Archive for August, 2011

WORDWIDE COVERAGE WITH THE LATEST SMART PHONE , THE PHOTON 4G

Friday, August 26th, 2011

??CHECK OUT THE WORDWIDE SMARTPHONE PHOTON 4G

If you frequently travel overseas for business or pleasure, a smartphone with world-roaming capabilities is a good thing to have in your travel kit.

Not only do these phones allow you to stay in touch with friends and family back home, but with their built-in functions and various apps, they can also organize your travel itinerary, provide recommendations for things to do, capture memories, and much more. So which phones make good travel buddies?

Well, first, you’ll need a world phone that supports the four GSM networks (850/900/1800/1900). T-Mobile and AT&T phones already offer this compatibility, but Sprint and Verizon Wireless customers will have to check their carrier’s respective lineup for a handset that offers dual-mode CDMA/GSM technology.

To make it a bit easier for you, below you’ll find a selection of some of the latest and greatest smartphones that will support international networks. You’ll also want to check and sign up for international calling and data plans, so you don’t return home to a shocking cell phone bill. Alternatively, you can purchase an unlocked phone, which isn’t tied to a service provider, so you can insert a prepaid SIM card from a local carrier while overseas to save money. Some of the U.S. carriers will also unlock the SIM (for example, Verizon has a policy where it will unlock the included SIM if you’ve been a customer for more than 60 days and are in good financial standing) so you can do the same.

Our quick guide to world phones provides a more in-depth explanation on the topic and is definitely worth a read if you’re new to the subject, but if you’re simply after some recommendations, head on over to our roundup of the latest world phones.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

KOREA LOOKING TO BUILD ITS OWN MOBILE PHONE PLATFORM NETWORK

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Seoul seeks to build

mobile platform

By Christian Oliver in Seoul

South Korea’s government has called on Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics to join it in a consortium to develop a homegrown mobile phone operating system, a sign that Seoul fears Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility could pose a long-term threat to two of its biggest companies.

Samsung and LG are the world’s second- and third-biggest makers of mobile handsets but their software is much weaker than their hardware. Their most successful smartphones have relied on Google’s Android operating system.

South Korea admitted that it could be strategically dangerous to keep relying on Google for software as the US firm builds up its own ability to make hardware, which is Korea’s strength.

Since Google’s acquisition, there have been fears that a tighter integration of Android with Motorola’s mobile devices will make for a stronger competitor to third parties such as Samsung and LG. Google insists it will continue to work with independent handset makers on Android devices.

Seoul’s ministry of the knowledge economy said on Wednesday that it would announce details of its plan in October. The ministry said it had invited Samsung and LG to take part but that small and medium-sized IT enterprises should form some 50 per cent of the consortium.

While the ministry has not decided on the nature of the operating system, it said it wanted something that could ultimately compete with Google’s Chrome and is considering a cloud-based system to allow the sharing of data across smartphones, personal computers and laptops.

“In the long term, we cannot go on like this by solely relying on Google,” Kim Jae-hong, a deputy commerce minister, told reporters.

Samsung declined to comment on the government plan, saying the idea was in “initial stages”. LG said it was “willing to listen” to the government’s ideas.

Telecommunications analysts said the government’s plan was impractical or unlikely to succeed because South Korea had too much ground to make up in software, and argued that handset makers should look to buy a foreign operating system or diversify their OS suppliers.

Chang Sea-jin, a professor at Singapore National University, said the government initiative was a “long shot” and looked more like a programme to help struggling SMEs than to boost Samsung and LG. He argued that Samsung, the world’s biggest technology company by sales, should instead look to buy a foreign OS maker.

“In the short term, it is more reasonable to balance [Microsoft’s] Windows and Android and not rely on Google,” he said.

Samsung, whose Galaxy smartphones are the main challenger to Apple’s iPhone, already has a homegrown software system called Bada but it is aimed at low- to mid-end smartphones. Samsung’s blue-riband smartphones use Google’s Android. Samsung on Wednesday launched new Galaxy handsets aimed at increasing sales in emerging markets.

Although South Korea’s government regularly tries to steer companies, analysts said software design was a field in which Seoul was out of its depth.

“I understand the government’s desire to seek solutions with the threat of a rapidly changing market but this is the wrong direction,” said Greg Roh, analyst at HMC Investment Securities. “This should be left to the market.”

?Apple won an injunction in a Dutch court on Wednesday to stop Samsung from marketing three smartphone models in some European countries after alleging a breach of patents, Reuters reports from Amsterdam. Apple and Samsung are locked in a bruising patent fight in the US, Europe and Asia, as they jostle for the top spot in the smartphone market.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

ENTER THE NEW OLDER LOOK PHONE

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

NEW PHONE GETS REVAMP WITH OLD TIME LOOK


While most phones are getting smaller and being crammed with non-phone functionality, the “Sixty” cordless phone from French company Sagemcom harks back to an earlier age of domestic communications … with an injection of 21st Century design and technology.

  • The Sixty offers rotating lights and sound effects during dialing
  • The Sixty has a folded zig-zag form that transforms the stocky rotary phone into an slick-...
  • The Sixty offers hands-free calling, caller ID and a 150 name and number capacity phone bo...
  • The Sixty retro cordless phone

The Sixty delivers a new twist on the 1960’s Bakelite telephone by transforming the stocky rotary form into a folded, slimline design and adding a digital time fascia and capacitive touchscreen. The non-retro functionality includes hands-free calling, caller ID, 150 name and number phone book, phone conferencing, multiple languages, and an integrated digital answer machine.

The drilling bell tone of yore has been replaced with more modern polyphonic ringtones, although these include a reproduction of the original “ring ring” for those who want to retain some of the old-skool feel. There’s also rotating lights and sound effects during dialing.

One 1960s element that doesn’t make a comeback is the curly phone cord – instead there’s a wireless handset with a 10 hour battery life.

The Sagecom Sixty is available for £99.99 (US$167) … and it’ll come in any color you like as long as it’s orange.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

OUT OF SMART PHONES SAY THE INVESTORS.ARE THEY PRIVY TO SOMETHING WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT.OR ARE THEY JUST NERVOUS ABOUT SOMETHING??

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

SMART PHONE EXODUS BY INVESTORS

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Reuters) – Smartphones may have good looks and a lot of whiz-bang features, but this week they just have a bad reputation.

In fact they are the main reason for the current investor exodus from the U.S. wireless sector. Shareholders in small operators MetroPCS Communications Inc and Leap Wireless International Inc have simply lost faith in the promise that smartphones would boost growth, analysts say. 

While these devices may make consumers happy, investors instead see only increasing costs for carriers which subsidized the devices to help tie customers in for longer terms.

Even U.S. market leader Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications Inc and Vodafone Group Plc, gave investors the jitters when it showed weak smartphone growth and customer spending July 22.

Shares in No. 3 U.S. mobile service Sprint Nextel Corp are down 24 percent since it reported subscriber losses and dramatic cost increases.

“People are rethinking what smartphones mean for telecoms, How much growth it can provide and the impact on its margins,” said BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk.

On August 2, MetroPCS posted weaker than expected customer growth even as costs rose faster than Wall Street had expected. On top of this, executives told analysts on a conference call that customers with costly smartphones did not appear to have any more loyalty to the service that those with cheaper phones.

MetroPCS fell 37 percent on the day of its report and was down 11 percent to $9.14 in Thursday afternoon New York Stock Exchange trading; shares touched a low of $8.70 earlier in the session.

Leap dropped 21 percent in sympathy with MetroPCS on August 2.

Leap told analysts on a conference call following its results after the market close on August 3 that it was actually seeing a benefit from smartphones in the form of lower customer defections, compared with other customers. Investors, unconvinced by the upbeat tone, slammed Leap’s stock down another 30 percent on Thursday.

To be sure, Leap and MetroPCS are more open to economic swings as their customers are people on tighter budgets who are particularly vulnerable in a weak economy.

Another rival, Clearwire Corp, was also down over 24 percent on Thursday afternoon as investors worried whether it would be able to raise the new funding it said it needs, even though it promised an operating profit sooner than expected.

In general there is “less visibility” into the future for smaller companies, Pacific Crest analyst Steve Clement said.

But before the second-quarter results, investors had hoped they could hang their hat on smartphones for at least some of those wireless operators.

“There were obviously significant expectations for what smartphones would do for these companies,” said Clement. “In the quarter, that didn’t play out.”

Analysts are not disputing the rapidly expanding consumer demand for smartphones but are questioning whether wireless service providers are the best place to invest in the trend.

BTIG’s Piecyk suggested that smartphone makers themselves could be a better place to put those bets. The most high-profile of these is iPhone maker Apple Inc.

“It’s clearly more of a minefield to do it in the operator space today,” he said. “The easier way to play all of this is that if you buy Apple, you’re buying the arms dealer.”

Verizon Communications, the majority owner of Verizon Wireless, saw its shares fall 2.3 percent to $35.16 on the New York Stock Exchange. All told the stock is down more than 6 percent from its July 21 close before its quarterly report.

AT&T Inc shares were down 1.5 percent at $29.06, also on the NYSE. Verizon Wireless and AT&T market the iPhone.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

ANDROID PHONES AND APPLE FALSE PATENTS

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

IS GOOGLE ANDROID -SAMSUNG THREATENED BY APPLES FALSE PATENTS?

Google’s chief legal officer has launched a blistering attack on competitors, including Apple, for attempting to stifle innovation by using “bogus patents” to target Google’s Android partners including Samsung.

David Drummond, who is also Google’s senior vice-president, wrote in an explosive blog post that the patent wars were pushing up the prices of Android smartphones and tablets. This was part of a “hostile, organised campaign” being waged by Apple, Microsoft and others to “strangle” Android, which Google provides free of charge.

His remarks come after Apple succeeded in hobbling the Australian launch of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 after accusing it in the Federal Court this week of infringing 10 Apple patents including the “look and feel” and touchscreen technology of the iPad.

Mr Drummond implied that Microsoft and Apple were getting “into bed together” to stifle Android’s success. He revealed that more than 550,000 Android devices were being activated worldwide every day through a network of 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers.

He said this competition was yielding “cool new devices and amazing mobile apps for consumers”.

“But Android’s success has yielded something else: a hostile, organised campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents,” he wrote.

Apple sought injunctions preventing Samsung from selling or advertising the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia – and demanded all of Samsung’s stock be sent to it to be destroyed.

Samsung has agreed not to market the US version of the tablet in Australia but has said it will launch a modified version and has agreed to send Apple samples of the device seven days before it goes on sale. It is likely Apple will also seek injunctions preventing the sale of the Australian version upon receiving the samples.

Patent experts claim that Samsung will not be able to modify the tablet sufficiently to avoid infringing Apple’s broad and far-reaching patents on multi-touch, gestures, list scrolling and other features.

Separately, the FOSS Patents blog has broken down some of the patents in question and argues it will be difficult for any Android maker to escape an Apple infringement suit.

Apple is suing Samsung in nine other countries as well and has launched other legal attacks on HTC and Motorola for allegedly infringing its patents with Android devices and stealing its ideas. Google itself faces patent suits from Oracle, which seeks billions of dollars in damages, claiming Google’s Android infringes its Java patents.

Mr Drummond cited these patent battles as well as the fact that a consortium including Microsoft and Apple recently bought thousands of Novell and Nortel’s old patents and were using them to demand a $US15 licensing fee for every Android device. He said this would make it more expensive for phone manufacturers to license Android than Windows Mobile.

“Patents were meant to encourage innovation, but lately they are being used as a weapon to stop it,” he wrote.

“A smartphone might involve as many as 250,000 (largely questionable) patent claims, and our competitors want to impose a ‘tax’ for these dubious patents that makes Android devices more expensive for consumers. They want to make it harder for manufacturers to sell Android devices. Instead of competing by building new features or devices, they are fighting through litigation.”

Mr Drummond said this was an “anti-competitive strategy” designed to “strangle” Android.

Google has responded by attempting to buy up its own cache of patents and has hired one of the US Federal Trade Commission’s top patent lawyers. Despite its criticisms of Apple and Microsoft for joining to buy Nortel’s patents for $US4.5 billion, Google also put in a bid.

Microsoft’s general counsel Brad Smith fired back with a tweet: “Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no.”

Microsoft’s PR team backed Smith’s tweet up with a picture of an email that appears to corroborate his remarks.

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has previously accused Apple of responding to Android’s success with lawsuits rather than innovation.

“We have not done anything wrong and these lawsuits are just inspired by our success,” he said last month, commenting on Apple’s battle with HTC.

Kimberlee Weatherall, an Australian intellectual property lawyer, blogger and academic, wrote on The Conversation website that “the breadth of monopoly Apple is claiming” over basic smartphone features was “breathtaking”.

“I’d like to think Apple won’t be able to maintain a claim that broad, but in patent law, you never know – it all depends on what existed before the date of the patent,” Ms Weatherall said.

One of the patents “seems to cover most commands given using more than one finger on a touchscreen of any computing device (mobile phone, tablet, or anything else). Think ‘pinch to zoom’ and everything else”.

Technology companies, particularly Microsoft, Apple and Google, are buying up stacks of technology company patents in order both to demand licensing fees and to protect themselves from patent litigation by other companies.

In a recent interview with TechCrunch, Google general counsel Kent Walker argued that a patent wasn’t innovation but rather “the right to block someone else from innovating”.

“Patents are government-granted monopolies. We have them to reward innovation, but that’s not happening here.”

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha