The Apple way

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With the iPhone SDK Event over, we can take a moment to think about what really happened here. The iPhone will make Apple and many large corporations richer, Apple will control all distribution, and Apple will also get 30% of developers earnings. Maybe Spore and Super Monkey Ball put the masses into a dazed and confused state but didn’t Apple just partner with AOL and Microsoft? Not sure about global warming but I believe hell just froze over.

On another note Apple claimed that 71% of mobile browser usage is Safari, which happens to be right up there on the factual scale next to Yeti and Elvis sightings.


Apple shocks the world

 

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In a move that no one saw coming, Apple announced they have licensed Active Sync and that the iPhone will support Microsoft Exchange. Its hard to even know how to take something like this and the reactions will surely run the gamut of both of Apple fanboy emotions which consists of either bitter anger at Microsoft or orgasmic bliss about all things Jobs. Isn’t it clear that fans of these individual companies don’t tend to like each other e.g. Windows people like running vasts numbers of software titles, gaming, and cheap components. Mac fans really like shiny things.

Nothing good will come of this relationship. Its a lot like a friend of yours that starts dating the crazy eyed chic and you can just tell it will end up with him in the hospital and her in jail or a mental hospital.

RIM might be someone else that isn’t too excited about this news.

More at Macworld


Sony Ericsson’s XPERIA X1 launch date confirmed

The unofficial Sony Ericsson Blog heard from Aldo Liguori, Corporate Vice President of the Global Communications and PR department at Sony Ericsson, who announced ‘that we will be launching the X1 product in 2nd Half of 2008, as per our announcement of 10th February that we made in Barcelona.’

This is good news as rumors were abound that the device would delayed until 1Q ’09. Windows still hasn’t announced what operating system upgrades this device will be getting so stayed tuned.

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Sprint’s epic collapse

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Sprint has announced their numbers for the Q4 of 2007, and the industry was prepared for some pretty abhorent numbers but no one was prepared for the results. In 2007, Sprint lost $29.5 billion, now consider that Sprint is valued at $23 billion and you can start to see how ugly the numbers really are. And how do lose $30 billion in a year? A billion at a time I guess but this doesn’t seem possible. I wonder where they park all those gold plated Gulfstream 5’s the engineers bought to test their proposed mobile wifi system, Hawaii and Bermuda are my guess.

Shares fell 98 cents, or 12.1 percent, to $7.11, after falling as low as $7.08. This is the stock’s lowest level since 2002. The losses were on top of Thursday’s 9.6 percent decline.

Buying Nextel was an excellent idea. Perhaps Google should will buy them for about 12 million and forget about the wireless auction.


SonyEricsson C902

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Sony Ericsson is stepping up to the plate with a thier new MVP camera phone, the C902 is a global GSM phone with Media player, TV out, FM radio with RDS, TrackID. 262K-color TFT display of QVGA resolution. The camera is 5 MP with auto focus, image stabilizer, video, flash. However it is lacking the Xenon flash system and that is a bit of a disappointment.

Specs

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 2100
Exp. release 2008, Q2
Dimensions 108 x 49 x 10.5 mm
Weight 107 g
Display TFT, 256K colors
Size 240 x 320 pixels, 2 inches
Ringtones Type Polyphonic, MP3
Customization Download
Vibration Yes
Memory Phonebook 1000 x 20 fields, Photo call
Call records 30 received, dialed and missed calls
Card slot Memory Stick Micro (M2)
160 MB internal memory
Data GPRS Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 – 48 kbps
HSCSD No
EDGE Class 10, 236.8 kbps
3G HSDPA, 3.6 Mbps
WLAN No
Bluetooth Yes, v2.0 with A2DP
Infrared port No
USB Yes, v2.0
Features Messaging SMS, MMS, Email, Instant Messaging
Browser WAP 2.0/HTML (NetFront), RSS reader
Games Yes + downloadable
Colors Swift Black, Luscious Red
Camera 5 MP, 2592Ñ…1944 pixels, autofocus, image stabiliser, video, flash; secondary videocall camera
8 illuminated camera touch keys
– Java MIDP 2.0
– FM radio with RDS
– MP3/AAC/MPEG4 player
– TrackID music recognition
– Picture editor/blogging
– Organiser
– Built-in handsfree
– Voice memo/dial


Wireless Consumer Protection

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Good news out of D.C. in regards to creating legislation on many of the mobile industry issues that we so painfully have to deal with on a regular basis. They seem to have this right when you look at what has transpired so far. Here are a few examples:

Why does a customer of the wireless companies who gets no subsidy on a phone still get stuck with a $175 early termination penalty?

We’ll call this the “iPhone problem.” Wireless carriers say consumers are getting huge subsidies, and as a result they’re forced to charge consumers early termination penalties. But we see consumers who get no subsidies still being charged the full penalty, such as iPhone purchasers or customers who bring their own phones—and we don’t see any accounting whatsoever about the real benefits consumers get. We’re concerned that those benefits are lower than companies claim.

But it’s the cost to the consumer that matters, and U.S. consumers pay more—an average of $506 each year, higher than the average of $439, and way above countries such as Sweden ($246), Spain ($293), and Germany ($371).

The bill would require carriers to sell contract-free phones, provide rate plan information in a “clear, plain, and conspicuous manner,” disclose any phone subsidies hidden in the plan’s price, and offer price-comparable plans with no subsidy or early termination fee.

U.S. Commerce Link


Yahoo! and T-Mobile take on Google

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More and more companies are starting to see Google as the threat they really are in the mobile landscape and are taking steps to ensure that their growth is tempered. Case in point, Yahoo! has jumped into bed with T-Mobile, while T-Mobile has kicked Google to the curb.

T-Mobile International announced plans to make Yahoo its exclusive mobile service in Europe at the end of March, saying it will offer Yahoo’s oneSearch to its customers as part of its web’n’walk service. The companies also announced plans to offer Yahoo services such as e-mail, instant messaging, weather information and the photo-sharing application Flickr.

The move effectively ends a 3-year-old relationship between T-Mobile and Google that had seen the Internet giant power web’n’walk since the offering came to market. And it gives Yahoo access to nearly 90 million wireless users in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Austria and eight other European markets.

Look for similar deals to become the norm as Google becomes a more prominent player in the mobile world with their Android platform.

Via RCR


Nokia’s concepts of the future

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Nokia continues to push the boundaries of what is possible with mobile communication devices and in true form announced a partnership to lead the innovative redesign of the mobile phone with a concept called Morph.

From Nokia’s Press Release

“Morph is a concept that demonstrates how future mobile devices might be stretchable and flexible, allowing the user to transform their mobile device into radically different shapes. It demonstrates the ultimate functionality that nanotechnology might be capable of delivering: flexible materials, transparent electronics and self-cleaning surfaces.”

Morph, a joint nanotechnology concept, developed by Nokia Research Center (NRC) and the University of Cambridge (UK) – was launched today alongside the “Design and the Elastic Mind” exhibition, on view from February 24 to May 12, 2008, at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Morph features in both the exhibition catalog and on MoMA’s official website.

The Morph concept shows what might be possible in a decade or more.

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However they are working on more immediate injections into the current mobile landscape most notably with the Eco Sensor Concept.

The concept consists of two parts — a wearable sensor unit which can sense and analyze your environment, health, and local weather conditions and a mobile device that builds on the “three Rs”: Reduce, reuse and recycle — using printed electronics, bio and reclaimed materials in the phone’s construction. The concept includes use of alternative energy sources.

More info:
Nokia Research Center: NRC stands for open innovation for human mobility systems of the fused physical and digital world


Research in Motion numbers surge

The Waterloo, Ontario-based maker of mobile communications devices said earlier today that it now expects net subscriber additions for the quarter ending February to be 15% to 20% higher than the 1.82 million previously forecasted, as the anticipated seasonal slowdown did not occur. Total BlackBerry subscriber account base is expected to be approximately 14 million at the end of the quarter.

The company also said it still expected earnings for the quarter of 66 to 70 cents a share and revenue of $1.8 billion to $1.87 billion. The stock climbed 12% to $109.60 on the positive outlook.

“BlackBerry smart phones proved to be a big hit throughout the holiday selling season and we’re pleased to see RIM’s business momentum continuing in the new year,” Jim Balsillie, co-chief executive said in a release. “The seasonal slowdown in net subscriber account additions that we expected in the new year did not occur and our focused execution with partners has continued to produce strong results within both enterprise and consumer segments.”

“RIM is blowing the doors off with 100% year-over-year growth. It redesigned its products starting in 2006 to be more fashionable and consumer friendly — enterprise users are consumers, too — and is reaping the rewards. Palm is getting squeezed by RIM for enterprise users and by Apple for entertainment-oriented smartphone buyers,” said analyst Greengart.

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The price of owning a Blackberry

In the past few months Research in Motion has seemingly been pushed to the background by all the recent exciting product launches in the wireless industry. They appear to be loosing track to Apple’s iPhone, Nokia’s N series, and even HTC’s touch. Not to mention the new SonyEricsson Xperia X1 that is poised to be the next big thing in the SmartPhone world. It has been a long time since you heard something truly positive and exciting about the Waterloo company, that is of course unless you like network failures and lawsuits.

The main detractor remains that they are cost prohibitive and the Blackberry service has yet to come down in price like stand alone data plans have. One has to wonder if this is because customers have become so reliant on the service that the wireless companies feel they don’t have to make their plans very competitive.

Lets take a look at the prices by the major wireless companies:

AT&T

BlackBerry Personal Add on Unl Msgs $50.00/month
BlackBerry Personal Add on 200 Msgs $35.00/month
BlackBerry Personal Add w/no Msgs $30.00/month

Verizon

Blackberry Solutionâ„¢ Unlimited Data Usage $44.99/month
Email and Web for BlackBerry $29.99/month

T-Mobile

BlackBerry Unlimited w/Enterprise Email $29.98/month
BlackBerry Unlimited E-mail Add-on $9.99/month
BlackBerry Unlimited Add-on $19.99/month

Sprint

Sprint Power VisionSM BlackBerry Pack $30.00/month
Unlimited web browsing/email/text messages
10MB BlackBerry Email and Web $39.99
Unlimited BlackBerry Email and Web $39.99
Worldwide BlackBerry Data Plan $69.99

As you can see Sprint and T-Mobile have a somewhat reasonable price of $30.00/month. AT&T effectively prices themselves out of competition at $50/month and Verizon isn’t much better at $44.99/month. So at the bare minimum you can expect to have a $85 bill but more likely it will be in the $100 range and thats pretty painful. It is long overdue that the prices of the BlackBerry service get lowered, for no other reason than its longevity alone, as its been around as long as text messaging. Of course all this will take is one company like Sprint/Nextel to announce a $9.99 BlackBerry service and soon thereafter the other companies will follow. Les hope this will happen sometime this year and a lot more people can afford to tryout the service for the first time.

Its not all bad for the SmartPhone maker, the soon to be announced BlackBerry 9000 is creating some buzz but with conflicting ‘leaked’ images and mixed messages from the company itself on the new operating system they seem to be undermining themselves. They could learn a thing or two from Nokia and Sony about leaking info, however the info that has come out has gotten some excited. These include:

A super fast Intel 624 Mhz processor, 1 GB internal memory, WiFi, GPS, UMA, high end optics and multi Band HSDPA.

Some of the rumors on the design are that it could have a full screen interface without a tactile keyboard, scroll wheel or joystick. If thats the case it would be a huge departure from anything seen the company before and could signal a huge shift in their approach. Take a look at the two photos reported to be the new 9000 and decide for yourself.

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