I am pretty pleased with my T-Mobile G1 Google Android device (see my review) and in a couple of months I understand I will be able to unlock it and use it with my AT&T SIM card or overseas too. If you want an unlocked G1 now, according to Engadget you can buy one for just $424 right now. The G1 is US$399 and then you have to register as a developer and pay the US$25 fee to get access to the purchase option from T-Mobile USA.
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.
The big news of the week, at least from Nokia's perspective, was the announcement of the Nokia N97. James, Kevin, and I offered our opinion on the device on MobileTechRoundup show #156 and while it looks like a fantastic Nseries device, we were expecting something different from Nokia. The N97 discussion also brought up the issue of capacitive and resistive touch screen devices on mobile phones. As these high end devices all tend to have the same specifications today, the features do not seem to mean as much as the user experience. Apple iPhone sales have taken off over the past year and Apple has now passed up Windows Mobile while Nokia dropped below 50% worldwide share for the year. Kevin also mentioned a new iPhone freeware that you really need to try out.
An AT&T executive at the Symbian partner event made a statement (Yahoo! News article) that Symbian is "a very credible and likely candidate" to become the single smartphone OS of choice in the future for the wirless carrier. However, there are caveats to that statement that make the news really a non-event IMHO. AT&T stated this consolidation into a single OS is focused on AT&T branded devices. The iPhone is specifically excluded in the interview and RIM may be as well because there is no AT&T branding on the BlackBerry devices. That just leaves Windows Mobile that still has AT&T branded devices, such as the AT&T Tilt. So in reality, hasn't AT&T already consolidated their branded products on a single smartphone OS?
Last month Canalys reported their 3rd quarter smartphone sales data with Nokia in first, Apple in second, and RIM in third. Today, Gartner posted their 3rd quarter measurements with Nokia still in first (42.4%), RIM in second (15.9%), and Apple in third (12.9%). HTC is shown in fourth place at 4.5%. The shocking number is the growth from Q3 2007 to Q3 2008 in Apple of 327.5%. The operating system breakdown is shown in the same order.
Some of my favorite games on my Windows Mobile devices are from PDAmill and I was pleased to just receive a note that eight of their games (soon to be 11) are now available for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch. The games include Bowling for Burgers, The Corsair, Gamebox Classics (contains my daughter's favorite Jewel Master game), Gamebox Solitaire and Solitaire II, Gamebox Sudoku, Glyphos, and Melonchi Minecarts. All but The Corsair and Bowling for Burgers are available now for just 99 cents, the other two are just US$2.99. Fun Factory, Gamebox Asia, and Gamebox Gems will be coming soon.
I purchased and for the most part enjoy using my T-Mobile G1 Google Android device. According to Engadget it looks like the second Google Android device may be coming soon to Australia from Agora. Ruslan Kogan posted more details on his blog about the Agora and Agora Pro. I placed my order and hope it arrives in January.
Apple showed us a new iTunes section this week where the most downloaded applications in the App Store were revealed. Pandora Radio was the top application of the year with over 2 million downloads as of yesterday. It is personally the most used application on my original iPhone because I rarely use it any more as a phone while it sits in a dock connected to my stereo receiver serving up Pandora music to my entire household. We used it all last weekend to stream Christmas tunes as we put up the tree and decorations. IMHO, Pandora deserves the top rating and is a fantastic application for the iPhone. VentureBeat has a good discussion on Pandora for the iPhone.
According to a Reuters report from Nokia World in Barcelona, Nokia is open to the idea of using Linux on their high end phones. A Linux Maemo distribution is used now on their N810 Internet Tablet and it is quite a powerful solution. I enjoy using the N810, except for the seemingly slow responsiveness in some applications. Currently, Nokia uses its S60 implementation on their high end phones.
In addition to the amazing new upcoming Nokia N97 Nokia announced some service upgrades at Nokia World 2008. In particular there are new versions of Nokia Maps and Nokia Messaging. Nokia Maps gives you new features like high resolution aerial images, 3D landmarks, ability to share your location, and the capability to preplan your route and have it sent to your device. The new Nokia Messaging client integrates email and IM (from Yahoo!, Windows Live, Google and AOL). These two updated services are now also brought into the Ovi brand as Maps on Ovi and Mail on Ovi.
Nokia World 2008 is taking place this week in Barcelona, Spain and the event kicked off with the keynote announcing the Nokia N97 multimedia computer. The Nokia N97 brings a QWERTY keyboard and touch screen to the Nseries or you could say it brings a phone and S60 to the Nokia Internet Tablet. The Nokia promotional materials state, "Desktop.Laptop.Pocket" as they bring you a device with a 3.5 inch touch screen display (640x360 pixels resolution) that slides up and at an angle (similar to the AT&T Tilt) to reveal a full 3-row QWERTY keyboard and directional pad. I was expecting to see S60 touch launch on a Nseries rather than the Nokia 5800 we saw last month.