Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rogers and Live Nation team up

I just so happen to be really into live music so Rogers’ new Wireless Box Office application really tickled my fancy. Not only can you buy tickets to your favorite band’s concert in your hometown, but the ticket is delivered directly to your phone. Sure it saves paper, but the ticket in your phone gets you through a special door. That means no waiting in line like everyone else! I’m thinking one of the major networks in the U.S. needs to work out something like this. Please AT&T?

Windows Mobile News

There’s a lot of Windows Mobile news flying around the day before CTIA, mainly concerning its 6.5 update as well as Windows Marketplace modifications. Remember when iGoogle allowed for homepage customization via flashy designer names? Well, Windows Mobile has teamed up with Design Museum London and the Council of Fashion Designers of America to offer designer themes for 6.5 – with the first schnazzy design coming from Target’s Isaac Mizrahi. If designer dudes aren’t your bag, you will be happy to know a Theme Generator will let you customize your interface and wallpaper then send the batch straight to your phone.

Good news also comes for developers, as they can now submit unlimited updates to their applications free of charge (as opposed to $99 a pop). Marketplace customers can purchase applications on a credit card or they can choose to be billed through their carrier. Customers will also be able to return applications they didn’t like within 24 hours for a full refund. Very cool!

Monday, March 30, 2009

DirecTV gets iPhone App

The DirecTV iPhone application is now available at the App Store in all of it’s remote scheduling glory! It’s free and it requires iPhone 2.2.1 or higher as well as a slue of compatible DVR’s: DirecTV Plus DVR (models R15, R16, R22), DirecTV Plus HD DVR (models HR20, HR21, HR23) or TiVo Series 2 receivers with software registered to DirecTV.com. This handy-dandy app just gives me another reason to wish I was with DirecTV instead of my current provider.

AT&T announces six new handsets

AT&T just beefed up its device options with official word of six new handsets, including the delayed Nokia E71x. The new offerings include two smartphones (E71x and Samsung Propel Pro), three quick messaging devices (Samsung Impression and LG’s Neon and Xenon) and a candy bar (Samsung Magnet).

Nokia E71x
The thinnest smartphone on the market, the Nokia E71x, will be available in the coming weeks for $99.99 and features a black steel finish and award-winning design. The Nokia smartphone, based on S60 on Symbian OSTM offers the Wi-Fi and the flexibility of many Symbian-based applications, in addition to AT&T’s most popular services, including AT&T Navigator. The Nokia E71x is just 10 millimeters thin and will turn heads when you text friends, or check your corporate or personal email. Customers can learn more at http://www.att.com/nokiaE71x.

Samsung Propel Pro
The Propel Pro, a full-QWERTY silver and chrome compact slider smartphone with Windows Mobile 6.1 allows users to run full enterprise applications on the same platform they use to text and send photos. Evolving from the popular Samsung PropelTM, business users and consumers looking for a full-feature smartphone with Wi-Fi will look to the Propel Pro, available in April for $149.99.

Friday, March 27, 2009

AT&T is giving away BlackBerry Bolds?

For all of you out there still holding out on buying a smartphone, AT&T might have just forced your hand. The BlackBerry Bold is pretty much as good as it gets when it comes to BlackBerrys, and even though they’re refurbished and you have to sign a two-year AT&T contract, I’d say it’s worth it. These are available online and today only!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Today's Mobile News Roundup

Samsung touchscreen device(s) leaked

The only real news we have about the S200 and S800 are as follows:
  • One or both handsets have a 5 megapixel camera with dual LED flash
  • Both have a 240 x 400 pixel touchscreen
  • Both are headed to Asia

Alltel Wireless

This comes as good news to all the “Chatty Kathy’s” with Alltel wireless. Now those customers on the MyCircle 10 and MyCircle20 plans will be allowed to add 5 new people free of charge.

It's All about Flash

Opera Mobile is said to be debuting Opera Mobile 9.7 which is expected to be released “in the near future.” This upgraded software is said to support Flash Lite.

A company called Bsquare announced it will be bringing flash to Android. While T-Mobile USA is currently the only carrier supporting the Android platform, it is said to be coming to Vodafone soon.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Skype 3.0 Beta now Available

Skype 3.0 Beta is now available for download; however, it’s only available to Windows Mobile users for the time being. Skype 3.0 has file and SMS sending, which have been two highly requested updates. In order to take advantage of the SMS the user must have their cell phone number added to their profile. See the features in action here, or download the program here.

BlackBerry Media Sync now supports Windows Media Player

If you’ve been manually transferring your MP3s from Windows Media Player to your BlackBerry while iTunes users have been enjoying BlackBerry Media Sync, dry those tears and listen up! As of today BlackBerry Media Sync 2.0 is now available for upgrade to support Windows Media Player. If you don’t have the program yet you can get it here. Now plug in and rock out!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rumor Mill: AT&T's Nokia E71x launch delayed

Engadget reported the highly anticipated AT&T launch of the Nokia E71x might be delayed due to the late discovery of a firmware bug. Seeing as how the device has been available unlocked to North American’s for over eight months now, a couple more weeks shouldn’t be much to wait for the “extra-special” and glitch-free AT&T version. Don’t be discouraged my friend, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Word is the delay means the E71x comes with a price break for you at $149.99 after mail-in rebate, and of course a two-year contract.

Mobile Caller Information on Symbian S60 Smartphones by Privus Mobile

Privus Mobile brings its Caller Information service to phones using the Symbian S60 operating system. Now current Nokia smartphones and phones from Samsung, Panasonic, LG and Lenova that use the Symbian S60 OS can see who's calling. www.privusmobile.com

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sony-Ericsson News

Sony-Ericsson’s Najmi Jarwala stepped down today as president of Sony Ericsson USA and Head of Region North America (U.S. and Canada). Anders Runevad, second-in-command as executive vice president of Sony Ericsson and Head of Global Sales & Marketing, will take over this dual role until the company can find a replacement. After rumors started circulating last week that it may be splits-ville for the partnership, a company spokesperson confirms that Ericsson “has no plans to abandon its joint venture.” However, that’s only one-half of the partnership.

Opera Mobile announcement at CTIA?

It appears that Opera Mobile is about to get a leg-up in the race for mobile browser supremacy. I suppose that would all depend on your criteria, but that’s neither here nor there. According to Forbes magazine, a spokesperson for the company blabbed it would be announcing deals with some U.S. carriers at next month’s CTIA in Las Vegas. Our guess is one or more of the four major carriers; Sprint, AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile. Opera is already working with T-Mobile Europe, so inking a stateside deal only seems natural.

Friday, March 20, 2009

YouTube application for Symbian S60 OS

If you’re going to pick up a sexy-slim Nokia E71x on the 24th, prepare to get your YouTube on. Hot on the heels of YouTube’s new Mobile site, Google developers have created a YouTube application for S60 3rd-edition handsets. This application allows for all of the same Web search methods (recently added, most viewed, top rated, etc.) and once the video is selected it will play in full screen. The application however does not allow users to upload videos from their phone. The good news is it’s free and you can get it here.

Changes to Windows Mobile 6.5 debuted at MIX09

Windows Mobile 6.5 was unveiled last month at MWC in Barcelona sporting its not-so-sweet Honeycomb user interface. After negative feedback from the mobile phone community as well as their own employees, Microsoft decided to redesign the new software. This week at MIX09, senior technical product manager Loke Uei Tan demonstrated what appears to be the final version of 6.5. While the layout remains the same, the icons have been enlarged to make them more touch-friendly and the hexagonal honeycomb outlines are gone. Scrolling has also become more fluid and precise. Looks like an overall improvement to me!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

AT&T offering BOGO Samsung devices

AT&T is offering buy-one-get-one Samsungs for new accounts and current customers eligible for upgrade. The Samsung Propel (A767), Samsung Eternity and the brand new Samsung Impression (A877) are included in this outrageous promotion. Want one of these thrifty combos to be yours? Head on over to AT&T to sign the dotted line on a 2-year contract and pat yourself on the back my friend, you’ve just been BOGO’d. The promotion starts April 7.
  • Propel: buy one at $49.99, get one free
  • Eternity: buy one at $149.99, get one free
  • Impression: buy one at $199.99, get one free

[photo credit: BGR]

Mobile March Madness

You’ve filled out your college hoops bracket and perhaps even laid some bets down on which teams will make the tournament’s finals. You’re ready to check out of the “real world”, sit on the couch and watch every single game. AT&T has provided a solution for those fans who can't get home in time to watch the game or can't stream live online broadcasts at work. By acquiring four new mobile channels, AT&T gave its customers the ability to watch live broadcast of all men’s and women’s tournament games from their phone. My only question is, who successfully watches TV on their mobile phone?

[photo credit: Phone Arena]

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Acer Handsets Coming Soon

Vincent Chin, Acer Handheld’s manager of product marketing, confirmed the DX900 will be released by the end of March while the DX960 will be available in early April. The most notable feature of the DX900 is the dual SIM slots, so if memory’s your thing, you’ll like the DX900. Both devices run Windows Mobile 6.1 with GPS and Wi-Fi. The DX960 is basically the DX900 without the dual SIM and a different look. The high-end M900 and F900 are still on schedule to debut Q2 2009.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

2009: A big year for HTC

Want to know HTC’s goals for 2009? Apparently the company’s CEO, Peter Chou, spilled the beans during a Merril Lynch technology conference in Taipei. The company plans to release at least three Android phones, including the second-generation G1 (rumored to be the HTC Magic debuting on Vodafone). In addition to the Android devices, HTC plans to launch more than 20 smartphones worldwide focusing on the Chinese market.

AT&T rumored to launch a number of new devices in the coming months

Samsung Propel Pro – Basically, it’s an enhanced version of the Propel running Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard. Some are reporting the device will be available March 17 and some March 19. The slider phone flaunts a full QWERTY which looks rather cramped. The Propel Pro runs on AT&T’s 3G network and features an optical mouse.

Nokia E71x – While it’s not the “Piranha” which was rumored to be debuting, this is still a device AT&T customers should get pretty amped over. Not many carriers in the states carry Nokia smartphones. This device is said to make its debut on March 24. This Symbian device will cost somewhere around $150 with a 2-year contract. [photo]

Samsung Impression – This TouchWiz-running device comes equipped with a landscape sliding QWERTY and a 3 megapixel camera with geotagging.

LG Zenon – The Zenon is a 3G-capable GPRS/EDGE/HSDPA device with a full QWERTY, 3 megapizel camera, Wi-Fi and a GPS.

Samsung Black Jack III – This device has been referred to as the BJ2, but according to Engadget it is probably the Black Jack III since the Black Jack II has been on the market for some time now.

Sony Ericsson C905 – This little bugger has an 8.1 megapixel camera and has already hit the market in the UK. There have been reports of staggering return rates due to firmwire meltdowns and speaker faults, so I would wait until those problems are ironed out until purchasing. Who knows, that might even push back the release here in the states.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Symbian Platform Release Plan

Symbian has upped the ante in an effort to compete with the likes of Apple and RIM. The Symbian Blog posted the new platform release plan, which schedules software upgrades every six months.

Symbian ^2 is based on the S60 5.1 operating system and should be hardened and on the market by the end of 2009. Symbian ^3 will follow six months later, and we should be seeing that mid 2010. Symbian ^4 is currently in the works and should be right on schedule. Each version will receive updates for 12 months to fix bugs.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Verizon's TALKS brings service to the blind and visually impaired

Verizon unveiled TALKS, a new service that gives blind and visually impaired customers audio feedback for messaging, dialing, e-mailing, Caller ID, adding and editing contact entries, writing documents and browsing the Internet. Users can adjust the volume as well as the rate of speech. Verizon is selling TALKS with the Moto Q9c as a package for $249.99 with a two-year contract and, of course, after mail-in-rebates. If you are an existing customer interested in TALKS, call Verizon Customer Service at 800-922-0204.

"Cupcake" update coming in April?

It’s been a couple of months since we’ve heard anything about the tasty G1 “Cupcake” update, so I was happy to read a little post on Engadget this morning. Apparently, a T-Mobile spokesperson informed them “Cupcake” will be coming to your G1 at some point next month. Before you get all excited with thoughts of a coupled “Cupcake”/HTC Magic release, the T-Mobile spokesperson went out of his way to damper any of those dreams. April is fast approaching, so we will see shortly if this update is going to happen!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Microsoft App Store

Last month at MWC Microsoft announced its plans for a mobile application store set to debut with Windows Mobile 6.5 at the end of this year.Microsoft declared it will “run a rigorous certification process to ensure that the end user’s experience is optimal, and the device and network resources aren’t used in a malicious way.” Because of this developers will be charged a yearly fee of $99, plus $99 for each application submission. Free applications will be accepted and those who chose to charge for their applications will see 70 percent of the proceeds. That return is only surpassed by RIM who is said to be giving developers 80 percent per app sale. Microsoft plans to start accepting applications this summer.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Palm Pre Makes Special Guest Appearance on ‘Fallon’

History in the making folks! “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and (correct me if I’m wrong) the first “special guest” appearance by a mobile phone. I, like the phone, was speechless!

Palm to sell 18.5 million shares

The recession continues to sucker-punch nearly every industry and the mobile world has received its fair share of bruising. However, it’s an exciting time at Palm right now with their highly anticipated Pre and webOS nearing release. The company is taking advantage of downtime before the big release to remarket 18.5 million shares of its common stock – which should amount to just over $100 million. Palm is saying it’s going to use half of that to repay Elevation Partners, and the other half to fund the Pre release as well as future research and development. The company said it’s hoping to finalize the sale by the end of the month. Hopefully Palm will be sitting pretty financially after the Pre release, and the same goes for Sprint (they sure need it).

Monday, March 9, 2009

Motorola Announces MC55

If you’re into rugged smartphones Motorola brings you the MC55. Perfect for developers and “on-the-site” execs alike, this all-too-manly phone comes with some impressive specs to boot:

  • GSM/GPRS and EDGE (sorry, no 3G for you!)
  • Wi-Fi
  • Integrated GPS
  • 3.5-inch QVGA display
  • 2.0 megapixel camera
  • 128MB RAM and microSD expansion
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • Windows Mobile 6.1
  • Barcode scanner
  • VoIP-enabled walkie-talkie system
  • Push-to-talk connectivity

Birghtpoint list leaked

Looks like March is the month of list leaks. This particular Brightpoint list mentions a variety of carriers and manufacturers.

[Via phoneArena]

Friday, March 6, 2009

Palm Pre: the iPhone killer?

Ladies and gentleman, I would like to introduce you to Roger McNamee, co-CEO of Elevation Partners. Elevation Partners is an investment firm involved with Palm and its highly anticipated Pre. McNamee recently unleashed a dumpload of confidence in Palm’s new device during in interview with Bloomberg:

June 29, 2009, is the two-year anniversary of the first shipment of the iPhone.
Not one of those people will still be using an iPhone a month later. Think about
it – if you bought the first iPhone you bought it because you wanted the coolest
product on the market. Your two-year contract has expired. Look around. Tell me
what they’re going to buy.

Mr. McNamee, I understand you’ve been spending quite a lot of time on Planet Pre but please do try to get in touch with your earthly human reasoning before your next interview. I especially love Engadget’s response:

We don't know the future, but we can sure tell you what we're not buying right
now. And besides, we don't know too many early adopter types that could resist
the siren call of 3G halfway through their existing iPhone contract, thereby
re-upping their contract for another few millenia. That should be plenty enough
time for Apple to whip up something new... or at least for Roger to get a

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Rush 2 Images

Motorola is bringing yet another device to Verizon, the Rush 2. Mobile-review leaked some press shots of the flashy new phone and they have been floating around the blogosphere ever since. The phone looks to offer a touchscreen option in addition to the slide-out QWERTY. Other than EV-DO connectivity, no details have been confirmed. As always, we’ll let you know when we hear more!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

2009 HTC Roadmap

Even though HTC’s roadmap was leaked in early 2009 and key devices have already been announced, we thought you might want a reminder of what lies ahead for HTC. With three out of five devices sporting a 5 megapixel camera or higher and the Firestone and Athena 2 running the new Windows Mobile 6.5, we’re thinking HTC will be sitting pretty by the end of 2009.


3.6″ WVGA display
Qualcomm 7600 at 528MHz
256MB RAM / 512MB ROM
5 megapixel camera
Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
ETA: September on Verizon


3.6″ WVGA display
Qualcomm 8250 at 600MHz
256MB RAM / 512MB ROM
8 megapixel camera
Windows Mobile 6.5
ETA: September

Thor (aka Athena 2):

4.8″ WVGA display
Qualcomm 8250 at 1GHz
256MB RAM/ 512MB ROM
5 megapixel camera
Windows Mobile 6.5
ETA: September


VGA display
Qualcomm 7501A at 528MHz and TI Locosto processors
256MB RAM / 512MB ROM
3.2 megapixel camera

Maple (aka Excalibur 3G)

2.4″ QVGA display
Qualcomm 7228 at 528MHz
156MB RAM / 256MB ROM
2 megapixel camera
Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard
ETA: May
[Via WMPoweruser]

Palm Treo Pro available March 15

We just love finalized, set-in-stone dates. Thankfully that’s just what we’re getting from Palm, and it’s about time! It appears the Treo Pro will be available for purchase in Sprint stores nationwide on March 15. The phone is pretty standard when it comes to a business-oriented smartphone minus one difference – the Treo Pro will be the first device to use Microsoft Internet Explorer 6. Word is this little baby can be yours for $199 and of course a two-year commitment. And don’t forget that recruiting two friends for Sprint would make this phone free, woo hoo!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mio Explora K70 GPS Phone

Taiwanese manufacturer Mio recently unveiled a 3.5G GPS mobile phone that runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional OS. I’m a sucker for slick, simplistic designs, so this device had me at first glance. Mio claims the Explora K70 is able to deliver “the best possible GPS positioning” not to mention positioning tools. The Explora also delivers quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE connectivity as well as tri-band HSDPA/HSUPA connectivity. Let’s get to the specifics, shall we? This device includes a 3 megapixel autofocus camera with geo-tagging, 3.5-inch TFT touchscreen that delivers 240 x 400 pixel resolution, Wi-Fi, USB 2.0 and MicroSD memory expansion capabilities. As usual, no official word of pricing and availability with this early announcement, but we will be sure to let you know once more information is released. All I have to say is the Nuvifone should get prepared for some stiff competition.

Sprint offering $125 Referral Rewards

Phone Arena has an anonymous tipster claiming Sprint will be offering $125 for each new referral until the end of March. I checked the Sprint website and found this little "rumor" to be true. Basically, if your girlfriend adds that you referred her to Sprint, you will receive a $100 Sprint Referral Reward Visa debit card after her account has been active for 30 days. Also, your girlfriend will receive a $25 Sprint Reward Visa debit card, so everyone wins! Into Mobile also posted the Sprint referral story and directed me to this link. You now have 27 days left to cash in and recruit up to 12 people for Sprint.

Monday, March 2, 2009

HTC Maple

Do you remember the T-Mobile Dash? HTC finally brings us its successor, the HTC Maple. The device first showed up on CNet Germany with a large QWERTY keyboard, trackball and Windows Mobile. The Maple feature I find most interesting is the “Inner Circle,” which is perfect for those of you who strive to not work on your smartphone after-hours. The Inner Circle allows the user to group contacts as friends or business-related people, then sorts incoming messages and emails accordingly during the work week and weekend (or after work hours.) No official word on U.S. carrier support, but many are speculating the Maple will show up at T-Mobile as the Dash 2.

Rumor Mill: AT&T Allowing BlackBerry Users to Trade Up

The word on the street is AT&T is looking to launch a “Phone Trade-In” program sometime in June. Boy Genius reported the rumor and its spreading like wildfire. Apparently AT&T is hoping to satisfy BlackBerry customers who bought the Curve a month before the Bold launched. Here are some details that have been flying around:
  • Trade-Ins will be valued from $50 to $200
  • The phone being traded in cannot be more than 2 years old and must be in fair shape
  • The new phone will not have any subsidies applied to it. Therefore the phone acts as your “savings” (comparable to a 2-year contract, mail-in-rebate, etc.)

Esentially, if this rumor pans out those who don't yet qualify for an upgrade can trade in your current device (must have papers to prove it is less than 2 years old and must be in "fair" condition) for a newer/different device. Sounds like another viable option for those of you who switch phones quite a bit.