HTC on Tuesday forecast lower revenue for the second quarter this year, trimming its profit margin guidance at the same time. The struggling Taiwan-based vendor sees revenue falling 16% from the second quarter last year to NT$105 billion, and gross profit margin is expected to slide to 27% from 28.8% during the same period a year earlier. HTC’s anticipated second-quarter revenue represents a 55% improvement over the first quarter of 2012, which saw HTC’s net profit decline sharply to its lowest point since 2006. The vendor’s new One-series smartphones recently began rolling out internationally, and both AT&T and T-Mobile will launch new HTC handsets in the coming weeks. BGR reviewed the HTC One S last week and called it the best smartphone ever to come to T-Mobile, but HTC has its work cut out for it — Apple’s iPhone 4S remains the best-selling smartphone in the world and Samsung will unveil its next-generation flagship Galaxy phone next week, just three days after HTC’s One X goes on sale at AT&T.
HTC’s stock was hit hard on Tuesday following news of Samsung’s imminent Galaxy S III announcement, which couldn’t have come at a worse time for the struggling Taiwan-based vendor. HTC’s record growth in early 2011 was stunted later in the year as strong competition from the likes of Apple and Samsung shifted attention from the vendor’s aging smartphone lineup. The company is now in the process of launching its new line of One-series smartphones including the One X and One S, however Samsung’s announcement will come just weeks after HTC’s international One-series roll-out began, posing a serious threat to the company’s first-half comeback. Read on for more. More →
This is definitely the advantage to owning Google’s anointed developer phone. Via a tweet, the Android maker announced that it has begun pushing out Gingerbread — Android 2.3.3 — to Nexus S and Nexus One handsets via an over-the-air update. The Big G does caution that the rollout may take a “few weeks,” but knowing the Android community, a link for a manual download will surface in the next 24 to 48 hours. Go ahead, hit that “Check for Updates” button a few times… you know you want to. More →
Regional wireless provider U.S. Cellular has announced that over 1 million of its customers are now enrolled in the company’s Belief Project. The cellular plans allow customers to earns points, similar to credit card points, that they can then use towards their U.S. Cellular bill, services, or early upgrades. The longer customers stay enrolled in the Belief Project, the more Belief Points they can earn. The company also announced it would be giving away over 1 million points to its customers for the holiday season. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
It looks like Microsoft’s banished Kin handsets have taken the long walk of shame back to Verizon Wireless. You may remember back in late-June, Microsoft lowered the ax on the two devices — the Kin ONE and Kin TWO — noting that its main focus going forward would be Windows Phone 7. Although exact sales figures were never released for the device, it was widely speculated that the pair’s required data plan of $29.99 (making the minimum monthly bill around $70) had a lot to do with the abridged shelf-life.
Fast forward to today, five months later, and the same two devices are back — with and extra letter tacked onto their names and fewer data-plan-prerequisites. The relaunched Kin ONEm and Kin TWOm will retail for $19.99 and $49.99 respectively with a signed two-year contract. The pair offer a choice of two data plans: $15 for 150MB per month and $30 for 5GB per month. Verizon’s site does mention that the $9.99, 25MB feature-phone data plan is available for the Kins, but we haven’t been able to successfully add it to either handset.
There you have it. The Kin is back and just in time for the holidays. More →
Alright, we don’t want to get everyone all riled up on a Monday morning, but this next bit of speculative news is pretty exciting. Recently, a gentlemen by the name of Alvaro Fuentes Vasquez let go a pretty exciting tweet. The 160 character quip, which was written in Español, roughly translates as:
Prepare your Nexus One (Developer version) for Android OTA update 2.3 (Gingerbread) for the next few days
A quick look at Mr. Vasquez’s LinkedIn profile reveals the following position:
Leadership team and usability at Open Handset Aliance (sic) | Google Andoid (sic)
Assuming that “Aliance” means Alliance, and “Andoid” means Android, this is pretty big news. The Open Handset Alliance is “a group of 78 technology and mobile companies who have come together to accelerate innovation in mobile and offer consumers a richer, less expensive, and better mobile experience,” explains the group’s homepage. “Together we have developed Android, the first complete, open, and free mobile platform.”
Will we see Android 2.3 drop in the “next few days”? Man, we hope so. More →
According to Gizmodo, yes. The blog is reporting that a “friend” of theirs actually got some hands-on time with the Samsung heir to the Nexus throne. The device, which is being referred to as the Nexus Two, was described as “black and shiny” with a 4-inch AMOLED display (we would assume Super AMOLED since it’s Samsung), front-facing camera, and roughly the same proportions as the current Galaxy S offerings in the U.S. (not including the Epic 4G). The “friend” also said the device’s software, which was a stock version of Android, was “very buggy.” We have to admit, the thought of Galaxy S hardware running an unmolested version of Android has piqued our interest. Samsung has a media event scheduled for November 8th where, most blogs agree, the company will announce their Continuum handset. Could this be Samsung’s equivalent of “one more thing?” We hope so.
UPDATE: PCMag’s Sascha Segan just posted an article of his own on the rumored device. The post had this to say on the matter: “The unnamed, unlocked Samsung phone is not coming out at an event on November 8, my sources said.” Although earlier in the post he did admit, “Samsung is working on an unlocked Android device that looks like the one in Gizmodo’s pictures. But it may not be called ‘Nexus Two.’”
Note: Above image is a mock-up. Image credit to Gizmodo. More →
If you’ve been patiently waiting to get yourself a Samsung Fascinate from Verizon Wireless, the day hath cometh. Oh, and it might be a good idea to bring a friend with you. Verizon has their iteration of the Samsung Galaxy S on a “buy one get one free” promotion on its inauguration day; the deal will allow you to “get up to four free phones.” So, if you’re looking to pick up one — or more — Samsung Fascinates, head over to verizonwireless.com and order yourself up the goodies. More →
Google hath tweeted that their new integrated Gmail calling feature announced yesterday has already seen 1,000,000 phone calls placed in just under 24-hours. The new service allows users to place VoIP calls — right from within the browser — to the U.S. and Canada free of charge and for very affordable rates to other countries around the world. We’ve been playing with the new feature and we have to say, it’s pretty impressive. Have you tried it? Thoughts? More →
We’ve heard that starting tomorrow, the Microsoft KIN 1 and KIN 2 will be selling for free and $49 respectively. More →
Not even a whole two months removed from their announcing Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft is back today with another event in which it is expected to reveal its Project Pink line-up including the handsets known as the “Pure” and “Turtle”. Whether or not they’ll run WP7 or something else entirely isn’t clear, but all of this will soon be clear. As the event carries on we’ll be updating this post with the latest information, so be sure to check often lest you be left out of the loop. All of the goodness is after the jump. More →
If you had any doubts about Steve Jobs’ confidence and convictions after returning to Apple from his sick leave, it’s time you leave those at the door. The revered CEO announced a hotly anticipated device last week and followed up by burning the competition. On Google, Steve Jobs said that its motto “Don’t be evil” is bullshit (Steve’s words, not ours). Clearly, Steve-o isn’t phased by the Nexus One while he boasts the three billion apps sold from the Apple app store. Regarding Adobe, Steve apparently went on to say they’re lazy and are squandering so much potential. Wow. And Flash? According to Steve, no one will be using Flash in the future; it’s going to be all about HTML5.
Is Steve Jobs’ boisterous attitude completely without warrant? Or is he just telling it like it is? Let us know your thoughts. More →
Carrier subsidized netbooks, a common occurrence overseas, may finally be making their way stateside. In a “first ever” for the US, Radio Shack and AT&T may be offering the Acer Aspire One netbook for a mere $99 with an AT&T AirCard minimum data plan of $60/month. Yes, we know that potential Dell Inspiron Mini 9 owners can get a price break on the cost of the 3G modem with an AT&T contract but the netbook itself is not reduced in price, thus disqualifying it from being the first true US carrier-subsidized netbook. As with all carrier subsidized items, the final cost of the item, when you add in the monthly data plan over the term of the contract is astoundingly high with the price of the Acer Aspire One ballooning up to $1500, but of course that includes data. If those terms don’t sound so hot, then you can buy the Acer Aspire outright for $499. For those who are going to sign up for a data plan regardless and want a full-powered mobile device like a netbook, then this $99 Acer Aspire One is an excellent choice.