Monday, January 30, 2012

Sony Xperia S delayed in the UK until February

If you're a UK resident and on the lookout for Sony's Xperia S flagship, today isn't your lucky day, that goes for the people who've pre-ordered the device from online retailer Play and were expecting shipment starting today.

Play has delayed the device, which was previously on track for a release on January 30 - today, and says the new expected date to be February 13, although that is subject to change too.

Clove, another online retailer, went on record saying that the device will be available SIM-free from their website in the first week of March, with stock arriving on March 6 or 7, placing the arrival of the Xperia S in the UK shortly after the Mobile World Congress.

The Sony Xperia S sports an HD (720 x 1280) display measuring 4.3 inches, a 12 MP camera on the back capable of 1080p video recording, a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and will come out with Android Gingerbread 2.3 with an eventual ICS update at some point.

AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note launches on February 19

AT&T announced it plans to offer the Samsung Galaxy Note back on CES. The AT&T version looks much like the international one, but is based on a completely different chipset.

The AT&T's Note is powered by the Qualcomm's MSM8660 Snapdragon platform featuring a 1.5GHz dual-core Scorpion processor, Adreno 220 graphics and 1GB RAM. For a comparison, the international Note is running on Samsung's own Exynos chipset (1.4GHz dual-core Cortex-A9, Mali-400MP GPU, 1GB RAM).

T-Mobile UK unveils Full Monty - its first all-you-can-eat plan

T-Mobile UK just announced an interesting new plan that it will be offering to its subscribers. Called "The Full Monty", this is the first real all-you-can-eat plan that the UK customers will get to enjoy.

The two-year Full Monty contracts start at £36/month, which get you unlimited text messages, unlimited internet (there's no fair usage policy to worry about here) and unlimited calls to T-Mobile subscribers. With the cheapest Full Monty option you are limited to 2,000 minutes of calls to other networks though.

Alternatively, you can get one of the other Full Monty plans - worth £41, £46 or £61. Those three come with no restrictions whatsoever and you can get them with just about any smartphone that T-Mobile UK offers.

According to the examples, given by the carrier the Samsung Galaxy S II, the HTC Sensation XE and the 8GB iPhone 4 can be had for free on the cheapest £36/month contract. The 16GB iPhone 4S costs £99 under the same conditions.

Moving on to the £41 contract slashes the 16GB 4S price to £29 and allows you to get the BlackBerry Bold 9900 for free. The first two-year Full Monty contract that gets you a free iPhone 4S is worth £46/month, while the £61/month option will even let you have the 32GB version free of charge.

Belle update for S^3 devices coming on February 8?

A while back, Nokia's Twitter account jumped the gun when announcing the release of the Belle update for older Nokia smartphones. Let's hope this time it's for real - Nokia's Vietnamese site announced that Belle is coming on February 8 for the following models: N8, E7, X7, E6, C6-01. Nokia Vietnam's Facebook page confirmed it.

However the page on Nokia's site is now gone, while the Facebook post is still up.

We know the Belle update is coming in February, that's the latest info from Nokia. The exact date is not clear though, their UK page just says "soon" and adds the Nokia 500 to the list of updateable phones.

Nokia is already shipping new units of those devices with Nokia Belle out of the box, so the update is clearly ready. We're not sure what's the hold up or which regions will get it first.

We can't find a mention of the update coming on February 8 on any other regional Nokia web site either. If you spot it anywhere, post a link in the comments.

The EU approves Sony's bid for Ericsson

The European Commission has approved Sony's decision to buy Ericsson's stake of the Sony Ericsson joint venture.

The ten year long alliance is coming to an end and the EU approval is a huge step for Sony. Back in October the ladder announced it will be buying Ericsson's stake in the joint venture for €1.05 billion. Two weeks ago Sony Ericsson posted a quarterly net loss of €207 million, selling a total of only 34.4 million handsets for the entire year, that's around 3 million less than Apple did in just last quarter alone.

Motorola releases unlocked RAZR Developer Edition

We previously reported that Motorola is facing intense pressure from users to unlock their devices, and it seems like the mobile giant may finally be giving in.

In a recent post on their official blog, Motorola announced that it will be shipping the unlockable RAZR sans warranty, as well as with post-purchase instructions on how to unlock/relock the device, locate build instructions, as well as access additional developer resources.

Unfortunately, US users will have to wait, but we're curious whether or not this has anything to do with the upcoming Google acquisition hearing before the EU.

Sony LT22i Nypon to be marketed as Xperia P

ust a week ago the Indonesian equivalent for the American FCC posted the retail name of the Sony's ST25i Kumquat a.k.a. Xperia U. Today we find another retail name in there - the LT22i Nypon's.

Sony LT22i Nypon should be called Xperia P when it is launched. It looks just like the Xperia S, but is based on NovaThor U8500 chipset and its screen and camera are less impressive than the Xperia S ones.

According to this leak, the Xperia P will be launched this April and will cost about €370. It should be announced on the MWC in Barcelona in a few weeks along with the Xperia U and the codenamed Pepper.

Samsung I9070 Galaxy S Advance goes official, confirms rumors

Samsung just introduced the latest dual-core addition to their lineup of Android smartphones. Dubbed Samsung I9070 Galaxy S Advance, the new handset promises to become the most affordable dual-core smartphone by the Korean company.

Samsung I9070 Galaxy S Advance is built around a 4" Super AMOLED, which is the unit we came to know from the I9000 Galaxy S. The Android 2.3 Gingerbread-running smartphone sports a 1GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU, 768 MB of RAM and 8GB or 16GB of internal storage.

Samsung I9070 Galaxy S Advance

The Galaxy S Advance main snapper can capture 5 megapixel stills and 720p videos. There's also a 1.3 megapixel front-facing snapper for video calls and chats on board.

As is to be expected from a modern-day smartphones, connectivity is quite well covered. The Samsung I9070 Galaxy S Advance comes with support for 14.4 Mbps HSPA, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, A-GPS, Bluetooth 3.0 and USB 2.0. There's no 4G radio support, but given the mid-range targeting of the device that was to be expected.

Samsung is yet to provide pricing details or release time frame for the Galaxy S Advance, but we guess it will only take a month or two for this one to hit the shelves, and it should cost about as much as the Galaxy R.

Windows Phone Tango to bring additional languages, C++ support

We already know that the next iteration of Windows Phone, codenamed Tango, will reduce the hardware requirements of the OS so that it could run on devices with slower (and thus cheaper) hardware.

Now, Microsoft has announced that Tango will have support for additional languages as well. This is necessary for Microsoft if it intends to sell Windows Phone devices in as many locations as possible. Mango currently supports 35 different languages but Tango is expected to take that number to 120.

Microsoft has also said that with the next release, developers will be able to develop apps and games for the OS using C++, although it is unclear whether 'next release' refers to the next version of the OS or the SDK.

Hopefully we will find out more during Mobile World Congress, next month

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Windows 8 now stable on ARM processors

Multiple sources have reported seeing impressive demos of Windows 8 running on high-profile devices from key manufacturers already and the word is developers are expected to receive a stable build of Windows 8 suitable for ARM architecture come February.

"In October of last year, it [Windows 8 on ARM] scared the industry because it was unstable. But what we are seeing now is quite stable," one industry insider told the team at CNET.

"We haven't heard this directly from Microsoft, but we've heard this from the hardware partners that [Microsoft] is working with. We've been promised something in the February time frame."

There are a number of key reasons why bringing Windows 8 to ARM is so significant. For one, Windows 8 using ARM architecture would be far less costly than with an Intel equivalent. An Intel-based Windows 8 device showcased at CES this year, would have been considerably cheaper as a cosmetically identical ARM-based unit.

"The bigger implication is, with [Intel-based] ultrabooks you're popularizing the idea that you have this thinner design that turns on faster, that lasts longer [battery life]--but then you have Windows 8 on ARM that's built at a price point that's much lower. And does all of those things too. This is setting up the ultrabook to head right into the teeth of their [ARM] competitor," said the same source.

Despite claims over Windows on ARM coming later to market than Intel, some expect their releases to occur almost simultaneously. The likes of Texas Instruments, Qualcomm and Nvidia are the largest suppliers of ARM chips today and Windows 8 has reportedly been seen running stably on at least two ARM platforms.

With ARM chip designs being the most widely used globally, Windows 8 could be the most significant release of Microsoft's operating system, since Windows 3.0 as it would be able to run across Intel, AMD and ARM architecture.

There are however, some reservations about ARM's readiness to support Windows 8. A question mark still hangs over one important Microsoft application, Office. Despite one person stating that, "Office is fine [on ARM]", we've yet to see any demos or hear anything official from Microsoft on its compatibility.

Intel too are quick to point out the inclusion of legacy applications, one area where their chips still hold the advantage over ARM. One source said "I'm not aware of any third-party legacy applications running on Windows 8 on ARM. Of course, some of the Metro apps that Microsoft has demoed will be available on ARM. These are mostly HTML5 apps," they explained.

Microsoft know they need a diverse library of applications available on any architecture by the time Windows 8 launches officially. This is the reason some think Microsoft are being cautious to demonstrate their next operating system on ARM and why developers are no doubt itching to get their hands on it now.

Samsung's unannounced GT-I9070 Galaxy S Advance shows up

In case you thought that Samsung is done updating the original Galaxy S lineup, you were wrong. A yet to be announced Samsung Galaxy S Advance has emerged in photos and a YouTube video, thus bringing yet another member to the device family, which the I9000 Galaxy S started two years ago.

The upcoming smartphone, which carries the GT-I9070 moniker sports a dual-core CPU, clocked at 1GHz - a first for a Galaxy S phone. Its design has been refreshed as well - the device sports a slightly curved screen and a 3.5mm audio jack at its bottom, a la Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

The rest of the known specs are practically unchanged from those of the I9000. The screen is a 4" Super AMOLED with WVGA resolution. A 5MP camera, capable of recording 720p videos can be found on the back. The battery is with capacity of 1500 mAh.

Expect to see the new member of the Galaxy S family get unveiled at MWC in Barcelona next month. We will be on the spot, so expect the full scoop on the smartphone as soon as we get it.

DROID RAZR and RAZR MAXX found running on identical ROM

On the surface the new DROID RAZR MAXX seems identical to the standard DROID RAZR, except for the bigger battery. But turns out they are even more similar on the inside.

The Android Source has discovered that both the DROID RAZR and the DROID RAZR MAXX are running on identical ROM. What this means is that in future if you get an updated ROM for either of the devices, you can easily flash it to the other one without any modifications.

As is usually the case with these things, there could be some risk involved but as was observed by the people at The Android Source by flashing the DROID RAZR MAXX with a DROID RAZR ROM, things seem pretty straightforward in this case.

Nokia Lumia 910 shows up on Dutch retailer's website

A yet to be announced Nokia Lumia 910 has appeared at a Dutch online retailer. The device sports a spec sheet, quite similar to the U.S. exclusive Lumia 900, save for the lack of LTE radio and the presence of a massive 12MP camera sensor on board - a first from Nokia since the highly revered N8 came into being.

There is no launch date available for the device on the retailer's webpage. A sign-up form though is present - just like in the case of Lumia 900's short lived, alleged UK availability from earlier this week.

While having a global version of the Lumia 900 sans the LTE radio makes quite a bit of sense, given the low availability of LTE networks outside the United States, keep in mind that we might be witnessing yet another round of speculation on the subject. The AT&T Lumia 900's picture used by the retailer certainly points in this direction. A pinch of salt therefore, is highly recommended.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

G Optimus L3 E400 goes quietly up for pre-order in Sweden

In the quietest manner possible, LG's latest Optimus L3 E400 budget smartphone has gone up for pre-order at a Swedish online retailer. The smartphone, despite lacking a massive spec sheet, is bound to bring a serious dash of good looks to the market for lower end Android handsets.

There is no information on the CPU or RAM of the device. It features a 3.2" display with the rather lowly resolution of 240 x 320 pixels. A 3MP snapper is present on the back. MicroSD card slot is at your service as well, along with full connectivity suite. There is even an FM radio present. The Optimus L3 will come with Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box.

The pre-order price of the device is €145. The handsome looking smartphone can be ordered in two color schemes - black and white.

Upcoming Qualcomm MSM8960 GPU benchmark score surfaces

Qualcomm's upcoming 28nm based Snapdragon SoCs, codenamed Krait, are expected to arrive later this year. But a NenaMark 2 benchmark score on an unidentified device has leaked ahead of launch.

In this benchmark, we see this unidentified device, probably just a reference unit, running the MSM8960 processor with the Adreno 225 graphics. The device has a display resolution of 1024 x 600, same as 7-inch tablets but despite the higher resolution, it posts a rather impressive score of 54.90 in NenaMark 2.

To put that number in perspective, we compared it to our own score of the Galaxy S II running the same benchmark. In case of the Galaxy S II, with its Mali-400 GPU and 800 x 480 display resolution, the phone managed to score 46.2. Considering the fact that the Krait processor was running on a higher resolution display, its higher score gains even more significance. Having said that, the Qualcomm reference unit was running on Android 4.0.3, which may have helped it in getting higher scores.

The Mali-400 is one of the most powerful GPU available on the market today, overshadowed only by the PowerVR SGX543MP2 in Apple's A5 processor and Nvidia's new Tegra 3. If the new Krait processor can outperform the Exynos in terms of graphics performance, we are really looking forward to see what it can do in games and also how it stacks up against the rest of the competition when it comes out later this year.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Nokia now shipping Symbian^3 devices with Belle out the box

Nokia have now confirmed via their official Twitter feed that major updates have already begun rolling out to a number of devices currently running Symbian Anna, bumping them up to Symbian Belle, news that a lot of Nokia fans will no doubt welcome with open arms.

Devices including the N8, as well as the likes of Nokia's E7, C7, E6, X7, C6-01 and 500 will all now ship with Symbian Belle pre-installed. The latest iteration of the Symbian OS brings functionality and a general user experience more inline with that of Android and iOS.

Nokia have confirmed that devices will be available in a number of markets including Turkey and India, but they recommend that you check with your local retailer to see whether or not you'll be able to pick up a device running Belle.

If you want an idea of what Belle brings to the table, why not check out our review of the Nokia 701. Does the inclusion of Symbian Belle make buying a Nokia a more appealing prospect? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Leaked RIM roadmap reveals a really boring 2012

A recently leaked RIM roadmap reveals all the upcoming BlackBerries for 2012. Unfortunately there is nothing really interesting scheduled before November this year.

Notice you should consider the mentioned months, not quarters

RIM is preparing two new mid-range Curves for the spring season - 9220 and 9320 - for Q1 and Q2 release respectively. White Bold 9790 and Curve 9380 will hit the market in March or April as well.

Curve 9220 and 9230 specs

The BB OS 7.1 update is already out for all compatible devices, while RIM is expected to demonstrate the newly announced OS 10 at the upcoming MWC.

Speaking of OS10, the first smartphone to run it - codenamed London - is scheduled a bit later than expected - November 2012 or later.

Finally, if you have been waiting for a 3G-capable PlayBook tablet, it's coming in Q2 2012 quarter.

PlayBook 3G+ specs

As you can see there is nothing really impressive on the roadmap (and Milan is expectedly absent), but we should have been prepared for that already. Whatever the next OS is like, RIM is still the RIM we know - always behind the others.

Bada 2.0 update seeding to the Samsung S8500 Wave

The Bada 2.0 update certainly took its time to arrive, but it's finally seeding to S8500 Wave smartphones. So if you have resisted the temptation to flash it by yourselves from one of the leaked ROMs, you time has come.

The release isn't officially announced by Samsung just yet and there is no information about its rollout schedule, but we suspect it will go global quite quickly. Bada is not too widespread a system and while the Wave was a pretty popular smartphone, Samsung servers should handle it quite easily.

You can check if the update is already available for your region by hooking up your Samsung S8500 Wave to your computer and launching the Samsung Kies software suite. Then you should follow the steps to backup your data and flash it on your smartphone.

Just don't forget to drop us a line in the comments section below, sharing how do you find your newly updated phone.

Xperia S to feature a fast-charge battery and anti-stain coating

The first Xperia to have stripped itself of the Ericsson brand, the upcoming Sony Xperia S, is rumored to feature a sunlight-activated coating which should help repel dirt and other stain-forming materials, as well as a quick-charge battery.

Dirt and chocolate stains on the cover are said to come off easily after the UV coating is exposed to sunlight for several seconds, and the battery charge times are expected to be reduced by half when compared to previous Xperia models. A ten minute charge should provide an hours worth of standby.

We first got a look at the Xperia S a few weeks ago at CES, and were really impressed with its BRAVIA-powered display image quality.

Expect the Sony Xperia S this March for around €462.

Exynos 5250 SoC goes into mass production in Q2, tablets get it first

During Samsung's earnings call, they took a minute to talk about the Exynos 5250 System-on-a-Chip (SoC) they announced last year. It's already sampling to manufacturers and it will go into mass production in Q2 this year.

The chipset packs two Cortex-A15 cores running at 2.0GHz, which reportedly have double the performance of their Cortext-A9 predecessors. We can't wait to see how Exynos 5250 stacks up against quad-core chipsets coming this year.

Details on the GPU are pretty scarce, all Samsung said when they announced the chipset was that it will quadruple the graphics performance of their current models (they are presumably talking about the successor of the Mali-400 GPU).

Samsung said that the Exynos 5250 will be used to power tablets first and eventually smartphones. They didn’t give an exact timeframe for the smartphones, but if there's any truth in the rumors of the Galaxy S III being delayed, maybe we'll see the chipset debut on the third generation flagship droid from Samsung.

LG Optimus 3D to be called 3D MAX, with or without the Optimus

A few days ago leaked the first images of the rumored as the Optimus 3D successor - LG CX2.

The CX2 is supposed to feature a better processor, superior display, slimmer shell and even better connectivity options (incl. NFC).

Today a reportedly trustful source disclosed to GSM Israel the market name for the CX2 - it's going to be the LG 3D MAX or rather Optimus 3D MAX.


In case you've missed a detail, the 3D MAX should run on a 1.2GHz dual-core processor (TI OMAP chipset) and use a 4.3" WVGA NOVA 3D display capable of better 2D-to-3D conversion. The two cameras will remain 5 megapixels, but it's yet to see if they will be capable of 1080p 3D videos. The 3D smartphone will most probably run on Android Gingerbread with much more 3D stuff than its predecessor.

Anyway, the MWC is coming in a few weeks, so the announcement should be around the corner. You can bet we will be there to cover everything for you.

Motorola posts net loss for Q4 and for the full year 2011

We've been seeing plenty of financial results and now it's Motorola's turn. Along with their Q4 and full year report, Moto also included an update on the merger with Google in their press release.

Let's start with the financial side of things first. Motorola Mobility reported net revenues of $3.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011 and a net loss of $80 million (compared to a net earnings of $80 for the previous year's Q4). The mobile phone department accounts for $2.5 billion of the revenues (up 5% year on year) and an operating loss of $70 million.

For the full 2011, Moto had revenues of $13.1 billion (up 14% compared to 2010) and a net loss of $249 million (in 2010, the net loss was $86 million). The mobile department is responsible for an operating loss of $285 million (compared to an operating loss of $76 million in 2010).

Motorola shipped 10.5 million phones during the three months period, 5.3 million of which were smartphones. There were also 200,000 tablets shipped during the quarter. Over the whole year, the numbers are 42.4 million phones in total, of which 18.7 million were smartphones, plus 1 million tablets. That's an improvement over 2010, when they shipped 37.3 million phones.

As for the Home segment of Motorola mobility, their net revenues for the full year were down to $3.5 billion in 2011 (in 2010 they were $3.6 billion) but it brought in operating earnings of $226 million (vs. operating earnings of $152 million in 2010).

The merger proceedings are going forward, Motorola and Google have already received clearances from Russia and Turkey. The two companies are still waiting for the okay from the US, Canada, China and the European commission.

Hit the source link if you need a more detailed breakdown on Motorola Mobility's financial performance.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Samsung Wave Y LeFleur edition quietly goes on sale, costs $165

It seemed that Samsung has forgotten all about its LeFleur lineup of female-targeted phones, but as it turns out they were simply flying under the radar. We just stumbled upon a LeFleur edition of the Samsung Wave Y that is already on sale, but we have never seen before.

The Samsung Wave Y S5380 LeFleur surfaced on a Ukrainian online store's website and it costs just $165. Judging by the specs on the handset's listing page, there are no functional differences between the LeFleur and the original version.

Still, the nicely decorated purple back and the accents on the front will probably be enough to win the Wave Y LeFleur plenty of fans among the ladies, and with Valentine's day just around the corner that might work out quite well for Samsung.

Unfortunately, there's no official information about the Samsung Wave Y LeFleur availability outside Ukraine, so we are not sure if you'd be able to get it at your local store. We'll be keeping an eye on it though and will make sure to keep you up to date if more info pops up.

LG Prada 3.0 launches in the UK this Friday

Prada Phone by LG 3.0, the latest smartphone to come out from the partnership between LG and the fashion giant, will hit UK stores tomorrow.

Phones4U will be the lucky store to offer the device in the UK starting tomorrow with others (including Play and Clove) to follow in the days after.

So if you feel like becoming one of the first LG Prada 3.0 owners you can get it for free as early as tomorrow with a two-year contract costing £31/month. If contracts are not your thing, unlocked Prada Phone 3.0 units will be available in the beginning of February.

Nokia Q4 results are out, Lumia sold well over 1 million units

It's Nokia's turn to sum up its financial Q4 and we finally got to learn more about the market performance of the Lumia smartphones. As it turns out the sales aren't too bad, but the company still lost a huge amount of money in the holiday quarter.

In what Nokia described as very solid performance, the Lumia duo sold "well over 1 million" units, which is less than the 2 million targets, but better than the half million predictions of some analysts.

A million sales is hardly enough to justify everything that the company went through after it announced its major change of strategy in February, but it's still a start and hopefully things will only get better from now on.

Also, Nokia finally started receiving the subsidy that was put in its contract with Microsoft when it started making WP smartphones. The company got $250 million this quarter and will be looking for much more in the future, if reports of a deal worth north of $2 billion are to be believed.

Still, according to the IFRS numbers (IFRS is the international standard for such reports), Nokia lost €954 million (about $1,260 million) this quarter alone or a total of €1,073 million ($1,413 million) for the whole 2011.

The company experienced year-on-year decreases in almost every one of its businesses, including the total number of phones sold. Average selling price also went down, so we can hardly attribute to the transition to smartphones alone.

Things are looking a little brighter if you compare them to Q3 of 2010, but the holiday season is bound to lead to some increase in sales.

So, Nokia obviously got their start in the WP game, but the verdict is quite clear - they need to step up their game. Of course, it would be nice if Microsoft did its part, too and brought the platform up to speed (multi-core support, FullHD video and higher display resolutions immediately spring to mind).

If you can't get enough of those numbers, you might want to follow the source link for the complete Nokia Q4 and full 2011 repor

Motorola RAZR Ice Cream Sandwich ROM leaks

An ICS ROM for the GSM version of the Motorola RAZR has leaked online that gives a glimpse of what we could expect later during the year when it starts rolling out officially.

At first glance it looks almost stock but that's mostly because it is still in the developmental stage and there is a lot of work left to be done on it. only visible changes are a new lock screen that features four custom spots where you can drag the lock icon and the option to put the phone on silent or vibration, sorely missing from the stock ICS ROM. Also new is a camera app that is similar to the one on the current Gingerbread ROM for the RAZR.

Unfortunately, the final version may be drastically different, which, considering Motorola's track record, not something we're looking forward to. Hopefully, Motorola sees sense and keeps the customization to a minimum.

Is Samsung delaying the launch of Galaxy S III until after MWC?

It is needless to say that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S III is one of the most anticipated Android devices, which are going to break cover this year - one of the brightest stars of the MWC which is set to kick off next month in Barcelona.

Or not? According to a fresh new rumor, the yet to be revealed Korean flagship might break cover after MWC, but before the summer. The reason for this shocker is the company's consideration for the U.S. market - one of its most important ones. Apparently, Samsung wants to avoid a huge gap of availability as in the case of the Galaxy S II last year.

Reportedly, Samsung will try to fill the giant void by focusing on tablets, as well as Windows Phone sporting devices.

Since we're talking rumors here, don't forget the usual pinch of salt. As always, we'll keep you posted, should we find out more on the subject.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nokia Lumia 900 hits AT&T on March 18 for $99.99

So here's a date for the WP fans in the US to look forward to and a new savings target. According to the latest bit of online rumors, the Nokia Lumia 900 will hit the AT&T shelves on March 18 (as previously reported) and will cost $99.99.

The information was provided by Boy genius report, who claims to have received it from a well informed source, close to the carrier. The $99.99 price tag on a two-year contract does look cheap so if it's true, Nokia will obviously market the Lumia 900 quite aggressively.

For that kind of cash you'll be getting 4.3 inches of non-PenTile AMOLED goodness of the WVGA variety and a 1.4 GHz Scorpion CPU, which is about as fast as it gets on the Microsoft platform. Given that WP is still in no position to challenge the big guys just yet, pricing the Nokia flagship lower than the Android and iOS top-dogs seems like a reasonable move on the AT&T side.

You should keep in mind though that the March 18 release date is subject to the phone passing technical acceptance in time. We are keeping our fingers crossed that Nokia and AT&T will finish with the i-dotting and t-crossing and there won't be any delays.

If you are still unsure whether the Nokia Lumia 900 is worth your money, you may check our hands-on from CES to learn more about the smartphone.

Nokia seeds a new MeeGo PR1.2 beta, detailed changelog included

Little over a week ago Nokia released N9 PR1.2 beta version to the Nokia N950 developer device but at the time we didn't have the full changelog at the time.

Well now we do - it includes 5 new languages, app folders, extended copy-and-paste support (finally!), lockscreen music controls, front camera support, etc. Also there are many bug fixes and tweaks. We can't wait to take it for a spin on the N9.

Here are the most noteworthy improvements in the N9 PR1.2 beta version.

• Software update notifications for content in Nokia Store

• Face recognition for gallery and face tags for Facebook

• Support for folders in the application view

• Mail thread support in the Email client

• Extended copy-paste support

• Media sharing with DLNA compatible devices

• Compass support in Maps

• New font taken into use

• Front camera support

• Video editing support in the Gallery application

• Separate switch for controlling mobile background connections while roaming

• Camera: self timer, grid on/off control

• Clock alarm becomes silent by flipping the device face down instead of snoozing

• People view added to the grid toolbar in the gallery

• Audiobook and podcast support in the music player

• Ability to create playlists in the music player

• Ability to delete music files from music player library views via object menu

Users who own the N950 and are eager to test out the new beta should know that upon updating there's no going back to version 1.1. MeeGo doesn't allow moving down beta versions.

Nokia celebrates the sale of the 1.5 billionth Series 40 phone

Phones like the Lumia 900 or the N9 may be the ones that get their name in the news most often, but the backbone of Nokia is their Series 40 lineup. Today, S40 phones reached an impressive milestone - 1.5 billion (yes, with a b) of them have been sold.

The 1.5 billionth Series 40 phone sold was a Nokia Asha 303 to a 21-year-old woman in Sao Paulo, Brazil. We're not quite sure if it’s a lucky coincidence or just good marketing, but the Asha 303 is the flagship of the current S40 phones.

It's a far cry from the firstborn Series 40 phone, the Nokia 7110, which first went on sale in the distant 1999. Since then, S40 has added a touchscreen, Wi-Fi connectivity, 1GHz processors, Nokia Maps and other goodies to its repertoire.

Nokia actually go as far as calling the platform "Smartphone Lite". While we're not ready to call it that, the Asha 303 did come pretty close.

Either way, congratulations to Nokia and the S40 platform. Before it blows out the candle, we'll make a silent wish for multitasking, document viewer and perhaps smart dialing. And who knows, a full-touch S40 phone may be in the cards too.

iPhone accounts for more than half of Verizon smartphone sales

Verizon had already announced that they sold 4.2 million iPhones in the fourth quarter, last year. Now, however, we also know how many total smartphones Verizon sold in that particular quarter and the numbers are heavily skewed in the iPhone's favor.

Verzion actually sold 7.2 million smartphones in total in Q4, 2011. This includes the two iPhone models, few BlackBerry and Windows Phone devices and dozens of Android smartphones. However, despite being heavily outnumbered by its rivals, the two iPhones managed to account for more than half of the total Verizon smartphone sales.

As you can see, Android may be leading right now as a platform in terms of sales but when it comes to a single handset, the iPhone is pretty much untouchable.

Apple sells a record-breaking 37 million iPhones in Q1, 2012

Despite being called as a "disappointment" by skeptics the iPhone 4S, coupled with the iPhone 4 and the 3GS helped Apple post the highest iPhone sales figure so far. Just in Q1, 2012 alone, Apple sold (not just shipped) 37 million iPhones, which is an astonishing figure whichever way you look at it.

Compared to last year's figures, this year's figure is up by an amazing 128 percent. In the previous quarter, Apple managed to sell "just" 17 million iPhones, a number that has been bested by 117 percent, this quarter. This quarter's figure also eclipses Samsung's 35 million smartphone shipments (not sales) that they reported last quarter. And we're talking about all of Samsung's smartphones here.

This, combined with the impressive iPad, iPod, Mac and even Apple TV sales, has helped Apple achieve highest quarterly revenue ($46.33 billion) and quarterly net profits ($13.06 billion) in its history

For those who are confused, the 2012 fiscal year in the US is as follows:

  • 1st Quarter: October 1, 2011 - December 31, 2011
  • 2nd Quarter: January 1, 2012 - March 31, 2012
  • 3rd Quarter: April 1, 2012 - June 30, 2012
  • 4th Quarter: July 1, 2012 - September 30, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Absinthe jailbreak for A5 chipset gets a million hits in 3 days

As we reported earlier, it is now possible to perform an untethered jailbreak on an iPhone or iPad with the A5 chipset, as long as you’re running firmware 5.0.1 and below. In fact, over 953,232 people have done it in the opening weekend.

GreenPois0n, the group behind the Absinthe release for A5, as well as the Corona release for A4, were able to capture the specific numbers due to unique SHSH queries made to the Cydia jailbreak app store sent every time a user jailbreaks his or her device.

It is clear that many Apple users wish to extend their device functionality further than that provided by iOS 5, despite the risks. If you find yourself among that list, visit the GreenPois0n downloads page here

Galaxy S III to hit shelves in April with 12 MP camera and HD screen

The MWC is fast approaching and one of the main reasons for us to expect it so eagerly is the announcement of the next Samsung flagship. The Galaxy S III has some huge shoes to fill, but if those latest rumors are to be believed, it might just have what it takes.

The rumors come from Eldar Murtazin, who hasn't had the most accurate series of predictions lately, but who we are willing to believe now as he claims he has played with the smartphone already. So, according to the Russian, the Samsung Galaxy S III will indeed be unveiled at the MWC and will go on sale in April, exactly a year after its predecessor.

The Samsung Galaxy S III will, reportedly, come with an HD resolution screen (of larger size, we assume), a 12 megapixel camera and a quad-core CPU, running at 1.5-1.6 GHz. The beast will be running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and, according to Mr. Murtazin its two extra cores will be more than just PR materials - the smartphone feels really fast.

Here's hoping that these rumors turn out true as we'd really love it if we could play with the powerhouse we just described in a just over a months' time.

About half of 2nd-gen WP7 phones are Nokias, but HTC leads overall

When Microsoft released their quarterly financial results, there wasn’t a peep about Windows Phone. So, we have to look to third-party statistics, like the one from OccassionalGamer, whose games have been installed over a million times on various WP phones out there.

Their statistics show over half of the Windows Phone handsets out there bear an HTC logo with Samsung coming in after them with about a third of the handsets. LG holds third place (but they have no second-gen WP7 phones). Nokia is currently a distant fourth.

Looking at just the second-generation devices (the ones that came after Mango was released), Nokia (who missed the first round of WP phones) takes the top spot with a 45% share. The majority of that is made up of Lumia 800s with the occasional Lumia 710 (they are about six 800s for every 710).

HTC is a close second with 40% share, with the HTC Radar doing pretty well for itself. It's ahead of the Lumia 710 but trails the 800. Samsung is third when it comes to second generation WP7 phones, with the Samsung Omnia W (Focus Flash in the US) leading the pack and the AT&T-exclusive Focus S dragging behind by a wide margin.

It's worth noting that the original HTC HD7 is the most popular Windows Phone device in OccasionalGamer's statistics, followed by the original Samsung Focus (for AT&T). HTC does have more WP7 models out there than any other maker right now, which helps secure their first place overall.

Nokia's Windows Phone offerings are still relatively new to the market and the Finns must be pleased with such numbers. They also have the Lumia 900 but we'll have to wait and see how it fares against the HTC Titan II, a spiritual successor of the HD7. Both phones are expected to launch on AT&T soon and there's a lot at stake there, especially for Nokia, who are yet to reinstate themselves on the US market.

Casio showcases rugged Android G-Shock smartphone

Following the rugged G’zOne Commando is yet another tough-as-nails smartphone from Casio for those who like to go out in the rough and don't want to worry about damaging their phones.

The G-Shock shock phone carries the signature design of the watches by placing all the buttons on the sides near the corners. The display is surrounded by a thick frame, which would prevent any damage even if it falls flat on a surface.

The back looks even more impressive, with a stylish metal caseback and exposed screws. Casio has even engraved some emergency numbers on the back.

As you can expect the phone comes with all kinds of '-resistant' prefixes, such as shock-resistant (10 feet), pressure-resistant (1.0 ton) and water-resistant (1.0 bar), although we wouldn't expect any less from a G-Shock phone.

Unfortunately, we don't know much regarding the hardware specifications of the device at the moment. Also, even on the software front, all we know is that it will be running Android, presumably Gingerbread. Hopefully, we will find out more about it soon.

Gingerbread update for LG Optimus Black starts rolling out

As promised by LG, the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Optimus Black has started rolling out. However, for now, only people in India and Europe have reported to receiving the update.

The update upgrades the phone to Android 2.3.4, which is oddly three versions prior to the latest Gingerbread update, 2.3.7. Then again, the later versions only brought minor changes and improvements so you won't be missing out on much.

LG has also released a change log for the new update, which reads as follows:

  • Improved power management
  • Enhanced mobile gaming experience
  • Improved UI to enable faster access and control and a more intuitive user experience
  • One-touch word selection and copy/paste:
  • Better Download management
  • Support for new media formats such as AAC, AVC, MPEG 4 and H.263
  • New features and other improvements: active app management, shortcuts, widgets, icons, app groups, updated calendar options, camera geotagging, better email synching and more precise camera auto-focus.
  • App updates and pre-loaded Google+ app

If you're in the above mentioned regions you may already be enjoying the Gingerbread experience on your Optimus Black whereas others may have to wait a bit longer. Do remember that LG has also promised Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade for the Optimus Black, which is expected in Q3, this year.

Nokia Lumia 900 will hit UK's Carphone Warehouse in June

Nokia Lumia 900 is yet to hit AT&T's shelves (presumably in March), dressed in the mantle of exclusivity. However, in a rather surprising fashion, the UK availability of the Finnish range topper is also all but confirmed, courtesy of the major retailer Carphone Warehouse.

As you can notice in the picture above, the retailer has put up a "coming soon" page for the Nokia flagship, where a June 2012 availability is mentioned. Price is yet to be announced though.

While Nokia executives specifically commented that the device has been developed specifically with the North American market in mind, it would have been a major surprise to see such an appealing piece of hardware get confined to only one continent.

Of course, we can't help but notice the asterisk, which states that the availability is subject to change without notice. In any case, Carphone Warehouse is a big enough retailer, so we can take its claim for availability seriously enough.

Also, there is a handy pre-register form for the overly anxious, allowing you to get an email alert when the device becomes available. In the meantime, you are welcome to check out our first impressions of the Nokia Lumia 900 from CES here.

Update: It would appear that Carphone Warehouse have pulled the Lumia 900's 'coming soon' page, leading us to believe that it either didn't mean to pull the cover off the device's existence in the UK so soon, or we'll get a confirmed release date when the page goes back up. Either way, right now, we're still left guessing.