Microsoft cancels KIN devices

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Jun 302010
 

Microsoft KIN ONE

Microsoft today confirmed that it has stopped work on its recently unveiled KIN phones. The KIN One and KIN Two were unveiled in April and were to have gone on sale in Europe after their debut with Verizon. The KIN team will be reassigned to work on Windows Phone 7 which will be released later this year. According to Microsoft:

“We have made the decision to focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7 and we will not ship KIN in Europe this fall as planned. Additionally, we are integrating our KIN team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from KIN into future Windows Phone releases. We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones.”

While Microsoft did not provide a reason for the decision, it is almost surely due to poor sales with rumours that the KIN devices sold less than 10,000 units since going on sale. Verizon will continue to sell the KIN but has already cut the price of the two devices.

The KIN devices were born out of Microsoft’s 2008 acquisition of Sidekick maker Danger.

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Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant headed to Bell Mobility

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Jun 302010
 

Samsung Galaxy S

If you needed more proof that Bell Mobility would soon be launching the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant, Bell’s new landing page for the device should seal the deal. Bell’s page suggests that it will indeed be Canada’s exclusive carrier for the device.

Bell has not published any specifications for the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant but it is presumably the same device as was announced south of the border by a number of carriers (under different names) earlier this week.

There is no word on when Bell will launch the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant but a July date has been rumoured.

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Rogers announces chatr brand

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Jun 302010
 

Chatr Wireless

The rumours were true: Rogers today announced that it will launch a new mobile phone brand later this summer to take on new players such as Mobilicity and WIND Mobile. Called chatr, it will focus on the unlimited talk and text segment of the market.

“We’ve been watching this niche but growing category closely and it’s clear that some Canadians want to use their handsets for voice and text only but want a network they can trust,” said John Boynton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Rogers Communications.

chatr will offer voice and text plans only, including unlimited plans without contracts within defined chatr zones.

Rogers will launch chatr later this summer. At that time it will reveal devices and plans.

In terms of branding, the Rogers brand will continue to focus on “leading edge devices; a proven, reliable and fast network; handset servicing; and world class tech support.” The Fido brand will remain its value brand while chatr will focus exclusively on unlimited talk and text plans.

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Apple iPhone headed to Verizon in 2011?

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Jun 292010
 

Verizon Wireless

Rumours that AT&T will lose its Apple iPhone exclusivity have surfaced again. Bloomberg, citing two people familiar with the plans, is reporting that Verizon Wireless will start to offer the iPhone in 2011. According to the report, Verizon could begin to offer the iPhone as early as January.

Reports surfaced earlier this month that Pegatron would begin shipping CDMA-based iPhones in the fourth quarter after landing an Apple order earlier this year.

Ending AT&T’s exclusive deal could be quite beneficial to Apple. One market analyst suggests that Verizon could buy as many as 3 million iPhones a quarter.

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Google begins pushing out Android 2.2 update for Nexus One

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Jun 292010
 

Google Android

Google today announced that it has begun to push out the Android 2.2 (AKA Froyo) update for its Nexus One smartphone. The OTA update will take place gradually with most users expected to receive the notification by the end of the week.

This update provides some great new features including support for making your handset a portable hotspot and support for Adobe Flash within the browser. For a complete list of everything we’ve included in Android 2.2, please see the Android 2.2 Platform Highlights.

Thanks to those who sent this in!

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Kindle for Android app now available

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Jun 282010
 

Amazon

Amazon today announced the release of its Kindle for Android application. Much like similar apps for the iPhone and for BlackBerry devices, it offers much the same functionality as the Kindle itself. Users access their library of previously purchased books, create bookmarks, and synchronize the last page read and annotation between devices with Whispersync. Unfortunately, you cannot buy books yet directly from the app.

“Our customers tell us they love the convenience of having their Kindle library with them everywhere and their reading synchronized across multiple devices,” said Dorothy Nicholls, director, Amazon Kindle. “With Kindle for Android, customers can choose from a vast selection of over 620,000 books to read on their Android-powered phone, no matter where they are – on the bus, waiting for a cab, or in between meetings. Kindle for Android and the rest of the free Kindle apps are the perfect companions for readers who don’t have their Kindle with them or don’t yet own a Kindle.”

Kindle for Android is a free download but requires Android 1.6 or higher. It is not available in all countries where the Kindle is sold but is available in Canada and the US.

Amazon has also promised that a number of new features, including full text search and purchasing of Kindle books from within the app, will be added later.

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Shaw Communications chooses Nokia for upcoming 3G/LTE network

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Jun 282010
 

Shaw Communications today announced that it has chosen Nokia Siemens Networks to build out its wireless network. The new network will be fully 3G and LTE capable using the Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) band.

Shaw spent just under CA$190 million to buy wireless licenses some two years ago. Back in April, it announced plans to launch its wireless service in 2011.

Note: The title link opens up a PDF document.

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Samsung Galaxy S to launch with several carriers under different names

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Jun 282010
 

Samsung Galaxy S

The Samsung Galaxy S will launch with several US and at least one Canadian carrier. To confuse everyone, it looks like almost every carrier has chosen to rename it: AT&T as the Captivate, T-Mobile and Canada’s Bell Mobility as the Vibrant, and Verizon as the Fascinate. So far, only US Cellular seems inclined to carry it as the Galaxy S (although that could still change).

Samsung Galaxy S specifications:

  • Processor: 1GHz Samsung Cortex A8 Hummingbird
  • Operating system: Google Android 2.1 with Samsung’s Social Hub
  • Connectivity: GSM/HSPA or CDMA/EV-DO depending on carrier
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0
  • Display: 4-inch WVGA Super AMOLED touchscreen
  • Input: Virtual QWERTY keyboard with Swype technology
  • Storage: 16GB onboard / microSD cards (up to 16GB)
  • Camera: 5MP with auto-focus, LED flash, and HD video recording/playback
  • Battery: 1500mAh
  • Connectors: 3.5-mm headphone jack
  • Dimensions / Weight: 64.2 by 122.4 by 9.9mm / 118g

To date, only T-Mobile has confirmed pricing and availability details. It will launch the Vibrant on July 21st for US$199.99 with a two-year contract. It will also preload it with The Sims 3 Collector’s Edition game, James Cameron’s Avatar movie and Kindle for Android.

Palm gets shareholder approval for HP buyout

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Jun 282010
 

Palm

Palm shareholders have approved the company’s acquisition by Hewlett-Packard. The US$1.2 billion buy-out had been announced back in April.

Jon Rubenstein will lead a new mobility group that will combine Palm assets with HP’s iPAQ division.

The merger is expected to close in the first week of July.

Now, bring on the new webOS devices including the rumoured HP Hurricane tablet

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1.7 million Apple iPhone 4s sold in 3 days

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Jun 282010
 

Apple

Apple today announced very impressive sales numbers for the launch of its iPhone 4. In the first three days alone, Apple has sold over 1.7 million of its latest generation iPhone.

“This is the most successful product launch in Apple’s history,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Even so, we apologize to those customers who were turned away because we did not have enough supply.”

Currently available in five countries (the US, the UK, France, Germany and Japan), it will be available in an additional 18 countries (including Canada) by the end of July.

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HSPA devices coming to Koodo Mobile (Updated)

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Jun 282010
 

Koodo Mobile

Koodo Mobile, TELUS Mobility’s flanker brand, today announced that it will soon be carrying HSPA devices.

“Koodo has always been focused on communication essentials such as talk and text. Online social media has become a communication essential for many of our customers and the addition of HSPA phones ensures our customers will continue to get great connectivity with sites such as Facebook and Twitter,” says Kevin Banderk, Chief Koodo Officer. “HSPA will also give Koodo customers the ability to travel internationally with their phone and broaden the choice of handsets we can offer consumers.”

Too bad Koodo reveals little more than this intention today. It promises to launch several HSPA phones over the coming months but provides little information as to what these devices are.

Update: Koodo has launched its first HSPA device, the Nokia 3710. This basic flip phone is available for CA$175 or CA$25 if you use your Koodo Tab.

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No delays for Apple iPhone 4 Canadian launch?

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Jun 272010
 

Apple

It appears that Steve Jobs himself has confirmed that there will be no delays for the launch of the Apple iPhone 4 in Canada. An iPhoneInCanada.ca reader reached out to Apple’s CEO and got a terse “Nope” reply to his email.

The enquiry followed Apple’s announcement that over 600,000 iPhone 4s had been pre-ordered on the first day alone.

The Canadian launch of the Apple iPhone 4 is scheduled to take place sometime in the latter part of July. Considering that we don’t know the exact date, it’s somewhat difficult to confirm for real whether a delay is in the cards…

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Apple facing manufacturing challenges with white iPhone 4

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Jun 272010
 

Apple iPhone 4

Earlier this week, Apple released a short statement explaining why the white version of the Apple iPhone 4 was not available yet:

White models of Apple’s new iPhone 4 have proven more challenging to manufacture than expected, and as a result they will not be available until the second half of July. The availability of the more popular iPhone 4 black models is not affected.

Will you wait or will you grab a black iPhone 4 instead?

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DROID 2 to launch with Android 2.2 on August 23rd?

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Jun 272010
 

Verizon Wireless

AndroidAndMe.com is reporting that a “trustworthy source” has tipped them that Verizon will launch the Motorola DROID 2 on August 23rd.

Specs-wise, the DROID 2 could be quite similar to the Verizon DROID X by Motorola except for the additional slide-out QWERTY keyboard. While leaked specifications to date suggest that current test units come with Android 2.1, the final version is expected to come with Android 2.2 right out of the box.

Pricing for the DROID 2 has not been revealed but AndroidAndMe.com expects it to fall around US$199 with a two-year contract.

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More evidence of imminent Chatr Wireless launch?

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Jun 272010
 

Chatr Wireless

It looks like those rumours of Rogers launching a new flanker brand to take on new wireless players such as Mobilicity and WIND Mobile are true. Chatr Wireless now has a web address (although there is nothing there) as well as its own Twitter account.

The Twitter account description promises:

Arriving Summer 2010 in Canada, watch out we will have 3G Coverage across Canada

There is still little information but I’m sure that this will soon change. Stay tuned…

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