Well, folks, the hits keep on coming from CES. Verizon, who seems to be dominating the Android portion of the conference, has just sent us word of its latest foray into the gaming world with Rock Band Mobile. For now, it is only available on Verizon LTE devices and allows you to play some of your favorite songs wirelessly with your friends. It also allows you to play all of your favorite instruments from the console version, including vocals, which will, arguably, be the most fun to do in a quiet waiting room.
With all the new tablets from players like Motorola, ASUS, and Acer, it goes without saying that Samsung was starting to feel a little jealous - and so, in partnership with Verizon, it decided to do something about the situation.
Namely, the company has released an upgraded Galaxy Tab, complete with a 1.2GHz Hummingbird processor (the original model only had a 1GHz unit), an upgraded rear camera (it's now 5MP as opposed to the previous generation's 3MP), and an LTE radio.
Sure, Qik, Yahoo, and Fring all have Android-based video calling apps (not to mention that Google's probably planning one of its own), but we all know this is an area Skype dominates. A few days ago, the company updated its iPhone app with the feature, though we Android users haven't had access to it... until now.
At their press conference at CES, Verizon announced that the feature will be available to customers on its new LTE network.
Nope, Motorola hasn't announced this gem at their CES press conference yet, but it's already live on their site - it's called the Droid Bionic, and it's Motorola's LTE phone for Verizon.
- 512 MB of RAM
- A dual-core processor of some sort (our bet is on the Tegra 2)
- A front-facing web cam (VGA variety)
- An 8 MP rear camera
- A 4.3-inch qHD (960x540) display
Of course, it's also got a LTE radio under the hood, as evidenced by the "4G" logo in the top right corner and the "4G-like power" mentioned in the description.
America's most trusted name in bar graphs, Nielsen, released an updated look at smartphone market share distribution today. The results aren't terribly surprising: Android is growing, and quickly at that. Blackberry's free-fall into the abyss has slowed to a steady death march. But what about Apple's fare?
Since the release of the iPhone 4 in June, Apple's total share of the smartphone market has increased by a paltry 0.7%, while Android has gained 10.8% more of the smartphone pie to reach 25.8% of the total - a mere 2.8% behind Apple, as you can see below.
Costco's been selling Verizon's version of the Galaxy Tab for $499.99 for a while now, but that doesn't make Big Red's latest deal any less exciting. As of today, customers can walk into any Verizon store and pick up a Tab for the aforementioned price of $499.99; only there's another bonus here: the package includes $60 of free movie rentals from Blockbuster or Samsung's own Media Hub. Additionally, if you bought a Galaxy Tab within the last 14 days, the carrier will offer you a $100 refund.
What's your take on the matter - is this proof of Verizon's generosity, a result of underwhelming sales figures, or simply a sign of things to come?
If Droid Life's sources are to be believed - and given their track record, I'd say they are - then the upcoming Honeycomb tablet from Motorola will be called the DROID XOOM. We've heard of Motorola filing trademarks for the XOOM name, so it would certainly seem to fit. One other tidbit mentioned by their source: the tablet won't come packing LTE.
There's not much left to leak about Verizon's upcoming LTE phone, the HTC Thunderbolt (previously thought to be called "Incredible HD" or "Mecha"), but some high-quality pictures can't hurt, can they?
You can check out the phone in all its glory by hitting the source link, but you won't find anything surprising - we've already heard about the kickstand, 4G LTE connectivity, and front-facing camera. Still, it's definitely a nice-looking device, and we can always hope that HTC will somehow manage to shove in a dual core processor.
Though we still couldn't reliably confirm a similar Galaxy Tab deal at Best Buy, here's a legitimate sale - Costco is selling Samsung's seven-inch tablet for just $499.99. Customers purchasing the device from Costco will also have to pay an activation fee (refundable with a mail-in-rebate) and sign up for at least one month of data from Verizon, who offers the following data plans for the Galaxy Tab:
- $20/month for 1GB of data
- $35/month for 3GB of data
- $50/month for 5GB of data
- $80/month for 10GB of data
The reduction in price is great for customers who are looking to get a taste of the Android OS in a tablet form factor.
HTC's released plenty of phones lately, but Verizon - arguably the biggest Android carrier - hasn't been getting any love since way back with the release of the Droid Incredible. What better way to bring it all back than with an LTE launch phone? Judging from HTC's rather smug (who can blame them?) teaser page, they're set to hit the ground running with a launch of the "Incredible HD" on January 6th.