Google hasn’t been known as a hardware vendor in the past. That may soon change thanks to the company’s pending acquisition of Motorola, and recent reports suggest Google is already working on a self-branded home entertainment system and HUD glasses. Through a recent FCC filing, it has now been discovered that Google is also planning a “next generation personal communication device.” Details surrounding the mystery device are few and far between, although the filing does confirm both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are on board. The company has requested to test 102 units near Google office locations throughout the United States. The Mountain View-based company is listed as the manufacturer of the devices and it is described as being “in the prototyping phase and will be modified prior to final compliance testing.” More →
Motorola Mobility announced on its Twitter account Tuesday that it will release devices powered by Google’s latest Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system six weeks after Google releases the final build. “We’ll be releasing devices for ICS 6 weeks after Google releases the final version of it,” a company representative wrote on Motorola’s Twitter account. The company already confirmed that it will update the DROID RAZR, its latest smartphone, to the new operating system in early 2012. It is unclear what Motorola has up its sleeve, although we suspect it has both new tablets and smartphones coming down the pipeline. Android 4.0 offers an entirely revamped user interface, a new Android Bump feature for sharing content using near-field communications (NFC), resizable widgets and more. The first device to offer the operating system is Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus, which will be available from Verizon Wireless “later this year.”
UPDATE: In a second tweet posted some time later, Motorola suggests that it was referring to software updates for existing devices rather than new Ice Cream Sandwich device launches. “We’ve communicated that we are planning to upgrade DROID RAZR (as well as Motorola RAZR, DROID BIONIC, and Motorola XOOM) to Ice Cream Sandwich, and will provide more precise guidance on timing within 6 weeks post public push of ICS by Google,” a Motorola spokesperson told BGR in a statement.
A recent Mobile Insights report from research firm Nielsen suggests that AT&T customers are more satisfied with their phones than any other carrier customer in the United States. “Nielsen’s results reinforce that our customers have the highest device satisfaction compared to all carriers,” AT&T Mobility chief marketing officer David Christopher said. “Our data shows that as of the second quarter this year, about half of our postpaid customers had smartphones — more than any other wireless provider — and this trend shows no signs of slowing down.” Christopher attributed AT&T’s success to its wide selection of smartphones, the ability to talk and surf at the same time, a large network of Wi-Fi hotspots and its developing HSPA+ “4G” network. Read on for the full press release from AT&T. More →
We’ve just been sent a tip that Sprint is going to be raising its popular total equipment protection plan to $8, up from $7, starting on June 24th. It’s probably not the end of the world considering TEP not only offers insurance against lost or damaged devices, but also includes a free app that will remotely find, lock, or wipe your handset.
A carefully crafted tweet has sparked rumors of a native video-chat feature coming to Android 2.3.4 in the near future. “Just had a video call using gmail on Nexus S. Impressive quality @googlenexus Gingerbread 2.3.4 #io2011,” reads the post in question. The implication is — obviously — that Google will migrate its Gmail, browser-based video chat service to Android and unveil the new offering at this year’s Google I/O conference, which is set to kick off May 10th in San Francisco. We can’t say we’d be surprised to see it… but we’re still pretty excited. More →
HTC’s Incredible HD is starting to make the rounds which makes us think — fingers crossed — a release is right around the corner. The above image was sent in to Gizmodo and, as you can see from the status bar, there is a nice little 4G logo complete with an LTE distinction. Could this be the LTE handset Verizon plans to debut at CES? More →
Nokia has just made a new, beta version of its Ovi Maps suite available for download via the Beta Labs channel. The update, version number 3.6, allows users to download street maps directly to their device using Wi-Fi, features a new, unified “My Position” and “Search” feature, improves transit line display, and betters compass calibration on your device. If you’re a Symbian user, and want to try out the new goods, head on over to Nokia’s Labs site and have yourself a download. More →
According to whomever is operating the AT&T Share Facebook page, the Motorola Olympus — a dual-core, Tegra 2, Android handset — is due to be release in the very near future. One of our faithful readers pinged AT&T on Facebook inquiring as to when the beast of a handset would be released on Ma’ Bell. The company’s response was rather surprising: “The Motorola Olympus should be available in December or January.” That is the first public acknowledgement of the device’s existence by the nation’s second largest wireless carrier.
As we don’t have to explain to any Android fan currently with AT&T, the company has yet to bring a true, flagship, Android handset to market. Hopefully, with the release of the Olympus, Ma’ Bell can eradicate that not-so-stellar factoid. We’ve reached out to AT&T for comment and will update this post with any additional information provided. What do you think?
UPDATE: We’re not sure what this means, but AT&T has deleted the response from its Facebook page.
UPDATE 2: Here is AT&T’s official statement regarding the posting: “This response was posted erroneously. We don’t have any information to share about upcoming devices.”
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that T-Mobile is “in talks to distribute Huawei Technologies Co.’s new Google-powered smartphone this holiday season.” The phone in question, dubbed the Ideos, was revealed yesterday in Berlin. The phone is an inexpensive, 2.8-inch touchscreen, Android 2.2 device that Huawei says will be a powerful and accessible Android handset. The WSJ quotes a person familiar with the matter and explains that “an agreement would give Huawei an opening into the U.S. market and T-Mobile a low-cost smartphone.” The suggested retail price for the Ideos is between $100 and $200 off-contract. More →
Remember that Verizon Wireless roadmap we leaked? Well, it’s all coming together pretty nicely. We have just got our hands on images of one of the upcoming HTC devices we wrote about. Our source describes the phone as being an EVO in a larger and more polished Nexus One body; brushed aluminum, very upper end of the market, you get the picture. “It makes the Droid 2 look like a kids toy,” our source told us. No word on if it is a global device, although… we’re betting it is. From what we can see the device has an 8 megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, kickstand, 4.3-inch screen, 3.5 mm headphone jack, and, wait for it… a front facing camera.
We don’t have a release date yet (or a name), but we’re already counting down the days until we can get one of these in our offices.
Today, T-Mobile launched a teaser site for the mysterious G2; the company’s first HSAP+ enabled Android phone. As the site states:
The T-Mobile G2 will deliver tight integration with Google services and break new ground as the first smartphone designed to run at 4G speeds on our new HSPA+ network. In the coming weeks, we’ll share more details about the G2 and offer exclusive first access to current T-Mobile customers.
As always, you can visit the teaser site to donate your name and email address in exchange for information on the new hotness. For now, all we know is: the device is called the G2, most likely manufactured by HTC, will run Android, and will have a T-Mobile compliant HSPA+ radio. Who’s excited? More →
One of our Verizon Wireless connects sent us in a pretty nice document just moments ago… It’s Verizon Wireless’ summer device catalog, and we have it in its entirety. What’s most surprising is the inclusion of the Motorola Droid 2, a device Verizon Wireless has not announced, taking basically center stage on some of the pages. Thanks to the Summer / Fall catalog, we do have some confirmed specifications on the Motorola Droid 2: 8GB memory card preinstalled, 5 megapixel camera, 3G Mobile Hotspot functionality, and 1GHz CPU. There is also confirmation of the Pantech Jest, the Samsung Intensity 2 makes an appearance, as well as the Verizon Wireless Salute, and finally the Samsung Gusto rounds off the feature phones. The entire device catalog is in our gallery ready to go!