Author Archives: Chris Davies


UK HTC EVO 3D launch pushed back to September

UK sales of the HTC EVO 3D will not begin until September 2011, HTC has confirmed. The GSM model - announced back in late June - was originally expected to go on sale in Europe in July, offering a UMTS/HSPA version of the CDMA handset that launched in the US last month.     HTC UK revealed the delay to our sister site SlashGear. "We can confirm that the HTC EVO 3D will be available to UK customers through Carphone Warehouse from September 2011" a spokesperson said; the news comes shortly after UK carrier Vodafone revealed it no longer planned to range the EVO 3D due to concerns over device delays. No reason for the delay has been given, though we're presuming it has to do with the GSM radio in the EVO 3D since the CDMA version is already available now. The smartphone is HTC's first to use a glasses-free 3D display, with a twin 5-megapixel camera array on the back so that owners can shoot their own photos and video. [device id=146]  

Vodafone ditches HTC EVO 3D before it even arrives

You snooze, you lose, HTC. UK carrier Vodafone has confirmed that it has dropped the HTC EVO 3D from its line-up, after continued delays in the glasses-free 3D smartphone's availability. Speaking to a Vodafone spokesperson today, Android Community was told that the carrier had decided that, given the devices it currently offers and those it has in the pipeline, and that "due to delays to the launch of the device" it felt the EVO 3D was no longer required. Those customers who had already pre-registered their interest in the EVO 3D on Vodafone will be contacted and the decision not to range it explained. The handset has already been removed from the Vodafone "Coming Soon" page. "We realise this will come as a disappointment to some people but we already offer some fantastic phones, like the HTC Sensation and Galaxy S2, with some really exciting handsets in the pipeline" the Vodafone spokesperson told us, "and we'll continue to focus on bringing the latest and greatest smartphones to Vodafone customers." While the EVO 3D went on sale in the US on June 24, having been initially announced back at CTIA 2011 in March 2011, European sales of the GSM variant are yet to begin. HTC confirmed it would be offering the device in GSM form back at the end of June.

Samsung hits 5m Galaxy S II sales

Samsung has announced that global sales of the Galaxy S II have passed the 5m mark, again beating its predecessor, the Galaxy S, to the milestone. Currently available in various European and Asian countries - though not, yet, the US - the GSII has been on sale for just 85 days. The handset had already passed the 3m point after 55 days on the market. In contrast, the Galaxy S took 85 days to make it to 3m, and 125 days to reach 5m. Beyond that, after seven months of availability, the Galaxy S hit 10m sales, a record Samsung now says it is confident the Galaxy S II will beat. Availability in North America - which has taken longer than for the Galaxy S - will undoubtedly help achieve that goal. Verizon Wireless is expected to be the first US carrier to offer the Galaxy S II - in CDMA form - with a launch within the next 2-3 weeks tipped, while Samsung is believed to be crafting custom versions for all four major networks. Meanwhile, a slider version of the smartphone, packing a QWERTY keyboard and apparently headed to AT&T, was spotted earlier this week. [Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Samsung smartphone sales tipped to beat iPhone and Nokia in Q2 2011

Samsung's Q2 smartphone sales could have exceeded those of either Apple or Nokia, the first time the Korean company would have managed such strong performance. Samsung's official figures for device sales are expected to come in at between 18m and 21m globally for the last quarter, research firm Strategy Analytics told Bloomberg, likely to best Nokia's 16.7m smartphone sales and Apple's 20.3m iPhone sales. The increasing demand for Samsung's phones - both regular handsets and smartphones - is expected to further narrow the gap between Nokia's first place position in the global market, and Samsung's number two spot. Nokia currently holds around 26-percent, while Samsung is expected to reach around 20-percent.
"Samsung’s Android portfolio is selling strongly in most regions. Samsung stands a reasonable chance of capturing the top spot on a quarterly basis if it can continue expanding its Android portfolio across high-growth markets like China and Brazil. Samsung and Apple will be at similar levels in smartphones by the end of the year" Neil Mawston, analyst, Strategy Analytics
Samsung's success hasn't been entirely down to Android - the company also sells "dumb" phones and handsets running its own bada OS - but the popularity of devices like the Galaxy S II has certainly put the Google OS at the forefront of its marketing campaign. The GSII is expected to make its US debut in August. The company is yet to confirm its official sales figures for Q2 2011.

Notion Ink promises Adam 2 tablet for December 2011

Can you handle the Notion Ink roller coaster for a second time? Having set the benchmark for Android tablet hype, then run head-first into the practicalities and issues around bringing products to market, Notion Ink has revealed plans to introduce the second-gen Adam 2 tablet in December 2011. Speaking to Light Reading India, Notion Ink CEO Rohan Shravan confirmed that "this December you should see Adam 2 if everything goes fine" and hinted that a CES 2012 presence was likely. No hardware details have been given, but with the original Adam an early adopter of NVIDIA's Tegra 2 and Pixel Qi's sunlight-readable displays, there's already speculation that the Indian company will pair the Tegra 3 Kal-El chip with one of the new breed of Pixel Qi panels. Follow-up hardware to Adam has always been on the roadmap, and Notion Ink was confident that its customized software would populate a range of tablets. If the Adam saga taught us anything, though, it's that a solid spec-sheet isn't necessarily enough to make a convincing, best-selling product. [via Liliputing]

Viber VoIP hits Android: Free international calls and SMS [Video]

Free VoIP service Viber has launched its first Android app, allowing Android handset users to take advantage of free international calls and text messages. Already available for iPhone users, Viber differs from most VoIP services in that it doesn't demand registration; instead, it uses your own phone number. When installed, Viber searches through your phonebook and identifies which of your friends are also using the app. Calls and messages between you and those people are then routed via your phone's data connection - either WiFi or 3G - rather than via your carrier. It's probably best to have an unlimited data plan, however, since VoIP calls over 3G can get use up a lot of data. Obviously, the more people you know using Viber, the more calls and messages you can offload to the service; that seems to be the company's main growth plan. The app is a free download and there are no adverts. [youtube 0nQN5w5ct_E] [Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Sonos Controller for Android updated: SD install supported

Sonos has updated its Sonos Controller for Android app, adding in much-requested support for installing the software to your phone or tablet's SD card. There are also various new native languages supported, including Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Swedish. Otherwise functionality is much as it was before, which means the ability to remotely control one or multiple Sonos units around the home or office from your phone. Sonos supports either synchronized playback of a single track across all units, or different music playing in each zone. As well as accessing locally-stored content from a PC, Mac or NAS on the home network, it can stream music from thousands of internet radio stations as well as from digital jukebox services like Spotify. Sonos has also unveiled its new, entry-level streaming music speaker, the PLAY:3, priced at $299 (shown above). The Sonos BRIDGE network adapter has seen a price cut to $49.

Samsung disowns Anymode Galaxy Tab Smart Case, gets product pulled

Samsung has had the Anymode Smart Case for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 pulled from the accessory retailer's site, insisting that the product was not, in fact, granted "Designed for Samsung Mobile" certification. According to Samsung - which was roundly criticized after design similarities between the Anymode case and Apple's Smart Covers for the iPad 2 were noted - Anymode did not go through the official process of having the accessory approved before listing it. "As a general practice, Samsung Electronics reviews and approves all accessories produced by partners before they are given the "Designed for Samsung Mobile" mark" the company insists. "In this case, approval was not given to Anymode for the accessory to feature this official designation." Apple's own design inspiration for the Smart Covers has come under fire in previous months, over similarities between the official accessory and the InCase Magazine Jacket released for the first-gen iPad. Neither the Anymode nor the InCase versions can control the tablets' standby feature, however, unlike Apple's official Smart Cover. "We are working with Anymode to address this oversight and the product has already been removed from the Anymode sales website" Samsung concludes, pointing out that "the product has not been sold." [via SlashGear]

Sony S1/S2 tablets teaser three released: Movies, Ereading, Gaming

Sony's teaser campaign for the S1 and S2 tablets continues, despite the slates having shown up in the wild on several occasions now. After parts one and two comes video three, sticking with the Rube Goldberg theme and now focusing on entertainment uses for the Android pair. As well as audio and video, with the single-screen S1 shown playing back The Green Hornet as well as offering various music tracks, an ereader app is briefly demonstrated. The S2 is shown displaying two pages at once - doing a decent job of resembling a traditional book, in fact - and then there's a brief glimpse of PlayStation gaming. "To be continued" the teaser concludes, which certainly implies we have at least one more segment to go until Sony hopefully decides to tell us something concrete. Still up in the air are the tablets' official names, their prices and their release dates, though recent rumors have suggested that the S1 at least will hit pre-order in September. [youtube vI9TZ6yTU44] [via Twitter]

AT&T HTC Status on sale for $50

The HTC Status has officially gone on sale at AT&T, the carrier's branded version of the HTC ChaCha. The QWERTY-toting Facebook phone has a compact touchscreen, runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread with a custom version of HTC Sense on top, and has a dedicated Facebook button for sharing photos and other updates to the wildly-popular social network. In addition, there's a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and a flash, a front-facing webcam for video calls, and 3G connectivity. Elsewhere there's WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth and GPS, together with a microSD card slot that comes with a 2GB card pre-loaded (but which can support up to 32GB). AT&T is asking $50 for the Status, which makes it one of the cheaper Android devices around; obviously you'll also need a new, two-year agreement with mandatory data plan. More details on the Status in our hands-on and unboxing; we'll have a full review very soon!