Just like Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall did in the late 1980s, HTC's One X and Evo 4G LTE smartphones are 'Coming to America', just not necessarily in search of a wife. The arrival of these two devices on U.S. shores was anything but a foregone conclusion, after facing a U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ban and nearly month-long review process with U.S. Customs officials.
Wirefly, the Internet's self-proclaimed leading authorized retailer of mobile phones and mobile phone plans, put together a top ten list of the best selling cell phones for 2010's holiday season. Guess which phone wasn't on the list?
If you said Apple's iPhone, you win the no-prize, but there's a huge caveat -- Wirefly doesn't sell the iPhone. In the iPhone's absence, Android was able to dominate Wirefly's list, accounting for all but one spot. Here's how it broke down:
HTC Evo 4G (Sprint)
HTC Droid Incredible (Verizon)
Samsung Captivate (AT&T)
Motorola Droid X (Verizon)
Samsung Intercept (Sprint)
BlackBerry Torch (AT&T)
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 (AT&T)
Motorola Droid 2 Global (Verizon)
Samsung Epic 4G (Sprint)
Samsung Fascniate (Verizon)
With 2010 officially in the rear view mirror, Wirefly made several predictions for 2011. According to Wirefly, you'll see an influx of affordably priced prepaid smartphones this year, particularly on the Android platform, and from manufacturers that are less established in the U.S. Wirefly also predicts that video chat will become the norm, and of course the online vendor has high hopes for 4G/LTE.
Best Buy still hasn't managed to find its funny bone, but at least the company isn't going to fire Brian Maupin, the 25-year-old graphic art student who uploaded a handful of awesome videos mocking the whole mobile phone war. If you haven't seen them yet, stop whatever it is you're doing and kick back for the next few minutes, so long as your boss, kids, and anyone else easily offended by foul language is out of earshot, there's a fair amount of cursing. When the coast is clear, click here and here.
Pretty funny, right? Best Buy didn't think so, and so it suspended Brian Maupin, and it appeared as though he would later be fired. Maybe the media attention had something to do with it, or the fact that Maupin did in fact remove several other less popular videos that mentioned the retail store by name, but either way, he's not getting a pink slip, NBC reports.
"We have completed our investigation into the videos created and posted by Brian Maupin, the aspiring filmmaker and Best Buy employee," Best Buy said in a statement. "This is an important situation for us because it involved balancing our social media guidelines with a commitment to creating a supportive environment for our employees. It's important to note that our investigation involved three videos that were posted in late June because they were openly disparaging of our employees, our customers and our vendor partners. Our investigation is over, and these videos are no longer on the web. Contrary to rumors, Brian has not been fired and is scheduled to return to his job at Best Buy this Friday."
Whether that's a blessing or a curse remains to be seen, and is something Maupin will have to figure out.
"At this point, I haven't decided if it would be appropriate to return," Maupin wrote on his Twitter account.
The iPhone 4 vs. HTC EVO 4G video went viral a few days ago with well over 2 million views, but some executives over at Best Buy aren't laughing. Apparently using other videos uploaded under his profile, managers with the electronics retailing giant were able to determine his real life identity as an employee and have placed him on suspension pending review.
Corporate Best Buy has apparently requested he take the video down, but creator Brian Maupin has rightfully declined considering that it was done on his own time, and in no way references the company. The irony of the whole situation is that Best Buy feels slandered by the video, but in reality is likely to incur more negative press as a result of their unjustified persecution of Brian. They would have been far better off if they simply ignoring it, but it's too late to cover it up now.
A Sprint employee revealed in a blog post that the carrier is close to updating HTC EVO 4G phones to Android 2.2. “HTC EVO 4G will receive the 2.2 update, Samsung Moment and HTC Hero will not. Future devices launching with 2.1 also will be updated to 2.2,” he wrote. The same was later reiterated by the company in a tweet: “"HTC EVO will be updated to Android 2.2; Samsung Moment & HTC Hero will not. Future devices launching w/ 2.1 will be also be updated to 2.2."
As a consequence of having a really stellar launch, the HTC EVO 4G cause a little havoc for video chat service Qik. The fine folks at Qik are partnering with Sprint to offer video calling on the EVO. Little did they know EVO users would bombard their servers with roughly 20 times the usual traffic. As you can imagine, the servers went down in a big way.
The situation got so bad that the app had to be pulled from the Android Market. Qik promised the app would be back up soon. However, users that managed to get the app before it was removed are still being met with connection failures and overall poor quality of service. Luckily, the EVO is able to use other apps for video including Fring for Android.
We hope they've got a rainy day fund to buy more servers. EVOs aren't likely to stop selling any time soon. Are there any EVO users out there that have had trouble finding or using Qik?
The much anticipated EVO 4G was released today, and it looks like it's already gotten its first OTA update. The update appears to clean up a few problems in the shipping ROM. Perhaps the biggest fix on board here is a modification that clears up a user file permission error that prevented some users from writing to the MicroSD card.
Also in the ROM update are a number of small security tweaks. The reported effect of which is that the recently worked out root method has been broken. There will most likely be more, and if the guys behind the root are to be believed, there are plenty more vulnerabilities in the ROM. It's nice to see such quick action to solve the SD card issue. It usually takes weeks for OTA patches to be put together for Sense phones. HTC Hero users on Sprint waited weeks for an update to fix text messaging related battery drain issues.
Did you rush out and get an EVO today? What's the verdict?
It was just a few months ago that Sprint got in on the Android action by claiming they too would be selling Google's superphone, the Nexus One. Now in the wake of Verizon's decision not to support the handset, Sprint too is nixing plans to allow it on their network. And just like that, the dream of a CDMA Nexus One was dead.
Sprint said when asked about the cancellation, they would be focusing on the upcoming HTC EVO 4G instead. Much as Big Red decided to avoid self-competition and focus on the HTC Incredible. The EVO 4G is looking like a nice handset though. It will pack a 4.3-inch LCD touch screen, 8MP camera, WiMAX data, and HTC's Sense UI with Android 2.1. This is currently the newest build of Android, but Google may push out an update for stock Android that makes the EVO seem out of date.
CDMA carriers have more control over the phones that run on their network than GMS carriers do. Traditionally, CDMA phones have to be registered via an IMEI number, so it's no problem to simply refuse to support a phone. On GSM networks an activated SIM card can work in almost any GSM phone.
While it is true that Sense UI phones like the EVO 4G have to wait longer for OS updates, there aren't a lot of other reasons to hold off for Stock Android. Was anyone out there waiting on the Sprint Nexus?
The first day of CTIA 2010 in Las Vegas mostly revolved around 4G technologies. Sprint was always expected to raise the WiMax flag at the convention, having bet big on the technology. It actually did follow the script to the hilt and unveiled its first WiMax phone just as expected. The Android-based HTC Evo 4G will become the first 3G/4G WiMax phone in the US when it debuts sometime during this summer. Aesthetically, the Evo 4G is redolent of HTC's HD2. It even boasts a large 4.3-inch touch screen just like its Windows Mobile-based cousin.
The powerful 1 GHz Snapdragon processor and 512MB of RAM inside the phone are enough to ensure that there is more to it than just ample screen space. An 8MP camera on the back, a 1.3MP camera on the front, a microSD card slot, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 1GB internal storage, A-GPS, web browser support for Adobe Flash, and single HDMI out port are some of its other notable features. A feature that stands out is its ability to double as a WiFi hotspot for up to eight devices.