iPhone 4S will Officially Launch in China and 21 Other Countries on Jan 13

The iPhone 4S might not be the radical new handset that pundits were expecting from Apple, but it is still more than good enough to set the market on fire. The 4S, which sold 4 million units within just three days of release, was in heavy demand throughout the holiday season. And, it is nowhere near being done yet.

What makes Apple’s stupendous success even more mind boggling is that unlike most of its competitors, the 4S isn’t even available in several markets including China. But, this is about to change very soon. Apple will launch the 4S in China and 21 other markets on January 13. This means that the 4S will be just in time for the Chinese holiday season, with the Chinese New Year falling on January 23rd.


Customer response to our products in China has been off the charts,said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. With the launch in China next week, iPhone 4S will be available in over 90 countries making this our fastest iPhone rollout ever.

The other markets where the iPhone 4S will be launching next Friday are:
Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, Guam, Guinea Conakry, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Niger, Senegal, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos and Uganda.

Nokia Lumia 900 Specifications Leak

Nokia is expected to demo the Lumia 900 at CES 2012, which will begin next week. However, information about the hardware specs of Nokia’s next Windows Phone powered flagship has already leaked out.


The Lumia 900 will sport a 4.3-inch WVGA capacitive touch-screen and run Windows 7.5 Mango. Appearance wise, Lumia 900 will stay true to its predecessor’s stunning slim looks. It should be no more than 12 mm thick and weigh about 160 grams. The device which has been codenamed Eloko will have 512MB of RAM, 8 megapixel camera, and a generous 1830mAh battery. The specs are pretty much in line with what was expected, but in someways a shade below what most Android handsets offer.

The LTE compatible Lumia 900 will launch on the AT&T network as Nokia Ace. Rumored launch date is March 18, but we wouldn’t bet on that. With Lumia 900, Nokia is simply improving upon the good work done with the N9 and the Lumia 800. Will that be enough to challenge the onslaught of new Android handsets that are expected to be annoucned at CES and MWC is something that we will have to wait to find out.

Smartphone Platforms: Google Consolidates on Its Lead, RIM and Microsoft Slip Further

Android went from strength to strength in 2011, as Microsoft struggled to play catchup and RIM fumbled, suggests a new report by comScore. At the end of November, Android accounted for 46.9% of smartphones in the US, which is a 3.1% increase from August. Apple’s iOS is the only smartphone OS that is still offering some sort of a fight to Android. It gained 1.4% user share in the past three months to finish with 28.7% user share. Unsurprisingly, the biggest looser was RIM, which slid by 3.1% to 16.6%. Microsoft and Symbian were also amongst the losers.


Samsung was the top device manufacturer with 25.6% market share. LG, Motorola, Apple, and RIM were the other brands featuring in the top five. ComScore surveyed 30,000 phone (smartphones as well as dumbphones) owners in the US for the report.


Although, Samsung was the top handset manufacturer, it registered only 0.3% growth, while LG, Motorola and RIM lost marketshare. Apple was the only mobile phone manufacturer to register significant growth with a gain of 1.4%.

Based on its current growth trajectory, Android should manage to conquer more than half of the smartphone market pretty soon. However, it’s worth noting that Android’s growth isn’t coming at the cost of its biggest competitor – the iOS. iPhones are still selling like hotcakes, as Apple continues to be one of the few OEMs registering growth in the smartphone segment.

Gameloft Offers All Android Games for $0.99

Steam is rocking the PC gaming community with its spectacular holiday sale. However, mobile gaming aficionados need not feel left out. Gameloft is planning to kick off the new year with a massive discount on its Android games. All games, with the exception of the recently released Modern Combat 3, will be available for 99 cents on the Android Market for one week.


December is turning out to be a good month for Android users as Google gave away scores of popular apps for 10 cents, Getjar offered hundred hot apps for free, and EA heavily discounted some of its popular titles. Gameloft’s portfolio includes everything from racing blockbusters like the Asphalt series and action games like Nova and Backstab to sports games like NFL and Let’s Golf. Typically Gameloft games can cost up to seven bucks; however, beginning tomorrow, all paid Gameloft games will be available for just $0.99. The sale will last till January 5. Modern Combat 3, which is exempt from the sale, will also be available for 99 cents at some point during the week. Recombu has confirmed that this sale isn’t US only, and all the games will be available in the UK for 69p.

Qihoo, Kaspersky, and Avira Top New Android Security Product Shootout

Mobile security is still a nascent market, but most security vendors have already begun investing significantly in an attempt to gain an early lead. Android with its unregulated Market and regular malware scares probably represents the most lucrative platform for security vendors. All the big names including Avira, Kaspersky, McAfee, and Norton have their own Android security solutions. PC Securities Lab has tested twenty of them on a sample set of 251 malwares.

The top performer was Qihoo’s 360 Mobile Safe that correctly identified 236 threats and returned no false positives. Kaspersky and Avast followed with 228 and 227 detections respectively. Qihoo, which managed to edge out more well-known global players, is China’s leading mobile security vendor with more than 40% market share. It’s worth noting that PCSL is also based in China, and it is possible that their sample set had a significant number of local threats that could have given 360 Mobile an edge. The detailed report, which is expected to be published later this week, could shed some light on the sample set.

Popular products like Lookout, Norton, ESET, and Webroot chose to be anonymous, which is just as well because most of them found themselves in the bottom half of the list. The results summary is below.


Opera Reveals Mobile Web’s Top Websites

Social Media websites, whose very existence is threatened by SOPA, were amongst the biggest gainers in 2011, suggests a report published by Opera Software. The latest edition of Opera’s monthly State of the Mobile Web report, which is generated using aggregated information obtained from Opera Mini servers, takes a look at the top mobile websites at the end of 2011.

Unsurprisingly, Google Search topped the list, while Facebook held on to its position as runners-up. Wikipedia, Blogger, Spaces, Twitter and YouTube were amongst the gainers this year. Predictably enough, Wapdam, Orkut, Detik and Live vanished from the top 20, while Yahoo fell by a couple of spots. The top ten mobile websites, as reported by Opera are:

  1. google.com
  2. facebook.com
  3. youtube.com (up 1)
  4. vkontakte.ru (down 1)
  5. odnoklassniki.ru
  6. yandex.ru
  7. wikipedia.org (up 4)
  8. my.opera.com
  9. yahoo.com (down 2)
  10. twitter.com (up 2)

Opera Mini itself experienced a year-on-year growth of 80.6%. It finished November 2011 with 144.6 million users, a 3.3% increase from October. Opera Mini users viewed over 88.5 billion pages, which would have normally generated 13.2 petabytes of traffic. However, thanks to its server side compression algorithm, Opera Mini managed to reduce network traffic to less than 1.5 petabytes.


Most of Opera Mini’s growth came from Latin America and Africa. Asia, where Opera Mini has always been popular, continued to display impressive growth, but North America once again proved to be a tough nut to crack.

Hide your Phone from your Kids; Disney Introduces Four New Mobile Games

Disney Interactive Media Group, India has unveiled a brand new and exciting menu of four mobile games. The four multi-genre Disney games – Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides, The Legend of G-Sword, Brain Gain, and Typhoon Riders – will be available across all the leading mobile phone carriers and can also be downloaded via the Disney WAP site: m.disney.in

Priced at INR 50 each, these games have been developed in India. For each game downloaded, player will get an additional Disney game at no extra cost. Disney Interactive Media Group (DIMG), a segment of The Walt Disney Company, is responsible for the global creation and delivery of interactive entertainment, multi-platform video games, and lifestyle content across all current and emerging digital media platforms.

Brain GainPirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger TidesThe Legend of G-SwordTyphoon Riders


Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

This official 2D mobile game embarks you as Capt. Jack Sparrow on a quest to find the mystical fountain of youth and come across Blackbeard, the deadliest pirate of the sea. This action adventure game spans you across the plot of the official movie which introduces you to key characters and different locations.

The Legend of G-Sword

This action packed game takes the players into the real Ninja World. The players get to fight against the Dragon Snake, powerful and evil Ninja Gijanosho Eji’ who has only one motive in mind to conquer the Ninjutsu World, his Dark Disciple, and flying creatures.

Brain Gain

Brain Gain is   a complete package of brain games with cute characters and environments. It allows you to test focus and memory power while playing with jumping frogs, puzzles, zooming cars, and counting bees. Brain Gain is an exciting way to sharpen the brain and be smarter than your friends. This game also gives an opportunity to achieve a high score and be a Disney Certified Brain Gain Champ!

Typhoon Riders

The ultimate motorbike racing game, Typhoon Riders, requires the player to race against a motorcycle gang to get to the top and take the ring leader’s place. The players get to earn money, buy new bikes, and use the Typhoon feature to take out any opponents on the road.

World of Goo Lands on Android

After conquering the PC, Mac, Wii and the iOS market, 2D Boy’s World of Goo is ready to rock the Android world. World of Goo burst onto the scene in 2008 and garnered rave reviews thanks to its simple but addictive and smart gameplay, storytelling, and visual design.


World of Goo for Android is a massive 47 MB download, which will undoubtedly annoy many users. However, once you get the installation out of the way, it’s all smooth sailing. If you have played World of Goo before, it will be a familiar experience. However, the game’s re-playability ensures that everyone will be able to get their money’s worth.

The objective of the game is extremely simple. In each level you are provided with different kinds of balls of goo. You have to use these balls to build a structure for carrying unused goo balls to the destination pipe. Each level involves a different terrain, and you often have to use your wits to surmount hills, cross valleys, and scale walls.

Unlike most other popular games (Angry Birds, Cut the Rope etc.), World of Goo has decided to skimp the ad-supported free version. Instead 2D Boy wants Android users, who typically spend less than iOS users, to shell out $4.99 for the game. However, World of Goo will be available at a special launch price of $2.99 until December 4.

[ Download World of Goo | Demo ]

Google Updates Maps for Android to v6, Launches Indoor Mapping Project

Now that Google has managed to map most of the places across the world in a fair amount of detail, it has set its eyes upon conquering the next frontier – indoor navigation. Yes, I am not kidding. Google wants to map notable indoor locations like airports and retail stores to provide floor by floor navigation to users. With that goal in mind, it has released a new version of Maps for Android that is fine tuned for indoor navigation.

Google Maps is launching indoor navigation with floor plans for a few dozen airports and retail locations in the US and Japan. The list of supported locations in the States include Mall of America, IKEA, The Home Depot, select Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. “We’re thrilled Google Maps continues to provide you with new and helpful perspectives—whether you’re rushing through the airport or finding your way around a mall”, wrote Brian McClendon, VP of Engineering, Google Earth and Map.

Besides introducing indoor maps, Google Maps 6 also features a couple of other improvements. The Places user interface has been revamped, and it now helpfully lists your frequent searches on the home screen, besides featuring direct Latitude check-in integration. The Maps user interface has also been tweaked slightly to accommodate floor selector for indoor mapping, and convenient switching between common features.

The updated Google Maps is available for download in the Market.


Sabeer Bhatia of Hotmail Fame Launches New Messaging App

Sabeer Bhatia, the serial entrepreneur from India who became a household name back in the late nineties with Hotmail’s meteoric rise, has been trying hard to repeat his success, but his later projects like Arzoo and BlogEverywhere flopped spectacularly in spite of plenty of initial hype. Nevertheless, not being the one to give up, he is back again with a new product. Bhatia believes that his new venture called Jaxtr, launched in partnership with Yogesh Patel, has the potential to be as disruptive and popular as Hotmail, which pioneered the email revolution.


JaxtrSMS is a free mobile texting app that is launching with support for a wide range of platforms including Android, iOS, Blackberry, Symbian, and Java. Free texting apps are dime a dozen these days, and Jaxtr is entering a fairly competitive and crowded space. Giants such as RIM, Google, and Facebook are tugging it out with newcomers like Kik and WhatsApp. However, Jaxtr has one feature that almost all of its competitors lack – support for SMS. Jaxtr works for all your contacts, no matter where they are in the world and what phone they are using. If the receiver has Jaxtr installed then he will instantly receive your message through app to app delivery. If he doesn’t have Jaxtr installed, then he will receive a standard SMS message. Although I can’t vouch for Jaxtr’s claims of complete worldwide coverage, it did work for the Indian carriers that I tested.


Jaxtr’s user interface varies significantly across platforms. I took the Android version of Jaxtr for a spin. Although the color combination is rather distracting (the iPhone app is offensively ugly), the interface feels intuitive and familiar. However, there are a couple of annoyances that might put off users. Jaxtr transparently attaches an annoying ad (self-promotion) to every SMS sent through it, and it doesn’t provide delivery reports. On a couple of occasions, the SMS didn’t actually get delivered even though Jaxtr marked it as sent. If Jaxtr wishes to be taken seriously, it needs to sort out these two issues. However, it is undoubtedly the most promising product that we have seen in recent times from Bhatia.