Pebble Blue Samsung Galaxy S III facing production delays

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May 252012

Samsung Galaxy S IIIIt appears that the first markets to see the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S III will only see Samsung’s latest flagship in Marble White. It was thought at first that carriers and retailers might have opted to only offer the smartphone in a single colour but independent reports followed by a couple of Samsung confirmations now point to production issues and shipment delays for the Pebble Blue model.

After a number of retailers confirmed that they would only carry the Marble White model at launch, Samsung Benelux PR Manager Vivian Peters revealed that the manufacturer had ordered the destruction of some 600,000 back covers due to a “production problem with colour matching the Pebble Blue rear casing.” Samsung has already made corrections to its production process and Samsung Sweden piped in to confirm the delay but adding that it would only be on the scale of a matter of days.

The issue is reminiscent of the one that Apple faced with the white and black versions of its iPhone 4. After announcing that both would be available at launch, the white model only became available some 10 months after the black one.

The Samsung Galaxy S III is rumoured to launch on June 20th here in Canada.

Read more: Android NZ (Source: PocketNow)

Sony will not upgrade Xperia Play to Android 4.0

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May 252012

Sony Ericsson Xperia PlayIn its latest Android 4.0 upgrade deployment update, Sony Mobile today confirmed that the Xperia Play will not be upgraded to Android 4.0. Sony had launched a beta version of the update some time ago but has now decided not to move forward with the update:

In regards to Xperia PLAY, after extensive in house testing with our developer teams and working with our partners, we have concluded that a consistent and stable experience, particularly with gaming, cannot be guaranteed for this smartphone on Ice Cream Sandwich – therefore, we will not make the Android 4.0 upgrade available for Xperia PLAY.

This decision was also verified when we received similar feedback from the developer community; both experienced developers and advanced users, along with game content providers following our ICS beta ROM for unlocked Xperia PLAY smartphones.

Sony added that the Android 4.0 deployment for other devices is going well. Another round will start next week covering a number of 2011 Xperia models including the Xperia arc, Xperia neo, Xperia mini, Xperia mini pro, and Xperia pro, will start next week. Unlike the previous round of updates that delivered Android 4.0.3, this one will deliver Android 4.0.4 instead. This version will also be the one for the Xperia S as well as devices that received Android 4.0.3 the first time around.

Read more: Sony Mobile Communications

Weekend fun: Machinarium

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May 252012

The puzzle game Machinarium has made its way to Android. In it, a clever little robot named Josef must rescue his robot girlfriend. He faces off against the wicked Black Cap Brotherhood robots and must solve puzzles, quests, brain teasers and mini-games to get rid of them.

The game features hand-drawn background and characters. Comic bubbles and symbols are used to advance the plot and Josef’s quest.

Hothead Games warns that the current version (1.0) of the game is designed for higher resolution devices such as tablets and higher-end smartphones. Future updates will improve playability on smaller resolution screens in the future but no timeline is provided.

Machinarium is available for US$3.99 from the Google Play store.

Samsung Galaxy S III to launch in Canada on June 20th?

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May 242012

While Canadian carriers have not been shy about announcing their plans to offer the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S III, none has put forward a launch date beyond indicating that it would be sometime this summer. A leaked screenshot now suggests that the launch could take place on June 20th, the first day of summer.

Rumoured Canadian launch date for Samsung Galaxy S III

Pre-orders could start as early as May 30th.

Pricing remains a mystery at this point but if those dates hold up, we should know fairly soon.

Read more: Mobile Syrup

Rumour: RIM puts BBM development on backburner to focus on new devices

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May 242012

RIM BlackBerryBBM is synonymous with BlackBerry and remains very popular even as RIM’s fortunes have soured. Along with RIM’s famous QWERTY keyboards, it has allowed RIM to hang on to more than a few customers as it has some 55 million BBM users. Rumours earlier this year suggested that Research In Motion was making good progress in porting its instant messaging service over to Android and iOS. The project was known internally as “SMS 2.0” and would allow RIM to open up its network and license BBM to other device manufacturers and carriers.

According to The Wall Street Journal, relatively new CEO Thorsten Heins has put an end to the project after deciding that RIM should not pursue licensing deals. One person familiar with the matter added that “It was not up for discussion.”

The report adds that, while RIM is not abandoning BBM, it will put further development on the backburner to focus on the BlackBerry 10 OS and device launch later this year. While BBM will be offered on its BlackBerry 10 devices, it does not appear that there will be any new features added at least within the immediate future.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal (Source: N4BB)

Google acquires Mike and Maaike design firm

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May 242012

GoogleBloomberg has learned that Mike and Maaike, the firm that helped design the first Android smartphone, the T-Mobile G1, has been acquired by Google. The move comes just as Google closed its Motorola acquisition, suggesting a deeper focus on hardware design in the future. Motorola’s new CEO, Dennis Woodside, added: “Google has always been interested in hardware. The natural next step is for us to get even more serious and to really go for it.”

Aside from the G1, Mike and Maaike also worked with Google on an earlier prototype. This device, sporting a QWERTY keyboard, was used by Google employees and software developers as a “testbed device for the Android operating system. Its other customers include Belkin and Microsoft.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Read more: Bloomberg

Samsung announces dual-SIM Samsung GALAXY Ace DUOS

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May 242012

Samsung GALAXY Ace DUOSSamsung today announced another successor to its Samsung GALAXY Ace smartphone. The Samsung GALAXY Ace DUOS supports a a dual-SIM support system, allowing users to manage their work and personal lives with one smartphone.

The GALAXY Ace DUOS’s Dual SIM system maximizes communication flexibility by allowing users to manage two separate phone numbers on one smartphone. Samsung’s unique ‘Dual SIM always on’ feature automatically forwards calls from the phone number on SIM 2, even if a user is on the phone with SIM 1’s number. This ensures that a user can always manage their work and personal lives and never miss a call.

Samsung GALAXY Ace DUOS specifications:

  • Processor: 832MHz single-core
  • Operating system: Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) with Touchwiz UX
  • Cellular connectivity: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dual-band HSPA
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0
  • Display: 3.5-inch HVGA (320×480) LCD
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen (including Swype keyboard)
  • Memory: 512MB RAM
  • Storage: 3GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP AF
  • Front-facing camera: None
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack
  • Battery: 1,300mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 112.74 x 61.5 x 11.5 millimeters / 122g

The Samsung Galaxy Ace DUOS will be available in June starting in June. it will then be gradually rolled out to Europe, CIS, Latin America, Southeast and Southwest Asia, Middle East, Africa, and China. There is no word on North American availability.

Read more: Samsung

Rumour: Google Nexus tablet to launch in July

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May 242012

Google AndroidGoogle’s rumoured Nexus tablet is once again the topic of rumours. According to Digitimes, the 7-inch tablet will begin to ship in June with initial volumes set at 600,000 units per month. Citing “sources from the upstream supply chain,” the report adds that the tablet will hit the street in July.

Past rumours indicated that the tablet was co-developed with ASUS. Originally scheduled to launch in May, it was delayed as it did not meet Google’s expectations and was not affordable enough. Apparently based on the ASUS MeMo 370T tablet, it will sport a number of cheaper components (possibly a dual-core processor and less onboard storage) to allow Google to sell it in the US$149 to US$199 range.

The dates proposed in this report align with a potential announcement at Google I/O in June with general availaibility to follow in July (possibly via Google Play)

Read more: Digitimes

Rumour: Google to launch 5 Nexus devices on November 5th for Android’s 5th birthday

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May 232012

Google AndroidGoogle could mark Android’s upcoming 5th birthday with quite the celebration. Rumours last week suggested that the next major Android version (Android 5.0/Jelly Bean?) would launch with multiple Nexus devices from different manufacturers on Google Play by Thanksgiving. Talk Android has learned from a “reliable source” that Google will launch five Nexus devices on November 5th. It just happens that this will date will also mark Android’s 5th birthday.

It’s unclear at this time whether the devices will just be announced or actually go on sale on that date. Perhaps more will be revealed at the upcoming Google I/O.

It’s all rumour right now but I like the sound of 5 Android 5.0 devices launching on November 5th.

Read more: Talk Android

Updated Bell Android 4.0 upgrade release schedule revealed

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May 232012

Bell MobilityIt looks like Bell has once again updated its “Estimated Release” schedule for Android 4.0 updates for various devices. Best of all, it has been leaked much as earlier versions were.

While both the HTC Sensation 4G and HTC Raider 4G LTE yesterday got their updates ahead of schedule, the changes on this schedule are delays. The latest “estimated release” schedule now looks like this:

  • Samsung Galaxy Note: June 2012
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1: June 2012
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE: July 2012
  • LG Optimus LTE: July 2012
  • Samsung Galaxy S II HD LTE: July 2012

No reason was provided for the delays.

Read more: Mobile Syrup

Koodo to launch HTC One V on June 1st

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May 232012

HTC One VThe rumours were true. Koodo Mobile yesterday announced via Facebook that it will launch the HTC One V on June 1st.

If you’re an Android geek, you’re going to love the smooth browsing and fast social networking on the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Details about the HTC One V will be out on June 1st – stay tuned!

Koodo has not announced pricing but expect it to come in below CA$300 with no contract.

Read more: Koodo Mobile on Facebook

Updated HTC Android 4.0 upgrade schedule

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May 222012

HTCHTC has in the past provided information several times as to its plans to offer Android 4.0 updates. Following in the footsteps of other manufacturers, HTC today provided an updated list of devices and general timelines for these upgrades. It expects that most will take place between June and August but warns that it can take “45 days for all carriers and countries to get the update after a rollout has begun.” It adds that localization, testing, and partner approvals can also mean that not all similar devices will be updated at the same time.

The list includes 17 devices such as the HTC Desire HD, HTC EVO 3D, HTC Rezound, HTC Rhyme, and HTC Vivid among others.

The upgrade will come with HTC Sense 3.6 rather than the new HTC Sense 4.0 found on devices such as the HTC One X. HTC explains that “some aspects of Sense 4 require dedicated hardware, which is not available on all devices.”

HTC also confirmed that its tablets, including the HTC Flyer, HTC EVO View 4G, and HTC Jetstream, will not be upgraded and will remain on Android 3.0 (Honeycomb). Similarly, smartphones with “512MB ROM or less” will not be upgraded either. Among these are the HTC ChaCha (or Status), HTC Salsa, HTC Wildfire S, and HTC Explorer.

Read more: HTC

Bell Mobility and Virgin Mobile launch Motorola MOTOLUXE

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May 222012

Motorola MOTOLUXEThe Motorola MOTOLUXE is now available in Canada from both Bell Mobility and Virgin Mobile. This entry-level smartphone comes with a new interface that aims to make it easier to access the information you use the most. The Social Graph features learns who you most often communicate with and which apps you most often use and gives them more emphasis.

Motorola Mobility MOTOLUXE specifications:

  • Processor: 800MHz single-core
  • Operating system: Google Android 2.3 with Motorola’s MotoSwitch UI
  • Cellular connectivity: GSM/HSPA
  • Other connectivity: GPS/A-GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, DLNA
  • Display: 4-inch FWVGA (480×854)
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: Up to 300MB
  • Storage: microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP AF with with LED flash
  • Front-facing camera: VGA
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack
  • Battery: 1,400mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 117.7 x 60.5 x 9.8 millimeters / 122 grams
  • Other: FM radio, multi-coloured LED

Based on Motorola’s latest Android 4.0 upgrade schedule, the MOTOLUXE will not be upgraded from Android 2.3.

Bell Mobility is offering the Motorola MOTOLUXE for free with a three-year contract or CA$299.95 with no contract. Virgin Mobile is offering it for CA$29.99 with a three-year agreement or the Virgin MobileSuperTab or CA$229.95 with no contract.

Read more: Bell Mobility and Virgin Mobile Canada

Android 4.0 updates available for Bell HTC Sensation 4G and Raider 4G LTE

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May 222012

Bell MobilityBell today announced the availability of Android 4.0 updates for both the HTC Sensation 4G and HTC Raider 4G LTE. This is a little bit sooner than a leaked Bell schedule had suggested earlier

A notification should soon pop up on your smartphone but you can also check manually: From the Settings, select About phone > System updates > Check Now.

The Android 4.0 is also available for the Virgin Mobile version of the HTC Sensation 4G.

Read more: Bell Mobility (Source: Twitter)

Sony Xperia S Android 4.0 update coming in “latter part of Q2”

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May 212012

Sony Xperia SSony Xperia S owners were given some hope about 10 days ago that they would be seeing the Android 4.0 update in late May or early June. This estimate was at least a few weeks sooner than the later part of Q2 Sony had originally announced. A Talk Sony Mobile forums post read in part: “Xperia S is planned to get ICS somewhere around late May/early June. That’s what’s been said and that’s still what we’re sticking to.”

Unfortunately, it appears that the Sony support person got it wrong. In a follow-up post, Marcus, the support staffer in question, indicates that he “mixed things up.” He adds that the upgrade will be delivered in the “latter part of Q2,” suggesting a late June release after all.

Sony has never deviated from its original timeline in official communications. It would appear that this is no more than an unfortunate but honest mistake.

Read more: Updated post and the original post (now edited) in the Talk Sony Mobile forums (Source: Xperia Blog)