Amazon Kindle heading to Staples while Borders cuts eReader prices

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Aug 312010
 

Amazon Kindle

Staples today announced that it will start to carry the Amazon Kindle starting this fall. It will carry all three devices, the Kindle for US$139, the Kindle 3G for US$189, and the Kindle DX for US$379 (the latter in late fall), as well as accessories.

“Staples is not just bringing this incredible product to our 1,550+ US stores, but we are offering customers a chance to discover first-hand Amazon’s revolutionary reading device,” said Jevin Eagle, executive vice president of merchandising and marketing at Staples. “As part of our efforts to offer customers a wide range of top technology products and services at amazing values, the new Kindle is a natural fit.”

Meanwhile, Borders cut prices on some existing eReaders and started taking pre-orders for the upcoming Velocity family of devices. The Aluratek Libre will now sell for US$99 and the Kobo eReader for US$129 (although those prices are not yet reflected on their website yet). Both the Velocity Micro Cruz Reader (US$199) and the Velocity Micro Cruz Tablet (US$299) are now available for preorder as well. The former should start to ship September 30th and the latter on October 15th.

Palm releases beta webOS 2.0 SDK

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Aug 312010
 

Palm

Palm today released a beta version of the webOS 2.0 SDK in anticipation of the release of webOS 2.0 later this year.

Introducing webOS 2.0, the next generation of Palm’s amazing mobile operating system! webOS 2.0 is the biggest webOS update yet, offering great new features for consumers and developers alike.

The beta SDK will give developers a glimpse at new features coming to webOS 2.0. Among these are:

  • Stacks: Groupings of similar cards to reduce clutter and improve navigation between tasks
  • Just Type: An improved version of Universal Search including the new Quick Actions features which let you start an action without launching the respective application
  • Exhibition: Designed specifically for apps while a device is on the Palm Touchstone Charging Dock – Eg, slide shows, stock updates, social media updates, etc
  • Synergy: New Synergy APIs to develop Synergy connectors for Contacts, Calendar, and Messaging (other webOS data types coming later)
  • JavaScript services: Built-in Node.js runtime environment
  • PDK plug-ins: Out of beta in webOS 2.0
  • HTML5 enhancements such as enhanced canvas support and support for web storage

The webOS 2.0 SDK beta is only available members of the Early Access Program.

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Get your Samsung Epic 4G from Sprint today

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Aug 312010
 

As expected, the Samsung Epic 4G is now available from Sprint. With stores opening at 0800 this morning, Sprint is clearly expecting substantial demand for its second 4G smartphone (the HTC EVO 4G being the first).

Sprint is offering the Samsung Epic 4G for US$249.99 after a US$100 mail-in rebate and with a two-year contract.

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New pictures and video of WP7 LG E900

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Aug 312010
 

New pictures and a couple of videos of the upcoming Windows Phone 7-powered LG E900 have been obtained by Polish site Android.com.pl. Perhaps more interesting are the specification details that come with the pictures.

Rumoured LG E900

These latest rumours suggest that the E900 will be powered by a 1.3GHz QSD8650A Snapdragon chipset and Windows Phone 7. It will come a 3.7-inch capacitive touchscreen LCD display, integrated GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a miniUSB port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The chipset will also support 2D acceleration, 3D graphics, and HD video recording and playback.

Android.com.pl also indicates that the LG E900 will sell for the equivalent of between US$300 and US$400 in Poland (no word on North American availability or pricing).

Microsoft is expected to announce Windows Phone 7 in October in Europe and November in the US.

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Canada a telecom backwater according to Orascom chairman

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Aug 312010
 

Canada

The executive chairman of the Egyptian company Orascom Telecom Holding SAE, the company behind WIND Mobile, shared a few thoughts about the Canadian telecom industry with The Globe And Mail yesterday. Naguib Sawiris certainly did not hold back in the interview covering the Canadian telecom industry and foreign ownership rules.

With operations in the Middle East, Southern Europe, South Asia and parts of Africa, including some of the most impoverished parts of the world, Sawiris got thing started by describing Canada as the”true telecom backwater.&quot

He did not mince his words when it came to the big three carriers (Bell, Rogers, TELUS), describing them as “a joke” and “too big, too slow.” Two of them (he does not mention which) apparently tried to buy him out at some point. He also accused them of playing “unfairly” when it comes to roaming and wireless infrastructure-sharing agreements.

Sawiris went on to describe Mobilicity and Public Mobile as “dead on arrival,” suggesting that they will not be able to compete against the incumbents by themselves. He expects that WIND Mobile will acquire one or both when they have grown their subscriber bases:

“Wind should be the consolidator of all the smaller players here. We are going to be open to that. We are not interested in smaller players that are only coming with cash, or the licenses they paid cash for. We want them to succeed and have some subscribers. Because we can’t do the job alone.”

Not surprisingly, Sawiris also does not like Canada’s foreign ownership rules. Last fall, the CRTC ruled that WIND Mobile did not meet Canadian ownership requirements. The decision delayed WIND’s launch until Industry Minister Tony Clement reversed the ruling.

I’m not sure what Sawiris was hoping to accomplish with these comments but he’s certainly got people talking.

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ViewSonic announces Android 2.2 ViewPad 7

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Aug 312010
 

ViewSonic ViewPad 7

Just ahead of the IFA tradeshow, ViewSonic Europe today announced the ViewPad 7 tablet.

“We are proud to announce another world first at Viewsonic. 3G phone functionality combined with dual cameras gives the ability for use of Android apps to use augmented reality or video calling on the move with the benefit of an excellent 7″ screen” says Derek Wright, European Product Marketing Manager. “The ViewPad 7 is aimed at users who require the ‘always on’ connectivity they are used to from a mobile phone with a more agreeable screen size for longer term use.”

ViewPad 7 specifications:

  • Operating system: Google Android 2.2
  • Connectivity: 3G
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Display: 7-inch capacitive LED touchscreen
  • Storage: microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Camera: 3MP rear-facing and VGA front-facing
  • Connectors: USB

According to Engadget, the ViewPad 7 is essentially a rebadged OlivePad with 600MHz ARM processor and a display running at 800 by 480.

The ViewPad 7 is expected to start shipping in October and will sell for “no more than £350" (about US$540).

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Sony Ericsson X10 Android 2.1 upgrades coming in September?

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Aug 302010
 

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10

It appears that Sony Ericsson is about to make good on its promise of delivering the promised Android 2.1 upgrade for its XPERIA X10 lineup of devices by the end of Q3 According to a tweet from Sony Ericsson UK:

@KOR_9S We can only confirm that the upgrade to Android 2.1 is due for release before the end of September this year. We hope this helps.

It remains to be seen if this good news will be limited to UK customers or if the update will be pushed out in other markets (like Canada) at the same time.

All the X10 devices, namely the XPERIA X10 itself, the X10 Mini, and the X10 Mini Pro, are expected to receive the update.

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Bing for Mobile now available for Android but only for Verizon users

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Aug 302010
 

Microsoft today announced its official Bing for Mobile Android App. It is currently available only to Verizon users.

Bing for Mobile comes with the usual Bing image of the day with clickable hotspots (and the ability to swipe through up to 7 days worth of past images). It also comes with an image search feature, voice search, and a mapping feature that lets you find local businesses based on your current location (or get directions to get there).

Bing Mobile for Android

Bing for Mobile is a free download and is available from the Verizon Wireless Android phones’ Marketplace.

There is no word on when Bing for Mobile for Android might be available to Android users on other carriers.

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Public Mobile launches referral credits

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Aug 302010
 

Public Mobile

Public Mobile today announced a new promotion where each person that you refer will earn you a CA$20 credit.

There is no limit to the number of friends you can refer, so the more friends that join, the more you save. Plus, if a friend joins before September 12th, they receive their 1st month free and 50 percent off selected handsets (see http://blog.publicmobile.ca/blog/2010/08/23/50-off-select-phones-your-first-month-free).

The CA$20 credit will appear on your account within six weeks, provided both accounts are in good standing.

The offer runs until September 30th.

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Windows Phone 7 launch to be simultaneous in Canada and US

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Aug 302010
 

Microsoft Windows Phone

In an interview at the Microsoft X’10 event in Toronto, Microsoft Canada Mobility Solutions Manager Greg Milligan confirmed that the Canadian launch of Windows Phone 7 will occur at the same time as that in the US. No specific dates were mentioned but the North American launch is expected to occur in November. Milligan indicated that multiple operators are on board with a number of devices to be offered from manufacturers including LG, HTC and Samsung. Pricing is expected to range from CA$99 to CA$199 with a three-year plan.

Dell and other unnamed manufacturers are expected to have devices available later.

Source: WMPowerUser.com

BlackBerry Pearl 3G and Milestone XT720 headed to WIND Mobile?

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Aug 302010
 

WIND Mobile

An unsubstantiated Howard Forum post suggests that WIND Mobile is getting ready to offer both the BlackBerry Pearl 3G and the Motorola Milestone XT720.

The BlackBerry Pearl 3G could launch within the next few days and will reportedly cost CA$320.

A bit later, WIND Mobile could launch the Motorola Milestone XT720 (aka Motoroi). It would likely be WIND’s highest-end device with specs that include a 550MHz processor, Google Android 2.1, quad-band GSM and dual-band WCDMA, a 3.7-inch FWVGA touchscreen display, 256MB RAM and 512MB ROM, GPS, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, microSD card storage, and an 8MP camera with Xenon flash. There is no word on pricing for the XT720.

Source: IntoMobile.com

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T-Mobile to offer BlackBerry Curve 3G on September 8th

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Aug 302010
 

RIM BlackBerry 9300 Curve 3G

T-Mobile today announced via Facebook and Twitter that it will offer the BlackBerry Curve 3G starting on September 8th.

Hey Blackberry fans – here’s some good news to kick off the week. The BlackBerry Curve 3G is coming to T-Mobile September 8 at an affordable price of $79.99. 3G never looked so good.

Note that the price of US$79.99 will require a two-year contract.

Samsung Tab to compete against upcoming 7-inch iPad?

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Aug 302010
 

A Digitimes report suggests that Samsung chose to go with a 7-inch display rather than a larger 10-inch panel for its upcoming Samsung Tab to avoid direct competition with the Apple iPad (with its 9.7-inch display). Instead, the Samsung Tab will compete against the rumoured 7-inch iPad.

Samsung is expected to unveil the Samsung Tab later this week at the IFA tradeshow.

Does Samsung really hope to get a stranglehold on the 7-inch tablet market? I think Samsung is doing itself a disservice if it does not expect the 7-inch Apple iPad to be as successful as its larger sibling. It won’t be the size of the display that decides this war…

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Intel to buy Infineon Wireless Solutions Business for US$1.4 billion

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Aug 302010
 

Intel

Intel today announced that it will buy Germany’s Infineon’s wireless chipset division. Worth about US$1.4 billion, the deal for Infineon’s Wireless Solutions Business (WLS) will broaden Intel’s portfolio of current Wi-Fi and 4G WiMAX offerings with additional 3G capabilities and support Intel’s plans to “accelerate LTE.”

“The global demand for wireless solutions continues to grow at an extraordinary rate,” said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. “The acquisition of Infineon’s WLS business strengthens the second pillar of our computing strategy – Internet connectivity – and enables us to offer a portfolio of products that covers the full range of wireless options from Wi-Fi and 3G to WiMAX and LTE. As more devices compute and connect to the Internet, we are committed to positioning Intel to take advantage of the growth potential in every computing segment, from laptops to handhelds and beyond.”

Look for Infineon’s technologies to make their way into Intel’s Core processor-based laptops as well as Intel Atom processor-based devices, including smartphones, netbooks, tablets and embedded computers.

Under Intel, WLS will operate as a standalone business and will continue to provide support for ARM-based platforms.

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One million Samsung Galaxy S smartphones sold in US in 45 days

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Aug 292010
 

Samsung Galaxy S Captivate

Samsung today announced that it had shipped one million of its Android 2.1-powered Galaxy S devices in the US. While it does not necessarily mean that a million customers have bought one, it remains an impressive achievement, considering that the first Galaxy S only went on sale on July 15th.

“Bringing Galaxy S devices to multiple carriers has given Samsung Mobile the opportunity to reach millions of consumers,” said Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile. “I am proud of the instant success of the Galaxy S line up and I am very pleased to announce that because of the support of our carrier partners and loyal customers, we have shipped one million Galaxy S devices in the U.S. market. Samsung Mobile looks forward to sharing additional Galaxy S milestones in the future.”

The Samsung Galaxy S smartphone family includes the already available Samsung Captivate at AT&T and Samsung Vibrant at T-Mobile and the forthcoming Samsung Epic 4G at Sprint and Samsung Fascinate at Verizon Wireless. Samsung is also promising that additional Galaxy S devices are headed to U.S. Cellular and Cellular South.