Intel shows off Merrifield processor and new smartphone reference design

intel merrifield

Intel is still struggling to break into consumer devices, especially in the US, but you can’t say that they aren’t trying. Right on the heels of their 4th generation Haswell processors, Intel has announced a new 22 nm processor for smartphones, dubbed Merrifield. Intel Executive Tom Killroy talked about the processor’s low power, high performance philosophy, but said the processors wouldn’t be available in consumer devices until 2014.

To show the chip off, though, Intel also unveiled a new reference design smartphone running on the Merrifield chip, which is also said to to include an “integrated sensor hub.” We’ve seen Samsung recently plaster the importance of sensors all over television commercials, so it’s not surprising to see Intel follow that path. Hopefully we’ll get a little more info on that reference design in the next few days. Hit the break below for Intel’s full press release. Read more

HTC Operations Chief steps down, will take on executive adviser role in Europe


HTC has seemingly had a problem keeping employees lately, and now their Chief of Operations Matthew Costello will be departing from his role in the company. While Costello isn’t leaving HTC completely, he’ll be taking on a lesser role as an executive adviser in Europe. Despite strong sales of the HTC One (which will definitely get a boost whenever it hits Verizon) HTC is still facing some financial struggles, so it’s easy to see why that can cause some tension and departures within the company.

After Costello’s leave, HTC will be forming a new quality assurance team to deal with product reliably and all product lifecycle matters. Hopefully this is just a rough patch for HTC and they can right the ship within the next few months.

source: Business Week

Wikipad 7″ gaming tablet will be available June 11 for $249


It’s been a long ordeal for the Wikipad gaming tablet. They originally unveiled a 10-inch version early last year, which was supposed to launch this past October, but they scrapped it completely in favor of a smaller form factor and and more attractive pricing. This new and improved 7-inch version will finally be available June 11 for  $249, which ironically is the first day of E3. What makes the Wikipad very compelling is that not only is it a 7-inch tablet, but the patented gaming controller is detachable. So for those times in which you don’t feel like gaming, you have a sleek 7-inch tablet and you don’t have to worry about the controller getting in the way.

Speaking of the controller, it has all the bells and whistles like you would expect such as dual analog sticks, a d-pad, ABXY buttons, and triggers. It comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and you shouldn’t need to worry if developers support it or not. The latest versions of Android support button mapping, so you should be able to play just about any game. It’s also one of the few non-Sony Mobile devices to be PlayStation Mobile certified.

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Sony introduces the Xperia M and Xperia M dual smartphones




Sony is continuing its 2013 assault on the mobile world by introducing the Xperia M and Xperia M Dual smartphones. Both handsets are your typical run of the mill mid-range devices and will come with a 1GHz dual-core processor, a 4-inch scratch-resistant display, a 5MP rear camera with HDR and dedicated shutter key, a microSD card out and of course, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean running the show. So while both devices will be nearly identical, there is one key difference: the Xperia M Dual will utilize dual-SIM technology, allowing certain customers to operate on two wireless carriers simultaneously. And for those of you that care—the device will arrive in a trio of colors: black, white and purple.

No word yet on how much the device will cost just yet, but expect the device to launch sometime in Q3 of this year for those of you living out in European markets out there.

source: Sony Mobile Blog

Toshiba refreshes Excite lineup of tablets with three new models

Toshiba Excite

If you’ve been waiting on the wave of new tablets for 2013, your wait is almost over. Toshiba has announced today three new models of their Excite lineup, called the Excite Pure, Excite Pro, and Excite Write, with each tablet nicely covering a different price point for consumers.

The Excite Pure isn’t the most exciting tablet that’s going to hit the market this year; it’s using a slightly outdated Tegra 3 processor with 1 GB of RAM and a 1280 x 800 10.1 inch screen. However, it is running Android 4.2 out of the box, and it’ll only cost you $299. The Excite Pure sounds like a decent tablet at an extremely friendly price, especially for a 10-inch tablet. Read more

Qualcomm announces new Snapdragon 400 chip, reference designs for smartphones and tablets


While many people are waiting anxiously for the release of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processor intended to power top-end devices, the company itself is still working on hardware targeting other market segments. Today they announced a new addition to the Snapdragon 400 line of processors, the 8926, a quad-core chip with integrated multi-mode 3G/4g LTE capabilities. The new chip will help device manufacturers produce high volume or mid-tier devices, especially those that will be deployed in emerging markets like China. Adding to the appeal are some other features like TD-SCDMA, HSPA+ and multi-SIM capabilities along with Qualcomm’s new QuickCharge 1.0 feature for charging a device up to 40% faster.

Qualcomm is also helping manufacturers by releasing a new Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) for smartphones integrating the new Snapdragon 400 chip. The QRD program was created to help manufacturers more rapidly bring differentiated smartphones to market. In a new twist and in response to demand from manufacturers, Qualcomm also announced new QRDs for 7-inch and 10-inch tablet devices.

The new Snapdragon 400 will be available in late 2013. Check out the full press release after the break. Read more

HTC Butterfly S expected to release in China by the end of the month

htc_butterflyWhen Asia’s HTC Butterfly evolved into the HTC DROID DNA in the United States, we thought that would be the end of the Butterfly line. Maybe not though, as ePrice is telling us that the Butterfly could be kept alive in the form of the HTC Butterfly S, scheduled to launch in China by the end of this month.

The new Butterfly S would feature the same 5 inch, 1080p display, but new features include a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, an improved processor, HTC’s upgraded 4MP “UltraPixel” camera, and the new Sense 5. It’s doubtful that the Butterfly S would be available outside of Asia, with the HTC One currently being their prime device, and an HTC Mini on the horizon. We should learn more on the upcoming phone in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

source: ePrice
via: Phandroid

Latest Android distribution reveals Ice Cream Sandwich down only 1.9%, Jelly Bean up 4.6%


The number of phones upgrading from Ice Cream Sandwich to Jelly Bean is slowing down, as most high-end Android devices are pretty much all shipping with Jelly Bean at this point, or are stuck with Ice Cream Sandwich with no plan for upgrade. The number will eventually come to a steady halt, and this month, the numbers only decreased by 1.9%.

Jelly Bean is up 4.6%, a pretty decent jump up from 3.4%, which I predicted in last month’s distribution update. The total Jelly Bean number of 33% will keep on increasing as more and more devices ship with the latest version of Android, and will keep moving up when 4.3 launches later this year. This month’s total distribution count can be found after the break. Read more

Acer announces ‘Orbe,’ a wireless storage hub for Acer’s cloud service


After a day of newly released Ultrabooks, tablets, and smartphones, Acer took the stage once again at Computex 2013 to reveal the new “Orbe,” a new storage hub that will connect to AcerCloud. The device allows for a whole 2TB of storage and can connect to Ultrabooks, tablets, and smartphones. This will be pretty userful considering the service’s recent update allowing Android and iOS devices to connect. We don’t have any specs on the Orbe as of right now, but we’ll be sure to fill you in as they come.

Source: Engadget

Verizon confirms the HTC One is coming later this summer


Well first things first, and that is that yours truly was dead wrong. I posted on Friday that I felt that Verizon wouldn’t offer the HTC One and instead opt for the Butterfly 2 as in the DROID DNA 2. Well Verizon sent out a tweet announcing the HTC One will indeed land on Verizon later this Summer. I’m still shocked because it still doesn’t make any sense (no pun intended). One thing I was right on was the fact that Verizon always has an HTC device for the summer, but why would Verizon want to offer the One later this Summer after the other three U.S. carriers get a huge headstart? Later this summer means August to me, which is well after everyone else.

This must mean one of two things: Either HTC really pushed hard for this since they really want to get their brand out there or something went wrong with the Butterfly 2. The only other thing I can think of is that the new Butterfly will be marketed  with the word “One” in the name, and Verizon won’t actually have the same One as everyone else. It would be hard to bet any money on that notion when you consider that Verizon’s tweet clearly said “HTC One”. HTC has nothing to say other than they will provide additional details as the release date gets closer. Maybe one day I will understand how Verizon Wireless operates.

source: @VZWnews