Every so often, with all the new device releases, lawsuits, feature scandals, and scathing editorials that fly back and forth across the tech world, it's nice to step back and take a look at the state of the industry from the comforting safe haven of numbers. ComScore's recent round of stats shows an unsurprising yet telling look at the US mobile industry. Predictably, Android remains the top dog with iOS following closely behind.
Some very interesting legal news surfaced this morning in regard to a Motorola patent suit against Apple at the ITC. The lawsuit in question was filed back in August, and sought import bans on almost every Apple product currently manufactured based on seven Motorola patents. It had barely entered the preliminary stages before Motorola voluntarily sought for the case to be dismissed today.
Motorola provided no reasoning for the request, which is basically a matter of procedure - it will be granted.
Update: Deutsche Telekom has confirmed that this merger will be happening (given regulatory approval), and that DT will run T-Mobile and MetroPCS as one company. The DT board will meet tomorrow to approve the transaction.
According to Reuters, "three sources familiar with the situation" are saying a deal between T-Mobile and MetroPCS is "close," and by close, they mean an announcement is probably happening tomorrow.
This is a bit odd, given that MetroPCS is a CDMA carrier, and that network is largely incompatible with T-Mobile's current spectrum holdings.
Well, the long-awaited (and rumored) HTC One X+ is official. HTC took the wraps off this not-so-secret handset earlier this morning, stating that it would be available in several different regions. Now, AT&T has announced that it will be the exclusive carrier of the device here in the US, and it will hit stores "in the coming months."
For those who may not have caught the news this morning, the One X+ is essentially the same as its predecessor on the outside, but is an entirely different beast on the inside:
- 4.7" 1280x720 display
- 1.7GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor
- 1GB RAM
- 64GB internal storage
- 8MP rear shooter, 1.6MP front camera
- 2100mAh battery
- Android 4.1 with Sense 4+
Also announced by AT&T today is the HTC One VX, a nice mid-range smartphone with decent specs:
- 4.5" qHD Super LCD2
- 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB storage, microSD card slot
- 5MP rear shooter, VGA front camera
- Android 4.0 (will be upgraded to 4.1 "shortly after launch")
Much like the One X+, there's no certain date when the VX will be released.
The Android Jelly Bean with HTC™ Sense 4+ update is scheduled to begin rolling out for the HTC One™ S and HTC One™ X from October.
As most of you probably already know, Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) is the most polished version of Android yet. Coupled with some of the "enhancements" in Sense 4+ - namely, the improved camera software and the Get Started functionality - it should be quite a nice update.
In its One X+ announcement, HTC also announced some changes to Sense. While none were groundbreaking (so don't expect a visual overhaul) and not a lot of details were revealed, the company did mention a few things were being upgraded.
Protip: the image on the left is gigantic when full-sized. Apparently HTC's target date was September 24.
The camera software seems to have received the bulk of the changes, starting with the front-facer, which now includes Self Portrait mode (previewed below, left).
The updated One X variant features:
- A beefier Cortex-A9 NVIDIA Tegra 3 AP37 processor running at 1.7GHz (up from 1.5GHz)
- ULP GeForce NVIDIA GPU, running at 520MHz (up from 416MHz)
- 64GB of internal storage (up from 32GB)
- 2100mAh battery (up from 1800mAh), which HTC says may give you up to 6 hours of extra talk time
- 1.6MP front-facing camera (up from 1.3MP)
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
- Sense 4+
- 135g - slightly heavier but only by 5 grams (up from 130g)
The rest of the specs remain the same, including a 4.7" 1280x720 display, 1GB of RAM (a real bummer considering Samsung's and LG's latest offerings contain and really benefit from double that), Beats Audio, and an 8MP rear-facing camera.
If you hate to read these stories, imagine how much we hate to write them: yet another volley has been tossed in the patent battle between Samsung and Apple. This time it's the Korean manufacturer taking its intellectual property guns out against Apple, claiming that the shiny new iPhone 5 violates eight of its software patents.
Samsung claims six utility patents and two standard essential patents. The later (USPTO filings 7,551,596 and 7,756,087) have to do with data transfers on mobile networks, while the former (USPTO 7,672,470, 7,577,757, 7,232,058, 6,292,179, 6,226,449, and 5,579,239) are more varied, ranging from audio streaming and control to keyboard and voice inputs.
This year's Droidcon is all set up and ready to go on November 22nd and 23rd in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, so all you Android devs across the pond may want to mark your calendar. Expect to your brain to be filled with pertinent information from the likes of Google, Facebook, and Paypal, among many others. In fact, if you'd be interested in joining those ranks, Droidcon is still accepting papers for potential speakers.