It's pretty clear now that you can't have a modern smartphone operating system without powerful Siri-like voice commands. So it's not too surprising to see familiar-sounding voice commands in the latest update to RIM's BlackBerry 10 Developer Alpha release.
As N4BB's Lucas Atkins shows in the video below, the voice command feature sounds a lot like Apple's iconic virtual assistant. Though it becomes clear pretty quickly that RIM's solution needs a bit more schooling.
From a lack of carrier confidence to poor sales estimates, Nokia’s Lumia 900 sure has had a tough life since its April release.
And the struggles aren’t letting up. In a move that likely bodes poorly for the device, Nokia and AT&T have slashed the on-contract price of the Lumia 900 from $100 to a budget-friendly $50.
A fifty dollar price drop just three months into a life cycle is a big deal for any phone, but with the Lumia 900, it’s charged with far more meaning. After all, this is the device that was not only supposed to save Nokia, but also inject Windows Phone more extensively into the minds of consumers. A price cut, however, tells a different story: Nokia’s little Lumia 900 may not have long to live.
Here’s the thing, though: The Nokia Lumia 900 has been dead for a while — it just didn’t know it. The death stroke came last month when Microsoft made the disastrous announcement that Windows Phone 7 devices won’t be upgradable to Windows Phone 8. This made the Lumia 900 obsolete overnight, killing consumer interest in a device that not even its biggest cheerleaders were supporting. Hello, Osburne effect.
On the other hand, the price drop is also further push for the Lumia 900 as a mass market device. This was, after all, much of the reason the phone sold for $100 to begin with: Nokia wanted to keep it cheap, and it wanted consumers to notice.
But this may not be the type of attention Nokia actually wants. With the cut, Nokia’s golden child is now rubbing shoulders with other, less illustrious members of AT&T’s $49 smartphone tier like the Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate, the Impulse 4G, and the HTC Vivid. These are phones that are as ancient as they are irrelevant.
So the price cut can go one of two ways: Either it will boost sales by making the Lumia 900 more affordable for more consumers, or it will sink the whole ship by showing that niether Nokia nor Microsoft has any confidence in the Lumia 900 game plan.
The move may also suggest that Nokia (or, more likely AT&T) is trying to move inventory ahead of the launch of a Lumia 900 follow-up. It’s also possible that AT&T simply did not have room in its $100 smartphone category now that Motorola’s Atrix HD has hit the market.
But with only three days before Nokia’s second-quarter earnings, this eleventh hour move reeks too much of desperation to be that well thought out. Nokia and Microsoft may have a plan for the Lumia 900, but if the past is any indication, it won’t be a good one.
VentureBeat reached out to Nokia and AT&T to get a better sense of the reasons behind the price cut, and we’ll update this story when the companies respond.
Lumia 900 photo: Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat
Starting Sunday, AT&T(s t) is offering Nokia's(s nok) Lumia 900 smartphone in a new color and a lower price for all models. The Lumia 900, debuting just three months ago for $99.99, is now available for $49 .99 with contract. A pink version is added to the lineup but a new color and relatively large price cut may not be enough to boost sales.
While Motorola's Droid Razr and Droid Razr Maxx are two of the best phones around now, the pair has, sadly, been available only to customers of Verizon. That's changing today with the release of the Atrix HD, a phone that borrows heavily from both of its predecessors, while somehow managing to stay really cheap. That's no small feat, and it makes the Atrix HD the type of device that demands your attention and consideration.
If you’re on the market for a new phone — don’t buy the iPhone 4S just yet. The sixth-generation iPhone is on its way, according to Japanese tech blog Macotakara, a popular resource for pre-production news.
The resource successfully predicted the iPhone 4S release in 2011. The August reports stated the iPhone 4S and iPad 3 would publicly launch in October that year. The iPhone 4S did, in fact, launch in mid-October. The new iPad, however, launched a few months later in March 2012.
Macotakara is citing sources in China. The blog reports the new iPhone could have a different look than the latest model. The back panel could be two-toned with glass and aluminum. For more details from the report, watch the video above.
Will you wait until September to see if the reports are true? Tell us in the comments if iPhone 5 rumors are pushing you to hold off on a new phone purchase.
SAN FRANCISCO—A northern California jury directed Research in Motion Ltd. to pay $147.2 million in patent litigation over a remote management system for wireless devices, according to an attorney for the plaintiff, Mformation Technologies Inc.
The verdict on Friday in a San Francisco federal court comes at a bad time for RIM, whose stock has fallen more than 70 percent in the past year as customers abandon the BlackBerry in favor of Apple’s iPhone and a slew of devices using Google Inc’s Android software.
Amar Thakur, an attorney for Mformation, said the jury directed RIM to pay an $8 royalty for every BlackBerry device connected to RIM’s enterprise server software, which brings the total award to $147.2 million. The verdict only covers U.S. sales through trial, Thakur said, and not future or foreign damages.
RIM spokeswoman Crystal Roberts said the company has pending legal motions that could overturn the verdict.
“Research In Motion has worked hard to develop its leading-edge BlackBerry technology,” Roberts said in a statement.
Based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM last month posted its first operating loss in eight years, and it was much deeper than expected. The company also said it was cutting 5,000 jobs, almost a third of its workforce, as it struggles win back its reputation as an industry innovator.
Mformation sued RIM in 2008, bringing claims on a patent for a process that remotely manages a wireless device over a wireless network, a court filing says. According to its web site, Mformation helps corporations manage their smart phone inventory. The company also says it helps telecoms operators, such as AT&T and Sprint, with remote fixes and upgrades for users’ gadgets.
RIM argued that Mformation’s patent claims are invalid because the processes were already being used when Mformation filed its patent application.
The jury deliberated for four days this week before handing down its verdict, Thakur said.
Can You Pronounce Huawei?
Huawei is making moves towards this objective, too. It’s latest hardware is impressive even if it’s not yet headed to US stores. What’s more, the company recently announced plans to move its North American R&D headquarters from Plano, Texas to Santa Clara, California and add 500 new employees to its workforce. Setting up shop in the heart of Silicon Valley says Huawei is ready to compete, but it’s equally important to make sure US citizens know how to say the company’s name. It’s ‘wah-way,’ in case you were wondering.
A Russian developer has published what looks like a way to circumvent Apple’s in-app purchase system, allowing users to “buy” items without paying in iOS. The method, which involves installing a pair of security certificates and then changing the DNS record, does not require jailbreaking or specialized knowledge, and it allegedly runs on anything running iOS 3.0 to 6.0. It looks to have been picked up first by Russian site I-ekb. The video below shows it in action, and 9to5 Mac has confirmed that it worked for them, though comments on I-ekb indicate not all apps are susceptible. Users of the trick, meanwhile, are giving up something of their own: 9to5 Mac reports that some device information and the user locale are pulled when using it. That’s not unusual for a developer, but in this case the project’s general unsavoriness makes it unclear what else is being collected and how the information is being used.
For Apple, this could indicate a major problem, even if it’s fixed quickly. In-app purchases are a huge driver of app revenue, and this trick doesn’t rely on heavily modifying the system or doing anything that the average user would find too threatening. We’ve reached out to Apple to see if it’s aware of the issue, but it’s unclear how well the tool is working now anyways: its creator is currently soliciting donations to keep the servers that power it running.
We think of our mobile phones as connecting to mobile networks, but that’s really not the case. When it comes to mobile data, our smartphones are far more reliant on Wi-Fi. Given that’s the case, why are carriers so single-mindedly focused on acquiring new licensed spectrum and building expensive new 3G and 4G networks, when they could implement more Wi-Fi and tap into other sources of unlicensed spectrum?