Facebook And HTC Unveils ‘First’ Smartphone; Coming To AT&T On April 12

Today, Facebook finally unveiled the much-awaited Facebook Home, which is basically a home screen launcher for Android smartphones. At the same event, HTC and Facebook announced the new HTC First smartphone. It is the first device that has been optimized for Facebook Home. HTC First will be exclusively available for AT&T and EE customers in the US and UK respectively.

Peter Chou, CEO, HTC Corporation, said,
“HTC has a track record of providing beautiful hardware design, and of being first-to-market with smartphone innovations. The HTC First continues that track record, providing AT&T customers with a unique home experience that puts a user’s friends and family at the center of their mobile experience.”

htc_first

HTC First features a 4.3 inch touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, 1.4 GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) OS, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, HD (720p) video recording, full HD (1080p) video playback, 1.6 megapixel front-facing camera for video chat and so on.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, FM Radio with RDS, WiFi 801.11 a/b/g/n, 4G LTE Connectivity, 1 GB RAM, 16 GB internal memory, NFC (Near Field Communication), Bluetooth 4.0, Google Play Store, up to 14.3 hours of talk-time, up to 18.2 hours of standby time and a 2000 mAh battery.

HTC First is currently up for pre-order at AT&T. This handset will go on sale from April 12 for just $99.99 with a two year service agreement. To pre-order the HTC First, head over to this page.

Here’s What The New Facebook Phone Will Look Like [Leaked Photos]

All eyes are on tomorrow’s mysterious event in which Facebook is all set to launch a specialized Android phone at its headquarters. 9to5Google has posted photos of what we might see tomorrow at the launch event.

The Twitter account @evleaks tweeted with a new image of a phone that renders as the “HTC First,” supposedly the phone that Facebook will be launching tomorrow. The latest images showcase the basic Android UI that includes a bar with options to access to status updates, photo sharing and check-in feature. We have already reported the rumored specs of the HTC First earlier today.

HTC First Colors

Facebook HTC First

Speaking about the UI in the images, it surprising looks similar to the Android Vanilla.  The leaked images show the stock Gallery, Camera, Phone and Settings apps, along with Google apps like Search, Chrome and the Play Store.

The new Android phone is heavily customized to use Facebook Home as the home screen with default actions from taking pictures to texting friends. Facebook will formally announce Facebook Home and the First at a press event at its Menlo Park headquarters on April 4.

Besides the Facebook Home Android launcher, what else is Facebook planning to bring up? Well, for that we need to wait until tomorrow. Stay tuned!

[via]

AT&T And Sprint Getting The HTC One On April 19th From $199.99

Today, HTC has finally announced the pre-order, release date and the pricing of the its latest flagship — the One — on two major U.S carriers, Sprint and AT&T.

Both the carriers will start selling the One from April 19th via their retail stores or website with the 32GB variant coming in at $199.99 with a two-year contract. As rumored earlier, AT&T has managed to snag an exclusive on the 64GB variant of the One, and will sell it for $249.99 on a two-year contract.

htc_one

AT&T will start taking pre-orders for the HTC One from April 4th, while Sprint will start taking them from 5th April. T-Mobile is now the only carrier left in the United States that is yet to announce its pricing and release date of the One. Verizon will not be selling the HTC One under its network, but it is widely expected that the HTC will release a modified variant of the One under Verizon’s sometime soon.

With a hard release date of April 19th, HTC has managed to beat the Galaxy S4 to the market in the United States. The pre-orders for the Galaxy S4 start from April 16th, with the handset being available only by the end of the month.

HTC Desire P Launched In Taiwan

We have already posted the leaked pics and specs of the Android powered HTC Desire P. Today, the Taiwanese mobile phone manufacturer finally launched this handset in its home country. HTC Desire P runs on the old Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System with HTC Sense 4.1 on top of it. HTC has promised to roll out the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update in the coming months.

htc_desire_p

HTC Desire P features a 4.3 inch Super LCD 2 touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, HTC Sense 4.1 UI, 8 megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, full HD (1080p) video recording and playback and much more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, Beats Audio, Bluetooth 4.0, 768 MB RAM, 4 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB internal memory, 25 GB DropBox cloud storage, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G Connectivity, NFC (Near Field Communication), A-GPS and a 1620 mAh battery.

This handset measures 129.74 x 67.9 x 10.7 mm and weighs 136 grams. HTC Desire P will be exclusively available at Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom. This handset is expected to come with a price tag of $360.

AT&T Gets The 64GB HTC One As An Exclusive In The U.S.

Back in Feburary when HTC unveiled the One, it stated that the handset will be available with two storage options – 32GB and 64GB. Considering that the One does not have a microSD card slot, a 64GB variant will definitely be appreciated by power users and the general consumers alike.

However, it looks like AT&T might have managed to nab the 64GB variant of the One as exclusive in the United States. In a video uploaded on their YouTube account, the carrier highlights twice that the 64GB One is going to be an exclusive on their network. HTC has not yet confirmed this news, but considering that the video has not yet been pulled, the news does seem to be true.

So, this means that Sprint and T-Mobile will be getting the 32GB variant of the handset in the United States. While 32GB of space should be more than enough for majority of the consumers, there will still be a few people for whom the lack of a 64GB option might turn out to be a deal-breaker.

Via – Droid-Life

Facebook Phone, Do You Really Need One?

Rumors about Facebook Phone are back again, however, this time they might be true. With Facebook holding an event on April 4 at its headquarters, inviting the media to “come see our new home on Android,” the question still remains: Does anyone need a Facebook phone and does it actually make any sense?

In the last one year, the Internet was in a state of confusion with rumors surfacing about the Facebook phone. It was said that the phone will be developed by HTC and running a customized version of Android. This, however, has continued to persist till today. On the other hand, Facebook has constantly been denying about building a phone and CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself stated last year that building a whole phone “really wouldn’t make much sense.”

Facebook Phone - Concept Design

However, even if the company is working on a specialized Facebook phone powered by Android, how different would it be from the rest of the smartphones? Not much. According to 9to5Google’s sources, the phone will look a lot like the iPhone 5, and will feature all of Facebook’s services like photo uploading, messaging, contacts integration, and many more. This is pretty much the same what a non-specialized Facebook phone offers. It makes even less sense for users to buy it.

Why Facebook Needs a Phone?

Facebook is currently focusing more towards mobile, and revenue is the only reason I can think why the company will want to have a phone. The company hasn’t figured out a way to monetize the apps and offer mobile ad units to advertisers. With the new Facebook phone, there’s plenty of room for the company to think of generating revenue.

Business for both Facebook and HTC is pretty much clear with the Facebook phone. Facebook on one side wants to boost up its service usage on mobile, and perhaps it even wants its Messenger service to replace normal phone calls and text messages -more advertising opportunities here. HTC on the other side has completely lost its market share in smartphone.

Why Facebook Users Won’t Need a Facebook Phone?

The answer to that question is very obvious. As stated earlier in this article, the Facebook phone will pretty much offer the same services what a current smartphone offers except that it will be branded as a “Facebook phone.”

If a user has a smartphone, he/she probably has Facebook on it already. Facebook is one of the most-downloaded mobile apps in the entire app market. Even if you don’t have a smartphone, you can get access to it.Facebook Dislike

I feel that Facebook is making it hard and is pushing its users to use the social networking site on mobile rather than on a desktop browser. Facebook needs to realize that it is not Twitter where users will frequently put up status updates or post photos on the go.

Today the smartphone market has become saturated. More than 70 percent market share is taken over by Android, and Samsung’s Galaxy phones are selling like hot cakes. The major part of the rest of the market is taken by Apple leaving several other smartphone providers to fight for the third spot. What will HTC and Facebook do about this if they come up with a new phone? I have no idea.

What Must Facebook Do Instead?

What I feel is that Facebook should focus more towards its existing apps. Improvise and optimize them in a better and faster way, and also come up with an idea to monetize them. Alternatively, as many others suggest, a more sensible approach aside from building apps would be to release a custom Android launcher. This will enable users to change the device’s stock home screen and setup a customized home screen.

Facebook LikeFacebook could also think of an app store very much like what Amazon has. Not that they should a build a cloned version of Amazon’s app store or Google Play store, but could build something similar. This will enable mobile application developers to build apps on a deeper level that can interact with Facebook.

Nevertheless, if Facebook comes out with a customized Android phone, then they’re very late for the party. With a crowded mobile market, there’s absolutely no chance of survival unless it stands out from the others.

What do you think about Facebook phone? Do share your views with us in the comments below.

HTC Desire P And Desire Q Specs And Pics Revealed

Last week, it was rumored that HTC will soon announce two new budget smartphones, the Desire P and Desire Q. Today, the official images as well as the specs of these devices were revealed. The mid-range Desire P and Desire Q runs on the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) Operating System. HTC Desire P looks similar to the previously launched Desire SV, while the design of Desire Q is almost similar to Desire X.

htc_desire_p

HTC Desire P comes with a 4.3 inch display, sporting a resolution of 800 x 400 pixels, 1 GHz dual-core processor, HTC Sense UI, Beats Audio technology, 8 megapixel rear camera, VGA front-facing camera for video calls, MicroSD card slot and more. This handset will be available for China Mobile subscribers in red and white colors. HTC Desire P comes with a price-tag of $365.

htc_desire_q

HTC Desire Q features a 4 inch display, 768 MB RAM, Beats Audio and microSD card slot. This handset will first go on sale in Taiwan for just $235. Desire Q will be available in 3 colors – red, white and black. These devices are expected to be launched in other Asian markets including India in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

HTC Ditches Its “Quietly Brilliant” Tagline; Will Shift To A Bolder Marketing Campaign

In a bid to improve its marketing strategy, HTC has decided to retire its “Quietly Brilliant” tag line and instead shift to a “bolder” approach and tagline.

htc-quietly-brilliant

HTC’s latest Marketing Officer, Benjamin Ho, says that the company has “a lot of innovations but we haven’t been loud enough.” Benjamin Ho is HTC’s third Chief Marketing Officer inside two years, and has a lot of work laid out in front of him especially now that the Galaxy S4 and HTC One are going to hit the United States in around the same time.

Ho aims to increase HTC’s digital marketing budget by a whopping 250%, while increasing the traditional marketing budget by 100%.

Regarding the delay of the HTC One, he said that “there is some shortage, because the phone’s camera was designed specifically for us, and production cannot be ramped up so quickly.”

HTC has had a rough two years, and the company is betting all its hope on its latest flagship — the HTC One — to change its fortunes this year.

HTC One To Be Available In All Major Markets Before End Of April

Today, HTC has released an official statement regarding the availability of the One in major markets and its delay. The company states that it “has seen unprecedented demand for and interest in the new HTC One” and will be making the handset available in the UK, Germany and Taiwan next week. Other major markets including Europe, North America and most of Asia-Pacific will get the One “before the end of April.”

HTC_One

“HTC has seen unprecedented demand for and interest in the new HTC One, and the care taken to design and build it is evidenced in early reviews. The new HTC One will roll out in the UK, Germany and Taiwan next week and across Europe, North America and most of Asia-Pacific before the end of April. We appreciate our customers’ patience, and believe that once they have the phone in their hands they will agree that it has been worth the wait.”

When HTC had unveiled the One back in Feb, it had hoped to make the handset available in most markets by March. However, things have not really gone as the Taiwanese maker had planned with delays due to shortage of supplies of the handset’s camera components.

By the time the HTC One will be available in nearly all the major markets, the Samsung Galaxy S4 would have also hit shelves in the major markets, which will definitely make things tough for the Taiwanese maker. While the HTC One may have a better in-hand feel and other nice features compared to the Galaxy S4, it lacks the marketing and brand presence that Samsung’s Galaxy S series enjoy nowadays.

HTC One Developer Edition Announced; Will Be Available In Limited Quantities In The United States

Today, HTC has announced a developer edition of for its upcoming flagship handset, the One. The developer edition of the One will only be available in the United States and will come with an unlocked SIM and bootloader.

The developer edition of the One sports the same specs as the normal One, including a 4.7-inch S-LCD3 display with 1080p display, 2GB of RAM, a Qualcomm 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 SoC, 2GB of RAM, BoomSound, an UltraPixel camera, a metal unibody construction, 64GB of storage space and the usual bunch of connectivity features and sensors including Wi-Fi b/g/n/ac and an IR blaster.

HTC will only be making the developer edition of the One in limited quantities in the United States for a price of $649. You will need a valid US zip-code to even order the device from HTC.

By releasing a developer edition of the One, HTC has followed on the footsteps of Samsung and Motorola. A developer edition also strongly suggests that HTC will be locking down the bootloader on the U.S carrier variants of the One and it may not be unlockable using its web-based bootloader unlocking tool.

HTC needs to realize that developers and enthusiasts are rarely interested in purchasing a developer edition of any handset for development purposes. Also, if they do not provide allow bootloader unlocking on the U.S carrier variants of the One, they will be literally shooting themselves in the foot.