Rumors

We already know that Verizon and Microsoft have pulled the plug on the whole KIN series (see our review), the question then becomes what to do about existing supplies?

We're getting word, confirmed though two sources, that anything and everything KIN gets sent back to...wherever...starting tomorrow. What happens to them is anyone's guess.

That's right folks, we may be on the verge of a fabled E.T. game situation for the KIN-they will perhaps be dumped in a big landfill, where 20 years from now, rare NIB KINS will fetch for thousands of dollars on eBay.

The geek inside of us wants to run out and buy one to keep next to our big-head Han Solo action figure; the analyst in us sees Microsoft trying to erase this mistake from history and think that's OK.

[Thanks, Jason Cipriani, for the tip!]

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File this under "confusing": Are the HTC Schubert and HTC Mozart one and the same? We may be finding out soon as TmoNews is hearing from a trusted source that the HTC Mozart (a 800x480, keyboardless slab) is coming to T-Mobile USA in the fall.

The big question is are Schubert/Mozart just swappable code names--one being the general device ('Mozart'), the other the carrier specific version ('Schubert') or are they two separate devices?  Too early to tell and like most WP7 device leaks, no hard info to really get excited about.

Hopefully we'll see some real hardware, real specs and something tangible soon.

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In an updated slide presented by Steve Ballmer during WPC10 the other day, HP was notably absent from the "launch partner" list for Windows Phone 7.

Unless they were just forgotten, it's sort of a big deal since HP was initially listed months ago as being one of the big OEMs to release a WP7 device this fall. Of course with their acquisition of Palm and specifically their WebOS, it's probably not a huge surprise that they've cold feet--even if they don't consider smartphones 'hard' or their main focus. Then again, they are still listed as a Microsoft slate-partner, even though they've said they would do a WebOS slate, possibly this year. Going further, this seems to contradict earlier reports that HP was "committed" to Windows Phone 7--even though they never actually stated as much.

Of course, while we're always excited about Microsoft working with as many OEMs as possible for design innovation and just general competition reasons, HP has not exactly lit the world on fire with their WM6.5 push in 2009 and we can't say we're too sad not to see them not listed.

Heck, with Dell being on board, we'll take that swap any day.

[via MobileTechWorld]

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AT&T gifting Microcells?

AT&T wireless customers are getting complimentary Microcells? It sounded too good to be true but we were seeing reports over the weekend that AT&T was handing out the Microcells to a  few fortunate AT&T customers.  Apparently, letters were sent out thanking customers for their patronage and invited them to the local AT&T store for a FREE 3G Microcell. 

Speculation as to why AT&T was giving away free Microcells ranged from an attempt to retain customers with soon to expire contracts to attracting iPhone customers to stick around in light of the persistent rumors another carrier will get the iPhone.

Curious as to how one would go about getting on such a mailing list, we received an official statement from AT&T that reads,

"AT&T's 3G Microcell is designed for the very small percentage of our customers who have wireless voice coverage challenges inside their home. While the product is now available to customers nationwide, we are conducting trials in two markets on the most effective way to introduce this product to customers for whom it was designed."

Just as with the initial trials, it appears that these lucky customers are simply part of a marketing research group. No conspiracy to get contracts renewed or entice iPhone owners to stick around, just marketing research.  Regardless of the reasoning, the free Microcell does serve as a nice bonus (it works like a charm) for those who received the letter.

Update: Just got word from AT&T that the free Microcells are being sent out on a very limited basis.  According to the revised statement, "AT&T's 3G Microcell is designed for the very small percentage of our customers who have wireless voice coverage challenges inside their home. While the product is now available to customers nationwide, we are conducting very limited trials on the most effective way to introduce this product to customers for whom it was designed."  Not much new with the updated statement other than the odds of getting a free Microcell just greatly reduced.

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WP7 Rumors: HTC Schubert headed to T-Mobile

T-Mobile's roadmap to the end of the year has leaked and it includes the HTC Schubert, a Windows Phone 7 device.

The slide (blurry as it may be) shows sixteen devices coming to T-Mobile by year's end including a bunch of Android devices and on November 17th, the HTC Schubert. Very little is known about the Schubert beyond it being identified as a WP7 device and rumors that it's headed to Telus (and now T-Mobile).

So, we've got rumors that the HTC Gold is headed to the U.K. in November, the Schubert headed to T-Mobile in November and the odd man out is AT&T who may receive a Windows Phone 7 device as early as late July. Throw in all the speculation of an October launch for WP7 and the next few months are shaping up to be very interesting.

[androidspin via androidcentral]

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WP7 Rumors: HTC Gold appears on leaked roadmap

What is expected to be one of HTC's first Windows Phone 7 devices, the HTC Gold, has made an appearance on a leaked roadmap for the U.K. Market. Omio.com is reporting that the HTC Gold is due to hit the U.K. markets sometime in November of 2010.

The leaked U.K. roadmap is in line with previous reports from HTC that they will launch a Windows Phone 7 device by the end of 2010. Oddly, the Gold is the only Windows Phone 7 device on the leaked list.

The Gold joins the Monderian as HTC's leading candidates for the Windows Phone 7 market. We've seen signs that the Gold may be headed to Sprint while the Monderian may be headed to AT&T. Could their U.S. release coincide with the U.K. release? Or will the States get these phones first?

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WP7 Rumors: July Launch?

 

When Microsoft pulled back the curtain on Windows Phone 7 earlier this year at the 2010 Mobile World Congress, expectations called for a Holiday Season 2010 release date. Not too long ago, that projected release date was pulled back to October and now we're seeing signs that it may be pulled back to the end of July 2010.

An AT&T retail signage outline has been discovered identifying two Windows Phone 7 plaques to be set on or about July 24th. We don't expect phones to be on the shelf come July 24th but it's a good indication we might see WP7 phones sooner than expected.

It's not uncommon for retail stores to begin advertising new phones weeks, if not months, before the actual phones hit the shelves. So, the October launch may still ring true if not a September launch. Confidence is high that Microsoft will meet the Holiday Season 2010 deadline, it's now a question of how ahead of schedule Windows Phone 7 will be.

[read: Engadget.com]

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Rumors of the HTC HD3 running Windows Phone 7 device have surfaced yet again. The modestly detailed images have the HD3 sporting a 4.5" AMOLED screen, measuring 4.53" x .4" x 2.56", as well as having 1GB RAM, 1GB ROM, and 16GB memory under the hood.

Additionally, the HD3 will have a 1.5ghz Snapdragon processor and a 8mp camera capable of recording at 720p with 1080p playback. This could be another "fantasy phone" rendering of the HD3. The specs are almost identical to those we saw in the first imposter and both first surfaced from Chinese tech sites.

Real or not, the specs and pictures are impressive. However, for now we'll keep this filed under hopeful rumor.

Update: It should be noted that this was actually an old, concept rendering not attributed to HTC going back to March. In other words, quite far from fact. --Malatesta

[read: mobilitysite.com]

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Microsoft has already sent BING to the iPhone and now it looks as if Office Mobile may be following suit. A recent Microsoft job posting for a Business Division Software Engineer reads, in part, "In addition to the current Windows Mobile 6.5 and upcoming WM7 clients, with the recently announced alliance between Microsoft and Nokia we are working to bring Office Mobile to hundreds of millions of Nokia smartphone owners, followed by other leading Smartphone platforms."

One can only assume that the "other leading smartphone platforms" would include the iPhone 4 or possibly Android phones. While expansion isn't necessarily a bad thing, one has to wonder if Microsoft should keep their focus in-house and get Windows Phone 7 finely tuned before branching outwards.  Then again, Microsoft is a huge company and having more than one pot on the stove shouldn't be an issue.

[read: wmpoweruser.com]

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KIN update in the works?

Microsoft's KIN appears to be scheduled for an update later this summer. ROM aficionado Conflipper picked up on chatter to suggest that updates will add twitter replies, the ability to re-tweet, and the ability to view more than three Facebook pictures. You may even see You Tube support in this update.

Could this be the spark that gets the KIN rolling? Or will it require a data package that fits the scaled down Windows Phone better? Mid-summer is just around the corner and we'll keep an eye out for more information on the potential upgrade. I wonder if Microsoft will remember the calendar app with this upgrade.

Read: Microsoft Answers

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Following up on that Cannes Lions video yesterday, Mobility Digest (and 'Stepehn' in our comments, natch) noticed that when Kostas loads up that Xbox website, the site contains embedded Silverlight material--specifically an HD video.

Now, Microsoft has repeatedly stated, even as little as one month ago, that Silverlight won't be embedded in Mobile IE in WP7, at least not initially  Seems odd for them to want to hide such a feature since promoting Silverlight web development would be in their interest. However, the Mobile IE team is working quite hard and perhaps they have been ahead of schedule in building on features?

But to play devil's advocate, we never actually see any Silverlight content load or play. Then again there must be some type of Silverlight recognition going, since we don't get a grey placeholder box or something similar, like when say the iPhone/iPad can't load Flash.

Right now we'll file this under plausible. But until we hear from the Mobile IE team, Microsoft themselves or see it in action, we're going to remain a wee bit skeptical as we don't want to get anyone's hopes up.

Update: Actually, as pointed out in comments and evidenced by the picture below, Silverlight is not embedded. What you get is a notification to download Silverlight (assuming its supported), which is mentioned in the video. The static-image is automatic and nothing unique as can be seen by the screenshot from my Android HTC EVO. So yeah, nothing to see here folks :-/

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T-Mobile is due to fold up it's tent by the end of 2011.  Or so says 24/7 Wall St.

The financial analysis website has compiled a listing of companies they see as not making it to 2012. Other companies joining T-Mobile on the list include Blockbuster, Reader's Digest, KIA Motors, and Radio Shack.

While we're not holding our breath on this prediction, the opinion is based in part because T-Mobile is the number four wireless provider and will face competitive challenges that will either force the company to merge or collapse. Profits have declined over the past year which will make it difficult for T-Mobile to develop. The analysis points out that "it (T-Mobile) has to begin to offer 4G service to compete with Sprint’s new WiMax service and LTE-based products from AT&T and Verizon." and T-Mobile is likely not to get either complete before the competition offers such service.

It is yet to be determined how many new customers took advantage of their recent "Mother of all Father's Day" sale where every phone was free (two year commitment required) and the company is rumored to get the new iPhone 4. On the Windows Phone front, T-Mobile has seen some success in offering the HTC HD2 and we still don't know what impact Windows Phone 7 will have on the market. So all may not be as bad as 24/7 Wall St. makes it out to be.

So, what do you think? Is T-Mobile's goose cooked?

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For those of you who remember when Windows Phone 7 debuted, you may recall that the Xbox gaming hub was not 'live' at the time--the personal avatar didn't do the little jig  as it was just a place-holder, as well as not updating all the gaming achievements that you may have won.

As we approach RTM, we knew of course that would change and we're getting word now that, indeed the Xbox hub is now live and ready to go. From Michael Klucher, a WP7 developer:

My Windows Phone 7 device has really become my phone. I keep it updated with the latest builds and use it as I would any phone I’ve ever owned. I play games(from App Week), check my email, listen to music, and surf the web. This week started out like most others, I flashed my phone, entered my Windows Live ID, and went into the Games Hub…

Whoa! That’s me! By me of course I mean my Gamertag, Avatar, and latest Achievement in the Games Hub! I couldn’t believe it, we’ve had the Games Hub working for a while, but up until now it’s been on internal networks inside Microsoft. This week was the first time I really got to see my “true” gamer identity on the phone.

... It’s an incredible experience to see something that many of us have been working on really come together and shine

We can't be the only ones who are excited about this Xbox integration and we're pretty psyched to see this all in person at some point. Combined with the re-launch of XBox & Zune in the fall, Microsoft has a great opportunity for synergy here, lets hope they deliver.

[via Deranged Shaman ; Thanks, Sergio F., for the tip!]

 

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Just yesterday we were wondering when Adobe Flash would be launching with Windows Phone 7, especially with Adobe suddenly listing the fledgling OS on their site.

Today, we get word from  Michael Chaize, a Flash Platform evangelist based in Paris, that Flash and AIR (allows Flash to run in non-browser situations), will be released on WP7 "within months" of release, possibly as little as six-months post-release.

We think this would make sense for Microsoft as they would probably package it an maintenance release for the OS, pushed out to everyone with hopefully other things like copy-paste and socket support.

Of course this is Adobe, so "within months" from them is almost equivalent to 'Valve-time'.

[via Tim Anderson's ITWriting]

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Samsung to announce the Omnia Pro 4

Samsung is rumored to be announcing a new Windows Phone, the Omnia Pro 4, tomorrow at CommunicAsia 2010. CommunicAsia is an international communications and information technology conference held in Singapore.

All we know from the rumors is the name and that the Omnia Pro 4 is expected to be announced with two new Bada phones, Samsung's OS, the Wave 2 and Wave 2 Pro. There were no hint at the Omnia Pro 4's specs or what happened to the Omnia Pro 2 or 3.

While the Samsung Omnia made its way to the U.S. Market, the Omnia Pro (pictured above) found a place in overseas markets. Odds aren't great that we'll see the Omnia Pro 4 but with so little known about this new phone, anything is possible. As we find out more on the Omnia Pro 4, we'll pass it on.

[read: Samsung Hub]

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Windows Phone 7 Rumor: Sony Ericsson Julie

Add Sony Ericsson to the growing list of potential Windows Phone 7 device rumors. There are plenty of rumors surrounding HTC devices and now Sony is rumored to have the Julie.

The Julie is reported to have a 4" screen and sliding QWERTY keyboard along with the standard WP7 goodies (1 gigahertz processor, multi-touch capability, etc).

Sony was mentioned amongst the many hardware launch partner when Windows Mobile 7 was announced during the 2010 Mobile World Congress.  So the rumors aren't that far of a reach except Sony hasn't been a major player on the Windows Phone front.  Maybe things are about to change.

Still, it would be interesting to see a Sony WP7 phone with Xbox integration. I wonder how the Play Station crowd will react.

[via: wmpoweruser.com]

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HTC HD2 model rumored with keyboard

The HTC HD2 may soon be available with a side-sliding keyboard. Or so says Xmoo, a ROM collector, who has found evidence for such a HD2 version.

Just as with Conflipper finding evidence of potentially new HTC Windows Phones, Xmoo has found evidence in the registry keys of a new HD2 ROM that support a slide-out QWERTY device.

This is purely in the speculation/rumor stages. However, adding a keyboard to the HD2 is an interesting concept. If this develops into reality, you can only hope HTC finds a way to keep the increase in thickness the keyboard will bring to a minimum.

[read: wmpoweruser.com]

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T-Mobile is rumored to have one heck of a Father's Day sale where all the phones are free? We're not just talking about last year's models but every phone in the house for free? That would include Windows Phones such as the HTC HD2, Touch Pro 2, and the Dash.

I'm not sure if I'd make plans to camp out at the local T-Mobile Store on June 19th just yet, but Tmonews has stumbled upon scripts for an upcoming T-Mobile commercial. In the dialog the fictional T-Mobile employee indicates every phone is free. There is even reference to the HD2 being free.  To quote the fictional employee, "free, free, free".

There are no details available yet on who could be entitled to a free phone. More than likely these deals will be for new or possibly upgrading customers and should require a two-year contract. Still, if true, T-Mobile could be seeing an increase in their customer base come Father's Day.

[read: tmonews.com]

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Back a few months ago, someone on a Chinese site (QQ.com) published the supposed specs for the HTC HD3.

We didn't really cover it, because

  • Sure, it's HTC anything is possible
  • There's no real proof

Flash forward six-months later and the situation is still the same, but the technology landscape has changed a bit. For instance, 1.5GHz processors are now real and ready to roll, so that's possible. WiMax is out now (HTC EVO) and even 8MP cameras are legit. But yeah, we also know that 1280x800 is not a supported Windows Phone 7 resolution and a 4.5" screen was always suspect (plus just getting ridiculous; then again, hello Dell Mini 5 'Streak'!).

But still, suppose HTC does make a HD3--not really a stretch of the imagination, is it? Lets take a guess: it'll be a big black slab, three capacitive buttons on the front,  8MP back camera, 1.3MP front, WiMax (or LTE) and a 1.5GHz Snapdragon. The screen will be 4.3", give or take. Slap and HTC logo on there, sell it off to Sprint and AT&T and we're good to go. Are we close?

So the phone featured in this fake video-promo for the supposed HD3?  Probably still fake, but also likely pretty close to whatever the actual HD3 will be, since this isn't rocket science. Go ahead watch, get your drool bucket and put that Sprint EVO order on hold for a few months.

Check the "video" (really just still shots and HTC logo) after the break...

[edit: And of course some of this was published over at WMPU awhile back]

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File this under 'rumor' but technically very plausible.

We know Windows Phone 7 will be locked for advanced OS options and privileges and that developers will have access to these.  And like the iPhone and Android platforms, presumably after the device is "rooted" or "jailbroken", the modding community can have a real go at the OS.

What we don't know is exactly how much of the 'Metro' UI can be changed or modified, but for a lot of folks, they're hoping that most if not all of it can be replaced.

Justin Angel, a former Microsoft Silverlight Program Manager involved heavily with software development in Windows Phone 7, said recently in a tweet:

OEMs (phone vendors) can replace Metro completely, but they won't. It'll be easy to jailbreak WP7 into another theme though.

OEM get to ship 2 themes (OEMLight and ORMDark). A Theme _can_ customize anything, including control templates.

OEMs will have an advanced tool set not available to the public (how long before those leak) which gives them access, to among other things, the phone-radio and evidently the UI (though one wonders what WP7 would "look like" without 'Metro'?). The good news is something we expect to here more of: once the device is jailbroken (which won't take long), people will be able to modify the UI to their liking.

How deep we can go is all the remains. Hopefully it's more than just changing color "accents".

[via @JustinAngel 1, 2]

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