Earlier today we reported that the Samsung Hercules appears to be the Samsung Galaxy S II variant for T-Mobile. But two more Android handsets seemingly set to join the lineup of the nation’s fourth largest carrier were both uncovered today. The ironically named LG Flip II is not a flip phone, but offers a side sliding QWERTY keyboard that is divided in two by a secondary display. It is not clear what the secondary display does in terms of functionality, and with specs for the phone fairly scarce, it is uncertain which build of Android will be on the model. Speculation centers on a September 14th launch.
The HTC Ruby is another Android model coming to T-Mobile. Lack of a genius button tells us that this will not be a ‘myTouch’ model. Without any hint of what the specs will be, we can’t file this as being a low-end or high-end model. Originally known also as the HTC Arrive, the Ruby actually started life as a Windows Phone 7 model as we reported back in January. Last month, leaked photos allowed us to say that the phone has a camera with dual LED flash and a 3.5mm audio jack, not the most important specs that you need to know about when picking a handset to buy. Four days later, we were able to tell you that the HTC Ruby is an Android flavored model. Unfortunately, that is where things still remain.
It is hard for T-Mobile customers to concentrate on anything right now besides the Samsung Hercules. And while the LG Flip II does have that unique screen that cuts the slide out landscape QWERTY in half, it will take more than a unique design to upstage the Samsung Galaxy S II. And as far as the HTC Ruby is concerned, it could be anything from a low-end budget special to a high-end Superphone. Right now it is Hercules who will be doing the heavy lifting for the carrier.
Taiwanese phone maker HTC posted record sales in July reaching nearly $1.56 billion (T$45.11 billion), growing 83.3% year-on-year as Android sales remained strong. In June consolidated sales of the company stood at $1.55 billion. The company’s current high-end offerings include the HTC Sensation and HTC EVO 3D, both of which rely on dual-core processors and offer the company’s latest Sense UI 3.0.
HTC has also announced plans to buy Dashwire, a Seattle-based company focusing on delivering content from the cloud to various web-connected devices, for $18.5 million. The acquisition will help the Taiwanese company to widen its cloud offerings as Dashwire could bring valuable insight on syncing devices, but the move could also be seen as muscling up HTC’s innovation efforts and might help the company in its court struggles as Dashwire has licensed patents from Intellectual Ventures.
“People want access to all of their important content wherever they are on any device. The addition of Dashwire’s cutting-edge sync services and deep mobile cloud experience strengthens our ability to deliver these services,” HTC commented. Dashwire’s cloud syncing services will be built in to extend HTC’s Sense UI.
The HTC ThunderBolt was the first 4G-enabled smartphone on Verizon’s speedy LTE network, but since its launch not much has changed with its software – the handset continues to run on the quickly aging Android 2.2 Froyo, even though back in March HTC spilled the beans about an upcoming Gingerbread update. Well, four months later, it’s still coming, but this time we have a particular time period for it – the third quarter of the year.
HTC representatives have been spreading the word about the update which will add Gingerbread tweaks and features, and fix some problems along the way:
“We are working hard to address the issues you have mentioned with future updates for the device. We are excited to announce that the HTC Thunderbolt will receive the Gingerbread (Android 2.3) update in Q3 2011. Stay tuned for details as we get closer to the update availability,” HTC replied to Droid-life.
We expect to see an improved Sense UI, but also Skype video and faster GPS lock after the update. Oh well, the third quarter of the year has already started so hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.
Now HTC released details about said unlocking tool on its Facebook page, and it turns our that you have to agree to voiding your warranty, if you are eager to drag your phone through the unlocking process. Here is the whole statement:
“Since our last update, many of you have asked how the bootloader unlocking process will actually work, and in particular why HTC’s most recently released devices still have a locked bootloader. Rest assured we’re making progress toward our goal to roll out the first software updates in August to support unlocking for the global HTC Sensation, followed soon by the HTC Sensation 4G on T-Mobile and the HTC EVO 3D on Sprint. Because unlocking the bootloader provides extensive control over the device and modifications may cause operation, security and experience issues, new devices will continue to ship locked but will support user-initiated unlocking using a new Web-based tool.
So how will this work? The Web tool, which will launch this month, requires that you register an account with a valid e-mail address and accept legal disclaimers that unlocking may void all or parts of your warranty. Then plug in your phone to a computer with the Android SDK loaded to retrieve a device identifier token, which you can then enter into the Web tool to receive a unique unlock key via e-mail. Finally, apply the key to your device and unlocking will be initiated on your phone.”
Not that we’ve expected anything else, but still it would’ve been a bit over the top to void your hardware warranty because of a software tinkering. That’s why the section where HTC says “or parts of your warranty” warms our hearts – hopefully if the touchscreen starts acting up, we’ll still be able to get it replaced within the warranty period, despite having unlocked bootloaders.
So, you brought home your brand new HTC Sensation and took it out of the box with the intention to spend the rest of the evening playing with it. Gorgeous 4.3-inch qHD display, beautiful aluminum body, raw dual-core horsepower – you simply can’t get enough of it. Then a week later, you get out of bed only to realize that your shiny smartphone is having problems with its touchscreen display.
If your HTC Sensation is acting up as well, then welcome to the club. As a matter of fact, a lot of Sensation owners are reporting issues with their smartphone’s display, which becomes unresponsive after about a week of use and fails to register swipes most of the time. There is a pretty long thread over at XDA Developers (69 pages and counting) where the problem has been described thoroughly, yet a universal solution has yet to be arrived at. Some say that the device’s stock charger is to blame while others think that a build-up of static electricity causes all the troubles, but the thing is that nobody can tell for sure.
When users tried contacting HTC for advice, the company’s support team did not provide any kind of solution beyond performing a factory reset of the device, which doesn’t seem to do the trick. Reportedly, replacing the smartphone with a brand new unit does not help either as those who tried that were facing the same problems in only about a week’s time.
If you are an HTC Sensation owner yourself, drop a comment below and let us know whether your smartphone is affected as well. Spreading awareness of the problem might just be what it takes for HTC to come up with a solution in a timely manner.
A forgotten name in Sprint’s lineup of 4G handsets is about to get an update to fix an pesky bug. The HTC EVO Shift 4G was launched in January of this year, which seems light years away when it comes to smartphones. A 3.6 inch WVGA screen and a 800MHz Qualcomm MSM7630 processor give away the difference that 7 months can make in the handset industry, although to be fair, this was never meant to be a high-end phone.
One thing that the HTC EVO Shift 4G has that its big brother doesn’t is the side sliding QWERTY keyboard, which helps promote the device as a 4G enabled handset for those who like to text. The problem, though, is that a bug is affecting the ability of MMS/SMS messages to be sent to the recipient. The good news is, next Monday users will be getting an update from Sprint that is like the proverbial can of Raid-it kills bugs dead. Although fairy tale endings don’t normally occur in real life, after the update to v2.76.651.5, HTC EVO Shift 4G users will live happily ever after.
Not everyone out there requires the latest and greatest in technology to be content with their smartphone, but for those who still want a decent one with a cute looking form factor, they might gravitate towards the HTC Wildfire S for T-Mobile.
As promised, the handset is now available to be picked up for the 2-year contract price of $79.99 – with a reasonable $279.99 no-contract price. Obviously, the main attraction about the device is its loveable and compact form factor – and to match that, it’s flaunting some entry-level specs. Specifically, it features a 3.2” HVGA touchscreen, 600MHz processor, 5-megapixel camera, 512MB RAM & ROM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, 1,230 mAh battery, and Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
Certainly, it perfectly rounds out HTC’s offerings on T-Mobile’s lineup seeing that it supplements newer devices like the HTC Sensation 4G and T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide. So if you’re not all about killer hardware and want something that’s affordable and works, then you might want to consider choosing the HTC Wildfire S.
source: T-Mobile via Android and Me
Google, which has a traditionally good relationship with IBM, has bought from Big Blue 1030 patents covering stuff “from the fabrication and architecture of memory and microprocessing chips, to other areas of computer architecture including servers and routers as well. A number of the patents also cover relational databases, object oriented programming, and a wide array of business processes.”
While some of the patents listed involve databases and search queries, which is connected to Google’s bread-and-butter search business, a lot of those will no doubt be used to fend off the number of lawsuits by Apple and others against El Goog’s Android mobile OS, after the saga with the failed bid for Nortel’s patents.
“We anticipate that Apple will push its legal claims hard and unrelentingly and believe that the company’s key goal is to upend Android’s momentum by forcing a work around on key essential features which, if successful, could have huge, positive financial implications for Apple. Given that Apple appears to have more to lose in any one legal case than they might gain (since Apple ships a much higher value of smartphones than any other player), logic suggests that Apple feels confident in its odds of winning patent disputes it initiates. Should Apple prevail in forcing Android to rework some of its functionality, resulting in market share shifts, it could have huge, positive financial implications for Apple: we note that a 10 percentage point shift in smartphone market share from Android to Apple (the current run-rate smartphone market share is 46% for Android vs. 18% for Apple) in 2013 is worth an estimated $30B+ in annual revenue and $10+ in annual EPS to Apple.
Apple appears to have the strong upper hand in its legal battle with HTC, but we see the current rulings as only a warm up bout. A second Apple suit against HTC – as well as separate suits against key Android vendors Samsung and Motorola – involves its iOS multi-touch patents, which we believe are the key pieces of IP that Apple ultimately seeks to reaffirm at all costs, given their potential to undermine Android. While HTC (specifically, its recent acquisition – S3 Graphics) and Apple recently won preliminary judgments against each other at the US ITC, we view S3’s victory as limited in scope (unlike Apple’s claims against HTC) and not posing a credible threat to Apple. More importantly, however, Apple recently launched a second case against HTC claiming infringement of its key multi-touch patents. We believe this is the much more important battle, and one which courts have yet to rule upon. Apple’s legal suits against other key Android OEMs (Samsung and Motorola) also include claim violation of such patents. Consistent with the importance of this IP, Apple’s recent settlement of its patent dispute and accompanying licensing agreement with Nokia does not appear to involve these patents.“
One can easily imagine what a 10” tablet might look like, especially all the offerings we’ve seen so far look exactly the same, but rather than supersizing the appearance of their previous tablet offering, HTC decides to implement one that’s entirely different for the HTC Puccini. Fortunately, we’re presented with what are believed to be the first press shots of the upcoming HTC Puccini tablet.
Based on the images, we find that the 10-inch slate sporting a different look in the rear with its uniform colored design – though, the S shaped pattern does add a subtle refined mark to it. However, we find the tablet sporting not two, but three speakers that would more than likely offer stereo support any way you hold it. Moreover, it seems to be carrying along an 8-meagpixel camera with dual-LED flash.
With the frontal image, we find the tablet tucked inside a portfolio case of some sort where we also find a spot reserved for the HTC Scribe Pen, which is of course going to be one of its defining characteristics over other comparable tablets. Also, we see a front-facing camera of some sort with the AT&T branding close-by as well.
Even though we’re able to gather some new information from the two leaked images, the rest of the hardware is relatively unknown still – albeit, earlier reports mention it packing a 1.5GHz CPU, Honeycomb, and an LTE radio. Likewise, the same thing can be said about its official release date, but we’re hoping to see this one landing in the near future.
A leaked screenshot of an internal Sprint document was obtained by SprintFeed, and shows which devices the carrier has branded as “EOL” (end of life, although end of the line is more appropriate) and when the handsets will be phased out. Some of the phones being removed from Sprint’s lineup are household names such as the HTC EVO 4G, the nation’s first 4G enabled device. Also being phased out is the carrier’s second 4G handset, the Samsung Epic 4G. Both devices have been replaced with newer models like the HTC EVO 3D and the Samsung built Nexus S 4G, offering the latest high-end specs to Sprint customers with the former adding 3D functionality.
The white version of the HTC EVO 4G will be removed from Sprint’s lineup in September with the black model leaving the month after along with the Samsung Epic 4G. Other models that will no longer be available include the rough and rugged Motorola i1, a PTT Android handset with walkie talkie functions. That model leaves Sprint later this month or early next month, about the same time that the gray model of the BlackBerry Style 9670 says goodbye.
This week, the Samsung Seek in pink will be EOL as will be the Sanyo Innuendo in blue, starting next week. In September, the BlackBerry Bold 9650 with a rear camera will be gone, followed a month later by the Samsung Transform.
If you have an interest in picking up any of the models going EOL, your best bet is to check with your local Sprint store soon because the inventory of many of these units won’t be replenished once they are sold out.