Daily Marauder

WIRELESS by Marauder


Taiwan phone maker HTC will introduce at least three additional phones powered by Google‘s Android open-source platform this year, having debuted last month its new HTC Magic for Vodafone to use in Europe, CEO Peter Chou said Tuesday. Chou also predicted that the firm’s Chinese sales will double this year, thanks to a newly built 3G network, and he reaffirmed earlier guidance of double-digit overall revenue growth for HTC. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (3/18) , Network World/IDG News Service (3/17) , Reuters (3/17)


Before this year’s SXSW event kicked off, a number of bloggers suggested that this year’s breakout hit might be foursquare, a new location-based social application with a gaming twist that was created by the guys behind the now-defunct Dodgeball service. As the ‘interactive’ section of the festival winds down, I think it’s safe to say that foursquare was not the must-have app of SXSW the way Twitter was two years ago. But it had a strong showing, and once I actually figured out which of my friends were using the service (which is more difficult than it sounds), I found foursquare to be an indispensable app during my time here. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/18/sxsw-foursquare-scores-despite-its-flaws/ 3/18)

Full disclosure: One of my friends is one of the developers of Foursquare.  That said, I’m still pretty objective.  Foursquare is like the application loopt but better.  Loopt is great if you frequently open the app but usually I don’t have reason to.  Foursquare gives users incentives to open the app by awarding badges for completing certain tasks.  My gripe with the application is mainly in the way that friends are added as the application requests a phone number or twitter handle rather than plugging into the iPhone contact list.  I don’t know about you but I don’t remember anyone’s phone numbers.  Plus, not all of my friends are super tech savvy so I can really only see my nerd fabulous friend’s whereabouts.  It will take a bit of critical mass but this app’s future is bright.


AT&T has rolled out a Motorola cell phone designed for music-loving subscribers who might need to save money: The new EM330 is free with a signed two-year contract and a $50 rebate, the companies said Tuesday. The tri-band GSM/EDGE folder phone sports an FM radio tuner that can identify the songs being aired, which in turn can be purchased from the AT&T Music Store. CNET (3/17) , MobileBurn (3/17)


Presentation buffs can now get their fix when they’re on the move, thanks to the mobile website SlideShare just launched about an hour ago. Simply point your mobile phone browser to m.slideshare.com and you’re good to go. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/18/slides-on-the-go-slideshare-launches-mobile-site/ 3/18)


With an eye on its core market among young, budget-conscious consumers, Virgin Mobile USA will begin producing “smarter” touch-screen handsets, CEO Dan Schulman said Tuesday, without providing further details. The MVNO, which resells Sprint Nextel service, expects smartphone penetration to rise from about 20% today to 50% within three to five years, Schulman added. Network World/IDG News Service (3/17)

One month after announcing that it would make its first set of smartphones, all based on Windows Mobile software, Acer said it would also ship non-Windows-based models, but it declined to specify which operating systems the devices might use. Acer also said that it would ship two of the Windows-based phones early next month and that a pair of premium handsets would follow in the second quarter. Network World/IDG News Service (3/18) , Network World/IDG News Service (3/18)

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WIRELESS by Marauder
February 18, 2009, 10:43 PM
Filed under: WIRELESS | Tags: , , , , , , ,


The Presidents of the United States of America, a rock band from the 1990s, just released an iPhone app (iTunes link) that represents what could become a replacement for the boxed CD set. The iPhone app comes with access to four albums, an early demo tape, and regular updates. Instead of paying $50 or more for the complete collection of a band’s music, you get an equivalent collection of music on your iPhone for $2.99. The catch is that the songs are all streamed and played in random order (or you can choose various playlists). But this is really a marketing vehicle for the band. Any song can be bought and downloaded from the iTunes store directly from within the app. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/02/18/the-new-boxed-set-comes-streaming-to-your-iphone-for-299 2/18)

Very cool.  I’m now listening to Froggystyle (Original Demo).  I forgot how much I loved the song Kitty.  I’ve already dedicated the song to a friend via Facebook (i.e. extending the message)…the marketing machine flexing some muscle.  I dig.  Another example of a band thinking differently and benefiting rather than simply raging against the machine.

Vodafone will begin offering a Google Android-powered smartphone called HTC Magic to consumers in Europe this spring. The Wi-Fi-enabled device sports a touch screen and GPS packed into an ultrathin design. The New York Times (2/17) , BBC (2/17)


Nokia and Qualcomm announced plans to jointly develop a phone for use on 3G networks in North America by 2010. The partnership follows a settlement last year that ended a three-year legal battle related to patents. Financial Times (2/17) , The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (subscription required) (2/18)

Smartphone makers including Microsoft and Research in Motion are hurrying to perfect download sites to rival Apple’s tremendously popular App Store. Smartphone users are driving a boom in the market thanks to fast installation and a plethora of offerings from games to business utilities. The Wall Street Journal (2/17) , The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (2/17)

(Below) Can I get an AMEN?!

Seventeen companies have agreed to develop a standard charger for cell phones that will be available within three years. The change is expected to reduce manufacturing waste as well as offer consumers the ability to use a single charger for multiple devices across brands. The Boston Globe/The Associated Press (2/17) , BBC (2/17)

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WIRELESS by Marauder


HTC‘s new Touch Cruise handset can evolve from a smartphone into a GPS-based navigation device and includes a new geotagging feature so users can tag photos from tracking data and audio clips, the cell phone maker said. The Windows Mobile 6.1-based TouchFLO device has QVGA resolution instead of full VGA, and HTC will market it in the U.S. as a dual-mode HSDPA phone. PC Magazine (1/22)


By limiting his communications to senior staff and a small cadre of close friends, President Barack Obama will be able to retain his beloved BlackBerry, the White House said, meaning Obama will become the country’s first president who regularly uses e-mail. A spokesman said security — probably by way of heavier encryption — would be ratcheted up on the device. USA TODAY (1/22) , The New York Times (1/22) , MSNBC (1/22)


Music recommendation engine / social network Last.fm has launched an official, feature-rich application for the Android platform that enables users to stream radio stations (including personalized streaming radio), consult up-to-date concert information and also offers the ability to track users’ listening habits based on their Last.fm profile. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/01/23/lastfm-unveils-official-application-for-the-android-platform 1/23)

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WIRELESS by Marauder


High Tech Computer, whose Touch smartphone was a surprise hit after its June 2007 introduction, on Tuesday followed up with the more powerful Touch Diamond, a touch-screen device aimed at competing with Apple’s iPhone and other larger competitors. The Taiwanese company will launch the phone in Europe next month and plans a U.S. rollout for later this year. (The Wall Street Journal 5/7, InformationWeek 5/6)

T-Mobile launched its first 3G network, in New York, but customers can’t yet use the fastest speeds that the network offers. (http://www.infoworld.com/article/08/05/05/T-Mobile-launches-3G-in-NYC_1.html?source=NLC-MOBILEHARDWARE&cgd=2008-05-07 5/5)

Sprint and Clearwire are close to announcing a $12 billion joint venture that will bring true WiMax broadband to computers and mobile devices in the coming years, reports the WSJ. More than $3 billion has been raised from other players including Comcast ($1.05 billion), Intel ($1 billion), Time Warner Cable ($550 million) and Google ($500 million).  One of the sticking points of the deal was the concern that Sprint would use its position to limit the offering only to Sprint customers. Instead the service will be available to all comers, retaining the Seattle-based Clearwire name and boss, wireless pioneer Craig McCaw. (Cynopsis 5/7)

The iPhone lined up Vodafone as a distribution partner in 10 international markets including Australia, New Zealand, Italy, the Czech Republic and India. The deal may be significant because it seems to indicate Apple is willing to give up offering exclusivity in each market, as Vodafone is a distant third player in Australia with limited coverage and only a 16% market share. (Cynopsis 5/7)


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