Dell Inc., aiming to rev up sales as its mainstay personal computer business struggles in the recession, is preparing a move into cellphones as early as next month, said people familiar with the matter.
The Round Rock, Texas, company has had a group of engineers working on the phones for more than a year from an office in the Chicago area, these people said. They produced prototypes built on Google Inc.'s Android operating system and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile software, these people said.
Dell has not committed themselves to launching a smartphone yet and may abandon their efforts anytime. But, according to WSJ, Michael Dell has been looking into a smartphone opportunity ever since his return in 2007.
Also, according to WSJ, Dell smartphone development team spent much of last year meeting with suppliers of phone components, several phone software companies, and Asian manufacturers of phones.
Dell smartphones? As early as next month, eh? Don't sound so surprised. We know they've played a part in the Pharos line. That said, the WSJ is quoting unnamed sources, so anything can happen. But might we see some sort of announcment at Mobile World Congress?
Garmin, the GPS behemoth, and Asus, the Taiwanese hardware manufacturer that has dabbled in Windows Mobile, have teamed up to finally get nüvifones, the uber-location-based iPhone-looking phones, onto the market. And Gizmodo is speculating that Windows Mobile could well be the operating system of choice. The love child would be called the nüvifone G60.
Rather, it will be a phone running another "major platform." I am guessing that means Windows Mobile, but there's no telling which version, 6.1, 6.5 or 7.
We may learn a little more this morning when Asus and Garmin address the North American markets, and they've promised that we'll get a good look at the nüvifone at Mobile World Congress in a couple of weeks in Barcelona, Spain. And if this Windows Mobile angle checks out, we'll be there on top of it.
For now, check out the full press release after the break.
We knew that after Acer's acqusition of E-Ten that it was only a matter of time before we saw an Acer Smartphone. That time will apparely come February 16th at Mobile World Congress. We're hoping for some 6.5 action, but honestly we'd settle for something new and interesting and not just a rebrand of E-Ten's Glofiish series -- devices which are nothing to sniff at, but still aren't really the makings of of a brand new launch.
The Boy Genius has scored a Sprint deathlist, with a couple of Windows Mobile phones slated to be EOL'd – that's end of life – in the coming months.
The Motorola Q9c is on the chopping block, with its execution date set for mid-June. No replacement is noted.
Also on the list is the HTC Touch Diamond, which would go the way of the dinosaurs in July. There's no replacement noted for it, either, though we'd be willing to bet we'll eventually see something off that leaked HTC lineup.
We're listening in on the Garmin Press call about the nüvifone G60 that they'll be co-releasing. They're pretty pumped about their synergistic strategic alignments (or somesuch corporate-speak), the news is that nüvifone will soon expand into a "broad range of devices." The G60 will be shown off, but more imporantly a new model be fully unveiled at MWC09, and apparently more will come later this year.
It looks like they're trying to stay mum about just what OS they're planning on using long-term. As we said before the G60 is some custom ROM and the next device isn't likely to be Android. Given one of these partners is Asus, it's still a good possibility that the announced device at MWC09 will run on Windows Mobile. Later on, though, all bets are off. Both members are part of the Open Handset Alliance and it will "be part of the strategy moving forward," so WinMo might not be the long-term solution.
If you're interested in the business aspect, it's a straightforward "contractual alliance with profit sharing" and co-branding. In other words, no mergers or acquisitions here, they're just working together. Both companies are free to do whatever they'd like with other gadgets, they're just working together on smartphones.
You can try to hunt down more deets at garminasus.com, but it's pretty slim pickings.
You know this was inevitable. Google, king of stage, screen, search, mail and maps, has launched Google Latitude, which is part of Google Maps. Here's what you'll get:
Share locations: Location sharing starts only when both you and a friend agree. Invite friends via email or easily add them from your Gmail contacts.
Control privacy: You can share, set, or hide your location - or turn off Google Latitude - from the privacy menu. You can also hide your location or share only a city-level location with certain friends. (Update: Still worried about your privacy? Google's got a video covering that.)
Share status: Create a status message and upload your photo within Latitude. It also syncs directly with Google Talk. Check your friends' status messages to see what your friends are up to.
Contact your friends: Quickly contact your friends with an SMS, IM, or phone call. You can also get directions to lead you to your friends.
Yes, it's yet another location-based friend finder. But this one has something like none of the others – Google and its quintuple-zillion users, and the weight of the world's largest Internet search company. Unlike other other services of this kind, Google doesn't have to go out and find the users. They're already there. And that means that Google Latitude may well become the one location-based friend finder app to rule them all.
Also joining the 'cast, Matt Miller of our brand new sister-site Nokia Experts. If you're not reading Nokia Experts, double shame on you, becuase there's quality content there both for S60 lovers and (this may mean you, it definitely means me) people new to the platform and looking to learn more about how the most dominant smartphone OS on the planet works. Have a question about S60? Ask here in the comments and you'll be automatically entered to win one of two Nokia smartphones, the N85 or the E71. The contest last for another couple of weeks, but the question round ends on Sunday, so hie thee hence!
SPB Software plans to offer a sneak peak of their new Mobile Shell 3.0 at this months Mobile World Congress. The update version of the popular utility is fitted with a flexible 3D animation engine, Facebook integration, kinetic scrolling, widgets and multiple usability innovations. SPB Mobile Shell 3.0 is due to be released to manufacturers in late February 2009 and released to consumers late March of 2009. According to SPB upgrades policy, all end users who purchase software within 90 days of a new version release are eligible for free upgrades. So, if you've recently purchase SPB Mobile Shell and are within that magical 90 day window the upgrade to 3.0 will be free.
Microsoft just announced that its next desktop operating system will come in five flavors, much to the chagrin of many:
Windows 7 Starter
Windows 7 Home Basic (for "emerging markets")
Windows 7 Home Premium
Windows 7 Professional
Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate
Here in Windows Mobile world, we've got two choices within the OS – Professional (for touchscreen phones) and Standard (for those who like to keep their fingers off the screen). And, really, how much more would we need? We already know from the beta testing that Windows 7 plays just fine with Windows Mobile.
But here's a twist: Will Windows 7, which save for the multiple versioning has gotten mostly rave reviews, kill off the fledgling mobile companion market? We've seen from jkOnTheRun how well Windows 7 runs on netbooks. Between that and what we're hoping to see with Microsoft's new cloud services, will there be any room left for a devices that doesn't do it all? And as we saw in our Redfly vs. MSI Wind smackdown, is there any room for that now?
Toshiba has announced its latest smartphone [via] that looks like it will take on the HTC Touch phones as well as the iPhone (you noticed that, too?). The TG01 is a 9.9mm thick, 4.1" WVGA 800x480 Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional device. It has 3G HSPA, WiFi, GPS and features Toshiba's own 3D user interface that looks as if it were pulled from an Austin Powers movie. Groovie, Baby!
Toshiba will be using a Qualcomm 1GHz Snapdragon QSD2850 chipset that is sure to give the TG01 a bit of zip. Rounding out the design features is an accelerometer that will respond to gestures and shaking to answer/end calls, return to the home screen as well as rotating the display. There also will be a virtual trackpad.
One interesting aspect of the Snapdragon CPU is that it has dynamic speed control, which will allow it to dial back during low usage periods. It's unclear as to the battery capacity or internal memory, but the TG01 does have an microSD expansion slot.
Toshiba expects the TG01 to be available in Europe sometime this summer and hopefully shortly thereafter in U.S. markets. The TG01 is scheduled to make an appearance at the Mobile World Congress later this month in Barcelona, Spain, and we should be able to get some hands-on time with this new phone.
What do you do when your company's fourth-quarter profits were down $3.6 billion? You talk up how bright the future's going to be.
And that's just what Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha did this week did in discussing his Q4 report.
On the year, Moto sales totaled $30.1 million for a net loss of $2.4 billion. And they're expecting a loss of between $250 million and $300 million for the first quarter of 2009. Them's a lot of millions and billions.
Mobile Devices segment sales were $2.35 billion, down 51 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. For the full year 2008, sales were $12.1 billion, a 36 percent decrease compared to 2007, and the segment incurred an operating loss of $2.2 billion, compared to an operating loss of $1.2 billion in 2007.
During the quarter, the Company shipped 19.2 million handsets and estimates its share of the global handset market was 6.5 percent.
Talking about losing billions and billions of dollars is enough to loosen anyone's lips, and Jha also spoke about plans for the next year or so. [via Electronista] Mainly, Android's the deal for 2009, and we'll pick back up with Windows Mobile in 2010. OK, Moto. We'll play your waiting game. (What other choice do we have?)
OK. We admit it. We've done our share of dog-cussing Sprint. Some of that abuse has been deserved. Some of it maybe has just been piling on. But you've gotta admit, Sprint's been trying real hard of late. The Centro was a bit hit. The "Simply Everything" plans, well, simpilified things, and they're not a terrible deal. The HTC Touch Diamond, Touch Pro, Treo 800w and (soon) the Treo Pro have made a mighty fine CDMA lineup. (And we won't forget about the Samsung Ace and Motorola Q9c.)
Now Sprint unleashes "Sprint Premier." As they say, "unique perks you won't find anywhere else." Here's what you need to be automatically enrolled:
For three consecutive months, consumer customers must be on an individual wireless plan of at least $69.99 per month or spend at least $99.99 per month on a plan that shares minutes.
Must have been a Sprint wireless customer for at least 10 years.
That's so easy, a caveman could do it. Here's what you get once you're in the club:
Early Upgrades: After only one year customers can receive our new customer price on a new handset. That's almost a year sooner than other customers. For accounts sharing minutes, the early upgrade applies to the primary line. A new two-year agreement is required.
“Just Because” Perks: Spontaneous special offers for trips, tickets to shows and sporting events -- just to say thanks.
Anniversary Rewards: Customers celebrate their annual Sprint anniversary with a special gift such as free ring tones or free minutes.
First to Know/First to Buy: Longstanding customers get an exclusive first peek at new products and services such as the upcoming Palm Pre™, and then are among the first with opportunities to purchase when they become available.
Accessory Discounts: A once-a-year discount on accessories at participating Sprint stores.
Courtesy Plan Check: For customers who haven’t changed their plan in six months, Sprint will notify them for a “Plan Check” to make sure they are getting the most value out of their device.
Find out more at sprint.com/premiercustomer. Oh, and we couldn't help but notice the handy "If you don't qualify, you can start by changing (read: upgrading) your plan today (to something more expensive) button at the bottom. Sorry. Couldn't help ourselves.
We've known for a while that a smartphone is coming out under the Acer brand, we just weren't sure when. And we were kind of hoping that it'd be a new phone -- but hoping in the same way you hope that the dude at Dunkin Donuts will give you change for a twenty even though you paid with a ten.
Turns out Acer took the dual-SIM E-TEN Glofiish DX900 and has re-released it as its own. And that's fair, since Acer bought ETEN last year. Look for the Acer DX900 to be released in the United Kingdom by the end of the month. You can pre-order it now.
What does that mean for the Acer news conference on Feb. 16 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona? Probably good things -- that or they'll just remind us that they have these "new" DX900s. Either way, we'll be there to bring it all to you. In the meantime we're now hoping Acer has some WM6.5 action in store for us, drinking our coffee, abiding.
Want the latest Windows Mobile phone on T-Mobile but don't quite have the jing to get it done? Engadget is reporting that ol' T-Mo will let you pay off harware and accessory purchases over four months with its Equipment Installment Plan. The service reportedly is available to new and current customers, though you'll actually have to go into a store or talk to someone one the phone. Shy guys need not apply.
If you just can't bring yourself to rip open your HTC Touch Diamond to find out what makes it tick, we're right there with you. After all, this is the phone that launched the 2008 wave of black-slab sexiness.
But PPCGeeks member BigDiesel07 took it upon himself to rip apart the Diamond. And what he's found is that it doesn't look like an enterprising DIYer with a soldering gun will be able to upgrade the internal flash memory. And as the Diamond doesn't have external storage, we're stuck with what our HTC momma gave us.
There is really only one section of the board with anything on it, the board that has the processor on one side, and the huge memory bank on the other (the 4gb internal).