All the buzz about Nokia today may have been about the launch of the N97, the company's new high-end smartphone. But Nokia did have other news: it has completed its acquisition of Symbian, maker of the mobile operating system on many cell phones. Symbian employees will become Nokia employees on Feb. 1, 2009. The acquisition was a step toward the early 2009 establishment of the Symbian Foundation, a joint effort between Nokia and partner companies such as AT&T, LG Electronics, Motorola, Samsung and others to create a royalty-free open-source operating system. Plans for the foundation were originally announced in June. Also see: Nokia Symbian deal winners and losers … [Read more...] about In other Nokia news today…
Smartphones news today
The death of the Firefox OS smartphoneThe Firefox OS smartphone has been discontinued by Mozilla. This comes as no real surprise, given the intense competition in the smartphone market and the domination of Apple's iOS and Google's Android phones.Ingrid Lunden reports for TechCrunch:Farewell Firefox OS smartphones. Mozilla today announced an end to its smartphone experiment, and said that it would stop developing and selling Firefox OS smartphones. It will continue to experiment on how it might work on other connected devices and Internet of Things networks.To differentiate from Android and iOS, Mozilla and its carrier partners focused on a web-first platform, with no native and only web apps. Sales, however, were always poor and the devices themselves failed to ignite a lot of consumer interest, and a number of OEMs cornered the market with a flood of cheap handsets. In a business that depends on economies of scale, it was a failure.Firefox OS was first unveiled in 2013, with the aim … [Read more...] about The Firefox OS smartphone is dead
The majority of BlackBerry smartphones shipped in the past few years carried one of Research In Motion's (RIM) crafty device "brand names" like Pearl, Curve, Bold or Storm. That's because the company wisely realized somewhere along the line that its product portfolio was rapidly outgrowing its past model-number-based smartphone-naming conventions.When you only sell a few different handhelds, it's acceptable--though not necessarily wise--to call one smartphone the BlackBerry 123 and another the BlackBerry 456, for example, because there simply aren't enough gadgets to cause much confusion. Especially when most of your end-customers are enterprises or organizations that buy in bulk through wireless carriers.The problem comes in when you drastically jack up your portfolio and expand the target audience to include, say, millions of consumers--which is exactly what RIM has done since the fall of 2006, when it unveiled the BlackBerry Pearl 8100, the first consumer-oriented BlackBerry.RIM's … [Read more...] about Memo to RIM: BlackBerry Name Confusion Bad News for Buyers
There's quite a collection of good and colorful blogs that track iPhones, Android devices, BlackBerries and other smartphones and no shortage of overlapping coverage among them (How many different "scoops" on the Android-powered Motorola Devour phone did I come across today?). Some are written by professional reporters, others by unapologetic geeks and others by thinly-veiled marketers. Here's a spin through 50 of these mobile phone blogs, excluding more general gadget sites and including a few from my employer, IDG:Slideshow: Smartphones of CTIA Fall 2009: 10 Groundbreaking Gadgets Get Your BlackBerry Black Belt with CIO.com's BlackBerry Bible: Everything You Need to Know About Your RIM SmartphoneGeneral smartphonesBGR (Boy Genius Report): The mysterious Boy Genius and friends blog about mobile gadgets from Apple, RIM and others, and more often than not, are the first ones out with the information. Blog posts cover everything from the latest device rumors to straight financial … [Read more...] about 50 Smartphone Blogs: a Whirlwind Tour of IPhone, Android and BlackBerry Sites
Sayonara spotty hotel Internet. Au revoir overloaded coffee-shop wireless. Bye-bye pricey airport Wi-Fi.If you have a BlackBerry with a strong wireless connection, you may never have to deal with such unappealing connectivity options again. As long as you know how to tether that BlackBerry to your PC to share its connection, that is.More than two years ago, I penned my first tutorial on how to use a Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry smartphone to connect a Windows PC to the Internet, a.k.a., how to "tether" your PC to a BlackBerry and utilize its Web connection. It would be an understatement to say a lot has changed since then--in both the mobile/smartphone industry and from a tethering-perspective.For example, setting up a BlackBerry tether connection used to require a lot of heavy-lifting; my first tutorial on BlackBerry tethering consisted of pages and pages of in-depth instructions. I wrote a second, equally-long post on how to wirelessly tether using with a Bluetooth-enabled … [Read more...] about BlackBerry How To: Tether Your PC to the Internet via Smartphone
If you've read much news today, you've probably heard that Sprint is enacting a new premium data add-on that'll increase smartphone users' postpaid rates in order to enable the carrier to offer simple and affordable plans while maintaining its ever-expanding wireless network (whew!). Slideshow: Wireless Networks and Mobility QuizConfused yet? Allow me to translate: Sprint's smartphone data plans are going up by ten bucks a month.Sprint announced the change via a press release this morning. The move isn't that big of a deal, necessarily -- Sprint will still offer unlimited data and continue to have cheaper smartphone plans than its competitors, in certain scenarios -- but if you ask me, the way the company's approaching the change is more than a little shifty.Sprint's Smartphone Surcharge: The Perception ProblemSprint's new smartphone surcharge appears to stem from a couple of conflicting interests: Sprint wants to be able to tout its low-cost smartphone plans (pay $69.99 a month and … [Read more...] about Sprint’s New Smartphone Fee: How ‘Bout a Little Honesty?
I write one of these "Tech Trends of 20XX" stories every year. For me, it's as big a part of the holidays as theA Yule Log. I can remember some years when the big predictions for the next year were just the natural, incremental growth of current trends. [ The Weirdest Tech Stories of 2013 ]But some of the big tech trends we'll see next year seem futuristic--technologies that are quickly ramping up toward some sort of tipping point after which life could change in big, obvious ways. Let's start with the future of your wrist. The year of the smartwatchI'm betting on smartwatches this year. A friend of mine told me that she bought a watch because she was tired of pulling out her phone to get the time. She prefers that familiar motion of swinging her arm up to present the back of one's wrist to one's face to get the time. With the right device, it seems natural that people would like to get lots of other kinds of information at the end of that same gesture. [ 14 Smartwatches That Are … [Read more...] about Tomorrow’s News Today: The Biggest Tech Stories of 2014
The 5-in. touchscreen BlackBerry Z30 smartphone may sadly become a modern-day fable, one in which pundits shake their heads over a great phone that just couldn't make it in the wider marketplace. [ Fade to Black(Berry): 8 Years Covering the Rise and Fall of RIM ] [ In Wake of BlackBerry's Demise, CIOs Look to Samsung, Apple and Microsoft ]With a screen that's 38% larger than the 4.2-in. Z10 smartphone that shipped in late March in the U.S., the Z30 turns what was cramped touchscreen typing and navigation on the older model into a mobile user's dream device.There are other physical improvements beyond the bumped-up size: four microphones instead of two, a beefy but non-removable 2880 mAh battery and a number of small-but-mighty productivity improvements within the new BlackBerry 10.2 operating system.Sadly, the device could face slim sales, especially in the U.S. -- even worse than the disappointing sales of the Z10 that led to a near $1 billion write-down at the company. Nearly … [Read more...] about BlackBerry Z30 Deep-Dive Review: Upgraded Software in a Great 5-in. Smartphone
Here are the mobile stories that caught my eye this week. We had everything from major acquisition rumors to app store milestones to changes in carriers' handset selections.RIM unveils BlackBerry 6.0RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis unveiled the BlackBerry 6.0 OS during the WES 2010 keynote in Orlando on Tuesday. TechRepublic's Jason Hiner provides a first look at BlackBerry 6.0.While it promises complete upgrades of many key apps, the addition of a WebKit-based browser and new features like multi-touch and an RSS reader, the response from the mobile community has not been upbeat.Check out this Black Eyed Peas-infused demo video to see the new OS for yourself.BlackBerry, while still the smartphone marketshare leader, has lost a ton of momentum to the iPhone and Android platforms. I don't know if Tuesday's announcement was enough to get any of it back. While at WES 2010, Jason Hiner also reported on the BlackBerry Bold 9650 and the BlackBerry Pearl 3G.Rumor: Apple interested in … [Read more...] about Smartphones news: WES 2010, acquisition rumors, Android Market, Nexus One
Google made news earlier this year when it announced that it was revitalizing the Project Ara modular phone system with a developer kit and conference. The idea behind the project is a phone skeleton with upgradable modules that allow users to pick and choose which features they want to upgrade, without upgrading to a new phone entirely. A secondary purpose for Project Ara is to reduce the number of phone upgrades so users aren't trapped in traditional carrier upgrade cycles. Recently, Google has been making announcements about progress on the Ara project in an attempt to legitimize the project. Here are the last three announcements: 1. Google announced a Module Developers Kit (MDK) for Ara 2. The modules would attach to the phone via unlockable electro-permanent magnets 3. 3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental announced 3D printed modules for Ara will ship next year For a company known for their innovative "moonshots," Ara is a logical move for Google, but … [Read more...] about Is Google crowdsourcing the future of smartphone design with Project Ara?