Jerome Skalnik

Jerome is Gadgetorama's founder and Editor. His interest in mobile devices goes back to the Compaq PC Companion C120 and there has not been a time since that he has not had a mobile device (or more) on him.

MWC 2013: LG press conference set for February 25th

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Feb 082013
 

Following the teaser Facebook image and MWC 2013 trailer, LG has once again taken to Facebook again to promise that “a world of difference” was coming to MWC 2013 at the end of the month:

LG Facebook teaser

Not happy with just teasing its customers, LG today also sent out invitations for its MWC 2013 press conference. And it comes with a teaser of its own:

LG MWC 2013 press conference invitation

What does that large 4 in the upper left mean? Speculation suggests that LG could unveil four new devices during its event. Given that it has promised to unveil a new line of smartphone, could one or more of these belong to the F-Series it hinted at in its last financial results announcement?

As for what the tagline “See the difference” could refer to, your guess is as good as mine.

MWC 2013 is shaping up to be action-packed!

HTC M7 to launch as HTC One?

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Feb 082013
 

The usually reliable @evleaks today tweeted that the HTC M7, likely to be HTC’s next flagship device, will launch as the HTC One.

The HTC One is expected to be announced on February 19th at a dedicated HTC event. It could launch with at least three major U.S. carriers: AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.

The HTC One could also launch with a new type of camera with three 4.3MP sensor layers to deliver images built from “ultrapixels.”

Read more: @evleaks [via Twitter]

Apple iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 spotted at supplier?

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Feb 082013
 
Apple

The rumoured Apple iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 are the topic of rumour again. According to a post on the Chinese Sina Weibo microblogging site, both devices were apparently spotted at an Apple supplier in China. Pictures were not allowed for fear that they would later be leaked (fancy that!).

According to the person who saw both devices, the iPhone 5S is described as very similar to the iPhone 5 while the iPhone 6 is wider, longer and thinner. The Google translation is not very clear but appears to suggest that the iPhone 6 could sport a 5-inch display. Past rumours have indicated that Apple was working on a new iPhone with a larger display. Could the iPhone 6 be none other than the mysterious “iPhone Math” with its 4.8-inch display?

The report adds that both devices should launch this year but gives no specific details. Earlier rumours have suggested that the iPhone 5S may come out in the March-July timeframe with a second model to follow later in the year. Apple could also release a third model but was not mentioned in this latest rumour.

Read more: CNET

HTC teaser: What is coming “alive soon?”

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Feb 082013
 

There are teasers and then there are teasers. The best ones get you talking and HTC has succeeded with its latest one. Rather than trying to describe what HTC Germany sent out, I’ll let the image below do the speaking:

TC "Alive Soon" teaser

The caption “Alive soon” could be reference to HTC’s upcoming February 19th event where it is expected to unveil its latest flagship, the HTC M7. Then again, with no date on the teaser, it could be for something completely different as well. As for the significance of a heart fused to a circuit board to the world of gadgets, your guess is as good as mine.

Any thoughts?

Read more: Bestboyz.de (in German) [Google translation] (Source: AndroidCentral)

Sony Xperia T and Xperia V Android 4.1.2 upgrades begin rolling out

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Feb 072013
 
Sony

Sony Mobile today announced that it has begun to roll out its Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean upgrades for the Sony Xperia T and the Sony Xperia V. Both will also include improved Sony features. “We’ve been working to blend our Sony Xperia software with Google’s Jelly Bean release to create optimum user experiences.”

Aside from the OS upgrade itself, software versions 9.1.A.0.489 and 9.1.A.0.490 for the Xperia T and Xperia V respectively also include updated, more intuitive versions of Sony Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies. There is also a new search function within the application tray to find local apps.

As is so often the case, the update comes with a caveat: “Availability and rollout timing will vary by market and customer variants.” In Canada, the Sony Xperia T is carried by Rogers which expects the update to roll out in “mid-February.”

Sony Mobile also confirmed that the Xperia TX upgrade will follow next month. If the schedule last communicated remains unchanged, the Xperia P, Xperia J and Xperia go will then follow starting in late March. The Xperia S, Xperia SL, Xperia ion and Xperia acro S will then follow in “the subsequent weeks.”

Read more: Sony Mobile

Full specifications of ASUS Fonepad revealed?

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Feb 072013
 

More details are now surfacing about the ASUS Fonepad, a 7-inch tablet that could come with voice and data connectivity. First, there an image of the back of the device showing an aluminium casing and an Intel logo that confirms which company is supplying the processor:

Rumoured ASUS Fonepad

A number of specification details have also been revealed. These align well with previous details.

Rumoured ASUS Fonepad specifications:

  • Model: ME371MG
  • Processor: 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2420 with PowerVR SGX540 GPU
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Display: 7-inch WXGA (1280×800) IPS
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 8/16/32GB onboard and microSD cards
  • Rear-facing camera: 3MP
  • Front-facing camera: 1.2
  • Battery: 4,270mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 196.6 × 120.1 × 10.4 millimeters / 340 grams

ASUS may unveil the Fonepad as early as MWC 2013 with availability to follow in the second quarter.

Read more: Tablet.bg (in Bulgarian) [Google translation] (Source: UnwiredView)

Next-generation Google Nexus 7 to use Qualcomm S4 Pro processor?

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Feb 072013
 
Google Nexus

More changes appear to be in store for the next-generation Google Nexus 7 than had been originally reported. You can now add a change of processor to earlier rumours that it will gain a Full HD (1920×1080) display and thinner bezels. According to Pacific Crest analyst Michael McConnell, Google and ASUS will drop the NVDIA Tegra 3 processor in favour of a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro AQP8064 SoC for the upcoming tablet.

The report provides two reasons for the potential change:

“Supply chain conversations indicate two reasons for Google’s selection of the Snapdragon APQ8064 over Tegra 4: (1) competitive pricing and (2) a decision to single-source the application processor and 3G/4G modem to simplify logistics and create a fully pin-compatible platform interface.”

Google is expected to unveil its latest Nexus 7 tablet at Google I/O 2013 in May. Shipments would follow sometime in the second quarter (likely in the late May to early June time frame). Pacific Crest estimates that Google could ship up to 10 million next-generation Nexus 7 tablets between its launch and Q1 2014.

Google already uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro for its Google Nexus 4 smartphone manufactured by LG.

Read more: Barron’s (Source: UnwiredView)

Samsung ATIV S now available at SaskTel

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Feb 072013
 

Samsung ATIV SSaskTel today launched its first Windows Phone 8 device, the Samsung ATIV S. With LTE connectivity, it is one more option for customers getting ready to jump on the carrier’s just launched LTE network.

The Samsung ATIV S is a new smartphone for both work and entertainment, offering a premium Windows Phone 8 experience.

The thinnest Windows Phone 8 device to date, this powerful smartphone comes loaded with Microsoft Office applications, powerful communication tools, and SkyDrive (with free cloud storage). The Samsung ATIV S has everything you want in a smartphone, making it perfect for both work and entertainment.

SaskTel is offering the Samsung ATIV S for CA$129.99 with a three-year contract, CA$499.99 with a two-year contract, CA$549.99 with a one-year contract or CA$599.99 outright.

Read more: SaskTel

Rumour: ASUS to launch 7-inch Fonepad at MWC 2013

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Feb 072013
 
ASUS

It appears that ASUS can’t get enough of the 7-inch tablet form factor. Aside from manufacturing Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, it offers its own entry-level ASUS MeMO Pad. Digitimes is reporting that it could unveil a third model, called the Fonepad (not to be confused with the Padfone which is also the topic of recent rumours), at MWC 2013.

Unlike most other 7-inch tablets, the ASUS Fonepad would support 3G connectivity (voice and data), GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Other specifications include an Intel Atom Z242 processor,a 7-inch WXGA (1280×800) IPS display, 1GB RAM and 16GB of onboard storage, and a 3MP camera. Most intriguing is the suggestion that it will have voice capabilities. Perhaps it will come with a Bluetooth headset as holding up a tablet to your head is nothing if not cumbersome.

The ASUS Fonepad will reportedly be priced in the US$300 range. ASUS would presumably focus on its voice capabilities to distinguish it from similarly-priced tablets (including the 3G version of the Google Nexus 7) but its lower processor and display specs may work against it.

We should know more at MWC 2013 should the ASUS Fonepad turn out to be real.

Read more: Digitimes

Video: LG Mobile MWC 2013 trailer

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Feb 062013
 

LG Mobile already teased us once today with hints of an upcoming announcement. They have followed that up now with their LG @ MWC 2013 Trailer Video and ask us if we are “ready for the next breakthrough from LG?” That’s a rhetorical question, right?

LG promises that “breakthrough will be made at MWC 2013.” No details are revealed but whatever it is promises to be premium, speedy, stylish, and creative.

Any thoughts as to what LG will unveil? Wider distribution for the LG Optimus G Pro or the mysterious LG GK with its 5.5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) display and a quad-core processor? Or a refresh of its budget-conscious L family of smartphones? Plenty of possibilities…

Read more: LG Mobile [via YouTube]

BlackBerry Z10 launch described as “best day ever” for BlackBerry

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Feb 062013
 

BlackBerry Z10BlackBerry appears to be quite pleased with yesterday’s BlackBerry Z10 launch. In short statement issued today, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins called yesterday the “best day ever” for the launch of a BlackBerry smartphone in Canada. Here is the full statement:

“In Canada, yesterday was the best day ever for the first day of a launch of a new BlackBerry smartphone. In fact, it was more than 50% better than any other launch day in our history in Canada,” said Thorsten Heins, President & CEO of BlackBerry. “In the UK, we have seen close to three times our best performance ever for the first week of sales for a BlackBerry smartphone.”

The statement does not make specific mention of any sales figures.

For its part, Rogers added that it “sold more BlackBerry smartphones on February 5th 2013 than any other day in Rogers history” and activated “activated thousands of BlackBerry Z10 smartphones yesterday.”

It appears that BlackBerry’s BlackBerry 10 launch is off to an auspicious start.

TELUS now taking BlackBerry Q10 pre-registrations

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Feb 062013
 

BlackBerry Q10One of BlackBerry’s first two BlackBerry 10 smartphones is now available in Canada. The BlackBerry Z10 went on sale yesterday with a number of carriers (and a few more to come as well). The second, the BlackBerry Q10, is set to launch in the April or May time frame.

Much as it did with the Z10, TELUS today began to take pre-registration for the BlackBerry Q10. Essentially people are signing up to receive TELUS updates about upcoming phones (not just the Q10) and other news if they so wish.

While we now have a general idea of when the BlackBerry Q10 will launch, there is no word yet on how much it will sell for.

On the pricing side, TELUS has already dropped the price of the BlackBerry Z10 to align with competitor pricing. It is now available for CA$139 with a three-year contract.

Read more: TELUS

Apple iTunes Store sells 25 billionth song

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Feb 062013
 
Apple

Apple today announced that it has now sold over 25 billion songs through its iTunes Store.

“We are grateful to our users whose passion for music over the past 10 years has made iTunes the number one music retailer in the world,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “Averaging over 15,000 songs downloaded per minute, the iTunes Store connects music fans with their favorite artists, including global sensations like Adele and Coldplay and new artists like The Lumineers, on a scale we never imagined possible.”

The 25 billionth song, “Monkey Drums” (Goksel Vancin Remix) by Chase Buch, was purchased by Phillip Lüpke from Germany. Apple gave him a €10,000 iTunes gift card to celebrate the event.

The iTunes Store has a catalog of over 26 million songs. It is now available in 119 countries

Read more: Apple

LG Mobile teases upcoming new smartphone series unveiling

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Feb 062013
 

LG today is hinting at a new smartphone series in a Facebook post. A single image shows a wrapped up box comes with the text “New series will be unveiled.” A caption below the image reads, “See what surprise LG has in store for you this time, with an unexpected distinction.”

LG Facebook teaser

As you would expect from a teaser, there is little else to go on. There is no hint as to what new devices could be unveiled or when. One possibility is that LG will have some kind of announcement at MWC 2013 later this month. Could LG announce the F-series it alluded to in its press release for its latest financial results? Or could it launch the rumoured LG GK with a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) display and a quad-core processor? Less likely as this promises a new line are the wider availability of the LG Optimus G Pro or a refresh of LG’s L family of smartphones.

We’ll see if LG reveals more in the coming days…

Read more: LG Mobile [via Facebook]

Canadian Motorola RAZR HD LTE Android 4.1 upgrade rolling out

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Feb 062013
 

Motorola RAZR HD LTEMotorola Canada yesterday announced that it has begun to roll out the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean upgrade for the Motorola RAZR HD LTE which is carried by Rogers and Fido.

Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) is the latest Android operating system. It’s packed with new features and apps to help you tackle your busy day, like Google Now, Voice Search and better notifications. So no matter what life throws your way, your phone helps you stay one step ahead.

As usual, you can check manually if you have not yet received your upgrade notification: Settings -> About phone -> System Updates -> Check now.

Read more: Motorola Canada [via Twitter]