Google, Inc. has purchased internet VoIP company Global IP Solutions for a cool $68.2 million; a 27.5% premium over the company’s current stock price. While Global IP may not be a household name, you might be familiar with what they provide and to whom they provide it: the back-end VoIP engine used by the Yahoo!, AIM, WebEx, Baidu, and Lotus chat systems. Google continues to bolster its portfolio of acquired companies that supplement its Google Voice and Google Talk services — you may recall Google purchasing internet chat/VoIP company Gizmo5 several months ago — but we have yet to see any drastic feature changes/additions in said services. The future looks bright for Google Voice and Talk…although we do wonder about the VoIP fate of Yahoo! et. al now that Google owns their voice over IP engine. More →
LG Korea unveiled two new mobile DTV devices that are headed for the U.S. in 2010. The first is an upgraded version of the LG Lotus equipped with a long antenna and an integrated digital TV tuner. For those that have forgotten this rather forgettable phone, the original LG Lotus is a boxy QWERTY clamshell that launched on Sprint in late 2008. And, if a boxy cell phone with an ungainly antenna doesn’t suit your fancy, then perhaps a shiny, black portable DVD player with a built-in 800 channel DTV tuner may. No word on pricing or availability but both devices are expected to get the official nod from LG’s US division at CES 2010 next week in Las Vegas. More →
Way back in April before anyone outside of HTC knew what it was all about, a poster over at the xda-developers forum claimed that Sprint would be carrying a device known as the Hero on October 11th, mere days after the Fall edition of CTIA kicks off. The claims were pretty much brushed aside and/or soon forgotten, but now the poster is back with some evidence in tow. Well, kind of. The evidence that the poster has brought to light isn’t in the form of a fancy internal slide deck from Sprint but instead, a close up of a piece of paper that lists release dates for several upcoming Sprint handsets (more on them in a moment). Now normally we wouldn’t read too much into these sort of things but the fact is this guy called it from a long way back. Unless he just spit out a name from the huge 2009 HTC leak we’d say that has to count for something. Plus, he’s certainly not the only person who has suggested the sexy Android phone is Sprint-bound. On the very same day, it is also said that Sprint will be launching another Android device by Samsung, the Q (hello Moto?), but at the moment nothing is known about it. Perhaps it’s just Sprint’s internal name for the Galaxy.
Back to those other devices; The BlackBerry Curve 8530, which we already know to be headed to Verizon, is said to be launching on November 1st alongside a few numbers from Kyocera — the Pro 410, Pro 910 and perhaps the 3810 as well. Then we have the LG Lotus 2 (LX610) dropping some time in 2010. Yeah, we’re much more interested in the Hero, too.
Well lookie here – a freshly leaked BrightPoint document points to the upcoming launch of the rumored Instinct M810 Mini and a red version of the LG Lotus. The Mini is still listed as being available on April 19th in both graphite and bronze for a pricey SRP of $449.99. The document also reveals the April 19th availability of a red version of the LG Lotus for $299.99 and the similarly priced Sierra AirCard 402. Those interested in the red Lotus however, should note that it will only be available to “preferred retailers” and “exclusives”. Also of note is the continued “out of stock” status of the BlackBerry Curve 8330. The Sprint Curve has been out of stock online for a few weeks with brick and mortar stores reportedly carrying a dwindling stock of the popular handset. From the document, it appears that a refresh of the SKU and a replenishment of the stock is not expected until late March. Hold on a little longer Curve fans, as that could be any day now.
Ready for your buying pleasure from Sprint are two new QWERTY texting phones and one dual-sliding music phone. The LG Lotus and the Samsung Rant give texting fanatics two new choices for finger flying messaging. The LG Lotus is the more compelling of the two with a square design that looks like a someone took a steamroller to a flip phone. The flattened, wide phone enables LG to fit a full QWERTY keyboard and widescreen display in a flip form factor. Impressive if not a bit ugly looking, the LG Lotus is available in purple and black for $149 with a contract. Rounding out their QWERTY-enabled offering is the Samsung Rant. The Rant is a standard candy bar QWERTY slider with EV-DO, SprintTV and GPS that comes in at a low $49.99 contract price. Bright Red and Black are your choice of colors. If you prefer music to messaging then the Samsung Highnote may be your cup of tea. The Highnote features a dual slide that reveals stereo speakers when the LCD is slid down and a standard keypad when the LCD is slid up. It also has a rotating 5-way navigation ring for your music playing pleasure. The Highnote comes in Red and Blue and will set you back a reasonable $99 with contract. Nice to see Sprint getting some interesting new phones this season – what do you guys think?