New Barnes & Noble nook coming May 24th?

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May 052011
 

New products are not traditionally announced through Securities and Exchange Commission filings. But it appears that Barnes & Noble may have revealed an upcoming eReader announcement in an 8-K filed with the SEC. The document indicates that “it expects to make an announcement on May 24, 2011, regarding the launch of a new eReader device.”

The filing reveals no details about this new eReader. The Wall Street Journal conjectures that it could be “a more powerful combination tablet and e-reader, perhaps running a more advanced software like Google Inc.’s Honeycomb software.” It is also possible that the company will launch a successor to its original Nook which was first released in November 2009 (and later joined by a Wi-Fi-only version).

Barnes & Noble recently updated the Nook Color (launched in October 2010) to Android 2.2, enabling a number of tablet features previously not available.

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At the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY and arc launch

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Apr 142011
 

Sony Ericsson Canada officially launched the Xperia PLAY and Xperia arc with Rogers Wireless with a well-attended party last night.

As you can imagine, both devices were in high demand but I had the chance to play with both (if only for a short time). First a few pics:

Sony Ericsson keychain
Sony Ericsson keychain
Android candy
Android lollipop
Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY dummy phone
I found the dummy phones before the real ones
At play with the Xperia Play
At play with the Xperia Play

A rew random thoughts and comments about both:

  • I like Sony Ericsson’s decision to transform Mediascape into a series of apps (and widgets). Much less intrusive.
  • The Xperia PLAY is not as bulky as some pictures make it out to be. Not the thinnest out there (especially next to the Xperia arc) but fits well in the hands.
  • I like the analog d-pads on the PLAY; the screen (which could be a bit brighter) is left unobscured.
  • Why not put an HDMI-out port on it though?
  • I expect that the plastic case will end up scratched up quite quickly.
  • The arc is as thin as it looks. There is no search button (not that I missed it).
  • I asked about rumours that supply might be constrained due to the recent earthquake in Japan. The Sony Ericsson representative indicated that there should be no such issue for the Rogers launch (albeit with a bit of a pause).

The Xperia PLAY and Xperia arc are very much two devices after two different markets. If I was more of a gamer, the Xperia PLAY could easily replace my current phone. The arc is a sexy looking device but I’d have to play with it a bit more to be convinced to have it replace my current device.

Both the Xperia PLAY and Xperia arc will be available as of April 28th from Rogers Wireless for CA$99.99 with a three-year contract or CA$549.99 with no contract.

Apple announces WWDC 2011 dates

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Mar 282011
 

Apple

Apple today announced that the its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will take place from June 6th to June 10th 2011 in San Fransisco at the Moscone West Center.

“At this year’s conference we are going to unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “If you are an iOS or Mac OS X software developer, this is the event that you do not want to miss.”

Five technology tracks will be offered: Application Frameworks, Graphics, Media, and Games, Developer Tools, Internet and Web, and Core OS.

Apple has also introduced its last two iPhones at WWDC. Will we see the unveiling of the iPhone 5 this year?

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CTIA 2011: Acer Iconia Tab A501 Android tablet coming to AT&T

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Mar 232011
 

Acer Iconia Tab A501

AT&T yesterday announced that it will offer the 10.1-inch Acer Iconia Tab A501 Android tablet this summer.

“Consumers are seeking cutting-edge mobile computing devices and we look forward to giving them another great choice with the Acer Iconia Tab A501,” said David Haight, vice president of business development, AT&T Emerging Devices. “This tablet is packed with features that will enable HD gaming and exceptional video playback. It offers a first-class on-the-go entertainment experience.”

Only a few of the Acer Iconia Tab A501’s specifications were revealed:

  • Processor: 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2
  • Operating system: Google Android 3.0
  • Display: 10.1-inch WXGA capacitive touchscreen
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP
  • Front-facing camera: Yes but no specs yet
  • Connectors: HDMI-out

AT&T did not provide a specific launch date or pricing for the Acer Iconia Tab A501.

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MWC and CTIA push out 2012 event dates

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Feb 242011
 

Two of the largest mobile phone trade shows will take place later in 2012 than they have traditionally done. The Mobile World Congress will take place in late February rather than mid-February and CTIA Wireless will move from March to May. The moves are seen as a response to the growing number of mobile phone announcements taking place at CES in early January. Pushing out the shows will give companies (and everyone covering the announcements) a bit more breathing room between major announcements.

The GSMA Mobile World Congress 2012 will once again take place in Barcelona but will start February 27th and run to March 1st. Further changes could be in store from 2013 onwards as the GSMA considers bids from Barcelona, Munich, Paris, and Milan to host the show from 2013 to 2017.

CTIA Wireless 2012 will run from May 8th to May 10th in New Orleans, Louisiana According to Robert Mesirow, CTIA vice president and show director: “We decided to have the show in May after listening to our customers who wanted to use the show as an advantageous opportunity to launch products focused on back-to-school and fourth quarter retail cycles.”

Source: PCMag.com

Samsung to announce 8.9-inch tablet soon?

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Feb 242011
 

Samsung

A report this week from the Korean Yonhap News suggests that Samsung will soon add a third Android tablet to its lineup. The new device, likely another Galaxy Tab model, will apparently come with an 8.9-inch display, placing it between the 7-inch Galaxy Tab and the upcoming Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The report had few other details beyond indicating that this third tablet would launch in the first half of the year, possibly as early as next month. A global launch is planned.

It will be interesting to see how this 8.9-inch model stands up against the similarly-sized LG Optimus Pad.

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MWC 2011: Sony Ericsson unveils Xperia Play

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Feb 132011
 

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

Along with the Xperia neo and Xperia pro, Sony Ericsson today unveiled the Xperia Play, the first PlayStation certified smartphone to be released. It combines smartphone functions with those of the PlayStation gaming platform. The slide out game pad reveals a digital D-pad, two analogue touch pads, two shoulder buttons and the four PlayStation icons: circle, cross, square and triangle.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play specifications:

  • Processor: 1GHz Scorpion ARMv7 processor (with Adreno 205 GPU)
  • Operating system: Google Android 2.3
  • Connectivity: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dual or tri-band UMTS/HSPA or CDMA/EVDO (depending on model)
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, DLNA
  • Display: 4-inch FWVGA (854 by 480) touchscreen display
  • Input: Slide-out game pad
  • Storage: 400MB onboard / microSDHC cards up to 32GB (8GB card included)
  • Camera: 5.1MP with auto-focus
  • Connectors: 3.5mm headphone jack, micro-USB port
  • Dimensions / weight: 119 by 62 by 16 millimeters / 175 grams
  • Other: Mobile hotspot support

The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY will be available globally in selected markets starting in March 2011.

MWC 2011: Samsung unveils Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet

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Feb 132011
 

Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1

After unveiling its new Galaxy S II, Samsung today unveiled its latest Galaxy Tab tablet. As the name implies the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (model: P7100) will feature a larger display than the original Galaxy Tab.

“As a leader in the Android-powered tablet market, Samsung is committed to providing a variety of feature-rich, always-on devices” said DJ Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Sales & Marketing. He continued, “The Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1 is a valuable addition to our expanding portfolio of smart media devices. Sporting a large 10.1 screen and dual surround-sound speakers, it enables users to enjoy multimedia to the maximum extent without having to compromise mobility.”

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 specifications:

  • Processor: Dual-core 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2
  • Operating system: Google Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)
  • Connectivity: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and HSPA+ 21Mbps (850/900/1900/2100MHz)
  • Other connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • Display: 10.1-inch WXGA LCD touchscreen
  • Storage: 16 or 32GB onboard
  • Camera: Rear-facing auto-focus 8MP with LED flash and 1080p HD video recording / Front-facing 2MP
  • Battery: 6860mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 246.2 by 170.4 by 10.9 millimeters / 599 grams
  • Other: Gyroscope, accelerometer, proximity sensor, digital compass, and dual surround-sound speakers

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is expected to make its debut in Europe with Vodafone. There is no word yet on availability in North America.

MWC 2011: Samsung announces Samsung Galaxy S II

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Feb 132011
 

Samsung Galaxy S II

As widely expected, Samsung today announced the Samsung Galaxy S II (model: GT-I9100).

“In 2011, we will take Samsung’s leadership in Speed, Screen and Content to a whole new level,” said JK Shin, President and Head of Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business. “With the GALAXY S II, Samsung wants to set the new standard of quality viewing on mobile, powerful performance, and slim and modern design.”

“GALAXY S II is a natural and powerful evolution of GALAXY S. Building on the phenomenal success of the original Samsung GALAXY S, we are proud to unveil the ultimate smartphone. Consumers no longer have to contain themselves – the Samsung GALAXY S II allows them to design their own smart lives.”

Samsung Galaxy S II specifications:

  • Processor: Dual-core 1GHz Samsung Orion
  • Operating system: Google Android 2.3 with TouchWiz 4.0
  • Connectivity: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and HSPA+ 21Mbps (850/900/1900/2100MHz)
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, BlueTooth 3.0+HS, NFC (optional), DLNA
  • Display: 4.27-inch WVGA Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen
  • Storage: 16 or 32GB onboard / microSDHC cards up to 32GB
  • Camera: Rear-facing auto-focus 8MP with 1080p HD video capture / Front-facing 2MP
  • Battery: 1650mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 125.3 by 66.1 by 8.49 millimeters / 116 grams
  • Other: FM radio, 3.5mm headphone jack,

The Samsung Galaxy S II will be the first to offer Samsung’s new Hubs which will deliver a variety of content including books and magazines, games, and more.

Google previews upcoming Honeycomb-powered Motorola Tablet

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Dec 072010
 

As expected, Andy Rubin, VP of Mobile Platforms at Google, took to the stage last night at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference. While Google had announced the Google Nexus S earlier in the day, Rubin had a surprise of his own: A preview of Motorola’s Honeycomb-powered tablet.

Rubin did not share a lot of details but did indicate that it will be powered by a dual-core NVIDIA processor and Honeycomb. Rubin also confirmed that Honeycomb will introduce new functionality specifically for tablets. For example, the tablet version of GMail will have two columns (a list of your emails and the currently selected one) whereas the phone version will continue to use the single column layout.

Part of his demo was done with a new version of Google Maps (featuring vector-based graphics) that should be out within days.

Rubin provided no details as to when Honeycomb and the Motorola tablet will hit the street.

Today: Samsung launches Galaxy S with free Metric concert

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Aug 042010
 

Samsung Canada has been teasing us over the past few days with its Twitter #SamsungSecret campaign. The details are now out and the company will launch its Galaxy S smartphone with a free concert tonight here in Toronto. Here are the details:

    What:  Samsung Mobile presents a free impromptu street concert featuring
           Metric, one of Canada's most critically acclaimed independent
           bands. Metric will give Toronto music fans an unrivalled 45-minute
           set of chart-topping hits that will rock the city core.

    Who:   Multi-Juno award-winning rock group Metric
           Samsung Mobile

    When:  August 4, 2010
           7:00 p.m.

    Where: Union Station - Union Square Plaza
           65 Front Street West

I’m hoping to be able to make it down tonight – I love Metric and I have a feeling I’ll love the Samsung Galaxy S as well!

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The Microsoft Mobility Tour returns

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Jun 032005
 

Microsoft is on the road again with the Microsoft Mobility Tour. This half day seminar focuses on how to deploy the necessary infrastructure to support mobile workers as well as the latest Windows powered mobile devices available in Canada.

There will be 3 sessions: The first will be an overview of Microsoft’s mobility strategy. The second will focus on the infrastructure required to help securely deploy and manage a mobile solution and will include an overview of Exchange 2003. The last session will feature examples and demonstrations from Microsoft technology partners showcasing the latest mobility devices available in Canada.

The ‘More information’ link will take you to the Toronto seminar on June 22nd but seminars will also take place in Montreal (June 8), Quebec City (June 9), Edmonton (June 14), Halifax (June 16) and Ottawa (June 23). Events in Victoria, Vancouver and Calgary took place earlier.

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