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AT&T has followed Verizon's lead and chosen QUALCOMM's MediaFLO as a source of digital TV broadcast in the US. While digital TV is extremely common on Korean and Japanese cellphones, the feature has been notably absent from North American products, which have generally substituted with downloadable clips. MediaFLO will offer those as well, and is promising fast channel change without buffering. AT&T phones and services using MediaFLO should begin to arrive in late 2007, with "advanced features" coming shortly thereafter.
The Beatles may have won more concessions from Apple, Inc. than has been publicly revealed, sources have told Roger Friedman of Fox News. Speaking with Neil Aspinall, head of The Beatles' label Apple Corps, Friedman learned that while all 13 Beatles LPs are being remastered with the expectation of an online release "soon," none of them are limited to iTunes or any other specific music store, contrary to earlier rumors of an exclusive deal struck with the iPod creator.
"[The launch] will be on all the services, not just one," Aspinall was careful to say.
Compounding the issue may be a previously secret term of the deal, Friedman alleges. A separate, anonymous source speaking with the journalist claims that the recent name agreement between the two firms involved a royalty agreement for every iTunes song or iPod bought, guaranteeing revenue for the music label regardless of perceived losses due to brand confusion. If true, the deal would place Apple, Inc. in a position similar to that of Microsoft, which was forced to pay royalties to Universal in order to carry the label's music in the Zune Marketplace.
Inadvertenly leaked last week, Nvidia has now officially launched a 320MB version of the GeForce 8800 GTS. The standard 640MB version remains on the market, but at $100 less ($299-349), the new card may well attract buyers who want DirectX 10 support without the cost of Nvidia's performance models. DirectX 10 ships with Windows Vista and supports Shader Model 4 effects unavailable in DirectX 9. The new GTS should already be on sale from select retailers.
Intel began the ISSC conference today by revealing the breakthrough Teraflops Research Chip. The design achieves its namesake teraflop of performance at a modest 3.16GHz by merging 80 small cores into a single processor that consumes only 62W of power, equalling the power draw of even modest desktop CPUs today. This same performance required 10,000 Pentium Pros and a gigawatt of combined CPU and cooling power a decade ago, the chipmaker says.
The TRC works by overcoming the bandwidth limits inherent to a many-core design. Where a traditional design would lose any of its advantages beyond 16 cores due to bandwidth limits, each core in the Intel chip has its own router that manages the sheer volume of traffic passing by. Such an implementation even has the side benefit of improved power management, letting the TRC selectively shut down entire cores when they grow idle.
One of the few of today's announcements not directly involving phones is SanDisk's introduction of the microSD Multi SD Kit. The product helps solve one of the key problems of mobile devices, which is the proliferation of three different SD formats: miniSD, microSD, and standard SD. While the only storage included is a single microSD card, the kit also bundles adapters for miniSD and regular SD slots, which can fit into phones, cameras, and other electronics. Kits will ship to the US in 512MB, 1GB and 2GB sizes starting in March.
Coming separately will be the company's first 4GB microSDHC card, which can theoretically hold up to 1,000 songs, 2,000 "high-resolution" pictures, or eight hours of MPEG-4 video. Critically, the card is not compatible with the Multi SD Kit, and cannot be read unless a device specifically supports SDHC. Owners can, however, buy a Mobile Memory Kit that steps up microSDHC to miniSDHC or regular SDHC. The release of the microSDHC card is currently only set for sometime in 2007.
As a complement to the Ultra Smart F700 unveiled last week, Samsung today challenged Apple once more with the F520. The Korean firm's latest entry trades sleekness for screen area. A slightly larger 3-inch touchscreen affords a higher, 480x272 resolution; in exchange, the F520 grows in size to accommodate a two-way slider that either extends laterally for a keyboard or downwards for a number pad and arrow keys. Camera resolution at the back is a more modest 3 megapixels, Samsung says, but still outperforms the iPhone's 2-megapixel camera. A front VGA camera permits video calls.
Read ahead for more details and an image gallery.
Toshiba joined the deluge of 3GSM phone announcements on Monday by revealing two of its best-performing phones ever. The G900 competes against slide-out keyboard devices from HTC and UT Starcom with an extremely high-resolution, 800x480 3-inch display and a large suite of Internet connections. US-friendly, tri-band HSDPA mobile Internet is incorporated into the shell alongside Wi-Fi, legacy EDGE support, and Bluetooth 2.0. A 2-megapixel camera at the back as well as a VGA camera at the front round out its core hardware. Much like other phones announced today, the G900 is driven by Windows Mobile 6.
Read through for a larger photo and details of the more calling-focused G500.
Spearheading Samsung's announcements are four phones in the new Ultra Edition II lineup -- click through for a variety of images. The professional end is represented by the U600, which has a metallic finish, a 3.2-megapixel camera, and music playback supporting MP3, WMA, and AAC/AAC+. Bluetooth 2.0 and USB 2.0 connections are present, as is a business card reader, and 60MB of memory with an added microSD slot. The U700 meanwhile is variant for wealthy consumers, adding HSDPA broadband, WMA-DRM audio, and playback of MPEG-4, Real and H.263 video formats. Sacrifices come in the form of a three-megapixel camera and 20MB of internal memory.
Expanding from its original niche of PDAs and full-keyboard smartphones, HP on Monday revealed the iPAQ 500 series. Its creator hopes to straddle the line between pure cellphones and larger smartphones: while as slim as the former, the 500 is driven by Windows Mobile 6 and ships with Office Mobile for viewing Excel sheets and other files on the road. A keyboard is also unnecessary thanks to deep voice support, according to HP. Instead of typing out commands or e-mail, the new iPAQ accepts voice activation for menus and commands as well as audio responses to text messages.
Motorola's 3GSM offerings conclude with three more products. Foremost is the previously announced MOTORIZR Z6, a less impressive counterpart to the Z8 which nevertheless has features such as a two-megapixel camera, 64MB of onboard memory, and support for MPEG-4 3GPP and h.263 video. The supported music codecs may be the highlight of the phone however, since despite using Linux, it supports DRM-locked WMA files, in addition to MP3, WAV, and AAC/AAC+.
The T815 and T805 are Bluetooth devices that add GPS/AGPS abilities to compatible phones. When in action, a phone has access to on-screen maps, points of interest and turn-by-turn voice guidance, further enhanced by real-time traffic information. The T815 includes MOTONAV software on a memory card, whereas T805 buyers must rely on a subscription service. Twelve months are included for free. The MOTONAV receivers are expected in the second quarter of 2007; the Z6 should ship in the first half ot the year.
Finishing the Nokia phone barrage are the 6110 Navigator and the 3110 classic. Click through for a gallery. As its name implies, the 6110 is designed around GPS functions, sporting GPS and AGPS (Assisted GPS) abilities as well as maps preloaded for the area the phone is sold in. The interface is similar to in-car software meanwhile, featuring 3D rendering, turn-by-turn voice guidance, and a searchable database of routes and points of interest. Additional content such as traffic, weather and extra maps must be bought online. The phone does boast a number of non-GPS features though, such as a two-megapixel camera, and 3G video calls through HSDPA and WCDMA broadband. Standard connections are made through quad-band GSM and EDGE.
In another suite of 3GSM-related unveilings, Motorola today released a pair of phones whose design stems directly from that of the American cellphone maker's KRZR clamshell. The KRZR K3 is an immediate sequel to the K1 and K1m already in use across the world but adds the crucial element of 3G wireless. As revealed in a product leak, the K3 gains faster browsing through HSDPA Internet access. A forward-facing camera is also tucked into the inner body for video calls and self-portraits. The K3 is similar in most other respects to its K1 forefather and is equipped with a 2-megapixel outer camera as well as microSD storage, though it swaps the solid hues of the earlier versions for a two-tone gray scheme. A launch is planned for this quarter, although the company has not revealed whether or not the K3 will work properly in North America.
Neonode stirred up controversy at the 3GSM expo this morning by previewing the N2. The Swedish firm openly claims that the iPhone is merely "following the lead" already set by the former's touchscreen N1 and says its N2 improves on the formula. Although much smaller than the Apple device at three inches long, the N2 still sports a full 2-inch touchscreen interface and a 2-megapixel camera. The diminutive stature allows control with only one hand, Neonode points out. Multimedia tools such as MPEG-4 video recording and playback for MP3, WMA, and WAV songs are preloaded. A miniSD card slot provides storage space.
Its formal launch is targeted for Spring, with an initial release due in Europe. The presence of a quad-band GSM transmitter will allow the device to roam in North America and may ultimately lead to its release on the continent at a later date. Click through for a profile shot.
The premier Nokia phones at 3GSM are the new E-series models, which include the E90 Communicator (pictured), the E65, and the E61i. Click below for more images. The E90, hinted at just late last week, is indeed a quad-band GSM smartphone, and will not only support 3G HSDPA, but WCDMA and WLAN broadband as well. Also confirmed is the use of S60 and a 3.2-megapixel still camera. Nokia has announced other features for the phone, however, such as a videoconferencing camera, and support for FM radio, digital music and video, and up to 16 million colors.
Continuing its succession of phone launches at 3GSM, Motorola this morning revealed a duo of updates to the ubiquitous Moto Q. The MOTO Q q9 is the company's new range-topping model. As previously alluded to in a leaked presentation, the q9 adds 3.6Mbps HSDPA mobile broadband for much faster access to data. It also contains support for up to 2GB of music and videos on its microSD slot, including the seldom-seen ability to load Plays For Sure protected WMA songs. This is helped in part by its being one of the first Motorla phones to run Windows Mobile 6, the company says. A 2-megapixel camera is equally new to the company's full-size smartphone.
Read through for photos as well as details of the Q gsm and the official launch.
Nokia on Monday made an aggressive showing at 3GSM by releasing a large mix of media and business phones. One of the most significant of these is the N77: previously confirmed in a last-minute rumor, the handset marks the Finnish company's initial phone with specific support for mobile TV. An integral DVB-H tuner lets it receive digital broadcasts across Europe and in parts of Asia; a memory buffer also permits a small amount of timeshifting with the option of pausing and replaying live shows. As is increasingly common, the phone adds a 2-megapixel camera and has extensive support for multiple AAC standards, MP3, and WMA tracks.
The N77 is currently slated to go on sale in regions that support DVB-H video as of this Spring for a stand-alone price of $481. WCDMA and tri-band GSM radios will generally limit the device to Europe and Asia. Click through for a photo as well as details of the company's YouTube deal.
Motorola today upgraded its designer bar phone by introducing the MOTOSLVR L9. It exchanges the metallic influence of the RAZR for the glossy style of the KRZR but also represents a major technical improvement for media playback. For the first time in the SLVR range, an FM radio is integrated and has RDS support for station ID; a dedicated button instantly brings the radio online, Motorola says. Pre-recorder MPEG-4 video as well as MP3 and multi-format AAC are also supported on microSD cards up to 2GB; MegaSIM cards which combine flash memory with subscriber info can boost the capacity by an additional 512MB. Photography has also been upgraded with a 2-megapixel sensor. The cellphone maker promises 400 minutes (6.7 hours) of active talk time.
While slated for an official launch in the Spring, official launch areas and prices remain unknown. Support for EDGE Internet as well as basic GPRS suggests that the phone may arrive in North America. Photos of the front and back can be found after the jump.
RIM today at last unveiled the BlackBerry 8800, the full-sized counterpart to last year's Pearl. The Canadian smartphone shares the same trackball of its slimmer predecessor but has a full keyboard (as with the 8700 series) for quicker typing. Its features are consciously business-friendly, RIM notes: while no camera is in place for the sake of security, a GPS receiver is built in for live maps and other geography-based software.
Contrary to expectations, no Wi-Fi is part of the initial shipping design. However, quad-band GSM with EDGE Internet is standard, as is Bluetooth 2.0 and a microSD slot. RIM has also made a concession to general use with a media player for music and songs. Specific launch details weren't given in the official announcement, but the phone is set to launch on Cingular this month for $299 with a two-year plan. Canadian customers can also expect the phone through Rogers Wireless in the near future. Click through for profile shots.
Motorola launched its massive announcement campaign at the 3GSM expo this morning by releasing the MOTORIZR Z8. The new design is one of the first sliders with ergonomics in mind -- called a "kick-slider," the open phone curves towards the caller's mouth instead of sliding directly downwards. The Z8 is also one of the first Motorola phones to use Symbian instead of Linux or a special Motorola OS, according to the company.
Also the first HSDPA-based RIZR, the handset connects at up to 3.6Mbps and has the speed to stream live video. A 2-megapixel camera, support for up to 4GB microSD cards, and five hours of 3G talk time are similarly standard. The phone is expected in April is likely to be available first in Europe. Motorola hasn't mentioned whether or not the phone is capable of operating on North American GSM networks.
A larger photo follows after the jump.
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