The latest rumor to have surfaced is the launch of the HTC dual core smartphone – Pyramid. We know that the Mobile World Congress (MWC) is going to be held at Barcelona from the 14th of February to the 17th. We have heard rumors about the launch of several smartphones and tablets at that event. Well, the latest and the hottest rumor is about Pyramid though.
Several technology blogs have already reported that the Taiwan based company would be launching Pyramid at the MWC and this phone also runs on Google’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS. As of now, the technical specifications of Pyramid remain a mystery. Again only rumors, the phone is ging to possess a 4.3″ touchscreen display and a 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor.
Pyramid is expected to be launched in May this year and T-Mobile is supposedly going to market this smartphone.
We have already written quite a bit about the iPad 2 that is likely going to have a release date somewhere around in April this year. Earlier reports have also suggested that the new iPad is going to be thinner and sleeker than its predecessor with a new screen technology similar to the retina display on iPhone 4 – although some sources have speculated that such a move is improbable considering the costs involved.
A fresh report however notes that the new iPad could come with a display similar to the retina display with “super high resolution“. The source further claims that the screen will stay at 10 inches and will also feature front as well as rear cameras along with a built in SD slot. We also hear that iPad 2 could come with a dual GSM/CDMA chipset manufactured by Qualcomm which will mean both AT&T and Verizon could carry the iPad simultaneously.
This new chipset manufactured by Qualcomm marks Apple’s migration from its existing chipset manufacturer Infineon for all its mobile devices. Reports also suggest that Apple’s new A5 processor which is said to have blazing fast speeds will be making its way to the iPad 2, but there are no confirmations regarding this as yet.
Those of you who have subscribed to AT&T Mobile TV or Verizon’s V Cast Mobile TV have a reason to rejoice. Qualcomm, the popular chip maker has revealed that the company shall be announcing major upgrades to their FLO TV service that will, among other things also let users record mobile TV shows off the air.
The Associated Press writes,
“The video-recording feature will let them watch shows when they like. The company will also let viewers buy service by the day, rather than committing to subscriptions that cost $10 to $15 per month for a package of a dozen channels”
Additionally, Qualcomm is also reported to be working on offering interactive services via the FLO TV service that will enable users to click and view information about the various TV shows apart from viewing ads and purchasing products from the FLO TV service. Existing users shall get access to the service through software upgrades.
In digital media circles, there are traditionally three screens for user consumption : the TV, mobile phone and desktop. This conventionality is seen to be the primary reason why manufacturers were not comfortable in developing a tablet device – until Apple finally decided to move ahead with the iPad plan.
At a time when Apple is seeking to expand the number of screens a consumer is exposed to, Qualcomm has quite contrarian ambitions. It wants to develop one device that can fit all the users’ aspirations – a multifold device that can be spread out to work like a TV as well as folded into a cellphone. A recent patent application from Qualcomm suggests exactly this
“A multi-fold mobile device with a configurable interface is disclosed. When fully extended, the device may provide a panorama view, similar to widescreen televisions. When fully folded, the device may provide a small form factor with an abbreviated view similar to cellular telephones. In addition, the user interface (UI) displayed on the device may change based on the folding configuration of the device. Thus, based on a current folding configuration of the device, the UI may be a panorama UI, a desktop UI, an application UI, a web browser UI, an alarm clock UI, a media player UI, or some other UI.“
It is not clear if Qualcomm is planning a foray into consumer electronics manufacturing or if this is simply a generic patent for the technology. What do you think?
The New York Times has an interesting article on how TV viewership has changed over the past few years and how broadcasters are adapting to the same. According to the article, TV broadcasters have lost over 25% of their audience in the past one year due to increased use of on-the-go devices such as cell phones or laptops.
Broadcasters are hence adapting themselves to the changine dynamics by investing heavily on mobile DTV that can bring uninterrupted programming even to viewers in a car traveling at high speeds. Thirty stations in the US have installed in equipments costing $75,000 to $150,000 for the purpose.
While the changing scenario means uninterrupted access to programming for the consumer, the cost of accessing content is also likely to go up. In a patent filed recently by Qualcomm, the company has elaborated on a technology that will change the price of access to content dynamically which would mean viewers on mobile TV may lose content access if they don’t agree to the price offered.
The inventors explain
“A server within a mobile TV broadcast network may negotiate the price for accessing a broadcast program with individual users via their mobile devices. The server may receive requests to access broadcast programs with price offers from mobile devices. The server may respond to price offers by accepting the price offer or by making a counter offer until a mutually agreeable price is identified. Alternatively, the server may implement any of a number of types of auctions for access rights to broadcast programs. Similar to negotiable dynamic pricing methods, once purchase requests for viewing access to broadcast content programs at current asking prices are accepted, the mobile TV broadcast service provider may transmit the appropriate decryption keys to the users who made accepted offers or bids.”
How could this be implemented? Let us take the example of broadcasting Super Bowl final over mobile TV. People traveling by cars outside the city accessing the live content from their mobile phones could be charged a premium considering that there is not much of an alternative viewing option. On the other hand, those watching the same content from inside a city could be charged less because there are always alternate viewing options.
Having said that, this is just a patent application and there is no guarantee for this to see the light of the day. Nevertheless, it gives interesting insights into how mobile TV pricing structures may change as we move forward.
Location-sharing has now become the in-thing. Just in the past few weeks, we saw companies like Palm, Apple and the likes file patents to develop technologies that can help in users sharing their location information with their friends.
Now what if the location sharing feature was available as a plug-in to your phone rather than an in-built feature? Apparently, Qualcomm is working on just this. In a patent recently published by the company at the US Patent and Trademark Office, the inventors have sought the rights for a technology that will help in supporting location-based services with the help of a removable module.
The inventors write
“The removable module may store subscription information, personal information, and/or other information for a user and may be inserted into a terminal, e.g., a cellular phone. The removable module may include LBS applications that may utilize location information to perform various actions. The location information may comprise a location estimate, speed, orientation, etc., of the terminal.”
The technology described here can be much more powerful than patents published by individual companies. Most location sharing features have been made available only within users of a single manufacturer. Now since Qualcomm chips are used by more than one manufacturer, a location sharing service developed by Qualcomm can be much more useful and popular among users than other similar features provided cellphone manufacturers.
What do you think?