The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently published details on a Microsoft patent relating to a two-sided smart device display system for phones and tablets, PatentBolt reported on Friday. The invention features an integrated second low-power, possibly E Ink, display on the back side of a smartphone or tablet that would contain certain types of information. The secondary display could provide vendors with an opportunity to move standard items like a clock off of the main display to free up space, or it could display a variety of other information that might otherwise not be shown. The second display would use its own low-powered processor and may reduce the power load from a device’s primary display. The patent appears to be similar in intent to Samsung’s “smart-device-skins” invention — a technology that may allow users to change the appearance of a handset using chameleon-like technology — and it could be used to display images or animations on the back side of a device. More →
Despite Samsung and Apple’s chief executives scheduled settlement talks, the Korean manufacturer has asserted eight additional patents against the Cupertino-based company. Two of the patents are part of the fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory licenses (FRAND) because they are essential to ETSI standards, according to FOSS Patents. Five of the patents, including the two FRAND patents, were originally applied for and granted to Samsung, while three others were acquired from different owners. The two battling companies have been in a bitter patent war since last April that includes dozens of complaints across 10 countries. A trial regarding the eight new Samsung patents is scheduled for July in the United States. More →
While Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform may not be as big as Apple and Google’s offerings, it is still possible for app developers to find success on the emerging operating system. A year ago, FourBros Studio launched a free game called Taptitude on the Windows Phone Marketplace. The game, as of today, has earned the company over $100,000 in revenue and boasts more than 300,000 users, Business Insider reported on Thursday. Interestingly enough, the company’s revenue has spiked since the launch of Nokia’s Windows Phones. FourBros Studio uses Microsoft’s pubCenter, along with a service called AdDuplex, to sell advertisements on Taptitude, which is now making roughly $1,000 a day and averaging over 1 million daily impressions. The success of FourBros Studio could encourage more developers to join the Windows Phone platform, which has struggled to gain market share since launching more than a year ago. More →
Not long ago, HTC posted six consecutive months of record revenue thanks to strong demand for its Android-powered smartphones. The company’s record run came to a screeching halt in October last year with the release of Apple’s iPhone 4S. HTC’s fourth quarter earnings fell, missing Wall Street’s expectations, and the rough patch continued in the first quarter of 2012. To compound matters, the latest study conducted by ad network Chitika shows that the troubled handset maker’s usage share has declined by more than 60% in the past five months from 18.22% to 7.28% based on traffic across its network. At the same time, Apple’s share has increased by 64% from 46.84% to 76.88% and other Android vendors such as Samsung and Huawei have recorded continued modest growth. HTC is betting big on its flagship One X smartphone, and it hopes the handset, along with the rest of its One-series phones, will help the company rebound. More →
Huawei on Wednesday announced global availability of its flagship Ascend P1 smartphone. The Android 4.0-powered handset will be available in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Australia by May, in Latin America by June and in Europe for the summer, with availability in other markets to follow. “The global availability of the Ascend P1, which combines smart features and a sexy design, represents a significant milestone for Huawei Device,” said Richard Yu, Chairman of Huawei. “We are sending strong signals of our intention to transform into a consumer-facing brand and extend our market leadership globally by strengthening our range of flagship products. We are also expanding our sales and distribution channels to move beyond a focus on operators.” The Ascend P1 is equipped with a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display, a dual-core TI OMAP 4460 processor clocked at 1.5GHz and an 8-megapixel rear camera. Read on for Huawei’s press release. More →
T-Mobile on Wednesday announced availability details for the HTC One S smartphone. The handset will be the carrier’s first device powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and the first to run Sense 4 as well. HTC unveiled the One S a few months back at the annual Mobile World Congress trade show. The sleek device features a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display, a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 16GB of internal storage plus 25GB of free cloud-based Dropbox storage for two years, an 8-megapixel rear camera and HSPA+ 42Mbps connectivity. It’s all packed within a unibody aluminum case that measures only 7.95 millimeters thick, making it T-Mobile’s slimmest smartphone to date. The HTC One S will be available on April 25th for $199.99 with a new two-year agreement. Read on for T-Mobile’s press release, and be sure to check out our full review of T-Mobile’s HTC One S. More →
As sales of smartphones and tablets reach all time heights, consumers in the United States are streaming more movies, downloading more apps and viewing more websites on their wireless devices. According to a recent report from the CTIA, annual wireless data traffic in the U.S. grew 123% from 388 billion megabytes in 2010 to 866.7 billion megabytes in 2011. The survey also found that the number of active smartphones in the U.S. increased by 43% to 111.5 million units in 2011 compared with 78.2 million in 2010. “As the President, bipartisan members of Congress, FCC Chairman and Commissioners and other policymakers have repeatedly advocated, the U.S. wireless industry must have access to more spectrum so we can continue to improve our nation’s economy and meet our consumers’ demands,” Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTIA, said in a statement. In order to handle the massive demand for wireless data, U.S. mobile carriers are continuing to invest in their networks through 4G upgrades and increased coverage and capacity with more cell sites. Read on for CTIA’s press release. More →
Nokia’s attempt to regain the traction in the mobile market is turning out to be more difficult than the company once thought. Four major wireless carriers in Europe have said that Nokia’s Lumia smartphones are “not good enough” to compete with Apple’s iPhone or Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, Reuters reported on Tuesday. Nokia bet big on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform last year, however the gamble has yet to pay off according to the report. “No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone,” said an executive in charge of mobile devices at a European operator. The company is now playing catch up with Apple and Google after suffering a huge decline that hurt its image in the high-end market, and according to Reuters’s sources, Windows Phone might be making matters worse. “Nokia have given themselves a double challenge: to restore their credibility in terms of making hardware smartphones and succeed with the Microsoft Windows operating system, which lags in the market,” the executive said. “If the Lumia with the same hardware came with Android in it and not Windows, it would be much easier to sell.” More →
The name DROID RAZR HD has appeared in the EXIF data from a series of images uploaded to Picasa by a Motorola employee. The EXIF data shows that the handset is running Android 4.0.3 and its camera is equipped with a f/2.4 aperture camera. The photos in question were uploaded by Vic Yu, who is a software engineer and program manager at Motorola Mobility according to his Google+ and LinkedIn profiles. Last month, the first image of what was believed to be the unannounced DROID Fighter surfaced on a Chinese forum. The handset is said to be equipped with the same massive 3,300 mAh battery that is found in the RAZR MAXX and a 4.6-inch high-definition display. The phone also lacked the Android navigation buttons found on earlier RAZR models, suggesting that it makes use of the on-screen buttons found in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The DROID RAZR HD could possibly arrive on Verizon Wireless as the DROID Fighter, although nothing is confirmed for the time being. It should be noted that EXIF data can easily be manipulated, but an image of the data can be found after the break. More →
Sprint on Monday announced the availability of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The Android 4.0 handset can be pre-ordered today and will be available beginning Sunday, April 22nd for $199.99 with a new two-year agreement. “Galaxy Nexus is a beautifully designed smartphone that combines the Pure Google experience with the speed of Sprint’s upcoming 4G LTE network,” said Fared Adib, Sprint’s vice president of product development. “It represents the cutting-edge features and applications that customers expect and pairs perfectly with Sprint’s unlimited data plans to let our customers enjoy their wireless experience without worrying about overage charges or throttling.” As an extra bonus, Sprint is offering customers who register a Google Wallet account within a week of activating their devices a $10 instant credit, along with an additional $40 of credit to be delivered within three weeks. Customers who pre-order the Galaxy Nexus will begin receiving the device as early as Friday, April 20th. Read on for Sprint’s press release. More →
T-Mobile on Wednesday sent out invitations to a special event that will allow attendees to “be amongst the first to experience the HTC One S,” suggesting the carrier will soon launch its flagship Android phone for the first half of 2012. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, April 18th, about a week before the handset is rumored to launch on April 25th. HTC unveiled the One S alongside the One X at the Mobile World Congress trade show in February. The device features a 4.3-inch qHD Super LCD display, a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 16GB of internal storage, the same stunning 8-megapixel camera found on the One X and Sense 4.0 atop Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The four major wireless providers in the United States have partnered with the Federal Communications Commission in an effort to curb cell phone theft, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. The wireless companies will build a central database of stolen cell phones, which will track phones that are reported as lost or stolen and deny them voice and data service. The goal of the database is to reduce crime by making it very difficult to use a stolen device. Verizon Wireless and Sprint currently block phones that are reported stolen from being reactivated. AT&T and T-Mobile do not, although all four carriers have now agreed to be part of the new database. Members of Congress are also expected to propose legislation to make it a crime to alter a cell phone’s unique identification number, according to the report. Similar stolen-phone databases are already in place in the U.K., Germany, France and Australia. While crime hasn’t completely stopped, the number of incidents has apparently declined. Carriers will roll out individual databases within six months that will be centralized over a 12-month period, with smaller regional wireless providers expected to join the database over the next two years. More →
In the coming months, AT&T will spend as much as $150 million to help promote Nokia’s latest flagship smartphone, the Lumia 900. According to Ad Age, the massive advertising budget is even greater than what the carrier spent promoting Apple’s iPhone, which continues to be the company’s top selling device. Since losing its exclusive partnership with Apple, AT&T has been adding smartphone subscribers at a slower rate than rival Verizon Wireless. With other revenue streams drying up, carriers are looking to add new smartphone users to propel growth from profitable data plans. “The bulk of the growth for carriers is coming from smartphone subscribers,” said Chris Larsen, telecom analyst for Piper Jaffray. “They generate higher monthly recurring fees and more revenue.” With Verizon nipping at the heels of AT&T’s smartphone users base — thanks to numerous high-end exclusives —the carrier needs to push its own exclusive smartphones to counter Verizon’s growth. “You can tell when you walk into a Verizon store they’ve made a lot of money selling Android—that’s what they’re promoting,” Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps told Ad Age.