Research In Motion has its work cut out for it. Apple and Samsung went from dominating the smartphone industry to completely owning it in the first quarter this year, and RIM’s struggles continued as its BlackBerry 7 smartphone lineup really started showing its age. All eyes are on BlackBerry 10 as industry watchers try to determine whether or not RIM has a real shot at a comeback, and RIM has to be especially impressive at this year’s BlackBerry World conference since its first BlackBerry 10 smartphone likely won’t even launch until some time in October. RIM president and CEO Thorsten Heins will take the stage in just a few minutes when RIM’s BlackBerry World keynote kicks off at 9:00 a.m. EDT / 6:00 a.m. PDT, so hit the break to follow all the action as it unfolds and don’t forget to refresh the page for the latest updates. More →
Mobile World Congress has been a roller coaster ride so far this year. The week kicked off with a bang on Sunday with both Sony and HTC unveiling their latest and greatest smartphones, and the HTC One X was definitely the star of the show. Things were up and down on Monday and Tuesday however, and the show actually got pretty slow for a while there. Our time in Barcelona isn’t up just yet, however, and Microsoft chose today to unveil the latest version of its next-generation operating system, Windows 8. The technology giant released a preview version of Windows 8 last September, but we’re sure plenty has changed over the past five months. And beyond checking out all the new features Microsoft has undoubtedly baked into its new OS, we might finally get a better idea of when devices carrying the platform will finally launch. Microsoft’s Windows 8 press conference is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. Eastern / 6:00 a.m. Pacific (3:00 p.m. local time in Barcelona), so hit the break for our live coverage of the event!
UPDATE: Don’t forget to check out our full review of Microsoft’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which is now live! More →
In less than one quarter with just two smartphones on the market, Nokia managed to take the top spot among Windows Phone vendors in the fourth quarter of 2011. Microsoft’s mobile platform still accounts for just a small fraction of Nokia’s smartphone sales, but the Finnish vendor is in the early stages of a transition that will eventually see Symbian devices eliminated from its portfolio. The Lumia 710 and Lumia 800 started things off, and Nokia revealed the Lumia 900 during the Consumer Electronics Show, a flagship device that BGR exclusively reported will launch on AT&T next month at a very aggressive $99.99 price point. Nokia is rumored to have at least two new devices that will be unveiled during today’s press conference — the entry-level Lumia 610 and a high-end camera phone expected to be the international version of the Lumia 900 — and we’re on hand to bring you all the news as it breaks. Hit the jump for our live coverage of Nokia’s press conference, which is scheduled to begin at 2:30 a.m. EST / 11:30 p.m. PST (8:30 a.m. local time in Barcelona). More →
HTC has a lot to prove at this year’s Mobile World Congress trade show. The Taiwan-based smartphone vendor had a huge year in 2011, firmly establishing itself as one of the leaders in the smartphone space. Toward the end of the year, however, stiff competition from Apple and Samsung caught up with HTC and the company ended 2011 with a whimper instead of a bang. HTC has promised that change is coming, however, and it looks like the vendor plans to deliver. BGR exclusively revealed details surrounding the mid-range HTC Ville and the high-end HTC Edge/Endeavor last November, and at that time we said both smartphones would be unveiled at Mobile World Congress. Will HTC indeed take the wraps off these two sleek smartphones on stage at today’s event? Does the vendor have any other devices in store at this year’s show? HTC’s press conference is set to kick off at 2:30 p.m. EST / 11:30 a.m. PST (8:30 p.m. local time in Barcelona), so hit the break for all the news as it unfolds. More →
Mobile World Congress doesn’t officially get started until tomorrow, but a handful of technology giants couldn’t wait that long to kick off the show. Among them is Sony, formerly Sony Ericsson, and it looks like the struggling smartphone maker could have quite a show in store for us this year. Sony Ericsson posted a €247 million loss in the fourth quarter as its smartphone market share continued to decline. Now that the former joint venture is wholly owned, Sony is planning a renewed attack on the smartphone space that will likely be fueled by Ice Cream Sandwich and deeper integration with Sony’s wide range of consumer electronics devices. We’re certainly in store for a few new Xperia phones at today’s event, but will they offer the differentiation Sony needs to make a dent in today’s market? Sony’s press conference is set to kick off at 1:00 p.m. EST / 10:00 a.m. PST (7:00 p.m. local time in Barcelona), so hit the jump for all the action as it breaks. More →
News broke earlier this week that Apple has acquired Israel-based fabless flash memory firm Anobit for as much as $400 million according to TheMarker, adding another leading chip maker to the company’s portfolio. Anobit’s NAND flash memory is already used in Apple products including the iPhone and iPad, and the firm’s technology is said to offer several advantages over that of its rivals. As DigiTimes pointed out in a recent report, the move also means Anobit’s other clients are now forced to look elsewhere as Apple becomes the exclusive owner of Anobit’s chip technology. Major players including Hynix and Micron were Anobit partners in the past, taking advantage of the company’s proprietary technology that improves the performance and lifespan of its flash memory products. Hynix, Micron and others are now reportedly looking to Taiwan-based companies including Phison Electronics and Silicon Motion Technology following the acquisition. Direct gains from Apple’s Anobit buy include the company’s technology and talent, but another advantage over rivals now emerges as a clear secondary benefit — smartphone vendors that used NAND flash memory chips made by soon-to-be former Anobit clients will no longer be able to utilize Anobit’s class-leading technology. More →
NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and SoftBank have created the “Japan Mobile NFC Consortium,” which will help the three carriers coordinate and adopt an international NFC standard. Currently, all three operators offer an NFC service dubbed Osaifu-Keitai (wallet phone) which uses a contactless-IC smartcard that’s called FeliCa. Unfortunately, the technology doesn’t work overseas where other carriers use Type A or Type B NFC standards, which means Osaifu-Ketai won’t function properly for NTT DoCoMo, KDDI or SoftBank customers hoping to use their phones for mobile payments overseas. The three carriers hope they can work with handset makers and vendors to encourage the adoption of Type A and Type B NFC standards. The consortium also aims to “create an environment in Japan where service providers can offer efficient, low-cost NFC services based on common standards and rules adopted by the three mobile operators.” The full press release follows after the break. More →
Samsung on Thursday unveiled two new dual-SIM smartphones, the Galaxy Y Duos and the Galaxy Y Pro Duos. A phone with two SIM card slots offers a number of benefits; it’s perfect for two people hoping to share a single phone in emerging markets, but it’s also great for business travelers that want to use one account for personal matters and a second as a business line. The Galaxy Y Duos runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and has a processor clocked at 832MHz and a 3-megapixel camera. The Galaxy Y Pro Duos offers similar specs but has a smaller 2.6-inch display and a full QWERTY keyboard. Both phones will initially launch in Russia. The Galaxy Y Duos will then roll out into Europe, CIS, Latin America, Southeast and Southwest Asia, the Middle East, Africa and China. The Galaxy Y Pro Duos will launch in Europe, CIS, Latin America, Southwest Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Samsung’s full press release follows after the break. More →
Apple is not likely to succeed in its efforts to ban Samsung’s revised flagship tablet in Germany, the judge presiding over the case said on Thursday. The Dusseldorf court in September banned a local Samsung subsidiary from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany after determining that the design of Samsung’s tablet copied the iPad too closely. “Other designs are possible,” Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann said at the time, and Samsung came back with a tweaked Galaxy Tab 10.1N in November that included changes intended to help Samsung skirt the ban. Apple filed a new complaint later that month in an effort to block sales of the revised slate, but the judge said on Thursday that Apple is unlikely to win this time around. Judge Brueckner-Hofmann said Samsung’s changes appear to have addressed the problem areas she saw in its original 10-inch tablet, Bloomberg Businesweek reported, though an official determination has not yet been made. More →
The United States International Trade Commission ruled late Tuesday that Motorola Mobility is guilty of infringing on one of Microsoft’s patents. The patent is related to calendar sync and how one might use a device to schedule a meeting, BBC News explained. Microsoft originally filed a suit against Motorola Mobility in August in an attempt to block sales of several Motorola Android smartphones, such as DROID 2, DROID X and several others, and accused Motorola Mobility of infringing on seven total patents. The ITC judge ruled that Motorola Mobility devices do not infringe on six of Microsoft’s patents, however. Microsoft recently filed a similar lawsuit against Barnes & Noble, and the company has already reached licensing agreements with HTC, Samsung, ViewSonic and several other firms. “The ones who can actually sit back and relax as they watch this are those who have concluded license deals with Microsoft (or other patent holders) and don’t have to worry about possible or actual import bans, possible or impossible workarounds, or further escalation,” patent expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents explained recently. More →
LG is full of surprises these days, even though we all knew this nifty little gadget was coming. When we first covered the LG wristwatch phone, it was all in good fun and humor. It turns out however, that LG’s Touch Watch Phone really is a cool little gadget. First off, it supports 3G, is Bluetooth capable, has a 1.4″ touch screen and it even sports a front-facing camera for video-conferencing. If you’re the type who doesn’t like admiring your own wrist for more than a few seconds, the Touch Watch Phone will also read text messages aloud – perfect while on the run or on the couch with your arm buried in a bag of potato chips. Pretty cool, right? We’re not sure if it supports speech-to-text, but we’ve got our fingers crossed since it will make entering data on Touch Watch Phone a breeze. No pricing or solid release date yet, but at least we all know it’s official now. Anyone going to pick one of these up and show it off?