iPhone 3G Rivals Tout Age
Rivals to the iPhone 3G are turning to experience over sheer feature set to promote their devices, according to statements made by the respective companies. Palm in particular defends the slower load times of its 3G-capable Treo, which was outperformed by the 62 percent faster iPhone in load times, by arguing itself a veteran. Palm has had 3G-class devices "for years," according to an official from the company.
Nokia Seeks US Share
Nokia intends to recapture some of its influence in the US market this year with a slew of new phones, the company's primary designer Alastair Curtis said in an interview published today with Finland's Helsingin Sanomat. The creator promises many new models within the "next few months" that are tailored to the needs of US carriers, ending a relative drought of devices in recent years.
iPhone and N95 Rogers Leak
Two top smartphones may finally be available on an official basis in Canada before the summer, according to separate reports. The Toronto Star cites industry contacts who tell the newspaper that the country's lone major GSM cell provider, Rogers, aims to launch the iPhone in time for it to be included in a campaign promoting touchscreen phones at the company, which will include the upcoming LG Vu and likely earlier devices such as the HTC Touch. The marketing effort will begin sometime between May and July and is allegedly supported by evidence that Apple and Rogers were nearing a finalized deal earlier this year for the latter to carry the iPhone.
BlackBerry 8900 Delayed
Research in Motion's 3G-capable BlackBerry won't launch at the same time as its 3G iPhone counterpart and may have been intentionally delayed, claim sources speaking to Fortune. The handset, now said to be named the BlackBerry 8900 and nicknamed the Meteor, has allegedly had its AT&T release pushed back from June to as far as August. The official explanation is said to revolve around call quality concerns for the smartphone, which is likely to replace the top-end 8800.
NVIDIA APX 2500 Mobile GPU
NVIDIA on Monday took the wraps from the APX 2500, a new chipset it describes as an application processor for smartphones and other handhelds. Though it has a GeForce graphics unit at its core that helps drive 3D games, the 2500 is said to excel at processing HD video: the hardware is the only mobile chipset capable of both decoding and capturing 720p HD video, NVIDIA claims. Moreover, power savings in the chipset reportedly make this a practical reality in real use, with as much as 10 hours of 720p playback or a full 100 hours of pure audio. This last figure is more than four times longer than for existing touchscreen phones, the company notes.
Kodak 5MP Ultra-Small Cam
Kodak today said it had developed a new camera sensor that could allow all phones, not just large models, to include a quality camera. The photography firm says it has successfully reduced the individual pixel sizes for a 5-megapixel camera from more than 1.7 microns to just 1.4. By using an enhanced CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) sensor, the advance allows smaller sensors to fit into extremely tight spaces without sacrificing actual image quality, according to Kodak. The camera maker also claims that more of the sensors will fit on a given production wafer, potentially driving down the costs of normally expensive cameras that are limited to devices such as the Nokia N95 or the LG Viewty.
Analyst on Canada iPhone
Apple chief Steve Jobs' keynote speech today could also see the introduction of the iPhone to Canada and other areas, according to an update by Royal Bank of Canada analyst Michael Abramsky. The researcher estimates that Apple will "probably" reveal a long-anticipated deal with Rogers Wireless to bring the iPhone to the Canadian carrier in the near future. The analyst declines to speculate on details but notes that pressure is likely high on Apple to reveal one or more regional plans beyond the current rollout, which is limited to the US as well as a handful of European countries.
Nokia on HD Video Capture
Cellphones will have the option of not just playing but also recording high-definition video in as little as two years, Nokia chief technology officer Tero Ojanpera said in an interview today. The senior official explains that the technology strong enough to encode the sharper video on a handset in real-time is "a couple of years away" for practical purposes given the current state of video. The Finnish company only began shipping phones with NTSC (640x480) video capture late last year with the release of the N95, which is considerably smaller than the minimum 720p (1280x720) often considered the baseline for HD.
Nokia Internet Radio
Nokia today gave owners of its 3G smartphones a new alternative for music with the launch of its self-run Internet Radio service. The software is built not just to stream radio directly to the phone but also to encourage finding new music through filtering radio stations: users can not only sort the "hundreds" of stations Nokia says it lists by their names or genres, but narrow them down to specific countries or even languages; top ten lists also let users find stations based on their popularity. Like many streaming services, Nokia's service also features track data whenever available.