A new leak is giving us a glimpse at one possible CES 2012 device to be introduced by the Taiwanese manufacturer ASUS. This little gem is said to be the Android-running 7-inch (1280 x 800 resolution) Eee Pad Memo with a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 3G and WiFi connectivity, and 16GB to 64GB of flash memory. This tablet is rumored to be launched as early as later this month and will most likely feature Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!
An anonymous tipster has stirred up rumors that Verizon will be pulling the plug on the Motorola Droid 3 after stores receive what will be their final shipments later this month. Despite carrying the namesake of Verizon’s once flagship phone and being widely considered as the go-to device for keyboard lovers, this latest incarnation, launched last summer, failed to impress consumers and lacked the sizeable upgrades that we all expected. Sad as it may be, this news may add gravity to the recent leaks that suggest the Droid 4 will help fill those empty gaps on Verizon’s shelves by February.
Also up on the chopping block: the LG Revolution, BlackBerry Curve 3G, Palm Pre 2 and their entire Mi-Fi line up including the Novatel LTE Jetpack (no more shipments after January) as well as the Samsung LTE Jetpack and ZTE Fivespot (final shipments already completed).
It seems that the elves over at Gameloft have a few post-Christmas surprises up their sleeves this year. According to a recent Twitter post, they will be offering ALL of their mobile games for just 99 cents in the Android Market (starting December 29th!) Not too shabby, right?
Also, while you wait for Thursday’s offering, you can head over to Facebook to enter into a sweepstakes for a chance to win a free LG Nitro HD on AT&T’s service and three games of your choosing! The winner will be announced on January 11th and all you need to do is like Gameloft and LG’s Facebook pages to enter.
So what are you waiting for? Hit the break for a link to view the Twitter post or enter the Facebook sweepstakes. Happy shopping and good luck!
A new firmware update has been released by Asus for their original Transformer tablet PCs and is now available OTA as version 188.8.131.52-20111216. (This device should not to be confused with its successor, the Transformer Prime.) The update addresses HDMI problems some owners experienced while operating the tablet with newer HDTVs and it enhances stability and incorporates input lag reduction fixes too. The Android version remains the same and it is said that this will be the final such firmware update until the big jump to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
If you live in the US, UK, Taiwan or Germany the update is now available for you and any Transformer devices with generic WW SKU.
In a ruling issued by the International Trade Commission, HTC was found in violation of two patents belonging to the Cupertino company; a ban will go into effect for all affected HTC devices on April 19, 2012. The patents cover a UI feature of sorts that basically turns computer text data into a link or other usable interaction in another place, like for dialing a phone number through a link in an email.
The victory for Apple was accompanied by some losses however, with rulings that found HTC did not violate more crutial patents involving real-time signal processing that would have caused the most severe blows to HTC’s ability to make brisk changes and avoid major losses.
Wasting no time at all, HTC released a statement deflecting from their minor defeat and focusing more on the their decisive wins. They also lay out their next course of action and outwardly express a sense of gratification for the end results:
“This decision is a win for HTC and we are gratified that the commission affirmed the judge’s determination on the ’721 and ’983 patents, and reversed its decision on the ’263 patent and partially on the ’647 patent. We are very pleased with the determination and we respect it. The ’647 patent is a small UI experience and HTC will completely remove it from all of our phones soon.”
Hit the break for full ITC ruling in PDF.
AT&T has agreed with Deutsche Telekom AG to end a bid to buy T-Mobile USA after a nine month pursuit. The conclusion comes on the heels of actions taken by the Justice Department and the FCC in recent months which were aimed at combating the bid effort to ensure consumer choice and controlled prices in the market.
Following the announcement, Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO promised, “AT&T will continue to be aggressive in leading the mobile Internet revolution… Over the past four years we have invested more in our networks than any other U.S. company.”
Stephenson also elaborated on future investments and the feasibility for their continued success:
“To meet the needs of our customers, we will continue to invest… However, adding capacity to meet these needs will require policymakers to do two things. First, in the near term, they should allow the free markets to work so that additional spectrum is available to meet the immediate needs of the U.S. wireless industry, including expeditiously approving our acquisition of unused Qualcomm spectrum currently pending before the FCC. Second, policymakers should enact legislation to meet our nation’s longer-term spectrum needs.”
Facebook’s latest mobile app update has managed to drop a nice little bundle of improvements on us. Most notably is the new access to their timeline feature (if you have one), but it also provides some new photo enhancements too, like viewable tags on pictures and let us not forget the real time alerts – thanks to their new push notifications.
Hit the break to see everything that’s new in this version and to grab the Android Market link or a QR code.
This year has been wrought with so-called “Facebook phones” popping up all along the way and ultimately, only giving its users a colorful designated button, a few easy sharing features… and not much more. Facebook itself has served as a mere collaborator in these unimpressive efforts that came with silly monikers like Cha Cha, Salsa and Status to name a few. But now, in an effort to create a better, more “deeply social” device, Facebook has chosen HTC (even over manufactures such as Samsung), as its partner in the development of what will be the “real” Facebook phone, code-named, “Buffy”. Yes, that’s right, named after the TV show and film character. Regarding the company’s mobile strategy, a spokesman recently told AllThingsD:
“Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social. We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers to bring powerful social experiences to more people around the world.”
Staking their own claim of mobile control will be an uphill climb for Facebook, though undoubtedly a necessary one as its competitors, Google and Apple, are clearly the ones in control when it comes to their own operating systems. Further complicating matters is the recently launched Google+, a direct competition to its services and the fact that Apple is snuggling up with Twitter as its closest social partner.
Since Buffy is still in very early development, she isn’t expected to appear on your friendly neighborhood retailer’s shelves for as many as 12-18 months or more. When put into perspective though, the wave of innovations made over the next year could change the way we live and interact with people on a daily basis in a major way and on a grander scale, a real Facebook phone makes sense as the next step for “inherently social” mobile devices as Facebook CTO Bret Taylor recently called them.
AT&T says they have discovered a possible “organized attempt to obtain information on a number of customer accounts”, though they were fortunately able to thwart the effort before a breach could be made. This notification, sent to customers via email, goes on to say:
“The people in question appear to have used “auto script” technology to determine whether AT&T telephone numbers were linked to online AT&T accounts. No accounts were breached and our investigation is ongoing to determine the source or intent of the attempt to gather this information. In the meantime, out of an abundance of caution, we are advising the account holders involved.”
According to company spokesperson Mark Siegel, more than one million customers may have been at risk during this recent hacking attempt (about 1% of their total customers). AT&T has promised a vigorous investigation to follow as they hope to identify the person or people responsible.
Just in time for the holidays and those all those brand new LTE devices wrapped neatly under the tree, Verizon will be adding more than thirty new markets to their impressive 4G coverage map. Recent figures suggest Big Red is providing their signature high speeds in 179 markets presently, which means the 200 mark will easily be surpassed when the newbie cities go live on December 15th.
Has your location has been added? Check below to see which new markets will be included.
New Verizon 4G LTE Markets:
- Manchester-Boston Regional Airport