HTC said recently that it will focus on the quality of its top-of-the-line “Hero” smartphones moving forward instead of pumping out a large number of devices across multiple price points. “We have to get back to focusing on what made us great – amazing hardware and a great customer experience,” HTC’s UK head Phil Roberson said in an interview with Mobile Today. “We ended 2011 with far more products than we started out with. We tried to do too much… We make great phones, but it is hard to do that when the portfolio is spread too much.” Roberson also noted that he wanted each customer to be purchasing “something special” when he or she buys a new HTC device. The company is currently expected to unveil a quad-core smartphone during Mobile World Congress, which kicks off next month. If it does announce the phone, it will no doubt be one of the company’s first “Hero” devices moving forward. More →
Apple just confirmed during WWDC 2011 that it has sold 200 million iOS devices to date, including 25 million iPads. The iTunes store has also sold 15 billion songs and Apple has paid out over $2.5 billion to App Store developers. In addition, users have downloaded a total of 14 billion applications from the iTunes App Store — including 90,000 iPad apps — and 130 million downloads from the iBookstore.
Today is the day that Apple CEO Steve Jobs and other executives will unveil the next advancements out of the industry’s leading innovator at WWDC 2011. While Apple has already announced that the company will be talking about three different main products — iOS 5, iCloud, and Mac OS X Lion — the fact is, Apple once again could possibly change (and influence) the entire way we use computers and mobile devices. Let’s look at iCloud, for example: if Apple is able to transition the device-centric approach to how we work with information and apps to a task-centric approach where the PowerPoint presentation you’re working on is what matters, and not what computer or tablet or smartphone you’re editing it from, that in itself a huge move forward in computing. Other companies have been trying to accomplish this for years, but we having a feeling that Apple is about to show us the beginnings of something so seamless, it really could find mass adoption, unlike most current solutions. Add in music, photos, videos, and your documents, and you should be able to pick up any computer or device and have access to all of your information and data from wherever you are. Coupled with a rumored Airport Extreme and TimeCapsule refresh in which the devices will run iOS and a feature an A4 or A5 processor, and all of your data could sit on one of your own devices and it would use your own internet connection to serve up your files directly to you. Lastly, what if iCloud allowed you to just walk up to any iOS or Mac computer and let you sign in, sit down, and practically act as if though it was your device or computer? What if Apple then implements this using NFC in the next iPhone — just place your iDevice next to a Mac computer, and it will instantly be transformed into your computer. Hit the break for more! More →
Apple, a company many said had repeatedly delayed the development and launch of the iPhone for fear that it might cannibalize its iPod business, is now a “mobile devices company” with a smartphone that is undoubtedly its flagship device. Chief Executive Steve Jobs and Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook have both publicly acknowledged this major transition on several occasions, including on stage while unveiling the iPad and on earnings calls while speaking with analysts. Apple is growing at an unheard of pace and stockpiling mountains of cash, all thanks to its mobile business. Personal Computers, Apple’s core business for nearly 30 years, now play second fiddle to the company’s mobile devices in terms of both revenue and mind share. On the other side of the table, old rival Microsoft is doing all it can to regain its footing in the mobile space after letting its Windows Mobile platform grow stale and moldy. Windows Mobile’s replacement, Windows Phone, is still in its infancy but early reports have suggested adoption has been slow at best. So where does Microsoft go from here? More →
During Google’s I/O conference in San Francisco today, Google confirmed that it has activated more than 100 million Android devices worldwide across 36 OEM’s and 215 carriers. There are now more than 310 Android devices in 112 countries and Google activates 400,000 Android devices each day. Similarly, there are 450,000 Android developers and more than 200,000 applications available in the Android market. 4.5 billion apps have been installed to date.
Regional wireless provider U.S. Cellular has officially thrown its hat into the 4G ring. “U.S. Cellular, in conjunction with its partnership with King Street Wireless, announced today that it will deliver high-speed 4G LTE services and 4G-enabled devices to more than 25 percent of its customers across two dozen markets in time for the holiday season,” declares the company’s press release. U.S. Cellular plans to have LTE-enabled devices in market “during the first phase of its 4G LTE rollout” with additional devices populating the carrier’s lineup in 2012. Milwaukee, Madison and Racine, Wisconsin; Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport, Iowa; Portland and Bangor, Maine; and Greenville, North Carolina will be among the first markets to be covered by the new, high-speed network. The full press release is after the break. More →
Verizon is set to officially unveil its LTE launch plans in just a few minutes. Ahead of that scheduled announcement, the company has gone live with its 4G, LTE website, which includes details on launch markets (38 cites, 60 airports), available devices (currently two data sticks), and a handy service locator (so you can see if you’ll be covered). The LTE network, along with the LG VL600 and Pantech UML290 4G data-sticks will all be available starting on December 5th. Hit the read link to check it out for yourself. More →
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that, “Microsoft Corp. will unveil a lineup of smartphones using the revamped version of its mobile operating system on Oct. 11,” and that AT&T will begin selling said devices in early November. Microsoft does have an event planned for October 11 — Columbus Day — in New York City (which we will be at), but we’re not sure any significant announcements will be made at the open-house style event. Perhaps there is another, mysterious event planned for that day? We’ll try to dig up some more information and report back. More →
Droid-Life is reporting that retailer Best Buy is expecting to receive Verizon LTE device sometime this fall. The information comes courtesy of a document (seen above) that reads: “New activations for Verizon LTE devices: BEAST will support the new Verizon LTE (4G) devices coming into the market this fall.” This sounds great to us, and we have our fingers crossed that a certain device will be on Verizon’s 4G short-list. More →
The iSpot — a $25 per month 4G WiMax mobile router from Clearwire that will allow you to connect up to eight Apple mobile devices to it — hath been hacked. A website ispotunrestricted.com has been setup to generate an unlocked custom configuration profile that can be loaded onto your iSpot. Once loaded, the profile will enable you to connect any Wi-Fi enable device to the 4G mobile hotspot, not just Apple iDevices. The unlock looks painfully easy, and as the instructions state, “you don’t even have to mess with any shell commands!” The unlock makes the iSpot 4G mobile hotspot a steal — pun intended — with unlimited 4G data costing just $25 per month. Anyone out there own an iSpot?
UPDATE: If you would prefer to not mess with the iSpot’s configuration file, you can also spoof the MAC address of your machine to match that of an iDevice. More information on that can be found here. More →
One of our reliable Apple sources has just filled us in on some of the company’s iTunes plans, and they’re exciting. We have been told iTunes will be getting a huge cloud capability that many people have been asking for (and logically thought would happen sooner or later). These new capabilities are broken down into three groups:
- Streaming music and movies from Apple’s servers to your computers, devices, etc.
- Streaming music and movies from your home computers to your other computers, remote devices, etc.
- Wireless iTunes syncing with devices
For the first point, we have been told that this will work pretty much like you’d expect it to… pretty much any Apple device with wireless capability will have te ability to stream purchased content directly from Apple’s servers, thus eliminating the need for a lot of local storage. With the second point, Apple will reportedly let you be the content distributor to your own computers and devices, as any purchased content that’s locally on your computer will be able to be streamed using your internet connection out to your devices. Lastly, yes, wireless syncing of iTunes for devices.
For wireless syncing, we are told it will work pretty seamlessly. Any apps you buy for instance on your iPhone will immediately sync to your computer, changes to your calendar, or notes, or contacts will also automatically update on your computer as well. What good would all these new features be without some new devices? Apple’s traditional fall event (or maybe even before it) should bring at least “two new devices with camera/camcorder capabilities.” Well, there you have it!
Thanks, Lindsey S.!
One of our Verizon Wireless guys just let us know that there are a couple exciting product launches happening in May. More →
Bluetooth SIG announced on Tuesday that the much anticipated v4.0 update to the Bluetooth protocol will be finalized and sent to manufacturers by the end of June 2010. The next iteration of the mobile connectivity protocol will feature ultra-low power consumption that could theoretically be powered for years by a coin-celled battery, faster transfer rates, and an increased range that can extend up to 200 feet and beyond. These features could expand the practical usage of this technology to a new range of devices including sports and fitness products, personal health products, security products, and home entertainment systems. Look for Bluetooth v4.0-enabled devices to hit the retail market in late 2010 or early 2011. More →