China to overtake United States in smartphone shipments in 2012

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Aug 312012

IDC now expects that China will overtake the United States this year as the largest market for smartphones in the world. It predicts that China will account for 26.5% of all smartphone shipments in 2012, compared to 17.8% for the United States. Demand for cheaper Android smartphones will drive much of the Chinese smartphone demand.

“Looking ahead, the PRC smartphone market will continue to be lifted by the sub-US$200 Android segment,” said Wong Teck-Zhung, senior market analyst, Client Devices, IDC Asia/Pacific. “Near-term prices in the low-end segment will come down to US$100 and below as competition for market share intensifies among smartphone vendors. Carrier-subsidized and customized handsets from domestic vendors will further support the migration to smartphones and boost shipments. Looking ahead to the later years in the forecast, the move to 4G networks will be another growth catalyst.”

IDC also identifies India, Brazil and the United Kingdom as the third through fifth largest smartphone markets by 2016 due to their expected strong growth in the next five years. For example, India could see its global smartphone share rise from 2.5% in 2012 to 8.5% in 2016.

Meanwhile, growth in more mature markets such as the U.S. will not stop but will slow. Growth will be driven by first-time users switching from feature phones to smartphones and current smartphone users upgrading devices.

Read more: IDC

New Windows Phone 8 HTC Accord details and image leak

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Aug 312012

A render for the upcoming HTC Accord, one of three rumoured Windows Phone 8 HTC devices, has been leaked along with a number of details. Aligning relatively well with earlier rumours, the device will be powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8960 SoC and come with an HD display, either 8 or 16GB of onboard storage and a micro SD card slot, an 8MP rear-facing camera and NFC support. Oddly, the image shows the device running Windows Phone 7.

Rumoured HTC Accord

Separately, The Verge has learned that the HTC Accord will also come with Beats Audio. It will come bundled with a special Beats Audio Windows Phone application to manage audio settings. Like other HTC devices sporting Beats Audio, the HTC Accord will feature the Beats Audio logo on the back.

The inclusion of Beats Audio on the HTC Accord and possibly other Windows Phone 8 smartphones, including the Zenith and Rio, will likely be used to differentiate its handsets from those of the competition.

Read more: ‏@Football4PDA [via Twitter] and The Verge

Display shortages delaying iPhone 5 production?

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Aug 312012

AppleSharp has reportedly fallen behind schedule in delivering displays to Apple for its upcoming iPhone 5. Reuters reports that the supplier is struggling with manufacturing difficulties and high costs and is not able to meet production targets. Just how far behind schedule Sharp is is not not clear though.

For its part, Sharp would only confirm that its Kameyama LCD plant which produces the displays in question “is operational.” It did not provide output or shipment level details.

The report adds that Apple could provide “financial incentives” to speed up production. With Apple also using both Japan Display and South Korea’s LG Display Co as suppliers, it could also turn to them to see if they can increase production.

Apple is widely expected to announce the iPhone 5 at an event scheduled for September 12th. It could then hit the street as early as September 21st. Apple could limit what countries see the launch on that day if it is facing supply issues.

Read more: Reuters

Images of Nokia Lumia 820 and 920 with PureView leaked

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Aug 312012

Nokia and Microsoft are holding a Windows Phone 8 event on September 5th where we are likely to find out what new Lumia devices Nokia has come up with. Past rumours have pointed to two or three devices being announced. Now leaked images may have revealed at least two of them, the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820.

Rumoured Nokia Lumia 920 with PureView camera
Rumoured Nokia Lumia 920

Rumoured Nokia Lumia 820
Rumoured Nokia Lumia 820

Both devices are expected to run Windows Phone 8 and the Lumia 920 could well be the first Windows Phone device to sport a PureView camera. The Lumia 920 will also sport a 4.5-inch display while the 820 will sport a slightly smaller 4.3-inch one. Both the Nokia Lumia 820 and 920 will come in a variety of bright colours.

There are few other details about both devices at this point. Hopefully all is revealed next week.

Read more: EVLeaks and EVLeaks [via Twitter] (Source: The Verge)

Video: Samsung overview of the GALAXY Note II

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Aug 302012

Samsung today posted a hands-on video of the GALAXY Note II which it announced yesterday. The nearly 14 minute long overview focuses on the new features that work with the enhanced S Pen. For example, you’ll get a good sense of how Air View, Popup Play, and Screen Recorder work.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will launch in October in major European, Asian, and Middle East markets. It will come to Canada and the U.S. “in the coming months.”

Read more: Samsung [via YouTube]

WIND Mobile launches Motorola RAZR V

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Aug 302012

Motorola RAZR VWIND Mobile is the latest Canadian carrier to launch the Motorola RAZR V. Motorola bills it as the “RAZR for everyone.”

The Motorola RAZR V is an evolution from the original Motorola RAZR. Among the improvements it features is a much better 4.3-inch qHD (540×960) ColourBoost display. It also sports Android 4.0.4 preloaded. It retains the distinctive shape and Kevlar backing of its predecessor.

WIND Mobile is offering the Motorola RAZR V for CA$0 on WINDtab with a CA$40 plan until September 4. It is also available for CA$299 on WINDtab with CA$25 or CA$29 plans and CA$499 outright.

Read more: WIND Mobile

ASUS to launch new smartphones in 2013

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Aug 302012

ASUSASUS has been quiet on the smartphone front (aside from the Padfone and upcoming Padfone 2) for a while but that is set to change in 2013. Company president Jerry Shen yesterday announced plans for ASUS to launch new smartphones in Q2 2013. Both Android and Windows Phone 8 are being considered and it remains to be seen if it will adopt one or both.

Among the new devices it will offer could be a 5-inch model. Shen said that the company is evaluating demand and that such a device currently features in the company’s plans.

ASUS could also release its second generation Padfone in Q4. If past rumours are accurate, it could come with LTE connectivity.

Read more: Digitimes

Is this the new Amazon Kindle Fire?

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Aug 302012

An image obtained by The Verge purportedly shows the second generation Kindle Fire tablet. It reveals little although the image does appear to confirm the presence of a front-facing camera and an updated keyboard interface. The shape is also different from that of the original.

Rumoured Amazon Kindle Fire 2

A second image, which it was asked not to publish, apparently shows a more streamlined user interface with less “chrome.”

The leak comes on the same day that Amazon announced that the Kindle Fire, Amazon’s best-selling product since it launched, is now sold out. Amazon added that in the nine months it was available, the Kindle Fire managed to grab 22% of the U.S. tablet sales.

Amazon has scheduled a press conference for September 6th. It is expected to unveil its new Kindle lineup at that time. It may unveil one or more 7-inch models (one with an improved display) and perhaps a 10.1-inch model.

Read more: The Verge and Amazon

Rumour: Microsoft to launch Windows Phone 8 on October 29th

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Aug 302012

It looks like October will be as busy as September when it comes to announcements. Just days after Microsoft officially launches Windows 8, it will launch Windows Phone 8. Citing a “source of mine privy to Microsoft’s event plans,” ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reports that October 29th will be the official “launch” of Windows Phone 8.

Windows Phone 8

Microsoft will reportedly host a launch event on that day in either in San Francisco or Los Angeles. Devices will become available a week or two later (effectively early November).

Microsoft’s BUILD 2012 conference will take place just days after the announcement. Expect Windows Phone 8 to be a major topic of conversation at the event.

Samsung unveiled its first Windows Phone 8 smartphone, the ATIV S, yesterday. Nokia will introduce its devices on September 5th and HTC looks set to do so in mid- to late September.

Read more: ZDNet

Fido launches LTE network

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Aug 302012

FidoFollowing up on its announcement earlier this summer, Fido, Rogers Communications’ flanker brand, today announced the launch of its LTE network. It currently covers Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and St. John’s, and their surrounding areas. Coverage will be rolled out to more areas in the coming months. Customers can expect maximum theoretical download speeds of up to 100Mbps and typical download speeds ranging from 12Mbps to 25Mbps for most devices.

Fido also announced its first LTE device, the Fido Mobile Hotspot which let you create a Wi-Fi hotspot wherever you are. LTE SIMs will also be available for customers who want to bring their own LTE devices to Fido. Smartphones will follow later this year.

Fido’s flexible data rate plans start at CA$22 for up to 100MB and top out at CA$92 for up to 9GB.

Read more: Fido

IFA 2012: HTC announces HTC Desire X

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Aug 302012

HTC Desire XUnlike some other manufacturers, HTC is keeping relatively quiet at IFA 2012. It today announced a single new smartphone, the HTC Desire X (which we knew before as the HTC Proto). Despite not being part of the HTC One family, it bears a number of characteristics seen in those devices, including a camera supporting HDR capture and the ability to capture stills while shooting video.

“HTC Desire X is an extension of your social life,” said Jason Mackenzie, President, Global Sales and Marketing for HTC Corporation. “If you’re looking to enjoy and share high quality multimedia, wherever you are, this is the phone for you. It not only looks and sounds great, but also provides a super-fast, highly personal mobile experience at a great price.”

HTC Desire X specifications:

  • Processor: 1GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and HTC Sense
  • Cellular connectivity: HSPA / EDGE / GPRS
  • Other connectivity: GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA
  • Display: 4-inch WVGA (800×480) Super LCD
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 768MB
  • Storage: 4GB onboard and microSD cards
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP AF with BSI, LED flash, and WVGA video capture
  • Front-facing camera: None
  • Connectors: 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
  • Battery: Removable 1650 mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 118.5 x 62.3 x 9.3 millimeters / 114 grams
  • Other: Beats Audio

Like some other recent HTC devices, the HTC Desire X will come with Dropbox integrated into HTC Sense and free 25GB of storage for two years.

The HTC Desire X will launch in select EMEA markets and Asia Pacific starting in September 2012. There is no word yet on North American availability.

Read more: HTC

IFA 2012: Android 4.1 coming “very soon” to Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note 10.1

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Aug 292012

SamsungDuring its IFA 2012 UNPACKED event, Samsung briefly touched upon upcoming Android 4.1 upgrades for some of its existing devices. It confirmed that both the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note 10.1 would be upgraded “very soon.” Not mentioned but also present on the background slide that accompanied the announcement was the original Galaxy Note.

Samsung did not provide any specific dates but hopefully its idea of “very soon” is not far from that of its users.

Earlier this week, SamMobile reported that upgrades for both the Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note were under “heavy development.” Maybe the Galaxy Note was not mentioned as its upgrade will be ready later than those of the Galaxy S III and Note 10.1.

Read more: SamMobile

Sony Xperia T coming to Canada this fall

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Aug 292012

Sony Xperia TShortly after Sony Mobile Communications unveiled its new Xperia smartphone lineup consisting of the Xperia T, V, and J, Sony Mobile Canada announced via Facebook that the Xperia T would be coming to Canada this fall.

We will also have a chance to see the new Xperia T in the latest James Bond film Skyfall which opens on November 9th: “The Bond Phone is a stylish gadget keeping 007 wired to Q on his next mission.” Q could be quite busy if all Xperia T’s come with this feature!

There is no word on which Canadian carriers will offer the Xperia T. Rogers would be a good bet if only because it currently offers the Sony Xperia Ion and offered the Xperia S previously.

Read more: Sony Mobile Canada [via Facebook]

IFA 2012: Sony announces Xperia T, V and J smartphones

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Aug 292012

The Sony Xperia Tablet S was not the only device Sony announced today at IFA 2012. It also revamped its Xperia smartphone lineup with the introduction of a number of new smartphones. Sony’s newest flagship device is the Xperia T (along with TX variant). Along with it, Sony announced the Xperia V, essentially a smaller and cheaper version of the Xperia T supporting LTE connectivity, and the Xperia J at the lower end of the spectrum. All three share design elements first introduced with the Xperia arc and Xperia arc S.

Sony Xperia TSony Xperia T (LT30p) specifications

  • Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8260A
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Cellular connectivity: HSPA+ / EDGE / GPRS
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS, 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz) Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 3.1, DLNA, NFC
  • Display: 4.55-inch HD (1280×720) Reality Display
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB
  • Storage: 16GB and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 13MP with 1080p video capture
  • Front-facing camera: with 720p video capture
  • Battery: 1,850mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 129.4 x 67.3 x 9.35 millimeters / 139 grams
  • Colours: Black, Silver and White

Continue reading »

Motorola and Intel to hold September 18th event

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Aug 292012

Motorola today announced a joint event with Intel to take place on September 18th. As is often the case, the invitation and its tag line “Let us take you to the edge” shed little light on what could be announced.

Back at CES, the two companies announced a new partnership focused on Intel-powered smartphones and tablets. At the time, Motorola indicated that it would launch its first Intel Medfield-powered Android phone in the second half of the year. Are they about to make good on that promise?

Motorola-Intel September 18th event

The “#motoedge” hashtag suggests that the device could be called the Motorola EDGE.

A rendering leaked back in February may be a clue as to what we can expect at the event.

Read more: PhoneArena