Friday, 20 January 2012

EU will decide on the Google-Motorola deal on Feb 13

By on 07:07

Previously set at January 10, the deadline for the EU to clear or reject the Google takeover of Motorola Mobility has been pushed back to February 13.

The reason behind the postponement is that the EU is waiting for undisclosed documents from Google.
Google made the deal with Motorola back in August of last year but had to await approval by the US and EU authorities to go through with the takeover.
The Search giant will come into possession of a generous patent portfolio is it acquires Motorola, which ultimately will come in handy in Android's court battles against Apple.

New photos of old Sony Ericsson WP7 phone prototype surface

By on 06:58

Early last year we saw a a prototype from Sony Ericsson that was running Windows Phone 7. The company never did announce a WP7 device, but now more shots have cropped up of what appears to be the same device. It's a prototype of the same model, but this one has a white back and keyboard.
The prototype has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and recognizable Sony Ericsson styling (the back looks a lot like the back of a Neo, for one). The camera at the back has an LED flash and records HD video, not a big surprise really as all Windows Phone devices have almost identical specs.
The prototype was reportedly running a beta version of Windows Phone (the tipster neglected to mention if it was a beta of v7 or v7.5), but worked without bugs.
Spy shots of a Sony Ericsson prototype running Windows Phone

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Samsung announces Star 3 and Star 3 DUOS

By on 08:28

Exactly one year after the Samsung Star II was announced, Samsung unveiled its successor. TheSamsung Star 3 and its dual-SIM version Star 3 DUOS are entry-level featurephones that aim to deliver simplified user experience at an attractive price.
Samsung Star 3
The Samsung Star 3 featurephones pack a 3" QVGA touchscreen, a 3.2 megapixel fixed-focus camera, a microSD slot and run on the company's latest TouchWiz UI. The connectivity department offers quad-band EDGE, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, FM radio and a 3.5mm audio jack. The big ones missing here are 3G and GPS.
Samsung Star 3 DUOS
The Star 3 and Star 3 DUOS are quite compact measuring 102x58x11.5mm and weighing just 95 grams.
Both gadgets will start rolling out globally by the end of this month, but there is no specific price quoted for either of them just yet.

HTC to unveil its first quad-core smartphone on February 26?

By on 08:26

We just got an invitation for the next major HTC event and it will take place on February 26. This means that the Taiwanese manufacturer will change its usual policy and will announce its new smartphones the day before the MWC starts, rather than at the event itself.
Perhaps HTC really has something special to share with us and they just can't wait. The rumored Android-running HTC Edge with a 720p screen and a quad-core CPU might just turn out to be the large scale announcement that mandated the different approach.

And seeing how things shape up, this better be the case, as there will be plenty of action going on that Sunday. Sony and Huawei already confirmed that they will be holding their own events on the same day, while Samsung is expected to join them too.
We are yet to see if Nokia will hold an event on the MWC eve as they did last year. In any case, the MWC marathon is bound to start a day early this year, so get you geek goggles ready.
Naturally, we'll be on site, covering the whole MWC for you as it unfolds.

Sony Ericsson Q4 and full 2011 results are out, don't look good

By on 08:24

Sony Ericsson published its Q4 and full 2011 financial reports and things aren't looking good for its fans. The joint-venture, which is to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony this year, had a rough time in the holiday quarter, which led to a major dip in its overall performance for the year.
Sony Ericsson saw a dip in both sales volume and value in Q4, which resulted in a net loss of €207 million. The company only shipped 9 million phones, compared to 11.2 million in Q4 of 2010 and 9.5 million in Q3 of 2010.
As a result of the poor performance in what's usually the most profitable quarter of the year, Sony Ericsson ended the year with a net loss €247. Only 34.4 million Sony Ericsson handset found their new owner in 2011, compared to 43.1 million in 2010.
According to the report, the reason for the market troubles that the company experiences is the intense competition in the smartphone segment, which led to price erosion. The restructuring charges also took their toll on the final balance.

Hopefully, once Sony Ericsson takes full shelter under Sony's wing, it will find its form and return to the profitable ways. The Xperia S and Xperia ion that we saw at CES seemed like a good start and we hope to see more of the same next month at MWC.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Samsung announces Galaxy S II WiMAX for Japan

By on 08:13

Adding to the litany of Galaxy S II models comes another one. This one is exclusive to Japan and has WiMAX onboard and will be sold through au by KDDI.

The Galaxy S II ISW11SC has a 4.7-inch Super AMOLED HD display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, 1.4GHz dual-core Qualcomm QSC6085 processor, 8 megapixel rear camera with 1080p video recording, 2 megapixel front camera, 16GB internal memory, expandable memory, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC.
No exact pricing or release date available at the moment.

BlackBerry Bold 9790 online in the UK SIM-less

By on 07:51

We previously reported that the BlackBerry Bold 9790, the latest touch and type flagship by RIM will be available over at the UK on January 9. It turns out that now is the moment when the Bold 9790 is yours to purchase over in the United Kingdom for 330 pounds SIM-free.
UK online retailer Clove has received stock of the Bold 9790 and users can already order up. The price is not what you'd consider a bargain and many would argue that buying a BlackBerry device without a BlackBerry service by a carrier is illogical.
Another UK retailer lists the Bold 9790 as free on a contract with all major UK carriers, save for Three UK. Head down to source link number 2 if you want to explore other options.
Still if you want the Bold 9790 it offers a 2.45" 480 x 360 resolution, 1 GHz processor, 5 MP camera with autofocus and 720p video recording.
P.S. We just got ours and it's entering the reviewing queue as we speak

Did Samsung just show the Galaxy S III?

By on 07:31

CES may be over but it might still hold an interesting reveal - the Samsung Galaxy S III. In an official Samsung video used in their press conference at the event, a Galaxy S II-like phone makes a brief appearance, but it carries visible changes from the current model.

The most noticeable difference is how thin the bezel is - much thinner than the one on the S II. We've heard rumors that the S III will have a next-gen Super AMOLED screen with a 4.6" diagonal, which would fit in the frame of the Galaxy S II if Samsung shaves down the bezel.
Here's the video, starting at the moment of the reveal:
Of course, this could turn out to be just a representation of a phone that Samsung wants to make, not an actual model. Or even just a mockup someone in the PR department made with no connection to the phone development team.
We have to admit that those rounded edges of the screen seem rather suspicious, So take what you saw in the video with a pinch of salt.

Monday, 16 January 2012

PR1.2 update spotted on Nokia N9, to bring video calls and folders

By on 09:25

Sometimes you're just lucky - like this guy who found out his Nokia N9 is already running the upcoming PR1.2 update. The changelog for the update promises video calling support, app folders, improvements for the camera and gallery (we've already gotten a taste of the refreshed interface for the camera and the face recognition in the gallery).
Tamerbatar, a Talk Maemo forum member was kind enough to share some screenshots with the rest of us who are still running PR1.1 and here they are.
Screenshots of PR1.2 update for Nokia N9
The copy/paste functionality in the browser is new too, although it wasn’t mentioned in the changelog.

LG signs patent licensing deal with Microsoft

By on 09:19

LG is the latest major Android manufacturer to sign a licensing agreement with Microsoft, agreeing to pay royalties to the software giant. That leaves Motorola as the only one of the Google OS big players that hasn't got a similar deal.
The deal means that LG will be paying Microsoft a few bucks for every smartphone, tablet or "other consumer devices" it makes that run either Android or Google Chrome OS.

LG becomes the eleventh Android OEM to sign such a deal with Microsoft. The aforementioned Motorola is already being sued by Microsoft over alleged patent infringement, so it might be joining that list soon.
HTC and Samsung each have patent licensing deals with Microsoft, which require them to push out Windows Phone devices and pay for promotion and marketing of the OS. It's unclear if LG has similar clauses in its contract.

Nokia expected to sell 37 million Windows Phones in 2012

By on 09:12

According to analyst company Morgan Stanley, this year is going to be a very successful one for Nokia and its WP smartphones. The Finns made a rapid change an effort changing their focus and direction and now is the fruits of their hard work are going to pay off.
Atleast that's what analysts think. In 2012, Morgan Stanley expects Nokia's Windows Phone shipments to hit 37 million units and double to 64 million in 2013. This means that in the next two years Nokia's Windows Phone devices will overtake their Symbian smartphones' sales.
Just for comparison, Morgan Stanley says that HTC will ship 6 million Windows Phone smartphones this year and 10 million in 2013.
Those numbers sound pretty well considering that Windows Phone 7 OS hasn't been around for as long as its iOS and Android rivals. Maybe 2012 will be the year when Windows Phone finally makes an impact. We know the forecasts don't sound right given the current state of the platform, but things develop at great speed in this business, so they might turn out true.