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LG unveils the Optimus Vu, a 5-inch ‘phablet’

Monday, February 20th, 2012

LG on Sunday announced the Optimus Vu a week before the handset’s Mobile World Congress debut. The Vu features a 5-inch IPS display and is a hybrid between a smartphone and a tablet. The device is thinner than the competing Samsung Galaxy Note, coming in a 8.5 millimeters. “The Optimus Vu: was designed to maximize what customers could do with a smart-phone,” president and CEO of LG Dr. Jong-seok Park said. “By offering an optimal 4:3 ratio viewing experience, 5-inch display combined with superfast LTE technology, Optimus Vu: is just one example of what we can achieve when we combine our best technology with customer needs.” The “phablet” is equipped with a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 8-megapixel rear camera, 32GB of internal storage, an HDMI-out port, 1GB of RAM, LTE connectivity and a 2,080 mAh battery. The Vu will run Android 2.3 Gingerbread, however an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich has been promised within three months of the handset’s March launch. Read on for LG’s press release.

LG UNVEILS UNIQUE 4:3 RATIO, 5-INCH OPTIMUS VU: AT MWC 2012
With Productivity in Mind, LG Demonstrates its LTE and Display
Leadership with Device that Does, Well, Everything

SEOUL, Feb. 19, 2012 – LG today unveiled one of the most anticipated LTE devices, the Optimus Vu:. Equipped with LG’s advanced LTE and IPS display technology, the Optimus Vu: offers a unique combination of tablet-like viewing with smartphone portability. Running on a powerful 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 32GM internal memory and a large 2,080 mAh battery, the Optimus Vu: is a multimedia lover’s dream device.

“The Optimus Vu: was designed to maximize what customers could do with a smart-phone,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Mobile Communications Company. “By offering an optimal 4:3 ratio viewing experience, 5-inch display combined with superfast LTE technology, Optimus Vu: is just one example of what we can achieve when we combine our best technology with customer needs.”

The large 5-inch display with bright 4:3 aspect ratio makes viewing documents, books, internet and multimedia contents easier and more comfortable. The 4:3 aspect ratio is optimized for viewing to grasp more at a glance and note taking to increase productivity in everyday life. Moreover, IPS display realizes every color in its natural state for the best viewing experience even under bright sunlight.

Backed by unparalleled speed and performance from LG’s advanced LTE technology, the Optimus Vu: boasts unmatched productivity. Its unique built-in QuickClip™ hotkey allows users to conveniently capture screenshots and memos with a single push. Jotting notes is also possible with a finger or with the dedicated Rubberdium™ pen. Among many productive apps installed in the Optimus Vu:, the included Polaris Office allows users to open any document, spreadsheet or presentation while on the go.

At only 8.5mm, the Optimus Vu: is the slimmest among all LTE phones currently on the market and is perfectly suited for a hand and fits comfortably in a jacket pocket. Despite the large 2,080mAh battery, the Optimus Vu: adopts LG’s exclusive floating mass technology to appear slimmer than its actual dimensions.

In addition to HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) and DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance), Optimus Vu: comes with 32GB memory and an 8-megapixel camera. While it will initially launch running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is already in the works.

The Optimus Vu: will be introduced in Korea in March. Additional information on the unique Optimus Vu: can be found at the LG Stand (Hall 8) at MWC 2012 from February 27 to March 1.

Key Specifications:
- Chipset: 1.5GHz Dual-Core Processor
- Display: 5-inch (1024×768) IPS Display
- Memory: 32GB eMMC and 1GB DDR2
- Camera: 8MP with AF LED Flash (rear) and 1.3MP (front)
- OS: Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- Battery: 2,080mAh
- Dimension (L x W x D): 139.6 x 90.4 x 8.5mm

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HTC takes top smartphone spot in U.S. according to Q3 data from Canalys

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Samsung blew past Apple and Nokia in the third quarter to become the No. 1 smartphone vendor in the world, but another emerging smartphone vendor stole the top spot in the U.S. according to a new report. Market research firm Canalys on Monday released country-level smartphone shipment estimates and according to its figures, HTC shipped 5.7 million own-brand smartphones and another 700,000 T-Mobile-branded handsets last quarter to take the top spot with 6.4 million total devices shipped. Samsung shipped 4.9 million smartphones in the U.S. last quarter according to Canalys, and Apple shipped 4.6 million iPhones. “However you count it, HTC has become a deserved leader in the US smart phone market,” said Canalys analyst Chris Jones in a statement. “This is an awesome achievement for HTC, which has built a premium brand in a highly competitive market in just a few short years. It now has a strong range of 4G Android products, with devices ranged by each of the major carriers, and offers some of the most compelling and differentiated products found on the platform today.” The full press release from Canalys follows below.

HTC takes the lead in the US smart phone market

- A steller performance from Samsung sees it become the world’s number one vendor

Palo Alto, Shanghai, Singapore and Reading (UK) – Monday, 31 October 2011

Canalys today released its Q3 2011 country-level smart phone shipment estimates to clients, revealing that HTC has taken the top spot in the US market. At the same time, a particularly strong performance from Samsung saw it become the world’s number one smart phone vendor. Overall, the worldwide market grew substantially: 49% year-on-year to 120.4 million units.

With phenomenal year-on-year and sequential growth of 252% and 60% respectively, Samsung shipped 27.3 million smart phones under its own brand to capture a 23% share, becoming the number one vendor in APAC, Western Europe and Latin America, ahead of Nokia, Apple and RIM respectively. With well-regarded products, such as the Galaxy S II, and significant marketing campaigns, the vendor registered the second highest quarterly shipment total in the market’s history, behind only Nokia’s Q4 2010 performance. In addition, Samsung shipped an estimated 500,000 units worldwide under the Google and T-Mobile brands.

In the United States, the world’s largest smart phone market, HTC shone in Q3 2011, edging out Apple and Samsung to become the leading vendor. HTC shipped 5.7 million smart phones in the US under its own brand, giving it almost a quarter of the market, as well as an estimated 70,000 units under the T-Mobile brand. ‘However you count it, HTC has become a deserved leader in the US smart phone market,’ said Palo Alto-based Canalys Vice President and Principal Analyst, Chris Jones. ‘This is an awesome achievement for HTC, which has built a premium brand in a highly competitive market in just a few short years. It now has a strong range of 4G Android products, with devices ranged by each of the major carriers, and offers some of the most compelling and differentiated products found on the platform today.’

Samsung pushed Apple into third place in the US market, with shipments of its own-brand devices reaching 4.9 million units. Apple’s US smart phone shipments totaled 4.6 million in the quarter and it was affected around the world by consumers waiting for the launch of the next-generation iPhone.

‘Apple did not stir the usual excitement levels in the industry with the announcement of the iPhone 4S, but that was never likely to dampen volumes, due to pent up demand from the later than expected launch and the addition of Sprint as a third carrier,’ said Jones. ‘Early iPhone 4S sales have shown this is the case, and we expect to see a strong Q4 for Apple.’

‘Next week marks the two-year anniversary of Verizon Wireless’s DROID launch, the tremendously successful family of Android-based smart phones in the United States,’ said Jones. ‘Customers who bought early will see their loyalty tested in the coming weeks as their contracts come to an end.’

After a slow start in 2010, AT&T has over-delivered on the number of Android devices it promised to launch in 2011, including the Impulse 4G, supplied by Huawei but AT&T-branded, sold at an aggressive $30 with a contract to target first-time smart phone buyers. Android holds nearly 70% of the platform share in the United States, compared with 57% worldwide.

RIM had another tough quarter in its largest market, where its volumes declined 58% from a year ago and its US market share slipped from 24% in Q3 2010 to just 9% in Q3 2011. It continues to face unfavorable press there and its volumes have dropped significantly despite a refreshed product line that includes its flagship BlackBerry Bold 9900.

‘RIM’s market share has fallen below 10% for the first time, and the current outlook for it in the US is certainly bleak,’ said UK-based Canalys Senior Analyst, Tim Shepherd. ‘While Apple can for now get away with not having a 4G smart phone, no other vendor in the US can. RIM must deliver a competitive high-end 4G smart phone in early 2012.’

‘The picture for RIM in other parts of the world is clearly more positive. It grew 59% in EMEA and 56% in APAC over a year ago, largely driven by the continued popularity of BBM, its BlackBerry Messenger service. The Middle East and Africa and Southeast Asia were particular bright spots, and while October’s outage, focused on EMEA particularly, has hurt RIM’s reputation for reliability we do not expect it to have a substantial impact and expect a decent Q4 performance there.’

‘But undoubtedly RIM needs to deliver new, fresh, exciting products to the market and increase its pace of innovation and execution if it is going to have any chance of reasserting its position in North America. It badly needs to deliver on its potential with its new BBX platform,’ said Shepherd.

Canalys’ research also revealed huge growth in the smart phone market in mainland China, where shipments in Q3 2011 increased by an impressive 160% on a year ago to 23.2 million units. While maintaining very high growth potential, just over 200,000 fewer smart phones shipped in China than in the United States, leaving it a hair’s breadth away from being the world’s largest smart phone market.

‘The Chinese smart phone market is seeing explosive growth, not least from domestic vendors Huawei and ZTE,’ said Shanghai-based Canalys Research Director for China, Nicole Peng. ‘Both vendors are delivering good-quality, attractive smart phones on the Android platform for both the domestic and foreign markets, and their aggressive pricing strategies are enabling them to ship large volumes. They will continue to be an increasingly disruptive force in the global market in the coming quarters.’

Nokia retained its lead in the Chinese smart phone market, though echoing a picture seen around the world, it lost significant ground. Its share declined from 75% in Q3 2010 to 28% in Q3 2011.

‘Nokia has several tough quarters still ahead of it, even in its traditionally strong markets in APAC, such as China,’ said Peng. ‘The recent announcement of its first two Windows Phone devices, however, gives cause for some optimism, and shows that Nokia can still produce innovative and well-designed products. While China is not on Nokia’s initial list of launch countries for its Lumia products, Canalys understands that the market is a key priority for the vendor and expects to see Nokia Windows Phone devices there in the first half of 2012.’

Apple and Samsung also grew significantly in China this quarter, each enjoying growth of 710% and 805% year-on-year respectively.

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Samsung to appeal EU Galaxy Tab 10.1 ban on August 25th

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Samsung will appeal a recent ruling by The Regional Court of Düsseldorf in Germany that bars the South Korean tablet maker from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 device in the whole of the European Union except for the Netherlands, The Wall Street Journal said on Friday. The appeal court date is set for August 25th. Samsung could face fines of up to $350,000 per unit if it continues to sell the device in the European Union. On August 1st, Apple also blocked Samsung from selling its tablet in Australia until courts rule whether or not the device infringes on 10 of Apple’s patents. Apple has a similar case open in the United States in which it has accused Samsung of creating copycat devices of its iPhone and iPad. “Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products,” the complaint said.

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Canalys: Android dominance grows as Q1 market share climbs to 35%

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Market research and analysis firm Canalys on Wednesday released its global country-level smartphone market share data for the first quarter of 2011. According to the firm’s report, Android continued to dominate the worldwide smartphone market as global shipments grew to 37.5 million units, giving Google’s mobile OS a market-leading 35% share of smartphone sales in the quarter. Nokia’s market share fell dramatically year-over-year from 39% in the first quarter of 2010 to just 24% last quarter, according to the report, and Apple’s share grew to 19%. Though the smartphone market outgrew Nokia at an alarming pace, the Finnish company did manage to increase shipments 13% year-over-year to 24.2 million units last quarter. Global smartphone shipments grew 83% from 55.2 million units in the first quarter of 2010 to 101 million units in the same quarter this year. The Asia Pacific region showed the most growth over the first quarter last year — 98% — while first-quarter smartphone shipments in the U.S. grew 85% from 13.3 million in 2010 to 24.7 million units in 2011. Hit the break for the full press release.

Android increases smart phone market leadership with 35% share

–Asia Pacific becomes largest smart phone region in Q1 with 37% of shipments

Palo Alto, Singapore and Reading (UK) – Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Canalys today released its worldwide country-level smart phone market data for Q1 2011, revealing that Android led the market for the second quarter running, and, with 35.7 million units shipped, increased its share to 35%. At the same time, Canalys confirmed that Asia Pacific (APAC) became the largest smart phone market region, with year-on-year growth of 98% to 37.3 million units, putting it ahead of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for the first time since Q3 2007. On a country basis, mainland China, South Korea and India delivered strong volumes and registered triple-digit growth.

Overall, worldwide smart phone shipments grew 83% to 101.0 million units. Though its market share shrank from 39% a year ago to 24% in Q1 2011, Nokia held onto its worldwide leadership position with 24.2 million units shipped – a 13% year-on-year rise – despite the current realignment of its platform strategy, staying ahead of RIM in EMEA and Apple in APAC. APAC became the largest region for Nokia, accounting for 53% of its overall shipments, overtaking EMEA by more than 3 million units.

‘Nokia is under considerable strain in the smart phone market as it transitions strategy, platforms and people,’ said Canalys Principal Analyst Pete Cunningham. ‘Its worldwide reach, however, should never be underestimated. Canalys’ country-level data shows that the vendor remains number one in 28 countries, including mainland China, where it grew 79% to 8.9 million units, thanks in part to Chinese New Year shipments.’

At a platform level, Android’s continued dominance was boosted by good performances by a number of key vendors. ‘HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola and Sony Ericsson drove Android shipments in the first quarter, with each vendor shipping well over 3 million devices,’ said Cunningham. ‘Samsung also shipped nearly 3.5 million bada operating system-based smart phones, outperforming total shipments of Windows Phone devices by more than a million units.’

‘Samsung’s own operating system development, combined with the branding and investment in its Wave smart phones at mid-tier prices, has led to good uptake in developed markets, such as France, the UK and Germany,’ continued Cunningham. ‘This achievement shows that there is still room for multiple operating systems, and that vendors can benefit from maintaining control of device development to hit the right markets and price points.’

Nokia, Apple, RIM, Samsung and HTC were the top five global smart phone vendors, as in Q4 2010. Apple continued to make market share gains, reaching 19%. RIM’s share, however, dropped in Q1, as its portfolio awaited a refresh and the vendor focused on the PlayBook launch. Overtaking Motorola, LG moved into sixth place, with its Optimus series of Android smart phones doing well in all regions.

The US remained the largest country for smart phone shipments, with Apple substantially extending its lead, achieving a share of 31% and growth of over 150% year on year. Volumes were boosted significantly by shipments of the iPhone 4 with Verizon Wireless. Android remained the leading smart phone platform in the US for the third consecutive quarter, with a 49% share. Growing by well over 200%, HTC became the leading Android vendor in the US and the second-place smart phone vendor in the country overall.

‘Shipments of its EVO series, Inspire 4G and Thunderbolt enhanced HTC’s strong performance in this quarter,’ said Canalys Vice President and Principal Analyst Chris Jones. ‘The vendor has a wide and regularly refreshed portfolio, covering multiple network technologies, which puts it in a strong position both in the US and worldwide.’

The popularity of 4G-branded models, such as the Samsung Galaxy S 4G, HTC EVO Shift 4G and the T-Mobile myTouch 4G, heavily influenced US market shipments this past quarter. Q1 also marked the first full quarter of LTE smart phone shipments, following Verizon’s 4G network launch in December 2010. Canalys estimates that shipments of these devices reached over 600,000 units.

‘We are starting to see some significant benefits from marketing high-speed networks to consumers in the US, as end users become more familiar with the performance and technical aspects of their smart phones,’ said Jones. ‘It’s a trend that will inevitably spread around the world over the coming years as carriers upgrade their network infrastructures.’

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Sprint Nexus S 4G pre-orders start at Best Buy today

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Best Buy announced on Monday that it will begin accepting pre-orders for Sprint’s Nexus S 4G immediately. Best Buy will sell the device in its Best Buy Mobile stores and online. While pricing hasn’t yet been announced, one store confirmed to BGR that customers can pre-order Nexus S 4G with a $50 deposit, which will be applied to the final purchase price. The Nexus S 4G is nearly identical to the original Nexus S on T-Mobile, but it’s a bit thicker and heavier due to the new radios for CDMA and 4G WiMAX. Hit the jump for the full release.

Best Buy Launches Presale of Nexus S 4G from Google, available on the Sprint Network

Presale begins today at Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores nationwide

MINNEAPOLIS, March 21, 2011 – Best Buy today announced the presale of Nexus S 4G from Google, available on the Sprint Network, which will be available in Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile standalone stores nationwide, as well as online at Best Buy.com/Mobile, later this spring. As a national retail exclusive, Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores will be the only physical retail locations, other than Sprint stores, where consumers can demo, compare and purchase this handset.

“The exclusive launch of Nexus S from Google was a landmark for us and it continues to be one of our best-selling devices,” said Scott Anderson,head of merchandising for Best Buy Mobile. “Bringing Nexus S 4G to our stores is one more way we’re making it as easy as possible for people to find the phone that’s right for them.”

Nexus S 4G is the world’s first 4G smart phone to feature a 4” Contour Display and Android™ 2.3, Gingerbread. It also delivers a pure Google experience: unfiltered access to Google mobile services and the latest and greatest Android releases and updates.

Best Buy Mobile has rapidly become a leading destination for mobile technology purchases with the most smart phones under one roof, and an array of services aimed at improving customers’ experience, including Walk Out Working, Happy 24 and Buy Back. Offerings also include a full array of accessories for customers to protect and personalize their devices.

About Best Buy Mobile

Best Buy Mobile was founded in 2006 with a goal of changing the way consumers shop for and purchase mobile phones in America. Today, Best Buy Mobile is in every Best Buy store and also has 178 Best Buy Mobile specialty stores around the country. Best Mobile features one of the largest selections of carriers, handsets and accessories available anywhere. Employees undergo at least 80 hours of intensive training, as well as continuing education on mobile phone technology and trends to help customers get the most of their mobile phones. For more information about Best Buy Mobile, visit www.bestbuy.com/mobileor www.bestbuymobile.com.

About Best Buy Co., Inc.

With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, China, Mexico and Turkey, Best Buy is a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services with a commitment to growth and innovation. The Best Buy family of brands and partnerships collectively generates more than $49 billion in annual revenue and includes brands such as Best Buy; Best Buy Mobile; Audiovisions; The Carphone Warehouse; Future Shop; Geek Squad, Jiangsu Five Star; Magnolia Audio Video; Napster; Pacific Sales; and The Phone House. Approximately 180,000 employees apply their talents to help bring the benefits of these brands to life for customers through retail locations, multiple call centers and Web sites, in-home solutions, product delivery and activities in our communities. Community partnership is central to the way Best Buy does business. In fiscal 2010, Best Buy donated a combined $25.2 million to improve the vitality of the communities where their employees and customers live and work. For more information about Best Buy, visit www.bestbuy.com.

Android, Google, and Nexus S are trademarks of Google, Inc.

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Canalys: Android will double competitors’ growth rate in 2011

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

According to a new report from research firm Canalys, Android is poised to grow at more than twice the rate of its closest competitors in 2011. The firm says Google’s Android OS will not be held back by fragmentation or the Verizon iPhone as its market share continues to explode globally. “The growth of Android has been phenomenal, but so too has the number of related devices launched with different hardware and software specifications,” said Canalys Principal Analyst Chris Jones in a statement. “This has led to the market perception of it as a fragmented platform, though we believe that growth will continue as the pace of Android OS upgrades slows.” According to Canalys’ numbers for the third quarter of 2010, Android owned 25.1% of the worldwide smartphone market, having shipped 20 million units in the quarter. Android was behind only Symbian, which held its lead with 37% of the market. Hit the break for Canalys’ full press release.

Canalys predicts Android will grow more than twice the rate of major competitors in 2011

-Fragmentation will not limit Android growth

Palo Alto, Singapore and Reading (UK) – Thursday, 13 January 2011
For immediate release

Canalys today announced its projection that Android will continue to grow at more than twice the rate of its major smart phone competitors in 2011, despite market concerns over platform fragmentation and the arrival of the iPhone 4 on Verizon in the US. According to Canalys Q3 2010 estimates, the Google-backed platform already claims a 25% share of the worldwide smart phone market, with over 20 million shipments of Android-based worldwide.[1]

‘The growth of Android has been phenomenal, but so too has the number of related devices launched with different hardware and software specifications,’ said Canalys Principal Analyst Chris Jones. ‘This has led to the market perception of it as a fragmented platform, though we believe that growth will continue as the pace of Android OS upgrades slows.’

Since the launch of the original Android platform in September 2008, many versions have followed. Gingerbread (Android 2.3) is already Google’s eighth update, with its forthcoming Honeycomb (Android 3.0) pad-focused release set to appear on devices in coming months. The platform’s rapid evolution has required increased resources from both device vendors and application developers to support the operating system.

‘The need to differentiate has pushed vendors to create customized user interface overlays for their Android devices,’ said Jones. ‘As additional investment is required to ensure compatibility with each operating system upgrade, this has hampered vendors’ efforts to stay up-to-date with the latest Android iteration on current devices.

‘Fragmentation affects all OS platforms, though it is particularly visible with Android due to the fast pace of upgrades that has characterized its growth,’ said Jones. ‘The problem has been less pronounced on competitive platforms, such as Apple’s iOS, as devices have been able to support the iOS 4 upgrades since the iPhone 3G. Nokia has also sought to minimize its fragmentation issues by utilizing the cross-platform Qt framework.’

Vendors working on Android have leveraged the open source platform to push prices down and bring smart phones to the mass market. As a result, Android shipments grew more than 1,000% through the first three quarters of 2010 over the same period in 2009.[2]

The platform has benefited established vendors, such as Samsung and HTC, but also enabled PC vendors, such as Acer, to enter the market with a broad product range spanning smart phones and pads.

‘Vendors are trying to differentiate further on the hardware front, with faster and more powerful processors, as well as larger screen sizes,’ said Canalys Senior Analyst Daryl Chiam. ‘Last week, LG announced the first smart phone to support a dual-core processor, while Acer and Samsung showcased smart phones with screen sizes of 4.8″ and 4.5″ respectively.’

‘With Android’s momentum expected to stay strong, the installed base of Android-based smart phones and pads will rapidly increase – good news for developers,’ said Chiam. ‘To be successful, developers must be prepared to cater to the abilities of the different device categories, tweaking the user experience of their applications accordingly. This additional effort is well worth the potential benefit of broader application distribution.’

‘To support developers, Google must also make substantial enhancements to the Android Market, including the ability to detect device platforms, highlighting the applications suitable for each, which would improve the user experience and increase the number of downloads,’ said Chiam.

[1] and [2] Canalys worldwide smart phone shipment estimates, Q3 2010. See table at end of press release.

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New Windows Phone 7 update details emerge

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Web-famous Windows watcher Paul Thurrott has come forward with new details surrounding a pair of upcoming updates for Microsoft’s mobile platform. Some details jibe with earlier reports, while others are definitely news to us. According to Thurrott, two major updates are due this year. The first, dubbed “NoDo” (possibly short for “No Donuts” — mocking Android’s Donut update, which may have been perceived as minor), will find its way to end users some time in early February. Among the features to be found in NoDo are the “copy and paste functional addition, support for the Qualcomm 7×30 smart phone chipset, a CDMA location stack, and a number of software fixes.” Later in the year, we’ll see another update currently called “Mango” internally, which will apparently bring “Internet Explorer 9 with with the Trident 5 rendering engine, HTML 5 and Silverlight, and gesture support.” Mango may include some some new entertainment features as well.

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Toy smartphone jailbreak: top tech trend for 2011?

Monday, January 3rd, 2011
Not since we ran into Benign Girl at the Dollar General have we been so taken with a toy cellphone. Yours now for a mere 99 cents, Smart Phone (creative name!), proves what we suspected all along: in Shenzhen, even children’s playthings are jailbroken. But please be careful, as this thing is only recommended for users over the age of four. Get a closer look after the break.

[Thanks, Josh]

Continue reading Toy smartphone jailbreak: top tech trend for 2011?

Toy smartphone jailbreak: top tech trend for 2011? originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 03 Jan 2011 13:33:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Best Buy lays out Nexus S launch plan

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Best Buy has announced its launch plan for the upcoming Nexus S, Google’s second foray into self-branded smartphones. Starting Thursday at 8:00am Eastern, the Nexus S will become available for purchase online, at Best Buy Stores and at Best Buy Mobile specialty locations across the country. Inventory will vary by location and sales will be limited to two per person. The device will be $529 unlocked for, $199 with a two-year T-Mobile contract and qualifying voice and data plans, or $249.99 as an add-a-line activation. The Google Nexus S features a 4-inch Super-AMOLED display, a 5-megapixel camera with 720p video capture capability, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor and the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system. Best Buy is Google’s exclusive retail partner for the Nexus S in the U.S. Hit the jump for the full press release.

Nexus S Lands in All Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile Stores Dec. 16

In addition to the in-store launch, online sales – via BestBuy.com – begin at 8 a.m. Eastern time.

MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 13, 2010 – All Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile specialty stores launch Nexus S in-stores and online at BestBuy.com on Thursday, Dec. 16. Nexus S, from Google and Samsung, is the world’s first smart phone with Android 2.3, Gingerbread.

Here are some important details for the launch of Nexus S:

Timing: Online sales of Nexus S begin at 8 a.m. Eastern time to coincide with the opening of Best Buy stores on the East Coast. As a reminder, all Best Buy stores have adjusted their holiday hours to open at 8 a.m.

Availability: Nexus S is available in all Best Buy and Best Mobile specialty stores. Exact inventory will vary by store. Nexus S will be sold out on a first-come, first-serve basis with a limit of 2 per customer.

Demo phones: All Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores will have a Nexus S demo phone on-hand so customers can see and experience the phone.

Pricing: The Nexus S is an unlocked phone and can be purchased without contract for $529. The Nexus S can also be purchased for $199 with a TMobile two-year service agreement and qualifying voice and data plan. Nexus S can also be purchased for $249.99 for add-a-line activations.

As with all smart phones it sells, Best Buy Mobile will have a full assortment of accessories for Nexus S and offers an array of services aimed at improving the mobile phone buying experience, including:

Upgrade Checker: A quick and easy service that gives customers the ability to see when they are eligible for their next phone upgrade. When the upgrade time is nearing, customers receive a complimentary reminder call, e-mail or text message.

Walk Out Working™: Free in-store smart phone setup by a Best Buy Mobile Phone Specialist who will sync personal email accounts, set up Bluetooth headsets, transfer contacts and activate other services to allow the customer to leave the store with a fully functional new smart phone.

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HTC phone with CDMA and WiMAX hits the FCC: the EVO Shift 4G, perhaps?

Friday, November 19th, 2010

It’s not every day that a new HTC phone with CDMA and WiMAX support swings through the FCC’s labs — so even though we don’t really know what this is, we thought we’d better point it out. Odds are it’ll be headed to Sprint considering the unique combination of technology, and the test report lists it as a “Smart Phone” — Windows Phones from these guys usually say as much, so we’re thinking this is probably Android. The elephant in the room would have to be the Knight / EVO Shift 4G we’ve been hearing about lately… and considering that there are mentions of tests in the “slide off” and “slide right” configurations, we wouldn’t doubt this is it. Any crazy theories out there?

HTC phone with CDMA and WiMAX hits the FCC: the EVO Shift 4G, perhaps? originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 19 Nov 2010 18:24:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samsung sells 5 million Galaxy S smartphones

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Via a press release, Samsung proudly announced that they have sold over 5 million Galaxy S branded handsets since the device’s launch back in June. As Samsung writes: “The GALAXY S has been a phenomenal success in the global smart phone market, recording global sales of over 5 million units including more than 2 million units in the United States and more than 1 million units in Korea.” Samsung plans to launch the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab today in Japan.

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Ask Engadget: what’s the ultimate network media streamer?

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

We know you’ve got questions, and if you’re brave enough to ask the world for answers, here’s the outlet to do so. This week’s Ask Engadget question is coming to us from Brett, who seems just marginally overwhelmed by the recent flood of network media streamers. If you’re looking to send in an inquiry of your own, drop us a line at ask [at] engadget [dawt] com.

“I’m looking for a network media player that can play a variety of videos from my NAS as well as connect to media services like Netflix, Pandora, Hulu, etc. I thought I found the perfect match with the new Sony SMP-N100, but the DLNA sharing system was awful compared to an old Apple TV with XBMC installed. Any suggestions on the ultimate Network Media Player? Bonus points for being able to remotely queue videos or control it from a smart phone.”

We’ve been to this rodeo before, but the situation (and consumer demands, too) has changed quite dramatically from just a year ago. Given that there are more players connecting to more portals than ever before, we’d curious to know what box you’d recommend for Brett. Don’t hold back, cool?

Ask Engadget: what’s the ultimate network media streamer? originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 30 Sep 2010 22:19:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab storming U.S. shores, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

You wanted an Android tablet and and now you’ve got one. Today, Samsung announced that the very well publicized Samsung Galaxy Tab would be hitting the store shelves of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon this October/November. Samsung did not specify what the 7-inch, Android tablet would cost — instead saying carriers would announce their own pricing — but did note that a Wi-Fi only version would be coming at some point. If you want to read the good news first hand hit the break, the press release is waiting for you.

SAMSUNG MOBILE EXPANDS GALAXY PRODUCT PORTFOLIO WITH LAUNCH OF SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB™ WITH MULTIPLE U.S. CARRIERS

Designed as a true mobile tablet, Samsung Galaxy Tab™ powered by 7-inch touchscreen, Android 2.2 platform with Flash Player 10.1 and front and rear-facing cameras for video chat support landing soon with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon

DALLAS, September 16, 2010 -Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile)1, the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the U.S., today announced the upcoming availability of the Galaxy Tab™ in the U.S with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. The first mobile tablet from Samsung shares many of the powerful characteristics of the Galaxy S smart phone lineup that launched this summer. The Galaxy Tab is designed with several enhancements to create a unique mobile experience that other products can’t deliver.

The Galaxy Tab features a brilliant 7-inch enhanced TFT display screen, 1GHz Hummingbird Application processor supporting 3D graphics and smooth Web browsing and front and rear-facing cameras for video chat while on-the-go. The Galaxy Tab is powered by Android 2.2™, including full support for Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1. Just like the Galaxy S smart phones, the Galaxy Tab includes Samsung’s Social Hub application and the new Media Hub content service, offering a robust collection of premium movies and TV episodes from some of the biggest entertainment companies.

“The addition of Galaxy Tab to the Galaxy product portfolio is a powerful proof point of Samsung’s commitment to bring new and innovative mobile experiences to U.S. consumers,” said Omar Khan, chief strategy officer for Samsung Mobile. “The 7-inch display and thin, lightweight design, combined with premium content and productivity tools makes the Galaxy Tab a true mobile tablet that is as comfortable to use standing on a crowded train as it is relaxing on the couch at home. The Galaxy Tab is perfect for watching a movie, reading an e-book or catching up with your favorite TV shows or chatting with an old friend. Plus, the Tab’s design makes it completely pocketable in your pants or jacket.”

Powerful Display, Portable Design
The Galaxy Tab’s 7-inch display features enhanced TFT technology, offering brighter colors and clearer pictures, whether watching a movie or reading a book. The display delivers 1024 x 600 WSVGA resolution, offering full support to the Android 2.2 operating system. With support for Flash Player 10.1, the Galaxy Tab delivers an enhanced content experience when compared to other tablets currently available in the U.S. Users can engage with thousands of sites with rich Flash based applications and content including games, animations, rich Internet applications (RIAs), data presentations and visualizations, ecommerce, video, music and more. Samsung’s mobile tablet also provides access to the more than 80,000 applications currently available on the Android Market™.

Many of the built-in productivity services and Android applications are scalable to fit the Galaxy Tab’s full 7-inch screen. For example, the user’s email, calendar and contacts will all rotate from portrait to landscape format through the tablet’s accelerometer and then open as a split-screen to create a PC or laptop viewing experience on the Tab. Likewise, many Android Market applications will open in full screen. Non-scalable Android Market applications will be framed and centered on the Galaxy Tab screen.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is designed for people who want a premium mobile entertainment experience on the go, but don’t want to be weighed down by a bulky device. The Galaxy Tab fits in a pocket or purse, weighs only 13 ounces and is 12 millimeters thin. Those super-light and sleek dimensions, matched with the 7-inch touchscreen display allows the Galaxy Tab to easily fit into a jeans’ backpocket or the inside pocket of a jacket. The compact design of Galaxy Tab also makes it easy for the user to type on the virtual keyboard with both thumbs or with one hand using Swype technology to type with one continuous finger motion across the keyboard.

Two Cameras, One-on-One Video Chat
The Galaxy Tab is designed with a rear-facing 3 megapixel camera for taking pictures on-the-go and sharing with family and friends. The Tab is also outfitted with a front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera and camcorder, enabling video chat with other people who have video conferencing capabilities. Users can align the Galaxy Tab with video chat clients including Qik and Fring and seamlessly talk with other people over a WiFi connection.

Google Mobile Services Benefits
Services like Google Maps™ Navigation (Beta) and Google Goggles are available on Google’s Android platform. With useful location-based services like Google Maps™, consumers can search in Standard English instead of entering an exact address. A search-by-voice function is just as intuitive, meaning searches can also be completed easily on the go. Google Goggles™ is a powerful, visual search tool that uses the Samsung GALAXY Tab’s camera to uncover information – an image of a landmark or artwork is automatically used to perform a search, delivering relevant content like a description or history. In addition, with a camera, users can enjoy various augmented reality services which are downloadable in the application market.

Samsung Social Hub Simplifies
Just like the Samsung Galaxy S smart phone portfolio, the Galaxy Tab keep users connected with Samsung’s Social Hub application. Social Hub works with the user’s Messaging and Contacts to initiate the sending and receiving of information, whether it is e-mail, instant messaging, social network updates or SMS messages. Additionally, calendar information from portal calendars, such as Google Calendar, and social networking services are displayed together in one calendar with two-way synchronization.

Additional features of the Galaxy Tab include:

  • Daily Briefing: Offers instant access to weather, news, stocks, and schedules.
  • Impressive Onboard & Expandable Memory: Galaxy Tab can add 32 GB of external memory to store and manage your favorite video content and pictures.
  • AllShare DLNA Technology: Take video or pictures shot with Galaxy Tab and send content wirelessly to other DLNA-enabled devices (HDTVs, laptops, PC monitors, etc.)
  • Document Viewer & Editor: Open and make changes to any Word, Excel, Powerpoint or PDF document
  • 4,000 mAh Battery: Super-sized battery provides ample power to watch movies, share content and surf the Web

Samsung Media Hub – Entertaining the Masses
In addition, the Galaxy Tab will include future access to Media Hub, Samsung’s own content service, offering a vast lineup of critically acclaimed films and TV programs for rent or purchase. Samsung is working with the biggest and best names in entertainment, including MTV Networks, NBC, Paramount and Universal Studios Home Entertainment to assemble a full library of movies and TV programming, including new release films, next day TV episodes and even full TV show seasons. Media Hub also allows the user to expand the entertainment experience, allowing content purchased to permanently own to be shared with up to five devices that carry the Media Hub application.

Premium Accessories Portfolio
To enhance the Galaxy Tab user experience even further, a set of accessories designed specifically for the mobile tablet are available for purchase from www.Samsung.com including:

  • Keyboard Dock – $99.99
    • Ergonomic, comfortable full-size keyboard with 7″ Galaxy Tab replaceable inserts that doubles as a charger for power and synchronization of media and data
    • Dock contains convenient stereo audio output jack for connecting to speakers or home stereo
  • Desktop Dock – $49.99
    • Doubles as a Galaxy Tab charger using the Micro USB wall adapter that comes with the Tab; allows users to view movies, display as a digital picture frame and listen to music
    • HDMI output to view HD content on HDTV enabled with 1080p resolution and provides HDTV connection to play content from the Galaxy Tab to a television
  • Car/GPS Dock – $99.99
    • Conveniently positions 7″ Galaxy Tab display screen inside car for turn-by-turn GPS navigation instructions and traffic updates
    • Attachable to either the windshield or car dashboard and rotates freely between landscape and portrait modes

Upcoming Availability
The Samsung Galaxy Tab portfolio of mobile tablets from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless will be available in the coming months. For additional information on the Samsung Galaxy Tab portfolio, please visit www.samsung.com/galaxytab.

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T-Mobile’s G2 up for pre-order at Best Buy right now

Friday, September 10th, 2010

In a press release late yesterday, Best Buy announced that it would be accepting pre-orders for T-Mobile’s recently-announced G2, Android 2.2 handset beginning today. The device will retail for $199 on a 2-year contract and will be available in stores on October 6. Here is the full press release:

Best Buy Mobile Launches Pre-Sale of the T-Mobile G2 with Google
The pre-sale begins Friday, September 10.

Best Buy Mobile today announced the T-Mobile® G2™ with Google™ will be available for pre-orders starting Friday, September 10. It will launch in stores October 6 and will retail for $199.99 with new two-year activation.

By adding the T-Mobile® G2™ with Google™ to its assortment, Best Buy Mobile furthers its position as the place for consumers to research and purchase the smart phone that is right for their needs. Best Buy Mobile has the most under smart phones under one roof, including the iPhone 4, HTC EVO 4G (Black or White version), the full line of Samsung Galaxy smart phones and the BlackBerry Torch, among others.

The G2 is T-Mobile’s first phone on its advanced network that lets consumers connect at 4G speeds. It has the Android 2.2 operating system, an exclusive hinge design (HTC calls it “Z-Hinge”) that opens up to a QWERTY keyboard and a full touch screen 3.7” S-TFT WVGA with clear images and wide viewing angle.

Pre-orders can be made by visiting any local Best Buy or Best Buy mobile standalone store.

At Best Buy Mobile, consumers can compare the latest devices from popular carriers and plans in store or online. For more information on the T-Mobile® G2™ with Google™, and other smart phones available at Best Buy, visit www.bestbuy.com/mobile.

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LG Mini GD880 finally gets a full on announcement at MWC

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Hey there, Mini GD880 — we’ve seen plenty of you around here lately — but we were beginning to wonder if you’d ever get totally, completely, 100 percent official. Well, here we are, day two of MWC, and it was definitely worth the wait. LG’s latest featurephone packs a 5 megapixel cam, WiFi, 7.2Mbps HSDPA, and integrated FM radio into a frame that’s just 10.6mm in depth and weighs just 99 grams — about as thin and light as it gets. It also boasts continual over-the-air syncing via LG‘s new Air Sync service, making it a pretty smart phone — for a featurephone. The Mini GD880 will be available throughout Europe beginning in March, for an as yet undetermined amount of cash money. The full press release is after the break, but if your heart is filled with desire for this beast, you can hit up the hands-on and impressions in the more coverage link for more photos.

Continue reading LG Mini GD880 finally gets a full on announcement at MWC

LG Mini GD880 finally gets a full on announcement at MWC originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 16 Feb 2010 07:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Motorola handset rocking Android and MOTOBLUR pictured in Brazil

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Motorola Backflip Like Hanset - Brazil

It looks as though Gizmodo Brazil got their hands on a yet-to-be-announced Android handset from device manufacturer Motorola. The full touch-screen device, which is being described as a Motorola BACKFLIP without the keyboard, is running Android 1.5 and is cloaked in the MOTOBLUR UI. Giz Brazil didn’t report on any specifications, however we can tell from the images the phone is SIM based, has a 3.5 mm headphone jack, micro-SD slot, and camera with flash. The phone is rumored to be released in March, although the chances of this little number Stateside appear to be pretty slim, and go after feature phone users looking to upgrade to their first semi-smart phone. Hit the link for the translated article and image gallery.

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T-Mobile launches early upgrade program for post-paid smartphone customers

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

tmobile

If you’re like us, keeping a smart phone for two years really isn’t an option. After about 6 months of ownership the honeymoon is over; after 9 months you begin to obsess over a few battle scars your phone has acquired, and by month 12 you are actively seeking your phone’s demise so you have an excuse to buy the latest and greatest. Starting immediately, T-Mobile will be offering post-paid smartphone customers on a two year contract — or feature phone owners looking to upgrade to a smartphone — two tiers of upgrade pricing… as long as you are willing to renew your two year deal. The move is aimed at curbing the number of customers jumping from T-Mobile to other networks, specifically AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Customers will be eligible for a “tier 1″ discount if they have had their phone for 1-11 months, are currently in a two year contract, and have an individual voice plan that is $29.99 or higher — $49.99 or higher for family plans — and are upgrading to, or buying a new smartphone. Customers qualify for “tier 2″ pricing when they are in a two year contract, have an individual voice plan that is $29.99 or higher — $49.99 or higher for family plans — are between months 12-21 of their two year contract, and are upgrading to, or buying a new, smartphone. The exact discount pricing hasn’t been made available yet, but TmoNews speculates that a myTouch 3G, which retails for $400, would cost those that qualify for the “tier 2″ pricing around $240.

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