Amazon Is Planning To Launch Its Own Smartphone

The year 2012 is all about powerful smartphones, tablets, mobile operating systems and the never-ending patent wars. Until the last few months, Apple was the market leader in the super-competitive smartphone market. However, the tables have been turned. Now, Samsung has became the market leader by shipping 42.2 million smartphones worldwide, followed by Apple, which managed to ship 35.1 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2012.

According to the new rumors floating around the Internet, Amazon is likely to launch its very own smartphone in the coming months. This rumor is definitely not surprising for most of us since we have already see the capability of the retail giant. Last year, Amazon successfully launched its very own tablet, the Kindle Fire. This tablet was powered by the Android Operating System with Amazon’s heavily customized (shoptimized) UI on top of it. Thanks to the low cost and amazing specs, the Kindle Fire sold like hot cakes during the holiday season.

Bloomberg is reporting that the Seattle-based online retail company is planning to launch a smartphone which will compete with the Apple’s iPhone as well as other Android superphones. Basically, it means that Amazon is planning to compete with Apple and Samsung in the competitive smartphone market. The Amazon’s smartphone will run on the latest version of the Android Operating System. No prizes for guessing the user interface. It will come with the Amazon’s shoptimized UI on top of the OS.

I’m sure most of you are familiar with the Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. Yes, we are talking about the same Chinese mobile-phone maker which currently manufactures the Apple’s extremely popular iPhone’s and iPad’s. According to the rumors, the retail giant is working with Foxconn to develop its first smartphone. If these rumors turns out to be true, then you should expect yet another powerful smartphone with a stunning design.

Amazon has been already involved in five patent-related cases this year and 20 cases last year. To protect itself against potential patent infringement lawsuits from competitors claiming illegal use of technology, Amazon has already started obtaining vital patents through acquisitions. It has recently considered acquiring wireless patents from Pennsylvania based InterDigital. Sadly, the company sold its assets to Intel Corp. instead of Amazon for $375 million in June 2012.

It was not the end of the road for Amazon. The company recently hired Matt Gordon for patent acquisitions and investments at Amazon. Previously, Matt Gordon was the senior director of acquisitions at Intellectual Ventures Management LLC, which owns more than 35,000 intellectual property assets.

What are your views on the Amazon’s upcoming smartphone? Do you think this smartphone can survive in the competitive smartphone market? We would love to hear your views in the comments section below.

[Image Credit]

Notch Responds to All the Psychonauts 2 Hype

You must have heard all about this on the inter-tubes, or at least here on Techie Buzz. Notch (aka Markus Persson, the developer of Minecraft) tweeted to Tim Shafer saying that he was interested in making Psychonauts 2 happen and seeing this, the internet pretty much exploded. Everyone wanted to see the indie darling dev send some of that ginormous bank balance to DoubleFine Studios and make one of the most beloved yet commercially a failure of a game be revived with a sequel.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet tw-align-center”><p>@<a href=””>TimOfLegend</a> Let’s make Psychonauts 2 happen.</p>&mdash; Markus Persson (@notch) <a href=”″ data-datetime=”2012-02-07T10:59:15+00:00″>February 7, 2012</a></blockquote>
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So in an interview, Double Fine lead Tim Schafer mentioned that they wanted to make Psychonauts 2 happen, but that nobody had been willing to fund it so far. Being a big fan of the first one, and thinking a sequel could probably be profitable, I semi-jokingly tweeted Tim about me funding a sequel.

Now Notch has put up a blog post where he explains that at this time it is all conjecture, and that he would be willing to invest in this only because he feels this would be profitable – not as gaming charity or anything of that sort:-

All I know is that IF the numbers work out and IF they still want to do it and IF they don’t decide to self fund a sequel by doing more crowd funding (which is honestly what I would’ve done if I were them), I would be most interested in doing this type of investment.

This is a sort of preemptive blog post in case stuff does not go as planned. We all know how crazy some kinds of fans get, do we not?

However, I really hope it does work out!

TabCo Creating a Lot Of Buzz! Who Are They?

TabCo is creating a lot of buzz by touting its upcoming tablet as an “Aha!” moment for the tablet industry. In an article today labeled “Secretive TabCo Gets Closer to Big Reveal“, Ina Fried, of AllThingsD, says that TabCo is “playing a high-risk game” by the way they’re choosing to market their product. So why all the hype about this new tablet anyway?

First of all, it has to be the way they have chosen to market the tablet. They have chosen to shroud their product in mystery, all the while building anticipation for their big reveal on August 15th. Their website,, basically creates a lot of hype, and begs more questions than it really answers. Yesterday they posted a video on YouTube called “Lemmings”. Below you can see the video.

The second reason for all the hype, has to be the pretty bold claims TabCo is making in regards to this new tablet.  I think it is a pretty gutsy statement to say they “reinvented the wheel”, as well as, to say they are “about to reinvigorate a market”. Bold statements like these can really come back to bite you. Let’s hope they don’t eat their words on this one.

If you dig through the TabCo website, you can start to piece together some technical specs about the new tablet. It appears to have Bluetooth, USB, wi-fi, and 4G connectivity. One statement they make about what sets them apart is “The UI, for one is like nothing else out there. It is predictive and draws its inspiration from the semantic web. The desktop is different, almost a canvas that gives you extensive flexibility to organize your life and work.”  They state that third party developers will be allowed to build applications for it. Most importantly, you will be able to play Angry Birds on it.

While there are many questions still awaiting to be answered, August 15th is just around the corner. There is a lot of speculation out there as to who might be behind this project. One major rumor is that this is Nokia behind it all. Others believe it possibly could be Google. All I know is it will be interesting to see if this new tablet is truly innovative, or if it will be just another over hyped flop. Keep checking in here for the latest information.

Is This The iPhone 5 Design? Chinese Case Makers Think So [Rumor]

It seems like there are new rumors about the suspected new iPhone. We have seen all kinds of crazy ideas, including a clear iPhone, NFC compatibility, and even the idea of a mini-iPhone. The only thing we know with any certainty is that Apple is probably working a new version of the worlds best selling smart phone.

According to a set of images released to, we now have some idea what Apple has up its sleeve. MobileFun is the website that originally broke the case designs that eventually matched up with the iPad 2, and they have now released a set of prototype designs for the iPhone 5.

Confirmed by two spererate case manufacturers in China, the designs show off a number of features of the upcoming phone. For starters, the display seems to run from edge to edge across the face of the phone. This will make the usable screen space supposedly upwards of 4 inches without increasing the physical size of the device.

From the designs, we can also see that the form factor is drastically different from the iPhone 4. It seems that Apple is departing from its squared design and heading back to a rounded back for its next smart phone. It looks like the bevel will be similar to the iPad 2. Personally, I like that design choice, as I find my iPad 2 very nice to hold.

It important to remember that Apple made a purchase of a number of glass cutting machines. While the designs don’t show there being curved glass on the face of the device, it can’t be ruled out completely. Its possible that the curved back could be made of glass, which would bridge the gap between the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 quite nicely.

The last big change that the cases show is the control system. Steve Jobs originally intended the iPhone to have no control button, and it looks like he may have gotten his wish. According to MobileFun, the home button has been replaced by a “touch-sensitive ovaloid area.” While that name feels a little silly, it would be a great new feature.

The touch sensitive area would allow for many Lion-esque touch gestures for the phone. You would be able to change songs in iTunes, navigate screens, and even get to your home screen from anywhere. It would make a great change for the iPhone, and allow for even more gestures in iOS 5.

The last big change that we can see in these designs is the position of the side buttons. According to the designs, they have all swapped sides. The lock toggle is now really close to the camera, and the volume buttons have moved down to below the halfway point. Its important to note that the possibility for touch sensitive side buttons.

So there you have it, an in-depth look at what might be the iPhone 5. Now, all of this is just speculation based on a pair of Chinese case designs. While those have been good sources in the past, they have also been wrong. Be sure not to put all your hopes on this design, as we won’t know anything until Apple shows us the new design.

Official Facebook App for iPad Coming Soon

The was announced in January 2010, released in April 2010 and went on to become an instant hit. Over the past year and few months, Apple released the which included a new camera and several other new features.

iPad 2

There are tons of apps available for the device. However, the one that was missing was the official app for the device. Facebook literally did nothing about developing an official app for iPad for over 16 months, but if the NYT’s report is right, an official Facebook app will soon be available for the iPad.

Apple and Facebook have not been at good terms since Apple launched Ping and Facebook dissed them after which they signed up with Twitter. Facebook is also said to be developing something called as Project Spartan which will run in Apple’s iOS Safari browser, allowing developers to sell apps while they bypass the App Store. However, iPad and other tablets are still an important user base for Facebook who reportedly see anywhere between 10-25% of their users visiting through mobile devices including the iPad.

If Facebook wants to dominate these devices, they have to have a presence on it and this move definitely makes sense. already has an absolutely amazing app for the iPad and have even extended the same experience to their web interface. Facebook on the other hand are planning something big according to NYT sources.

One person who works with Facebook said Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive and founder, has been heavily invested in the process, overseeing design decisions and the app’s unique features.

People who have seen the application said it has a slick design that has been tailored for the iPad and its touchscreen interface. Facebook developers and designers have also overhauled the Facebook Chat and Facebook Groups features for the application. And the app will go beyond the features available on the Facebook Web site by allowing users to shoot and upload photos and videos directly from the iPad’s built-in cameras.

The photo and video experience is amazing, offering full resolution and full-screen images,said a person who has seen the app.

Since mobile phones have already been replacing point-and-shoot cameras and iPhone also set to become a serious photography tool with iOS 5, it was very important for Facebook to have access to those user photos on the iPad too. Apps like Instagram are a big hit, and Facebook is missing out on those user photos which make a big chunk of Facebook’s daily activities.

In addition to that Facebook will also penetrate a growing market which is set to be a big contender to desktops and laptops of the future. After all, we would want to travel with smaller devices rather than carry bulky one’s and if you are not present on those, it could harm your business.

Though there are currently no screenshots of the Facebook app for the iPad, we hope that an official announcement will be made in the next few days. Stay Tuned.

Unannounced Nokia E6 Gets Pictured

A picture of the unannounced Nokia E6 has yet again made it’s way onto the internet. This time, it’s dressed in all black and shows off the Symbian platform with large icons, suitable for use with a touch screen. Accompanying what is said to be a 2.6screen with a 640×360 pixel resolution, a front facing camera, ambient light sensor as well as proximity sensor adorn the front of the device.

The same Nokia-style E6x/E7x shaped QWERTY keyboard is present, with a rounded bottom lip and slightly tapered top, but adding an extremely large chinbelow the keyboard, supposedly for ergonomic purposes. The previous pictures of an E6 prototype shows the device in bronze with an 8 megapixel camera, dual LED flash and loud speaker grille on the rear. The lack of soft keys on the front face indicate that this device may have a touch screen and be running Symbian^3 to continue Nokia’s portfolio of Touch and Typesmartphones. From the newly taken picture, the screen shows there are 4 home screens that support widgets and shortcuts (as visible by the dots above the d-pad). There is also a rather large gap between the lower half of the shortcut cluster and the screen bezel, indicating this is may be an initial or older hardware build. The last rumored specifications for the E6 indicate a 680MHz ARM11 processor, WiFi and 3G connectivity. The incarnation of the E6 dates back to before the Microsoft-Nokia deal, so it’s unknown if the device will make it into the hands of consumers before it’s scrapped and replaced with a Windows Phone smartphone with the same form-factor.

RIM Bringing Blackberry Messenger To iOS And Android

The Boy Genius Report is currently reporting that RIM is poised to port Blackberry Messenger over to iOS and Android devices. RIM has held Blackberry Messenger (BBM) in high regards as a tool to instantly and securely chat with friends and co-workers through Blackberry devices, exclusively. A huge push in marketing BBM to consumers went off in 2010 and it would seem RIM is now taking it to the next level. Many users love Blackberry Messenger due to the fact that it’s carrier-independent, has read/replied/delivered status and is completely free of charge once there is an internet connection, RIM is hoping to build out this BBM user-base by offering the service on Apple’s iOS devices as well as certain Android handsets.

Offering a minimally functioning client may persuade users to jump ship to Blackberry devices in order to get full featured capabilities. Users of third party devices would either be charged a one-time fee for the application or a re-occurring fee to use the service. This would seemingly allow RIM to dominate “mobile IM” market by allowing cross platform communications built atop their industry leading infrastructure. For this to be successful, RIM needs to bring the same experience that many Blackberry Messenger users rave about, but entice users to want more and to purchase a Blackberry device in order to really experience the capabilities of the service.

There is no word on when this will be available nor what terms it will be available with, as this is a rumor — but with the state that RIM is currently in, it’s very plausible.

iPad 2 Coming On March 2?

Looks like the rumors of the  arriving in April were not true after all. Kara Swisher from All Things Digital just posted a new scoop from trusted Apple sources that an iPad event will be held on March 2nd, 2011.

Apple iPad

iPad 2 rumors have been doing the rounds for few months now. Though the actual specifications are not know, it will most likely sport a camera, have Retina Display and also support FaceTime. There have also been rumors that Apple will unveil a smaller version of the iPad, but those are just rumors yet.

Nevertheless, it is definitely an exciting day for Apple fans who have been waiting for a refresh for the iPad and have been probably saving up to get their hands on the device.

The iPad 2 event is invitation only and will be held in California on March 2. However, there are no official invitations being sent out right now and the venue and the timing of the event is still unknown. It is also unknown whether Steve Jobs will be attending the event or not. We’ll keep you posted on further updates about the event.

iPad Rumor #132: Apple Working on a 6 inch iPad?

Apple iPad 2As the expected iPad 2 launch date nears, new rumors about the iPad 2 are cropping up daily. First, it was rumored that the iPad 2 will have a very high resolution retina display with double the resolution of the original iPad. Then the word on the street was that the iPad 2 would have dual cameras, as well as USB ports, and would be launched on April 2 or 9. We still don’t know if any of those were true, but now, we have another rumor, which is even more incredible.

Today, claimed that Apple is working on two iPad models – with screen sizes of 5.7 inches and 6 inches. It’s not clear whether those models will be a smaller iPad or a larger version of the iPod Touch.

Apple has apparently worked on various screen sizes before deciding on the 9.7 inch display on the iPad, which it thinks is the ideal size for a tablet. Steve Jobs had also criticized the Galaxy Tab, saying that 7 inch tablets were dead on arrival.

7 inch tablets were definitely more portable, and more suited for gaming, but considering that with the launch of Honeycomb, all the major Android tabelt manufacturers are moving to 10 inch tablets, we think Apple was right in hindsight.

This device could very well be a bigger iPod Touch, which would be much more suited for videos and games though. We will have to wait for the official announcement for more details, but I’m definitely not betting on Apple launching a 6 inch iPad anytime soon.

via 9to5Mac

Rumor: HTC Revolver, An Android Smartphone Powered By Honeycomb Coming to AT&T?

HTC RevolverDespite being overshadowed by Samsung in the past few months, HTC has put up quite a show at the Mobile World Congress this year. It has unveiled its Android tablet – the HTC Flyer, as well as Android smartphones like the Incredible S, Desire S and the Wildfire S. It also unveiled two Facebook phones – the HTC ChaCha and the Salsa.

However, if the latest rumor by Engadget is true, it would probably be the most interesting, and definitely the most unexpected development at MWC 2011.

Apparently, HTC is working on a new Android smartphone which will be headed to AT&T in Q3 2011. It will be powered by Android 3.0 Honeycomb which is supposed to be the tablet version of Android. If true, the HTC Revolver will be the first phone to run Honeycomb, which will be coming on all major Android tablets later this year.

The hardware specs of the HTC Revolver are also quite impressive. It has a 1.2 GHz dual core processor, 1 GB RAM and will come with a 4.3 inch LCD capacitive touchscreen display. It will have 16 GB internal storage capacity and will sport an 8 MP camera, as well as a 3 MP secondary camera. It will be available exclusively on AT&T.

Word of caution: The rumor seems too good to be true, and probably is.

Update: This rumor is a fake