What is expected to be one of HTC's first Windows Phone 7 devices, the HTC Gold, has made an appearance on a leaked roadmap for the U.K. Market. Omio.com is reporting that the HTC Gold is due to hit the U.K. markets sometime in November of 2010.
The leaked U.K. roadmap is in line with previous reports from HTC that they will launch a Windows Phone 7 device by the end of 2010. Oddly, the Gold is the only Windows Phone 7 device on the leaked list.
The Gold joins the Monderian as HTC's leading candidates for the Windows Phone 7 market. We've seen signs that the Gold may be headed to Sprint while the Monderian may be headed to AT&T. Could their U.S. release coincide with the U.K. release? Or will the States get these phones first?
Actually, jokes on us as Microsoft hasn't updated that list since March 4th. C'mon guys...seriously?
Anyways, the real news here is that the Samsung Epix has finally received a proper WM6.5 ROM upgrade. So what if AT&T stopped selling the device months ago, all of those current owners will be pleased to get the update. But we do have to shame AT&T and Samsung here a bit: nine months post-WM6.5 is just a wee bit too little, too late, fellas. Start the Samsung super-complicated WM6.5. update here.
[Thanks, badcat160, for the tip & Wireless_Guru for the pic!]
While we're pretty excited to see Bing and Zune get front and center on Windows Phone 7, we're still hoping that Microsoft hasn't forgotten WM6.x and will update their Bing software soon, you know for the rest of us. If and when it comes, you can bet the above feature set should be included.
When Microsoft pulled back the curtain on Windows Phone 7 earlier this year at the 2010 Mobile World Congress, expectations called for a Holiday Season 2010 release date. Not too long ago, that projected release date was pulled back to October and now we're seeing signs that it may be pulled back to the end of July 2010.
An AT&T retail signage outline has been discovered identifying two Windows Phone 7 plaques to be set on or about July 24th. We don't expect phones to be on the shelf come July 24th but it's a good indication we might see WP7 phones sooner than expected.
It's not uncommon for retail stores to begin advertising new phones weeks, if not months, before the actual phones hit the shelves. So, the October launch may still ring true if not a September launch. Confidence is high that Microsoft will meet the Holiday Season 2010 deadline, it's now a question of how ahead of schedule Windows Phone 7 will be.
HTC has released self-assessed financial results for the second quarter of 2010 and things are looking really good for the Taiwanese company.
HTC is reporting a revenue growth of 58% and net profit increase of 33%. This well surpassed the April forecast of a 50% revenue growth. Total revenues reached NT$60,532 million (about $1.88 billion US dollars) during the second quarter. For the month of June alone, the company experienced a 66% revenue growth from June of 2009.
With HTC's commitment to Windows Phone 7 and their continued commitment to Android Phones, the remainder of 2010 should be just as profitable.
We haven't been covering too much the ongoing attempts to get Google's Android OS to run on Windows Mobile hardware--it's a moving target with varying results depending on your device--but mtllc555 has gone ahead and shown what a fully-functional Android looks like on a Diamond 2.
The OS is relatively fast for basic functions (a little sluggish on graphics) and overall seems to be working for every function (call, web, market, etc.).
Unfortunately, to get Android to run on your phone will depend on your hardware and radios (GSM vs CDMA) as each phone requires its own 'team'--some are more ahead than others. For instance on the CDMA Touch Pro 2, sound doesn't work and battery life is not that spectacular.
A good place to get started if you're interested (and have some time) is XDAndroid, which has info on the raphael/fuze, diamond, blackstone, topaz and rhodium. The process is not too difficult, can do no permanent damage and is a great way to kill a few hours.
Full video of Android 2.1 ('Eclair') on the Diamond 2 after the break.
BirdieSync 2.0 has been released which supports synchronization of Pocket Outlook with Thunderbird cards and mails, and Lightning or Sunbird events and tasks.
Birdiesync has it's own synchronization engine and does not rely on ActiveSync. The synchronization engine maintains a history, manages unresolved items, and allows for multiple computer synchronization. The independent sync engine may create an unexpected benefit for those wanting to sync their Windows Phone with a home computer and an Exchange Server.
Reading from the FAQ of BirdieSync's website, "It is possible to synchronize your mobile device with Outlook if it is installed on a different computer (without Thunderbird/Sunbird being synchronized on this machine). So you can synchronize your mobile device with Outlook and Thunderbird if they are installed on 2 different machines. Simply be aware that all the modifications performed on either computer will be replicated on the other one." This may not be possible if you're running Windows XP the drivers for Windows Mobile Device Center (needed to connect your Windows Phone to your computer) are bundled with Activesync. But if you're running Vista or Windows 7, it might be worth a try.
BirdieSync is compatible with Thunderbird 3.1, Lightning 1.0b2 and Sunbird 1.0b1. It is available for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 (32 and 64 bits). You can download a 21 day trial version of BirdieSync here and it will set you back 19.95 Euros (about $25 USD if my conversion rate is correct).
While nothing spectacular--it is after all just a Twitter app, it does have some nice features like embedded photos and 'Nearby' which shows all Tweets based on your geographic location. Overall it looks pretty smooth.
The speakers in the video are French, so any secret info they are probably not discussing will remain hidden to us, but the demonstration of the app more than speaks for itself.
Verizon's ETF lawsuit has apparently come to a close with a California Appeals Court upholding a $21 million refund that will go to about 175,000 customers. The lawsuit came about when customers challenged Verizon's Early Termination Fees. The plaintiffs claimed that Verizon violated California consumer protection laws and similar State and Federal laws by imposing flat ETF's.
The class action settlement, originally agreed upon in 2008, was appealed twice by Verizon with the funds being held in escrow until all appeals of the case have been exhausted. Verizon could appeal to the California Supreme Court but a spokesperson for Verizon stated this ruling ended all ETF related litigation.
Scott Bursor, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, stated "Yesterday's ruling by the Court of Appeal confirms that this is a terrific settlement for Verizon Wireless customers, and now more than 175,000 of those customers will get a substantial refund."
There are no reports on how much the attorney fees in this case will be (likely millions) but the settlement breaks down to about $88 per plaintiff. They were challenging a $175 fee, which has increased since the litigation but is now prorated to comply with applicable laws.
Verizon claims the increase and change in ETF policy is completely unrelated to the litigation. No word if the Microsoft KIN was ever a part of the settlement agreement.
Though Windows Phone 7 is primarily aimed at consumers during the initial launch, Microsoft already has a strong focus on enterprise built within the the OS (Office, Sharepoint, Skydrive, remote management, etc.). This enterprise focus will no doubt become even more robust during further revisions to the OS, hopefully giving Microsoft that edge once again over RIM.
One area that is of interest would be security and encryption. Turns out WP7 supports quite a few forms of data protection algorithms, including the following:
This doesn't mean that encryption is directly supported out-of-the-box for end users, but it does mean that developers have a wide assortment of tools to handle data encryption when writing their own software for the platform. Rob Tiffiany demonstrates this by writing an app to encode some simple data on the fly. His impression is that WP7 has a very solid base for security, which to bring it around again, is not only is good for business but for corporate environments.
LG has announced an all-new LG Application Store with more than 3,000 applications consisting of a mixture between feature phone apps and Windows Phone apps. The good news is that the LG App Store is available in 23 countries and will expand to 33 countries by the end of the year. The bad news is that the U.S. market isn't among them.
In the Press Release, Dr. Skott Ahn, President and CEO of LG's Mobile Communications Division said, "Today, more and more people want mobile devices that make their lives easier and more exciting through the right combination of applications. To meet this growing demand, we've put a great deal of effort into strengthening our application offerings for all types of phone owners"
While research noted in LG's press release indicates that 90% of feature phone owners in the U.S. and United Kingdom are interested in downloading application, neither of these countries are included in the initial 23 Country launch. The U.K. is included in the next group of ten countries but, again, not the U.S.