Speaking to reporters on Thursday, LG CEO Koo Bon-Joon said it would be difficult to turn around the company’s current struggle in the handset business during the second quarter. LG reported poor handset sales during the first quarter of the year — phone sales were down 9.2% year-over-year and 14.3% quarter-over-quarter, and shipments were down 10% year-over-year. Gartner also recently noted that LG’s share of the mobile phone market dropped two percentage points to 5.6% year-over-year. LG’s CFO has said that the firm is banking on the success of its Android-powered Optimus smartphones. More →
Android’s U.S. market share is continuing to grow at the expense of RIM, Microsoft, and Palm, according to a new report from comScore that took a snapshot of the mobile phone market during the March quarter. The report found that Android powered 34.7% of all U.S. smartphones, up 6% from December 2010. RIM’s BlackBerry OS market share fell 4.5 points to a 27.1% share of the market, while Microsoft’s Windows and Palm’s webOS each saw a 0.9 percentage point decrease. Apple’s iOS market share jumped 0.5 points to a 25.5% share of the market, just behind RIM’s 27.1% grasp. Samsung remained the most popular mobile phone brand with a 24.5% share of the market, followed by LG (20.9%), Motorola (15.8%), RIM (8.4%), and Apple (7.9%). The report also found that 234 million Americans above the age of 13 used mobile devices. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
On Friday, Facebook began rolling out its revamped mobile website located at m.facebook.com. The social network says that the updated version of its mobile site should be easier to use on thousands of different devices. Facebook’s head of mobile, Erick Tseng, told AllThingsD that it pulls in about 250 million mobile users per month, and the majority of those users are visiting through Facebook’s mobile website — not through standalone applications. Keeping that in mind, Facebook built the new site so that it iss properly displayed, no matter what device it’s accessed from. Looking to the future, Tseng said that Facebook will focus on mobile web development, specifically using the HTML5 standard, as opposed to building native applications. “Yes, there is going to be a day when the majority of folks have something that looks more like an Android,” Tseng argued, “but I don’t believe that’s going to happen in the next year, probably not the next two years.” Facebook’s mobile website will roll-out in the next few weeks. More →
Toshiba and Fujitsu confirmed on Thursday that the two Japanese companies will be merging their mobile phone business units. As part of the merger, Toshiba will spin off its mobile division into a new company with Fujitsu acquiring a majority stake in this newly formed venture. The resulting company will become Japan’s second largest mobile phone maker with an estimated 18.7% market share. Details are expected to be finalized in July with the merged company beginning operations in October of this year. More →
The electronics industry is going ga-ga over 3D. By the end of 2010, we will have 3D in our televisions, 3D in our portable gaming devices, and — if Sharp has its way — 3D in our mobile phones. By way of press release, Sharp unveiled the world’s first HD-quality, 3D camera module targeted towards mobile devices, digital cameras, mobile phones, and smartphones. The module will utilize two separate cameras to take 3D images at 720P resolution, and multiple levels of software processing, to combine the left and right camera input into a single 3D image. The camera module is expected to start shipping in July with mass production slated for late 2010. More →
An eagle-eyed reader spotted a new feature potentially coming to Verizon Wireless’ website. For at least the past week, Verizon has been testing user submitted reviews on its staging “testman” site. Similar to AT&T, which has had this feature for a while, customers will be able to submit reviews and rate handsets they own on a star scale. Sorry, no monkeying with the new review system as you have to log in to your Verizon Wireless account to leave a review. It looks like the Verizon Wireless employees are having enough fun for all of us anyway.
Every once in a while a startup comes along and offers a service that makes you sit back and think, “why didn’t I think of that?” Such is the case with Rentobile, a mobile phone rental company based in New Jersey. The premise is simple – people like new toys. Rather than sit around and wait for your 2-year contract to expire so you can purchase a new handset at an affordable price, Rentobile provides a wide variety of handsets on a per-month basis. Simply order up a new rental, pop in your SIM or activate it on your account and your done. Once you grow tired of the device, whether that be one month later or one year later, simply return it to Rentobile and rent a new one. Shipping totals $10 for each round trip and a fair insurance fee is applied to each handset in case your dog mistakes it for a chew toy. Rentobile membership costs between $5 and $10 per month and affords users a discount of up to $18 per month on handset rentals. Members are also notified as soon as new handsets hit Rentobile’s warehouse so they can be among the first to rent them. If you just want a taste however, there is also a member-ship free rental option.
Rentobile supplies handsets for each of the four major carriers – Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint – and even has a selection of a few unlocked handsets for you to choose from. Oh and don’t worry, you’re not limited to one device at a time. If there are five handsets you want to play with and you want them all right away, Rentobile is happy to accommodate you. The only thing we see missing for the time being is a rent-to-own option; there should be a purchase price set for each handset and if you keep it long enough to reach that point, the handset should be yours to keep. Of course, we doubt the type of person who would use this service will ever keep a phone for that long but it would be nice to know the option is there.
[Via Phone Scoop]
A South Korean blog has leaked what it claims to be spy shots of the rumored new Casio Exilim phone headed to Verizon Wireless. The new CDMA Casio handset with Exilim branding recently made its way through the FCC not too long ago and all we could really tell from those FCC documents is that the handset will support dual band CDMA, EV-DO Rev. A and bluetooth. The new images and leaked information suggests that the Exilim phone will be based on the Casio W53CA Exilim flip phone with a touch of Verizon love. It will sport a 5.1MP camera, possible 3x optical zoom and a WVGA screen. We have not confirmed the authenticity of these shots but there are definitely more intriguing handsets that Photoshoppers could be spending their time making fake images of. As such, don’t be surprised if the released Exilim looks familiar once it’s announced. Hit the jump for a shot of the front of the phone.
It looks like Radio Shack isn’t the only green game in town when it comes to swapping out your unused gadgets for some cash. California-based Flipswap has just received a whopping $14 million in venture funding to help expand its cell phone and iPod recycling program. Pretty impressive for a “green” company in this uncertain economy. With all of you buying or planning to buy new handsets this winter season, we figure there are a lot of older, now unused handsets floating around. Yeah, some of you will go the eBay or Craigslist route but if you’re looking for an alternative way to offload your phone, you may want to check out Flipswap which will give you cash in return for your old cell phone or iPod. Flipswap is located in 6,000 retail locations and have even partnered with a few online vendors like Newegg and Amazon so you can get cash in the form of a gift card for your old phone. If your phone is too decrepit for cash, Flipswap will still take it for recycling purposes and will plant a tree in your name instead. One new tree is much better than one new handset in a landfill and this year alone Flipswap has planted an estimated 28,000 trees! BlackBerry owners in particular should take note as Flipswap recently partnered with RIM and will give you an extra $50 if you swap an old BlackBerry for a new BlackBerry. The company is also in the process of expanding its retail program so you can get cash for your old phone and apply it immediately to your new handset purchase. w00t! Flipswap is definitely worth looking into before you toss that old handset into your garbage can. Think green and recycle, y’all! Hit the read link for more info or if you’re a Berry addict, go straight to Flipswap’s dedicated BlackBerry page.