MWC 2013: Mozilla press conference set for February 24th

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Feb 042013
 

Mozilla today sent out invitations for a press conference that will take place on February 24th, the day before MWC 2013 officially opens. It confirms that Mozilla will not only attend but also exhibiting something at the event:

Mozilla MWC 2013 press conference invitation

The invitation makes no mention of what Mozilla plans to announce but there’s a good chance it will have something to do with its Firefox OS. It recently announced two developer smartphones, the Keon and the Peak, which are developed by Spain’s Geeksphone in partnership with Telefonica.

While Firefox OS is still under development, the launch of developer phones suggests that it is in the final stretch. Could Mozilla formally announce Firefox OS at MWC 2013? We’ll know later this month.

Read more: CNET

MWC 2013: Huawei press conference set for February 24th

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Jan 222013
 

After unveiling three devices (the Ascend D2, the Ascend Mate and the Ascend W1) at CES 2013, Huawei appears to be getting ready to announce a few more. Invitations were sent out today for a press conference to take place on February 24th, the day before MWC 2013 officially opens. The outline of a smartphone gives us a good indication of what is on tap,

Huawei press invitation for MWC 2013

As for what device(s) Huawei could announce, there appear to be two candidates if past rumours are any indication. One could be the thinnest Windows Phone 8 device while the second looks to be aiming to simply be the thinnest smartphone in the world. The Ascend W2 (or W3?) would be a new higher-end Windows Phone 8 device sporting a dual-core processor, a 4.5-inch HD (1280×720) display, and an 8MP camera. The Ascend P2 would pick up where its predecessor left off and should be less than 6.45 millimeters thin.

With a month to go before MWC 2013, there is still plenty of opportunity for more details to emerge about these two devices and any other that Huawei still has up its sleeve.

Read more: GSMArena

Huawei Ascend P2 and Ascend W2 specifications revealed?

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Jan 142013
 

With CES now behind us, it’s time for the MWC rumours to start (or more accurately continue). Huawei, which unveiled the Ascend D2, Ascend Mate, and Ascend W1, is set to announce two more devices at next month’s event. Thin is definitely in for Huawei for the Ascend P2 and the Ascend W2. The former could be the next smartphone to grab the crown of world’s thinnest smartphone while the latter could the thinnest Windows Phone 8 device.

The Huawei Ascend P2 appears to be a successor to the Ascend P1 S unveiled at CES 2012. It is expected to be less than 6.45 millimeters thin. Based on leaked information, we can expect its specifications to be as follows:

  • Processor: 1.8GHz quad-core HiSilicon K3V2
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Cellular connectivity: HSPA
  • Other connectivity: GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Display: 5-inch HD (1280×720) IPS
  • Input: 5 point multi-touch capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 8GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: 13MP AF with LED flash and 1080p video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 1.3MP
  • Battery: 3,000mAh non-removable
  • Dimensions / weight: 6.45 millimeters thin

As for the Ascend W2, not quite as much is known but here is what we have so far:

  • Processor: Dual-core
  • Operating system: Windows Phone 8
  • Display: 4.5-inch HD (1280×720)
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 2,800mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 7.7 millimeters thin

A higher end device than the Ascend W1, the Huawei Ascend W2 could sell for ¥3,200 (about CA$510).

Read more: UnwiredNews (Ascend P2) and UnwiredView (Ascend W2)

Nokia to unveil 10-inch Windows RT tablet at MWC 2013?

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Dec 192012
 

NokiaRumours that Nokia was working on a tablet have been around since at least November 2011. Since then, there have been numerous hints and suggestions that Nokia was working on a Windows 8 tablet. At one point, it was looking like Nokia would launch one before the end of the year.

It now appears that Nokia’s first tablet will finally see the light of day in early 2013. According to Digitimes, Nokia will unveil a 10-inch Windows RT tablet at Mobile World Congress in late February. Few details are available but Nokia has reportedly been developing it with Microsoft, Qualcomm and Compal Electronics, the same partners as in earlier reports.

The report adds that Nokia in fact delayed the launch of this tablet after finding out that Microsoft would be launching its own Surface tablet in late 2012. Nokia opted to take a wait-and-see attitude to see how the Windows 8/RT tablet market would fare and instead remained focused on its smartphone business.

Nokia has yet to commit to any order volumes and has yet to settle on its marketing plans for the tablet. This would suggest that it may still take a bit of time before the still-unnamed Nokia tablet hits the street.

Read more: Digitimes

Nokia cancels CES 2013 appearance to focus on MWC announcements

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Dec 182012
 

NokiaAt CES last year, Nokia unveiled its Lumia 900 flagship smartphone for AT&T. With the manufacturer having announced new devices for U.S. carriers (for example the Lumia 920 for AT&T and the Lumia 822 for Verizon) only recently, it now appears that it will skip the event entirely this year to focus on announcements at Mobile World Congress in late February.

Chinese WPDang reports that Nokia has cancelled its Consumer Electronics Show plans and will not be found at the event. A look at the CES 2013 Exhibitor Directory appears to support this as only Nokia’s Navteq division is represented.

The report adds that Nokia could use MWC to introduce the Lumia 950 (which we’ve heard about before), an upgraded version of the Lumia 920. It could also launch the Nokia Lumia 980 which could be the Windows Phone 8 successor to the Nokia 808 PureView.

As UnwiredView points out, Nokia could make the next round of U.S. carrier announcements at CTIA Wireless 2013 running in late May.

Read more: WPDang (in Chinese) [Google translation] (Source: UnwiredView)

MWC 2012: Windows 8 Consumer Preview now available for download

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Feb 292012
 

Microsoft today announced that a preview edition of its upcoming Windows 8 operating system is now available as a free download to anyone interested. Designed to work on tablets as well as traditional PCs, its most eye-catching change is the introduction of the tile-based Metro interface.

“With Windows 8, we reimagined the different ways people interact with their PC and how to make everything feel like a natural extension of the device, whether using a Windows 8 tablet, laptop or all-in-one,” said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft. “The Windows 8 Consumer Preview brings a no-compromises approach to using your PC.”

Microsoft Windows 8 Start screen

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview also introduces a beta version of the Windows Store, which offers a variety of new Metro style apps from both third-party developers and Microsoft. These will all be free during the Consumer Preview.

Windows 8 also introduces tighter integration between Windows-based PCs and Windows Phone devices and Internet Explorer 10 Preview 5 which promises a “new experience designed specifically for Windows 8 devices.”

Microsoft Windows 8 User Interface

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is a free download available in English, French, German, Japanese and simplified Chinese languages. Just remember that it is still beta software!

Read more: Microsoft

MWC 2012: ZTE announces quad-core ZTE Era

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Feb 292012
 

ZTE EraZTE this week announced the ZTE Era, its first quad-core smartphone and its latest flagship device. Together with the other devices it introduced at Mobile World Congress, ZTE hopes that it will help it become one of the top three handset provider by 2015.

“The numbers speak for themselves. With 50 percent growth in handset shipments and 400 percent growth in smartphone shipments, we are confident that we are entering a new era in the mobile terminal market. The ZTE Era captures the excitement we feel about the future and brings it to life in a fantastic new device,” said Mr. He Shiyou, Executive Vice President and Head of the Terminals Division at ZTE.

ZTE Era specifications:

  • Processor: 1.3GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.0
  • 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, DLNA
  • Display: 4.3-inch qHD (540×960)
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 8GB onboard and microSD cards
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP AF with LED flash
  • Front-facing camera: VGA
  • Connectors: microUSB
  • Dimensions: 7.8mm thin

ZTE will launch the ZTE Era in Europe and China in the second half of 2012. There is no word on North American availability.

Read more: ZTE

MWC 2012: Samsung named “Device Manufacturer of the Year” and GALAXY S II “Best Smartphone”

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Feb 282012
 

GSMASamsung picked up two awards today as the GSMA announced the winners of its Annual Global Mobile awards at Mobile World Congress.

“The 2012 Global Mobile Awards continue to showcase the greatest, most creative and innovative products and services driving the mobile ecosystem today and into the future. With a record number of high calibre entries this year, it is a significant achievement to have been honoured in today’s ceremony,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “The GSMA congratulates winners and commends all those taking part for raising the benchmark of contributions to mobile communications across the entire industry.”

Samsung was named “Device Manufacturer of the Year” and its Samsung Galaxy S II won the “Best Smartphone” award. According to JK Shin, President of IT & Mobile Communications Division:

“We are pleased to receive this honor from GSMA and believe that it’s a testament to Samsung’s innovation, quality products, and attention to consumer preferences. We sold over 97 million smartphones in 2011, demonstrating that this is the right approach.”

Other notable winners include the following:

  • Best Mobile Tablet: Apple iPad 2
  • Best Mobile App for Consumers: Rovio Angry Birds Rio
  • Best Consumer Mobile Service: Google Maps for Android

Congratulations to Samsung and all the other winners!

Read more: GSMA

MWC 2012: Nokia announces Nokia 808 PureView with 41MP camera sensor

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Feb 282012
 

Nokia 808 PureViewNokia’s PureView teaser did not do justice to yesterday’s MWC announcement. The manufacturer announced the Nokia Belle OS-powered Nokia 808, the first device to feature its PureView imaging technologies. The Nokia 808 PureView will come with a 41MP camera sensor. No, that’s not a typo!

“Nokia PureView imaging technology sets a new industry standard by whatever measure you use,” said Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia Smart Devices. “People will inevitably focus on the 41 megapixel sensor, but the real quantum leap is how the pixels are used to deliver breath-taking image quality at any resolution and the freedom it provides to choose the story you want to tell.”

Nokia 808 PureView:

  • Processor: 1.3GHz
  • Operating system: Nokia Belle Feature Pack 1
  • Cellular connectivity: Quad-band GSM/EDGE and penta-band WCDMA/HSPA (HSDPA: 14.4Mbps / HSUPA: 5.76Mbps)
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS/GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, DLNA
  • Display: 4-inch 16:9 nHD (640×360) AMOLED ClearBlack
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 512MB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 41MP AF with Nokia Pureview Pro imaging technology, f/2.4 aperture and Carl Zeiss optics
  • Front-facing camera: None
  • Battery: 1400mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 123.9 x 60.2 x 13.9 millimeters / 169 grams

The Nokia 808 PureView, by default, captures 5MP images that promise reduced noise and improved image quality due to the oversampling used. A full 38MP image mode can also be enabled.

Nokia expects to launch the Nokia 808 PureView in May. It will sell for about €450 (USD$605).

Read more: Nokia

MWC 2012: Details on Windows Phone Tango

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Feb 282012
 

Microsoft Windows PhoneWithout officially confirming the Tango update, Microsoft announced that its Windows Phone operating system has been optimized for lower-specification devices. The update supports the cheaper Qualcomm 7x27a SoC and requires only 256MB to deliver “the buttery-smooth Windows Phone experience.” It also promises to run “nearly all of the applications available in the Windows Phone Marketplace.”

With Windows Phone, we’ve done the engineering so that nearly all of the current apps will just work on these new phones. Those apps that do need more power are flagged in the Marketplace so if you have one of these new phones with less memory you won’t unknowingly download an app that won’t run well.

The Tango update also adds a number of MMS features, including support for video and multiple images and a new voice notes feature allowing you to record one minute audio snippets.It also includes new language support for Malay and Indonesian, network requirements for China and an SMS bug fix.

According to The Verge, the Tango update will be pushed out to existing handsets but the timeline has not yet been finalized.

Read more: Windows Phone Blog and The Verge

MWC 2012: Corning Gorilla Glass 2 devices coming this quarter

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Feb 282012
 

Corning Glass yesterday announced that shipments to manufacturers of its new Gorilla Glass 2 have now begun. Introduced at CES 2012, Gorilla Glass 2 promises to be as tough and resistant to scratches as the original Gorilla Glass despite being up to 20 percent thinner.

“Corning’s new glass composition, Gorilla Glass 2, enables slimmer and sleeker devices, brighter images, and greater touch sensitivity, providing an ideal solution for the newest, most sophisticated smartphones, tablets, and personal computers,” said David R. Velasquez, global director, Marketing and Commercial Operations, Corning Gorilla Glass.

Corning expects that the first devices to use Gorilla Glass 2 will be out this quarter. No specific devices or manufacturers were named in the press release.

Since its release in 2007, Corning Gorilla Glass has been used by more than 30 major brands in more than 600 devices with shipments now topping over 600 million units worldwide.

Read more: Corning

MWC 2012: ASUS introduces Transformer Pad 300 and Transformer Pad Infinity

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Feb 272012
 

ASUS today announced two new tablets as it rebrands its Transformer tablet family. With netbooks fading in relevance, ASUS has decided to drop the Eee from its tablet names and future tablets will be known as Transformer Pads. The latest ASUS Transformers are the Transformer Pad 300, the first quad-core LTE tablet, and the Transformer Pad Infinity. As rumours suggested, the former is the first in a budget line of tablets while the latter is the first in the higher-end Pad Infinity lineup.

ASUS Transformer Pad 300ASUS Transformer Pad 300 specifications:

  • Processor: 1.2GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 T30L with 12-core GeForce 12-core GPU
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.0
  • Cellular connectivity: None (Wi-Fi only), 3G or 4G options
  • Other connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v3.0
  • Display: 10.1-inch WXGA (1280×800) LED IPS
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen, optional full QWERTY keyboard mobile dock
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP AF
  • Front-facing camera: 1.2MP with f/2.2 aperture

ASUS Transformer Pad InfinityASUS Transformer Pad Infinity specifications:

  • Processor (Wi-Fi only): 1.6GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 T33
  • Processor (3G /LTE): 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.0
  • Cellular connectivity: None (Wi-Fi only), 3G or 4G options
  • Other connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR & Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • Display: 10.1-inch FHD (1920×1200) Super IPS+
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen, optional full QWERTY keyboard mobile dock
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 16/32/64GB onboard options and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP with flash, f2.2 aperture, BSI
  • Front-facing camera: 2MP
  • Connectors: 2-in-1 audio jack, micro HDMI port
  • Battery:
  • Dimensions / weight: 263×180.8×8.5 millimeters / 586 grams

The Transformer Pad Infinity is set to ship sometime in Q2 with the Transformer Pad 300 to follow later on. Pricing details were not provided.

Read more: ASUS Transformer Pad 300 and ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity

MWC 2012: ASUS relaunches PadFone

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Feb 272012
 

ASUS PadfoneFirst announced last May, ASUS today reintroduced the ASUS PadFone at Mobile World Congress. The concept behind the device has not changed: The 4.3-inch smartphone can be docked and transformed into the PadFone Station, a 10.1-inch tablet.

ASUS Padfone specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 8260A
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.0
  • Cellular connectivity: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dual-band HSPA+ (21Mbps / 5.76Mbps)
  • Other connectivity: GPS/A-GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Display: 4.3-inch qHD (960×540) Super AMOLED
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Storage: 16/32/64GB onboard options and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP AF with flash, f/2.2 aperture and 1080p video capture
  • Front-facing camera: VGA
  • Battery: 1520mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 128 x 65.4 x 9.2 millimeters / 129 grams

ASUS now expects the updated Padfone to begin shipping in April. The price and specific availability details were not revealed.

Read more: ASUS

MWC 2012: Samsung announces Galaxy Note 10.1

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Feb 272012
 

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1Samsung today announced the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. Like the smaller Galaxy Note, it blends elements of smartphones and tablets into a single device.

“GALAXY Note 10.1 takes productivity on a Note to a whole new level. With a larger, fully utilizable screen and superior performance, it combines the intuitiveness of handwriting with all the versatility of digital content to let users be more productive across all of life’s demanding tasks—whether working, learning, or simply creating their own stories,” said JK Shin, President of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “With GALAXY Note 10.1 we are demonstrating Samsung’s commitment to extend the mobile category.”

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1:

  • Processor: 1.4GHz dual-core
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.0
  • Cellular connectivity: Quad-band GPRS/EDGE/HSPA+ 21Mbps on 3G model
  • Other connectivity: GPS (Wi-Fi model) or A-GPS (3G model), 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4 & 5GHz), Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 3.0
  • Display: 10.1-inch WXGA (1280×800) PLS
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen, S Pen digital pen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 16/32/64GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 3MP AF with LED flash and 1080p video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 2MP
  • Connectors: 3.5mm headphone jack,
  • Battery: 7,000mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 256.7 x 175.3 x 8.9 millimeters, 583 grams

Samsung did not provide specific availability and pricing details.

Read more: Samsung

MWC 2012: Nokia announces Lumia 610 and wider Lumia 900 availability

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Feb 272012
 

Nokia Lumia 610As had been widely rumoured, Nokia today its fourth Windows Phone Lumia smartphone, the Nokia Lumia 610. The entry-level device “was made possible thanks to a new software release from Microsoft delivering enhanced capabilities to the Windows Phone 7.5 platform.” As expected, the update to Windows Phone supports lower memory and processor requirements, making it possible for Nokia (and likely others) to offer cheaper devices.

Nokia Lumia 610 specifications:

  • Operating system: Windows Phone 7.5
  • Cellular connectivity: Quad-band GSM/WCDMA
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • Display: 3.7-inch WVGA (800×480) LCD
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 256MB RAM
  • Storage: 8GB onboard (No microSD slot)
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP AF with LED flash and f/2.2 lens
  • Front-facing camera:
  • Connectors: 3.5mm headphone jack, micro-USB
  • Battery: 1,300 mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 119 x 62 x 12 millimeters / 131.5 grams

The Nokia Lumia 610 will begin shipping in Europe in Q2 2012 and will sell for €189 (US$253).

Nokia also announced that a DC-HSPA variant of the Nokia Lumia 900 will begin to ship in April in countries where LTE is not available. It will sell for €480 (US$645). Nokia also added that the LTE version is also coming to Canada in April.

Read more: Nokia