Indonesia is making demands similar to those made by Saudi Arabia, UAE and India; it wants RIM (Research in Motion) to install local servers through which the user data is routed so that it can have access to all the encrypted emails.
RIM is in a very tight spot right now, if it acquiesces to the request of any one country, it will have to comply with every country’s request. It has stated that it won’t compromise on its security features. It has agreed to provide user codes to the Saudi authorities that will allow them to access the encrypted information.
Indonesia has more than 1.2 million subscribers. Blackberry is facing fire from all quarters — Android and Apple are gaining marketshare while it is busy trying to pacify multiple governments. Even its stock has been hammered down by about 5%.
Google is on an acquisition spree right now. After the official announcement that it had acquired Slide, there has been speculation that it has now acquired Jambool, a social gaming monetization startup for about $70 million.
Jambool runs Social Gold, a virtual goods monetization platform which enables developers to manage their own virtual currency in their games. It also allows developers to get detailed analytics about your in-game virtual economies. Social Gold is used by many online games; but it was hit hard by the launch of Facebook Credits, the official virtual currency of Facebook.
Jambool was founded by Vikas Gupta and Reza Hussein, two Indian developers who were previously working at Amazon.
Google is desperate to crack the social networking market and social gaming is probably the best way to do it. It has reportedly set its sights on Facebook and is planning to launch a Facebook competitor codenamed “Google Me”.
Tata DOCOMO seems to have taken its slogan “Do the New” quite seriously. After “Pay Per Second” calling plans, it has now announced “Pay Per Site” GPRS data plans.
You can now buy GPRS packs which allow you to pay a fixed rate per site, every month. It is aimed at those who surf only a few sites from their mobiles and want to pay for only those. You can browse a single website for Rs 10/month with 200 MB free usage and 1 p/KB after that. You can also choose to buy a combo pack of Rs. 25/month for multiple sites with 500 MB free usage and 1p/KB after that.
You can choose bundles from various categories of sites: social networking ones like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Orkut; email websites like Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Rediff; or chat messengers like Gtalk, Yahoo or Nimbuzz.
Pay per Site is a potent market disruptor, that aims at enabling an innovative service in the Data market; offering customers the power to decide on what they surf the most and purchase packs’ suited and tailored to that specific need. Tapping into the huge potential that is today offered by Social Networking and Emailing/Instant Messaging, Pay Per Site aims to offer customers the choice to DO’ what they like and pay for it alone,said Mr. Rishi Malhotra, Head of VAS, Tata DOCOMO.
To activate “Pay Per Site” GPRS packs, you can dial *141# or send an SMS to 141 with the keyword “MY SITE”. You can also activate it by the Tata DOCOMO Dive In Zone or by visiting the Tata DOCOMO website.
In my opinion, this is a not a very consumer-friendly idea. Service providers should be providing their users with better, cheaper, unlimited GPRS plans with no restrictions in order to encourage mobile internet usage; not roll out such restrictive plans which allow users access to only specific sites.
The Acer beTouch E110 was first unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, earlier this year. There hasn’t been any major announcement about it since; but it has just been spotted at Flipkart.
It is available for Rs. 8999 which makes it India’s cheapest Android phone. The pricing is really smart and it has some good hardware which makes it a good deal. With the Acer E110 beTouch, Android is now creeping into Symbian’s traditional stronghold of sub 10k smartphones.
Here are some detailed specifications of the Acer beTouch E110.
Acer beTouch E110 Specifications
Dimensions: 103.5 x 54 x 13.4 mm
Weight: 105 gms
Display: 2.8 inch TFT resistive touchscreen display, 240 x 320 pixels, 65k colors
Processor: ST Ericsson PNX6715 416MHz
RAM: 256 MB RAM
Memory: 256 MB ROM; up to 16 GB microSD support
Operating System: Android 1.5
Camera: 3.15 MP camera, 2048 x 1536 pixels
Connectivity: GPRS, EDGE, 3G, Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP, GPS with A-GPS
Radio: FM Radio with RDS
Battery: Li-ion battery, 1500 mAh
The specifications are a bit outdated but you cannot ask for much more considering its price. The Acer E110 beTouch is aimed at Android fans with a low budget.
The Blackberry Curve 3G 9300 had been leaked quite some time back; it is the successor to the Blackberry Curve 8520 but comes with 3G.
Today, Research in Motion has officially unveiled the Blackberry Curve 3G 9300.
It is an affordable Blackberry aimed at budget users and will have some decent hardware specs.
It is a quad-band GSM phone which comes with a 2.4 inch TFT display (320 x 240 pixels, 65k colors) and a QWERTY keypad. It also has a 2 MP camera and comes with all the basic connectivity options: GPRS, EDGE, 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and GPS with A-GPS. It has 256 MB internal memory and supports microSD cards up to 32 GB.
It will be powered by a 1150 mAh Li-ion battery. It will also support the new Blackberry 6 OS.
The boys over at BGR have come across some interesting information about Verizon’s 2010-2011 roadmap. It has a great deal of juicy tidbits about the various releases on Verizon’s network in the coming year.
Motorola is set to launch a new Android handset, the Motorola Droid Pro, which has a 1.3 GHz CPU and a 4 inch touchscreen display by November 2010.
Motorola will also launch a QWERTY phone running Android 2.2 which will look like the old Motorola Q but will have a touchscreen and the MotoBLUR interface.
There will be more Android releases by Samsung and HTC in the coming year.
Samsung will launch a 7 inch Android tablet, presumably the Galaxy Tab, on Verizon’s network.
Motorola will also launch a 10 inch Android tablet with a 1.3 GHz CPU which will be powered by Android 3.0.
After releasing one-click-root methods for the Motorola Droid X and the Samsung Galaxy S, the XDA developers community has now released a new app which allows you to root your Nexus One with just one click. The method used is the same as the one used to root the Droid X.
The best thing about the UniversalAndRoot app is that it works with many Android phones. Here is a list of the phones it supports
Google Nexus One (2.2)
HTC Hero (2.1)
HTC Magic (1.5)
Dell Streak (2.1)
Motorola Milestone (2.1)
Motorola XT800 (2.1)
Sony Ericsson X10 (1.6)
Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro (1.6)
Acer Liquid (2.1)
Vibo A688 (1.6)
It doesn’t work with the Galaxy S, Droid X or the HTC Desire, but the devs are working on it.
Skype has filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) with the SEC today. The Luxembourg based company will be offering American Depository Shares and will trade on NASDAQ.
It aims to raise about $100 million through the IPO. The IPO will be managed by Goldman Sachs, J. P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley. The initial price band or the number of shares on offer haven’t been revealed yet.
A 65% stake of Skype was sold to private investors by eBay last year at a $2.75 billion valuation. It is fast turning profitable and had revenues of $406 million in the first half of 2010 with a net income of close to $13 million. It has 124 million monthly active users with 8.1 million of them paying to use the service.
Windows Phone 7 hasn’t excited the major phone manufacturers yet, and we have seen just a few announcements about it yet. Last week, images of an Asus phone running WP7 surfaced in Pakistan, but that was about it.
With the HTC Schubert, it looks like we may see some WP7 action soon.
It seems to have a unibody design like the HTC Legend and seems quite compact. The display looks like a 3.5 or 3.7 inch TFT and it has a camera with flash. No other details are out yet; but we will keep you updated.
Details and specifications of AT&T’s new Samsung Flight II A927 have leaked on Samsung’s site. It is a QWERTY enabled phone which is aimed at heavy texters. It has a nice design and decent hardware specifications.
Samsung Flight II A927 Specifications
Dimension: 4.4 x 2.1 x 0.5 inches
Weight: 3.5 ounces
Display: 3 inch touchscreen display, 240 x 400 Pixels, 262K colors
Operating System: Proprietary
Camera: 2 MP camera, 1600 x 1200 pixels
Memory: 512 MB internal memory; 16 GB microSD card support
Connectivity: GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
USB: MicroUSB 2.0 connectivity
GPS: GPS transceiver with A-GPS
It will also support AT&T’s Mobile TV and will have widgets for Twitter, Facebook etc. It should launch soon. Pricing details haven’t been revealed yet.
T-Mobile just released its quarterly results and things are not looking very good for them based on the Q2 data. They have reported revenues of $4.70 billion, up from $4.63 billion in Q1. The operating income is also $1.42 billion, up from $1.39 billion in Q1.
However, they have also lost around 93,000 subscribers in Q2, which is much higher than the 77,000 they lost in Q1. Customers are shifting to AT&T and Verizon’s network as they offer much better phone options. With the launch of the Samsung Vibrant (Galaxy S) on T Mobile’s network, the subscriber attrition rate is expected to reduce in the next quarter.
T-Mobile USA now serves about 33.6 million customers; but the number just keeps reducing every quarter. One way they can retain many of their customers and even add some more is by snagging a deal with Apple for the iPhone 4 on their network.
Close on the heels of Google’s announcement that nearly 200,000 Android devices are now being shipped per day, the Symbian foundation today issued a release which states that over 300,000 Symbian devices are being shipped every day (with around 27 million devices in the last quarter), 50% more than the number of Android devices.
“These figures make for very positive news for the Symbian community. The smartphone market place has become more crowded than ever. So the fact we continue to outsell our competitors by such large margins, combined with all the feature commitments and developments published on our roadmaps, make us highly confident in our outlook and we will continue to embrace the challenges ahead.” said Lee M. Williams, Executive Director of Symbian.
Android may now be the leading OS in the US market, but it might be a long time before it overtakes Symbian in worldwide sales. Symbian smartphones are mostly priced in the budget segment while Android smartphones are priced relatively high.
Symbian has now mostly been relegated to the sidelines while Android and iOS take the smartphone war to the next level. Even Nokia will move to the MeeGo platform for its high end devices now; the Nokia N8 will probably be the last major Symbian release in the high end segment.
Tata Teleservices Limited has announced the launch of the new Tata Photon Wi-Fi Router. It allows you to connect multiple devices to a single device and connect to the internet using Wi-Fi through a single internet connection. It offers broadband Internet access speeds up to 3.1 MBps.
The Tata Photon Wi-Fi Router also comes with a RJ45 Ethernet port which allows you to connect the device to your PC. You can instantly access your internet connection on your Wi-Fi enabled smartphone, laptop or tablet.
It will be available in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore at an introductory price of Rs. 4999.
TTSL has always believed in introducing innovative products and solutions in the telecom industry, with the objective continually upgrading the telecom experience of our subscribers. Our latest offering – Tata Photon Wi-Fi Pocket Router -reaffirms that commitment, making connectivity easy and relevant for a cross-section of user categories. This portable device marks a breakthrough in the Wi-Fi space and is yet another first-of-its-kind product in the country,he added.” said Mr. Anil Sardana, Managing Director of Tata Teleservices Limited.
Research in Motion (RIM) has officially launched the Blackberry Torch 9800. Details of the new Blackberry Torch are now up on AT&T’s site. It will run on the new Blackberry 6 OS and offers some great hardware specifications.
It will have a 3.2 inch touchscreen display with a sliding QWERTY keypad. The display will have a resolution of 480 x 360 pixels. It will also have a new revamped web browser, presumably a Webkit based one. It will also integrate all major social networks like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace and will offer the Blackberry Email service.
In terms of connectivity, it has almost everything you would need: GPRS, EDGE, 3G, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n etc. It will also have a 5 MP camera with autofocus and flash.
The Blackberry Torch will have 512 MB RAM and 4 GB flash memory. It will come with a 4 GB microSD card. It is powered by a 1300 mAh Li-ion battery. More details will be added soon.
In the true spirit of open source, Motorola has released the source code of the Droid X. It has been available for a few days now.
Android is an open source OS but few manufacturers who build their own customizations on top of Android have released their code. We just hope that others take a cue from Motorola and start releasing their source code soon.
It will help not only modders and hackers but also the phone users in the long run.