smartphones

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HTC Titan and Radar coming to Taiwan

Today HTC announced that its island home of Taiwan will be seeing the HTC Titan and Radar in the very near future.  The Titan, HTC's new flagship phone, is set to hit shelves later this month at a retail price of Tw$18,900 ($619.67).  The Radar, its lower price point counterpart, is expected in November and will fetch Tw$13,900 ($455.74).

Taiwan joins the expanding Mango marketplace, along with India, who gets official Windows Phone support today.  you can bet that both will see their fair share of the bump in marketing recently promised by WP7 phone manufacturers like HTC.

Source: AFP, Via: WMPowerUser

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LG LS831 passes FCC

We first caught wind of the LG LS831 the last week of August when it made an appearance on WP Bench and I'm A WP7, but we didn't know anything about it.  Well, this mystery phone has just made it past the FCC and it looks like it's a CDMA phone with WP7.5 on it.  The LS831 was tested in the Baltimore area and could be coming to Sprint or Verizon in the near future.  It has also popped up on WP Bench again:

It's good to see some handsets slated for the CDMA carriers, as it looked like Windows Phone was being shown much love.

Source: BlogOfMobile; Via: Nanapho

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It looks like Vodafone Ireland will be adding the HTC Titan to its WP7 offerings, which currently only consists of the LG Optimus7 (E-900).  They have added a "Coming Soon" page for the 4.7" monster where you can register to be notified when it is available.  The Titan is available for pre-order on Clove, who says that initial stock arrives in "early October" and we know it will be hitting the Netherlands on October 7th, so it hopefully will arrive in Ireland around the same time.

Source: Vodafone Ireland (Thanks for the tip, Mike!)

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Today, AT&T has announced its Windows Phone 7.5 plans, including new phones and updates (see earlier AT&T roadmap leak). The three new devices, the HTC Titan, Samsung's Focus S and Focus Flash will all be available in Q4, though no specific date has been specified. Most impressive is the announcement of the first 4G Windows Phone, coming from Samsung.

We've all seen (and drooled over) the HTC Titan, with its gigantic 4.7-inch screen, 1.5GHz processor, 8MP camera with dual LED flash in addition it's front-facing 1.3MP camera. No doubt that the Titan will be highly anticipated and a weclome addition to AT&T's offerings.

As for the Focus S (SGH-i937 aka Kapua) it will "build on the success of the award-winning and highest selling Windows Phone in the U.S., the Samsung Focus." and will sport a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 1.4GHz processor, 8MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front-facing camera, all snuggly tucked into a svelte a 8.55 millimeter profile (the current Focus is 9.9mm thick, for reference)

Finally, the Samsung Focus Flash will be geared for the more price-conscious consumer.  While it, too, will have a 1.4GHz processor, the screen measures in a tad smaller than the Focus S, at 3.7 inches, and will only have a 5MP camera.  All three will have front-facing cameras, which seems to be a standard for any new, Mango-native devices.

Speaking of which, AT&T also took the opportunity to say that they will be among the first to roll out Mango to their existing lineup of phones.  The HTC HD7S, HTC Surround, LG Quantum, and Samsung Focus will all see Mango updates "this fall,"  which could even come to mean this week.

Source: AT&T

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News out of Auckland New Zealand is that the Acer M310 Mango phone made an appearance at Tech Ed 2011.  The shiny black, beveled-edge M310, which is said to look similar to the Acer W4, has a meager 8GB of storage (unfortunately no images were available but we're still digging).

However, word has it that one thing that sets it apart from its other WP7 brethren is the addition of an HDMI output jack.  This is an exciting feature in what otherwise sounds like a pretty basic phone.  Another nice feature is that it will support DLNA over Wifi, which will allow it to communicate with other DLNA-equipped devices such as TVs, Xbox, etc.

Asus also had a unnamed handset on display at Tech Ed, which seemed to be an engineering sample, complete with "non-final code."  The matte black Asus is worth a quick mention because it looked to have a front-facing camera, though that was not confirmed. 

It's nice to see some new features popping up on new WP7 Mango phones.  There has been a lot of news of where Windows Phone is headed with Skype integration and Xbox Live and features like HDMI and front-facing cameras will be key to bringing those thing to fruition.

Source: Windows Phone NZ; Via: Engadget

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We first heard about the Samsung GT-i8350 in July, when it was speculated to be a follow up to the Omnia 7.  Yesterday, we saw that it got its Bluetooth certification, which means it's close to being released.  Word is now that the GT-i8350 will be re-branded as the Omnia W and that it will hit shelves in October. 

The Mango-equipped refresh of the Omnia 7 will also sport the following:

  • 1GHz processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 5MP camera
  • 3.7-inch WVGA screen
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth (as we already knew)

Nothing to get excited about here, but hey, it will be one more option out there come Fall.

Source: HDBlog; Via: PocketNow

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Back in May, editors of French website MonWindowsPhone compiled a list of complaints and bug reports from Samsung Omnia 7 users on their forums.  The issues ranged from error messages, to battery life, to minor annoyances.  MonWindowsPhone then drafted a letter including over 100 things that they would like to see fixed and sent it to Samsung France.

Samsung responded in July, saying that they were taking action based on the reports of the user community.  Now MonWindowsPhone is reporting that a software update is due out in a few weeks that will address many of those issues.  The update will also help prepare the device to be upgraded to Mango.

Here's to community action and companies that listen!

Source: MonWindowsPhone

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HTCInside has posted what appear to be a snapshot and specs of the HTC Eternity, one of the new phones rumored to arrive this fall from the Taiwanese manufacturer.  Along with sporting a whopping 4.7-inch WVGA Super LCD screen, this Mango monster will allegedly pack the following features:

  • 1.5GHz single-core processor
  • 8MP camera with dual-LED flash and 720p video
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 16GB of storage
  • DLNA, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • 1650mAh battery

The 1.5GHz processor exceeds the current Microsoft WP7 requirements, which only include 1GHz and 800MHz chips.  This could either be a sign of new hardware requirements to come, or the Eternity's spec sheet is incorrect.  With or without the pumped-up CPU, the HTC Eternity sounds like quite the powerhouse.  As with all leaks, we need to take it with a grain of salt, but it's a exciting prospect nonetheless.

Source: HTCInside; Via: PocketNow

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Compal to manufacture WP7 phones

Compal Electronics, Inc. CEO, Ray Chen, used today's annual stockholders meeting to make a big announcement: Compal signed an agreement with Microsoft to begin manufacturing Windows Phone devices.  Compal will be an ODM, which means that even though they will build the phones, they will carry the branding of other companies.  The new handsets, which will be made for Acer and Nokia, will are expected to go to market in Q4 of this year.

"Compal will build up a foundation based on the WP7 platform that will enable it to shorten time to market for customized smartphones while expanding the pool of Windows Phone-based clients," said Chen.  The Taiwan-based company joins the ranks of Nokia, HTC, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE, who all have licensing deals for WP7, but is currently the only ODM. 

Source: DigiTimes; Via: MobileTechWorld

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A WDS study of 600,000 support calls across Europe, North America, South Africa and Australia shows that the WP7 devices are less susceptible to hardware failure than their Android counterparts.  In the year-long study that included WP7, Android, iOS and RIM devices, WDS compared the number of calls per OS with the ones where hardware failure was the culprit.  Though WP7's 9% hardware failure out-performed Android's 14%, it still finished in a close third behind iOS' 8%.  Surprisingly, RIM came in at number one with a meager 3.7% failure rate.

The primary reason given for the differences between brands was the number of OEMs who manufacture devices for each company.  Android, licensed as open source, is used by 35 different manufacturers, some of which were much more likely to produce failing devices than others.  Microsoft also licenses out WP7, but with stricter hardware requirements.  Meanwhile, Apple and RIM produce their own software and hardware, and thus have tighter quality control.

WDS admits that the study is not fool proof, as it could only determine what percentage of calls could be attributed to hardware, but not the percentage of over all calls in comparison to the over all number of phones shipped in that period of time.  Either way, the outcome is pretty positive for Microsoft, whose hardware reliability rate will likely see a boost once Nokia's WP7 handsets hit the market.  Recently we caught a glimpse of what's in store.  Nokia has near spotless reputation when it comes to their hardware.

Source: PCMag; Via: WPSauce

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It was just days ago that we reported that U.S. Cellular would be offering their first WP7 phone, an unspecified HTC device, "between now and the end of the year."  Well, it turns out that it would be less than a week later, on June 14th, that customers will be able to get an HTC 7 Pro (aka, HTC Arrive--see our coverage here) sporting Windows Phone 7.  The 7 Pro is available for $199.99 with a Belief Plan w/Data and/or a new 2-year contract.  The final price is also after a $100 rebate in the form of a Visa debit card.

Today's press release hyped the 7 Pro as a great device for multi-taskers and multi-media/gaming enthusiasts who are looking to "simplify their busy lives and have fun too."  It's not clear why the initial forecast was so murky, but the sooner the better for Microsoft, who is trying to break into a smartphone market dominated by Android and iPhones.  It's a good sign that another carrier is bringing WP7 onboard.

You can get yours here.

Source: U.S.Cellular

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5

Verizon Trophy now $99 on Newegg

The Verizon HTC Trophy has made its way on to Newegg.  Customers looking to renew their contract or open up a new line of service can get it for a measley $99.99.  If you want to purchase without a contract it will run you $489.99.  Free shipping via FedEx is included.

Source: NewEgg; Thanks go out to Thomas-Moffitt Stage for the tip!

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In a recent interview, Nokia bigwig, Stephen Elop, said that it is "possible" that we may see the first Nokia-branded WP7 phones this year.  And even though Elop and other Nokia execs are gunshy about committing to that possibility, the head of Russian mobile giant Sviaznoj, Denis Liudkovski, is offering up a little more certainty.  Nokia and Sviaznoj are in discussions on a possible deal that would create Nokia "shop-in-shop" outlets within the Russian retailer's stores, and after the meeting Liudkovski had this to say:

“We are the key Nokia partner in Russia. Thanks’ to the cooperation agreements on the “shop-in-shop” format, all the newest models show up at Sviaznoj earlier then in competing outlets…. We expect that the first Windows Mobile based Nokia smartphone will show up in our stores before the end of 2011”

Liudkovski did not give a reason for his expectations, but presumably, his confidence is stemming from some behind-the-scenes assurance he received during the meeting.  We also assume that by "Windows Mobile" he meant "Windows Phone."  Even the big guys slip up from time to time.

Source: RBC Daily; Via: UnwiredView

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It's nothing new to find a cheap knockoff device pretending to be the real deal in China, but in what looks to be a first, a phone has surfaced that runs a fake version of WP7.  In reality, the HD7 imitator runs Windows Mobile 6.5, customized to resemble WP7.  Despite the chintzy OS, the Shanzai "HD7" sports a gigantic 4.8" screen with a 400x800 resolution, compared to the real HD7's 4.3" display.  Other specs on include:

  • 1GHz processor
  • Dual SIMS
  • Two MicroSD slots (total of 32GB extra memory)
  • 256MB RAM/512MB ROM
  • WiFi/Bluetooth
  • GPS

There's no word on when the phone will be available, nor how much it will cost.  But, come on...you really wouldn't buy this thing anyway.  It's just fun see what the Chinese counterfeiters come up with next.  Who knows, perhaps it might just inspire HTC to create a true monster-screen device for Windows.

Source: Shanzhai Via: UberGizmo

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A strong team of graduates have been working on an app for Windows Phone 7 that will aid in the fight against malaria, greatly benefiting healthcare workers in remote locations who may not have an Internet connection. Before it gets much-deserved recognition, the team are looking to win the Imagine Cup 2011 national finals in Seattle. The contest, sponsored by Microsoft, invites entrants to "imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems."

Tristan Gibeau, the project's software designer, said "It's going to make a difference in trying to contain the outbreak of malaria. In the big picture, it'll hopefully help in the fight against most diseases out there and make everybody's life a little easier."

The app Tristan and his team have developed uses a a modified smartphone that features a microscopic camera lens. The application takes a photo of a blood sample and identifies malaria parasites, calculates how many are present and draws a red box around the clusters. Not only that, but the stored data can be uploaded for analysis to detect trends. Tristan is also said to be working on an app that detects sickle cells among other diseases.

Post-development and gold releases are planned to be easily adaptable for lab-based microscopes. Next steps for his team include patenting and marketing the application/technology.

What do you think of this entry into medicine for WP7, and how do you think this application (and technology) will impact healthcare workers in more remote, ill-equipped locations?

Source: Hufflngtonpost

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We love analysts and predictions, especially when they paint Windows Phone 7 in particularly good light, and Gartner (a leading worldwide technology research and advisory company) has done just that with their latest prediction.

Having a gander at the chart above, we can see the accumulative market total topping 1 billion by 2015 and Microsoft has been predicted to achieve 19.5% market share (compared to the 4.2 they currently hold) - Not bad for a platform that is continuously said to be "failing". Gartner revised its forecast of market share for WP7 taking into account the Nokia partnership, which is said to push the platform into mid-tier of its portfolio by the end of next year.

On a general note, "by 2015, 67 percent of all open OS devices will have an average selling price of $300 or below, proving that smartphones have been finally truly democratized," said Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at Gartner. We have already covered other predictions that WP7 will overtake RIM from Ovum, so what Gartner has posted seems in-line.

What do you think of these predictions, and what is forecasted for WP7?

Source: Gartner, via: WMPU

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Going back to November, it was known that Verizon would be offering the HTC Trophy world phone to Microsoft employees, part of the deal that MS would cover employee phones (so long as they were Windows Phones, ahem).

A few days ago, that date for the offer was extended to April 1st, a sign we thought that Trophy release was imminent. Now we get word that the date is extended, yet again, by one week to April 7th. What does this all mean? What we've known for a bit: Verizon is testing the Trophy, it's nearly complete and their "release dates" for the public (latest being the 15th) are clearly moving targets, not written in stone. Lets just hope this is the last of the delays as Verizon is really dragging this drama out for a phone that is far from the cream of the crop.

Source: VerizonWireless

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AT&T is having a spring sale on 5 smartphones, including the Samsung Focus and LG Quantum.  You can grab either one for a slim $49.99 with a new two-year commitment.  This deal is good on AT&T's website or at any company-owned retail store.

Actually, this is interesting because the prices went up from $0.01 a few days ago for some of these (but not others) but hey, what's $50 between friends? (Even if it is AT&T).

Source: AT&T

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An AT&T Forum user, sporting the moniker melted_focus, has posted a tale of woe about his Samsung Focus that suddenly started smoking when he plugged in the charging cable.  The problem is said to have begun when the device repeatedly started chiming like it does when you first start charging it; however, the cable was not plugged in.  After a fruitless reboot, he decided to try plugging in the charging cable.  This halted the beeping, but within 30 seconds, the Focus allegedly began smoking.  The result was a singed Focus and charger.

Melted_focus took the phone to his local AT&T corporate store, but because the phone was more than 30 days old, they refused to replace it in-store.  The next step was trying to get it replaced under warranty at an AT&T Device support center.  After speaking to a technician, a supervisor and a manager, melted_focus was told that there was no service bulletin related to this issue, and therefore it was not covered under warranty.  The only options offered were Make an insurance claim and pay a deductible for a "like-new" replacement, or buy a new one at full retail price.  As it stands now, melted_focus is awaiting a call back from a supervisor in the AT&T warranty department. 

While there are plenty of possible explanations that do not include a defective device, it would stand to reason that AT&T might just want to help out a customer in need, especially one that may be bringing a potentially dangerous issue to their attention.  We will keep our eyes on this story.  In the meantime, you can check out some of the other pics of the toasty Focus.

Source: AT&T Forum; Via: BGR

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Nokia CEO (and former Microsoft bigwig), Stephen Elop has told Reuters that they are "right now, today, having people work on the first Windows Phone devices from Nokia." This comes just over a month after the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft was announced. [Edit: Though at Mobile World Congress, it was revealed that Nokia and Microsoft had been working together for "months" already at the engineering level]

When asked about a possible acquistion of Nokia by his former company, Elop sounded doubtful, saying:

 I’m not aware of a strategic interest that Microsoft would have in the rest of the business.

To the extent that a partnership has been formed around what they’re really interested in, then what would an acquisition bring other than a good year of anti-trust investigation, huge turmoil, delays?

Elop hopes to see a Nokia hadnset by the end of the year, but had previously stated that they would realistically be "be shipping in volume in 2012.” Despite falling stock prices and unhappy workers walking out after the announcement, we are excited to see what the two technology giants' partnership produces. Until that time, we only have some concpets dreamed up by Nokia and their fans.

Source: Reuters; Via: TechCrunch

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