We have both good news and bad news to share with HTC One X owners today. Starting with the former, HTC said it's issuing an over-the-air (OTA) update that will include an upgraded version of Android and an improved Sense experience. So what's the bad news? It's not a Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) update, just an improved version of Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.4), albeit one that brings with it some neat improvements.
With all due respect to Symbian, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and any other mobile platform not named Android or iOS, you're all just a bunch of also-rans in what's becoming "unquestionably a two-horse race," according to data and analysis by International Data Corporation (IDC). Android and iOS set a new combined smartphone OS record in the second quarter of 2012, with the two platforms feasting on an 85 percent share of the market, leaving just 15 percent in scraps for all others to fight over.
If you're wondering how OEMs are going to compete with Microsoft's own Surface tablet, here you go. Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the ThinkPad line, Lenovo, which bought the brand from IBM in 1995, unveiled its first Windows 8 tablet, the ThinkPad Tablet 2. It's a full-size 10.1-inch tablet with "differentiators that matter," like an optional digitizer pen, 3G wireless with pay-as-you-go plans, and 4G models.
Research In Motion (RIM) managed to escape from having to pay a hefty patent infringement fine when the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California overturned an earlier verdict that would have had the company pay $147.2 million in damages to Mformation, a software company that deals with mobile device management. According to the presiding judge, there wasn't enough evidence to support the jury's findings of patent infringement.
In the wake of AT&T rolling out Mobile Share data plans that allow its subscribers to share up to 20GB of data per month across a swath of wireless devices, Verizon Wireless has come forward to say, 'Hey, our Share Everything plans also go up to 20GB!' Big Red unveiled half a dozen shared data plans back in June that ranged from 1GB for $50/month to 10GB for $100/month, but it turns out there were higher tiers available. Twice as many, in fact.
DRAM makers have been struggling with falling memory prices for a few years now, and at one point in 2008, Adata chairman Simon Chen declared the DRAM market was the worst it's been in 15 years. Fast forward to today and DRAM players have found their saving grace in the mobile sector. While PC memory is still dirt cheap, mobile DRAM is on a record pace in terms of revenue.
Apple this week pulled out what it hopes will be a trump card in its courtroom battle with Samsung over allegations that the rival device maker copied the look and feel of its iPhone and iPad devices. The supposed trump card is a 132-page internal Samsung document from 2010 in which the company directly compares the Galaxy S1's shortcomings to the iPhone in a variety of areas, with recommendations on how to improve them.
Research In Motion (RIM) has a lot riding on the release of BlackBerry 10, the upcoming mobile operating system that will power a new generation of devices. If all goes to plan, BB10 will thrust RIM back into relevance and save a company that's seen its share of struggles in recent times. More likely, however, BB10 will stand in the shadows of next-gen OSes from Google and Apple, and if that happens, Samsung's best bet is to acquire RIM, according to analysts with investment firm Jeffries.
On the Surface, Microsoft is hoping its tablet strategy will ignite Windows 8 in the mobile space and steal a slice of Apple's market share pie, but at what cost? It's not an insignificant question. Microsoft relies on its hardware partners to drive its Windows platforms, and by taking the reigns and racing alongside them, the Redmond company is essentially biting the hands that feed it. Lest anyone think Microsoft's OEM partners are taking this lightly, Acer chairman J.T. Wang issued some words of warning to Microsoft.
The good news for Windows Phone developers is that support for in-app purchases is being added to your platform of choice, helping to level the playing field with Android and iOS. Unfortunately, the same courtesy isn't being extended to Windows Phone 7.8, a move that will leave existing WP users and developers in the cold, provided they're interested in the whole upsell business to begin with.