15 percent discount from Proporta for Halloween

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Oct 312009
 

Proporta

I just finished carving up the last pumpkin here at Gadgetorama headquarters. Soon, it will be time to head out for a little ‘Trick or treat’ fun with the boys. Proporta is also celebrating and is marking the day with a 15 percent discount.

It’s almost that time again, when the undead walk the streets, hand in hand with witches, ghouls and goblins, and no doorstep or pub is safe from the hordes in fancy dress… Yes, Halloween is just around the corner, and whilst you may be feeling a little too old for trick or treating, apple bobbing or dressing up as an unconvincing skeleton, there’s always a time in life for a little rebellious carnival spirit, and sticking two fingers up at the man.

That’s what Proporta thinks Halloween is all about, and whether that carnivalesque tendency expresses itself through Zombie walks or just getting very drunk, you’re going to need something to protect your devices. For that reason, Proporta would like to offer all customers 15% off this Halloween, so that you can get on with the celebrating and not worry about anything else. Even a vampire needs to know his mobile phone is safe, at least when it comes to getting a cab home…

To get your 15 percent discount, use the promocode PUMPKIN in the cart page during checkout. But hurry, the offer is only good for Halloween!

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Sony Ericsson to unveil Android-powered XPERIA on November 3rd?

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Oct 312009
 

Rumoured Sony Ericsson XPERIA X3

Sony Ericsson will unveil its latest smartphone on November 3rd. A teaser sitelet reveals little information and a YouTube video does little more than tease us a bit more.

Rumours suggest that Sony Ericsson will unveil its latest XPERIA device on that day. And unlike the XPERIA X1 and X2, this one, perhaps to be known as the X3, is likely to be powered by Google Android. According to specifications posted by Expansys, it will also come with quad-band GSM and dual-band HSDPA/HSUPA, a 4-inch WVGA touchscreen display, A-GPS, 802.11 g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, an 8.1MP camera with auto-focus and LED flash, a microSDHC card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Hopefully we will learn when the XPERIA X3 (or whatever its official name will be) will be available on Tuesday.

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Bell to have Samsung OMNIA II exclusive in Canada

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Oct 302009
 

Samsung OMNIA II

Bell announced today that it will be the exclusive Canadian carrier for the Samsung OMNIA II. It has also designated the handset as “the Official Mobile Device of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.”

OMNIA II buyers will also be able to download Samsung’s Wireless Olympic Works (WOW) communications platform, a comprehensive free application designed to provide real-time information to users’ phones and to keep fans connected during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

OMNIA II users will have access to Samsung’s Wireless Olympic Works (WOW) communications platform, a comprehensive free application designed to provide real-time information during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

The Samsung OMNIA II will be powered by an 800MHz processor and Windows Mobile 6.5 with the TouchWiz user interface. It will come with quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dual-band HSPA connectivity, a 3.7-inch WVGA AMOLED touchscreen display, 16GB of internal storage, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, a 5MP camera with auto-focus and dual LED flash, a microSDHC card slot (support cards up to 32GB), and a 1500mAh battery.

Bell did not reveal pricing or specific availability but I expect that it will be available with Bell’s HSPA network launch.

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WIND Mobile responds to CRTC ruling

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Oct 302009
 

WIND Mobile

WIND Mobile has issued a statement in regards to yesterday’s CRTC ruling that WIND Mobile (and its parent company Globalive) do not meet Canadian ownership requirements. Not surprisingly, the company is disappointed by the decision:

“Having already received approval from Industry Canada, we are extremely disappointed that the CRTC has come to a different conclusion,” said Anthony Lacavera, Chairman, Globalive Wireless Management Corp. “This is a bad day for Canadian consumers. Canadians deserve competition in wireless and this decision represents a major step backwards.”

Ken Campbell, CEO of WIND Mobile, has revealed that they are looking at options to move forward. A number of options are open to Globalive: It could make the changes requested by the CRTC (board of director changes, changes to Orascom conditions of sale or exit, higher Orascom veto threshold, and reduction of debt financing provided by Orascom to Globalive), it could appeal the CRTC ruling, or it could appeal directly to the Canadian government which has been looking to increase competition in the wireless industry.

At this point, it is not clear when WIND Mobile will be able to launch but it is looking less likely that it will be this year.

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Sprint drops hints about 2010 plans

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Oct 302009
 

Sprint

In a live chat with customers, Sprint executive David Owens revealed a few details about what Sprint has in store for 2010. The highlights of this chat include:

  • Google Android updates for both the HTC Hero and Samsung Moment
  • Android phones that offer both CDMA and GSM connectivity
  • The possibility of an Android phone with built-in MiFi-type router
  • A trend towards cheaper Android phones as sales volume increases
  • Future BlackBerries will come with Wi-Fi (including the Tour)
  • Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade for the HTC Touch Pro2 and other Windows phones expected in early 2010
  • Sprint wants to offer Windows Mobile 7.0 as soon as possible
  • WiMAX phones will be offered
  • No tethering on phones that require an Everything plan

It looks like Sprint will have a busy year…

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Globalive and its WIND Mobile brand do not meet Canadian ownership rules

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Oct 292009
 

WIND Mobile

The CRTC announced today the outcome of its hearings into Globalive’s ownership structure.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission today determined that Globalive Wireless Management (Globalive) does not meet the Canadian ownership requirements set out in the Telecommunications Act. Under the legislation, a telecommunications company is only eligible to operate in Canada if it is not at any time owned and controlled, in law and in fact, by non-Canadians.

At the heart of the CRTC’s decision is the fact that Orascom Telecom Holding (Orascom)owns about 65 percent of Globalive’s equity and majority of the outstanding debt. Not only can this give it significant influence over business decisions and day-to-day operations but Orascom also owns the “Wind” brand name.

The CRTC has identified the areas that need to be addressed for Globalive to meet its requirements. It remains to be seen how Globalive will deal with this setback and address the CRTC’s concerns.

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Smartphone market to be a tough nut to crack for PC makers?

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Oct 292009
 

Market research firm expects that many personal computer (PC) vendors will jump into the smartphone arena over the next few years (or already have). With computer sales not growing as they used to, PC vendors will need to look at new opportunities for continued growth.

The smartphone market shows a lot promise. In 2009 alone, it grew by 29 percent year-over-year to reach 180 million units in 2009. Next year, customers are expected to spend more on smartphones than on consumer notebooks. Smarphone revenues could top S$191 billion by 2012 (compared to US$152 billion for notebooks in 2012).

But PC vendors could have a tough road ahead of them. Aside from Apple, PC vendors cumulatively have less than 1 percent of the current smartphone market. Gartner does not see any PC vendor’s share growing beyond 2 percent over the next three years.

Gartner has identified a number of challenges that PC vendors will face:

  • Smartphones are not “cut-down” versions of mobile PCs. Technical specifications are less important.
  • The distribution channel for mobile phones is controlled largely by mobile operators.
  • Brand and user experience are significant differentiators for mobile handsets.
  • Handset vendors are set to dominate the market for mobile internet devices (MIDs) due to their better understanding of internet usage behaviour.
  • Consumerisation opens the door to consumer smartphones in the organisation – it’s not the IT manager who makes the decision.

As smartphones continue to become more powerful, we are already seeing signs that smartphones can replace PCs (and other devices) for certain functions. Challenges or not, PC vendors likely do not have much of a choice…

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Bell announces additional devices for HSPA network

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Oct 292009
 

Bell Mobility

This week, Bell Mobility announced a number of additional devices for the launch of its HSPA network in November. These are the U998 HSPA+ Turbo Stick, the Novatel MiFi 2372 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot, and the Nokia 6350 and the Nokia 2730 Symbian S40 feature phones.

The U998 Turbo Stick will be a Bell exclusive. It will supports speeds up to 21Mbps downstream and 5.76 Mbps upstream. It also comes with a microSD card slot supporting cards up to 32GB.

The Novatel Wireless MiFi 2372 allows you to create a Wi-Fi bubble for up to five devices or users. It also comes with a microSD card slot supporting cards up to 16GB.

The Nokia 6350 is a flip-phone that comes with quad-band GSM and tri-band HSPA/UMTS connectivity, a 2-inch QVGA display with secondary display, Bluetooth 2.1, a 2MP camera and an SD card slot supporting cards up to 16 GB.

The Nokia 2730 is a candybar phone with quad-band GSM and dual-band HSPA connectivity, a 2-inch QVGA display, a 2MP camera, Bluetooth v2.0+EDR and A2DP, a 3.5mm audio jack, and an FM radio.

Google Android 2.0 is headed to HTC Hero

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Oct 282009
 

HTC Hero

Details are slim at this point but a tweet from HTC has confirmed that the HTC Hero will get an update to Google Android 2.0 (codename Eclair).

The rumors are true! Hero will be getting an Eclair update. We ask for your patience as we update Sense for the fancy new Android OS.

No timeframe for the release of the update has been provided yet.

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Google Maps Navigation for Android 2.0 comes with turn-by-turn navigation

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Oct 282009
 

With Android 2.0, Google has added a new feature to its Google Maps application. Google Maps Navigation will offer 3D views, turn-by-turn voice guidance and automatic rerouting using the device’s Internet connection. Companies offering navigation services are probably getting a little nervous with this announcement: Many of these features have traditionally been found in standalone GPS navigation devices or required the purchase of software or subscriptions.

Because Google Maps Navigation uses an Internet connection, it will offer the latest maps and business listings (no more need to buy updates). It will also support many capabilities already found in Google Maps:

  • Plain English searches
  • Voice-activated search
  • Live traffic data (where available)
  • The ability to search for businesses (like a gas station) along your route (and using map layers to display results)
  • Satellite View
  • Street View

Google Maps Navigation will initially available in the United States. Hopefully other countries are announced as Android 2.0 devices are announced elsewhere in the world.

Google Maps Navigation will be available on the Verizon DROID by Motorola, the first Google Android 2.0 device announced.

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More Verizon Droids coming?

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Oct 282009
 

Verizon Wireless

It looks like Verizon will use its DROID brand for more than just the just announced DROID by Motorola. The DROID name will reportedly apply to all Android-powered devices that Verizon will offer. In fact, Verizon could also launch a second DROID, the DROID Eris, on November 6th.

According to details obtained by The Boy Genius Report, the Droid Eris is apparently powered by a 528MHz Qualcomm processor and Android 1.5. It would also come with EV-DO connectivity, a 3.2-inch display, a trackball for navigation, a 5MP camera and a microSD card slot. The Eris appears to be none other than the HTC Desire and appears to be an HTC Hero CDMA variant.

If DROID is to be a family of devices, it is conceivable that the Motorola Calgary, also reportedly headed to Verizon, will end up with a DROID moniker.

Verizon announces DROID by Motorola to be available November 6th

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Oct 282009
 

Verizon DROID by Motorola

Last week, Verizon began teasing everyone about its upcoming DROID with its DROID DOES campaign. Today, it finally revealed the details behind its teaser campaign.

High-speed Web browsing, voice-activated search, customizable large screen, access to thousands of Android applications and hundreds of widgets and the best 3G mobile network in the country: DROID by Motorola arrives on Nov. 6.

The Verizon DROID by Motorola is powered by Google Android 2.0 and a TI OMAP3430 processor. It comes with dual-band CDMA and EV-DO Rev.A connectivity, a 3.7-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen display, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard with d-pad to the right, 256MB RAM and 512MB ROM, GPS/A-GPS, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, a 3.5mm audio jack, a 5MP camera with auto-focus and dual-LED, a microSDHC card slot (supporting cards up to 32GB), and a 1,400mAh battery. It will ship with a 16GB microSD card. It measures 60 by 115.80 by 13.70 millimeters (2.4 by 4.6 by 0.5-inches) and weighs 169 grams (6 ounces).

Verizon will offer the DROID by Motorola starting on November 6th for US$199.99 after US$100 mail-in rebate and with an eligible two-year voice and data contract.

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Rogers to rebrand smartphones as Webphones?

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Oct 282009
 

Rogers Wireless

Rogers Wireless appears set to rebrand its smartphones as Webphones. The move will begin with the introduction of new phones and reduced pricing (with eligible three-year data plans) on existing ones:

  • The Android-powered LG Eve (3-inch touchscreen, GPS, Wi-Fi, 5MP camera) for CA$49.99
  • The BlackBerry Bold 9000 in white and the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 will be offered for CA$99.99
  • The Nokia N86 should be out in November and will sell for CA$99.99
  • The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is expected in late November for CA$299.99

Rogers is also expected to make some changes to its plans. These should include:

  • Unlimited network calling added to Mega Value Combos
  • Additional minutes
  • MY5 Local to become MY5 Canada Wide
  • Limited texting add-on to become unlimited on Mega Value plans
  • Pricing to remain unchanged

Do you like the new Webphone branding or will it simply further confuse customers?

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TELUS to eliminate SAF with new Clear Choice plans

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Oct 282009
 

TELUS Mobility

Starting on November 5th (the day it launches its HSPA network), TELUS Mobility will introduce new “Clear Choice” plans that do away with System Activation Fees (SAF) and carrier 911 fees. TELUS will also reduce the number of plans it offers.

TELUS is committed to delivering exceptional client service. We recognize wireless pricing can be confusing. Clear Choice rate plans maintain our industry leading position on pricing transparency by making rate plans clear and simple. What you see is what you pay.

The new Clear Choice plans will be about CA$5 more expensive than comparable existing plans (before you factor in fees). But the new plans will also come with free voice mail. When taxes are factored in, the new plans turn out to be less expensive than current offerings. As a result, TELUS could see average revenue per user fall by as much as 8 percent as a result of the move.

Existing TELUS customers will have the choice of staying on their current plan (with fees also remaining) or switching over to the new plans (possibly losing benefits and features of the existing plan). The new plans will apply to all new customers as of November 5th.

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HTC releases Windows Mobile 6.5 ROM upgrade for HTC Touch Diamond2

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Oct 272009
 

HTC Touch Diamond2

HTC has released the Windows Mobile 6.5 ROM upgrade for the HTC Touch Diamond2. It is currently available for Denmark, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and the UK. A valid IMEI number will be required for the free download.

HTC has already released Windows Mobile 6.5 ROM upgrades for the HTC Touch Pro2 and the HTC Snap.

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

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