Mobile World Congress 2012 – Day Two : Part I : ASUS Unveils Padfone details and transformer pads

February 29, 2012

Asus announces PadFone details; launches Transformer Pads

Bits from GSMA Mobile World Congress 2012

After the launching of Asus-PadFone , they provided more details on hybrid device and unveiled its forthcoming Transformer Pad range at Congress today.

Jonney Shih- ASUS Chairman, took to the stage in Barcelona to announce that the PadFone – which integrates a Smartphone, tablet and netbook and was first revealed at Computex in Taiwan last year – will be available in April, with an LTE version following in the third quarter of 2012.

Smartphone: -With Android’s latest software version Ice Cream Sandwich and has a 4.3 inch Super AMOLEDqHD screen and runs a 1.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor. It can be plugged into the PadFone station to become a tablet, while a keyboard dock can be added to create a netbook device.

Later: Asus also announced its new line of Transformer Pads, which can be used as tablet or netbook devices. The Transformer Pad Prime, aimed at early adopters, runs the Honeycomb 3.2 version of Android but can be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich. It runs an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor and is just 8.3mm thick, weighing 586g.

Accumulate launch mobile merchant app

February 28, 2012

MWC 2012, Barcelona – February 28, 2012. Accumulate launches a mobile merchant app for small merchants and event-based trading (markets, fairs, seasonal trade, etc.). It is based on Pera Mobile, the standard for mobile payments, and requires no special hardware or additions. The mobile payment application works as a stand-alone POS terminal and is a perfect complement for payment service providers (PSP’s) and payment terminal manufacturers, who can now reach a new audience that previously only handled the cash purchase.

The solution is technology independent and supports NFC (active and passive), QR codes, bar codes, etc. The new merchant app can run on any Android, iPhone, iPad and Windows 7.5. The purchases are made as a money transfer and can support mobile wallet or cards in mobile solutions. Security is very high and no sensitive information such as card number, expiration date, CCV code, etc. is stored or communicated in a purchase.

To get started the merchant need a contract with a payment service provider that provides the app. Then, just to download and activate the app to be able to receive payments.“With this solution, merchants get a secure, easy to use and cost effective payment solution for customers who do not have cash. We are in discussions with a number of providers of payment services and terminals, and interest is very high,” says Stefan Hultberg, CEO of Accumulate.

About Accumulate

Accumulate is enabling the next generation of mobile payments with a solution that covers all payment situations along with  security and flexibility.

Orange Smartphone comes with an Intel’s Atom Chip inside

February 27, 2012

It’s Monday and Orange will debut the first Smartphone powered by Intel’s Atom processor at the show, giving Intel a key foothold in the European market as well as a critical endorsement from a major carrier.

The Android Gingerbread device, which will be built by Orange manufacturing partner Gigabyte, uses both Intel’s Medfield apps processor and its HSPA radio chipset. That indicates that Intel’s strategic decision to buy baseband chipmaker Infineon is paying off: it can now provide a complete silicon package for the mobile phone, which is key to getting in mid-tier and low-tier mass-market devices. And that mass market is clearly where the new phone, code named Santa Clara, is headed when it launches over the Orange networks in the U.K. and France this summer.

Yves Maitre, Orange SVP of mobile multimedia and devices said “It is not targeted at the 1 percent,” But the phone also doesn’t skimp on performance, Maitre claimed. “We are providing a Ferrari experience to the mass market,” he said.

Maitre said Orange decided to run with Atom for two reasons: 1) Its ability to deliver a lot of performance for a lower price than comparable ARM architectures, and 2) Orange wanted to challenge ARM’s dominance, in hopes of creating competition in the processor market that could drive down chip prices.

The Santa Clara has 4.03-in. screen, an 8 megapixel camera that can capture 1080p video, supports HD voice and even sports an NFC chip, which until now have been reserved for the more high-end phones. The Intel radio supports HSPA+ up 21 Mbps, and for those U.S. gadget lovers who like to import their phones from overseas, it runs over both European and North American GSM and HSPA bands (cellular and PCS).

Orange certainly has the clout to create that competing market. It’s a multi-national operator with networks all over Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Matire said the Santa Clara wasn’t a one-off deal. While he didn’t reveal any specific plans for other devices, he said Intel and Orange would continue to work closely together.

Nokia Fills Out Lumia Portfolio

February 26, 2012

Nokia is filling out its Windows Phone smartphone portfolio and differentiating devices with Nokia-only features and apps. On Monday, Nokia kicked off the Mobile World Congress tradeshow here with a new low-end Lumia Windows Phone smartphone, the Lumia 610. This is now the fourth Lumia Windows Phone in the portfolio, and it will sell for 189 Euros ($254) in Europe before subsidies.

Microsoft announced the Lumia 710 and Lumia 800 in October. These were the first Windows Phone devices for Nokia, and they were initially only available in Europe. Now, the devices are selling worldwide and the 710 is available on T-Mobile in the U.S market. Last month at the Consumer Electronics Show, Nokia unveiled the Lumia 900, its flagship high-end Windows Phone device in the U.S. With a larger screen than the other Lumia devices, the Lumia 900 also has 4G LTE support. At Mobile World Congress, Nokia also announced that the high-end Lumia 900 will be going global. Starting in the second quarter the Lumia 900 will be available in Canada and throughout other parts of the world for 489 Euros.

Stephen Elop, Nokia’s CEO, acknowledged during the press conference here that it’s been a tough year for Nokia as the company retrenched and restarted its smartphones business. At last year’s Mobile World Congress, Nokia had no new devices to announce, and instead fielded questions about the newly formed partnership with Microsoft. Since then, the company has pushed itself ahead of schedule, Elop said. After announcing its first two IWindows Phones in October, it now has four Lumia Windows Phone devices for market, including the Lumia 610.”It’s been a very challenging year,” Elop said. “And yet it’s been an amazing year. An in the year head we will continue to accelerate our new products and continue to build out the ecosystem.”Nokia has quickly become the world’s largest maker of Windows Phone devices, which isn’t surprising given the small base from which Windows Phone is building. But Windows Phone with its latest 7.5 software currently has more than 65,000 apps available in its store, Elop reported. Read More

Apple Inc wins iPad legal battle in china

February 24, 2012

A Shanghai court has rejected a request by a Chinese technology firm to stop Apple Inc selling its iPad tablet computers in the city, a source said, part of a wider battle for Apple over the trademark in China.

The Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court ruled in Apple’s favour after a hearing on Wednesday, the source with direct knowledge of the ruling said, confirming a report by the website of local official newspaper Xinmin Evening News.

The Chinese company, Proview Technology (Shenzhen), had said the U.S. tech giant was infringing on a trademark it owns in China.China is important to Apple not only as a consumer market, but also because the country is a major production base for the iPad and other Apple products.

The dispute, which dates back to a disagreement over what was covered in a deal for the transfer of the iPad trademark to Apple in 2009, has seen iPads seized by authorities in some Chinese cities, and some retailers in some Chinese cities have stopped selling them under court order.

Apple lawyer Qu Miao dismissed Proview’s “IPAD” device, saying: “They have no market, no sales, no customers. They have nothing.” He argued that the US company’s device was of benefit to China, providing jobs and tax revenues. Read More

OnLive Desktop for iPad

February 22, 2012

OnLive has announced the launch of their OnLive Desktop mobile app for the Apple iPad platform. OnLive Desktop is essentially a way to get access to a Windows computer with apps like Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer (with Adobe Flash Player) on your Apple iPad.

You can use the system using your Apple iPad getting the functionality of a full-fledged personal computer.

The company highlighted the features:

PC Microsoft® Office with 2GB cloud storage FREE*, 2.Full-featured document viewing and editing, Instant-action, Media-rich Windows® 7 cloud desktop, Lightning-fast Web browsing with Adobe® Flash® Coming soon to Android™PC, Mac®, monitors/TVs

Predicting the End of QR Code

February 20, 2012

The short-lived and soon-to-be-antiquated “Quick Response” codes will be replaced with mobile visual search, which provides consumers with faster, more convenient and compelling, interactive marketing experiences. QR codes seemed to present an accessible and uniform way for people with smart devices to interact with advertising, marketing and media. Those little squares of code seemed to open a world of opportunity and potential.

According to a recent study by comScore which states that only 14 million American mobile device users have interacted with a QR code. In essence, less than 5% of the American public has scanned a QR code. The reason could be QR codes acts as a barrier to additional information. Inadequate technology, lack of education and a perceived dearth of value from QR codes are just three of the reasons mobile barcodes are not clicking with Americans. But it goes deeper than that.

Humans are visual animals. We have intuitive reactions to images that a QR code can never bring to mind; what we see is directly linked to our moods, our purchasing habits and our behaviors. It makes sense, then, that a more visual alternative to QR codes would not only be preferable to consumers, but would most likely stimulate more positive responses to their presence. With mobile visual search (MVS), you simply point at a product or logo and shoot a picture with your Smartphone’s built-in camera. Within seconds, the MVS application will provide product or company information, or even the option to make a purchase right then and there on your mobile device. Read More

LG Optimus Vu Revealed ahead of Mobile world Congress

February 18, 2012

LG has officially announced the Optimus Vu in Korea. The Optimus Vu is a 5″ touchscreen smartphone with a 4:3 aspect display ratio.

LG just couldn’t wait for Mobile World Congress to get underway on the 27th before showing off its new Optimus Vu handset. These new pics offer a much clearer look at its 4×3 aspect ratio, 1024×768 res, stylus-friendly 5-inch IPS LCD display, while the official specs confirm rumors it would pack a 1.5GHz dual core CPU, 8MP camera, LTE, 2080mAh battery and Android 2.3 in a slim 8.5mm thick frame. An upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich is promised within three months of its launch, currently scheduled for March on Korean carriers SK Telecom and LG+. Check the gallery for a few more glamour shots of this new Galaxy Note competitor, and see if wider truly is better.

The phone will be available for purchase in Korea starting sometime in March. The pricing has not yet been disclosed.

Chrome to Mobile Beta is available on Android Device

February 14, 2012

Google recently released a public beta of their Chrome web browser for Google Android devices.The browser saw a limited launch (few countries) and is only designed to work on Android Ice Cream Sandwich devices (which alone limit the number of possible users!).But it is a pretty solid launch considering the app comes loaded with excellent features.

And one of the cool features is ‘Chrome to Mobile Beta’ Chrome extension which is an evolved edition of an existing product ‘Google Chrome to Phone Extension’.

Chrome to Mobile Beta enables you to share the link you are checking out on your desktop Chrome to your phone with an option to send an offline copy.The web page is sent to your phone where it loads and an offline copy is also downloaded if the user asked for it.

Of course, you would need to connect the extension and Android edition of Chrome to your Google Account. The end result is a pretty usable sharing experience. Though we would still love to have something like Android Beam in the future!

FaceBook’s Third Party App Battle

February 11, 2012

Facebook’s late-comer HTML5 mobile app platform lags way behind the Apple App Store and Android Marketplace. Currently, Facebook buries HTML5 app bookmarks at the bottom of its mobile site’s pull-out navigation menu, and only shows them in the iOS or Android Facebook app’s search bar. Placing them much more prominently at top the mobile home page could increase engagement — the first step in attracting developers to the platform and earning money on in-app purchases.

The Facebook mobile app platform launched in October to help the social network start monetizing mobile through in-app payments on which it collects a 30% tax. Apps run through an internal web browser within its iOS and Android apps, allowing it to circumvent Apple and Google’s tax.

With limited choice, and no ads to promote third-party apps within Facebook’s own mobile apps and HTML5 site, users aren’t installing them in the first place. Since bookmarks for the HTML5 apps are only found at the bottom of the Facebook mobile site’s navigation menu, and have to be located through the search bar in the Facebook iOS and Android apps, users aren’t reengaging with HTML5 apps either. Read More

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