Next Gen iPhones Could Be Cheaper

In a note to investors, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty writes that the way forward for Apple to reach out to more customers is by reducing the cost of ownership of the iPhone besides reducing the cost of the service plan. She writes

“We expect Apple to launch new iPhones in June that offer both a lower total cost of ownership and new functionality, potentially including gesture-based technology.”

It is likely that Apple resort to this strategy. You might recall that the iPad has been priced pretty aggressively (against an original estimate of $999) with carrier charges not more than $30 per month. I think if this trial works out to be  successful, Apple could also be looking to price iPhone 4G the same way in the light of stiff competition from the Android handset manufacturers like Google, Motorola and HTC.

Having said that, we need to note that this is merely an analyst’s take and does not reflect company policies. Katy Huberty is the same analyst who had called for the end of AT&T exclusivity in order to increase iPhone’s reach. As we know, that has never happened so far.

[via Apple Insider]

Paid Android Apps For Canada Next Week

Canadian Android smartphone users have had a long wait to get access to the paid app section on the Android marketplace; nine months to be precise. Now there are indications that the standoff could soon come to an end.

The Montreal Gazette writes that an announcement regarding this shall probably be made next week. The publication quotes a Google Canada spokesperson as saying

“There are many factors that come into play to make sure the selling and purchasing processes run smoothly. It takes time to bring support to more countries, which is something we are working hard to do.”

While it is possible that the announcement is simply to elaborate on the reasons behind the inordinate delay, we hope it is going to be much more positive than that.

[via Montreal Gazette]

Blackberry Slider QWERTY Device In The Works

After fiddling with plain QWERTY and touch screen keyboard, it now appears that Research In Motion is looking at a Palm Pre-esque sliding QWERTY keyboard for their upcoming device.  Folks at Boy Genius Report offer more insights into this new handset

  • Portrait-oriented slider keyboard
  • Run on BlackBerry OS 6.0
  • Support Wi-Fi 802.11n
  • 360×480 Resolution

A Palm Pre kind phone running on Blackberry OS. Tell me, are you interested?

[via BGR]

Nexus One On Verizon Launching March 23

Nexus One, the superphone that Google unveiled earlier this year could be moving out of exclusivity with T-Mobile and launching a Verizon version of the device in March. According to reports on Neowin, the phone has already cleared the mandatory FCC inspection for use on Verizon’s network.

If the rumors are true, then it could be tough times for Google’s Android partner Motorola, whose Droid smartphone hit the Verizon shelves late last year. A better Android handset on the same network could mean there is a good chance for Droid sales to be hit.

However, Google itself has been struggling to keep its head above the water following the barrage of new HTC branded smartphones that are expected to be launched over the next few months. It appears that this cannibalization of sales among OHA partners is the only  way to take on the dominance from the likes of Apple’s iPhone. What do you think?

[via Neowin]

BIS 3.0 : Blackberry Internet Service New Version Launching Next Week

After all the rumors over the past few weeks, RIM’s new upgrade to its Blackberry Internet Service, the BIS 3.0 is expected to arrive next week. This speculation has been revealed by one of BerryReview’s sources.

Early this month, we had reported leaks of an internal document that revealed the specs of BIS 3.0. Accordingly, plugins for Gmail syncing and support for WMA and OpenOffice are likely.

While the specs are most likely to be genuine, we will still hold off on the launch date for the moment. We hope it is true though!

[via BerryReview]

Nintendo Files Patent For Touch Screen Steering Wheel On DSi

Racing games on Nintendo DSi can get much more realistic. A recent patent filed by Nintendo talks about introducing a touch screen based steering wheel to the DSi which would mean users no longer have to steer cars using the left-right buttons but can instead use the clockwise-anticlockwise steering mechanism.

In the patent filed with the USPTO, the inventors write

In one exemplary illustrative non-limiting implementation, a video game or other application displays an image of a steering wheel. Such display may be on the same screen as one that displays other information such as a race course or other environment through which the vehicle may be maneuvered in a simulated fashion, or it may be on a different screen. The steering wheel display is, in one exemplary illustrative non-limiting implementation, displayed on a screen that is touch sensitive. The touch-sensitive functionality of the screen is used in at least some exemplary illustrative non-limiting implementations to allow the video game player to control the position of the steering wheel displayed on the screen. The displayed vehicle steering wheel position, in turn, is used to control the travel motion or direction of the vehicle being simulated. The resulting simulation provides a realistic input control interface obtainable using relatively inexpensive and compact input devices such as those available on conventional portable or other video game play and/or simulation platforms.

Nintendo Dsi XL Steering wheel Nintendo DSi Touch Screen steering wheel What do you think of this? Cool?

Yahoo’s New Social Advertising Technology Reeks Of Spam

Two patent applications filed by Yahoo at the USPTO describe a new technology where users of a social network could make money by referring products to friends in their network.

Firstly, it is not exactly clear where Yahoo intends to use such a technology – the patent discusses an auction marketplace scenario though it also clarifies that such a technology could be used in social networks or online photo albums.

This is how the technology will apparently work (Click to enlarge)

Yahoo Social Network AdvertisingAll said and done, this could be the closest we may come to ruining the social network experience. What’s your take?

LG To Launch Windows Phone 7 Handset By September?

It is no longer news that Windows Phone 7 based handsets are launching by the end of the year during the holiday season. But the Chinese version of Engadget has cited claims by Hong Kong based LG Mobile that the first set of Windows Phone 7 handsets could launch as early as September and at max be launched by November.

Not only is this well ahead of the originally scheduled launch, but also comes as a surprise following our reports earlier this week that Windows Phone 7 handsets could actually be delayed owing to software issues.

As of now, we have no clue which side of the story is true. So we will just hope for a plain-Vanilla December launch.

[via Engadget]

Android Based Nokia Phone In The Making?

There are rumors doing the rounds that Nokia might finally move away from Symbian and be launching an Android based handset soon. However, the speculation has gained fresh credibility after Greig Williams, Nokia’s General Manager for Alps and South East Europe hinted at the possibility.

In a recent conversation, Williams had indicated that Ovi Maps, Nokia’s free turn-by-turn GPS navigation system shall be available for free on Android and Windows Phone 7 handsets. This does not seem logical unless a Nokia branded Android or Windows handset too is in the making.

What do you think?

[via Gizmodo]

Marginal Increase In Notebook Prices Likely

The prevailing strong demand for notebook devices coupled with component and labor shortage in the first quarter of 2010 could possibly lead to a marginal rise in the prices of notebook devices.

Taiwanese publication DigiTimes reports that there could be a marginal rise of $1-$2 in the price of notebook panels. While the publication sees a drop in margins for the developers with the selling price remaining intact, the strategy of notebook makers to recover the margins is not yet known. A rise in price of the notebook or any of the accessories is likely to be the way out.

However, considering that the rise only appears to be marginal, no apparent drop in demand is forecast.

[via DigiTimes]