HTC today announced details of a promotion it is running between May 2 and May 5. The company is offering between $100 and $375 to people who purchase a new HTC One and then trade in their old smartphone. The trade-in value varies by device and requires customers to fill out a form on HTC's web site, receive a quote, and then ship their old phone to HTC with proof that they purchased a new HTC One. HTC will then mail a Visa gift card for the value of the old device. HTC is not accepting all phones, and has a list of devices it is willing to trade published on its web site.
HTC today made a formal statement regarding litigation brought against one of its suppliers, STMicroelectronics, by Nokia. According to HTC, the lawsuit was filed solely against STMicroelectronics, and not HTC at all. Further, HTC says Nokia has not obtained an injunction against HTC in The Netherlands or any other country. As written, the judgment against STMicroelectronics states that HTC can use the microphones in question because they were purchased from STMicroelectronics in good faith. HTC will transition to another microphone maker once it uses all the microphones it purchased from STMicroelectronics. None of HTC's products, such as the One, are affected by the judgment against STMicroelectronics.
Cincinnati Bell today announced the availability of the HTC One. Cincinnati Bell is charging $299 for HTC's flagship smartphone after rebate with a new contract. It can be purchased via Cincinnati Bell's web site or retail stores.
Microsoft has struck another smartphone patent licensing agreement, this time with Chinese handset manufacturer ZTE. Microsoft has similar deals already in place with companies such as Samsung, HTC, LG, Hon Hai, and 20 other companies. Microsoft maintains that its patent portfolio covers certain core technologies that are built into the Android platform. Microsoft is still attempting to get Google's Motorola unit to sign a similar agreement, but has been forced to resort to litigation to do so. Terms of the deal with ZTE were not disclosed.
Nokia today indicated that it has won an injunction against rival HTC regarding microphone technology used in the HTC One smartphone. According to Nokia, it developed the technology used in the STMicroelectronics-made component found inside the One. "HTC has no license or authorization from Nokia to use these microphones or the Nokia technologies from which they have been developed," the company said in a statement. The injunction was awarded in an Amsterdam-based district court. Nokia did not say what to which markets the injunction might apply, nor how soon it might go into effect. HTC had no immediate comment on the matter. The HTC One went on sale at several U.S. carriers last week.
The HTC One is available for sale at AT&T and Sprint stores beginning today. Both carriers are selling the silver 32GB model for $199.99 with a new contract. AT&T is also offering the 64GB model for $299.99, and HTC said that AT&T will offer the 32GB black model in the coming weeks. In addition to the carrier stores, the One can be purchased at Best Buy, Radio Shack, Walmart, Target, Amazon.com, Costco, Sam's Club, HSN.com, and HTC.com. T-Mobile announced that the HTC One (silver, 32GB) is available online beginning today and will be in stores in select retail outlets starting April 24. T-Mobile is asking for a downpayment of $99.99 for the One, in addition to 24 monthly payments of $20.
The Power Matters Alliance, a group pitching a wireless charging standard that competes with the Qi and the Alliance for Wireless Power standards, has recently won new support from handset makers and carriers. The group announced this week that HTC, Huawei, LG, and Samsung have all joined the PMA, which already includes members such as AT&T, BlackBerry, Google, Kyocera, PowerMat, Starbucks, and ZTE. Further, existing PMA member AT&T is asking its handset partners to integrate PMA-compatible wireless charging technology into their handsets by 2014. According to the PMA, there are already some 1,500 PMA-certified wireless charging stations at Starbucks coffee shops, airports, and other locations around the country. The Power Matters Alliance uses a wireless charging technology that is slightly different from those offered by Qi and A4WP. Each of the three standards allows devices to charge wirelessly when placed on a compatible charging pad. Verizon's handsets have incorporated Qi for years, which already has wide support from other carriers and handset makers. The electronics industry as a whole has yet to settle on one of the standards for all devices moving forward.
Facebook today made Facebook Home, its new launcher and user interface overlay, available to select Android smartphones. Facebook Home replaces the stock launcher on the device with one that presents Facebook content, such as the news feed, on the home screen. Facebook Home is preinstalled on the HTC First, which also happens to go on sale today from AT&T for $99, but it can also be installed on the HTC One X, One X+, One, and Samsung Galaxy S 3 and Note II. Separately, Facebook also updated the Facebook Messenger application for Android devices. The revised Messenger app carries over one of the main features of Facebook Home, called Chat Heads (pictured). With Chat Heads active, Android device owners can keep conversations with friends always at hand by placing a little icon with the friend's head in it on the home screen. Both Facebook Home and Facebook Messenger are free to download from the Google Play Store.
HTC today announced details of the U.S. marketing campaign for its One flagship phone. A major component will be three different kinds of pop-up locations in 11 major markets. HTC BoomSound Lounges open today in major plazas of New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. The lounges let consumers experience the One's BoomSound speakers in person, and will host intimate concerts with artists such as Pharrell and Grouplove. Next week, the company will open pop-up stores in major malls in eight cities. The stores consist of a "large, playful, interactive exhibit" that will showcase BlinkFeed, Zoe, and Sense TV. In addition, the company will partner with movie theaters, offering demos of the One in the lobby. The One is available for pre-order today from AT&T and Sprint, shipping April 19th. T-Mobile will offer it "later this spring."
The HTC First is an Android smartphone dedicated to Facebook Home. Here is a really quick look at the hardware.
HTC today announced the HTC First, a new phone that takes advantage of the new Facebook Home user interface. It runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but has Facebook Home preloaded as the user interface. Facebook Home is Faecbook's new overlay that puts people, not apps, first. The device features a 4.3-inch 1280 x 720p display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 dual-core processor, and a 5-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture and flash. Instagram will also be preloaded on the HTC First. The HTC First will ship in four colors and will be available from AT&T with support for its LTE 4G network. It will be available April 12 for $99.99 with a new contract. Preorders begin today.
Sprint today announced that it, too, will offer the HTC One smartphone beginning April 19. The device can be preordered beginning April 5, and will cost $199.99 with a new contract. Sprint is selling only the 32 GB variant, in both black and silver.
AT&T today announced that preorders for the HTC One will begin on April 4, and the device will be available to AT&T customers starting April 19. The 32 GB version of the One will cost $199.99 with a new contract. AT&T also said it will be the the only carrier to offer the 64 GB version of the One, which will cost $299.99 with a new contract. AT&T has created a page for preorders, and said that it will include the HTC Media Link HD wireless HDMI adaptor with the One at no extra cost.
HTC today provided an update about the availability of the HTC One. "HTC has seen unprecedented demand for and interest in the new HTC One," the company said in a statement. "The new HTC One will roll out in the U.K., Germany and Taiwan next week and across Europe, North America and most of Asia-Pacific before the end of April. We appreciate our customers' patience, and believe that once they have the phone in their hands they will agree that it has been worth the wait." U.S. carriers have yet to announce specific plans with respect to availability of the HTC One. Earlier this week, an HTC executive indicated that some supply chain problems have delayed the manufacturing of the One.
HTC today indicated that the launch of its HTC One smartphone will be delayed due to supply chain problems. "HTC has had difficulty in securing adequate camera components as it is no longer a tier-one customer," said an unnamed HTC executive to The Wall Street Journal. The company originally intended to launch the device in 80 countries by the end of March. The component problems, which also include the metal casing for the device, are going to prevent HTC from meeting that original March target. "We...are working tirelessly with all of our channel partners to ensure that we can fulfill as many orders as possible. We will start fulfilling pre-orders by the end of March in certain markets and will roll out to more markets as we approach April," HTC Chief Marketing Officer Benjamin Ho said in a statement. HTC's U.S. carrier partners, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile USA, have yet to announce launch dates or pricing for the HTC One.
HTC revealed that a developer edition of its HTC One smartphone will be available for purchase in the U.S. for $649. The developer edition will have an unlocked bootloader, open APIs for Bluetooth Low Energy and the IR blaster, and won't be carrier locked, either. It will support GSM-based networks, including quad-band GSM/EDGE, tri-band HSPA/WCDMA at 850/1900/2100 MHz, and quad-band LTE at 700/850/AWS/1900 MHz. The developer variant will include 64GB of storage. The HTC One Developer Edition can be purchased directly from HTC's developer portal. It will be available after the device goes on sale in the U.S.
Immersion Corporation today announced a change of plans with respect to its patent litigation against HTC. The company has asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to drop its case against HTC entirely so that it may instead pursue a case for damages in U.S. District Court. The company had been given an ITC court date of October 28, 2013, which could only eventually result in a device blockade. Immersion now feels that, due to HTC's poor sales, such a blockade would no longer be effective. Instead, Immersion wants to pursue damages more directly. It has already filed for damages and a trial, but that has been postponed pending the outcome of the ITC case. Immersion believes a successful court trial will reduce its attorneys fees for the year, as well as speed up the potential for financial rewards from HTC. It has petitioned the court to lift the stay delaying its patent trial. Immersion Corporation develops touch and haptic feedback technology for mobile devices.
AT&T today announced that it is offering Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to the HTC One X. The system update, which can be downloaded over the air, offers a number of improvements, including Google Now and Project Butter. The system update also makes the One X compatible with the Isis mobile payment service, and adds a number of AT&T-branded applications. The download is available beginning today.
Sprint today announced the first LTE 4G phones for its prepaid brands, Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile. Boost will get the all-new Force, made by ZTE, as well as the HTC One SV, already offered by MetroPCS. Virgin, meanwhile, will get the Samsung Galaxy Victory, already offered under the Sprint brand. Both brands have previously only offered 4G phones that use Sprint's older WiMAX network. Sprint is committed to continuing WiMAX service through 2015, but eventually plans to phase it out in favor of LTE. The Force sports a 4-inch screen, 5-megapixel camera, front camera, and 1.5 GHz dual-core processor. Boost will offer the Force on March 7th for $200, and the One SV on the same day for $300. Virgin starts selling the Victory today for $300.
Asus today announced the Padfone Infinity, a new Padfone with a 5-inch 1080p display, that plugs into a 10.1-inch tablet, also with 1080p full HD resolution. The Padfone sports a 13-megapixel camera with an f/2.0 lens. The body is made from brushed aluminum alloy, with an NFC antenna embedded in the Padfone logo on the back. Like the HTC One, the Padfone sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 1.7 GHz quad-core processor. It has 64 GB of storage, 2 GB of RAM, and LTE. The company also announced Asus Open Cloud Computing (AOCC,) a cloud platform to compete with iCloud.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission today revealed that HTC Americas has settled with the government agency over complaints that it failed to take adequate measures to secure its devices from third-party programs. Under the terms of the settlement, HTC has agreed to develop a software patch for all the affected devices (millions of smartphones and tablets) within 30 days, to develop an in-house security program to prevent future breaches, and to be audited by the FTC over its security protocols every other year for the next 20 years. According to the FTC, HTC "failed to provide its engineering staff with adequate security training, failed to review or test the software on its mobile devices for potential security vulnerabilities, failed to follow well-known and commonly accepted secure coding practices, and failed to establish a process for receiving and addressing vulnerability reports from third parties." The software patches will be distributed by both HTC and its network operator partners.
HTC has released a new version of its HTC OpenSense SDK that adds an API for the IR blaster that's built into the HTC One. The new API will allow developers to write applications that can take advantage of the IR blaster. The IR blaster is built into the One's power button (located on top). Combined with HTC's Sense 5 TV software, the One can be used to control the owner's TV and home entertainment center. The new API also helps the One to learn key codes from additional remotes or IR devices and then control them, as well. HTC says using the new HTC OpenSense SDK will let developers create apps that interact between the One and devices such as printers, dSLR cameras, real estate lock boxes, and other gear. HTC is offering the HTC OpenSense SDK to developers for free via its developer portal.
HTC is putting all of its eggs in One basket; the new One is HTC’s flagship for the world this year. It take a few risks with the hardware and sports a striking new design manufactured using proprietary techniques. How did it turn out? Find out in our hands-on report.
HTC today announced Sense 5, the newest iteration of its custom software layer for Android, sporting significant new camera and media sharing features, and a new home screen that aggregates social and news content. The company also launched a media sharing service and updated its online backup, transfer, and get-started tools. Sense 5 has a simpler, cleaner look compared to past versions. The default home screen is now BlinkFeed, a scrolling stream of visual tiles that - like Flipboard - combines Facebook, Twitter, and news content. Swiping sideways reveals traditional home screens for widgets and shortcuts. A revamped app menu defaults to fewer icons, which can be re-arranged and grouped in folders. On certain phones- such as the new HTC One - the camera software can now capture “Zoes”, which are taken and viewed like regular photos, but automatically include a 3-second HD video clip, bringing gallery thumbnails to life. Zoes also include a burst of additional full-resolution photos, starting before the shutter was pressed, so that a slightly earlier or later moment can be chosen if the timing was off. Photos are automatically sorted into galleries by day and location. Each gallery automatically shows a 30-second highlight video generated on the fly, combining photos, videos, and Zoes, which uses one of six themes with filters and timed music. Highlight videos can be saved and shared via a new web service, which supports Facebook, Twitter, and email. The sharing service also lets you share up to ten specific media items as a group. HTC’s revamped Get Started and Backup services now support additional content and make easier to transfer nearly everything from any Android device to a new HTC Android phone. It also supports iOS, and can move contacts, calendar, photos, videos, music, and bookmarks from an iPhone to a new HTC Android phone.
HTC today announced the HTC One, its global flagship phone for 2013. The One sports a 4.7-inch display with 1080p full HD resolution and 468 ppi, housed in a unibody shell machined from a solid block of aluminum. The unique "UltraPixel" main camera features oversized sensor pixels for better quality and low-light performance. The camera is 4 megapixels, trading pixel count for pixel size. The camera also sports optical image stabilization, an f/2.0 lens, and the ability to capture real-time dynamic HDR video. The One can capture a hybrid photo+video that HTC calls a “Zoe”, which includes a burst of full-resolution photos plus a three-second HD video clip. The One also sports Android 4.1 and Sense 5, a cleaner, simpler version of Sense. Sense 5 includes a new Flipboard-like home screen called “BlinkFeed”, that merges Facebook, Twitter, and news content in a stream of visual tiles. The One also includes an infrared transceiver and includes universal remote control software based on technology from Peel. Hardware features include a 1.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, up to 64 GB of embedded memory, NFC, a 2300 mAh battery, and front-facing stereo speakers. The audio features also include a high-power amp and an extra “HDR” microphone for clearly capturing sound in unusually loud environments, such as concerts. The One will be available starting in March, from AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.
HTC is making a big phone announcement today: presumably, their flagship phone for 2013. We'll be there reporting live. Tune in for every detail as it happens on stage.
Qualcomm today announced that more than 70 Snapdragon-based smartphones and tablets come with a technology called Quick Charge. Quick Charge 1.0 is a rapid-charging technology that Qualcomm acquired when it bought Summit Microelectronics. According to Qualcomm, devices with Quick Charge can reach a full charge up to 40% faster than devices that don't have Quick Charge. The technology is offered by Qualcomm to its hardware partners as an integrated solution with Qualcomm's power management circuits or a stand-alone USB interface controller. Some of the devices that have Quick Charge 1.0 already built in include the HTC Droid DNA and 8X, the LG Nexus 4 and Optimus G, the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD, the Nokia Lumia 920, and the Samsung Galaxy S III among many others. Qualcomm said that it will reveal more details about its fast-charging technology in the coming weeks.
Verizon Wireless today announced that it is finally delivering the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update to the HTC Thunderbolt. The system update will be pushed in phases beginning today, February 5. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich adds the Holo theme and includes many new features, such as face unlock, lock screen notifications, homescreen folders, and new multitasking functions. The update also installs HTC Sense 3.6. It can be downloaded and installed over the air.
HTC today warned that revenue for the first quarter of the year will be down 17% compared the fourth quarter of last year. The company has seen sales decline for about 18 months, and today announced plans to enter the entry-level smartphone market. HTC spent the last 14 months focusing on mid-level and high-end products for established markets. HTC will offer its first low-cost models to China and emerging markets in order to boost sales volumes. The company did not share any specific details about those low-end models. HTC is expected to debut a new smartphone at a press event taking place in New York later this month, though it will be a high-end, flagship device, according to Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.
Ting, an MVNO that resells access to Sprint's network, recently announced that it will eventually support devices that run Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. According to Ting, it will offer the same WP8 handsets sold by Sprint, likely in the May/June timeframe. Sprint committed to bringing HTC and Samsung WP8 devices to market before summer. Ting will be able to sell those devices about four to six weeks later, according to a post on its blog. It also announced that it now supports the Sprint-branded Galaxy Nexus S. Ting runs a BYOD-style, low-cost service.
According to documents seen on the Federal Communications Commission web site, the HTC One SV may soon be sold by Sprint. The FCC recently approved an HTC device with the model number PL80110. This is nearly identical to the model number of HTC One SV for Cricket Wireless, which is PL80120. HTC has a very consistent internal model number scheme for its devices. Based on that scheme, the PL80110 and PL80120 are most likely variants of the same device or chassis. Additionally, the PL80110 approved today supports CDMA and LTE spectrum used only by Sprint. However, one page of a single document in the FCC's filings refers to the PL80110 as a "Windows Phone." The model number and Windows Phone reference conflict with one another. The FCC documents do not include images of the PL80110 to make a direct comparison between the One SV for Cricket or any other device. Neither Sprint nor HTC have announced a variant of the One SV, nor has HTC announced any new Windows Phones for any carrier.
AT&T today made the 'Portico' update available to the HTC Windows Phone 8X. The update resolves Bluetooth and other bugs. The international and T-Mobile variants of the 8X were updated last month. It can be downloaded and installed over the air.
The court overseeing Eastman Kodak's bankruptcy proceedings has approved the company's $525 million patent sale to a consortium of companies. The consortium, which is led by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corp., includes Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Fujifilm, Google, HTC, Huawei, Microsoft, Research In Motion, Samsung, and Shutterfly. Under the terms of the agreement, Intellectual Ventures (which is itself a patent-licensing firm) and RPX gain ownership of the patents, while the other firms are all contributing licensing fees for access to the patents. The patent sale allows Kodak to move forward with its restructuring plans.
HTC's One SV is a high-end handset for prepaid provider Cricket. Though slated for the prepaid market, it's quite the looker and would do fine at any major carrier.
Sprint today announced that it plans to launch Windows Phone 8 devices from HTC and Samsung later this year. Details regarding the exact phones, pricing, and availability will be shared a later date. All Sprint did say was that the phones will have unlimited 3G/4G service for plans that start at $80 per month. Sprint has not offered a new Windows Phone device in nearly two years. AT&T, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless and others have all launched Windows Phone 8 devices in recent months. Sprint's Windows Phone 8 hardware won't arrive until closer to the summer.
Cricket Wireless and HTC today announced the One SV, a new Android smartphone for the pre-paid provider. The One SV, which runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with Sense 4.0, follows in the One Series footsteps with its simple design and features. It has a 4.3-inch Super LCD 2 display that is protected by scratch- and fingerprint-resistant Gorilla Glass. The One SV is powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. The main camera rates 5 megapixels and has an f/2 lens with backside illumination for better low-light performance. It can capture video at 1080p HD, as well as take still images while recording video. The front camera rates 1.6 megapixels and has an f/2.2 lens. Other features include Beats Audio, LTE 4G, support for 32GB microSD cards, NFC, and HTC's new Sync Manager software. The HTC One SV is exclusive to Cricket Wireless. It will be available online and in stores beginning January 16 for $349.99.
Eastman Kodak today announced that it has sold a collection of its imaging patents to a consortium of companies for a total of $525 million. The consortium, which is led by Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corp., includes Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Fujifilm, Google, HTC, Huawei, Microsoft, Research In Motion, Samsung, and Shutterfly. Under the terms of the agreement, Intellectual Ventures (which is itself a patent-licensing firm) and RPX gain ownership of the patents, while the other firms are all contributing licensing fees for access to the patents. The patent sale is one measure being taken by Kodak to recover while undergoing bankruptcy reorganization. The patent sale also concludes any litigation between Kodak and the new licensees.
HTC today confirmed via email that the T-Mobile variant of its Windows Phone 8X device is receiving the "Portico" update from Microsoft. According to support documentation on T-Mobile's web site, the software update resolves issues concerning Bluetooth, device rebooting, and "being incorrectly routed to tethering upsell pages when browsing." The update is being pushed out beginning today, according to HTC, and can be downloaded and installed over the air. The Portico update was delivered to international variants of the 8X last week. AT&T and Verizon Wireless have not indicated if or when the Portico update will reach their variants of the HTC 8X.
Sprint today announced that the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Sense 4+ system updates are available for the HTC EVO 4G LTE. Users can update over the air manually via the settings tools or wait for the update to be delivered by Sprint.
A jury has found Apple guilty of infringing on three patents owned by MobileMedia, a patent-holding company. The patents pertain to answering calls, batteries, and camera functionality in smartphones. The trial, which was held in Delaware, was limited to assessing Apple's liability, so damages were not awarded. They will be determined in a separate hearing. MobileMedia acquired a swath of mobile patents from Nokia and Sony in 2010. MobileMedia CEO Larry Horn said, "Our goal is really to license these patents broadly to the market." It has similar litigation against HTC and RIM pending. Apple has not commented on the matter.