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The new ASUS PadFone X for AT&T unveiled

Since its launch in the year 2011, ASUS PadFone has gained a lot of appreciation and recognition. And now almost after three years, ASUS has come with newer version of the device, called as ASUS PadFone X, which will run by AT&T exclusively in the U.S.

This new device comes equipped with a number of advancements than its predecessor. ASUS PadFone X sports a 5-inch HD display. However, the tablet portion of the device now has a 9-inch HD screen display which was 10-inches earlier. The most amazing aspect about this PadFone is that it runs on the latest Android version, KitKat 4.4. As far as its casing is concerned, it is metallic and completely black brushed.

Jeff Bradley , Senior Vice President of Devices for AT&T, said “The PadFone X is first of its kind in the U.S. It combines leading technology, a beautiful design and a remarkably seamless application experience – all on the nation’s fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network.”

ASUS PadFone X overall is a powerful device with modern specifications and is likely to give a tough competition to today’s upper-end smartphone.

In addition to this, ASUS also revealed a low-cost alternative for its PadFone X device, called as PadFone Mini. It features a 4-inch HD display screen with a 7-inch tablet display screen and includes a Cloverview Z2560 Atom processor. It currently offers 8GB of storage space with a micro SD card slot. The device sports an 8-megapixel rear camera, and 2 megapixel front camera. ASUS PadFone Mini comes in a variety of colors, including white, black, blue, red, and yellow. It runs on Android 4.3 and supports HSPA+networks along with Bluetooth and WiFi.

The price of ASUS PadFone X and ASUS PadFone Mini has not been revealed yet.

Sony® Xperia ion

Sony Xperia ion, the first android-based 4G LTE smartphone from electronics giant Sony Corporation, has finally landed in the market. Ready to be retailed at $99.99 on a two-year agreement with AT&T, this novel edition by Sony lets you everything in HD.

Highlights of Sony Xperia ion

Primarily meant to offer pure entertainment, Sony Xperia ion boasts of 4.6-inch HD Reality Display powered by Mobile BRAVIA Engine. Its 12MP camera further allows you to capture every special moment of your life as it is. If you want to make any moment memorable by capturing it still or in action, all you have to do is just touch a button.

And, if you want to share your videos and photos on a large high-definition screen, the SmartDock for Xperia ion lets you do so. You can easily control the content of your phone simply with your television mode.

When it comes to the style and looks, the glossy black monolith shell makes the Sony Xperia ion a handsomely-styled smartphone.

Motorola® won’t update Charm or Flipout beyond Android™ 2.1

Motorola handsets are the ones that have gained prominence and importance over the past decade. Starting from the very basic models, the brand has introduced a variety of apps and services through its upgraded handsets and a variety of models. The latest news doing the rounds in the technology circles is about the decision of Motorola to pull back its plans to update the Charm (T-Mobile) and Flipout (AT&T) handsets with Android 2.2 Froyo. These smartphones were released with Android 2.1. This further adds them to the growing list of Motorola handsets being left behind on older versions of Android. Thus, there have been more devices in the list that would never see an upgrade. Most recently, the company decided that the Cliq XT would stay on Android 1.5 and it would not have features such as live wallpapers or Google Maps navigation.

After updating its Android software upgrade timeline, Motorola had said that the Flipout and Charm handsets would remain on 2.1 for as long as possible. We can only hope that the new handsets such as Droid X or Atrix 4G get more than one update. Probably the problems arise from having to work with a lot of hardware configurations and form factors. On the other hand, these issues can also stem from the Motoblur interface that overlay Android. It could be possible that Moto integrated the custom UI too heavily, which prevents it from acting quickly for rolling out updates. There could be another likely scenario wherein these phones are not being sold out as much as what was anticipated, and that it would be a loss of time and resources on working on updates for such a limited quantity of devices.

3G BlackBerry PlayBook™ Coming to AT&T®

Research In Motion’s Blackberry PlayBook tablet will be launched on the 3G network of AT&T. Also an LTE 4G PlayBook is in the pipeline for a later launch. However, Research In Motion (RIM) has refused to comment on this. The Blackberry PlayBook comes with the revolutionary BlackBerry Bridge technology that allows it to connect itself to a BlackBerry smartphone. It comes with a new operating system developed exclusively for it by QNX Software Systems.

The tablet features technology enabling it to display web pages utilizing Adobes Flash software, something which Apple iPad does not offer. It is also compatible with the servers enabled by corporations and governments to monitor devices for safety and security purposes. It features multiple connectivity options including connection to the Internet through Bluetooth tethering and Wi-Fi. It is powered by a dual core 1 GHz processor with 1 GB RAM. It has a 7-inch LCD display with enough power to run 1080p videos while multitasking with other apps. It is incredibly light, weighing only 400 grams and a thickness of just 0.4 inches. It maintains its light feel with a sturdy design. It has enhances its minimalistic design by removing even the front buttons. It goes one up against the iPad with its 3 megapixel front facing camera and a 5 megapixel back facing camera which has the ability to shoot 1080p HD video. The tablet also has a micro HDMI port with the video out option. BlackBerry PlayBook offers full support for HTML5 and also Adobe Flash 10.1, thus providing you with unlimited web viewing options.

Thus, BlackBerry PlayBook can be regarded as an excellent tablet with an incredible form factor, lightweight yet sturdy design, an OS resembling the WebOS, high definition graphics and the 3G tethering option.

Half of Verizon Wireless® smartphone users may switch to iPhone®

According to a research report regarding Verizon Wireless and AT&T customers, fifty four percent of the present BlackBerry and Android users on the network of Verizon Wireless are most probably to switch over to the Verizon compatible iPhone 4. The same research report also reveals that twenty six percent of present users of AT&T iPhone will switch over to Verizon. The news became available as Verizon declared sales for first-day handset exceeding over earlier records within a day of the availability of pre order. Data was obtained from the highly profiled panel of more than seven hundred smart phone users presently on Verizon or AT&T conducted between January 28 and January 31 prior to present customers of Verizon were permitted to pre order iPhone. Amongst the Verizon users having BlackBerry and Android device, twenty five percent are likely to switch over to iPhone 4, when another twenty nine percent falls in the group of “somewhat likely”. Particularly, seventy five percent of BlackBerry customers are somewhat likely or very likely to switch over as per the research report projects.

The report also disclosed that eight percent of present AT&T users of iPhone may switch over to Verizon while another eighteen percent were found to be switching over in somewhat likely manner. Main reasons for switching over being coverage area and dropped calls, while those kept their affiliation with AT&T because of the reasons such as other costs for conversion and ETFs, possible dilapidation of network for Verizon and network speed.

These numbers  seemed excessively optimistic, but as per Verizon, the iPhone 4 has exceeded expectations for sales already. The iPhone 4 Verizon-compatible became available for online pre order in respect of Verizon’s current customers.

Neither Verizon nor Apple responded to the queries regarding the number of pre orders they took, although the rumour spread that it might be twenty five million iPhones. However, a spokesperson of Apple, Natalie Harrison, informed that Apple is really thrilled for the response received so far, and is expecting to deliver the iPhone 4 to more customers.

Nokia® Said to Cancel Smartphone Launch With AT&T®

X7, Nokia’s new smartphone that it had planned to enter the market with partner AT&T, has been cancelled. Nokia had planned to make a comeback into the US market with this phone in partnership with the wireless carrier AT&T. AT&T is at the second position in US in terms of market presence just behind Verizon Wireless.

This is another aborted attempt by the Finnish mobile giant to seek a foothold in the US. Nokia at one time had a large presence in US and it is the largest phone maker in the world. It was rumored to be launched in partnership with AT&T. Wall Street Journal cites the reason for the cancellation as AT&T’s refusal to commit funds for marketing or subsidy.

Nokia, however, refused to comment on this issue and said that it is a well publicized fact that they are working hard to regain leadership in the US market and that they are in active discussions with their operator partners on this strategy. They further stated their commitment with their US carrier partners to bring meaningful smartphone solutions to the market that are compelling consumer experiences, have strong operator support and a thriving ecosystem. As in any business, plans can change and deliberate decisions must be made to enable clear focus on bringing the right products to market at the right time.

Nokia has encountered problems with negotiating with the carriers who subsidize handsets for customers in return for two year contracts. Nokia on the other hand prefers selling the smartphones launched in US directly to the consumer at its own set price.

Nokia is still dependent on its Symbian OS with MeeGo still under development. Stephen Elop, the new president of Nokia, is now busy working out a strategy to sell better products at more competitive pricing to regain control in the US market and to make a move against his main competitors in the market, namely Apple’s iOS powered iPhone and Google’s Android platform.

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