(Update: 18082010 1248hrs) RIM spokesperson has refuted claims that the Amazon price slash of the Torch is a result of poor initial sales. Saying that the BlackBerry Torch was actually priced at US$99 from the beginning. The spokesperson also stated that the Torch is a very advanced device. “Mechanically, it is comparable in complexity and cost to HTC Tilt 2“. Referring to a WinMo 6.5 device that was launched in the US close to a year ago. Read more about it here. Bottom line, we’re not convinced.
2010 is shaping up to be a year that RIM would quickly like to forget. A slew of ban threats from paranoid governments wanting take a peep into its servers, have left share prices plummeting and its credibility in taters; now the device that RIM has banked on to take its BlackBerry brand from business phone to must have phone has fall flat on its face.
That’s right ladies and gents, RIM’s much hyped about BlackBerry Torch 9800 has failed to win RIM and the BlackBerry franchise any new fans, in fact it risks isolating existing BlackBerry users who are already pondering a future with the more capable and feature-rich Android or iPhone devices.
It’s not even a month after the Torch made its US debut and already Amazon, one of the frontlines offering the device, has reduced its purchase price from US$199 to a bargain basement US$99 with a 24 months contract on AT&T. More degrading, this puts the flagship Torch in the same price bracket as Apple’s entry level 8GB iPhone 3GS. This doesn’t bode well for the Torch, a device that RIM pegged as its comeback kid.
This is a massive blow to RIM, once a leader in business smartphones, and if sales figures don’t improve, its very easy to deduce that the Torch could be walking the smartphone green mile sharing the very same fate as the swiftly terminated Microsoft KIN.
RIM is stuck in the mud now and must find its way out quickly if it intends to stay in the smartphone game past this holiday season. This peddling of old hardware mated with also-ran software is not going to cut it in a playing field that’s dominated by 1GHz processors, dual camera’s and Retina Displays. The will need a miracle to pull through.
Nokia has revealed the X3 Touch & Type that offers a 2.4″ QVGA touch screen and a 12-button keypad. According to Nokia’s SVP of Design, the keypad is great for single handed texting while the touch screen offers the easiest control on the interface, giving users the best of both worlds.
This “Hybrid” input device has dimension of 106mm x 48mm x 9.6mm which makes it one of Nokia’s slimmest devices to date. It also just weights a tiny 78g. On the technical aspects, the device offers 3G/HSPA, WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth, FM Radio and a 5MP Camera which are pretty standard for today’s phone. However we find it odd that they left out
bluetooth and GPS which should come standard with in a phone like this.
The device runs on
Symbian Series 40 Touch & Type edition and for storage, it has a removable microSD slot that supports up to 16GB. The X3 Touch and Type comes in 5 vibrant colours – White Silver, Dark Metal, Petrol Blue, Pink and Lilac.
Design wise, the X3 Touch and Type is simple yet sleek with a brushed aluminium finish for the back. On the front, keypad however is slightly different with the typical last row keys such as hash, asterix and zero moved to the right most column.
The X3 Touch and Type is expected go retail by this quarter at about €125 (approximately RM500). It will released first in China, Ireland & UK, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Germany, Spain, Portugal, France, Mexico, Saudi & Yemen. Other countries are to be released later.
More details on the X3 Touch and Type data sheet here.
Check out more images and videos of the X3 Touch & Type after the jump
[ SOURCE ]
Pleco, the makers of the Pleco Chinese Dictionary, now available for free in the the App Store, will be introducing a new feature that utilises the camera on the iPhone and some nifty optical character recognition software to read and translate Chinese characters on printed text in real-time.
Pretty nifty if you’re going to China a lot to get your fix of cheap gadgets and gadget parts.
Check out the video demo after the jump.
That’s right people, what could possibly the fastest smartphone processor known to man will be shipping out sometime around the fourth quarter of this year.
The processor in question is the Qualcomm QSD8672, a dual-core Snapdragon capable of running up to 1.5GHz ready to power the next, next generation of smartphones, tablets and even low-cost laptops. It is conceivable that prolific smartphone manufactures — like HTC — might have a dual-core totting devices in the market in time for the holiday season.
The 8672 chip has a feature called individual voltage scaling so each CPU can be clocked independently from the other. For example, when one CPU core is idle, the other will be able to operate at full speed, which can help better manage power consumption. In addition, the new chip also has 1080p video playback features.
With the notion of this powering devices next year, our minds are going crazy imagining what the next, next wave of mobile devices can do.
After threats by the Indian goverment to suspend BlackBerry services in the country by August 31, news reports have confirmed that RIM, the makers of BlackBerry have agreed to give India access to its BlackBerry messenger service beginning September 1 to address security concerns raised by the Indian governement.
RIM share prices slid US$2.57, or 4.8 percent, to US$50.83 on NASDAQ following the announcement. Its biggest dive this month. The stock has lost 25% this year.
RIM will first give agencies access to messenger services on a manual basis, with information provided for individual phone numbers on request of the government, the Bloomberg report revealed. RIM will provide a more automated solution to tracking BlackBerry smartphone messages by November.
In addition, RIM engineers will meet with technical staff from India’s Department of Telecommunications tomorrow to work on a solution that allows access to corporate emails inside the BlackBerry servers.
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The latest estimates from market researches have put the Torch’s sales a measly 150,000 units over its debut weekend. In contrast, Apple sold over 1.7 million iPhone 4s in three days of its launch.
Granted, Apple launched the iPhone 4 in five countries versus the BlackBerry Torch’s US only debut but even taking that into account, the opening numbers of RIM’s latest flagship smartphone can only be considered as disappointing when compared to its peers.
Although neither AT&T nor RIM has confirmed the numbers, earlier investigations had shown no shortages of the BlackBerry Torch.
At launch, we reported that the there’s nothing spectacular about the BlackBerry Torch, summing that it is nothing more than a mashup between a Bold and Storm with a new OS. Looks like US consumers have come to the same consensus
Even more worrying is that RIM may not have the luxury of wider profit margins based on a iSuppli cost breakdown. Despite older hardware, the device costs a total of USD$183 (about RM580) in raw parts and assembly. On the other hand, the iPhone 4 with its Retina Display, 1GHz processor, two cameras, better camera sensor, more storage and a hardened glass chassis costs just US$5 more to make or US$188 (about RM595) in parts and manufacturing.
High on the BlackBerry Torch parts list is the $34.85 (RM110.00) LCD and touch layer. Samsung’s RAM and flash storage were next at $34.25. Marvell’s 624MHz processor cost $15 (RM47).
With 50% of existing BlackBerry owners planning to switch to iPhone and Android in their next smartphone purchase, it appears that there’s little that the Torch can do to stop the mass exodus.
When Google launched Voice Actions, we thought that it was the coolest app of any smartphone ever. Being able to just speak commands to your phone to send emails and text messages means you save a bucket load of time on typing.
Let’s face it, virtual keyboards are not the best input tools for the serial Twitterer or IM addict. And we have to admit, although speaking what you want to text does not necessarily mean its faster than typing but it does make the task easier at the very least. whatever it is, there’s no denying that having a voice recognition app that is very accurate is useful in more ways than one.
The crappy part about Google Voice Actions is that you’ll need Android 2.2 to run it and you have to speak with an American slang. Let’s face it, there’s not a lot of devices out there that’s running Froyo (almost non-existent here in Malaysia) and for many of us who are not American wannabes, speaking in American is going to be a bit of a challenge.
Enter Vlingo, the awesome free alternative to Google Voice Actions and it’s pretty darn tooting good!
New to the P1 WiMAX laptop lineup are two notebooks from Asus and MSi respectively.
The new Asus K42F has a 14.1in display and runs an Intel core i3-370M with 320GB of storage and an unimpressive 2GB of RAM (DDR3) — we’d expect at least 4GB from Asus, a manufacturer that prides itself in providing good value at even better prices. As you’d expect, wireless connectivity comes in the form of Bluetooth and WiMAX + WiFi b/g/n. Don’t however expect to do any worthwhile gaming on this machine as it run on Intel’s built-in card. Though as a media PC the K42F comes packing a HDMI out and Altec Lansing speakers with SRS Premium sound technology as well a pretty attractive gloss finish. Asking price for the Asus, RM2,699.
The other new WiMAX notebook is the MSi FX400 also with a 14.1in screen. It runs on Intel Core i3-350 with 500GB of storage as the same 2GB DDR3 RAM. Again, we would like to see more RAM included into devices in this price range. The good thing about the MSi is it comes with an nVidia GeForce GT 325M graphics card with 1GB RAM. Bluetooth, WiMAX + WiFI b/g/n all comes as standard. The MSi goes for RM2,699. No guesses on which one offers the better value.
We had the opportunity to play with the MSi FX400 for a few days a coupole of months back and if we had to choose between the two, our money’s on the MSi.
The six months free P1 1NSiDE offer is still on for both devices. That means if you purchase any WiMAX notebook and activate your P1 account, you’ll get free six months P1 1NSiDE broadband for free. The P1 1NSiDE plan gives you 15GB data cap a month with no speed cap for RM89.
For more details click here.
Ok, we’re making it clear, this is a rant post. So if you’re not into this kind of thing, it might be best that you scroll down to the next post.
While scouring the web for the hottest mobile tech stories, we can’t believe the number of factual errors we spotted in this article from the StarOnline.
The article titled — iPhone and BlackBerry likely to remain M’sian favourites — talks about the state of the smartphone market in Malaysia. The article, which gets its motivation from the report on Android being the top selling smartphone OS in the US right now, elaborates on the current and upcoming trends of the various smartphones available in Malaysia.
You can read the article in full here if you want but let us spare you some time and read below on some of the glaring factual errors made by the writer.
Analysts said the mighty iPhone and Blackberry would continue to sell like hot cakes in Malaysia as choices for the Android were still limited locally.
We can’t but feel that the analysts that made this statement plucked it from their nostrils. Everyone knows that there’s currently more choices of Android devices across the low, mid and high-end than Apple and RIM devices combined.
Ok here’s a breakdown of Android devices available officially in the market right now versus devices from Apple and RIM.
When HTC sent out the September 15 invite, there were two theories as to what the mystery device would be. One is that it would be the unveiling of the HTC Ace or Desire HD, the company’s latest Android based flagship smartphone and the other, is that HTC will be unveiling a Windows Phone 7 device. We thought that a Windows Phone 7 device showing would be too early, considering that the OS is very likely to only be launched in October.
Our observations on the many reports of the HTC Ace tells us that it is the Desire HD that will make an apearance and this latest information is making a Desire HD launch on September 15 an almost definite proposition.
Briefly listed on Amazon UK for sale was an item described as “HTC 99HLZ001-00 Ace/Desire HD”. Although the listing has since been removed, the item is a dead giveaway that the latest smartphone to come from HTC will, most probably, be running Android.
The Amazon listing also stated the price of the HTC Ace, £415 or about RM2080. This is very enticing considering the hardware the HTC Ace is reported to be including in its one piece aluminum shell. Allow us to refresh your memory: 4.3in WVGA screen (most probably of the SLCD kind), Froyo (Android 2.2), 8MP camera with 720p video recording, 1GHZ processor and 4GB on board memory. We are also speculating a dual-mic with noise cancellation to a part of the Ace’s arsenal based on the video that we’ve seen of the device. And if you’re wondering, from the pictures and video we’ve seen, we don’t think that there will be a secondary camera for video calling on the HTC Ace.
After the UK launch, the next question that will be on everybody’s minds is when will the new HTC come to Malaysia? We don’t have the details now but as always, keep it locked on to SoyaCincau.com to get the update on the latest HTC.