Texas Instruments sees future in embedded chip market, cars
Texas Instruments has indicated that it will refocus its business efforts around the embedded application processor market including the automotive market. To do this, it will shift from its current emphasis on developing its OMAP processors for smartphones and tablets, reports Reuters. According to TI, the embeded processor market offers the prospect of greater financial stability moving forward, despite its OMAP SOCs appearing in the high-profile, but low cost, Kindle Fire HD and Barnes & Noble Nook HD tablets.
Casio business tablets due to reach Japan in September
Casio has introduced four new tablets aimed at business users and relegated to the Japanese market. All share a 10.1-inch touchscreen with the Paper Writer V-N500-WJ and Paper Writer V-N500-J getting a stylus pen and handwriting recognition. Either can also convert the handwritten notes to a digital format.
Panasonic's Eluga Android phone now in the UK
UK electronics retailer Expansys is now offering the Panasonic Eluga smartphone for sale as an unlocked device. Introduced at MWC, the Android 2.3-powered smartphone is powered by a dual-core, 1GHz TI OMAP processor and 1GB of RAM. It is entirely waterproof, however, and an upgrade from the current Android 2.3.5 to Android 4.0 is promised to come this summer.
Motorola Dinara seen using Snapdragon and not TI
Motorola might be making a fundamental shift from its loyalty to TI if an inadvertent GLBenchmark test run posting is an indicator. A phone known as the MB886, codenamed Qinara and possibly a reference to the Dinara has shown up using Qualcomm's MSM8960, or the same 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 chip as found in phones like HTC's One S. Motorola has used TI's OMAP and occasionally NVIDIA's Tegra 2 in its Android phones, suggesting a new direction in chip options.
Panasonic Eluga gets dated for Japan and Europe
Panasonic's extra-thin Eluga smartphone has edged closer to release with more concrete launches for Japan and Europe. Its home country is getting the Android 2.3 hardware as the P-04D on March 29 through NTT DoCoMo. That carrier is getting a special Deep Purple hue instead of the normal black.
Lenovo IdeaTab S2109 slips through FCC
An FCC filing has given away Lenovo's plans for a previously unannounced tablet that would show the company trying to take on the iPad more directly. The IdeaTab S2109 would have a 9.7-inch, IPS-based, 4:3 ratio display like its Apple counterpart, although it's more likely to have the 1024x768 screen of the iPad 2 than an exotic greater-than-HD panel. Its design would be unusually power-thirsty: the FCC labeling would point to a 12.5W power, or more than the 10W maximum carried by most tablets.
Reference hardware brought to MWC
Texas Instruments has brought its OMAP5 reference hardware to Mobile World Congress, stepping up the competition with other chip makers. After stopping by Qualcomm's booth to check out their quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro hardware, we strolled over to TI's booth to see how the S4 Pro it stacks up against OMAP5 technology.
TI OMAP5 demo shows A15 more than 2X faster
TI has posted a demo video (below) of its OMAP5 processor in what could be a sign of how fast many next-generation processors will be next to even chips that have yet to arrive. Even clocked at just 800MHz with only two main cores, the use of ARM's new Cortex-A15 was able to run a web browser, MP3 playback, and downloading multitasking test more than twice as quickly as a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor. While the A9 wasn't named, it was likely NVIDIA's 1.3GHz Tegra 3, showing how little clock speed mattered.
LG Optimus 3D Cube coming to MWC
LG continued a run of new smartphones as part of the lead-in to Mobile World Congress by introducing the Optimus 3D Cube, also known as the Optimus 3D Max. A direct sequel to the original, the device formerly codenamed the CX2 can now edit, not just play back, 3D video. The hardware is also noticeably slimmer at 9.6mm (versus 10.9mm) and bumps up the dual-core processor from 1GHz to 1.2GHz.
LG Optimus Vu detailed ahead of MWC
LG has officially provided details surrounding the Optimus Vu, its own take on the same blurring of lines between the phone and tablet as Samsung's Galaxy Note. True to leaks, the device has a five-inch display like its Samsung rival but uses a 4:3 aspect ratio like the Pantech Pocket. The 1024x768, color-rich IPS display is said to improve text reading, LG claimed, although the ratio could make it even wider than the Galaxy Note.
AMD exec to kickstart Qualcomm Adreno graphics
AMD's recently departed graphics CTO Eric Demers is now thought to have jumped ship for Qualcomm. An insider connection talking to The Inquirer said the graphics expert had made the hop "under good terms," but partly in the view that Qualcomm wasn't seen as a direct competitor. Intel and NVIDIA may have tried to poach him in the past.
Verizon ships Droid 4 LTE messager
Verizon delivered one of its first smartphones of the new year Friday in the Droid 4. The Motorola headliner we tried at CES is up for $200 on a contract, making it one of the more affordable LTE phones. Buyers can also pick it up for $550 contract-free.
Apple gets closer to using macroscalar name
Apple late last week quietly filed for a US trademark that shows it possibly getting closer to having its own chip architecture. After having slowly filed trademarks in countries outside the US, such as Trinidad and Tobago, the joint USPTO and Hong Kong application caught by Patently Apple suggests that Apple has been continuing development on a project it could be willing to show soon. Mentions of work had started as early as 2004.
LG to bring P880, P700 Android 4 phones to MWC?
Specs for two upcoming LG smartphones have been spotted online by Italian site HDBlog. The phones are expected to show up at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona at the end of the month, and include the P880, with a 720p display, along with the unusual, 640x480 P700.
Motorola Droid 4 may have reasonable prices
Two sources have hinted that the Droid 4 may have an imminent launch and a moderate price point. The Droid-Life contacts had it shipping on February 9 for $199 on a contract, or as much as the pared-back 16GB Droid RAZR. It was originally rumored to come a week earlier but was moved back for unknown reasons.
RIM-made BlackBerry London render escapes
RIM's BlackBerry London has been refined in looks ahead of what could be an attempt to return to the US in force. New leaks to CrackBerry have the render of the first BlackBerry 10 phone's expected finished look making it considerably more refined than the very angular, Porsche Design-like look of a dummy unit. A presumably mock screenshot also points to a more refined media player than either on BlackBerry 7 or on the PlayBook.
Tests show PowerVR SGX544 graphics
Samsung may be readying an upgraded version of its Galaxy Nexus handset with a faster processor. Tests using the benchmark tool NenaMark reference a mystery device that is powered by PowerVR SGX 544 graphics components, which are tied to TI's latest 1.8GHz OMAP4470 processor.
Notion Ink CEO Rohan Shraven offers SoC insight
Notion Ink CEO Rohan Shraven has taken the unusual step of explaining why his Android-based tablet company opted to follow its NVIDIA Tegra 2-powered Adam tablet with a TI OMAP 4 processor for its Adam II . Rather than plumping for the quad-core Tegra 3, Shraven argues that the TI OMAP platform offers Notion Ink certain advantages. As a small vendor, with its limited software and hardware engineering resources, it believed that it could not leverage the NVIDIA Tegra 3 as well as it can the TI OMAP 4, leading to a better implementation for end users.
Droid RAZR MAXX gets confirmed release schedule
Following unintentional slips, Verizon on Tuesday confirmed that the Droid RAZR MAXX will be on shelves this Thursday, January 26. The extra-long lived 4G smartphone will be the new high-end version of the RAZR and carry the 32GB that was cut in half to lower the price for the original design. A RAZR MAXX wil cost $300 on a contract like the original 32GB version.
Notion Ink confirms its next tablet CPU choice
Notion Ink in a update early Saturday Bangalore time uncovered one of the first details of next-generation tablet. Referring to the slate as the Adam II, it plans to use a TI OMAP 4400-series multi-core processor mated with Android 4.0. What clock speed and which exact graphics core weren't mentioned, apart from the video coming through a PowerVR SGX500-series core.
We get to try Huawei's super-slim P1 S flagship
Huawei isn't normally known for high-end phones; usually, it's the company serving the $200 off-contract smartphone to a Chinese resident who might never get a smartphone otherwise. The Ascend P1 S, then, came as something of a surprise at CES this week when it it not only hit a record-breaking 6.7mm (0.26 inches) thickness but became one of the first truly official phones with Android 4.0 beyond the Galaxy Nexus. We gave the P1 S a shakedown at CES; read on for whether it signals a change in Huawei's impact in smartphones.
TI OMAP5 to ARM Cortex-A15
TI has teased its first practical OMAP5 reference hardware. The dual-core, dual-graphics ARM-Cortex A15 device shown to Engadget by VP Remi El-Ouazzane was capable of playing 1080p content at 64 frames per second and ran Android 4.0. The executive anticipated it being fast enough at 800MHz to rival a Cortex-A9 chip at 1.5GHz, overshadowing Apple's A5.
Global roaming coming during 1st half of year
Earlier this week at CES, LG and Motorola unveiled two new phones destined for Verizon's 4G LTE network. Phone Scoop has learned that the two phones, the Motorola Droid 4 and LG Spectrum, will be able to roam globally using GSM as well as CDMA, Verizon's core wireless technology. This capability should be available sometime during the first half of this year.
Motorola preps cheaper Wi-Fi only Xyboard tablets
Motorola has begun taking pre-orders for a Wi-Fi only version of the Xyboard. Losing the Droid name from Verizon, they remain identical on the inside and cost significantly less. The 8.2-inch 16GB and 32GB models cost $400 and $500 respectively, while climbing to 10.1 inches adds another $100 to the cost.
Verizon and Best Buy caught by Droid 4 delay
The last-minute delay of the Motorola Droid 4 was inadvertently confirmed after a pair of sightings. Visting the Best Buy Reward Zone shows a picture of a bonus point giveaway with the unannounced Android slider clearly in view. Separately, a scrape of the DroidDoes.com page by a Droid-Life tipster has produced audio samples that showed Verizon had already prepared at least some of a Droid 4 page.
Designer phone ships with dock and Prada bag
LG will begin shipping its designer Prada Phone by LG 3.0 Android 2.3 smartphone in South Korea on January 5. LG had officially announced the phone earlier this month. Although not shipping until January, the phone will be available for pre-order on Thursday.
CUPP PunkThis makes dual Android, Windows tablets
CUPP Computing has shown off a new version of its PunkThis board that could lead to tablets with both Android and Windows without compromising both. Taking residence inside an ASUS Eee Slate, the board tested by Engadget would replace the 2.5-inch SATA drive with a full Android device with a 1GHz TI OMAP3730 processor, 512MB of RAM, its own Wi-Fi, and Android 2.3.4. A mini PCIe slot would provide room for a solid-state drive to give storage to the Windows side.
Archos now selling 35 Home Connect radio for $150
The Archos 35 Home Connect Internet radio introduced mid-year has now gone on sale. The Android-powered device uses Wi-Fi to access Internet radio stations thanks to the included TuneIn Radio Pro app. There is also a built-in alarm clock, giving users the choice to wake up to nature sounds, an MP3 playlist, or a preselected radio station.
LG Prada phone 3.0 officially outed, prices TBA
As expected, LG and Prada's upcoming handset has been shown off on Wednesday. The details confirm many of those leaked earlier. Along with its 4.3-inch Nova Plus screen, it gets a Prada-based texture on the back, its own docking station, and a matching Prada bag.
Droid Xyboard cleared to sell early
Verizon followed up on the end of its LTE outage by starting sales of the Motorola Droid Xyboard. The 8.2- and 10.1-inch Android tablets are available to buy online as of Friday and should be in physical stores on Monday. Prices start at $430 for the Xyboard 8.2 with 16GB and 4G on a contract, and $530 for the similarly-equipped Xyboard 10.1.
BlackBerry Milan to be BB10 Torch sequel
RIM's rumored BlackBerry Milan may have solidifed after details and a conceptual rendering appeared Wednesday. The BlackBerry 10 phone is now thought by CrackBerry sources to be a vertical QWERTY slider much like the Torch 9800 series. As described, it would have some angular elements like the London but would have more of the signature black, with all of the dedicated hardware buttons and trackpad of a current BlackBerry removed in favor of, presumably, bezel gestures.
Most Likely rebranded Xoom 2 Media Edition
Motorola has submitted a new LTE-enabled tablet to the FCC for approval. The device supports CDMA/EDVO and the LTE band used by Verizon. This gives rise to speculation that this is the Xoom 2 Media Edition which the carrier will be selling in the US as the 8.2-inch version of the Droid Xyboard.
NVIDIA goal of 25m Tegra 2s not met
A shortfall in NVIDIA's chip sales could be a sign of problems for both the Tegra 3 and for Android as a whole. Purported insiders claimed to Digitimes that the chip designer wouldn't make a target of 25 million Tegra 2 processors shipped. Difficulty getting more wins away in smartphones from Qualcomm's Snapdragon were a problem, but the inability of Android tablets to compete with the iPad was also supposedly impacting numbers.
Flash also increased to 16GB
Archos has begun shipping a high performance version of its 10.1-inch Android tablet. The 101 G9 Turbo upgrades the dual-core TI OMAP4 processor from 1GHz to 1.2GHz. Also new is the storage, doubling to 16GB.
Verzo Kinzo phone price drops, GPS model added
The recently introduced Verzo Kinzo Android phone has just received a price cut after getting customer feedback. Kinzo has also now broken up the device into two models, with one basic option and another paired with an offline navigation package. The basic phone gets a price cut to $349, while the Plus GPS model is $384.
Galaxy Nexus 1st Android to beat iPhone 4S in web
IHS iSuppli delivers final Kindle Fire cost study
IHS iSuppli revised its earlier cost breakdown for the Amazon Kindle Fire to a lower figure in a more final estimate that showed Amazon was still taking a loss on each device sold. While it's now expected to cost just $201.70 to make, that still told AllThingsD the $199 Android tablet was losing Amazon money on each sale, even before factoring in shipping and other costs. A look at the final product showed that there were cost savings even beyond what had been expected, including on the inside.
Amazon Kindle Fire dissected by iFixit
A new teardown of the Amazon Kindle Fire has shown a relatively easy device to fix. Netting an eight out of ten score from iFixit, the Android tablet had an easy-open back and could use just one Philips screwdriver to get to nearly every fastener. Amazon was also shrewd in keeping the amount of glued-together components to a minimum, making it cheaper to replace the LCD, battery, or mainboard without having to swap multiple parts at once.
BlackBerry London possibly seen live
RIM's first BBX phone may have been spotted in an as-yet unverified leak. The phone seen by The Verge, picking up a previously only hinted at codename, would take its visual cues from the angular, metal-clad Porsche Design P'9981. The design would reportedly be thinner than an iPhone 4S and as thin as the Galaxy S II.
Virgin Mobile first Canadian Galaxy Nexus carrier
(Update: Bell too) Virgin Mobile jumped the gun Monday to become the first Canadian carrier to officially commit to the Galaxy Nexus. A pre-order page now lets Canadians sign up for the Android 4.0 flagship, which the carrier has narrowed down to a launch in early December. It didn't give pricing, but it expects the phone to get a discount through its SuperTab plans, including a promo plan for $70 per month with just 200 minutes but 6GB of data and unlimited weekends and evenings from 6PM.
Verzo ships Kinzo phone with Android 2.2 for $459
Czech and American company Verzo has now officially outed its Kinzo smartphone after teasing it this summer. The luxury handset was designed by Novague, also based in the Czech Republic. As is commonly the case with such devices, the phone gives up technical power compared to most modern smartphones, which often carry smaller price tags, although not by as much as others.
Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet goes beyond e-readers
Barnes & Noble is planning to drop its claims of focusing only on reading and attack the tablet market more directly, a slew of leaks confirmed to Android Central late Thursday. Its November 7 event will see it roll out the Nook Tablet, the rumored high-end model. Although it will still have the Nook Color's heavily customized Android interface, it will carry a much faster dual-core, 1.2GHz TI OMAP processor with 1GB of RAM, similar to Motorola's Xoom 2, and 16GB of storage with a microSDHC slot.
Motorola Xoom 2 and Xoom 2 ME hit Europe first
Motorola provided a surprise quick reboot of its tablet strategy with fast launches of the 10-inch Xoom 2 and 8.2-inch Xoom 2 Media Edition. Both make amends for the bulky design of the original and are much thinner, in the full Xoom 2's case having exactly the same 8.8mm thickness as the iPad 2. They also tackle the low-quality original Xoom display with brighter, more color-rich LCDs, including a much wider 178-degree viewing angle on the Media Edition.
Xoom 2 ME launch pegged in Irish ad
The Irish branch of Carphone Warehouse has inadvertently spoiled Motorola's plans for a stepped up launch of the Xoom 2 Media Edition. A leak Tuesday through Engadget had the 8.2-inch tablet reaching the island nation before Christmas. At €400 ($547) for a 16GB Wi-Fi model, however, the Android 3.2 slate will be priced relatively close to slightly larger tablets like the €479 iPad 2 ($655).
Motorola Droid 4 seen live for first time
Motorola's rumored Maserati, better known as the Droid 4, has been spotted live for the first time. The design seen by Droid-Life, which should finally bring LTE-based 4G to Motorola's keyboarded phones, takes clear style cues from the Droid RAZR and may be as thin or thinner than the Droid 3. The phone would go on to bring MOTOACTV syncing, suggesting that it would be ready out of the box to post running results as soon as it's paired up.
Motorola Droid RAZR gets special pre-order tactic
Verizon on Wednesday outlined a special strategy for pre-orders of the upcoming Motorola Droid RAZR. Its extra-thin Android option will be available to pre-order on Thursday from an uncharacteristically specific 8AM. All pre-orders should ship by November 10 at the latest.
Motorola Admiral first Android on Direct Connect
Sprint put its first real smartphone on its Direct Connect push to talk network Thursday by confirming the Motorola Admiral. A A spiritual heir to the XPRT and Droid Pro, the Android 2.3 phone keeps the 3.1-inch display (at a higher VGA resolution) and BlackBerry-like form but is upgraded to keep in step. The phone now has a faster 1.2GHz single-core TI OMAP processor, and MIL-810G military-grade hardening against dust, water, shock, and temperature.
Google slips Galaxy Nexus Verizon model early
Google's Romain Guy in an early morning Google+ update inadvertently pre-announced Verizon's edition of the Galaxy Nexus. While showing photos of the setup used to record time-lapse movies for the unveiling, he displayed the Android 4.0 leader clearly showing Verizon's "4G LTE" logo on the back. Samsung and Google had promised some LTE versions, but neither they nor Verizon has made it public.
Google and Samsung make Nexus
Google and Samsung at their joint Hong Kong event unveiled the Galaxy Nexus. The new flagship is the first Android 4.0 phone and is a showcase for the platform: it drops physical navigation buttons in favor of all touch and borrows the visual multitasking as well as other elements. Google+ is now built into a Windows Phone-like People Hub, and the NFC inside can now be used to share data between phones through Android Beam.
Galaxy Nexus gets Android 4 walkthrough pre-event
Less than two hours before it's unveiled, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has been given a video tour (below) by a German poster. The clip shows much of the Android 4.0 interface seen earlier but does give a few new details. Among the slips are a confirmation of the back and that most countries will get it under its i9250 model name.