T-Mobile hit us with a triple whammy today when it released the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900, T-Mobile Shadow and the Nokia 7510. Bonnie managed to secure the two smartphones for full reviews, and she gave us the full details in today's Dialed In. We also dish on the the latest Palm Treo Pro rumors, a camera phone-hating Congressman, texting in the sky, and why service rebates really stink. And if reviews are all you're after, we also give you the scoop on the latest handsets that we put to the test. Listen now: Download today's podcastRumor … Read more
Ever since Palm introduced the Pre at CES a few weeks ago, rumors have been swirling over the possibility of Palm butting heads with Apple in a courtroom over the Pre's functionality.
Critics say the Pre's use of swiping the screen to move between windows, and multitouch gestures to zoom, make it a logical legal target for Apple, which has engaged in some posturing over the past few weeks.
In Apple's quarterly earnings call last week, COO Tim Cook said that his company "will not stand for having our IP ripped off," but he wouldn't "talk about any specific company."
It's no secret which company Cook is talking about and in an interview with All Things Digital, a Palm rep said that if the company is "faced with legal action," it's confident that it has "the tools necessary" to defend itself against any Apple lawsuits.
Whether or not Palm has a case is in doubt. Apple was recently awarded a patent that covers many of the iPhone's multitouch functionality, including the zoom functions and swiping currently found in Palm's Pre.
Will Apple use this new patent to its advantage? The company has yet to make a statement. But if takes Palm to court over the Pre, I'll be rooting for Palm. … Read more
Multitouch gestures on the iPhone are simple and really easy to use. Mobile touch-screen devices that don't have it, however, can make Web browsing a harrowing experience. Enter Linja Zax, a new project that's trying to give users an easy way to zoom in and out of Web pages (and potentially other UI elements) with one finger only.
Similar to the "wax on, wax off" mantra of Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid, this simply involves moving your finger in a circular motion. Going clockwise zooms in, while counterclockwise zooms you back out. In the demo, … Read more
For all the talk there's been about Microsoft's big Vista problem, much less has been made of its smaller operating system, Windows Mobile, which has some major problems of its own. Truth be told, I'm a longtime Windows Mobile user and I have to say it's been a frustrating ride. There are things I really like about the OS--and things I find really irritating. However, the frustration stems from the fact that every time I think it's really going to turn a corner, Windows Mobile continues to disappoint. And I'm seriously considering giving up … Read more
AT&T, the nation's largest phone company, reported Wednesday that its earnings for the fourth quarter fell 23.6 percent year over year, amid a tough economic climate.
The company said it earned $2.4 billion, or 41 cents per share, during the fourth quarter, compared with $3.14 billion, or 51 cents per share, during the same period a year ago. Revenue increased 2.4 percent year over year to $31.1 billion, which was slightly short of analyst expectations of about $31.3 billion.
Even though AT&T saw strong growth in its wireless business … Read more
For all the talk there's been about Microsoft's big Vista problem, much less has been made of its smaller operating system, Windows Mobile, which has some major problems of its own. Truth be told, I'm a longtime Windows Mobile user and I have to say it's been a frustrating ride. There are things I really like about the OS--and things I find really irritating. However, the frustration stems from the fact that every time I think it's really going to turn a corner, Windows Mobile continues to disappoint. And I'm seriously considering giving up on it.
Take my current situation.… Read more
Solid-state drives may see heady growth despite a sliding world economy, according to a report released Tuesday by a market research company. Devices like the Apple iPod and iPhone are expected to drive growth.
Flash memory revenue in the solid-state drive segment will see compound annual growth rates of over 100 percent through 2012, according to market research firm In-Stat. The type of flash used in solid-state drives is referred to as NAND flash.
"You're starting from quite a small base. Back in 2006, you're in the tens of millions (of dollars) kind of a number. By … Read more
As the day of the big game draws closer, households everywhere are planning menus, inviting guests, and figuring out just how many TVs it takes to actually host a successful Super Bowl party. However, some of us prefer to keep things a bit less extravagant, instead opting for a small gathering as opposed to an all-out affair. Years of study (42 to be exact) have shown that the optimum number of invitees for a Super Bowl party is eight people. Large screen or small, this number (which coincides nicely with the amount of previous games) is scientifically proven (or arbitrarily … Read more
Q: I was wondering why U.S. carriers have not picked up Nokia's N-series phones. Why wouldn't a carrier like AT&T or T-Mobile want such high-end handsets to attract customers? - Zoheb
A: There are a few answers, Zoheb, but they all boil down to money. More so than in other countries the cell phone market in the United States has long centered on the service rebate. Carriers discount phones to attract customers and their contracts, while customers are trained to expect free or discounted handsets. While this dynamic is beginning to change due to the growing popularity of unlocked phones, service rebates largely rule the day here.
Though the rebates have their upside--customers can get $200 knocked off the price of a nice smartphone--they have their downsides as well. And I'm not talking about service contracts. Rather, the widespread use of service rebates has helped to "dumb down" the cell phone selection in the United States. With notable exceptions, carriers tend to keep their phones below $300 to make them as affordable as possible.
The problem with the N-series phones is that they cost well over $500 (the fancy Nokia N96 is $776 unlocked). So even with a service rebate they're going to remain pretty expensive. Sure, there will be customers like yourself who will be willing to buy one, but that's not enough incentive for a carrier to buy a several thousand of them. Instead, they're going to pick handsets that will sell in the biggest numbers.
We also have to remember that the N-series phones are complicated with a lot of different features. U.S. carriers tend to be in the driver's seat when it comes to choosing phones for their lineups. They have a lot of say in how the phone looks and what features it has. Thanks to the iPhone and the T-Mobile G1 this is also beginning to change, but they still like to exert their control. I'd wager than the N-series phones are simply too complicated for U.S. carriers. There are too many parts and features that the carriers can't control. Also, I'm sure that carriers haven't figured out how to monetize all the services on a handset like the N96. That's yet a another deterrent against picking it up.… Read more
Updated at 12:30 p.m. PST with more details.
Apple announced on Tuesday that former IBM executive Mark Papermaster has resolved his dispute with IBM over a noncompete agreement and will start leading Apple's iPhone group on April 24.
IBM had sued Papermaster for allegedly violating the terms of a noncompete agreement in agreeing to join Apple as senior vice president of Devices Hardware Engineering, claiming that Papermaster would be in a position to divulge important IBM trade secrets. The two parties exchanged briefing papers for a few months but apparently found a way to settle their differences.… Read more