A leaked T-Mobile USA document hints that the nation's smallest carrier may be about to launch a really big phone. The myTouch HD is highlighted in surprising detail, giving us a look at the impressive specs. The Android 2.2 phone will be running on T-Mobile's super-fast HSPA+ network. There will be a 5MP rear-facing camera, and a VGA front-facing cam. The screen will be 3.8-inches, but we do not know about the resolution or technology used. The real point of interest here is that the document claims the myTouch HD will pack a "1 GHz Dual Processor". We can only assume this means a dual core chip.
All phones to this point have has single core CPUs, but it is known that ARM has reference designs that could be used to construct dual core packages. Battery life may suffer, but power saving designs in the next gen chips could help matters somewhat. T-Mobile is also touting screen sharing technology that will get your smartphone content to a TV screen. This might just mean an HDMI port, but we'd astill take it.
No pricing or availability details are known, but we'll keep an eye out. Do you think a dual core CPU will be of use in a phone? Let us know in the comments.
A recent filing with the SEC has confirmed what we've all been expecting. That's right folks, Skype is going public. The VoIP service is looking to raise around $100 million in this first round of financing. The shares will trade on the NASDAQ Global Market, and be managed by the likes of JP Morgan and Goldman-Sachs. Analysts are expecting the IPO to be a success; Skype has been expanding and forging new business relationships.
Skype has 560 million registered users, 124 million of which are active monthly. 8.1 million pay for the service, averaging $96 per year. Skype managed to rake in $406 million in revenue and $13.2 million in profit in the first half of 2010. A big step up from the $99 million loss in 2009. Although, at the time, Ebay held a 65% stake in the company and there were disputes over just who owned what. Now that Skype's original creators are back at the helm, many are expecting profits to continue.
Do you use Skype on a regular basis? Are you one of the 8.1 million that pay for the additional features? The SEC filings don't divulge the details of how many shares are going out, but we'll probably hear more at the date approaches.
The most recent update to the official Android and Blackberry Google Voice apps offers users a noticeable speed increase when making calls. Previously, whenever a user placed a Google Voice call using the app's functionality, there would be a delay of up to 10 seconds (depending on data signal). This is due to the requirement that a Google server be pinged to connect the call over the phone lines. Now the app stores a special number locally to place the call.
These direct numbers are the obfuscated numbers that Google Voice uses internally to route your calls. Each contact has one of these 406 area code numbers. Now that the apps can call this number directly, there is no wait for a server to respond. This also has the advantage of eliminating the need for a data connection to initiate a call.
Android uses can get the update from the Market. Blackberry users should head over to the Google Voice site to download the update. Any Voice users out there already try this?
It was just last spring that we saw Google Voice invites go out to a lucky few. The web-based service has gone on to provide over one million users with a single number to manage their communications. Now Google has opened up the service to all residents of the USA. The good people of less Googley nations will just have to hold tight.
Google Voice provides users with a new Google number that can be connected to multiple phone lines. Calling a Google Voice number will ring all phones connected with an account, but special scheduling rules can control which phones ring when. Google has been slowly rolling out new features to Voice in this last year. There is now a solid mobile web app for iPhone users, who are still prohibited from having a real app. Google has integrated voicemails into Gmail as well.
If you haven't used Google Voice, give it a shot. We are quite taken with the service around here. Even if you don't want to use the number, you can just use call forwarding to use Google's voicemail instead of your carrier's. You can also get free text messaging, and who doesn't want that? Users of Android phones will find some amazing integration with the service as well. Tell us about any Google Voice tips you have in the comments.
Google announced last week that the Nexus One would soon be making an appearance in third-party retail channels, and now we've seen the first example of that. An online phone retailer and T-Mobile affiliate called iWireless is now offering the Nexus One, but it's going to cost you. The iWireless price for the Nexus One is $299.95 AFTER 2 year contract discount. By comparison, Google is only charging $179 for customers that agree to a new contact.
Google did say they hoped to get the Nexus One into more retail channels, but they also said people wanted to try the phone in real life. This iWireless deal doesn't really change anything about how people get the phone, other than costing them more. It's possible we'll see the Nexus show up in T-Mobile retail stores. The carrier does not currently have a similar high end Android handset like Verizon and Sprint do.
The only benefit customers on the iWireless site have is the ability to choose more inexpensive plans than the Even More 500 Google requires. But that small savings is dwarfed by the $121 premium you'll be charged.
Google's innovative Google Voice service is still invite only, but under a new program students can get priority access. In a blog post, the Big G noted many of Google Voice's features are of particular use to students. Apparently, college students are particularly appreciative of the ability to access their voicemail via email, and get free text messages. Though, who isn't?
Google Voice allows users to choose a new phone number that can be forwarded to multiple lines. It offers features like voicemail transcription, call screening, and do not disturb mode just to name a few. Android phones have seamless integration with Google Voice, and there is an official app for Blackberry phones as well.
The new program is technically available to anyone with an email address that ends in .edu. Those signing up at the special student website should expect their invite to show up within 24 hours. So for students, there's no longer any reason to scrounge around online looking for an invite. You can get it right from the source.
The normally private Apple seems to be springing more leaks than ever. After that iPhone prototype leaked to GIzmodo last month, we thought we'd seen the last of the device until Mr. Jobs pulled it out of his pocket at WWDC this year. But apparently a Vietnamese site called taoviet.vn managed to score one of the prototypes. Luckily for us, they were not as kind to it as Gizmodo was. indeed, they tore it asunder.
The phone wasn't running iPhone OS, just a test routine. The screws that were on the Gizmodo unit are gone in this prototype, and the buttons seem better fabricated. Upon disassembling it, the serial numbers on the chips could be read. One reading " 339S0084" has been positively identified as the 1GHz Apple A4 chip from the iPad. Though, in the iPhone it may be underclocked to save battery life.
Many called shenanigans on this phone when it was posted, but the teardown and subsequent pics lead us to believe it's real. We don't know how seriously Vietnamese authorities take purchase of a confidential prototype (rumor is they paid $4000 for it), but maybe Jason Chen can offer them some words of warning.
Palm's Jon Rubinstein has made it clear that he still believes in the struggling smartphone maker. Rubinstein is open to takeover offers, but sees another way forward. From Rubinstein's point of view, Palm has one main asset, and that's WebOS. While Palm's hardware isn't selling well, many tech enthusiasts drool over WebOS and what it's capable of. Rubinstein said he is looking into licensing WebOS to other smartphone makers to boost revenue.
After the February revenue warning that Palm would miss expectations, the stock has been in free fall, interrupted only by occasional rumors of an outside takeover. Still, Rubinstein is positive saying, "We have a plan that gets us to profitability.” That apparently includes developing new handsets, which could be their best bet. The Pre was announced over a year ago and has long since been eclipsed by a new iPhone and the Android explosion.
Whether or not Palm continues on as an independent company, Rubinstein intends to give it his best shot. We're particularly pleased to hear Palm is moving ahead with new hardware, as we really are impressed by WebOS. We'll just have to see how much slack Palm's main backers, Elevation Partners, are willing to give the besieged company. So is Palm going to make it, or not?
With all due respect to Alexander Graham Bell, he couldn't possibly have known that his patent for "the method of, and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically" would one day give birth to the modern day smartphone. He couldn't have foreseen the wonders that we take for granted today, like text messaging and voice-to-text searches.
We now live in a connected world, and today's smartphones define what it means to be a power user. Want to look up turn-by-turn driving directions on your phone? There's an app for that. There's an app for just about everything, even if they're sometimes tough to find (we're looking at you, Android Marketplace).
But for as much as we rely on our iPhone, Nexus One, or BlackBerry, it wasn't that long ago when you wouldn't think of trying to cram a mobile phone in your pocket. Remember when pagers were all the craze? Like computers, communication devices continue to evolve at a rapid pace, becoming faster, more portable, and increasingly flexible in functionality. It's been a wild ride getting to where we are today, and to pay homage to that journey, we take a look back at 40 of the most important phone models of all time.
Life is good in the international communications industry--if you're Skype, that is. And everyone else? Not so much, according to data by research firm TeleGeography.
TeleGeography says that international telephone traffic has slowed way down, halting a trend that's been in place for a quarter of a century. In the past 25 years, international call volume from telephones enjoyed a compounded annual growth rate of 15 percent. And while traffic is still on the rise, it's slowed to just 8 percent, growing from 376 billion minutes in 2008 to about 406 billion minutes in 2009.
"Demand for international voice has been remarkably robust, but it's clearly not recession-proof," said TeleGeography analyst Stephan Beckert.
Meanwhile, Skype's international traffic is booming and remains ahead of the curve, having jumped 51 percent in 2008 and is projected to grow 63 percent in 2009, to 54 billion minutes, TeleGeography said.
"The volume of traffic routed via Skype is tremendous," Beckert added. "Skype is now the largest provider of cross-border communications in the world, by far."