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.
Here's today’s Deal of the Day list, where we bring the the top discounts on gadgets and consumer electronics for the day. The highlight for today is a huge clearance sale at Walmart (they've got thousands of items marked down) alongside a Best Buy video game sale:
- Walmart Clearance Sale
- Best Buy Buy 1, Get 1 50% off video game sale
- 8 GB iPhone 3GS - 1 cent + free shipping
- Literati eBook Reader - $40
Don’t forget, if you’re looking for other deals, be sure to check out our Newegg Promo Code thread.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY becamse very real last night, as it was highlighted in a very cool Super Bowl XLV commercial that featured the Google Android robot getting a back-alley body modification to add thumbs to his arms so that he could get his game on. This Xperia PLAY is the world's first PlayStation certified smartphone, and we're looking forward to February 13th, when all the details will be revealed. Check out the commercial after the jump.
We know that the white iPhone 4 has pretty much been like a unicorn by now, originally promised by Apple almost 8 months ago, and still nowhere to be found. However, it looks like that's about to change, as big box retailers like Best Buy and Canada's The Source have actually started making space on store shelves for the elusive smartphone. When they delayed the white iPhone 4 for the third time, Apple said it would appear this Spring. It started showing in Best Buy and AT&T inventory a couple of weeks ago, and the fact that stores are making room give some credence to the rumors that we might be seeing the white model finally available to anyone who decided to wait this long--but seriously, if that's you, you may wanna just wait for the next iPhone to drop in a few months.
Read More | Engadget
The arrival of the Verizon iPhone 4 has been cause for some celebration among Verizon customers and even some who are already using the phone on AT&T. In fact, virtually every smartphone customer is likely wondering if they should adopt one of the leading smartphones on the U.S.'s most reliable mobile network. These 12 facts may help you decide.
1. The Verizon iPhone is No Thicker or Heavier than the AT&T Model
Apple told me and my examination proves that these phones are like twins (more identical than fraternal). Both iPhones are 9.3 millimeters thick—still among the thinnest smartphones on the market.
2. The Antenna Design is Different for a Reason
It's no accident that the AT&T iPhone 4 and Verizon iPhone 4 antenna bands (around the phones) do not look exactly the same. The differences are hard to notice unless you hold the two phones side-by-side—as I did. The Verizon iPhone uses a CDMA network antenna. In fact, it uses two CDMA antennas (a necessary redundancy for the CDMA network). As a result, there are identical antenna band bar breaks on either side of the phone. By the way, Apple told me that, unlike GSM, the CDMA network actually works to give you a few more seconds of connectivity before the call breaks off completely. In other words, even on the worst connections, you may still be able to recover the call. I never had a bad enough connection to see this in action.
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