Apple loses another iPhone prototype in a bar?

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Aug 312011
 

AppleRemember the saga of the iPhone 4 prototype lost in a bar which turned up at Gizmodo. History may be about to repeat itself. According to CNET, an Apple employee may have lost another iPhone prototype in a bar.

A day or two after the loss, Apple representatives contacted both San Francisco’s Cava 22 where it was lost and the San Francisco Police, describing the device as “priceless” and looking to have it returned. Unlike last year’s iPhone 4 story though, the lost iPhone prototype has yet to surface although CNET suggests that it may have been sold on Craigslist for US$200.

Apple already goes to great lengths to prevent leaks but it may have to now require employees carrying prototypes stop frequenting establishments where liquor is served.

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A closer look at the Sony Tablet S

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Aug 312011
 

I was fortunate enough today to have an early look at the Sony Tablet S announced today. This is Sony’s first Android tablet and Gadgetorama’s first YouTube product sneak peek (we start slow but it gets better):

One feature I did not capture but saw is for users to “throw” pictures and video to a DLNA compatible television. Rather than a gesture (which might lead to a few broken tablets and TVs), the throw is a button press that allows the user to push an image from the tablet to a nearby TV. The same feature can be used to share music wirelessly.

Among the accessories that will be offered with the Sony Tablet S are the Sony Tablet S Cradle (CA$39.99) and the Sony Tablet S Bluetooth ‘Android keyboard’ which as dedicated Android keys (CA$79.99).

The Sony Tablet S is now available for pre-order (Sony Store Canada / Sony Store US) and will go on sale in September. The 16GB version will sell for $500 and the 32GB one for $600 in both Canada and the US. Aside from Sony, it will be available from Best Buy, Future Shop, and London Drugs.

Sony Ericsson Canada releases Xperia X10 Android 2.3 upgrade

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Aug 312011
 

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10A day after promising it would release it next week, Sony Ericsson Canada today announced via Facebook and Twitter that the Android 2.3 upgrade for the Xperia X10 is now available:

Great news – The #Android 2.3 upgrade for the #Xperia #X10 is ready to go. Update now via PC Companion.

As the tweet indicates, you will need the Sony Ericsson PC Companion 2.0 software to do the upgrade.

Sony announces Sony Tablet S

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Aug 312011
 

Sony Tablet SSony today unveiled the Sony Tablet S, its first Android tablet. It introduces a number of rather unique features that should help it distinguish itself in an increasingly crowded Android tablet market.

One such feature is the asymmetric design meant to allow it to be held or carried in portrait or landscape mode for long periods of time. The screen also slopes when placed on a flat surface to enhance visibility and make typing more comfortable. Another is the support for Sony’s network entertainment services which include Video Unlimited (as a partial service initially with the full service following in October), PlayStation certification with support for classic PSone and PSP games, the Reader Store by Sony, Personal Space, a free service that lets users share pictures and videos captured on the Sony Tablet S (as well as access albums created on other devices), and cross-device functionality that lets users “throw” pictures and video to DLNA compatible televisions and music to compatible speakers and act as a remote control for other home entertainment devices.

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US government sues to block AT&T-T-Mobile USA merger

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Aug 312011
 

AT&T WirelessThe US government has filed a lawsuit to block the US$39 billion merger of AT&T with T-Mobile USA. According to the filing, the deal would violate US antitrust law and would “substantially lessen competition” in the US wireless market.

Should the merger be blocked, AT&T would have to give Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile USA’s parent company, a break-up fee worth between US$6 and US$7 billion.

Should the merger go ahead, it would make AT&T the largest US carrier ahead of current leader Verizon and much smaller competitor Sprint. The latter has already asked the FCC to block the acquisition. The FCC itself is still studying the proposed merger details.

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Aug 312011
 

HTC JetstreamAT&T today announced its first 4G LTE/HSPA+ tablet, the HTC Jetstream (codenamed Puccini during development).

“HTC Jetstream combines the acclaimed HTC Sense experience with Android Honeycomb to provide an innovative and engaging experience on a 10.1 inch tablet,” said Martin Fichter, acting president, HTC Americas Region. “Paired with AT&T’s upcoming 4G LTE speed and mobility, HTC Jetstream delivers connectivity for social and entertainment needs alongside productivity and creativity tools in a portable package.”

The HTC Jetstream is also HTC’s first tablet to feature the tablet version of HTC Sense.

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Amazon quad-core ‘Hollywood’ Android tablet to ship in Q2 2012?

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Aug 312011
 

AmazonAmazon had been hoping to have its 10.1-inch Kal-El-powered Android tablet (codenamed Hollywood) out by the end of the year but that now appears unlikely. Citing “sources from upstream component suppliers,” Digitimes is indicating that Foxconn Electronics will not start production until Q1 2012.

If this is the case, Amazon may not be able to offer the tablet until late Q1 or Q2 2012 at which time it may find itself competing against a new iPad.

Amazon’s smaller 7-inch tablet (codenamed Coyote), manufactured by Quanta Computer, appears to be on track to begin shipping in October.

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Fix for Google Nexus S Voice Search bug coming this week

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Aug 312011
 

Google Nexus SAn issue plaguing some Google Nexus S owners may soon be put to rest. The bug sees Google Voice activate at random and often lock out controls. Google promised a fix “soon” back in early June but it has yet to materialize.

There may finally be some good news though. On a forum discussion thread tracking the issue, Paul, a Google employee, has indicated that the fix could be pushed out this week:

Update to my post on August 19: We plan to release an over-the-air update this week which includes a fix for this bug. I’ll post again once the OTA starts.

As I write this, I have not seen the OTA update materialize yet and there are no further post updates giving more specific release details.

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Samsung announces Galaxy S II lineup for US

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Aug 302011
 

Samsung has finally revealed its Galaxy S II lineup for the US. As expected, its flagship device will be available with AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile this fall.

“The unveiling of the Galaxy S II is a landmark achievement for Samsung, our carrier customers and consumers,” said Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile. “Five million Galaxy S II smartphones have been sold around the world and that number increases every day. We believe the cutting-edge design, features and user experience of this innovative device will share the same level of success in the U.S.”

Samsung Galaxy S II lineup for US

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Latest Windows Phone 7 Samsung smartphone to sport 1.4Ghz processor and NFC?

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Aug 302011
 

Samsung will be among the manufacturers to offer Windows Phone 7.5 smartphones in the imminent future. One of these could sport a 1.4Ghz processor and NFC capabilities according to a tweet from a “good source” (according to PocketNow).

PocketNow adds that this could be the Samsung Omnia W, perhaps the successor to the Samsung Focus, one of the original Windows Phone devices.

Other rumoured specifications of the Samsung Omnia W include a 3.7-inch display, 512MB RAM, and a 5MP camera. While the hardware is nothing spectacular, it may help keep the price down and translate into more sales.

Source: PocketNow

Samsung announces Bada 2.0-powered Wave 3, Wave M and Wave Y

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Aug 302011
 

Samsung today announced the launch of three new smartphones to be powered by the latest version of Samsung’s Bada mobile operating system. The Wave 3, Wave M and Wave Y will all use Bada 2.0 which adds a number of new features including multitasking, Wi-Fi Direct, voice recognition and Near Field Communication. They will also come with ChatON, Samsung’s new mobile communication service.

Samsung Wave 3Samsung Wave 3 specifications:

  • Operating system: Bada 2.0
  • Cellular connectivity: HSDPA 14.4 / HSUPA 5.76
  • Other connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 3.0
  • Display: 4-inch WVGA Super AMOLED
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP with LED flash
  • Front-facing camera: VGA
  • Battery: 1500mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 125.9 x 64.2 x 9.9 millimeters / 122 grams

Samsung Wave MSamsung Wave M specifications:

  • Operating system: Bada 2.0
  • Cellular connectivity: HSDPA 7.2
  • Other connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 3.0
  • Display: 3.65-inch HVGA LCD
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP with LED flash
  • Front-facing camera: VGA
  • Battery: 1350mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 113.8 x 63.3 x 12.2 millimeters / 121 grams

Samsung Wave YSamsung Wave Y specifications:

  • Operating system: Bada 2.0
  • Cellular connectivity: HSDPA 7.2
  • Other connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 3.0
  • Display: 3.2-inch WVGA Super LCD
  • Rear-facing camera: 2MP with LED flash and fixed focus
  • Front-facing camera: None
  • Battery: 1200mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 110 x 58.2 x 12.3 millimeters / 102.4 grams

Samsung’s new wave smartphones will be on display at Samsung’s stand at IFA 2011 in Berlin.

There is no word yet on availability and pricing.

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HP announces one last HP TouchPad production run

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Aug 302011
 

HP TouchPadIt seems that its demise and subsequent price drop have been the best thing for the HP TouchPad. HP today announced that it will produce one more run of its webOS tablet to try to meet demand.

Despite announcing an end to manufacturing webOS hardware, we have decided to produce one last run of TouchPads to meet unfulfilled demand. We don’t know exactly when these units will be available or how many we’ll get, and we can’t promise we’ll have enough for everyone. We do know that it will be at least a few weeks before you can purchase

It remains to be seen if countries other than the US will see some of these last TouchPads but HP has promised to provide “updates on regional availability as the information comes in.”

It does look like people will have one more shot at a piece of history in the next few weeks…

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Sony Ericsson Canada provides update on Xperia X10 Android 2.3 upgrade status

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Aug 302011
 

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10Sony Ericsson Canada today provided a more optimistic update as to when it expects to release the Xperia X10 Android 2.3 upgrade. Its latest Facebook post indicates that it could be launched as early as next week:

Hey Canadian Xperia X10 users, here’s the latest on the X10 2.3 upgrade. Our team has been working extremely hard to get the issues resolved by next week. We apologize for the inconvenience. Thanks for your patience

Sony Ericsson first announced plans to offer an Android 2.3 upgrade in March, reversing an earlier decision not to offer upgrades beyond Android 2.1.

Keep those fingers crossed!

Source: Sony Ericsson Canada’s Facebook page

Rogers to launch LTE in Toronto on September 28th with Samsung Galaxy S II LTE

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Aug 302011
 

Rogers CommunicationsRogers Wireless today announced that it will launch its LTE network in Toronto on September 28th. Toronto follows Ottawa which went live on July 7th.

“Ottawa residents are already enjoying the benefits of Canada’s fastest network technology – now Torontonians can begin the countdown to LTE and a whole new wireless experience,” said John Boynton, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “LTE is the latest example of how Rogers continues to bring the world’s best and newest innovations to Canadians first.”

Aside from the already available Rogers LTE Rocket Stick (Sierra Wireless AirCard 313U), Rogers will also have a few new LTE devices available this fall. Confirmed now are the just announced Samsung Galaxy S II LTE smartphone and the LTE Rocket mobile hotspot (Sierra Wireless AirCard 754S). An LTE tablet from ” a leading manufacturer” (perhaps the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE?) and an HTC smartphone are also on tap.

Price plans for the smartphones and tablets have not been disclosed yet. Pricing for the LTE Rocket Stick and LTE Rocket mobile hotspot will presumably be the same as was announced for the Ottawa launch.

Expansion to Montreal and Vancouver is expected to happen this fall.

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HP to resurrect TouchPad tablet if computer business spun off?

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Aug 302011
 

Hewlett-PackardWith HP currently looking at what to do with its PC division, one option is that it could spin off the division to become a completely separate company. Todd Bradley, Executive Vice President, Personal Systems Group, has indicated that such a spin-off is the likeliest option at this time, calling it the “best value” for HP shareholders.

One interesting tidbit revealed in the Reuters interview is that the new company could bring back the TouchPad tablet (albeit likely re-engineered) which HP recently discontinued. “Tablet computing is a segment of the market that’s relevant, absolutely,” Bradley said.

Few details about such plans are revealed and there are many questions. Would the new company even use webOS for its tablet? If so, would it take it as part of the spinoff or license it from HP?

Bradley also added that he expects to become the CEO of the spun-off company, assuming that this turns out to be the avenue HP goes with.

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