Hey, remember when HTC went out and snagged Robert Downey, Jr. for what was supposed to be a major $1 billion marketing campaign? And remember how the only thing that came from it were utterly nonsensical ads that barely even made mention of any of HTC’s products? If not, we don’t blame you: It’s something we’d like to forget as well. It’s been months since HTC’s marketing team unleashed the Downey-led Hipster Troll Carwash ads onto the world and now the company is finally back with a new promotion featuring Downey and it might be the single most depressing spot for a smartphone we’ve ever seen. More →
Remember how exciting LTE-Advanced peak speeds of 1Gbps used to be? Well they still sound exciting but they’re nothing compared to what German researchers have just accomplished. TechWeek Europe reports that “researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (FIAF) and the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) have managed to transmit data over the air at a speed of 40 Gbps,” a world record for wireless data speeds that just happens to be “fast enough to send a full DVD in under a second.” Network engineers who worked on the project tell TechWeek Europe that the new wireless technology could be used to offer fiber-like connectivity to rural areas that have been previously unable to get access to high-speed Internet capabilities.
Although its HTC One has received across-the-board acclaim as one of the world’s best smartphones, HTC still finds itself in dire straits. Businessweek’s Joshua Brustein has written what amounts to an advice column for HTC that ironically shows all the ways that the company may not be able to compete with rival Samsung no matter how good its devices are. More →
Any hopes that the HTC One would lead to a rapid turnaround for struggling electronics manufacturer HTC have apparently vanished. Unnamed sources have told The Verge that HTC is in a state of chaos and that high-profile employees are fleeing left and right. Among the recently departed at HTC are former chief product officer Kouji Kodera, former vice president of global communications Jason Gordon, former global retail marketing manager Rebecca Rowland, former director of digital marketing John Starkweather and former product strategy manager Eric Lin. The Verge’s sources say that morale at HTC is very low because employees see that the company is in “utter freefall.” More →
What company is rolling out an iterative update to its best-selling smartphone in the world? One that builds upon the success of the previous model, yet for the most part retains the same shape, design, and form of last year’s phone? If you guessed Apple, you’d be wrong. The brand new Samsung Galaxy S4 improves upon the Galaxy S III in almost every way, but with HTC’s One already winning on materials and even user interface design, can Samsung build on its current momentum without reinventing the home button? More →
HTC may have made the world’s best Android phone with the HTC One, but the company has had trouble getting the device to potential customers in a timely manner. In addition to the HTC One’s delayed release date, the device is now facing an injunction granted by a Dutch court to rival manufacturer Nokia, which is alleging that key microphone components used for the HTC One violate an exclusivity deal between Nokia and ST Microelectronics. An unnamed source tells Engadget that “the issue is likely to be a breach of an NDA between Nokia and ST Electronics as the phone maker asserts that the ‘microphone components [were] invented by and manufactured exclusively for Nokia.’” While this sort of case may be irritating for European consumers who are hoping to get their hands on the HTC One, Engadget helpfully notes that at least it isn’t yet another patent dispute.
Wireless carriers have traditionally made money off lengthy two-year service agreements, rather than physical device sales. In the age of smartphones, however, carriers are footing the bill for expensive handsets that result in smaller margins, while phone makers such as Apple reap the benefits. To combat traditional phone subsidies, carriers in the U.S. have continued to raise monthly rates and employ new and higher fees. In Europe, service providers are taking more aggressive measures, with some carriers refusing to subsidize devices for new customers. The carriers’ latest cries of resistance are drawing applause from investors and analysts alike, who say carriers could benefit more from the smartphone boom if they raise contract prices and slow the rate at which customers buy new phones. More →
The United States Department of Commerce and National Telecommunications and Information Administration on Tuesday announced that the federal government has repurposed 95MHz of “prime spectrum” within the 1755-1850MHz band. As per President Obama’s request, the NTIA has been collaborating with the FCC in an effort to make 500MHz of spectrum available for commercial use over the next 10 years, nearly doubling the amount currently available. “Today’s report sets a path for putting prime spectrum into commercial wireless broadband use, in support of the Obama Administration’s goal to encourage investment and innovation while enhancing America’s economic competitiveness,” said NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling. The NTIA has previously recommended the reallocation of 115 MHz of spectrum, and with today’s announcement, federal agencies have contributed 40% of spectrum to the President’s goal. “Spectrum is a finite resource in growing demand, and we need to focus on new ways to maximize its use,” said Strickling. “By working with the FCC, other federal agencies, and the industry, we can make more spectrum available to fuel innovation and preserve America’s technological leadership while protecting vital government missions.” Read on for the NTIA’s press release. More →
Apple may be looking to incorporate support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi specification into the company’s products this year, according to a report from AppleInsider. The new standard offers three times the speed of the 802.11n standard, capable of achieving speeds of over 1 Gigabit per second. The Cupertino-based company is expected to “rapidly deploy support” of the new standard into AirPort base stations, Time Capsules, the Apple TV, notebooks and possibly mobile devices, according to the report. Even though the official standard has yet to be finalized, multiple suppliers have already announced chipsets supporting it — one of those is key Apple component maker Broadcom, which announced chips supporting the standard earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show. In addition to faster speeds, 802.11ac promises better networking range, improved reliability and more power efficient chips due to advances in reducing chip size and enhanced power management. More →
LightSquared and former FCC chief engineer Edmond Thomas on Wednesday said the GPS test devices that were used by the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Executive Committee (PNT EXCOM) to test its new network were rigged by “manufacturers of GPS receivers and government end users to produce bogus results.” The company said that devices from GPS manufacturers, which have claimed LightSquared’s network interferes with GPS communications, were “cherry picked” in secret and that independent authorities were not allowed to partake or oversee the tests or test results. In addition, LightSquared said the tests focused on obsolete technology that is only used in “niche market devices” and that are “least able to withstand potential interference” from wireless networks. Read on for more. More →
More than 50% of all phones sold this year will be capable of running on 4G or 3G data networks, according to a new report from ABI Research. “As the festive cheer of the holiday season dies away, the mood among handset vendors remains quietly confident regarding 2012,” Jake Saunders, vice president of forecasting for ABI Research said. “The outlook will yield growth in the order of 8%, netting 1.67 billion handsets shipped worldwide by the end of 2012. Particularly notable is for the first time, 3G and 4G handset shipments will capture more than 50% of total handsets shipped.” Read on for more. More →
Worldwide telecommunications industry revenue is set to reach $2.1 trillion this year according to market research firm Insight Research Corp. Despite the rocky global economy, industry revenue will grow further at an average annual rate of 5.3% to $2.7 trillion in 2017. The Asian region is seen as a key market and wireless revenue there is expected to grow 64%. Mobile broadband services and the transition from 3G to 4G will also be key growth drivers. “Despite global economic uncertainty, the telecommunications industry is showing strong revenue growth, which is being driven by consumer Internet usage and business mobility solutions. These are enabling new applications,” Insight Research analyst Fran Caulfield said in a statement. “Even amidst so much economic uncertainty, the fact remains that telecommunications is a key factor in economic growth. Telecommunications facilitates socio-economic advancement and is a critical utility for economic development, much like water and energy.” The firm’s full press release follows below. More →
Apple iOS users have long been able to take advantage of the company’s wireless streaming feature, AirPlay, that is built into all iPads, iPhones, and iPod touch devices. Airtight is a new app that just arrived in the Android Market, and it gives Android users the same wireless streaming capacity. The app is available for Google TV boxes running at least Android 3.0, and will allow users to stream content from their iOS devices right to their televisions using AirPlay. While Airtight will allow users to stream photos and videos, full mirroring of a device and DRM-protected media is unsupported in the current version. Airtight’s developers plan to further expand the capabilities of the app and are looking to include music as well as the rest of AirPlay’s functionality in the future. Airtight is available immediately for $0.99 in the Android Market. More →