Android 5.0 Jelly Bean

By: Juan February 16th, 2012

Android 5.0 Jelly Bean may arrive as early as Q2 2012, supply chain sources claim, with Google apparently integrating Chrome OS functionality for dual-boot tablets and netbooks. Those aren’t the search giant’s only dual-OS ambitions, however; insiders tell DigiTimes that Google is pushing Android 5.0 and Windows 8 hybrids to its manufacturing partners, for notebooks, netbooks and tablets that offer the best of both platforms.

Although Google is yet to comment significantly on whether Ice Cream Sandwich has met its expectations in the market, it’s clear that Android 4.0 is yet to gain a significant foothold. According to Google’s own stats, as of February 1 2012 only 1-percent of devices were running ICS, with the majority still on Android 2.3.x Gingerbread.

The dual-booting Android 5.0 Jelly Bean and Windows 8 machines will be able to hot-swap between the two platforms, the sources indicate, rather than demanding a reboot each time. That would give users the opportunity to use Android for its web-centric functionality and speed, while switching to Windows would offer the various legacy and business apps many users still demand. Update: It’s worth remembering that Microsoft’s Windows 8 hardware requirements apparently block second OS installation on ARM-based PCs by users, thanks to a locked Secure Boot system, though it’s unclear whether OEMs are permitted to do so before the hardware leaves the factory.

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Sprint and LightSquared Deal Not Looking Good

By: Juan February 16th, 2012

After giving LightSquared a mid-March ultimatum to get FCC approval, Sprint now says it may have to return $65 million to the wireless venture.

If the Federal Communications Commission suspending LightSquared’s initial approval waiver yesterday weren’t enough, the fledgling wireless network was dealt another blow today. Its deal with Sprint Nextel may fizzle.

Sprint said it would have to return $65 million to LightSquared if the wireless venture failed to get FCC authorization by a mid-March deadline, according to The Wall Street Journal. Sprint set this deadlinelast month with the announcement that if LightSquared doesn’t get FCC approval by mid-March then the carrier would terminate its agreement with the company.

Last July, in a 15-year arrangement to push 4G, LightSquared partnered with Sprint in a network-sharing deal and agreed to pay $9 billion in cash and $4.5 billion in credits for LTE access and satellite equipment. In exchange, Sprint agreed to host LightSquared’s spectrum, provide network services, and give LightSquared roaming access to Sprint’s 3G network.

Sprint in Talks With Alcatel-Lucent

By: Juan February 15th, 2012

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) is in talks with Alcatel-Lucent (NASDAQ: ALU) to use the vendor’s lightRadio gear, which it introduced a year ago. In addition, Alcatel-Lucent is building on its lightRadio concept by announcing lightRadio Wi-Fi, which offers 2G, 3G, LTE and integrated Wi-Fi capability in a small cell architecture.

According to Bloomberg, Bob Azzi, Sprint’s senior vice president of networks, said that using new technologies like Alcatel-Lucent’s lightRadio will help the company conserve spectrum and avoid capacity issues caused by the growing amount of data that is straining networks. Alcatel-Lucent, along with Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and Samsung, is one of the main vendors for Sprint’s Network Vision network modernization project, which primarily involves the deployment of new multi-mode base stations.

Google/ Motorola Mobility Merger Receives Regulatory Approval

By: Juan February 14th, 2012

In a nearly coordinated move both the EU and US regulatory agencies have approved Google’s buyout of Motorola Mobility. The deal is now clear to be consummated, and will have an impact on the Android business world like no other. Google has made it clear that the Motorola operation will be kept separate from Google’s Android business, and that Motorola will be just another company making Android devices. That stance is aimed at keeping the major players in the Android space calm, but perhaps it’s time for Google to rethink the separate operation strategy. Android is going as strong as ever, but recent financial information shows that Samsung is reaping all the profits. Motorola is not faring so well, nor is major player HTC. Once Google has brought Motorola onto the books, it’s not going to sit well with shareholders if the newly acquired company is not performing very well.

What I’d like to see is Google taking the reins at Motorola and making a genuine run in the smartphone and tablet space. Forget the feel-good arms length posture and leverage the advantages that a joint operation can bring to the business. Every Motorola device after the merger should be a genuine Nexus device, a true Google device that gets all updates first with no hardware left behind.

Samsung Galaxy SII To Get ICS in March

By: Juan February 10th, 2012

It’s being reported that Samsung’s Galaxy S II might well be the next major handset to go to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Industry analyst Eldar Murtazin predicts the upgrade will happen and should be rolled out around the world as the next month gets underway.

When it comes to Ice Cream Sandwich, things have become a little muddled. Despite many manufacturers coming forward and announcing bold plans for the upgrade, few have actually come through so far.

And those few that have experienced problems. The Nexus S phone, which Google itself had a hand in designing, experienced technical glitches with forced the update process to be stopped.

Then there was Asus’s Transformer Prime tablet, which started doling out ICS upgrades only to be met with a backlash from customers who experienced system freezes and crashes.

Google Is Developing An Entertainment System

By: Juan February 10th, 2012

From the Wall Street Journal

Google Inc. is developing a home-entertainment system that streams music wirelessly throughout the home and would be marketed under the company’s own brand, according to people briefed on the company’s plans.

The effort marks a sharp shift in strategy for Google, which for the first would time would design and market consumer electronic devices under its name. The company has mainly focused on developing the Android operating system that powers devices such as smartphones, tablets and televisions. It has also allowed other companies to build and brand the hardware that uses it.

The new Android device, along with Google’s pending purchase of device maker Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., also ups the ante in its ongoing tussle with rival Apple Inc., which also controls both the software and hardware process.

Google competes with Apple in the mobile market where the share of Android-powered phones grew rapidly to overtake that of iPhones last year, according to some estimates. Apple recently stepped onto Google’s Web search turf by

Android’s Resale Value Not As High As Apple’s

By: Juan February 9th, 2012

Apple’s iPhone is a better investment than any other smartphone because it has a higher resale value than an Android device, and it’s also less expensive to own. That’s according to a study from Priceonomics.

The bottom line: If you own an iPhone for 18 months and decide to resell it, you will get more money for it than any other comparable Android or BlackBerry smartphone.

The iPhone retains 53 percent of its value, versus 42 percent for Android and 41 percent for BlackBerry — this means some $312 in cash if you resell your old iPhone on eBay or Craigslist.

The data comes from price guide site Priceonomics, which keeps track of used phones and compares the current used price to its new price (without a contract) the day it was released. The study looked at all the iPhone models and some 70 Android devices and 30 BlackBerry models.

The study also measured the hardware ownership costs of an iPhone versus Android, if you resell your phone at the end of an 18-month contract. It found that this way, the iPhone hardware costs you only just over $13 per month, while it’s some 40 percent more for Android phones.

iPhone Still Working for Sprint Despite a Posted Loss

By: Juan February 9th, 2012

Nabbing the iPhone was a victory for Sprint Nextel, but the blockbuster handset has yet to pay off in profits for the company. Sprint Nextel, the nation’s No. 3 cellphone carrier, on Wednesday reported a net loss in the fourth quarter of $1.3 billion, or 43 cents a share, in contrast to a net loss of $929 million in the same quarter a year ago. The company said revenue climbed 5 percent to $8.7 billion.

Excluding charges, the loss was 35 cents a share. Wall Street analysts had expected a loss of 38 cents a share. Sprint’s earnings illustrate the impact of Apple’s iPhone. The October-to-December period was the first quarter that the company offered Apple’s smartphone, which has been a best seller for its rivals, AT&T and Verizon. The company said it sold 1.8 million iPhones.

But the iPhone had a negative impact on the company’s balance sheet because of the costs of equipment and subsidies for the handset, the company said. Apple said it sold 37 million iPhones during the quarter, of which AT&T sold 7.6 million units and Verizon sold 4.2 million. That means 37 percent of iPhones sales were in the United States. The iPhone is crucial ammunition for Sprint in its battle for new subscribers. While smartphone sales are soaring, the number of new customers signing up for phone contracts has been shrinking because so many people already have cellphones.

Baltimore and Kansas City Sprint Customers to Benefit from 4G LTE and 3G Enhancements in 2012

By: Juan February 8th, 2012

Latest Sprint Press Release:

Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced that Baltimore and Kansas City are expected to receive 4G LTE and upgraded 3G service by mid-2012. Sprint recently announced that 4G LTE and enhanced 3G service are also expected by mid-2012 in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Sprint 4G LTE will enable faster speeds for data applications, and the enhanced 3G service promises better signal strength, faster data speeds, expanded coverage and better in-building performance.

The launch of these large metropolitan areas demonstrates the continued commitment by Sprint to invest in its network through Network Vision. Sprint customers in these areas will soon enjoy ultra-fast data speeds and improved 3G voice quality. Whether a Sprint customer is using a smartphone to share a video of a double overtime game between the Kansas Jayhawks and Missouri Tigers or a Baltimore chef is checking the Web via a mobile hotspot for a new way to serve crabcakes, Sprint 4G LTE will make it easier. And, when someone makes an important voice call, they can expect to find a clearer connection and a stronger signal in more areas.

“Sprint is investing in its CDMA network and delivering on our commitment to ensure customers experience superior wireless voice and data service at an unbeatable value,” said Bob Azzi, Sprint senior vice president-Network. “We continue to deploy multi-mode base stations across Sprint’s nationwide cell sites and are expecting

Dry Case Review

By: Juan February 8th, 2012