Forgive us if you have heard this before— but rumor has it that Facebook is all set to introduce its all-new smartphone at a special event sometime this week. According to MG Siegler of TechCrunch, it is unknown if the new smartphone is custom built or an operating system built to run on another manufacturer’s hardware (probably HTC), but he does have a significant hunch on what consumers could probably see in this smartphone. The most obvious likelihood is that the new Facebook phone would likely feature a customized version of Android similar to what Amazon has done with its Kindle Fire tablet probably because it would take too much development time to develop a new OS from scratch, plus having a customized version of Android means that it would have access to the vast library of apps and titles that already exist out there for the Android platform. Having an Android-based OS would make sense too since well you know… Facebook already has an affinity for the platform already.
While news of a Facebook phone is indeed exciting, the timing is a little unusual to say the least considering we just ended CES 2013 and all. Then again— maybe Facebook wanted to take some time and have the stage all to itself in the hopes of unveiling the next, great smartphone. One thing is for sure though: expectations will certainly be high among the millions and millions of mobile users out there. All eyes are now on you Facebook (and HTC!!!).
via: Android Headlines
Canadian carrier Rogers has a late Christmas present for HTC One X owners; the Android Jelly Bean update is rolling out over the air to devices starting today. The update, which checks in at just over 634 MB (definitely use WiFi for this one), should start notifying owners that it’s available for download. Start checking for updates and let us know if you get the upgrade.
source: Mobile Syrup
More leaked images for HTC’s Sense 5.0 hit the interwebs. We saw images of the leaked dialer a few days ago and what we’re seeing today looks just as nice. As with the dialer, these images are purportedly from the HTC M7.
Possible photo of the M7 and a screenshot of the settings past the break
While Verizon customers may be the only ones lucky enough to get a variant of the HTC Butterfly on contract, GSM users can now get in on the 1080p action too. The unlocked international model is now available for pre-order from MobiCity for just $849. That may seem like a hefty price to pay, but keep in mind you’ll be getting the only 5-inch full HD display currently on the market.
No officially supported carriers are mentioned, though the included bands are GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, 3G 850, 3G 2100. You’ll be able to pick out your model in either red or white. If you do pick one up, you can expect shipments to begin on January 18th.
We knew HTC’s sales numbers were down entering the holiday season, and we’re far from what you’d call financial gurus, but the final quarter’s numbers released by the Taiwanese manufacturer are shockingly low. HTC posted net sales of just NT$21 million (New Taiwan Dollar, $34.4 million USD) for the fourth-quarter of 2012. That’s their lowest figure since 2004 and a whopping 91% drop from 2011’s fourth quarter when they posted a net of NT$11.02 billion ($379.5 million USD).
Even the financial pros were surprised by these sales numbers. Bloomberg looked at predictions from 20 financial analysts and came up with an average of NT$1.11 billion in operating income (not net). Their actual fourth quarter income was NT$600 million. Ouch! Given today’s dismal numbers, it’s no surprise the company is refocusing on bringing better products to market.
HTC has had an incredibly successful year bringing in some hits here and there, but it appears that the Taiwanese manufacturer is looking to take things to another level in 2013. While we’ve heard whispers about a mysterious M7 smartphone in the works before, we are now starting to get an idea of what the device is capable of and its awesome features. According to the folks at HTC Source, the M7 is designed to be loosely based off the existing DROID DNA smartphone, having items like a black shell casing and a “very nice looking beveled edge” along the screen. In addition, the smartphone will feature a quad-core Snapdragon processor, a 4.7-inch 1,920 x 1080 display capable of 468ppi and 32GB of internal storage— all being operated by Jelly Bean topped off with Sense 5.0, which promises to to have a “simple and clean” UI.
As it stands, there are no additional hardware features to share for now— though it appears the smartphone is currently in testing on Sprint’s LTE network, giving NOW Network customers yet another device to possibly look forward to. Is it possible we may be looking at the latest addition to the HTC EVO series for Sprint? Perhaps we’ll see it at CES in just a few days…
source: HTC Source
It’s always fun to look back at a previous year and see what kinds of smartphones were the most popular. comScore has released their data about popular smartphone platforms from a three-month period ending in November of 2012, studying about 30,000 phones. There’s plenty of interesting information, but it’s mostly what we’ve expected. Samsung and Apple continue to dominate smartphone sales, with LG, Motorola, and HTC rounding out the top 5. (Sony is apparently not faring as well in the States.) Both Samsung and Apple are still growing over this three-month period, with Samsung starting with 25.7% and ending with 26.9%, and Apple starting and ending with 17.1% and 18.5%. LG actually started off this period with 18.2% but slipped to 17.5%, giving Apple the number 2 spot. Motorola fell about 0.8% to 10.4% and HTC fell 0.4% to 5.9%, but neither moved up or down the charts. None of the percentages are drastic, but it just backs up what we already know and expect from the smartphone market.
Android still powers over half of the 123.3 million phones in the US, and grew from 52.6% to 53.7%, and Apple’s iOS claims about 30%. Neither Android or iOS fell in market share; their positive growth came from eating up what’s left of RIM, Microsoft, and Symbian software. It’s not good news for Microsoft’s new Windows 8, but I don’t think any of us were too worried about those tiles messing up our little green friend, were we?
There’s also a third chart that shows what people do with their phones, which surprised me a bit to learn that only 28% of people use their phone to listen to music. Hit the source below if you want to get into more of the nitty-gritty statistics.
HTC isn’t blind. The Taiwanese manufacturer can see the gap between itself and some of its competitors is growing. They’ve responded by promising to focus on bringing “unique products” to market in 2013. Judging by their declining sales numbers, HTC needs to do something. Chief Executive Officer Peter Chou believes innovation and not marketing is the key to an HTC rebound. He said, “Our competitors were too strong and very resourceful, pouring in lots of money into marketing.”
HTC needs an angle, a market strategy for success despite being squeezed between Apple and Samsung. Sammi’s Galaxy S III topped the iPhone to become the best selling phone of 2012 Q3. The iPhone 5 did its thing. Chou said, “Although we don’t have as much money to counter, the most important thing is to have unique products that appeal to consumers.” HTC’s One X was well received in 2012 but failed to generate traction and certainly did little to threaten the iPhone or Galaxy S III. HTC is in a tough spot and they know it. Now let’s see what they do about it.
Source: Wall Street Journal
HTC announced that it would bring the One SV to the UK, and they’ve made good on that promise. Clove UK is now carrying the LTE-equipped, 4.3 inch, Snapdragon-wielding device, sim-unlocked and available in white and blue. It unfortunately is still running Ice Cream Sandwich, but we’ve seen some leaks that say it’ll get the Jelly Bean update, hopefully sooner rather than later. Now cross your fingers and hope it makes its way to the US.
source: Clove UK
In case you haven’t heard, Apple and HTC have reached an agreement that will finally end their ongoing patent battle. The new 10 year agreement will cover all current, pending and future patents. Upon the contract, it’s estimated that HTC will pay Apple between $6-$8 per Android device that they ship.
While that may look bad on paper, HTC China’s President Ray Yam believes the move could actually benefit the company in the future:
“The settlement with Apple will start to pay off next year, and the fourth quarter of this year is still going at a set pace. The biggest benefit to us is that we can put more energy into innovation, which is more important than anything else for a technology company.”
I can see where Yam is going with this. With the numerous patent fights against Apple finally behind them, HTC can now focus their resources on “innovating” and making a quality product rather than wasting time and money fighting against a losing battle against Apple. HTC is poised to make drastic changes in this coming year in how they market and create their products. With their over all market share quickly dwindling down and taken over by Samsung, I’m sure they need all the help they can get.
I for one would love for HTC to make a comeback and stay in the game, thus we’ll see how it turns out for them this year.