Apple had traditionally launched a new smartphone each year in June or July, however this trend ended with the October launch of the iPhone 4S. Citing an unnamed source, Japanese website Macotakara reported on Monday that Apple’s next-generation iPhone will again be launched in the fall this year. The device will be released in either September or October according to the report, and Apple’s future smartphone launches will remain on a fall cycle in coming years. The report reaffirms an exclusive BGR report from last year, which stated that Apple will launch a new iPhone with a revamped antenna system and a unibody aluminum design this fall.
On Tuesday, Microsoft noted several of the Games Hub changes that will go into effect when Windows Phone Mango launches this fall. Mango’s Games Hub will include new “Avatar Awardables” which, much like on the Xbox 360, will allow you to dress your avatar up with a number of unique clothing items. The first title to support Avatar Awardables will be the game “Chickens Can’t Fly.” Games Hub will also feature new game add-ons. For example, in the game “Beards & Beaks,” users will be able to purchase additional in-game add-ons using Microsoft Points. Microsoft will also provide deeper parental controls and will offer a new “Fast Async” technology that will improve turn-by-turn and multiplayer games. Read on for a link to Microsoft’s official Windows Team Blog where the company has also listed the next 14 Xbox LIVE titles that will be available for Windows Phone devices. More →
Apple has placed orders with its manufacturing partners for as many as 26 million iPhone 5 handsets in the second half of 2011 as it prepares for a massive launch this fall. In addition to Apple’s iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 models, this could bring the vendor’s second-half iPhone shipments up to 56 million units, DigiTimes reported on Monday. Tack that massive figure onto the 18.65 million iPhones Apple shipped in the fiscal second quarter and the 20.34 million units shipped in the fiscal third quarter, and Apple could potentially ship just under 100 million iPhone handsets this year. Apple is expected to unveil at least one new iPhone model in the coming weeks, which will then go on sale in late September or early October. More →
Sony’s brand new portable gaming console, the PlayStation Vita, could launch as soon as this fall according to IGN. A Blockbuster flier in the United Kingdom started the rumor. The advertisement suggests the PS Vita Wi-Fi edition and 3G & Wi-Fi model will both launch on October 28th. A Sony spokesperson confirmed with IGN that the company will begin a “phased global release” during the holiday season, but would not confirm specific dates. We already know that the Vita will cost $249.99 in the United States and that a version with AT&T 3G will be available for $299.99. Hopefully we see the console hit U.S. shores by the holidays, too. Read on for a shot of the leaked flier. More →
Following our exclusive report from Thursday suggesting Apple plans to release iTunes 11 in September alongside the iOS 5 and iCloud, a new report claims iTunes 11 will feature a redesigned layout and deep iCloud integration. IDownloadBlog on Friday cites a reliable source in stating that the next major release of iTunes will be “revamped from the ground up.” The report claims Apple’s new version of iTunes will feature a brand new user interface as well as iCloud integration. Mobile device app data and backups will also reportedly be integrated with iTunes 11, effectively mirroring iOS device backups and app data/settings that are automatically synced to iCloud. Apple has made major investments in its iCloud service, including the billion-dollar data center it built in North Carolina, so it would certainly be a logical move to showcase the service right out of the gate when it launches this fall. More →
We haven’t seen the HTC Ignite or Prime since March, but a new leak from cell phone retailer The Phone House suggests that HTC is planning to launch both handsets in the near future. The phones will pack Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system, presumably the Mango release, but it is unclear when they will hit the market. If we were betting men we would wager that both handsets will launch in the early fall, when Microsoft has said it will deploy Mango to existing handsets. Earlier this week, the Redmond-based company announced that it has already released the operating system update to manufacturers, so we’re expecting to see a number of new Windows Phone leaks to start cropping up.
Newly appointed Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam is already making waves. While fielding questions on Verizon’s earnings call on Friday, McAdam let slip some interesting notes regarding Apple’s fifth-generation iPhone. The executive was asked by an analyst if he thought Verizon Wireless would meet earlier estimates projecting that smartphones would be in the hands of 50% of postpaid subscribers this year. “We like the gross add mix that we see coming in here. We are in the roughly 60% kind of range,” McAdam responded according to the Associated Press’ transcription. He continues, “We are probably what I would view as maybe a quarter behind what we had talked about in January, primarily because we expected an iPhone 5 refresh sometime this summer. We don’t know when the next one is going to come out. You will have to ask Apple that, but we expect that probably sometime in the fall, and I think you will see a significant jump there when we get to that point.” More →
AT&T on Wednesday announced that it will be the exclusive provider of Sony’s new S2 tablet in the United States. Sony took the wraps off of the S2 in April, and said it offers a unique folding form factor with dual 5.5-inch 1024 x 480 displays and a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor. The device is powered by Android 3.0 Honeycomb and will launch with support for AT&T’s HSPA+ 4G network. It also runs Sony’s PlayStation Network for gaming and video services. AT&T didn’t reveal the pricing or an exact launch date, but Sony originally said the S2 would hit the market this fall. Hit the jump for the full press release.
According to a purported roadmap image obtained by PreCentral, HP will introduce a new 64GB version of its TouchPad this August alongside a 4G model on AT&T. The 64GB model will apparently offer a “glossy white” finish and could come equipped with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor that’s clocked at 1.5GHz. AT&T’s 4G TouchPad is expected to come in a black finish and will offer support for the carrier’s HSPA+ network, but will maintain the 32GB capacity of the Wi-Fi model that launched last week. While early reports suggested that HP’s new 7-inch TouchPad, codenamed “Opal,” would launch in August, PreCentral says the tablet is expected to launch in the fall instead. More →
Over the weekend, the hacking group LulzSec announced that after 50 days of hacking targets such as Sony and the U.S. government, it was stopping its operations. As a parting gift, the group leaked a number of internal AT&T documents, including the above image that suggests AT&T will test a 4G LTE version of its iPad between November and December of this year. That’s in line with earlier suggestions from research firm CLSA, which said earlier this month that Apple would launch a new 4G LTE capable iPad in time for the holidays — though it certainly wouldn’t leave much margin for error if the tests don’t go according to plan. Other rumors suggest the iPad 3 won’t launch until sometime in 2012, and the timing dictated by this document would make that scenario much more likely. More →
During Microsoft’s Windows Phone Mango press conference in New York today, the company confirmed that Nokia’s first Windows Phone devices will run the newest Mango operating system when they’re released. That suggests that the phones could land as soon as this fall, when Mango makes its debut. Microsoft also confirmed that it already has Nokia prototype devices running in its labs today. Other new partners include Fujitsu, Acer, and ZTE, and Microsoft said that we can expect new Windows Phones from Samsung, HTC, and LG as well.
Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled its forthcoming major update to its Windows Phone platform — Windows Phone 7.1 “Mango.” We gave you live coverage of the event as well a hands-on look at the update, and now that the dust has cleared we can finally sit down and collect ourselves. In short, Mango looks awesome. We’ve seen plenty of promise in the Windows Phone platform right from the start, but we also thought Microsoft rushed the OS to market — understandably — and a lot of key features and functionality were missing as a result. Mango goes a very, very long way in bringing the emerging platform up to date, and Microsoft has named HTC, LG, Samsung, Dell, Acer, Fujitsu Limited, ZTE Corporation and of course Nokia as partners moving forward. Windows Phone 7.1 will be the launch platform for upcoming Windows Phones from Nokia, by the way, and Microsoft confirmed that Nokia has already built devices running Windows Phone 7.1 that are currently being tested in its labs. Mango will add more robust multitasking support, messaging threads, deeper social integration, a unified email inbox, voice-to-text and text-to-voice support, and about 500 other enhancements to the Windows Phone platform when it launches this fall. Hit the break for Microsoft’s full press release along with a video of some of the new features Mango will bring to the Windows Phone platform. More →
In February we heard early reports that Apple was planning to construct an Apple Store inside Grand Central in the heart of New York City. A month later new reports suggested that the plan was scrapped. According to The Wall Street Journal, however, Apple is interested in two balconies that are located on the north and east sides of Grand Central Terminal — a total of 15,230 square feet. BGR has also independently confirmed that Apple has indeed been scoping out the space during the past few weeks. A restaurant currently occupies one of the areas up for rent, but it’s expected to close its doors on July 1st, which would presumably allow Apple to start construction later this summer. According to some experts speaking to The Wall Street Journal, the store could have the potential to be Apple’s most popular retail location to date. The MTA is expected to issue a request for proposals on Monday. More →