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The sub-$200 unsubsidized Android phones are coming

Posted by Charbax – February 23, 2010

Here's a very interesting article talking about all the cheaper Android smart phones that are coming very soon and that might even already have arrived in China: http://www.rethink-wireless.com/2010/02/22/htc-smart-face-new-mass-market-smartphone.htm

Marvell, ST Ericsson, Texas Instruments and carriers Orange, Telefonica O2, KPN in the Netherlands, Telecom Italia in Italy and Netcom in Norway are all talking about wanting to sell cheaper pre-paid only unsubsidized Android phones to consumers in Europe according to this article.

chipmakers are rising to the challenge - Marvell showed off a chipset to enable a sub-$99 smartphone; Texas Instruments discussed a cutdown implementation of its OMAP3 application processor for midrange handsets or new device formats like e-readers; and ST-Ericsson pinned its growth hopes on 'smartphones for all'.

Alcatel Mobile Phones introduced its first Android phone, the OT-980, at Mobile World Congress. It sports a touchscreen, vertical slider Qwerty keyboard, Wi-Fi and HSDPA and will ship in June at an unsubsidized price point of below €200.

Unlike most Alcatel phones, which are targeted at developing economies, this will be marketed mainly in Europe, with the UK, France, Spain and Italy the prime markets because the firm believes the Alcatel brand is strong there. Alcatel Mobile Phones is owned by TCT Mobile of China, which acquired the business from what is now Alcatel-Lucent several years ago but kept rights to the brand. Like other Chinese players like ZTE and Huawei, it aims to use affordable smartphones as the route to gain a presence outside developing markets.

Source: http://www.rethink-wireless.com/2010/02/22/htc-smart-face-new-mass-market-smartphone.htm

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ARM Cortex M4 released

Posted by Charbax – February 23, 2010

It should bring more functionality to your washing machine, toaster and everything. This is to power what people have been talking about with IPv6, where everything will be connected to the Internet.

Shyam Sadasivan talks about the launch of the Cortex-M4 processor at ARM's official Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/ARMflix:

Found via: http://gigaom.com/2010/02/22/arm-launches-a-smarter-brain-for-the-internet-of-things/

Flash 10.1 demos on Nexus One

Posted by Charbax – February 23, 2010

Also check my video interview with product manager of Flash at Adobe Richard Galvan filmed at Mobile World Congress at http://armdevices.net/2010/02/15/adobe-flash-10-1-at-mobile-world-congress-2010/

Following video was found at http://www.bytearray.org/?p=1470:

netbooknews.com: Dell Mini 5 demonstration

Posted by Charbax – February 23, 2010

This is Dell's 4.8" capacitative Android Tablet with built-in 3G. From the video, it sounds like this Dell Android tablet might be much more expensive than the Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android which is available since October 2009 for $249 in Radio Shack. No confirmation in this video about video codecs, bitrates playback, though it is said it will have HDMI output through a dock. Thus from this video, we can't know if full DivX video playback, full MKV H264 high profile video playback is supported at high bitrates through that HDMI output and on the LCD. No information if it will come in several different capacities as Archos comes from 8GB to 500GB using a 2.5" hard drive.

Posted by netbooknews.com

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NewGadgets.de: Qualcomm Mirasol display demonstration

Posted by Charbax – February 23, 2010

A new reflective display technology by Qualcomm, filmed by newgadgets.de:

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Motorola Head-mounted Computer Gen.2 Kopin Golden-i

Posted by Charbax – February 22, 2010

Imagine walking around with a head-mounted 15" display to view informations available to you at all times. This system features a pretty cool six-axis position tracker from Hillcrest Labs that allows you to operate a cursor with nearly pixel-for-pixel accuracy by just moving around your head when for example panning around a large image or a map. There is a highly targetted microphone that understands voice-commands where you can for example zoom in on maps or images, you can exit back to the programs menu, launch specific applications and open specific files.

Here are the specs of this Second Generation Kopin Golden-i Motorola-branded Head-mounted Computer system:

Processor -- TI OMAP3530 clocked at 600MHz
Display -- Kopin SVGA (800 x 600) liquid crystal micro display (LCD)
Networking:
Bluetooth 2.0
WiFi -- "Will be offered soon"
User interface -- Includes speech recognition and motion sensing
Other I/O -- 1 x USB
Expansion -- microSD slot
Power -- 1200 mAh battery provides more than eight hours of operation
Weight -- 3 oz (85g)
Operating system -- Windows CE

More coverage of this device from Mobile World Congress:
http://www.buzzcritic.com/gadgets/kopin-golden-i-wearable-pc-hands-on-video
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/02/motorola-golden-i-virtual-display-for-outdoor-types/

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I interviewed Eric Schmidt and Andy Rubin at Mobile World Congress (off camera), for now watch Eric Schmidt’s keynote video

Posted by Charbax – February 22, 2010
Image representing Eric Schmidt as depicted in...
Image by Eric Schmidt / Google via CrunchBase

I am still slowly uploading my remaining 10-15 videos from Mobile World Congress to Youtube, as Internet upload speeds using Swisscom ADSL in Switzerland also are absolutely terrible, where uploads get disconnected all the time, I have to resume an FTP upload 100 times over many hours uploading with an average of 10kb/s and I have to ask someone else somewhere else to be nice enough to upload them to Youtube for you during these next few days.

After the Google keynote on the third day of Mobile World Congress, I was lucky to speak with Andy Rubin product manager at Google of the Android project of which I got several very interesting replies off camera to several of my Android related questions, until I also got to ask Eric Schmidt a couple of questions while he was walking with his team including Google President of Product Management Vic Gundotra to a secret meeting with secret people (that I didn't try to guess who were) in a secret room behind the scenes of the keynote area:

Charbax:

- How soon are we going to see the Android laptops?

Eric Schmidt:

(big smile, everyone in the Google team around the CEO laughs, and looks at me like I know something)

- This is certainly a possibility.

Charbax:

- What do you think about Windows Phone 7 Series?

Eric Schmidt:

(another smile and laugh from himselft and the Google team)

- I would have to say No Comment on this one.

Charbax:

- Do you think it's bloated?

Eric Schmidt:

(smiling)

- No comment

What I take from those answers, mostly from what I saw in the faces of Eric Schmidt and his team, is that Android in ARM powered Laptops certainly is one of Google's next big projects although the big tagline of his whole keynote speech was "Mobile First". I would guess probably that Laptops and Tablets may be supported by Google with one of the next versions of Android. This is also the kind of confirmation that I got speaking to Andy Rubin in the following interview. This is not word for word what he said, he wouldn't or couldn't let me film him answer my questions, this is kind of what I remember him answering:

Charbax:

- Do you know the Archos 5 Internet Tablet? (I show mine to him)

Andy Rubin:

- Yes I know it. It's nice.

Charbax:

- When are we going to see official Android Marketplace support on such kinds of devices that for example don't have 3G and only have WiFi and also introduce a few new hardware features such as larger screens and Laptop form factors?

Andy Rubin:

- While we were initially asking manufacturers to stay within our hardware requirements and guidelines, we are also definitely going to be supporting Tablets and Laptop form factors as well soon.

Charbax:

- Can Chrome browser run within Android, and if it could, what would need to be done in terms of software engineering to make that work on Laptops and Tablets with WVGA or higher resolution screens.

Andy Rubin:

- Both Android and Chrome are open source, and we have released the Native Android SDK, so any developer could certainly try to port the Chrome browser for Android. But the Chrome browser is more adapted for larger screens such as laptops. It does make sense.

Charbax:

- When are we going to see Android phones sold unlocked below $200? I was the one to falsely circulate the rumor (which though I didn't present as a rumor but more as a Wish in a simple comment) of the $199 unlocked Nexus One pricing.

Andy Rubin:

- Even for the Nexus One, we are not the ones setting the price. (I don't know if he simply meant HTC is setting the price or if someone else at Google is setting the price. And I didn't manage to ask if Google is making a large share of the profit margins on selling Nexus One unlocked or on contracts or if Google "only" makes about the same margin as any other reseller.)

That's it, I didn't really present myself as a video-blogger/press/journalist directly to Eric Schmidt in the brief few seconds that I was able to talk to him and I didn't want to slow them down as I somehow got to be somewhere back stage where I was not really supposed to be. I left my business card to the press relations Google lady asking if there was any way for me to be allowed to Interview Google Engineers in a video for my video-blog about my Android and Chrome related questions.

I was politely contacted the same evening by a Google UK press representative telling me that "Thanks for our interest in doing a videoblog here at mobile world congress. I'm afraid that we don't have the resources to do on-camera interviews this year. Apologies for any inconvenience."

No problem, it was fun just to speak with Andy Rubin for a few minutes and to Eric Schmidt for a few seconds.

You have to consider that some of the leaders of the telecom industry were probably in the audience at that very packed keynote room at Mobile World Congress. I did find it slightly fun when some people (possibly with an agenda) did ask quite harsh questions to Eric Schmidt when there were some minutes for the Q&A, for example Danish Analyst John Strange asked if Google was trying to turn the Telecoms into dumb pipes when they rather would want to be intelligent pipes, which fueld several replies from Eric Schmidt and further discussions on the matter also when a Dutch Analyst asked if Google wanted to "steal the voice minutes" from the telecom industry. I found those questions very fun, especially since some in attendance seemed to be cheering against Google for those two questions. I certainly am rooting for Google to disrupt the established telecom industry business models. Sub-$100 fully featured Android phones could reach not only populations of rich countries, but those billions of people in developing countries, even people who currently live in slumps, in misery, and for whome I am convinced access to technology could be a faster solution.

While you wait for my next videos, you can watch Google CEO Eric Schmidt's keynote at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in the following video:

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10 more videos to be uploaded in a couple of days

Posted by Charbax – February 18, 2010

Mobile World Congress does not want video-bloggers to upload videos after 4PM on the last day of the show (the press room was only opened until 7PM during the show days). If I was organizing the show, press rooms would be opened and 1Gbit/s for all 24h/day, I'd want videos about exhibitors and blogging to happen non-stop during the show. And I'd provide a map of the city with dedicated fast upload connections so video-bloggers would know where to go to get some work done. I tried a Net cafe by Urquinaoia called Work Center which has barely 512kbit/s upload speed. I don't expect to find any upload connection until in about a day and a half.

Windows Phone 7 Series demonstrated by Erik Helgerson

Posted by Charbax – February 17, 2010

Erik Helgerson is Technical Lead Product Manager on the Windows Phone 7 Series project at Microsoft. Here's an overview of some of the Interface features, hubs, some talk about applications, multi-tasking, design, hardware requirements.

Marvell 618 at Mobile World Congress 2010

Posted by Charbax – February 17, 2010

The latest most powerful ARM Processor by Marvell, it includes all the most advanced features that Marvell can deliver for a full ARM Powered experience device.

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