Dell Mini 3i headed to the U.S.?

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Oct 072009
 

New rumours suggest that the Dell Mini 3i, Dell’s first smartphone, may be headed to the U.S. in the next few months after all. To date, the Mini 3i has only been shown off in China as a proof-of-concept mobile device.

According to CrunchGear, the U.S. version will feature somewhat better hardware specifications including a 5MP camera. Dell is apparently also looking to modify the software. Sources suggest that it may sport a customized interface and that some of the Google Android libraries will be modified or missing entirely (This could be a legacy of the mini 3i running the Open Mobile System (OMS) Android variant). The result could be that some Android software may not be compatible with the Mini 3i.

A separate report by The Wall Street Journal suggests that the Dell Mini 3i will land at AT&T. This would make AT&T the fourth U.S. carrier to offer a Google Android device. This report also suggests an early 2010 U.S. launch date.

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HTC HD2 headed to U.S.

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Oct 072009
 

HTC HD2

Yesterday, when HTC announced the HTC HD2 Windows phone, the specifications showed the the device would only support European and Asian 3G bands. Would the HTC HD2 skip North America as its HD predecessor had done? Fortunately, HTC CEO Peter Chou confirmed in an interview with SlashGear that the HD2 will be headed to the U.S. later. While Chou would not reveal which carrier(s) would offer it, he did indicate that it would be available in Q1 2010.

The HTC HD2 will be available in a number of European countries later this month and in Asia later this year.

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Amazon Kindle goes international

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Oct 072009
 

Amazon Kindle 2

The Amazon Kindle ebook reader is about to make its international debut. Amazon announced today that it will offer the Kindle with U.S. & International Wireless in over 100 countries and territories.

Kindle wirelessly downloads books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, and personal documents to a crisp, high-resolution 6-inch electronic ink display that looks and reads like real paper. Kindle utilizes the same 3G wireless technology as advanced cell phones, so you never need to hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot or sync with a PC. Readers can wirelessly shop the Kindle Store, download books in less than 60 seconds, automatically receive newspaper and magazine subscriptions, receive personal documents, and read from their library-now in over 100 countries and territories.

In the U.S., Amazon has lowered the price of the Kindle from US$299 to US$259.

The Kindle Store now offers more than 350,000 books normally selling for US$9.99 or less. It also offers U.S. and international newspapers, more than 35 magazines, and over 7,000 blogs.

The Kindle with U.S. & International Wireless can be pre-ordered starting today for US$279 at www.amazon.com/kindle. Shipments will begin on October 19.

Make sure you check that your country is supported. At this time, Amazon will not ship the Kindle to Canada.

Unfortunately, we are currently unable to ship Kindles or offer Kindle content in Canada. We are working to make Kindle available to our Canadian customers as soon as possible.

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Verizon Wireless and Google announce partnerhip with new Android phones

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Oct 062009
 

Today, Verizon Wireless and Google announced a new partnership that promises to “offer consumers an array of products that combine the speed of the nation’s largest and most reliable 3G network with the flexibility of the Android mobile platform.”

“The Android platform allows Verizon Wireless customers to experience faster and easier access to the web from any location,” said Eric Schmidt, chairman and chief executive officer for Google. “Through this partnership, we hope to deliver greater innovation in the mobile space to consumers across the U.S.”

By the end of the year, Verizon will launch two Android-powered phones. These could the rumoured Motorola Sholes and the HTC Hero (which appears to be the device shown off by Schmidt in the press picture). The two companies also promised that the two companies will cooperate on new devices and services as part of their new partnership.

Google-Verizon press event

The announcement makes Verizon the third U.S. carrier to offer Android-powered phones after T-Mobile and Sprint.

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Microsoft unveils Windows Phones

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Oct 062009
 

Microsoft Windows Mobile

Today was the day that Microsoft and its hardware partners launched the first Windows Mobile 6.5 phones.

With a Windows phone, people can navigate their phone easily with the touch of a finger and browse the Internet on a great mobile browser. People can also connect to two new services that allow them to back up and share data from their phone to the Web and buy a variety of useful applications from the Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Microsoft expects partners to deliver more than 30 new phones in more than 20 countries by the end of 2009.

The latest version of Windows Mobile was unveiled back in February. Windows Mobile 6.5 features a new user interface and an improved browsing experience. It promises to offer an improved Windows Live experience with enhanced photo sharing with social networking sites, a best-in-class e-mail experience with support for multiple accounts and Outlook Mobile and Exchange Server synchronization, a new version of Internet Explorer Mobile with Adobe Flash Lite. It also marked the official launch of Microsoft My Phone and Windows Marketplace for Mobile with more than 240 applications (a net improvement over yesterday’s soft launch).

Microsoft also announced that a number of Windows phones are or will soon be available. Among those are the following:

  • North America: HTC PURE and HTC Tilt 2 from AT&T, HTC Imagio from Verizon Wireless, Samsung Intrepid from Sprint
  • Latin America: Samsung Omnia II from TIM Brasil
  • Europe: HTC HD2 from Orange, HTC Touch2 and Samsung Omnia II from Deutsche Telekom and Orange, Toshiba TG01 W from Orange,and many others
  • Europe: Unlocked phones include the Samsung Omnia II, Omnia LITE, Omnia PRO B7320, Omnia PRO B7330 and Omnia PRO B7610 all available in October
  • Asia: ZTE X60 from China Unicom, HTC Snap, HTC Touch Pro2, HTC Touch Diamond2, HTC Touch2, Samsung Omnia II and Samsung Omnia PRO B7320, Omnia PRO B7330, and ohers

I expect that we will soon see announcements about Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrades from different carriers and manufacturers.

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New features come to Microsoft MyPhone

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Oct 062009
 

Microsoft My Phone

To go along with the launch of the new Windows Mobile 6.5 phones, Microsoft announced some improvements to its My Phone service (backup and media sharing service) as well as its exit from beta. Among the new features are the following:

  • Find your missing phone – The My Phone service can show you the last known location of your phone on a map (based on where it last synced or shared photos using My Phone). This option requires user activation and is not available in all markets.
  • Share photos to leading social networking sites – Now you can quickly and easily post photos to Facebook, Flickr, MySpace and Windows Live from your My Phone web account or phone.

Microsoft is also unveiling some premium services. Among these are the ability to remotely wipe your phone if it is lost and lock or post a message on your phone from the web. These premium services will cost US$4.99. For a limited time, Microsoft will offer these for free though.

When you next sync your phone, you will receive a notification to update your My Phone software to the latest release.

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HTC unveils HTC HD2

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Oct 062009
 

HTC HD2

HTC unveiled the HTC HD2 today. Spec-wise, it is quite drool-worthy. It is the first Windows phone to come with the HTC Sense user interface first developed for Android-powered HTC devices. It also comes with a large capacitive touchscreen display and a 1GHz processor.

The HTC HD2 is powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional with HTC Sense user interface. It comes with quad-band (850/950/1800/1900MHz) GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dual band (900/2100MHz) HSPA/WCDMA connectivity, a 4.3-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen display, 448MB RAM and 512MB ROM, built-in GPS with digital compass and HTC Footprints, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR and A2DP, a 5MP camera with auto-focus and dual LED flash, a 3.5mm stereo audio jack, a micro-USB port, a microSD card slot, an FM radio, and a 1230mAh battery.

The HTC HD2 will be available later this month with selected operators across Europe, before rolling out to other regions in the coming months. There is no word yet on a North American version but hopefully the HD2 will not miss us like the original HD did.

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TELUS Mobility announces it will also offer Apple iPhone

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Oct 062009
 

Apple iPhone 3GS

Short and sweet:

TELUS and Apple have reached an agreement to bring iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS to Canada this November.
Additional information about pricing and availability will be shared in the coming weeks.

Customers can now register with TELUS to receive additional information and updates as they become available.

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Bell Mobility confirms iPhone coming in November

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Oct 062009
 

Bell

It’s official: In a short press release, Bell has confirmed that it will offer the Apple iPhone 3G and 3GS when it launches its new HSPA network in November.

Bell and Apple have reached an agreement to bring iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS to Canada this November.

The announcement comes on the heels of a rumour suggesting that both Bell and TELUS would carry the iPhone. Let’s see if TELUS has an annoucement for us later today.

Bell has yet to announce specific availability dates and pricing.

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Paid apps hit Palm App Catalog

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Oct 062009
 

Paid applications have finally made their debut on the Palm App Store. The first paid application, Air Hockey from Acceleroto, selling for US$1.99. Since then, a number of other paid applications, as well as some free ones, have appeared as well.

In total, more than 120 applications are now available.

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Vonage releases calling application for BlackBerry and iPhone

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Oct 052009
 

Today, Vonage announced that it has launched its first mobile calling application for smartphones. Vonage Mobile will allow users to make discounted international phone calls over Wi-Fi or cellular networks. Customers could save more than 50 percent on calls to dozens of countries.

With Vonage Mobile you can call around the world from home, a Wi-Fi hotspot, or while traveling around the country. Vonage Mobile is easy to use. There are no access numbers or new phone numbers to give to friends and family. Simply enter an international number or select a contact from the existing contacts on your iPhone or Blackberry and hit send. Vonage does the rest.

Vonage Mobile uses your existing contact list and your mobile number so that people can recognize who is calling.

Vonage Mobile is available for free for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch as well as RIM BlackBerry devices. It is available from Vonage directly as well as the iTunes App Store.

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Apple iPhone coming to Bell and TELUS?

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Oct 052009
 

Apple iPhone 3GS

According to The Globe and Mail, both Bell Mobility and TELUS Mobility will offer the Apple iPhone when they launch their joint HSPA network. The news follows Bell’s announcement that it will launch its HSPA network (built in partnership with TELUS Mobility) in November.

Neither Bell nor Telus would confirm that they would add the iPhone to their lineups. Apple also declined to comment. But people familiar with the matter said the two carriers would announce a working partnership with Apple as early as Tuesday or Wednesday and begin selling the device in time for the launch of their new network.

Rogers Wireless has so far had an exclusive on the iPhone in Canada due in large part to the fact that it was the only national carrier to use the GSM and HSPA standard.

Other devices we could soon see from Bell and TELUS include Nokia’s N-series devices and a few BlackBerries.

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Bell to launch HSPA network in November

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Oct 052009
 

Bell Mobility

Bell announced today that the deployment of its HSPA network (in cooperation with TELUS) is significantly ahead of schedule. Bell will launch its new network in November, ahead of its original February 2010 target.

“Bell announced in October 2008 that we would launch our next-generation network before the Winter Games in February 2010, and I am proud to say our team has over-delivered. The new network will be ready to roll in November, quickly notching up competition and wireless choice for consumers and businesses across the country and keeping Canada at the forefront of wireless innovation,” said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell Canada.

The new network will cover some 20,000 Canadians cities and towns and will deliver access speeds up to 21 Megabits per second (Mbps) to 93 percent of the Canadian population. With the new network, Bell will offer a range of new smartphones, turbo sticks and other leading-edge mobile devices.

I expect we will see a similar announcement from TELUS very shortly.

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Marketplace for Windows Mobile goes live a day early

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Oct 052009
 

Marketplace for Windows Mobile

On the heels of AT&T selling the Windows Mobile 6.5-powered HTC PURE a day early comes word that the Marketplace for Windows Mobile has also gone live a day early.

If you snagged yourself a new AT&T PURE or are running a Windows Mobile 6.5 ROM, you can now download the Marketplace application by clicking on its icon. You will find that just over 30 applications are currently available. Hopefully more applications will be released in time for the official launch tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Windows Mobile 6 and 6.1 users will have to wait a bit longer.

Source: WMPoweruser.com

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Mysterious BlackBerry Magnum revealed to be BlackBerry Dakota?

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Oct 052009
 

The codename Magnum has been floating around in BlackBerry rumours for a long time (almost a year in fact). It appears now that it will be known as the BlackBerry Dakota and that rumours about a touchscreen device with a QWERTY keyboard were right on the money.

According to Salomondrin, the self-professed “Ultimate BlackBerry Ninja”, the BlackBerry Dakota will be about the same size and form factor as the BlackBerry Bold. It will be a GSM device with both touchscreen and QWERTY keyboard, a trackpad, and a “liquid lens.” Essentially, the camera has no moving parts. Instead, it can change shape to alter the focal length.

There is no word yet on availability and pricing.

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