Recently there have been rumors that Apple is planning to release an iPod with phone features, some say within the next few months. Insiders at cell phone maker BenQ say that Apple executives have begun talking to various Taiwanese manufacturers about supplying parts for a new product. Apple has not commented on the possibility of an iPod with phone features. Some market analysts believe that if Apple does go through with its plans for an iPod with phone features, that it will have the biggest impact on Motorola, the leading cell phone maker in the United States.
Read More | SmartHouse
A new Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone, that may or may not ever see the light of day, is the Mago Premium Smartphone. Developed by Tancher for Mago Mobile, the phone is made from titanium, stainless steel and magnesium, and sports an Intel xScale 624MHz CPU. A stylized candybar format hides a host of fairly common features (by comparison to other smartphones) with the exception of a fairly large battery (1950mAh Li-Ion), a touchscreen, and 128MB RAM/ROM. The touchscreen is of note because Microsoft does not officially support a touchscreen for a WM5 Smartphone . . . yet.
• Windows Mobile 2005 OS
• Quad-band 850/900/1800/1900MHz
• Class 2 Bluetooth ver.1.2
• Wi-Fi (802.11b)
• 240x320 2.8’’ LTPS Transflective TFT LCD (262k colors)
• Touch screen
• Intel xScale PXA27X 624MHz CPU
• 128MB Mobile SDRAM
• 128MB Intel StrataFlash 32bit
• 1950mAh Li-Ion Battery
• 2.5mm Stereo Audio Jack
• USB 2.0 (Full Speed) Interface
• SD/MMC/mini-SD support
• Overall Size - 134x55x15mm
• Advanced materials, hi-tech aerospace technologies and special scratch resistant coatings for housing and mechanical parts (Grade 5 Titanium, Stainless Steel, Magnesium)
Note that the picture shown is of the prototype model, and some sites are reporting that it may never be released for public consumption. Another site, in Russian of course, claims the phone will be released mid-2006 for around €3000 (~ $3,600 USD). With a price like that, they may as well just keep it.
We’ve previously blogged about TextPayMe, a service that allows you to send money via SMS from your mobile phone. Apparently PayPal wants in on the action and is introducing their own mobile payment service entitled PayPal Mobile. PayPal Mobile works very much like that of TextPayMe, but also adds an additional service called Text to Buy. If you see an item you wish to purchase that carries the Text to Buy logo, you simply text the included number and someone from PayPal will call you back to confirm your order.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, PayPal has some deep pockets considering they’re owned by eBay, and they’ll certainly give TextPayMe some competition. Sadly, no Xbox 360 or signup incentives are forthcoming from PayPal, which isn’t much of a surprise.
On March 8th, a 12 year old girl was walking home from school on a rural road near Yelm, WA when she was blindfolded, bound and dragged into the woods. The kidnapper might have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for his cell phone. When it rang, the girl recognized her assailant’s unique ringtone and identified him, causing him to run off. She freed herself and went to authorities — the would-be kidnapper is being held on $250,000 bail with a trial scheduled in May. That’ll make you think twice about picking out that ultra-unique ringtone if you are considering a life of crime…
Read More | KOMO News
Convergence. It’s been one of the holy grails of the electronics industry for quite some time. The idea is simple enough - empower one device to act as a central point of reference for multiple devices and/or incorporate those multiple devices into one mega unit that does it all. Depending on what portion of the industry you look at, the ideal concept of convergence might be a single point of control or reference, for multiple devices. By approaching convergence as a many-to-one scenario, it allows individuals to choose their own devices according to preference or need. Instead of being forced into using an all-in-one device that may not have all the features desired, a control device would simply make use of what devices the user has brought with him or her.
As a case in point, Volkswagen has been working on an automobile computer that takes devices such as the iPod and Treo, and provides a single point of control for them. The concept, named Gypsy, is a separate project from the in-car media center project that Microsoft and Volkswagen introduced at CeBIT. Volkswagen’s Electronics Research Lab (ERL) is working with Google to utilize Google Earth as the mapping system of choice, and sees the system as being extensible through the use of widgets. C|Net has an interesting, if lightweight, video of the Gypsy product in action. It only scratches the surface of what is possible, but it brings to mind what will one day be possible. The roadblocks to successfully implement such a wide-reaching device are abundant, but given a common set of communication standards, and a lot of luck, we can hope for the best.
Read More | C|Net
We have received a few messages over the past month or so where you readers have been asking about the thinness of the Motorola Q. We know that telling you the dimensions, which happen to be 4.57” x 2.52” x 0.47”, may not exactly make it easy to visualize in your head. To compare it to a phone that is out and available, we took the Motorola Q that we went hands-on with and put it next to the Motorola SLVR. Now, the SLVR is insanely thin, but as you can see in the image above, the Q definitely holds its own in the size area. We will give you more on the Q and the SLVR soon on The Bleeding Edge.
Motorola has announced that the PEBL will be available in four new colors. If black just isn’t your thing, you will soon have the pleasure of choosing from pink, green, blue, or (what we like to refer to as) Gear Live orange. Naturally, we expected to see a pink version, just because Motorola seems to want to make sure all of their unique phones have a version for the female demographic (see pink SLVR) - but seeing the other colors announced actually pleases us.
We’ve gone from pink to “whoa” - leveraging our leadership in color and design to make the PEBL expressive and refreshing. This is a product you choose because you want it, not because you need it.” says Jim Wicks, Motorola VP and Director of Consumer Experience Design.
As you may or may not be aware, a severe storm ripped through the Midwest and caused an as-of-yet untotaled amount of damage, as well as personal injury and loss of life. One such city, that in the past seemed immune to tornado-generating storms, is Springfield, Illinois, the state’s capital.
A pair of tornados ripped through the city late Sunday night, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. At one point, most of the city was without power, and there are still areas where electrical service has not been restored (my house being one of those.) Initially the lack of electricity didn’t appear to be a big deal till it became obvious that it was not coming back anytime soon.
All you chic guys out there that just had to have that Motorola RAZR, looks like you may experience some regret, starting - now. T-Mobile and Cingular Wireless have pulled the Motorola RAZR from their shelves as of today, citing a defect in the build of the phone. Turns out that part of the phone is faulty, resulting in dropped calls because the phone thinks you have flipped it closed despite your fleeting attempts to continue your conversation by saying “Hello?” at two-second intervals. No recalls are being issued, but if you are experiencing the problem, you can head to a Cingular or T-Mobile dealer for an exchange. If you have the Verizon version of the RAZR, you are in the clear. Sales of the GSM RAZR should resume within a week.
Read More | Chicago Tribune
As it turns out, Shakira’s new music video and single Hips Don’t Lie (which we can actually vouch for - we have yet to be lied to by any pair of hips) will be debuting exclusively on Verizon’s V-CAST network. This will give V-CAST subscribers the jump on viewing the new video, even before any television distribution outlet gets the chance. The package also includes behind-the-scenes footage, ringtones, and the like. The video will be made available to traditional channels at a later date. We expect to see mainstream entertainment hit mobile devices in limited-exclusivity fashion more and more, especially as ultra-portable devices become the norm.
Read More | TV Envy