It certainly seems like it. Yesterday, Microsoft announced via blog that it had concluded negotiations with Samsung and reached a licensing deal for the same seven patents it previously licensed to HTC for Android (along with other, smaller Android manufacturers). There were rumblings about just what royalty rate Samsung is paying, but the guess is anywhere from $5 to $15 per handset (it's likely on a percentage-of-MSRP basis - so think about 1-3% per $500 MSRP phone).
Verizon Wireless has just announced in a press release that the Motorola Xoom's 4G LTE upgrade process can finally begin Thursday the 29th (tomorrow).
To get the upgrade, customers need only go to Verizon's Xoom upgrade page. Oh, and send off their Xoom for approximately 6 business days.
Verizon also announced that Xoom tablets with 4G LTE built in will be available starting October 13th for $499.99 on a new two year contract.
Want to know which online service makes my life a lot easier? Hipmunk. For the uninitiate, Hipmunk is a flight search service with a difference. In addition to sorting available flights by the standard duration and price metrics, Hipmunk can also arrange flights according to "agony", i.e. incorporating factors such as number of stops and total duration. Although its mobile site is adequate, I am pleased to report that Hipmunk has finally launched its Android app, which is available for free from the Market.
HTC has virtually every corner of the Android phone market covered, with unlocked phones ranging from under $300 all the way up to $700. Whether you're looking for a smartphone on a budget, or you just want as much power as you can have in one hand, you'll generally be covered.
Today, HTC has announced the Explorer, which sits firmly on the budget end of the smartphone spectrum. You won't find many bells and whistles on this phone, which will have a 3.2-inch display with a resolution of just 480 x 320, and a 3MP camera around the back.
In a press release earlier today Samsung announced an update to its Exynos line of mobile processors with the release of the Exynos 4212 a 1.5 GHz dual core ARM Cortex-A9 chip. The chip is designed on Samsung's advanced 32nm low-power processes and is intended for the burgeoning smartphone and tablet market. According to Samsung's release the Exynos 4212 will deliver a full 25% increase in processing power over the previous chip and will feature an enhanced GPU capable of delivering 50% higher 3D graphics performance.
Amazon's new tablet, the Kindle Fire, has been grabbing all of the headlines following Amazon's press event yesterday, and rightfully so. Priced at an aggressive $199, it has virtually alienated all other Android tablet manufacturers in one fell swoop, offering potential buyers a great piece of hardware and all of the content Amazon has to offer to back it up.
Despite this, there are still a few things that the Fire won't offer.
Popular Android game developer HandyGames has released a sequel to its well received Guns'n'Glory tower defence game called Guns'n'Glory WW2. The original Guns'n'Glory was a Wild West themed game that put you in charge of mobile units which you had to place in strategic position in order to ambush settlers, stagecoaches and "the gold train". The original game took the concept of a tower defence game and put an intriguing spin on it by allowing the enemy units to fight back.
After just over a year of envious grumbling, the Canadians have finally gotten their first taste of LTE. Rogers Wireless announced today that true 4G speeds are available to customers in specific coverage areas in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver.
While this is surely a cause for excitement for my fellow Canucks, the devices that are currently on this new network aren't. At the time of launch, the only LTE device available to consumers is the Sierra Wireless AirCard 313U, a mobile "LTE Rocket stick" for laptops.
Samsung sent out invites today for Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2011, promising to reveal "what's new with Android" at the event in San Diego on October 11th.
Considering Eric Schmidt's indication of an October/November release for Android Ice Cream Sandwich, and the fact that the Nexus Prime (Google's flagship ICS phone) is said to be a Samsung device, it's looking like this announcement will almost certainly be related to Android's latest iteration, and perhaps, if we're lucky, the latest Nexus device as well.