Android Activations To Hit One Billion By End Of Year, Says Eric Schmidt

Android

Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt, spoke at D: Dive Into Mobile today in New York City, and shared some impressive stats. Android is available on 320 different carriers across 160 different countries. There are 700,000 apps in the Google Play Store, and 1.5 million Android activations every single day. Eric claims that activations will hit the magical one billion mark by the end of this year. However, there is still a long way to go. Google’s goal is to reach everybody, and Eric believes that smartphone manufacturers will quickly get to the $100 price point which is important for “those next five billion people looking to get connected”.

Source: Phone Arena

Xiaomi Plans To Ship 15 Million Phones In 2013, Expand Beyond Asia

Xiaomi

Xiaomi has big ambitions this year after unveiling the Mi2S and Mi2A, and plans to ship 15 million smartphones, as well as expand sales beyond Asia. Co-founder and president Lin Bin, spoke at D: Dive Into Mobile in New York City. Despite only selling Android phones for three years, Xiaomi has generated $2 billion in revenue on 1.7 million phones. While this doesn’t sound like a lot compared to other manufacturers, the Chinese company has adopted an online-only model from the beginning. The phones are unsubsidized, priced at the bill-of-materials, and manage to sell out in minutes. Lin on the success of the Mi2:

“Last year, when we announced the Mi2, for 3-4 months we’d have hundreds of thousands of units available, and they’d be gone within two or three minutes after we posted availability online.”

Android Originally Built For Cameras, Says Co-Founder Andy Rubin

Android

Android is used by over 50 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers, and according to co-founder Andy Rubin, it may not have been that way. Andy spoke at an economic summit in Tokyo, and revealed that Android was originally intended for cameras. The idea was to create smart cameras that easily connected to PCs. However, once the smartphone market started to grow exponentially, the OS was rebuilt to work on mobile phones. In April 2004, Andy pitched the idea of  “a camera connected “wired or wireless” to a home computer, which then linked to an “Android Datacenter”, to investors. Just five months later due to declining growth in digital cameras, Android was reborn as an “open-source handset solution”.

HTC One Hitting T-Mobile April 24, Reveals Leaked Photo

HTC One

The HTC One release date for other carriers has already been revealed, and now thanks to a leaked planogram, the One is expected to launch on T-Mobile April 24. The leaked planogram reveals “Stores that are carrying the HTC One” with the supposed launch date. Not all stores will be carrying the One, but this is hopefully a sign that T-Mobile customers can also get their hands on it online. Since the official unvieling of the HTC One, numerous delays have plagued the upcoming flagship device. Although this leak doesn’t make an April 24 release date official, at least T-Mobile customers now have somewhat of an idea.

Source: TmoNews

Pantech Vega Iron To Be Unveiled April 18, Takes On The Galaxy S 4

Pantech Vega Iron

Pantech is looking to take on the Galaxy S 4, and come April 18, we’ll get all the details. Called the Vega Iron, this phone appears to be the new flagship device we reported on last week. Here are the rumored specs:

  • 5-inch 1920 x 1080 display
  • 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16 or 32GB internal storage with microSD card support
  • 13-megapixel rear-facing camera
  • 2-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
  • 2150 mAh battery
  • 136.3 × 67.6 × 8.8 mm at 154 grams (5.4 oz)

HTC Teams Up With Funny Or Die To Promote The One

HTC

The HTC One is just a week away from launching in the U.S., and to help promote it, HTC has teamed up with Funny Or Die to create a Bachelorette parody. Titled “The One with James Van Der Beek”, a contestant has to choose between five different phones as her “one true love”. You’ve probably guessed where this is going. The HTC One comes out on top, and the video is full of cheesy lines and people dressed up as outdated phones. HTC has a lot betting on the One. With declining profits, they need their groove back to effectively compete against the likes of Samsung. If you’re into cheesy parodies, you can watch the video below.

NVIDIA Demos Kepler Mobile Chip, Closest Yet To PC-Level Graphics

Nvidia

NVIDIA has lead the Android gaming space with its line of Tegra processors, and today showed off its next-generation Kepler Mobile chip. Chief executive Jen-Hsun Huang said the company has been working hard to bring its high-end Kepler desktop graphics chips to mobile. NVIDIA engineers have managed to not only shrink the size of the Kepler chip, but reduce power consumption to just hundreds of milliwatts. In fact, Kepler Mobile is capable of running high-end PC games such as Battlefield 3. From Huang:

“We want to get multiple years ahead of the competition. It was worth the sacrifice.”

LG Optimus F7 Heading To Boost Mobile, LTE Onboard

LG Optimus F7

The LG Optimus F7 was unveiled at Mobile World Congress, and will make its way to Boost Mobile. This new F-series of devices from LG feature mid-range performance and LTE connectivity. There are currently no details on pricing or when the Optimus F7 will arrive on Boost Mobile, but it’s said to be “soon”. Here are the specs:

  • 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 HD display (312 ppi)
  • 1.5GHz dual-core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 8GB internal storage with microSD card support up to 32GB
  • 8-megapixel rear-facing camera
  • 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
  • 2,540 mAh battery

Source: 9to5Google

Samsung Begins Mass Producing 128GB Flash Memory Chips Using 10nm Process

Samsung

Samsung has started mass producing 128GB flash memory chips that feature the highest density in the industry, and are made with a 10nm process. Such high-capacity flash memory chips already exist in the marketplace, and the South Korean company is looking to not only bring smaller flash memory chips to mobile devices, but also replace traditional hard drives. These new flash memory chips are rated for 400Mbps throughput and according to Samsung, will be utilized in its high-capacity microSD cards, as well as solid-state drives with over 500 GB of storage. For consumers, this introduction of new flash memory chips means lower prices for current high-capacity, flash-based storage that is still out of reach for many.

LG Optimus G Pro To Receive ‘Value Pack’ Upgrade April 12

LG Optimus G Pro

The LG Optimus G Pro is an answer to Samsung’s Galaxy Note II, and offers rock solid specs at a similar price point. Starting April 12, the Optimus G Pro will receive a “Value Pack” upgrade which brings Smart Video, Dual Camera, and Pause & Resume. Smart Video utilizes eye-tracking technology and if a user is watching a video and looks away, the video will pause. Once the user looks back at the screen, the video will then start playing again. Dual Camera uses the front and rear-facing camera at the same time when taking photos. Pause & Resume is very similar to Vine functionality where you hold to record and release to stop recording, creating videos with very simple edits. You can watch the LG Optimus G Pro “Value Pack” upgrade video and catch the full press release below.

Deutsche Telekom Approves Better Deal For MetroPCS Merger

T-Mobile

Deutsche Telekom has been working to merge its U.S. carrier, T-Mobile, with MetroPCS, and last month received complete regulatory approval. The German company thought the original deal was good, but MetroPCS shareholders disagreed. In an effort to save the merger and finalize it, they approved a better deal today. This new deal will lower the amount of debt transferred to the new company and lower the interest rate on that debt. Lowering the amount of debt transferred means a more valuable equity stake. MetroPCS shareholders are currently being offered about $4 per share in cash and a 26% stake in the combined company. Votes are already being held in advance of a scheduled shareholder meeting Friday and according to an insider, it’s not looking like the deal will go through in its current form.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa Defeats Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 In Latest Benchmarks

Samsung Exynos 5 Octa

The Samsung Galaxy S 4 will launch with one of two different processors depending on what country you live in, and according to the latest benchmarks, Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa outperforms Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 when running the latest test firmware. There are three different versions of the Galaxy S 4: The GT-I9500 running a Exynos 5 Octa at 1.6 GHz without LTE, GT-I9505 running a Snapdragon 600 at 1.9 GHz with LTE, and a Korean variant, the SHV-E300S running a Exynos 5 Octa at 1.8 GHz with LTE. In these new benchmarks, the GT-I9500 and GT-I9505 went head-to-head.

ZTE Geek Revealed Running 2GHz Intel Clover Trail+ Processor

ZTE Geek

Not the greatest Android phone ever named, the ZTE Geek was unveiled at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing. Back in February, Intel announced its dual-core Clover Trail+ Atom processors and the ZTE Geek is packing the 2GHz version from that line. Here are the specs:

  • 5-inch 1280 x 720 display
  • 2GHz Intel Clover Trail+ dual-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB internal storage
  • 8 megapixel rear-facing camera
  • 1 megapixel front-facing camera
  • WiFi, DLNA, Bluetooth 4.0, Wireless charging
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • 2,300 mAh battery

The ZTE Geek shares a similar design to the Grand S and there are currently no details on a release date or price.

Source: Engadget

Xiaomi Unveils The Mi2S And Mi2A Smartphone

Xiaomi

Xiaomi is a Chinese manufacturer of MIUI-powered smartphones, and has announced two new smartphones. Predecessor to the Mi2, the Mi2S has been upgraded with a better processor and camera. The Mi2A is more affordable and also features a slightly larger display. Here are the specs of both phones:

Xiaomi Mi2S

  • 4.3-inch 1280 x 720 display
  • 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16 or 32GB internal storage
  • 13 megapixel rear-facing camera
  • 2 megapixel front-facing camera
  • MIUI running on top of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 2,000 mAh battery
  • Available in five different colors

Best Buy Will Offer T-Mobile Simple Choice Plans By February 2014

T-Mobile

T-Mobile launched its new Simple Choice plans last month and according to an internal document, Best Buy will offer the new plans by the end of its fiscal year, February 2014. Until then, Best Buy will continue to offer T-Mobile Classic plans. For customers wanting a Simple Choice plan, they will only be available directly from T-Mobile online or through one of its retail locations. Also, if you are on a Classic plan and want to stay on it, purchasing through third-party retailers like Best Buy are your only option. T-Mobile is wanting to move completely away from its Classic plans and contracts altogether, but it’s going to take time to fully transition over to this new, no-contract model.

Source: TmoNews