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5 years ago

HTC Owns "Touch" Trademark, Wants to Make Nice

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I know, I know, it's not right for me to keep writing about Apple-related stuff on a Windows Mobile site, but it's a slow news day. So: when Jobs intro'd the "iPod Touch" my first thought was "Hm, I have an HTC Touch in my pocket right now. How's that gonna work out?" Apparently, it's gonna work out just fine. HTC does indeed own a worldwide trademark on "Touch" for a handheld device and could, if they were so inclined, get sue-happy. That does appear to be in the cards, however:

Ching-hung Wang (transliterated from Chinese), marketing manager of HTC pointed out that he does not think Apple's iPod touch was targeting HTC since Apple should put its focus on bigger companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. As for whether iPod touch violates HTC's trademark, Wang pointed out that in the past Apple and Cisco were able to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement over the rights to the iPhone trademark, adding that the question surrounding the rights to the Touch trademark would need further observation.

Read: HTC proud to share touch vision with Apple

Two thoughts: HTC, I know you want to be humble and all, but you're a plenty big enough target for Apple (or anyone else, for that matter), no need to be so modest. Also, and I'm just saying here, name me a single person who equates "iPhone" with "Cisco" in any way, shape, or form.

...

I'm waiting.

Right. So, in the vein of "no press is bad press," I say take it to 'em, HTC. Like I said at the outset of this post, it's a slow news day and I'd love to see some action.

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5 years ago

iPhone Price Drop - Serious Competition for Windows Mobile

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I'm talking to my Windows Mobile peeps here: the gauntlet has been thrown down and thrown down hard. Everybody's atwitter about the iPod announcements yesterday and here's what I think it means for WM:

First - that iPod Touch, if Apple ever decides to get serious about adding PDA functionality, is serious competition for the non-smartphone PDA market. It's a market that's been shrinking fast (one of the reasons we here at WMExperts basically avoid it altogether) and I foresee it shrinking faster.

Second, and most importantly, I'll let Mike at Phone different have a word here from his "Phone different: 8GB iPhone: $399, Ringtones" article:

Holy smokes! Apple has put a $200 price cut on the 8 GB iPhone, and dropped the 4GB version altogether. That's right, the 8GB iPhone is now $399. Where do I line up for my $200 check? I'm equal parts filled with rage for paying a $200 early adopter fee, and equal parts filled with glee for a $200 price cut. I'm glad that it makes the iPhone that much more accessible for everyone else. I just feel a little sore when I sit, that's all.

Holy smokes indeed. I'd like to crow about how the price drop means the iPhone hasn't been moving as well as Apple hoped, but I don't really think that's the case. Instead, I think that it clearly means that Apple is serious about bare-knuckled fighting in the smartphone space1. I also think it means that we can expect a hardware update to the iPhone sooner than we may have previously expected - mayhap price drop to clear inventory?

In other words, Microsoft knew the iPhone was a threat before, now Apple's made it a big, spiky threat. I know this will ramp up the recent rumors of a Zune Phone, but I'm still of the opinion that Windows Mobile 7 / Photon will feature radically improved media (and browser, pretty please) functionality. Windows Mobile will absorb Zune functionality, not the other way around.

1 Yes, I'll admit it's basically a smartphone, at least it is now that you can hack it to get native apps. It's no true SDK, but I suppose it's enough. Yes, that's a turnabout. No, I don't want any to hear any guff about it.

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5 years ago

New HP iPaq Photos - Update: Officially Announced

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New HP iPaq Photos - Update: Officially Announced

Update: JGold is right in the comments - I think that 914 is Pro/touchscreen, should have trusted my gut instead of conflicting reports out there. Also, looks like the "4" at the end of those titles was wrong - they're official now as the 910 and 610, among other iPaqs:

So, here's the details. The HP 910 is the big mutha - Quad-band UMTS, WiFi, GPS, QWERTY keyboard, Touchscreen/Pro Edition, and the Cisco VOIP stuff baked right in (Yay!). The 610 is the same deal but with a standard 9-key pad, portrait display, and the cool scroll wheel. Pricing should be around 600 clams.

HP also released three traditional iPaq PDAs without phones built-in. Yeah, people are still buying PDAs, I guess, but ever fewer of them.

Original article (complete with pretty pictures and inaccurate speculation!) after the jump. Also after the jump, a demo video of the iPaq 610.

First we had small, blurry thumnails, now we have awesome photos of the new iPaqs. The headliner is definitely the Treo iPaq 914, with it's high-end specs (GPS + WiFi + 3G + 3mp camera == high end) and equally high-end price, $800ish. It's Standard Edition, though, if you want a touchscreen get the 614c with its fancy scroll-keypad. Expect them to hit in October(!), though the 914 may have to wait until November, according to Engadget.

Unknown at this point is whether or not they'll include HP's sweet VOIP software that they've released on previously-seen iPaqs, but here's to hoping that if they get carrier support, said carriers won't make them take it out.

Full pics after the break.

Read: Turbo-3G och navigering från HP via Engadget

iPaq 914:

iPaq 614c:

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5 years ago

Foleo Cancelled, A Curious Absence

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Foleo Cancelled, A Curious Absence

Here's me over at TreoCentral, reporting on Palm's big news yesterday afternoon:

Colligan states that Palm wants to focus their development efforts on the Linux Smartphone Platform, though he did write that Palm still plans on developing the a "Foleo II" and releasing it sometime in the future -- based on the new "unified platform."

Read: treocentral.com >> Stories >> Business >> Foleo Cancelled!

It looks like the overnights are in and the results are good for Palm. Sure, it's a black eye, but a black eye is better than walking around with your pants down. Reading over the reactions, I'd say it's about 10 "good move, Palm" to 1 "aww, bummer." Note that I've yet to come across a single "Palm, you idiots, don't cancel this!" reaction.

Even to the bitter end, I gave the Foleo the benefit of the doubt; which is to say "I seriously doubt the Foleo will work, but I kinda hope I'm wrong."

More after the break

Who was the Market?

I've said myself and I've read elsewhere (to many places and too long ago to properly cite) that the Foleo seemed to be designed specifically with me as a tech journalist in mind. Carrying it around conferences, using it during interviews, blogging on the go all would have been easier and better.

It also hit me hard as a former grad student - carrying this thing to classes and the library would have saved me quite a lot of pain and sorrow. In some ways I'm sorry that Palm didn't push the student aspect of it harder - though I understand why they didn't: their desire to focus on email (more on that below), cost, and perhaps the relative failure of the Newton eMate. The eMate, if you'll recall, was based on a popular PDA format translated into a mini-laptop form factor. Sound familiar? The eMate (the "e" is for "Education") didn't fly, either.

No, the target market from the Foleo, as stated by Palm from the get-go, was "Business Executives." This was why the email app got its own big button on the Foleo. This was also why Palm felt it could charge an outrageously exorbitant amount of money for it, apparently. Despite what you'll hear from motivational speakers, however, not everybody is an executive - it's not that large of a demographic. Of course, I'm sure Palm planned on expanding the market beyond executives and technophiliacs - but how exactly they were going to do that is beyond me.

Mobile Companion

The is the heart of the Foleo debate - just what niche does the Foleo fall into? This is another reason that the Foleo was a bit of a tech journalist dream - it gave us a chance to rethink the categories we use to think about gadgets. That was clearly Palm's intention - to shake up our preconceptions about what gadgets are. But the idea of a "Mobile Companion" was complicated from the start. Unlike the original Palm and also unlike the Treo, the Foleo didn't have an instant "AHA" moment when you saw it. Instead, it took a bit of explanation for you to understand that this was a thin client for your smartphone - or perhaps a thin client for your desktop via your smartphone - or perhaps a linux appliance - or perhaps ... you get the point.

Again, I'll come back to something I've said before about the Foleo - it was simultaneously three years late and three years early. In the form that we saw, it was clearly three years late - the technology and the ideas behind it were all here three years ago (it was, after all, little more than a Palm TX on the inside). Three years ago we certainly would have been wowed by the Foleo and by Palm's forward-thinking. Three years too late also? You bet. If the Foleo was supposed to really be a thin client for a smartphone, then the smartphone would need to be something better than what we have now - a phone that would have the power, storage, flexibility, and connectivity that we typically associate with laptops nowadays. We're close, but I'm thinking of somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 gigs of storage, faster processor, longer battery life, ... an uber-smartphone. They'll get here someday and when they do there really will be a market for a "mobile companion."

That, in the end, is where the Foleo failed. Palm said again and again that the Foleo wasn't meant to replace your laptop. Here's the rub: it should have been able to replace your laptop. On its own, perhaps not, but in conjunction with an uber-smartphone, yes. That's why I say that the Foleo was three years too early - smartphones just don't deserve to have "mobile companions" yet.

So it's good that Palm is focusing its efforts on just the smartphone OS - more competition should bring the day we have a smartphone worthy of a Foleo that much sooner. It's also important to note that Palm will continue to support Windows Mobile, bringing their "special sauce" of UI improvements to the platform (Yay for threaded SMS!)

A Curious Absence

So now what? Now we wait for Foleo II, I guess. Strangely, though Colligan's decision to Ax the Foleo has been almost universally praised, there's suddenly a hole in the market right now. Palm almost succeeded in creating their brand new "3rd category" of mobile devices. Now that they've tried, suddenly tiny laptops seem overburdened with cruft, UMPCs (even super-hot ones like the HTC Shift) seem to be trying to fit too much in too small a space.

A UMPC with a UMPC-specific OS designed to sync automatically with your smartphone and perhaps (finally) with "the cloud" directly would actually be pretty neat. Now that the Foleo is just an idea without all the hassles that a real-world device with real-world bugs and hassles brings, I almost feel it's more compelling. Unburdened of its physical form, the "Platonic Ideal" of a "Mobile Companion" is something that's really compelling.

...In a few years.

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5 years ago

HP iPAQ Photos Leaked

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HP iPAQ Photos Leaked

Here come the leaks - a couple of new iPAQs from HP. The first is the 614c - which is a WM6 Pro (Touchscreen) with HSDPA, WiFi, and GPS (!). The cool thing about it, though: take a close look at the keypad. See that ridge? That's a touch-sensitive scroll wheel - which allows the 614c to get a bigger screen by eliminating the 5-way button. The 914c is the same deal, but with the standard 5-way and a QWERTY keyboard. No word yet on when we'll see these hit, or how they'll hit out wallets.

HP is on the verge of really and truly reviving the iPAQ name - hopefully these will help.

Labeled the iPAQ 614c and 914c, the two devices line up pretty nicely with the rumors, with the 614c rocking a 2.8-inch QVGA screen in a candybar form factor with Windows Mobile 6 Professional, HSDPA, WiFi and a touch wheel, and even tacking on GPS and a 3 megapixel camera to the already juicy list. The 914c rotates the screen and goes QWERTY, with only 2.5-inches due to the orientation, but the same QVGA resolution and the rest of the 614c's specs

Read: MoDaCo via engadget mobile

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5 years ago

AT&T Windows Mobile 6 Delay Because of Good Messaging?

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AT&T Windows Mobile 6 Delay Because of Good Messaging?

Well Well, check out this little tibit from the TreoCentral Forums:

A mention today in the 750 forum makes the third instance I have heard that the ATT WM6 upgrades are being held up by the delays of GMM 5.0. Sources say that the ROM has been ready for weeks now (as witnessed by the dozens of successful upgrades with the "leaked" ATT ROM at places like XDA). However, since the GetGood functionality is part of ATT's base ROM, and since GMM 4.x versions are supposedly incompatible with WM6, the whole shooting match is waiting on GMM 5.0 to be complete.

Read: GMM 5.0 Holding Up WM6 Upgrades for ATT Devices - TreoCentral.com

Nice sleuthing there, WDW. Good Messaging, if you didn't know, is a great little push email alternative to Exchange and Blackberry for Windows Mobile (and PalmOS), which was acquired by Motorola. This whole theory should be taken with a grain of salt, though, as GoodGuy mentions that it gives "Good way too much credit for holding WM6 up." I'd tend to agree with GoodGuy, but something's holding things up, and I'm losing faith in my belief that it's because AT&T wants to drop WM6 for the Blackjack, 8525, and Treo 750 all at the same time. The ROM's for all three devices are, I believe, ready.

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5 years ago

Review: Motorola H700 Bluetooth Headset

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5 years ago

Samsung SCH-i760 Nearly Here

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Samsung SCH-i760 Nearly Here

In our Verizon Rumor Roundup I foolishly guessed that the i760 would arrive after Verizon's other Windows Mobile devices while Phone Arena guessed September. Phone Arena might have it right, as they've just noticed that the i760 has popped up on Samsung's website, with Verizon branding, no less. Specs:

-Windows Mobile 6 Professional
-Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
-Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
-Built in Camera and Camcorder
-microSD™ Memory Card Slot

Read: SAMSUNG SCH-I760 Verizon Wireless-mobile phones

It does seem to be a touch late, given that it actually popped up in an obscure corner of Verizon's own website in gallery form way back on July 12th. I won't complain about a September release, though, I'd call that right on time.

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5 years ago

Um, No: Microsoft Rumored to Buy RIM

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Um, No: Microsoft Rumored to Buy RIM

Sometimes a rumor is so ridiculous you have to comment on it. Our newest sister site, CrackBerry.com, is reporting that stock traders are all hopped up on rumors that Microsoft is thinking about acquiring RIM. CB's Michaluk puts the proper amount of skepticism in and I'm pretty sure it's not just fear of the Microsoft monster causing him to go into denial. It really is a silly rumor:

Steve Sachs, head of trading at Rydex Investments in Rockville, Maryland told Bloomberg, "We're hearing the same rumor everyone else is, the Microsoft and RIM rumor. I can't even count the number of times we've heard that over the last three years."

Microsoft has also recently been rumored to be thinking about buying Yahoo. Listen people: Microsoft already has a darn good mobile services solution and they're making some strides in online services (confusing branding aside). I know it's hard to believe about the "beast from Redmond," but sometimes Microsoft just likes to straight-up compete in the marketplace, okay?

Read: Traders Say Rumors Say Microsoft May Acquire RIM | CrackBerry.com

Anyhow, if you're one of those dirty crackberry users, head on over and say hi to our new buddies, they're good people aside from the fact that they seem to prefer Blackberrys. Blackberries. Whatever it is.

Update: Your truly suspects that some clueless wall street denizen must've heard something about Microsoft and RIM playing nice so that RIM could more easily develop their "Virtual Blackberry" software designed to sit on top of Windows Mobile. Just my guess, but it's a good one, no?

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5 years ago

HTC Nike Revealed, for Japan

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HTC Nike Revealed, for Japan

The Nike rumors are true - HTC announced it for Japan's DoCoMo network. The improvements over the HTC Touch are actually really nice:

  • 9 key physical keypad
  • HSDPA data + GSM for international roaming
  • an extra 1mp camera on the front for video conferencing
  • An FM radio tuner

The rest of the Touch goodness is there: the TouchFlo interface, the home screen addition (now with photo speed dial), the nice screen that's flush with the device (sadly still 320x240, though).

The slider keyboard means you're not going to have the wicked thinness of the Touch, but it's probably worth it to get that keypad. No word if we'll ever see this in the states, but the non-keyboard HTC Vogue is still coming to Sprint as the Touch.

After the break, a couple more shots of the Nike.

Read: Akihabara News via Engadget Mobile

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5 years ago

Treo 750v Gets WM6 -- In Europe (Updated)

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Treo 750v Gets WM6 -- In Europe (Updated)

Update: We have a couple of Treo 750vs lying about, so we downloaded the update. I just tried to install it on an AT&T Treo 750 and the software wouldn't let me - unsupported device. Bummer. So don't bend over backwards to try to grab this update if you're an AT&T customer - sit tight for the official release. Like you haven't been already.

What's the deal? First Australia gets WM6 on a Treo 750, now Europe is getting it too. When Palm first released the Treo 750, they said that dropping the antenna was important for the European market, thereby implying that us neanderthals in the US didn't care about the gigantic thumb-like obelisk sticking out of the top of the then-available-in-the-US Treos. What, we can't handle Windows Mobile 6 on a Treo either? It's just too.. too.... sophisticated. Pah! Where's the love, Palm?

The love, I suspect, is completely sucked dry by AT&T, who clearly is the hold up here. I had previously assumed they'd release WM6 for the Blackjack, Treo 750, and the 8525 at the same time, so the Blackjack's rumored date of Sept 17th is a good bet. Or you could, you know, get googling on the leaked Windows Mobile 6 on Treo 750 ROM, which is peachy.

Anyhow, if you're in Europe or have a Treo 750v (the "v" is for "Vodaphone"), you can get the official update here.

Palm also released its Windows Mobile 6 upgrade in Europe - at the moment for the Vodafone Treo 750v only and available right from now for UK, Irish and Dutch users. The generic, non branded Treo 750 upgrade for the rest of Europe is expected to be released during September

Read: the::unwired - AVAILABLE: Palm releases first Windows Mobile 6 upgrades for the Treo 750v

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5 years ago

LG's Prada-esque Windows Mobile Smartphone

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LG's Prada-esque Windows Mobile Smartphone

When we speculated that the new Broadcom/Micosoft Design center built at LG's behest meant we've have the Prada phone running Windows Mobile, we figured it would be a long time before there was confirmation. Like, a week. Or not - because two days later LG has unveiled the KS20 -- announcing availability in Europe by the end of the year. Pah - snooty Europeans getting their fashion phones before us.

All I know is that I'm thankful that they've ran far away from the design elements of the prototype shown at CTIA in March 2007. Fugly? Super fugly.

Although the KS20 shares much of the looks of the KU990, they've actually trimmed back the display to 2.8-inches (compared to 3-inches on the KU990) while acing that 5.1 megapixel shooter for a skimpy, business-minded 2 megapixeler all riding atop a Windows Mobile 6.0 OS. Expected Q4 in Europe r

Read: LG's KS20 ready for the suits with WinMo 6 and HSDPA - Engadget Mobile

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5 years ago

Windows Mobile 6 on the Blackjack - Sept 17th?

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Windows Mobile 6 on the Blackjack - Sept 17th?

We have been wrong before about the release date for the Windows Mobile 6 upgrade for the Samsung Blackjack, so take this one with a grain of salt. Smartphone Thoughts is reporting:

Now, word is circulating that the production release of Windows Mobile 6 for the BlackJack will hit the streets (or maybe just AT&T's website) on September 17th. I know that sounds far away, but really it's just a couple weeks. We can hang on until then, right?

Ok. The 17th sounds fine. That's the day the US Constitution was signed, after all. ...You're expecting a strained metaphor about Windows Mobile 6? I'm not going there, just saying. Also just saying: we know for a fact (or at least we're really sure) that the release is coming in Q3. We also know for a fact (or at least really hope) that the leaked WM6 Blackjack ROM was far from ready on June 6th -- so three months to work out the kinds sounds reasonable. Right?

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5 years ago

The Best Windows Mobile Phone Ever. Period. HTC TyTN II

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The HTC TyTN II has been announced for Europe, on pretty much every European carrier. You may know it as the Kaiser or the Tilt, but from now on you should just think of it as the Awesome. I was already impresssed with:

  • 3G
  • WiFi
  • GPS
  • 3 megapixel camera
  • innovative tilting design.

...Now a glimpse at what they're including software-wise seals the deal: like the title says, the HTC TyTN II looks to be the most powerful Windows Mobile Device ever put into production. Check this out (emphasis mine):

HTC HomeTM, HTC's new homescreen, offers easy access to photo dialing, text messages, calendar entries, emails and contacts, as well as one touch access to live weather conditions plus four-day forecasts. [...] In addition, HTC has included further applications such as a business card scanner and TomTom Navigator 6 (Taster edition) to complement the in-built GPS.

Read: HTC launches the HTC TyTN II in Europe @ Mobility Today

Sadly, I don't have high hopes that the evil empire of AT&T will be as generous, but nevermind that. When the Tilt reaches these shores on September 3rd it will be the de facto king of the hill.

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5 years ago

Yahoo Mail Adds Free SMS, Yahoo Go Microreview

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Yahoo Mail's new interface is finally out of beta and they've added a nice little bonus: Free SMS in the US, Canada, India, and the Philippines:

The main addition of the new version which we care about is the ability to send free text messages to any mobile phone number in the US, Canada, India and the Philippines. The feature is seamlessly incorporated into the new Yahoo! Mail, and all you have to do is enter a mobile phone number into the “To:” field, type your text message and hit sent.

Read: IntoMobile

My favorite part - you don't have to know which carrier you're sending to. A lot of free SMS services make you pick the carrier from a drop-down menu -- a huge hassle.

Yahoo Go Microreview

In somewhat related news - my elation about Yahoo Go finally arriving to Windows Mobile completely evaporated when I installed it. Yahoo's decision to make the User Interface the same as the feature-phone version of the app means that it no longer utilizes Windows Mobile's built-in features in any interesting ways. It's slow, unwieldy, and a pain overall. Some of the integration features (like uploading to Yahoo Pictures/Flickr) are nice, but the fact that it no longer seamlessly integrates with Pocket Outlook is a deal breaker for me. I don't have the heart to give it a full review. Boo urns, Yahoo.

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