Acer has apparently run into to problems with U.S. network operators and will delay the launch of the Windows Mobile phones announced earlier this year. The Tempo Series was originally projected to land in the U.S. by the end of 2009. While Acer wouldn't offer a target date, the best they would offer is that the phones would be available for U.S. release some time in 2010.
The bad news is we'll have to wait a little while longer to see the likes of the F1, x960, and F900. The good news is that the delay may have the new phones come off the assembly line already loaded with Windows Mobile 6.5, avoiding the need to worry about upgrading.
The phone will be known as the MDA Compact V, following that naming convention. You can tell by the picture at right that the shell is a little custom compared to the unlocked version that we're used to seeing, but that's par for the course. We've known shells to vary slightly among U.S. carriers as well.
Something we're definitely not used to in the U.S. is seeing the new hotness from HTC available free on contract, but that's exactly what T-Mo's doing here. The MDA Compact V will be available starting May 21 for free with a plan that costs at least £50 a month.
Full presser after the break, for those of you into that sort of thing.
Update: Eagle-eyed reader Jim (Hi, Jim!), ya know, actually read through the entire press release and saw that T-Mo mentions an upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.5 in September. As we've still heard nothing official from Microsoft, simply take that for what it is ...
They make movies about these things. Boy sees phone. Boy lusts after phone for months. Boy finally gets phone only to discover it's nice from afar but far from nice. OK, we've yet to see a movie quite like that. (But if they do, you bet Dieter and Mal will review it in the WMExperts Movie Review Podcast.)
Turns out, the Xperia X1 was "a kind of experiment," said SE President Hideki "Dick" Komiyama. That's from a Financial Times piece [via Electronista] in which Komiyama speaks about SE's recent struggles and how it's failed to really compete in the smartphone industry.
But there's good news for you Windows Mobile fans: SE still plans to put out three smartphones by the end of the year – one Windows Mobile, one Android and one Symbian.
As anyone who's used one knows, it's not that the Xperia X1 (read our full review here) is a bad phone. It's just that it priced itself out of the game without bringing anything really groundbreaking. The panels interface is interesting, but it's just not enough to justify spending that much jing, especially today. Let's hope SE finds more of a middle ground (and U.S. carrier support) with its next try.
Sony's Xperia X1a created a rather lengthy story line last year in anticipation of its release. While they are now available at local Sony Stores and other outlets, Dieter was fortunate enough to capture one while attending MacWorld in San Francisco. I was able to get Dieter to look the other way and took off with it. I only had the weekend with the Xperia X1a before the alarms sounded and a massive manhunt began. Luckily, I had it long enough to take it on a test run to see if all the excitement surrounding the Xperia had any merit. As the saying goes, "Read on after the break" to see what type impression the Xperia made.
Our friends at IntoMobile.com are reporting that Best Buy is accepting pre-orders for Sony’s Xperia X1. Taking a look over at Best Buy’s website you can find the WM Devices going for a modest $799.99.
According to IntoMobile, Best Buy is projecting a preliminary ship date of November 23, 2008. The price is in line with what we’ve reported for the Xperia X1 but the ship date is a few days instead of that 28th date.
SPB has released the much anticipated updated version of Mobile Shell 2.0. It's hard to say that Mobile Shell 3.0 is an update to the previous versions of this popular utility because of the dramatic changes present with 3.0. Just looking at the home page of both versions, the casual observer would think they are looking at two unique applications.
We received an advance copy of Mobile Shell 3.0 about a week ago and found it to be very feature rich and more customizable than its predecessor. You know the drill, to find out more about Mobile Shell 3.0 plus plenty of screen shots, simply follow the break.
In the final installment, Lin gives a look at the HTC Magic, which runs Anrdoid, and the HTC Snap. He also talks about upgrades to Windows Mobile 6.5. You'll want to watch the whole interview, but here's a teaser:
"Microsoft has not announced any plans for 6.5 for Smartphones, for Standard edition yet. So, we cannot promise a 6.5 upgrade for Snap, because Microsoft has not offered 6.5 for Smartphones yet.However, we have absolutely promised a 6.5 upgrade for Diamond 2 and (Touch) Pro 2.
"And, in fact, we made changes to how 6.1 works and to the hardware of Diamond 2 and Pro 2 so that when our customers upgrade to 6.5, that everything will work the same, that they will not have to relearn anything."
SPB announced today that they have added over forty channels to its SPB TV application. The majority of channels added are the result of user feedback bringing the total number of channels available on SPB TV to more than 100. New channels include Comedy Time, Fox TV affiliates, Chick Comedy, and several others. Compared to the initial review of SPB TV, the channel selection has grown by leaps and bounds.
SPB is still interested in what channels users want to see added to SPB TV. If you have a channel you'd like to see added, simply follow this link to suggest it to SPB.
OK, so what we have here is an update to the Microsoft Tag system, which is an update to the old QR Code. Have no idea what we're talking about? It goes like this: You load an app onto your phone that takes a picture of the tag and can recognize the metadata in once of these tags. Kinda like a barcode, but much cooler.
The old black-and-white QR Code left much to be desired. It looked like a code. Microsoft's original Tag (seen here at right) was an improvement, with different colors and shapes containing more information. But it still looked like code. With the upgrade, a series of dots can be hidden within a picture, as you can see above. (From left, that's a pinata, jelly beans and balloons.)
And that's cool and all. But if you want me to go to a Web site, just tell me the damn address. (Yeah, we know, it can launch video or audio automatically. But still.) I don't want to load another app that essentially just loads a Web site. That said, I don't have to use it if I don't want to. If this is your thing, check out more at Microsoft Tag. And if you're really into it, there's even a design contest going on.
Might HP be getting some new blood in its smartphone end of things? Electronista has it that former Palm exec Jonathan Oakes on his LinkedIn profile lists a move to HP's Emerging Businesses Unit, which includes iPAQs as well as other mobile work.
That's all we've got to go on, and admittedly it isn't much. But it would be nice to see HP step up its game, particularly in the United States, where's it's gotten no love of late from any of the major carriers. HP did release a couple of phones recently, but we were mostly unimpressed considering you have to compare them to HTC's wares. (And you do. That's just the way it is now.)
Anyway, here's hoping for good things from HP in the future.
This will be our only Xperia rumor today. We promise. And while we have no definite confirmation from SE that a follow-up to the Xperia X1 is in the works, what you see above is a Twitter post from SE marketing guru Harold de Kort. Run through the ol' Google translator, you get "Of course after each X1 is an X2 and X3, X4, X5. What else is new. "
Either that's a bit of a kiss-off answer (which is entirely likely), or, yes, they're working on filling out the Xperia line. (Hopefully with Windows Mobile, but even that's not certain.) And if SE follows the same timetable it did with the X1, we could be hearing an announcement shortly and then seeing the phone sometime next year.
We're really trying not to chuckle over this one, but swine flu is serious stuff. So if you've just got to know who's sick around you, Pandemy Flu Alert's got you covered. It'll tap into your phone's location services – GPS, tower location, etc. – check with the "Internet database" (whatever that is) and plot the nearest H1N1 report on a Google map. Handy for all you hypochondriacs out there. Says it works on all Windows phones. (If you actually try this, let us know in the comments.)
As for the other diseases you may have picked up over the weekend? You're on your own there.
We ran across an interesting application the other day that's a little bit of a mystery. iBrowz is part RSS styled reader and part portal to online services but most important, it's is free. Developed by the Intouch Group, iBrowz is a BETA application that is truly a mixed bag that brings all the headlines from CNN, Sports Illustrated and USA Today to your Windows Mobile phone plus access to online services such as Paypal, Netflix and Fandango.
To see what all iBrowz can do, plus some screen shots simply follow the break.
Here's another cool look at the Toshiba TG01, which despite the crazy custom user interface is still a pretty cool phone. And we're expecting some even cooler phones from Toshiba in the future.
Obviously this is a pre-production unit, so some things are a little sketchy. And we're still still waiting to see where the Windows flag button is going to go before there's anymore talk of putting Windows Mobile 6.5 on this thing.