this new handset.

While the contract discussions should wrap up in early 2009, this second Windows Mobile Sony Ericsson device is not expected until much later in the year.

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LG announces dual-SIM KS660

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Dec 292008
 

LG KS660

LG is the latest company to jump on the dual SIM bandwagon. The KS660 is the first such mobile phone from LG. With both SIMs active at the same time and call waiting, you can have up to 4 calls going at once!

The LG KS660 comes with tri-band (900/1800/1900MHz) GMS/GPRS/EDGE connectivity, a 3-inch WQVGA touchscreen display, 50MB of internal memory, Bluetooth 2.0, an FM radio, a 5MP camera, an accelerometer, a microSD card expansion slot (up to 4GB supported), and a 950mAh battery. Unfortunately, it lacks both 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity.

LG will offer the KS660 in China and the Russian markets starting in February 2009. There is no word yet on availability in other markets and price.

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Up to 8 million Android handsets to ship in 2009?

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Dec 282008
 

Google Android

With many mobile phone manufacturers, including Motorola, Samsung, and LG, planning Google Android-powered handsets in 2009, Digitimes Research estimates that shipments of the open source mobile operating system could reach up to 8 million units in 2009. This could translate into a 7 percent global market share.

HTC has already tasted success with the T-Mobile G1. It is now expected to follow this up with new devices customized for Vodafone and NTT DoCoMo (and presumably for T-Mobile as well).

A number of companies that have not joined the Open Handset Alliance are also planning Android-powered devices. Lenovo is expected to deliver its first Android-powered device to the carrier China Mobile in early 2009. Meanwhile, Australian-based Kogan also expects to ship its first devices in January 2009.

Will 2009 be Android’s year?

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No Zune phone at CES 2009

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Dec 282008
 

Microsoft

Back in November, a rumour broke that Microsoft would show off a prototype Zune phone at CES 2009. Codenamed Pink, the device is supposed to be the offspring of both the Zune and devices from its recent Danger Inc. acquisition.

But according to CNET sources, Microsoft will not show off the Pink at the trade show. Instead, it will focus much of its attention on the upcoming Windows 7.

On the mobile phone side, we could see some news from Microsoft about porting Zune services to its Windows Mobile phones. Rather than a Zune phone, future Windows Mobile devices would offer Zune capabilities.

Personally, I would rather see Microsoft working to breathe new life into the Windows Mobile operating system rather than trying to launch another mobile phone platform.

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More rumours surface about upcoming BlackBerry devices

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Dec 272008
 

Research In Motion

The BlackBerry Storm and Javelin are both out now so it’s time to turn our attention to what RIM has in the pipeline for 2009. Jim Balsillie, the company’s co-CEO, is already starting the hype machine, promising to blow us away with upcoming devices.

RBC has published a summary of some of these upcoming devices (quoting company reports, The Boy Genius Report and CrackBerry.com as sources).

EV-DO variants of the BlackBerry Bold, Javelin and Kickstart are all planned for the first half of 2009. The second half of the year should be a bit more interesting with a 3G HSPA version (codename Magnum) of the 8900 (Javelin) and the Pluto, a touchscreen variant of the Bold. 2009 could also give us a Storm slider as well as further refresh of the Pearl lineup with high-resolution screens and a new interface.

Now, if we could only get some corroborating evidence for all this…

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Weekend fun: Infestation

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Dec 272008
 

Infestation

You’ve survived the holidays, the in-laws, and the constant eating, but can survive for 20 days in an alien infested area with nothing more than some bullets, a laser weapon and a flamethrower? The general sent you to bomb an alien infested area, unfortunately your spaceship falls. Assuming that you’ll be dead soon and he´ll get the permission to bomb that area, the general tells you that it will take 20 days to get you back…

The game features different endings, 2 game modes, 5 weapons, persistent graphics (e.g., the alien blood you spill will not disappear, high score tables for each game mode, and more. It is compatible with Pocket PC devices.

Infestation is available for USD$9.90 from our affiliate Clickgamer. A trial version is also available.

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Rogers 2009 product roadmap leaked

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Dec 262008
 

Rogers Wireless

If you want to see what Rogers Wireless has in store for us in 2009, a leaked product roadmap will give you quite a few answers. The details come from someone who decided to take pictures of a Rogers presentation, revealing not only what flagship devices Rogers will offer but also its Fido subsidiary.

Among the devices that will come our way (hopefully) are the:

  • Nokia N79, N85 and N96 (H1 on Rogers)
  • Nokia 5800 XpressMusic (Q2 or Q3 on both Rogers and Fido)
  • Sony Ericsson Cybershort C905a and Xperia X1a (Q2 and Q3 respectively)
  • Motorola MOTOZINE ZN5 (late Q1 on both Rogers and Fido)
  • Motorola MOTO VE66 (H2 on both Rogers and Fido)
  • Motorola MOTO Q11 (sometime in 2009 and only on Rogers)
  • HTC Touch Pro, HTC Touch Viva (in H1) and possibly the HTC Touch 3G
  • Samsung M8800 Pixon (late Q1 on both Rogers and Fido)
  • RIM BlackBerry 82xx Pearl Flip (with 3G and GPS) and BlackBerry 9520 Storm

Pricing details for most of these is missing but Rogers could offer its version of the Storm for as low as CAD$199, the HTC Touch Viva for CAD$0.00, and the Motozine ZN5 for CAD$50, all with a three-year service contracts.

Is there anything there that strikes your fancy?

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Apple iPhone 3G lands at Walmart on Sunday

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Dec 262008
 

Apple iPhone 3G

At least some of the rumours were true. Walmart announced today that it will begin to sell the Apple iPhone on Sunday, December 28th. It will offer the 8GB model for USD$197 and the 16GB model for USD$297. Both will require a two-year service contract with AT&T or a qualified plan upgrade.

With some 2,500 Walmart stores to carry the iPhone, it is well on its way to ubiquity.

Rumours that Walmart would carry a cheaper 4GB model have turned out to be unfounded.

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