Motorola Droid to be announced October 28th with shipments in November?

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Oct 222009
 

Verizon has sent out Droid-related press invitations for October 28th. At the event, Motorola is widely expected to unveil the Motorola Droid, apparently the “most desirable phone of 2009”.

Meanwhile, a second piece of Droid marketing shows that there will be another Droid event or milestone on November 9th. I’m guessing that Verizon will announce the Droid on the 28th and that it will be available as of November 9th.

The Motorola Droid will be Verizon’s first Android-powered smartphone. But Verizon is expected to launch at least one more, the Motorola Calgary, by the end of the year.

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TELUS latest to announce BlackBerry Bold 9700 November

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Oct 212009
 

Rogers and Bell were quick to announce that they would carry the BlackBerry Bold 9700 when it was announced by RIM this morning. Now, TELUS Mobility has also confirmed that they will offer it but provide little further information:

Additional information about pricing and availability will be shared in the coming weeks.

Expect the BlackBerry Bold 9700 to be available with the launch of the TELUS HSPA network sometime in November.

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HTC Hero shortages looming?

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Oct 212009
 

HTC Hero

The HTC Hero is selling well enough that HTC is having trouble keeping up with demand. According to Jack Tong, vice president of Asia Pacific at HTC, the company is facing tight production and might not catch up with demand until sometime in November.

There is no mention of how sales are going in North America but Tong describes them as “brisk” in Europe and Asia. Specific sales numbers were not revealed.

HTC was an early Android adopter and expects to remain a market leader but the market is getting crowded with Samsung, Motorola, Acer and others unveiling their own Android-powered handsets. Tong expects that the second half of 2010 will reveal who the early winners are.

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Android-powered Dell MID revealed

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Oct 212009
 

Dell seems to have a few more plans for Google Android. Vietnamese site Tinhte.com has outed what appears to be a prototype for a media tablet or MID. The device could be called the Streak and would be powered by Google Android 2.0 (codename Eclair).

In terms of specifications, the prototype comes with a 5-inch capacitive touchscreen display (resolution of 800 by 480) with multi-touch support, 3G connectivity, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 5MP camera with dual-LED flash, a microSDHC card slot, and a 1,300mAh battery.

There is no word yet on availability and pricing but a 2010 release is expected. According to the same sources, the Streak could be given away for free with a service contract with a media provider.

Note: The ‘More information’ link is in Vietnamese. [Google translation]

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Mozilla Fennec mobile browser headed to Android

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Oct 212009
 

Mozilla Fennec

In an interview with GigaOM’s Om Malik, Mozilla CEO John Lilly confirmed that the company is working to port its Fennec mobile browser to the Google Android operating system. It will follow the release of Fennec for Windows Mobile. The move seems logical to Lilly as Mozilla has found that “there is a lot of overlap among folks who use Firefox and those who might buy Android-based devices.”

But don’t bank on seeing Firefox on BlackBerry and Symbian devices at this point. Mozilla has no interest in building a Java-based browser (BlackBerry’s platform) and cites some unspecified misgivings about Symbian. It was only when Google released the Android NDK which uses C/C++ that Mozilla decided to look into offering Fennec on Android.

No specific timeframes were outlined for the release of the Android version of Mozilla Fennec.

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RIM announces BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone

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Oct 212009
 

RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700

Research In Motion formally announced the BlackBerry Bold 9700 today.

“The BlackBerry Bold 9700 builds on the success of the original BlackBerry Bold with new, state-of-the-art features and a smaller, lighter and highly optimized design that looks, feels and performs great,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO, Research In Motion.

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is powered by a 624MHz processor and BlackBerry OS 5.0. It comes with quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and UMTS/HSDPA connectivity, a 2.44-inch HVGA display, 256MB Flash memory, the traditional full-QWERTY keyboard, built-in GPS, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, a 3.2MP camera with auto-focus and flash, a microSDHD memory card slot (2GB card also included), a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack, and a 1500mAh battery. It replaces the original Bold’s track ball with an optical track pad. It is also thinner and lighter than the original Bold. It measures 109 by 60 by 14.1 millimeters (4.29 by 2.36 by 0.56-inches) and weighs 122 grams (4.3 ounces).

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 will be available in two versions to support different carriers. The first will come with 800/850/1900/2100MHz UMTS/HSDPA support while the second will offer 900/1700/2100MHz UMTS/HSDPA support.

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 will be available from a number of carriers starting in November. Among those are AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S. and Rogers Wireless and Bell Mobility in Canada. Rogers also announced that the Bold 9700 will sell for CA$299.99 with a three-year Voice and Data contract (minimum CA$45 per month).

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Acer to partner with North American carrier in 2010?

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Oct 212009
 

Digitimes sources have revealed that Acer is looking to partner with at least one North American wireless carrier in 2010 in a bid to increase handset shipments. There is no clue as to which it could be though.

The same sources revealed that Acer is estimating that it will ship 1.5 to 2 million handsets in 2010.

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Barnes & Noble unveils nook ebook reader

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Oct 202009
 

Barnes & Noble nook

Barnes & Noble unveiled its wireless ebook reader today. The device, called nook, will come with, as expected, both an e-ink display and a colour touchscreen for navigation.

nook features many industry firsts as it is the first Android-based eBook reader and the first to offer a color touch screen for navigation along with a best-in-class E Ink display for an immersive, enjoyable e-reading experience. For fast connectivity, nook is the first eBook reader to provide, at no additional costs to customers, both 3G wireless access on AT&T’s mobile broadband network and access to Wi-Fi for Barnes & Noble in-store browsing and enjoyment. And to help friends share their joy of reading, nook is the first eBook reader to offer digital lending for a wide selection of eBooks.

The nook is powered by Google Android 1.5. It comes with a 6-inch 16-level gray scale display as well as a 3.5-inch colour capacitive touchscreen, 3G connectivity over the AT&T network, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi (with free Wi-Fi in all Barnes & Noble stores), 2GB of internal memory (enough for about 1,500 ebooks), a microSD card slot, a built-in MP3 player, a 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack and mono speaker, . The nook supports the EPUB, PDB and PDF formats.

The nook will also let you lend ebooks to friends for up to 14 days. The book can be shared with another nook or with an Apple iPhone, iPod touch, select BlackBerry and Motorola smartphones, and even PCs (with the Barnes & Noble eReader software).

Barnes & Noble will offer over 1 million ebooks as well as subscriptions to more than 20 newspapers and magazines.

Barnes & Noble will offer the nook for US$259 (the same price as the Amazon Kindle). It will begin to ship the nook in late November but has begun to take pre-orders.

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The Motorola Calgary in pictures

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Oct 202009
 

Motorola Calgary

It’s been a while since we mentioned the Android-powered Motorola Calgary. It’s back, this time courtesy of some pictures and a few new details from The Boy Genius Report.

Early rumours were correct and the Calgary does appear headed to Verizon where it will be offered as a mid-range alternative to the Motorola Droid.

It will be powered by Google Android with the MOTOBLUR interface. It will come with a QWERTY slide-out keyboard, an optical joystick and three Android keys on the display, built-in GPS, Wi-Fi, a 3MP camera, 3.5mm audio jack, and a microSD card slot.

No release date has been given yet but it could yet be this year.

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Motorola CLIQ now available to existing T-Mobile customers

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Oct 202009
 

Motorola CLIQ

While there is a lot of buzz around for the Motorola Droid right now, yesterday was the day that the Motorola CLIQ became available to existing T-Mobile customers. It is now available for “as low as” US$199 with a new two-year service contract.

The Motorola CLIQ is powered by Google Android 1.5 with the MOTOBLUR interface. It comes with quad-band (850/900/1800/1900MHz) GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band (900/1700/2100MHz) WCDMA/HSDPA connectivity, a 3.1-inch HVGA touchscreen display, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, built-in GPS/aGPS with a digital compass, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, a microUSB port, a 5MP camera with auto-focus and geotagging, a 3.5mm audio jack, a microSD card slot (supporting cards up to 32GB), and a 1,420mAh battery.

T-Mobile will make the Motorola CLIQ available to everyone starting on November 2nd.

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Sony Ericsson XPERIA X3 confirmed via Twitter?

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Oct 202009
 

It looks like Ericsson Labs may have (unwittingly) confirmed the upcoming Sony Ericsson XPERIA X3.

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X3 Announcement in November #Android (via Softpedia) http://bit.ly/1QHzuu

Not only is it odd that a company would essentially confirm a rumour but this Twitter account does not even belong to Sony Ericsson but Ericsson Labs. Sure they both share a common parent company but I’m sure there will have a few exchanges between the two about this one…

In terms of specifications, rumours suggest that the XPERIA X3 will be powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm QSD8250 Snapdragon processor and Google Android (version 2.0 possibly). It is expected to come with quad-band (850/900/1800/1900MHz) GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dual-band (900/2100MHz) HSDPA/HSUPA connectivity, a 4-inch touchscreen display (possibly as high as 852 by 480 pixels), 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.

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Apple reports most profitable quarter ever

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Oct 192009
 

Apple

Apple once again managed to defy all expectations and announced its most profitable quarter ever with record Mac and iPhone sales.

The Company posted revenue of $9.87 billion and a net quarterly profit of $1.67 billion, or $1.82 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $7.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.14 billion, or $1.26 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

Apple sold 3.05 million Macintosh computers (up 17 percent year-over-year), 10.2 million iPods during the quarter (down 8 percent year-over-year), and 7.4 million iPhones (up 7 percent year-over-year). While Apple iPod sales dropped, iPod touch revenues doubled from over last year.

Apple expects that revenues for the next quarter to fall between US$11.3 billion to US$11.6 billion but this could be another conservative estimate from a company known for its extremely conservative guidance.

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RIM BlackBerry watch in the works?

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Oct 192009
 

According to CrackBerry.com, a Bluetooth BlackBerry Watch accessory will be announced shortly, putting an end to years of rumours about such a device. Renderings of what the watch would look like as well as some details on how it would work have been revealed.

Rendering of inPulse BlackBerry watch

Possibly to be known as the “inPulse smartwatch”, the watch would come with a large OLED screen. It would display real-time notifications and message previews from a paired BlackBerry device. As such it would not replace your BlackBerry but help you avoid having to reach for it every time a message comes in.

Interestingly, the watch is not being designed by Research In Motion but by a new company focused on BlackBerry accessories.

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ASUS to unveil Android smartphone by end of year

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Oct 192009
 

Earlier this year, ASUS announced plans to have its first Android handset out sometime this year. Things then went quiet. At a recent media event, Asustek Computer chairman Jonney Shih reconfirmed the company’s plan to introduce its first Android phone this year.

No details were revealed about this device. It’s also not clear if ASUS is developing this device with its partner Garmin or if it will do alone. Considering that an Android phone from Garmin-Asus is planned for 2010 (or sooner), I would not be surprised if the two devices turned out to be one and the same.

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Microsoft to open first retail store on Thursday

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Oct 192009
 

Microsoft

On October 22nd, the day that Microsoft will launch Windows 7, it will also open its first retail store, taking a page from Apple’s retail strategy. The first Microsoft Store will open in the Scottsdale Fashion Square in Scottsdale, Arizona at 10AM. The first 1000 visitors will get gift bags and tickets to an Ashley Tisdale concert later that day. Anyone purchasing a PC on opening day will also get a free HP-D 1660 printer and a copy of Office 2007 Home & Student Edition.

Walk into the Microsoft Store and you’ll find lots of choices. Right away, you’ll see that it’s not all about hard drives and gigabytes.

It will be interesting to see how much attention Windows Mobile gets at the Microsoft stores.

Whether Microsoft can replicate Apple’s success with its own Apple Stores remains to be seen.

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