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More of my speculation on Google Phone Nexus One hardware and services pricing

Posted by Charbax – December 14, 2009

EDIT: Google has not confirmed any pricing for the Google Phone Nexus One. You can read my latest post backing up my speculations on what I expect Google will price it, what I think Google should price it: http://armdevices.net/2009/12/16/the-blogosphere-reports-my-nexus-one-pricing-speculation-as-fact/

As I have been posting in comments on mediamemo.allthingsd.com, gizmodo.com and androidguys.com, I enjoy speculating about features and prices of phones and business models. So let me post here the prices that I expect this first Google Phone to be sold at and some of what I expect of its hardware specifications:

- $200 sold through all retailers, Best Buy, Amazon, Wal Mart and any others. Unlocked, for use on any network, but I think it may come with a so-called Google SIM card (read further below)

- Google may provide a subsidy up to $100 for long-time and very active Google users. So if you buy it online using your Google Account, they may provide you with an instant rebate. If you buy it for $200 in retail stores, Google can still provide you the online $100 rebate to use on the Google Android Marketplace, on Google Checkout stores or even on extra data for your Google SIM card (read futher below).

- My speculation is that Google may provide up to 100mb of free data usage per month to all Android users with a Google SIM card (read futher below). The 100mb per month would be enough for as much Google Voice, Gmail, Gtalk, and basic web browsing that most people need (disabling bandwidth intensive things such as images can easily be setup). No contracts needed for those 100mb per month, but those may only work for use on Google services, for low bandwidth Android apps or for basic web browsing. In any ways, there would be a bandwidth usage counter clearly displayed at the top of the Android user interface next to the battery meter. The free 100mb per month may be throttled and may sometimes be limited to GPRS type of speeds.

- Extra bandwidth could be purchased in one click, such as I expect 1GB for $10 or 5€ is possible. That extra GB of bandwidth would be usable at any point in time and not need to be renewed every month.

- A monthly $30 or 20€ bandwidth package would provide up to 5GB in the USA or 10GB in Europe per month of unrestricted and full speed 3G bandwidth usage.

- Thus the overall Bill Of Material and Manufacturing costs for a Google Nexus One is probably below $150, so Google can very likely sell it below $200 with 8GB built-in storage and with MicroSD for storage expansion. Google doesn't look for making profits on hardware, they will make their profits on ads over the several months or several years that the hardware is being used.

The Google SIM card speculation:

- All those bandwidth speculations would work using the Google SIM card on any unlocked Android phone. Though since the Nexus One would be unlocked, any other SIM card could be used as well. And thus, competitors or telecom carriers themselves can provide SIM cards with pre-paid, with or without subscriptions for other packages of data usage. I think Google would allow Microsoft and others to take part in financing those free 100mb per month so users would be able to use competing online services and VOIP providers for free as well.

The calculation and speculation for a worldwide Google SIM card bandwidth service should thus be based on trying to not only guess if carriers will allow Google to turn them into dumb pipes of bandwidth, on the other hand, we should try to guess what price Google may pay to buy 3G data bandwidth in bulk from the carriers and thus at what price Google may sell it back to Android users without the need of monthly data subscriptions. My guess is that $10 per GB in the USA and 5€ per GB in Europe should be more than enough payment for the 3G data bandwidth. And that most likely Google should be able to purchase that for much lower prices if Google negociates deals for several Petabytes of 3G data bandwidth with the carriers. Thus giving away 100MB of bandwidth per unlocked Android user per month, would most likely cost a lot less than $1 per month to Google, thus that would be something Google should be able to give to unlocked Android users for free. But even if carriers would charge Google as much as $10 per GB for 3G data bandwidth, I believe that my speculation on the Google SIM card could still make a lot of sense.

Because Google would negociate for 3G data bandwidth with all carriers in every country. I believe that it should be possible for users to seamlessly and freely roam for data usage in other countries. That is, as long as they do use a Google SIM card for unlocked Android phones.

Google Phone Nexus One
Source for picture: http://www.engadget.com/

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The Google Phone, guessing on the price and a possible picture

Posted by Charbax – December 13, 2009

This may be a picture of the Google Phone:

Google Phone Nexus One

From rumors on Techcrunch, this may be a pre-paid only $100 device, for WiFi and pre-paid 3G Voice over IP usage such as on Google Voice. Exactly the revolutionary business model that I have been talking about for a while. My guess on the Google Phone price, or what I think it should cost is following:

$100 for the 3.7" high density WVGA Google Phone Nexus One
$150 for the 4.8" medium density Google Tablet Nexus XL

All should come based on ARM Cortex A8 processors, probably OLED capacitative on Nexus One and LCD resistive on the Nexus XL. My suggestion is basically that the Nexus XL may be similar to my favorite consumer electronics device the Archos 5 Internet Tablet which I talk about in countless videos: http://armdevices.net/?s=archos and on my other site: http://archosfans.com

The most important factor here would be if the rumors are true and if my guessing is right, that the Google Phone and Tablet will be the first pre-paid Android phone and tablet. Affordable, my guessing also may even make it so that Google may not only sell it through all retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Wal Mart, Media Markt, Aldi and such, but that one may even be able to buy it on google's own website and based on how active one has been on Google over the past few years, Google may even subsidize the purchase price of the phone or tablet. That is, cause Google can know it will more likely make more money on mobile ads from users who use Google services a lot. This way, look forward to Google Phone at $50, Google Tablet for $100 and even the Google Laptop/Tablet/E-reader at $150.

Some times, I think that it does take a big giant technology company like Google to really invest not only in the platform, not only in software, but also dedicate teams of hardware engineers into actually releasing own branded hardware on the market and push the boundaries in terms of business models to apply to the distribution of such technology. To push things forward faster, Google needs to make hardware.

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Seesmic on the Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android

Posted by Charbax – December 9, 2009

Here is a demonstration at LeWeb conference in Paris of the Seesmic application for Android running on the Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android, the worlds first Android Tablet with a 800x480 medium density 4.8" touch screen and even with a 720p HDMI output. This video was filmed by John Yamasaki @jyamasaki of Seesmic using the Flip HD.

Sugar on a Stick Blueberry v2 introduced by Walter Bender of Sugar Labs

Posted by Charbax – December 9, 2009

This is a video-interview with Walter Bender of Sugar Labs at Netbook World Summit in Paris. Sugar is the Gnu/Linux based OS running in over 1.5 million OLPC XO-1 laptops used by Children around the world. It is the Linux distribution that popularized Linux on Laptop form factors. As I wrote in http://www.olpcnews.com/commentary/impact/olpc_netbook_impact_on_laptop.html the OLPC project has greatly influenced the whole PC/Laptop industry, and with more optimized and streamlined Linux implementations like this new Sugar Linux OS, the influence is only going to be even greater.

Optima OP5-E Maemo Linux MID video-review

Posted by Charbax – December 6, 2009

Optima OP5-E Maemo Linux MID

Since I filmed such a great video of it at IFA, OPTIMA TECHNOLOGY(SHENZHEN)CO.,LTD sent me a review sample of their new Optima OP5-E for me to publish an exclusive hands-on video-review. The new Optima OP5-E Maemo Linux based MID is now being released by http://www.chinaoptima.com/ and China Telecom on the Chinese market and they are now looking for global distributors (if many people demand it, there may be a distributor bringing this device to your local 3G telecoms market or sell it unlocked). (contact shkwan@wtpacific.com if you might be interested in ordering 300 units or more).

Maemo is the biggest potential alternative to Android Linux OS for embedded devices, mobile internet devices, pocket computers or phones, however you want to call them. This Optima OP5-E is the worlds first Maemo device that is not manufactured by Nokia. This makes the Optima OP5-E a product to check out for people who want to see how Maemo could make a commercial impact outside of Nokia in the open-source embedded device market.

It has a 4.3" 800x480 resistive touch screen (capacitative at that size and price does not yet exist), 806mhz Marvell PXA310+ ARM processor, 128MB RAM, built-in 3G CDMA sim card reader (HSDPA version coming next month), built-in GPS, built-in Bluetooth, a high capacity exchangeable 2600mAh battery. All that comes for around $500 unlocked and could be sold at $300 or lower subsidized with a subscription plan from the carrier. It can support either VOIP and IM or regular voice and sms, that is up to the carrier how they want to integrate that feature.

The really cool things about this product are following:

- It has a built-in 3G CDMA modem with sim card reader.

- It has a pretty long battery life with a high capacity removable battery (I got a second battery to swap just in case I need more than 8 hours or more battery life for video playback)

- This type of device could function as a VOIP phone on 3G and WiFi networks (if the carriers agree to it and don't apply packet shaping mechanisms to block VOIP usage on the 3G networks)

- Maemo may have quite a lot of dedicated open-source programmers already hanging out in the http://maemo.org/community/maemo-developers/ and who may have developed some pretty interesting Maemo based applications already (which I am going to check out and publish another video when I have found out which would be the best applications that work on this device and how much porting may be required to eventually adapt software that is already developed for the Nokia Maemo Linux tablets).

- It comes with a larger touch screen than on the existing range of Smartphones, significantly larger than the Nokia N900 screen, yet this product can be sold cheaper than all those smaller smartphones. I think that a larger 800x480 medium density screen is very valuable and I think that all those 3.5" smartphones on the market have too small of a screen for Internet browsing and video playback use.

Things that I think Optima and eventually the open-source developers may improve on this device (based on my initial tests):

- The whole Maemo Linux user interfaces I think could use some optimizations and fine tuning, this device does support firmware updates, I don't know how often Optima may release firmware updates for it to improve on all these things.

- The Firefox Fennec browser that is included, might not be as smooth and fast as the Webkit based browser that one can find on Android, the Palm Pre and the iPhone. Though, my guess is that it should be possible to port a version of a Webkit based browser to Maemo (if it hasn't been done already), and I am sure this browser could be optimized and improved in firmware updates.

- Obviously, I would like to have HSDPA instead of CDMA 3G modem in this, to have i work here in Europe, Optima has told me that the HSDPA version will be released in about a month from now (maybe a bit later, I guess it may depend how soon interested importers from Europe and other HSDPA markets demand for it to be made available)

- I can't seem to be able to connect my Bluetooth foldable Stowaway keyboard, I don't know if Bluetooth headsets may be supported. I am sure, this could be fixed or improved in firmware updates. I don't know if it supports Bluetooth tethering to access the Internet through a mobile phone that has that functionality. My guess is Bluetooth tethering is not supported yet since the 3G modem is integrated.

- It does not seem to have a TV output (unless somehow that functionality exists within the mini-jack output, but I guess it's not there). Too bad, cause I enjoy watching DivX videos outputted from such a device onto a TV. Though, most existing smartphones on the market such as blackberry, palm pre and the iphone don't have that feature either.

My pictures of it on Picasa:

Optima OP5-E Maemo Linux MID Optima OP5-E Maemo Linux MID Optima OP5-E Maemo Linux MID Optima OP5-E Maemo Linux MID Optima OP5-E Maemo Linux MID Optima OP5-E Maemo Linux MID Optima OP5-E Maemo Linux MID Optima OP5-E Maemo Linux MID Optima OP5-E Maemo Linux MID Optima OP5-E Maemo Linux MID Optima OP5-E Maemo Linux MID Optima OP5-E Maemo Linux MID Optima OP5-E Maemo Linux MID Optima OP5-E Maemo Linux MID

You can discuss this product in the dedicated forum section for it at http://forum.armdevices.net/viewforum.php?f=5

Here are the full official specs and press pictures:

More…

Google Marketplace and Google Apps works on Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android

Posted by Charbax – November 28, 2009

We have had to wait a month and a half since the release for the full Google Experience to start being available and working on the Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android. Google had not certified the Archos on Android 1.5 for a WVGA 800x480 Google Experience, so the hope is that this certification will be signed by Google when Archos updates the installed Android version to 2.0 at some point in the next weeks.

For now, someone in the forum has posted instructions for how to install the full Google Experience on the Archos using the ADB developer debugging tools: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=27934, and JKK has posted a tutorial for how to install it on Windows: http://jkkmobile.blogspot.com/2009/11/archos-5-it-now-with-android-market-and.html

Chrome OS is better

Posted by Charbax – November 19, 2009

Chrome OS Laptops will cost 50 dollars and run 20 hours on a battery, and come with free unlimited 3G internet data connectivity.

Chrome OS is not going to be companion to Windows/Mac, Chrome OS is destroying Microsoft/Apple and even Intel.

You will be able to run powerful and free image and video editing software using Native code and hardware accelerations functions of Chrome OS and HTML5.

Chrome OS works offline just as well as any other laptop. Want to write emails while offline and auto-send them when you find a web connection? That is possible. Want to write documents offline and sync them when you find a WiFi? That is possible. Want to watch video while offline? Just connect USB storage and that is possible. I am sure Chrome OS laptops will even come with extra storage and hard drive compartments built-in if you really want to carry a lot of stored data to do a lot of things offline. Otherwise, by that time, there will be Google Drive to store a TB of your personal files for less than 50 dollars per year, thus only slightly more expensive than buying a TB hard drive. And if you will want to store divx or mp3 files on your Google Drive that other users have stored on Google Drive already, you won’t have to actually upload it, a quick scan and a copy is on your Google Drive and storage costs will be shared by all the users who will have access to a copy of the file.

Chrome OS works on touch screens, uses whatever hardware you want. Most importantly, with a 50 dollar ARM laptop the experience will be just as good as on a 400 dollar Intel laptop.

$80 Android Laptop, Menq EasyPC E790

Posted by Charbax – November 12, 2009

First $80 Android Laptop - MenQ EasyPC E790

Here is the cheapest laptop in the world. It can run Android since it is based on a Samsung ARM926EJ-S3C2450 processor, but for now this review unit that I am reviewing in this video only runs Windows CE 5.0. Check back hopefully within a month for another video when Menq may have sent me a firmware upgrade to use Android instead of Windows CE.

As I filmed the Menq Easypc E760 last year at IFA, Menq is a chinese company interested in providing the worlds cheapest laptop designs. Last year, they were using a 480x320 resolution 7-inch screen to reach the $89 price point for laptops, now they are able to include a 800x480 resolution 7-inch screen. Find more information about this Menq EasyPC E790 at http://www.menqgroup.com/products/pro/E790.asp

The coming of the ARM based laptops, in my opinion, are indicative of the real revolution that is imminent for the Laptop and Desktop computer industry. As soon as ARM based laptops can run a full Chrome Browser, with unlimited amounts of opened tabs all running smoothly, with Flash support, full Javascripts support and basic multimedia functions, then I think the turning point will be reached where most consumers in the world, and especially in developing countries, will be buying only the cheapest laptops.

Web Browsing is all that most people need, with clever HTML5 enabled Chrome browser running on any type of Embedded OS, be it Android or Ubuntu, even offline application could be run reliably from within the browser engine. Anything most people really need will work.

As you can see in my video review, this Menq EasyPC E790 is kind of slow since it is based on the ARM9 processor technology. For not much more cost, though, the Chinese laptop manufacturers could soon be using the ARM Cortex A8 processor technology, which should provide for a 5-10 times faster web browsing experience, and even faster if using an upcoming ARM optimized Chrome browser.

This laptop, I think, is giving us a taste of the future of laptops. Soon all laptops will cost $80 or less, run 10 hours or more on a small and cheap 3-cell battery, even over 20 hour battery life if using the Pixel Qi screen technology. It is also providing a sensation for the what we can expect from the next generation OLPC One Laptop Per Child XO-1.75 to be released by OLPC with ARM processor technology inside instead of X86.

If using ARM9, OLPC could definitely sell laptops at below $80, but maybe ARM Cortex A8 will be preferable at around $10-$20 extra in manufacturing costs, and the innovative new Pixel Qi screen, WiFi meshing, more RAM and storage, could bring the next ARM based OLPC XO-1.75 laptop coser to $125 per laptop, to reach below $100 with mass production. In any ways, I am really looking forward to see the upcoming releases of the ARM Cortex A8 based laptops, yet still, this ARM9 based laptop is very interesting, and if you want your local supermarket to start selling them, I suggest you phone your local supermarket headquarters, and ask them to contact Menq and order for example 5000 pieces or more so they can get them at the price of $80 per unit and sell it to you for probably below $100 in supermarkets.

Pictures of this laptop:

Menq EasyPC E790 MenQ EasyPC E790 MenQ EasyPC E790 MenQ EasyPC E790 MenQ EasyPC E790 MenQ EasyPC E790 MenQ EasyPC E790 MenQ EasyPC E790

Find more information at http://www.menqgroup.com/products/pro/E790.asp

Blog about the cheap Alpha-400 laptops http://www.alpha-400.com/

Here are some of my previous famous videos of this type of cheap ARM based revolutionary laptops:

September 3rd 2009: Sharp PC-Z1, the first Freescale ARM Cortex A8 based smartbook on the market
June 7th 2009: $150 Freescale ARM Cortex A8 based Pegatron Desktop
June 5th 2009: ARM talks about the new ARM Laptops
June 5th 2009: Qualcomm talks about Snapdragon powered ARM laptops
June 5th 2009: Freescale shows smartbooks
June 4th 2009: Worlds first Android laptop, Qualcom snapdragon powered by Compal
June 4th 2009: Nvidia Tegra talks about Flash support and HD multimedia ARM laptops
June 4th 2009: Nvidia talks more about their new ARM laptops
September 12th 2008: Menq $89 EasyPC E760
September 2nd 2008: The $98 Hivision Mininote
September 1st 2008: Univ $150 ARM laptop
March 12th 2008: GeCube ARM laptop
March 12th 2006: Municator $146 desktop

Video review of Fonera 2.0n, the best value WiFi router, NAS and home server

Posted by Charbax – November 12, 2009

I am a big fan of FON. It enables you to have free access to a million WiFi hotspots in the world in exchange for sharing your own WiFi at home with your neighbors. FON routers broadcast 2 WiFi signals, one is a personal WPA-password protected WiFi SSID and the other is the open WiFi SSID for sharing your Internet connection using the FON DNS authentication login page so people are not able to do illegal things anonymously on your WiFi.

This newest Fonera 2.0n router is much more than just a WiFi router. It now comes with a powerful embedded processor and a USB host connector so that you can connect USB hard drives, USB dongles, USB printers/webcams and other USB peripherals directly to your router using a USB 2.0 hub and thus have those peripherals always connected to your home local network as well as to the whole Internet. Fonera 2.0n lets you install certain applications developed open-source such as a BitTorrent downloader based on Transmission, Youtube/Picasa/Flickr/Facebook video and picture uploaders, Rapidshare/Megaupload downloaders or just run FTP, Samba, Upnp file servers locally on your local network or remotely over the Internet so you can stream all your multimedia files from any other WiFi hotspot that you may access all over the Web.

The main use that I have with my new Fonera 2.0n is to constantly have access to Terrabytes of my personal multimedia files from all over the world, any of which streamed using my 2mbit/s upload Internet broadband connection. That 2mbit/s upload connection which I have at home, lets me remotely stream DVD quality movies. This currently works fine using any laptop copying the FTP URL into VLC media player "Open URL" feature. I am hoping to soon have this work on my Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android, so that I would easily be able to remotely stream my personal movies and music hosted at my home on my Fonera 2.0n from any Internet access point in the world using that.

Cloud storage will eventually be able to host everyones massive amounts of personal multimedia files. Though as ones options are today to use Cloud storage services from Google or Amazon, to host a Terrabyte of personal data on the cloud would cost $1800 per year on Google App Engine, same price at Amazon S3, those prices are just not workable at all if you just want to host 1 Terrabyte of your multimedia files on the web. Even the new Google price for Picasa image storage at $256 per Terrabyte per year is still far too expensive cloud storage for most people. See my comment on Google's latest cloud storage prices here: http://charbax.com/2009/11/11/cheapest-cloud-storage-needed/ A Terrabyte hard drive only costs about $80 in the US or 80€ in Europe, add to that the 79€ Fonera 2.0n, and that is all it will cost you (other than the power consumption of the USB hard drive) to have access to stream from your Terrabyte of data anytime you want from anywhere you want, as long as you have got enough upload speed from your home to support the streaming of that data.

Another feature that is really cool, is the Firefox Add-On the FON DownloadHelper, which can automatically launch the download of .torrent files to the BitTorrent client of your Fonera 2.0n router, directly from when you click on the .torrent file from within Firefox. And you can launch your BitTorrent downloads locally when you are at home or remotely using your laptop or Android product using Transdroid from anywhere in the world. And when the BitTorrent downloads are finished, you can immediately stream your downloaded video, music contents locally or remotely as well. With Extensions soon coming to the official Chrome browser, I think we can expect FON DownloadHelper extension for Google Chrome soon as well.

If you are considering to have a Network Attached Storage in your home, if you are considering to get a WiFi 802.11n router, if you are interested in hosting a remote FTP server and BitTorrent client in your router in your home, and run a print server and webcam, if you are considering joining the FON WiFi-sharing community, then I would definitely recommend that you check out the Fonera 2.0n and follow the latest developments about it in the FON Discussion Boards.

Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android supports Youtube HD playback beautifully

Posted by Charbax – November 3, 2009

Archos is the first provider of a Youtube HD set-top-box solution by the Archos 5 Internet Tablet simply being the worlds first Android product supporting the playback of H264 High Profile at 1280x720 and 2mbit/s that is the format, resolution and bitrate that Youtube encodes all their HD videos in. More and more videos are uploaded to Youtube in HD quality (including this video that I embed in this post) and all those videos playback awesomely on the Archos 5 Internet Tablet since the 1.2.11 firmware version by just clicking on the embedded videos play button or browsing through all the Youtube videos at http://m.youtube.com

As Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently said at the Royal Television Society Convention, the coming of new cheap set-top-box products that can play Internet video will be the biggest enabler of the IPTV revolution towards Video-On-Demand, with Youtube already delivering more than 1 Billion views per day, with cheap set-top-boxes with direct Youtube support on people's HDTVs, Youtube would reach even many more views per day and there will be a greater demand for higher quality Youtube videos at up to HD quality. Archos delivers this solution with the Archos 5 Internet Tablet, the first cheap embedded support for Youtube HD on a HDTV.

Waiting for Flash 10.1 support in Android is not even required for Youtube HD, HQ and Normal qualities to work. Flash 10.1 support will come on Archos as soon as Adobe releases Flash 10.1 for Android.

If Archos can support full MKV 720p H264 high profile support with full bitrates in optimized firmware updates, then the Archos 5 Internet Tablet starting at $249 MSRP for the 8GB version is effectively about to become a pocket-sized replacement for Blu-ray. With better features than Blu-ray since Youtube HD support basically is like HD quality video-on-demand.

A few things that I think Archos, Google and third party Android software developers should do to provide a perfect Youtube HD experience:

- Someone should create a YoutubeHD.apk application that should launch Youtube HD/HQ/Normal quality videos automatically in playlists and based on the Youtube user's Youtube account to list recommendations, subscriptions, add searches and tags, display overlay ratings and comments, even provide live overlay chat for videos and for Youtube channels. It could be called Google Watch, be the same as Google Listen, but for Video. Even provide clever podcatching storage and caching of videos and not only go onto Youtube but use any other video sources of the web.

- Archos should provide the user with a choice to limit the quality to HQ or Normal if the user does not want to stream HD quality for some reason, for example perhaps the bandwidth that is available is not enough for that user to have a smooth Youtube HD experience.

- http://m.youtube.com needs to be improved, I want to sort searches by date for example.

- Archos should provide overlay text input facility such as commenting and chatting around the videos and channels. The social features around videos can be really powerful to increase the value proposition of IPTV set-top-box video-on-demand.

- Archos should release a $150 screen-less set-top-box with Android, with only 8GB built-in storage, but possibility to connect any EXT3 formatted USB hard drive or a local NAS to expand storage for DVR functions and for Video downloads also using BitTorrent and RSS. What is cool that you can see in this video of the Archos 5 Internet Tablet, is that this is a proof that Archos certainly has the hardware and software know-how to make this happen. Once the easy-to-use Youtube HD set-top-box arrives with BitTorrent, RSS and USB hard drives storage support, for below $100 to $150, I think Video-on-demand and the real IPTV revolution will finally really happen.

You can discuss this video here http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=27221