Analyst predicts lower Amazon profits after cheap Kindle Fire sales

We know that the Amazon Kindle Fire costs about $10 more to produce than its $199 selling point, and according to a Needham & Co. analyst, that loss-leading figure is going to hurt Amazon's third-quarter profits by a considerable margin. Amazon's earnings are predicted to fall by more than half year-over-year, from 51 cents to 24 cents a share. Amazon is of course mum on the subject, but even if the prediction is only half right, it illustrates how great a risk Amazon is taking on the Android-powered Kindle Fire.

Samsung Stratosphere Review

To date there are only eight 4G smartphones available from Verizon, and with the notable exception of the Samsung Stratosphere, all of them are slate-style phones. If you want a keyboard with your LTE, then this is it. The QWERTY slider is very, very similar to the Samsung Epic 4G, with the distinction that it comes on Verizon and features Gingerbread. So, how does it stack up against other 4G phones and QWERTY slider from Verizon? Let's find out.

Samsung Transform Ultra slides into the low end

There's a lot of QWERTY slider Android phones out there if you look hard enough, but most of them are mid- to high-end, and unfortunately off-limits to the thumbs of more pragmatic text-happy consumers. Samsung is looking to fill their demand with the Transform Ultra, a low-end slider previously reserved for Boost but set for release soon on the parent network. No price is available, but given the low specifications it should be less than $100 on-contract, possibly even free.

Vizio 8 owners get three free months of Hulu Plus via software update

Vizio's 8-inch tablet is a bit of a tough sell in a sea of similar competitors, despite its relatively low retail price of $299. But today it's a little more attractive: a new software update is rolling out that includes three free months of access to Hulu's premium streaming app, Hulu Plus. That's in addition to a free month of Netflix, making the Vizio tablet a suddenly attractive alternative for video-hungry Android users.

HTC officially unveils EVO Design 4G with WiMAX

Not content to let Samsung and Motorola hog the limelight for long, HTC has revealed its latest entry in the EVO line. The HTC EVO Design 4G is a 4-inch Gingerbread phone packing WiMAX and world phone capabilities. The phone runs on a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, which combined with 768MB of RAM should be able to handle the 960 x 540 qHD screen nicely. The EVO Design 4G earns its name from its unibody aluminum construction, a trait it shares with some of HTC's slickest handsets like the Sensation. The press release mentions .47 inch (11.9mm) depth, about on par with other 4-inch smartphones, and considerably thinner than most WiMAX handsets. Some sacrifices had to be made - the 5 megapixel rear camera is midrange, and the 1520 mAh battery will likely take a beating when using the faster connection standard. HTC Sense 3.5, Watch DLNA certification and a 3G/4G mobile hotspot are included. Other features include the basic WiFi/Bluetooth/GPS combination, and the phone includes an 8GB MicroSD card, though internal storage is currently a mystery. The phone will go on sale this Sunday, October 23rd for $99 on a two-year contract, less $50 for the mail-in rebate. The pricing and size makes the HTC EVO Design 4G a suitable replacement for the EVO Shift 4G, so expect that phone to be discounted soon enough. [via SlashGear]

Total Honeycomb tablet sales estimate: 3.4 million units

Google was quick to highlight the continuing rise of Android on the smartphone platform at their third quarter earnings call, citing 190 million total Android activations globally. Google didn't mention how many of those activations came from tablets running Honeycomb, but according to a developer estimate, it isn't much. With the Android team's latest statistics, the total number of active Honeycomb tablets in the wild comes out to a depressing 3.4 million.

Official DROID 2 Global Gingerbread update is coming soon

Good news, DROID 2 Global Edition users, your long-awaited Gingerbread update is right around the corner. Verizon updated its support page today, announcing that the newest system update would bring Android 2.3 to the popular handset. The page doesn't give an exact date, but Verizon usually doesn't wait more than a week after an official update guide to begin rolling out the software. The Motorola DROID 2 Global was originally set to get a taste of Gingerbread last month,  but some last-minute issues forced a retraction. According to Verizon's documentation, the new software version will bring new features like improved power management, keyboard detection, a revised user interface, new encryption and VPN options and an improved calendar. Speaking of calendars, it's only been 11 months since Gingerbread was available to manufacturers - and we're expecting an official announcement for Android Ice Cream Sandwich any day now. Other improvements highlighted by Verizon include better email syncing, more stability (i.e. fewer device crashes), improved Bluetooth power and volume management, better WiFi power management and new versions of Google Books, Accuweather, the Amazon MP3 store, Blockbuster (woo), and Flash. The software update isn't available just yet, but keep checking the OTA update in the settings menu - you never know when the staggered rollout will begin. If you're the warranty-voiding adventurous type, don't forget that leaks of the update have been available for some time. [device id=312]