Now that Apple has announced the iPad 2, you can count on months of rumors leading up to a probable summer release of a fifth-generation iPhone. The most recent tidbits suggest that the next version of the device will replace the glass back with an aluminum that is similar to the original iPhone.
Macotakara translated a story that first appeared in Taiwan's Economic Daily News which said complaints of scratching and difficulty painting the glass back prompted Apple to make this change. Additionally, the report said that the weight of the glass added to Apple's rethinking of the back design.
Apple will also abandon the external steel frame that works as the iPhone 4's antenna, according to the report. The external antenna led to a wealth of bad press for Apple when it was revealed that holding the phone in way that covers the anetnna, dubbed the "death grip," could interfere with wireless signals.
RIP, Sidekick. T-Mobile's once-beloved e-mail phone will finally die on May 31, when T-Mobile and Microsoft pull the plug on the specialized data service that delivers Web pages, e-mails, and apps to the Sidekick line.
"It was a joint decision reached by Microsoft and T-Mobile," T-Mobile spokesman Tom Harlin said. "We think it's a natural order for products to be replaced by newer technology, and we've announced there will be a 4G-enabled, Android-powered Sidekick."
But here's the catch: Harlin refused to commit to releasing the new Sidekick before May 31, saying only that "in terms of the next Sidekick, we'll have more information in the coming weeks."
Originally known as the Danger Hiptop, the T-Mobile Sidekick was a huge breakthrough for affordable, easy-to-use messaging phones when it first came out in 2002. Seven more models came out through 2009, and the Sidekick built a reputation as a popular messaging solution for young people with prepaid accounts. T-Mobile stopped selling the Sidekick last July.
The rumor-mill is once again a-churning over the possibility of a larger-sized iPhone that could compete against its beefier Android cousins. Although Apple CEO Steve Jobs has previously stated his thoughts on the matter -- "No one's going to buy" a larger iPhone—a new picture from an unidentified Chinese iPhone parts reseller offers a tantalizing tease for a larger iPhone to come.
If the picture holds true, then the iPhone 5 would retain the same external look and feel as its predecessors—at least, in terms of how its user-facing panel is constructed. The home button might not be going anywhere, but it would now be centered beneath a screen that's been increased from 3.5 inches across to 4.
Said unidentified company might throw more pictures up, including shots of the rear casing for the allegedly larger iPhone—there's just no indication as to what the timeline for the leaked shots might be. Or, for that matter, just how accurate they are.
Digitimes has previously reported that Apple is planning on bulking up to a four-inch iPhone (screen size, that is) for its fifth-generation device.
Dreading the hassle that comes with moving your contacts to a new phone? Don't despair. You can transfer your address book from your old phone into your new Verizon iPhone 4 in less than 10 minutes, you don't need a pen and paper, and in most cases, it's free.
Below are instructions for extracting your address book from most phones on the big four U.S. carriers—AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. There are only two things you need before diving in—active service on your current phone, and a Gmail account (unless you're already a Verizon Wireless subscriber).
The media seems fixated on branded phones. Google phones, Facebook phones, Twitter phones. For the companies, it make a lot of sense. A place like Facebook, where many people already spend a large amount of their web time browsing that site, would love to have your whole mobile experience encompassed in their own service. Just last week, INQ announced that they will make such a phone for Facebook. It's another story for users however, which may be weary of using a phone that is dependant on a single service. This Monday at the Mobile World Congress, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo answered a question by saying that Twitter had no plan to ever do a Twitter phone, and that the very concept was not what the company was about. He said "Twitter already works on every device you’re going to hear about this week. Tweets flow seamlessly across platforms; that’s what we’re trying to accomplish." He compared Twitter with water, which is everywhere, forgotten, but available in many ways.
Read More | Mashable
Late last week Bloomberg reported that Apple was prepping a smaller, cheaper iPhone. Now the Wall Street Journal has chimed in, saying Apple is readying a device that's about half the size of the iPhone 4 for a summer release.
The new phone would be added to the existing line of iPhones and it would be about half the price, WSJ said. A 16GB iPhone on either Verizon or AT&T costs $199 with a two-year contract.
The Journal says according to "someone who saw a prototype of the phone late last year," the smaller iPhone is "significantly lighter than the iPhone 4 and has an edge-to-edge screen that could be manipulated by touch, as well as a virtual keyboard and voice-based navigation."
Apple is also planning an overhaul of MobileMe, its cloud-based storage service. The Journal said the company will ditch its one-year $99 subscription model in favor of a free service. MobileMe would "serve as a 'locker' for personal memorabilia such as photos, music, and videos."
On Friday, Nokia and Microsoft held a press conference to announce a new partnership. It's well known that while Nokia is still the top handset maker worldwide, their main business is at the low and medium end. Their high-end smartphones have had a difficult road lately, especially in the US. Both Android and the iPhone are eating their lunch. After following a failing strategy with Symbian and MeeGo, now Nokia has decided to partner with Microsoft for their upcoming phones. In the announcement, they revealed that this is a broad strategic initiative to make Windows Phone 7 the main smartphone platform for Nokia. They also said a new leadership team would be leading this at the company. It's clear that both companies will benefit from this partnership, but it remains to be seen if it will be enough to compete with the two current market leaders.
AT&T on Wednesday announced the launch of unlimited free calls for select AT&T plans, regardless of your recipient's provider.
Starting today, the 'Unlimited Mobile to Any Mobile' plan will be available to AT&T subscribers with a Nation or FamilyTalk plan who subscribe to unlimited messaging. AT&T's unlimited messaging add-on costs $20 per month for individuals and $30 per month for those on the FamilyTalk plan. The deal only applies to in-country voice calls.
Activate your unlimited mobile-to-mobile promotion by visiting www.att.com/anymobile from today onwards.
The dual-screen Kyocera Echo smartphone for Sprint lets you do two things at once, or look at the world through a 4.7-inch window. But it's only the vanguard of a legion of dual-screen devices that may be coming to American shelves, Sprint and Kyocera said today.
First, the phone itself: the Echo is a crazy device, but it thinks the way a lot of us do. It multitasks. The Echo starts out as a standard touch-screen Android 2.2 phone, and it works fine like that. But then you slide the 3.5-inch, 800-by-480 LCD screen, it does a strange hingey thing, and pow: the screen almost merges with another screen hidden under it. (Look at the slideshow below to understand.)
The Echo's unique hinge is made out of "liquid metal," Sprint's vice president for device operations Fared Adib said. It felt like plastic to me, but he said it was metal - and when tested, it was stiff and strong. The phone can survive a seven-foot drop test, he said.
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