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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Phone News September 2010

WSJ: BlackBerry tablet set for announcement next week

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that RIM is close to being ready to show off a long rumoured tablet and the announcement could come as early as next week when the company will hold its Developer Conference in San Francisco. The newspaper cites people familiar with RIM's plans.

The 7-inch touchscreen tablet will have WiFi and will allow tethering through a BlackBerry, so there is no need for a data plan. The tablet is also set for the QNX operating system, whose OS' powers nuclear reactors. QNX is slated to power future RIM phones. WSJ's source also said the tablet might be one or two camera(s) built in the device.

WSJ reported that "Blackpad" is the RIM's internal name for the device. The tablet market is getting increasingly crowded with another device thrown in, so which one will you choose?

Source: WSJ

Android and iPad to get Google Docs

CNET reported that Google is planning to offer Docs suite for Apple's table and for Google Android OS, the company announced at its Google Atmosphere event in Paris yesterday. Google did not point out which Android devices will work with Google Docs. Google's web-based suite allows users to create documents, and other work documents. With Apple selling iWork at $10 per application and if Google offers it for free, users might opt for the latter.

Source: CNET

Facebook phone rumours spreading

22 September 2010 The Internet rumour mill was awash with speculation over the weekend that Facebook is preparing the launch of its own mobile device, although there appears to be some confusion over the true extent of its plans. TechCrunch broke the news, running the story with the strong headline Facebook is secretly building a phone. However, the story actually suggested that the social networking site is building the software for the phone and working with a third party to actually build the hardware, noting that this is exactly what Apple and everyone else does, too. TechCrunch suggested Facebook wants to integrate deeply into the contacts list and other core functions of the phone. It can only do that if it controls the operating system. The report said a low-end device is the most likely end product. A few hours later the story had been picked up by a large number of technology news websites, prompting Facebook to issue a denial. The company told CNet: Facebook is not building a phone. Our view is that almost all experiences would be better if they were social, so integrating deeply into existing platforms and operating systems is a good way to enable this. TechCrunch then responded, claiming the story is accurate and Facebook has been working with hardware manufacturers to explore building their own phone. We dont know the timing, and we dont know how deep the software stack is that Facebook is contemplating building, but we know that as of very recently the project was alive and well.

Whatever the truth, there's no doubt that Facebook is eager to push itself further into the mobile world. Last week it launched its 'Places' feature in the UK following availability in the US and Japan earlier this month. Similar to other location-based services such as foursquare and Gowalla, Places lets users "check in" to wherever they are. The rumoured Facebook phone is believed to run on Googles Android operating system.

♠ JC

Source: GSMA Mobile Business Briefing

Wynncom launches dual SIM phone with dual MMC slots

22 September 2010 Wynncom, an Indian Telco has launched the Y23, the latest mobile phone that supports dual SIM with dual MMC slots.

The device features a 1.8-inch 65K TFT display, camera with flash, torchlight, MP3 and video player. The phone also comes with a FM radio that could record songs. In addition, the Y23 has the function to blacklist unwanted numbers and SMS.

Furthermore, the device has an expandable memory of up to 8GB with a 4GB cap for each slot. The idea of dual MMC slots are to provide a seamless transfer of data between the two cards, eliminating the need of having a card reader.

The Y23 is equipped with a 1000 mAh battery that provides up to 6 hours of talk time. The device is available now in the Indian market at Rs 1,895.

4 apples and a goat on DiGi's Facebook page

DiGi posted this riddle on their Facebook page, its 4 apples, a goat and a date. No prizes for guessing what it is about. But it appears DiGi is trying to beat Maxis to the iPhone 4 punch. We hoped the riddle gave us an idea into their price plans, but sadly we're going to have to wait for that one. But in the meantime, the riddle equates to the iPhone 4 is coming (kambing) on 25 September 2010.

Nokia N8 delayed until October

Nokia confirmed the N8 is delayed until October while Nokia makes "some final amends." Well there will be a few disappointed folks to say the least, as Espoo talked up the N8's strong pre-order demand at Nokia World last week.

Nokia's statement

"The amount of pre-orders has exceeded our expectations and we are working hard to deliver the Nokia N8 to the market. In some markets, we had planned to start delivering the Nokia N8s to our pre-order customers by the end of September. To ensure a great user experience, we have decided to hold the shipments for a few weeks to do some final amends. We're thrilled with the response that we've had to the Nokia N8 and assure everyone who has pre-ordered it already that it'll be worth the wait! We expect consumers to get their Nokia N8s during October."

Source: Engadget

Apple strikes back against app name squatters

20 September 2010 Apple has moved to address the seemingly growing problem of App Store 'name squatting' - the process of registering a name for an app with no intention of uploading the actual app binary code.

The regulations, which were quietly included in Apple's recently-updated developer agreement, now give developers 90 days to upload binary to an app name registered on iTunes Connect, Apple's apps management interface. If this does not occur, Apple will reclaim the apps name and delete the app, releasing the name for another developer to use.

The issue has been raised by several Apple developers in recent months, who have reported that their desired name is unavailable, even though no actual app using the name exists. The fear is that some users could be 'squatting' on desirable app names in order to transfer them to another user for a profit, as happens frequently with Internet URLs - though it is not known if this has happened to date.

App name squatters are still required to pay the US$99 annual fee to become an official Apple developer, but this allows them to 'squat' on an unlimited amount of names (although Apple has an existing policy of reclaiming names that are trademarked). Squatting is achieved by only part completing the apps submission process, effectively leaving the name in limbo.

It is unclear how significant the problem is. An informal survey of nine developers spoken to by US website ars technica found that, collectively, they had five application names reserved in a manner that might be considered 'squatting.' However, only one developer had more than one name reserved.

♠ JC

Source: GSMA Mobile Apps Briefing

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China set for iPhone 4 on 25 September 2010

September 22, 2010 at 8:33 AM

20 September 2010 China Unicom will be launching Apple's popular mobile device, the Apple iPhone 4 for the Chinese market on 25 September 2010. The device is currently equipped with both 3G and WiFi. It appears that China Unicom has relaxed their policy to encourage China's homegrown wireless standard - WLAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure (WAPI). According to Reuters, China Unicom will offer the 16GB iPhone 4 with a two year contract at 3,899 yuan (1 yuan = RM0.46) and a monthly fee of 96 yuan. Similarly, the device is free if the subscriber opts for a two-years plan while paying 286 yuan monthly fees. Alternatively, buyer could purchase the phone without contract at the price of 4,999 yuan for the 16GB model and 5,999 yuan for the 32GB model. These devices could also be purchased from Apple stores in China.

Nokia outperforming rivals on mobile ads: survey