The biggest news in mobile technology this week was the Motorola DROID announcement from Verizon Wireless and we spent a large junk of MobileTechRoundup show #188 talking about the device and Google Android. James, Kevin, and I haven't yet held the DROID so we are reserving final judgement on it, but it sounds like James may be the only one who may pick up the device since he already has a Verizon account. Google Maps Navigation beta is installed on the DROID and may just have wiped out PNDs, but Microsoft is helping with the shutting down of the MSN Direct service on 1 January 2012.
Smartphones and Cell Phones
It seems everyone in business has a smartphone today to keep connected to the office and enjoy their time away from the office. Matthew Miller provides you with news, commentary and in-depth reviews of the latest in mobile phones sporting iOS, Android, Wi
Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.
With all the excitement surrounding the latest Google Android devices people are starting to make statements about Android or Apple winning the smartphone war. There will never be a single winner in the smartphone space and people should not even count out Symbian with their current double digit lead and exciting future prospects with the Symbian Foundation work. The smartphone market is exciting and fluid with the flexibility to let anyone step in and take a share of the pie while others continue to improve as well.
Verizon Wireless was stagnant in the smartphone arena, but is coming out shooting with a full load this holiday season. The Motorola Droid was announced earlier today and now we hear rumors that the HTC Droid Eris will be priced competitively at just $99. Stay tuned since an official announcement for the Eris has yet to be made.
I received a press release today from Sony Electronics regarding the new Sony Ericsson Aino unlocked mobile phone and have to really wonder if there are enough rich people who are willing to pay $600 for a feature phone. The Aino doesn't run any smartphone OS, but Ericsson's proprietary system. It does have an 8.1 megapixel camera and ability to work with a PlayStation3 for media sharing. It was reviewed on CNET UK and they were not at all impressed with the touchscreen interface and functionality of the device.
Verizon and Motorola made it official today with the announcement that the DROID by Motorola will launch next week, 6 November, for only $199.99 with two-year contract and $100 mail-in rebate. The DROID is Verizon's first Google Android device and the first Android device running version 2.0 software. It has a huge 3.7 inch 854x480 pixel resolution capacitive touchscreen and comes in at only 0.54 inches thick with a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
Palm stole the spotlight at CES 2009 with the announcement of their Palm Pre and WebOS operating system and Palm fans rejoiced. It hasn't been as successful in 2009 as was hoped and in October their stock was down again, 20%, with limited Palm Pre availability and slow rollout of applications. I personally do not have a lot of confidence in Palm getting past 2010 without rolling out updated WebOS devices on other carriers. Do you think Palm can continue and succeed with the WebOS?
I signed up with Grand Central way back when it first launched and then transitioned to Google Voice along with everyone else. I then paid $10 for a custom Google number and love the experience on Google Android devices. I was browsing through the Google blogs and discovered that Google is now offering you the ability to use Google Voice with your existing phone number instead of having to select and use a new number. Keep in mind this is a lighter version of Google Voice as you can see in this blog post and in the chart shown below. If you have a Google Voice account, you can add Google voicemail to any mobile phone linked to your account.
The Palm Pixi was first announced back on September 9th with no pricing and availability stated as "in time for the holidays". Today, Sprint and Palm announced that the Palm Pixi will be coming to Sprint on 15 November for $99.99 with a two-year contract, $50 instant rebate, and $100 mail-in rebate. The Palm Pixi is the second Palm WebOS-based phone, following the Palm Pre.
My first experience with mobile Linux was with a Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 I bought back in 2003. It was very customizable with apps and functionality and you could change the ROM on it rather easily to fit your needs, but it also required you to spend hours and hours tweaking and refining it to get it to work just right. When I heard that we would see more Linux-based mobile operating systems I didn't think they would amount to much because consumers seem to want products that work even if they don't have the most powerful functions (as we see with the iPhone). I am pleased to now see that smartphone operating systems based on Linux look to be the most powerful, customizable, flexible, and consumer friendly of all platforms we see in the market. We are seeing some wonderful devices running the Palm WebOS, Google Android, and Nokia Maemo operating systems with the Palm Pre, HTC Hero, Verizon Droid, Nokia N900 , and many more.
HTC Corporation today kicked off their new global advertising campaign based on their "Quietly Brilliant" brand positioning and everything is about YOU. They are focusing on the personal experience that we are coming to associate with our mobile phones and have been working with a LA-based agency, Deutsch LA Inc., to create the You campaign. As you can in their logos and other media, the You logos are modeled after doodling. There will be commercials, billboards, and many other forms of advertising for this new global campaign.