The mobile payment revolution is coming. Within the next five years, there is a very good chance you will be paying for goods and services with your cell phone. The topic has gotten quite a bit of coverage as of late, of course, with several top manufacturers and banks talking up eWallet services. Google has included NFC support in its Nexus S smartphone and, more importantly, in Android 2.3; Research In Motion has committed to including the technology in its future smartphones; Samsung has included NFC in its wildly popular next-generation Galaxy S handset; and U.S. carriers are beginning to forge alliances to implement mobile payment systems. But Google, RIM, and mobile providers are all newcomers to the payment processing game — how do the traditional creditors feel about this revolution? BGR had a chance to sit down with MasterCard’s vice president of mobile solutions, James Anderson, and talk about what’s next for both creditors and consumers following what could shape up to be the death of plastic. More →
We just rolled through the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City to get a feel for the hype surrounding Apple’s iPad 2 launch today. We had a chance to talk to a few people about the event, and one person told us he had been waiting in line since 6:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon — with the help of a few Red Bulls, of course. Not too far back from the start of the line, we found a couple that had only been waiting since 5:00 a.m. this morning. That’s not too bad given that crowds began lining up to wait for the iPhone 3G seven days before its debut. We’ll be stopping by the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue again tonight around 5:00 p.m. to bring you an update, so be sure to check back for some video interviews. In the meantime, feel free to check out our gallery and hit the break for a video.
UPDATE: We updated the gallery with new images after the iPad 2 went on sale — be sure to check them out!
Windows Phone 7 fans hoping they might see Microsoft’s reinvigorated mobile OS on Motorola hardware in the near future will be disappointed to learn that this particular marriage isn’t in the cards. Speaking to the press during Mobile World Congress on Tuesday, Motorola’s corporate vice president of software and services product management Christy Wyatt said the cell phone maker is sticking with Android for now. “I don’t envision us using Microsoft. I would never say never but it’s not something we’re entertaining now,” Wyatt told IDG News Service. “We would like an opportunity to create unique value and we don’t feel we could with a closed platform.” Motorola did consider the Windows Phone 7 OS at one time, however it found Microsoft’s timeline to be less than satisfactory in terms of adding features Motorola viewed as key. “There were a bunch of things that we believed about Microsoft that ended up not being true, mostly about what functionality it would have in what period of time,” Wyatt said. Like Microsoft, Motorola recently reinvented itself in the mobile space, finding success with Android after the company fell on hard times not long ago. Motorola plans to stick with what works for the time being, however, and Microsoft will just have to look to the world’s No. 1 cell phone company for solace. More →
Today at Mobile World Congress, mobile processor juggernaut Texas Instrument held a press event to offer some additional details about its OMAP 4 and 5 processor lines. Greg Delagi, the company’s senior vice president and general manager, gave the keynote — which took place right on the showroom floor. He emphatically talked about the need to push the capabilities of “smart devices” forward while being mindful of the constraints battery technology puts on the industry. Both RIM and LG were brought on stage — the PlayBook and Optimus 3D both use the OMAP 4 platform — and they too heralded the headway TI is making with its system on a chip (SoC) OMAP processors. The company even has technology in place that will bring cost effective, power efficient gesture recognition and Pico DLP technology to a wider array of smartphones and smart devices; it works just like the Kinect. We have some video of the motion-based gesture recognition, in action running on prototype hardware after the break, along with some of Mr. Delagi’s thoughts on why OMAP is such an effective mobile processor. More →
Earlier this morning at Mobile World Congress, we got a chance to conduct a small group interview with Nokia’s freshly minted CEO, Stephen Elop. With Nokia’s big announcement this past Friday now in the rear view mirror, there was plenty to talk about, of course — and Elop, who has a reputation for being very candid, did not disappoint. “Our competition isn’t other Windows Phone manufacturers, it’s Android,” said the CEO. What will Nokia do to combat the little green alien and regain a foothold in the U.S.? Hit the jump for the full audio from the interview to find out. More →
Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker spoke with the BBC during the World Economic Forum in Davos, shedding new light on the company’s plans for webOS over the next two months. Moving forward, the HP boss claims the gap between product announcements and launches will shrink substantially. In fact, we should expect webOS devices to launch “within weeks” of next month’s event on February 9th. Of note, Apotheker says that upcoming devices will be HP-branded so we might soon have to say goodbye to the Palm name when it comes to webOS devices. Looking beyond February, HP will have another major announcement coming on March 14th, when the company will detail its “vision of what HP is capable of in the future.” We have to say, we’re now more excited than ever to see what might come when Palm’s silky smooth webOS platform is finally slipped into the top-notch hardware it deserves. More →
Early next month, HP will host a press event that will focus on the webOS mobile operating system it now manages thanks to the Palm acquisition. While the event could cover anything from strategy to devices, some product-related goodies are likely a safe bet. After all, HP is due to release a host of devices this year, so it better start announcing them soon. Thanks to some loose lips, it now looks like a webOS tablet announcement is all but confirmed. Todd Bradley, EVP of HP’s Personal Devices Group, basically told CNBC in an interview that HP’s first iPad competitor will be revealed at the event next month. When asked questions regarding how future HP tablets might differentiate themselves from the iPad, Bradley responded, “you and I will talk about that on the 9th.” We read you loud and clear, Todd. Hit the break for a video of the interview with CNBC. More →
Dual-core processor-packing smartphones are a hot-ticket item at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, and it looks like RIM must have felt a little left out. While the Canadian phone maker didn’t have any dual-core BlackBerry phones on display at the show, RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis did confirm in an interview that a more powerful breed of Berry is in the company’s plans. Unfortunately for speed-hungry BlackBerry users, it looks like it might not happen any time soon. Lazaridis told PC Magazine that future “super-phones” will indeed have to have dual-core processors, but he noted that the current crop of dual-core CPUs are just too hard on the battery to make their way into BlackBerry phones — and we all know how much RIM loves its battery life. Hit the read link for a great little interview by Sascha Segan over on the PC Magazine website. More →
Throwback Thursday was yesterday, but we thought it would be nice to spend a few minutes this Christmas Eve Day looking back on some of the events leading up to the introduction of the iPhone. The iPhone is, after all, a device that served as a catalyst in the mobile industry over the past few years — love it or hate it. It pushed the industry in new directions, causing competitors to approach hardware and user experience design in a whole new way. It even forced Google to rethink the BlackBerry-like OS it was developing, which resulted in the wildly successful Android platform we see today. More →
As Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 push kicks into high gear ahead of the holidays, great devices like the HTC HD7 will help foster interest in the new smartphone operating system. Microsoft’s massive advertising campaign certainly won’t hurt either. Putting eyes on the new OS is only half the battle, however, as Microsoft struggles to regain mind share in a category it helped build a decade ago.
Times have changed since the introduction of Pocket PC 2000, and smartphone platforms now battle for billions rather than scrounging for scraps. The global market for smart devices has exploded and in the process, consumers have evolved. Pedigree isn’t enough for smartphone users anymore — the market is changing far too rapidly for major players to rely on blind allegiance to keep customers aboard. Apple has taken the industry by storm, Google’s Android OS is gaining market share at breakneck speeds, and successful platforms like Symbian and BlackBerry are on the verge of revitalization. Smartphone brands need to fight for users more today than ever before.
And on top of all this commotion in the industry, a new mobile currency has been born: apps. More →
Dutch newspaper De Telegraph ran an interview with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak Thursday morning, in which he had some very, very nice things to say about Android. Too nice, it seems. Word has come down from the Woz himself and it looks like the Dutch paper took a few liberties with some quotes. Wozniak basically said that he praised Android’s voice command capabilities while speaking with De Telegraph, but said Apple would soon catch up in that area. He then clarified that iOS is still the superior OS. Android might be more popular, Wozniak said, but that doesn’t make it the better OS. “It can get [a] greater market share and still be crappy.” More →
As is commonplace when Steve Wozniak gives an interview, the Internet was buzzing Thursday morning with snippets from a chat Woz had with Dutch newspaper De Telegraph. On Apple, Wozniak spoke of the company’s failed first attempt to build a cell phone. Apple collaborated with a well-known Japanese consumer electronics company in 2004, and the partnership yielded a phone. The Apple co-founder said that while the company was happy with the hardware, the project ended up being scrapped because the company “wanted something that could amaze the world.” Despite continued leadership and successful efforts in new areas, Wozniak went on to call Nokia a “brand of the previous generation.” Android, which he compared to the Windows PC platform, would ultimately end up winning the smartphone wars and become the mobile leader. “Android phones have more features,” said Woz, and the ever-increasing variety means there will be something for everyone.
[Via Engadget] More →
If you’ve heard about the Kik messaging app, or as some would call it, “the new BBM”, you probably sat at the cool-kid lunch-table at school. Kik, a multi-platform messaging app designed to do one thing — communicate instantly and effortlessly with buddies — has absolutely exploded over the last few weeks. Originally on track to launch an innovative (and pretty cool) music-sharing, remote-controllable service, Kik soon found themselves creating a messaging app with some of their existing technology while the music service firmed up behind the scenes. After a pretty poor original launch (I tried Kik back then and the beta was definitely a beta — I uninstalled it soon after it was first installed), Kik stripped away almost everything until they ended up with one of the quickest and most reliable messaging apps around.
Kik has over 1.2 million unique users signed up, Kik CEO Ted Livingston told BGR yesterday evening. The company is expecting its user-base to cross the 1.75-million user mark any day. Ted even said that Kik had to charter a plane and load it up with extra servers to bring to their data center just to keep the service up and running to handle the influx of users. Kik’s growth is nothing short of remarkable, with a completely viral marketing initiative spreading like wildfire across Facebook and Twitter. What’s exciting is that Kik knows that their users expect an even better user experience, and even more features. Here is what Kik is planning on doing: More →