New details leak about upcoming Nokia Lumia 900 / Ace

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Jan 032012
 

NokiaJust days after it surfaced on a Microsoft partner greeting card, new details have leaked about the upcoming Nokia Lumia 900 (also known as the Nokia Ace for AT&T). Codenamed Eloko during development, the Lumia 900 will be Nokia’s new flagship device and will be available globally.

Here are the latest rumoured Lumia 900 specifications:

  • Processor: 1.4GHz single-core
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango)
  • Cellular connectivity: HSPA+/LTE
  • Display: 4.3-inch WVGA ClearBlack AMOLED
  • Memory: 512MB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP
  • Front-facing camera: Yes
  • Battery: 1,830mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 12 millimeters thick / 160 grams

It now appears that the Lumia 900 will not ship with the upcoming Tango version of Windows Phone 7.5 but with an updated version of Mango supporting LTE. Support for the 1700MHz band will also be supported, giving hope to those who would like to see it on T-Mobile’s network.

PocketNow adds that Nokia could also unveil a new mid-range Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia 719. No details are given on this device.

The Nokia Ace is rumoured to launch at AT&T in mid-March. It is set to be joined by the HTC Radiant and Samsung Mandel Windows Phone devices.

Read more: PocketNow

Sony Ericsson promises “interesting news” next week

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Jan 032012
 

The Consumer Electronics Show takes place next week and the buildup has begun. Sony Ericsson are promising some “interesting news” next week but give no hints except for the picture below:

Sony Ericsson CES 2012 teaser

It’s likely that Sony Ericsson will unveil at least one new Xperia device. Could it be the Xperia Nozomi or the Xperia Ion? Both? Something else entirely? Sony Ericsson has a keynote planned for CES 2012 on January 9th. All could be revealed then.

Read more: Facebook

Rumour: RIM co-chairmen about to be replaced

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Jan 032012
 

Research In MotionThe Research In Motion saga is off with a bang in 2012 with a report that Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie could be relieved of their titles as co-chairmen of the board (but would remain as co-CEOs). Citing anonymous sources, the Financial Post is reporting that a committee of seven independent directors of RIM’s board are currently looking at the company’s governance. They are expected to complete a report by January 31st is expected to offer a number of options. The full board which includes Lazaridis and Balsillie would then have 30 days to respond to the recommendations.

The report adds that one option being considered would see RIM’s board having an independent chair rather than a lead director. Barbara Stymiest, an independent director on the board since 2007, is believed to be the front-runner to take on this role.

RIM agreed to review its governance structure this past summer in response to pressure from shareholders. With RIM’s fortunes not improving since then, pressure is mounting for the company to make changes to help it turn things around.

Read more: Financial Post

Samsung announces Galaxy Ace Plus

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Jan 032012
 

Samsung Galaxy Ace PlusSamsung’s 2012 race to grow mobile handset shipments by 15% in 2012 is off today with the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus. Like the original Samsung Ace, it will be aimed as an entry- to mid-level device. Specifications have been updated and the design is more rounded.

Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus specifications:

  • Processor: 1GHz single-core
  • Operating system: Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) with TouchWiz
  • Cellular connectivity: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dual-band HSDPA (7.2Mbps)
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0
  • Display: 3.65-inch HVGA (320×480)
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 512MB RAM
  • Storage: 3GB onboard and microSD cards (up to 32GB)
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP AF with LED flash and WVGA video capture
  • Front-facing camera: None
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack
  • Battery: 1,300mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 114.7 x 62.5 x 11.2 millimeters / 115 grams

While the larger display will be welcome, the fact that it runs at the same resolution as its predecessor will mean a lower pixel density.

Availability and pricing details were not revealed.

Read more: Samsung

Next Apple iPad to use IGZO display?

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Jan 022012
 

AppleThe IPS (in-plane switching) displays used in the current iPhone 4S and iPad 2 could make way for a different type of panel in Apple’s upcoming mobile devices. Citing “sources in Apple’s supply chain,” Digitimes is reporting that Apple will use IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) panels possibly starting with the next-generation iPad.

The IGZO panels are to be provided by Sharp. In preparation for what could be a substantial order, it has reportedly begun switching some of its production capacity for large-size panels to smaller-sized panels suitable for smartphones and tablets.

IGZO panels could allow Apple to offer displays with a resolution of up to 330 dots-per-inch. Given the rumours that the next iPad will feature a higher resolution display, it’s not unlikely that Apple is at least considering this technology. Add to that the fact that IGZO panels would not require dual-bar LED backlighting and offer better power management and the argument gets even more compelling. The catch: IGZO panels apparently have lower yield rates than IPS ones. Perhaps Sharp has solved this.

Read more: Digitimes

Manga turns Android manufacturers into schoolgirls

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Jan 022012
 

Manga is well known for its wide variety of genres and stories but here’s one I did not expect. Mobile device manufacturers who build Android devices have been transformed into Japanese schoolgirls attending Sweet Android High. The cast of characters includes:

  • Moto-Laura-chan (Motorola)
  • Sam-Sung-chan (Samsung)
  • H-T-Syee-chan (HTC)
  • Elle-G-chan (LG)
  • Soni-Eri-chan (Sony Ericsson)
  • The teacher, Mr. Google
Android manufacturers go Manga

Sweet Android High

The strip even makes reference to Google’s Motorola acquisition. Mr. Google is maried to Moto-Laura-chan but has a “policy not to give precedence to her.”

And would it really be an accurate reflection of real life without Apple being there? Enter Apple-kun, a boy who is not too happy with Sam-Sung-chan.

Read more: Asiajin

Source: The Next Web

Apple planning media-related event later this month? (Updated)

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Jan 022012
 

Citing “sources close to the situation,” AllThingsD has learned that Apple is planning a media event for later this month in New York City. It is quick to add that it is unlikely that this event is unlikely to be the announcement of the next iPad or even Apple’s oft-rumoured television. Described as “important — but not large-scale,” it is more likely to be “some kind of advertising or even publishing announcement.”

The report adds that Eddie Cue, Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services is involved, suggesting that the event could be an advertising or publishing announcement. Cue’s responsibilities include the iTunes Store, App Store, iBookstore, Apple’s iAd division, and the iCloud services group so an announcement could cover any of these.

Update: TechCrunch has learned that Apple’s event will focus on publishing and its iBooks platform. Its own independent source describes the event as not being “major.”

Read more: All Things D

Jan 022012
 

Windows PhoneIt is not often that an unlocking tool is supported by the company that makes the operating system. Chevron Labs was given this honour when it released its ChevronWP7 utility back in November. For US$9, developers could “developer unlock” their Windows Phone 7 devices without incurring Microsoft’s ire. But it’s not quite as simple: ChevronWP7 got the unlocking tokens from Microsoft and it has now sold out of the 10,000 it had.

The ChevronWP7 team is currently deciding whether it would like to resume sales after securing more tokens from Microsoft or stop offering the service. It’s not the tool itself that is the issue but the overhead support the team has to put in to offer it. For example, there are device-specific support issues as well and more general ones such as PayPal customer disputes. According to Chevron Labs’ Rafael Rivera:

“We started off small to make sure everything was working properly. Then we met certain milestones that opened up the availability of more tokens over time. So we have actually sold-out of tokens before. This isn’t new.”

No final decision has been taken yet so you may still be able to unlock your device using ChevronWP7 in the near future.

Read more: WinSuperSite

Is the love affair with SMS over?

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Jan 022012
 

Could the love affair that people have with SMS be coming to an end? Tero Kuittinen, a senior analyst at M.G.I. Research, found that text-messaging declined in a number of markets during the Christmas period when compared to last year. Depending on the market, Christmas and New Year’s Eve are typically the busiest days for text messages.

In Finland, at least two carriers saw SMS volumes decline this year. Sonera customers sent 8.5 million text messages during Christmas Eve 2011. This was down from 10.9 million a year before. DNA, a “more youth-oriented operator,” saw a drop from 5.9 million text messages a year ago to 5.6 million this year. In Hong Kong, Christmas Eve text message volume dropped 14%.

Kuittinen suggests that text-messaging could be losing out in favour of newer instant communication tools such as Facebook, Twitter and platform-specific tools such as BBM and iMessage. The trend is first emerging in the markets where SMS first took off in the mid-90s. In markets where it caught on a bit later, such as the U.S. and Canada, Kuittinen expects that similar declines will not hit carriers until later this year or next year.

Are you using SMS less now in favour of tools such as Twitter?

Read more: Forbes

Acer and Lenovo Wintel tablets coming in Q3 2012?

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Jan 022012
 

The tablet market is set to get even more crowded in 2012 with the expected launch of Windows 8 tablets. Citing “sources from the upstream supply chain,” Digitimes claims that both Acer and Lenovo will launch tablets powered by Intel’s Clover Trail platform and Windows 8 in the third quarter of 2012.

While Intel will likely show off Medfield-based smartphones and tablets at next week’s CES, the report suggests that manufacturers could wait for the Clover Trail platform as it promises better performance and more efficient power consumption.

The report also suggests that Wintel-based tablets may do better in the enterprise market where Microsoft is firmly entrenched. The consumer space could remain (at least in 2012) primarily a battleground between dominant Apple iPad and the multitude of Android tablets.

Both Acer and Lenovo (and likely others) are expected in the meantime to unveil new quad-core Android tablets in Q1 2012 (possibly as early as CES 2012).

Read more: Digitimes

Sony cuts Tablet S price by $100

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Jan 022012
 

Sony Tablet SIf you have been eyeing the Sony Tablet S (which will be upgraded to Android 4.0) and it did not show up under the Christmas tree, a price drop in both Canada and the US may be the news you were waiting for to take the plunge. The 16GB version is now available for $399.99 (down from $499.99) and the 32GB one for $499.99 (down from $599.99).

The Sony Store is also offering five free PlayStation games (Hot Shots Golf 2, Jet Moto, Destruction Derby, MediEvil, and Cool Boarders) with each purchase.

Sony is but the latest tablet manufacturer to cut prices but its moves are certainly not as dramatic as what HP did with the HP TouchPad or RIM with the PlayBook.

When Sony Canada first unveiled the Tablet S, it gave Gadgetorama a short demo. Check it out to see it in action.

Read more: Sony Store Canada and Sony Store U.S.

Infographic: Mr. Android in 2011

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Jan 012012
 

Google’s Android mobile operating system had a banner year in 2011. But who are all these people who chose this operating system for their mobile devices? BlueStacks, the company behind an app that lets you run Android apps fullscreen on a PC or Windows tablet, built a profile together based on some of its over 145,000 Facebook fans. Data was collected between December 12th and 19th. “Mr. Android” paints an interesting if “unscientific” picture:

Profile of 'Mr. Android' 2011

Infographic - Mr. Android 2011

A few interesting stats pop up:

  • 30% have freckles.
  • 9% of those who own an Android tablet do not an Android phone.
  • 62% wear jeans and 71% wear t-shirts.
  • The average monthly data usage was 582MB.

How do you measure up against Mr. Android?

What about “Ms. Android?” BlueStacks plans to release her infographic in 2012.

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