Sprint may not be impressed with Google's Android in its current form and be content to sit on the sidelines, but that isn't stopping Asus from getting in the game with an Android-powered handset of its own. Citing un-named "company sources," news outlet DigiTimes reports Asus will launch an Android-based Google phone sometime in the first half of 2009. It remains unclear what Asus' marketing strategy will be, but speculation suggests the company may initially release the new phone under its own brand name in Taiwan followed up with customized models in other markets later on.
Asus isn't new to the handset game and has already shipped 30,000 units in Taiwan so far this year. The company expects that number to reach 40,000 by the end of the year. Asus will ride those shipments into 2009 with a 3G model using Qualcomm's dual-core solutions planned for Q1.
The next time you're out shopping for toilet paper, kitty treats, motor oil, and a gigantic jar of pickles, you can add a G1 Android-powered smartphone to your list and save money on that too, all without ever having to leave the store. That is, provided you're shopping at Wal-Mart.
Starting Wednesday, the mega-chain will begin selling the G1 phone to both new and existing T-Mobile customers in 550 of its stores, but there's more reason to buy the phone at Wal-Mart than just convenience. According to Wal-mart spokeswoman Melissa O'Brien, the G1 will run $149 for new customers, or $31 less than what you'd pay T-Mobile, who's selling the same phone for $180.
For those of you just coming out of a coma, the G1 is the first Google Android-powered smartphone on the market. Demand for the phone with an open-source OS has been high, with an estimated 1.5 million units already sold through pre-order sales.
Plan on picking one up? Hit the jump and sound off.
AT&T this week launched the Samsung Epix, the first smartphone with a built-in optical mouse, which sits above a QWERTY keyboard. The integrated rodent gets paired with a 320x320 touchscreen measuring 2.5 inches on the i907 Epix, giving users an epic amount of control over navigation. Other specifications include:
3.6Mbps HSDPA connectivity
2 megapixel camera
Video Share support
No surprises on the software front, as at the heart of it all sits Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. Storage duties are handled by a microSD slot with support for up to 32GB. Samsung claims up to 7 hours of talk time on the 4.4-ounce device, and up to 14 days in standby time.
Taiwan-based HTC might be committed to the progress of Android but it hasn’t forgotten Windows Mobile - its favorite mobile platform. Not that it has the luxury of forsaking Windows Mobile. It happens to be the leading manufacturer of Windows Mobile-based devices in the world.
The company’s CMO John Wang said that Android and Windows Mobile can coexist. However, Wang let it be known as to where HTC’s allegiance actually lies. He stated that Windows Mobile will continue to be most important for the company. This statement appears to be targeted at Microsoft rather than the average smartphone consumer.
Nvidia and Opera have teamed up to provide a rich web browsing experience on mobile platforms. Nvidia will now provide “an optimized Opera 9.5 browser in its suite of pre-integrated, in-house and third-party software for the NVIDIA Tegra family of computer-on-chip Windows Mobile and Windows CE solutions.”
The web browsing experience currently available on most smartphones leaves a lot to be desired. But browsing on mobile devices is destined for a considerable leap in the near future as success of mobile devices is beginning to rest heavily on the browsing experience they offer.
Eweek says that Linux will outpace Windows in mobile internet device (MID) market by 2013? Is it any wonder? Netbooks are catching on as a great way to check email and surf the web in out of the way places without having to lug a notebook with you. The netbook credo is cheap, light and small. Mobile internet device market is expected to grow from the expected 305,000 units in 2008, to 39.6 million units in 2012.
MIDs are targeted at cloud computing, which involves checking email, IM, browsing, etc. They do not require Windows to get that done and you don’t need the one thing that Windows brings to the table, which is a large library of software.
Eweek also suggests that another form of MID; smartphones are a market that Linux is going to make inroads into as well. Mobile Linux providers LiMo, Maemo and Moblin are laying out the groundwork now so they can be out front when the market takes off. There are several new phones for LiMo that look really interesting and are sure to shake things up.
In the mobile market things are almost even amongst mobile operating systems. Linux would seem to have an advantage since it is highly flexible, configurable, and has a huge following for developing open source software to expand the usability of these devices.
Will you be picking up an MID for your next gadget, and will it be sporting Linux or maybe you already have one? Fill us in!
CNet says that Dell has dropped some hints that it is working on a Smartphone for those of us that are addicted to gadgets. They found an article in which Michael Dell drops some hints in his interview with Om Malik of GigaOm.
Dell said, "We are certainly looking at the whole smartphone category, but I wouldn't expect anything anytime soon." When Malik pressed him about their interest in either the Symbian or Android OS for such a device, he spilled a few more beans and said, "We're not ready to publicly disclose our plans there...we're kind of working on that".
I’ll take Michael Dell at his word. They have nothing coming soon. While Cnet may be holding their breath, with so many really great smartphones out right now I won’t be holding mine. How about you?
I just read a report from Eweek.com claiming that Windows Mobile was beating out the iPhone. The article quotes a top Windows Mobile executive that they shipped some 4.5 million Windows Mobile devices during the first quarter of 2008, up 1.8 million units.
They cite IDG figures showing that Apple sold only 1.8 million iPhones during the same quarter.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Windows Mobile was outselling the iPhone, after all it has been more useful as a business tool. I wonder how those numbers will look next quarter now that Apple has released the newer version of the iPhone with more business tools becoming available. Its popularity is akin to the iPod and its becoming almost a fashion statement for the well dressed geek. Even Norman stood in line to get one!
State your preference! Are you an iPhone lover or Windows Mobile driver?
To the surprise of some, companies continue to make handsets even after the Jobsian conception of the Jesus Phone, or, as it’s more commonly known to PC users, the iPhone. Rather than proving itself to be the phone of phones (see review here), it is clear that we remain in a polytelephonic universe in which a number of devices, including HTC’s Mogul, show themselves to be worthy mobile handset options.