March 31, 2009 by Tap
T-Mobile really seems to be cornering the Android phone news at the moment what with the success of the G1, the possibility of the launch of the HTC Magic in the US and now further confirmation of a possible Huawei handset launch in Q3.
The Huawei Android phone was first spotted at this year's Mobile World Congress last month and word was that a deal had been signed with T-Mobile to launch it in Q3 2009. We haven't heard much since then but according to TmoNews, a trusted source has confirmed that a phone is currently being tested and that T-Mobile is on track for a Q3 release.
Whether the phone in question is the same sleek black number that was revealed at MWC is unknown at this time but TmoNews is hoping to reveal more details in the coming weeks.
March 31, 2009 by Tap
Speculation about the release of a second Android phone by T-Mobile USA began a few weeks ago when Amazon started to advertise the G1 at just $97.99 on new contracts. The thinking was that T-Mobile was trying to shift stocks of the G1 to make room for their next phone.
Now it seems that speculation may have been correct as a T-Mobile branded 3G HTC Magic has been spotted on FCC lists for US release. Of course this doesn't 100% confirm the phone's US release but it does make for a potentially interesting race between T-Mobile USA and Vodafone USA (Verizon Wireless) when you consider that Vodafone has the Magic scheduled for release in Europe this April (although I wouldn’t hold by breath for that release date ;-).
So does T-Mobile have a surprise in store for US subscribers and who's going to be next to officially release the world's second Android Phone? Stay tuned for more details.
Source: Cell Phone Signal
March 30, 2009 by Tap
I have more than one phone linked to my T-Mobile UK account so I tend to keep an eye on my call time usage. This means logging in to my T-Mobile online account – when I actually remember. That's why, when last week I read about the new T-Mobile My Account App via Android and Me, I was quite keen to download a copy.
This weekend I finally got around to searching the Android Market for the App and after much frustration (I'll get to that) I couldn't find it. After some more browsing online it turns out that the app is currently only available in the US – bummer! On the one hand I can understand that it's not so easy for T-Mobile to use the exact same app across countries – the call packages are so different – but I can't help feeling slightly left out. Come on T-Mobile UK, by all accounts it's a really useful application. When can us UK subscribers get a copy?
Back to the subject of searching for apps on Android Market. I think we all know how frustrating that can be and this has prompted a lot of discussion online and a fair few suggestions (Check out 7 Steps to Fix The Android Market). Fortunately it seems our cries have not gone unnoticed and, according to this thread on Google Groups, there's definitely a roadmap for improvement but no timeline as yet. At least there's some promise for the future.
March 30, 2009 by Tap
Back in February Archos announced that they were working on a new Android-based Internet Media Tablet (IMT) for release in Q3 2009. The company has just published its 2008 financial results which re-confirm the release if the IMT. Here, in slightly mangled English thanks to Google, is what the original French report had to say.
Telephone: ARCHOS to integrate telephony to its future multimedia Internet tablet. This new functionality to meet the needs of communication and entertainment in a single mobile device. This product will combine the mobile and Google Android the ARCHOS multimedia applications.
On all these axes, ARCHOS will deliver innovative products and efficient and to extend its supply and cover the segments between 50 € and 500 €. ARCHOS is as follows:
- launching a line of MP3 products to address a market that remains important in volume;
- distribute netBook efficient and competitive (10 ARCHOS launched in February 2009);
- start the third quarter Multimedia Internet Tablet with Android phones.
So there we have it. We should start to see the IMT from around about July and it should cost no more than 500 € - that's about £465 and $663. Sounds interesting although I'm not too sure about holding something similar to an Archos 5 or 7 to my ear. Hopefully the new IMT will come with Bluetooth so that you can use a headset.
Source: Archos via Electricpig
March 25, 2009 by Tap
Rumours of HTC's Android Hero phone surfaced in the middle of February this year when HTC's supposed 2009 line-up was revealed on ppcgeeks. We haven't heard much about it since but it looks like the Hero has finally been picked up by Orange.
Orange France has already released the G1 as the HTC Dream (they couldn't use the G1 branding as T-Mobile has exclusive rights to that) and now, according to Mobinaute, they will be following that up with the HTC Hero. But that's not all - they reckon that the Hero will be followed by another Android smartphone a few weeks after that. Orange is definitely on a mission here and is keen to capitalise on what they see as the revenue potential of the Android Market.
Even more interesting, although this could be speculation, is that by the end of this year, Orange, in addition to HTC, plans to have Android phones from Motorola, LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. That last one especially comes as a welcome surprise as Sony Ericsson, although a member of the Open Handset Alliance, seems to have been very quiet on the Android front this year.
On the OS front, word is that Orange will be releasing the cupcake update for the HTC Dream by the end of April and a second "major update" a month later. Sounds mighty interesting.
March 25, 2009 by Tap
Mobile advertiser AdMob has released its latest metrics report for February which shows that Android now accounts for 5% of US smartphone operating system share. Now this shouldn't come as too much of a surprise when you consider that Net Application's reports released earlier this month for January/February showed similar figures.
What is interesting however is how AdMob's reports have tracked Android's growth over the last few months. Here's a summary.
- October 2008 – as you would expect, no mention of Android or the G1/HTC Dream.
- November 2008 – both Android and the G1 make their debut with the G1 generating 15 million requests (that's already 7% of all T-Mobile traffic) and Android gaining a 2% share of the US smartphone OS market.
- December 2008 – G1 requests increase by 46% month over month and the handset just makes it into the US top 20 models list with 0.8% of requests. Android is still at 2% of the US smartphone OS market.
- January 2009 – The G1 rises to number 18 in the US models list with 0.9% of requests. Android increases its US smartphone OS share to 3%.
- February 2009 – The G1 rises again to number 13 in the US phone models list with 1.7% of requests and becomes the number one device on T-Mobile's network. More importantly however, the G1 becomes the 5th most popular smartphone in the US taking Android to 5.2% of the US smartphone OS market.
March 24, 2009 by Tap
In case you hadn't already noticed, Dell seems to be getting a serious lambasting over news that its smartphone attempts have been slated for lacking differentiation and being too "Dell-like". Despite this, Dell CEO Michael Dell reckons that the company will not delay the launch of its new smartphone lineup and is on schedule to release devices in line with its internal roadmap.
Of course we are still no closer to knowing whether or not Dell's first release will be an Android phone. Interestingly, China's Commercial Times claims that Dell has outsourced its smartphone development to Foxconn Electronics – the same company that produces the iPhone for Apple so there should be no excuses for poor design or build quality. Come on Dell, give us something to get excited about.
March 23, 2009 by Tap
Let's face it, the G1 is great if you use Google Mail as your primary email account but if you're used to using Exchange, there's no beating a Blackberry. That, together with the lack of push-email support is why detractors have slated the G1 as a serious business smartphone contender.
A new version of TouchDown, an Exchange client for Android by NitroDesk, may change all of that. This latest version provides users with the ability to receive emails in real-time from exchange servers that have ActiveSync enabled on them (Microsoft Exchange Server 2003/2007 SP1). With TouchDown you can:
- Compose and send Email
- Reply to, Reply All and Forward your email
- Delete Email messages
- Move email between folders
- Add, Delete or Edit existing contacts when you are on the move (The changes to your contacts are automatically updated to your Exchange account)
- View your daily/weekly/monthly calendar
- Create appointments with notifications
- Set customizable alerts
- Store the database on an SD Card to save phone memory
A pretty comprehensive feature list I think you would agree although still missing is the ability to BCC emails and the ability to edit existing appointments. NitroDesk has also taken security into consideration with the inclusion of PIN support and the ability to Remote-Wipe sensitive data if the phone is stolen. It looks like we finally have a business-class Exchange client for Android - watch out Blackberry.
March 23, 2009 by Tap
It looks like we'll have to wait until September to see the first Acer smartphone running Android. That's according to a post today on Business Mirror which attributes the claim to an unnamed Acer official. The phone, dubbed the A1, will be a touchscreen handset and is said to be one of four phones (the others presumably Winmo-based) to be debuted that month. Acer spokesperson Henry Wang, declined to comment as did Google Beijing spokesperson, Marsha Wang (a double wanger you could say). I think for the time being we'll leave this one on the rumours pile.
Source: Business Mirror
March 23, 2009 by Tap
Early last month rumours began to surface of a possible entry into the smartphone market by Dell. We know that Dell hired former Motorola boss, Ron Garriques, and according to analysts the company had even gone so far as to develop prototypes running both Windows Mobile and Android. With that in mind there were high hopes for some kind of announcement at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. As we know, that was a no-show but things seemed to have gotten even worse for Dell as far as phones are concerned.
According to a Kaufman Bros. analyst, Dell's first phone attempts have been rejected by network operators for being too "Dell-like" and lacking differentation. On the one hand this doesn't really surprise me but on the other, I think that the operators are being a bit shortsighted. I personally have never considered Dell to be cutting edge or great at innovation/differentiation. I buy Dell not because I want the world's thinnest laptop. I buy their kit because it is decently spec'd and good value for money. Surely the same applies in the phone market? Isn't there an opportunity for relatively low cost 'value' phones?
The operators certainly don't seem to think so or if they do, aren't willing to risk it, and Dell has been forced to rethink it's plans. According to the analyst report, Dell is "going back to the drawing board is designing a cell phone with more differentiation," that will "likely involve vertical integration of some sort including software and/or services." I personally would have liked to have seen a low cost, preferrably unlocked, Android phone from Dell but it looks like that will never happen.