The HTC Thunderbolt has been the focus of lots of Verizon Android fans’ attention these last few months as they’ve patiently waited for its release. The LTE-equipped smartphone was originally thought to be shipping alongside the Motorola XOOM on February 14th.
When the XOOM launch came and went, reports surfaced that the Thunderbolt would arrive in late February. But this is the last day of the month, and still there have been no announcements. Why?
Apparently, the first LTE Android phone from Verizon has been plagued with terrible battery life, and the folks at the carrier and HTC are working on a firmware update to address the issue. While Engadget is reporting that multiple sources have confirmed that this is, indeed, the cause of the push back, others believe the phone has been purposely delayed to help reportedly disappointing Verizon iPhone 4 sales. Verizon is rightly stating that “no release date has ever been released” for the Thunderbolt, but has made no comment regarding delays.
So, now the word is that March 4th is the day for the HTC Thunderbolt. We’ll see. If the March 4th date holds, this would seem to support the cynical theory that the issue isn’t one of hardware or software, while a longer delay would suggest bigger problems.
We’ll keep you updated on the latest rumors.
Hot on the heels of Sprint’s announcement of the HTC Arrive comes word that Verizon Wireless is about to unveil its first Windows Phone 7 device, the HTC 7 Trophy. WinRumors is reporting that its sources say Verizon could announce the phone as early as next week with a release sometime around March 20.
We’ve long known Verizon Wireless would launch a Windows Phone 7 device early this year, so this rumor way well be true. And it makes sense for Verizon to launch its first phone powered by Microsoft’s new mobile OS at roughly the same time as Sprint. A recent update to Windows Phone 7 makes it compatible with CDMA networks.
WinRumors says the HTC 7 Trophy will cost $200.
While speaking at this year’s Mobile World Congress, Motorola executive Sanjay Jha seemed to confirm that Google may soon begin selling music via a service designed to compete with Apple’s iTunes.
Speaking about Google’s services vis-à-vis Honeycomb, Jha said: “"If you look at Google Mobile services today, there’s a video service, there’s a music service … that is, there will be a music service."
Google has long been expected to get into digital music sales, and with the impending launch of Android 3.0 tablets and the continued growth of Android-powered smartphones, this would seem like a good a time as any. But how such a service would materialize remains unclear.
An Android app for on-device browsing, purchase and download seems obvious, powered – like the Android Market – by Google Checkout, but would Google also release a stand-alone application or Windows and Mac, or rely entirely on the Cloud? What music labels are onboard? What would the pricing be? Will there be monthly fee, all-you-can-eat music like Microsoft’s Zune service, just just track and album purchases? How low can Google go in pricing to take on Apple?
All of these questions may be answered shortly, as Honeycomb powered tablets like the Motorola XOOM and LG G-Slate are just around the corner.
The fact that the Windows Phone 7 OS would be updated in 2011 has been known for months. What has not been known is exactly what the update (or updates) would include – with the exception of copy and paste.
Now Chris Walsh (of ChevronWP7 fame) claims that a “massive” update to Windows Phone 7 is right around the corner, an update which will include new functionalities above and beyond copy and paste. In fact, Walsh opines that the update is so substantial that Microsoft “could have called it Windows Phone 8” and that the company “took 3 months to do what Apple did in 3…”
We don’t know about all that, but this new information helps cement the rumors that Microsoft is hard at work on quickly bringing their fledgling mobile OS closer to its established rivals, iOS and Android.
And the faster, the better.
2011 additions to Windows Phone 7 are generally believed to include some form of multitasking, additional GPS utility like native turn-by-turn directions, custom ringtones, SkyDrive support, Flash, HTML5 compatibility, and tethering. Updates will be made available by Microsoft to users of Windows Phone smartphones, likely free of charge.
Microsoft is expected to announce the first update to Windows Phone 7 in early 2011. CDMA handsets running WP7 for use on Sprint and Verizon wireless networks are also expected to debut around the same time.
TechCrunch has posted a couple of interesting news items in the last few hours. None of the information has been confirmed, but if true they indicate an interesting new direction for Amazon vis-à-vis the Android OS.
The first story states that Amazon is planning to launch its own Android app store. Apps in the store would be viewable on Amazon.com and the retailer would split the take with the developer. Exactly how such a third-party store would work is unclear, but Amazon would have a great deal of control over what appears in the store and what devices its apps can be installed to.
The second story suggests that the debut of Amazon’s Android app store may be accompanied by an Android-powered Amazon tablet. Whether the Amazon Android software store would be exclusively available on this device or whether it would be a built-in feature on the tablet and an option for other Android smartphone users is unknown.