April 18, 2009 by Tap
So Friday the 17th came and went with no sign of Vodafone's HTC Magic. Yet another deadline slips thought I this morning as I prepared to lambast them for leaving us hanging once again.
But wait, what's this email in my inbox - could it be? Yes folks, better late than never, the HTC Magic is now officially available for pre-order and, as previously reported, will be available free on plans from £30. Visit Vodafone to get yours now. (Will only be shipped 1st May.)
April 3, 2009 by Tap
I've been watching, with interest, the news regarding the delay of the HTC Magic which initially surfaced on Mobile Today at the end of March. I actually first got to hear of this delay mid-March via a trusted source but was asked to keep it quiet as it had only been communicated within Vodafone up to that point.
I can now confirm that Vodafone's HTC Magic will be released in the UK on the 1st of May and will be available for pre-order from April 17th. The phone will be available on a £30/month tariff and will include 600 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited Internet and email. Right now I'm assuming that the phone itself will be free although I'm waiting to hear confirmation on that and will update this post if that is not the case.
Update: The HTC Magic is now available here.
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 16, 2009 by Tap
Paging through my copy of Stuff magazine again (old-school I know) this weekend I was confronted once more by the stunningly sleek and sexy new Toshiba TG01. With its 4.1 inch screen and at just 9.9mm thin, this phone is guaranteed to be a top seller based on looks alone. A few pages on and there was a write-up on HTC's new Touch Pro 2, another great looking (albeit chunky thanks to the QWERTY keyboard) piece of kit.
Now there's one problem with both of these phones (if you're an Android fan that is) – they run Windows Mobile. I have no doubt that the majority of phone users don’t know or even care what OS their phone is running and the T-Mobiles/Vodafones of this world know this. Just look at Vodafone's preview page for the HTC Magic – there is no actual mention of Android on the page (in the browser title and meta description only). Instead they try to pitch the Magic as sleek and stylish. The problem is that compared to the likes of the TG01 and Touch Pro 2, the Magic looks like a bit of an ugly stepchild.
But are looks really that important? I would say yes. Some phones sell because they are technically superior, but a lot of phones sell simply because they have the looks and the desirability factor. Is it possible that without the looks, the current Android phones will never be able to achieve the same degree of desirability (and sales) as their sexier competitors?
Come on HTC, we know what you're capable of, so what happened with the G1/Dream and the Magic? It's almost like the HTC Android team was ring-fenced and told to keep well away from the WinMo team. What's that all about? Yes Android has some specific requirements in terms of buttons an then there's the trackball (or chinwart as I like to call it) but surely all of that could have been incorporated into a better looking design.
That said, I can understand why maybe HTC didn't want to commit its best designs to a platform which, until now, has been an unknown and therefore a bit of a risk. Hopefully, based on the popularity of the G1 to date (and no doubt the HTC Magic from April), HTC will now commit its best and brightest designers to come up with some new designs for their next Android phone. I think it's time that we had a sexy Android phone don’t you?
March 9, 2009 by Tap
Want to know what the forthcoming HTC Magic looks like in all its disassembled glory? Now you can thanks to images from a leaked service manual.
I came across the manual over on xda-developers.com where it had been posted by a member who had found it "somewhere over the net". Bear in mind this is the service manual and not the manual that will be shipped with the phone when it's launched so it's pretty technical. Then again, if that's what does it for you you'll be happy to know that there's three whole pages of detailed technical specs as well as complete disassembly/assembly instructions which may come in handy once you've got your Magic and have nothing better to do on a Friday night.
March 6, 2009 by Tap
HTC is the current undisputed champion of the Android phone and it seems like nothing can stop them - until now that is, thanks to a German court ruling. According to a report on Handelsblatt.com, a Mannheim court has ruled in favour of patents license manager, IPCom, which had previously filed an injunction against HTC for supposedly infringing patents relating to Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS), an integral part of 3G technology.
So what does this mean in practical terms? Well according to IPCom director Bernhard Frohwitter, they are willing to reach an agreement with HTC on licensing terms and if no agreement is reached, they will seek to block sales of any HTC phones that violate what he calls "100 series" patents. Now that's potentially bad news for anyone in Germany wanting a 3G HTC smartphone (including the T-Mobile G1/HTC Dream), and particularly bad news for Vodafone who are supposed to be launching the HTC Magic there in April.
The big question of course is just how far is IPCom prepared to go and will they seek to enforce these patents outside of Germany? IPCom GmBH has shown that it's not afraid to go to court having filed a similar (still pending) claim against Nokia (they've also set their sites on Google) but HTC seems confident that they will be able to appeal the ruling. According to HTC finance head Cheng Hui-ming, "Potentially there is a possibility of a small impact on our business, but as of now, we don't see how this ruling will impact our business or revenue." Let's just hope this doesn't turn into a drawn-out legal wrangle because in the end, it's usually the consumer that loses.
Source: Handelsblatt via Unwired View
March 4, 2009 by Tap
There's no doubting who would win in a battle between The Terminator and the Android Bot but it seems they've put any differences aside for this great photo opportunity. Unfortunately the original, posted on Flickr, didn't include much detail on the how, when and why but whatever the case, the PR chaps at HTC must be loving this. Just a pity that, as pointed out by Android Community, this is still a pre-production model. Maybe he'll be back to do some more promotion for Vodafone's launch in April.
Via: Android Community | Image: Dave Ross-Tomlin
February 25, 2009 by Tap
Well that didn't take long. Vodafone/HTC have only just announced their partnership and the forthcoming release of the HTC Magic and already there's an Android Emulator skin for developers to play with, complete with Vodafone branding - thanks to Tea Vui Huang.
There are a number of other skins available including the Nokia N95, Palm Treo Pro and the now infamous Kogan Agora Pro so check them out.
Via: Android Central | Tea Vui Huang
February 17, 2009 by Tap
The Boy Genius Report has a habit of breaking news pretty reliably so I think it's safe to say that rumours regarding the G2 can finally be put to rest with a report that the HTC Magic is actually going to be the next Android phone. A quick search on the Vodafone website revealed a press release which confirms that the HTC Magic will be a Vodafone exclusive and should be available in Europe from this April. According to the press release, specifications are as follows:
- GSM Quad band
- Digital camera (resolution): 3.2 megapixels
- Colour display: 3.2", 320x480 pixels, touchscreen
- Bluetooth/USB interface
- Internal memory: 512 MB Flash, 192 MB RAM
- Memory card slot: microSD (HC)
- Other: GPS, digital compass, motion sensor
Whilst there doesn't seem to be much of a difference in specifications between this and the G1, photos on BoyGeniusReport show the phone to be much sleeker and slimmer, thanks no doubt to the exclusion of a full keyboard. Let's just hope that this phone's touchscreen keyboard is up to the job.
Via: TheBoyGeniusReport | Vodafone