HTC has announced that it has made a large investment in Saffron Digital, a London-based digital media delivery company.
Saffron had a great year in 2010 with loads of integration in products by HTC, LG, Sony Ericsson, Nokia, T-Mobile and Paramount, mostly in Europe.
The investment from HTC will allow Saffron to expand to other markets, most notably, Asia.
“HTC’s investment increases our global expansion capabilities and provides us with an opportunity to expand into new markets like Asia and new sectors like games and music delivery,” says Shashi Fernando, CEO of Saffron Digital. “We have grown Saffron Digital into one of the best and most exciting digital service providers in the world and this enables us to take digital content delivery to a new level for our customers around the world.”
Despite the strategic move from HTC, Saffron will continue partnerships with other vendors. Peter Chou talking about the investment:
"Saffron Digital has developed an incredible expertise in mobile multimedia delivery. This ability to deliver optimised content in the future will be a key asset as content becomes more and more complex and localised,“ said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation. “We are excited to be working with Saffron to increase our global service delivery capabilities and expertise.”
It will be interesting to see how Saffron expands and in which ways HTC uses the digital media delivery company. [Business Wire]
The HTC Desire 2 rumors certainly seem to be gathering pace. Last week we reported that the phone had appeared in Vodafone Germany's inventory system, and now we have a leaked photo which purports to show the device itself.
Leaker "Rastaman-FB" claims the Desire 2 runs HTC Sense on top of Android 2.3.1 and features a superAMOLED display, front-facing camera and capacitive buttons.
The image has since been pulled from the original post, but as you can see above it bears a striking resemblance to the leaked photo of the "HTC Saga" which we reported last week, not to mention the unnamed HTC prototype snapped on a Taipei subway a week before.
According to the leaker, the phone displays the codename "Passion 2" on its softwate information page. "Passion" was the codename for the Nexus One, which was also built by HTC, and was the phone that the original HTC Desire was based upon.
With the pace Desire 2 leaks starting to quicken, it's seeming more and more likely that we could be due an official announcement at next week's Mobile World Congress. [AndroidForums]
The Samsung Continuum has finally entered the custom ROM scene, courtesy of Fascinate developer and Android Central adviser Adrynalyne. It's a basic ROM, based on the DL17 release, with none of the bloat and none of the Bing. In short, it's a de-odexed stock ROM with busybox added, and ready for others to fill in and create a masterpiece. And Adrynalyne doesn't even have a Continuum, but was able to create this with help from bubby323 and Logan302. Community effort FTW.
If you rock a Continuum (and I totally would if I had Verizon service here on the frontier) you need to have a look. Hopefully this is the start of a rich development community for one of the most unique phones of 2010. [Android Central forums] Thanks for the hard work fellas!
Best buy used their Super Bowl ad to pimp their new "Buy Back" program. Buyback allows you to trade in your "ancient" 12-month-old tech for the latest and greatest, helping to reduce the sticker shock for those of us who like getting a new phone more often than the Carrier "encouraged" two-year upgrade cycle.
How much you get towards your new device depends on how long you've had it.
For the first six months you can get 50% of the retail cost
6-12 months will give you 40% back
12-18 months 30%
And if you can't wait another day, you can still get 20% between months 18 and 24.
For example, the Evo currently retails for $599.99. If you buy it and opt for the buy back program, you can trade it in after 13 months and get $179.99 towards the retail cost of your next device.
Sure, you might be able to get more money if you sold it yourself on Craigslist, but this is a great option for those who don't want to go that route but still want to get something for our older device.
The service is typically an optional buy-in program, but for a limited time you can get it free with any qualifying electronics purchase. If you're on the fence about upgrading because you don't want to "waste" your discount if something cool is just around the corner, the Buy Back program might be just what you were looking for.
Just a reminder, folks, that we'll be at Sprint's event tonight in New York City. It's one of those rare occasions where we really don't have much of an idea of what's going to be announced -- heck, it might not even be Android. That said, BusinessWeek (via PhoneScoop) believes we'll at least see some sort of Kyocera Android phone -- we're hoping (really, really hoping) that's not all Sprint has up its sleeve, along with appearances by illusionist David Blaine and CEO Dan Hesse, of course..
The Angry Birds secret code from the Rio trailer ad during the Super Bowl has been found, tested, and decoded. And none of it was done by me. Credit goes out to @AndroidThrasher for the screencap, and scarbzscope on YouTube for the details. Spoiler alert -- the code itself, and a video of the code broken and used is after the break. Thanks fellas!
Now that we've seen the Super Bowl commercial for the Motorola Xoom, it's time to get disappointed by the price tag. Yes, the rumors of the Xoom being in the $800 dollar range are pretty much confirmed by a copy of Best Buy's sales ad showing the price at $799.99. It also tells us that the Xoom will be in the stores on Feb 24, and gives us a breakdown of the data packages being offered by big red, which varies from 1 GB for $20 monthly all the way to 10 GB for $80 monthly.
Still, the Motorola Xoom is one hell of a tablet, and hopefully we'll see a reasonable price on a WiFi only model soon. [Engadget]
No launch date yet, but here's Motorola's full commercial for the Xoom Honeycomb tablet, which aired during the second quarter of the Super Bowl. Says Moto in its release:
Created by Anomaly New York, the ad entitled “Empower the People” is set in an Orwellian, 1984-esque world where technology – and people – are limited by restrictive platforms. Enter Motorola XOOM - the tablet to create a better world - and a new day with optimism, openness, freedom and empowerment.
Motorola XOOM redefines the tablet category by providing more ways to have fun, connect with friends and stay productive on the go. Out of more than 20,000 products announced at CES last month, the Motorola XOOM was named “Best in Show” by CNET and lauded with numerous accolades and awards.
As the first tablet running Google’s new Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system, the XOOM is powerful and fundamentally different than anything else on the market.
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