A few observations: the HTC Hero looks to have a 3.5mm headphone jack (hooray!) but lacks a trackball, d-pad, or any navigational input--this puppy may be completely reliant on the touchscreen. The buttons seem to be your standard Android-fare with Home, menu, back, make call, and end call options though we've got to say the design is pretty poor.
We're not sure if this is a pre-production model or the actual thing but we can't see why anyone would choose this Hero model over the Magic or I7500 off looks but hey, the more Android hardware the better. What do you guys think?
Hit the jump to check out more pictures of the HTC Hero!
We've got our hands on T-Mobile's reported Android Roadmap for the rest of the year and though it looks somewhat suspect, the conclusions are fairly logical. According to the roadmap we can expect an updated T-Mobile G1 to be released some time in Fall of this year along with the mysterious Samsung Houdini.
This timeframe makes a lot of sense because the G1 would have been on the market for one whole calendar year and would be in desperate need of a refresh. As noted in the roadmap, the current G1 will have reached "end-of-lifetime" when the new G1 is released. The photo shown as the T-Mobile G1 v2 could merely be a mockup, but it looks distantly similar to the Memphis, which we dubbed an Android phone in HTC's leaked product map.
As for the Samsung Houdini, we know that Samsung is supposedly releasing three Android Devices this year and that we've already found the other two (the I7500 and the S8000 'cubic'). Could this be the third Samsung Android device or is it simply one of the previously reported Android devices? We can't tell because the Houdini seems to fall in line with the full-touch, one-slab design of both the Cubic and I7500. We think it's the I7500 because again, the timeframe makes sense.
And finally, if this truly is the roadmap for Android devices in 2009--those blacked out boxes in the holiday season better have Android phones behind them or some other carrier is going to need to step up and deliver some Android hardware (looking at you Sprint). Just 3 new devices? Not good enough.
Looks like the T-Mobile G1 is gaining some momentum because the NPD Group just released sales ranking and the G1 ranks a solid fifth behind a slew of Blackberry devices and the iPhone 3G. Here are the top 5 devices:
RIM BlackBerry Curve (all 83XX models)
Apple iPhone 3G (all models)
RIM BlackBerry Storm
RIM BlackBerry Pearl (all models, except flip)
Not bad company to be with considering Blackberry sold a number of devices with a recent Verizon promotion and that the iPhone is well, the iPhone. We're taking this to mean that the people want Android and if given the opportunity to use more dynamic Android devices, they would. Android is currently the underdog but watch out, when we get more devices, we'll surely shoot up the standings.
Another quarter passes, another quarter of losses for the downtrodden carrier which is Sprint. Though this time the news is "less bad" than previous quarters--Sprint held losses to $594 million for Q1 and lost 182,000 subscribers--reports are beginning to surface that they might resort to outsourcing their network.
Our friends at PreCentral.net think that Sprint is in desperate need for the Pre but we at Android Central will take it one step further: If Sprint only has the Pre in tow Sprint is as good as gone. They need a slew of devices--Android, namely--to rescue this sinking ship.
Pssst. Hey guys. We know all the signs are already pointing to the HTC Magic releasing on T-Mobile, what with FCC pictures, inventory checks and the G1 being on T-Mobile, so for us to say that T-Mobile is going to get the Magic isn't exactly us going out on a limb (more like being captain obvious) but we're getting independent confirmation from a very well-placed source.
So for those waiting patiently for some HTC Magic to T-Mobile news, we've got it on good authority that it is going to happen.
We can't give you the full 100%, rush to your nearest T-Mobile store and plop down cold hard cash for it but it's close--real close. We know that our source is supposed to know these things so we're trusting them. Keep an eye out for now but definitely expect to officially hear about it soon.
Trent Reznor, of Nine Inch Nails fame, just got his band's app rejected from the iPhone App Store. Surprising? Not so much because if you've been following iPhone app news over at our sister-site The iPhone Blog you would know that Apple has a completely inane app approval process that sometimes reject applications that are perfectly worthy and approve applications that are inane themselves.
Here's what Trent has to say about the iPhone and the rest of the smartphone industry (Android-included):
The iPhone is THE most elegant, modern smartphone at this point in time and it’s perfect for what we want to do with the NIN app - except for the ludicrous approval process, and that’s what I want to draw attention to. Android is cool, but nobody has an Android phone. Blackberry is OK but the hardware is inconsistent and WinMo straight-up sucks balls. If Apple doesn’t get it together, we will most certainly make it available to the jailbreak community. I didn’t invest in this app to see it languish on the sidelines from an idiotic policy while this tour is in full swing.
What Trent says is pretty much spot-on to how most people feel about the smartphone landscape. So yeah, us Android nerds are cool but we need more devices, more users, more everything to throw our weight towards Android and make it a major playor. And hey Trent, if you want to port the app over Android we'd love to download it via Android Market. No watchdog necessary.
Hmm. Reports are speculating that the device we know as the HTC Magic and speculated as the T-Mobile G2 will actually be released as the MyTouch 3G. An odd choice of name, to be sure, but not one without reason: the HTC Magic is a strictly 'touch' device and to differentiate it from the "G"-series would help lessen consumer confusion.
Think about it, if the HTC Magic is released as the T-Mobile G2, it could very well cannibalize G1 sales with consumers believing the G1 is outdated. Having a different name for the HTC Magic allows T-Mobile to offer two dynamically different Android-experience phones: one with a keyboard and one with just touch.
Eek. There are reports floating around that T-Mobile UK might be forced to merge with another carrier or sell itself away. During their latest financial reports, Deutsche Telekom CFO Timotheus Hoettges stated:
"The British market is highly competitive and has comparably low margins, in our view consolidation is a means to take excess capabilities out of the market. Nothing is unthinkable on our side."
T-Mobile UK is currently the 4th largest carrier in the telecommunications market in the UK, trailing O2, Orange, and Vodafone. A merger possibility may be 3, the UK's 5th largest carrier. Either way you spin it though, this is pretty bleak news for T-Mobile UK. Hopefully, wherever they go, they'll still have a good enough relationship with Android to pump out more devices!
Each week we break down the best of the Smartphone Experts Network for your reading pleasure. It's possible you caught every single one of the 191 posts we published across our network this week, but we won't hold everybody to that. Device leaks, device announcements, and site contests all await you here - so read on!
Hey, if you live in the UK, go out to your local Vodafone shop and grab a HTC Magic. Today, May 1st, is officially Magic Launch Day. Go toy around with it, take some pictures, buy it, unbox it, use it, and be sure to let us know about it in our forums.
Oh, and if you're feeling generous, we wouldn't mind it if you went and bought one for us too!
We know you want the Samsung I7500 because we want it badly too. Unfortunately for us, there aren't any details on a US launch date (or carrier, at that) so we'll have to continue twiddling our thumbs waiting for T-Mobile, Sprint, or maybe even Verizon to step up to the plate and claim this sleek and sexy device.
But it's not all bad news! Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark are confirmed to receive I7500 goodness. Pricing is obviously not set and the only confirmed carrier is O2 in Germany but we're told to expect launch in a few months or so.
The Android Netbook rumor mill just keeps churning along. This time, Averatec is dropping their name with Android with reports stating that the company will be releasing a sub-notebook with a "surprise" operating system that "merges cell phone and PC technology".
If you're interested in Android netbooks, Skytone has got you covered. They're pricing the Skytone Alpha 680, the world's first Android netbook, at $250 which is well, just okay. The Skytone Alpha 680 has a pretty unique design that mashes up a tablet and a netbook--though you get the usefulness of a touchscreen, you'll still be limited by the netbook.
In the video, some apps are showcased and they're a lot better than expected. However, don't go on expecting amazing multitasking from this relatively underwhelming machine. To remind you of the Alpha 680's specs:
ARM11 533MHz processor
1GB storage (4GB max)
128MB RAM (256MB max)
Yeah, we're meh-ing this one for now. What about you guys?
Check out part two of the video hands-on after the break
We're not quite sure if we still expect Motorola to crank out the rumored 10 Android phones by the end of the year, but we are getting even more indication that handsets are on the way.
In Moto's quarterly financials, co-CEO Sanjay Jha says "We plan to have differentiated Android-based devices in stores in time for the fourth-quarter holiday season." So work is definitely ongoing, and we could well see something before then, be it the "Ironman" phone or the Calgary, destined for Verizon.
Oh, and speaking of financials, Moto posted a $291 million loss for the first quarter as its overall sales of cell phones were down 45 percent.
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