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21 Dec 12 Report: Google Prepping $99 Nexus 7 Tablet

With Christmas just days away, the tablet wars are still in full swing as shoppers snag devices like the iPad, Kindle Fire, Nexus 7, or Microsoft Surface. While all of these devices offer rich user experiences, final decisions often boil down to price sensitivity. A report out of Taiwan indicates that Google is planning to further disrupt the tablet market by introducing a $99 version of its Android tablet next year.

The Nexus 7 has been widely praised as the best tablet next to the iPad, thanks to its $199-$299 price tag. However, according to Taiwan’s Digitimes, Google is hoping to open the flood gates to higher user adoption by releasing a cheaper Nexus 7 tablet that will be priced between $99 to $149 some time next year. The report claims that Google and Asus are working with touch-screen maker Shenzhen O-Film Tech to introduce the cheaper Nexus 7 using glass-film-film (GFF) technology that will also help to make the device thinner.

A significantly cheaper, high-quality tablet like the Nexus 7 could be the next frontier for capturing tablet consumers if recent reviews of the competition are any indication. The iPad mini is popular, but consumers aren’t too enthused by its non-Retina display and heftier, $329 starting price.

The report claims that Google’s cheaper Nexus 7 will first target emerging markets, with initial shipments in the range of 500,000-600,000 units. The new model is reportedly scheduled to ship some time in the first or second quarter of 2013.

For more, see PCMag’s review of the Nexus 7 and the slideshow below.

Google Nexus 7

Google Nexus 7

Google Play on Nexus 7

Music Player on Nexus 7

Google Nexus 7 Right

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05 Jun 12 Insyde(R) Software Demonstrates Customized Android Solution on Intel(R) Studybook

TAIPEI, Taiwan, Jun 05, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) –
Insyde Software, a leading provider of Unified Extensible Firmware
Interface (UEFI) BIOS, today announced that it helped develop a
customized version of Android that will ship on the previously announced
Intel studybook. The Intel studybook delivered from Intel’s Education
Market Platform Group (EMPG) is a purpose-built tablet featuring unique
classroom-ready features and capabilities including an ultra rugged
design and specialized educational software.

Working with Intel’s Taipei Lab team, Insyde engineers performed
extensive Android systems integration, customization and debugging
tasks, meeting the project’s feature requirements and development
schedule. Insyde Software will have the Intel studybook available for
demonstration during the Computex Taipei, June 5-8, 2012 at Suite 2401,
Grand Hyatt Taipei.

“We are proud to be working with Intel EMPG on the studybook project,
said Steve Chen, VP of Android Development, at Insyde Software. “Not
only do we bring Android systems integration knowledge to this project,
but we are the only software company that can also supply the necessary
firmware, operating system switching technology and BSP (board support
package) as needed.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Insyde Software to help us fulfill
our vision of bringing affordable education devices to students and
teachers worldwide,” said Raju Doshi, director of marketing of Intel’s
Education Market Platform Group. “Insyde played an important role in
ensuring the Android operating system was customized to meet the
specific needs of our education market customers.”

About Insyde Software

Insyde Software ( )
is a leading global provider of BIOS, UEFI-based firmware, Linux
Android software solutions and engineering services for companies in the
mobile, server, desktop and embedded computing industries. The company
is publicly held (gtsm:6231) and headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan with
U.S. headquarters in Westborough, MA. The company’s customers include
the world’s leading computer systems designers and manufacturers.

Insyde and InsydeH2O are registered trademarks of Insyde Software.
Other company and product names mentioned herein may be trademarks or
registered trademarks of their respective holders.

Intel is a registered trademark of Intel Corporation in the United
States and/or other countries.

SOURCE: Insyde Software

        Insyde Software -- Asia
        Betty Huang, 886-2-6608-3688 x3639
        Insyde Software -- U.S.
        Stephen Gentile, 508-599-3999 x111

Copyright Business Wire 2012

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29 May 12 HTC Sensation Handsets To Finally Get Android 4.0 ICS Updates, Soon

HTC Sensation Z710E Unlocked GSM Android Smartphone

HTC Sensation Z710E Unlocked GSM Android Smartphone on Amazon

HTC has rescheduled the Android 4.0 update for the HTC Sensation handsets, which means users will now have to wait somewhat longer to upgrade to the Ice Cream Sandwich Experience.

Initially, the Taiwan-based phone manufacturer had announced that they would be releasing the Android 4.0 ICS upgrade for the HTC Sensation by the end of March. But then almost two months have gone past and now the company has announced that the update is still about a month away. The official announcement made recently says the update will not be available before some time towards the end of next month.

The new release schedule for the updates show that the company is planning the roll out of these updates between March and June this year for HTC Sensation. The schedule for HTC Sensation XL is between April and June. So there’s just one month to go before their own officially announcement time frame runs out. HTC has also endeavored to address customer frustration at the lack of upgrades and has offered explanations as to why the upgrades are taking so long. Here’s part of the company’s explanation: -

“Our goal is to make sure that an upgrade provides an equal or improved customer experience and that means a high standard of quality for hardware compatibility, adapting device or carrier specific customizations, testing by HTC and partners, addressing device hardware constraints, and many other factors,”

The newly released list also contains timelines for other Android handsets — HTC Evo 3D, HTC Rhyme and HTC Desire HD. The first two are set to be upgraded between June and July this year. HTC Desire HD will get updated between June and August. There will be no official upgrades for the HTC Salsa, Chacha, Explorer or Flyer.

HTC has also announced that the upgrades will nto bring the Sense UI 4.0 alonside Android 4.0. The company has not given out any official reasons for this except for a lack of “dedcated hardware” in some of its devices but it is clear that the older phones are not equipped to handle both Android 4.0 ICS and HTC Sense UI 4.0 at the same time. They are both resource intensive and might hamper phone performance. However, it is also possible HTC is saving the Sense UI 4.0 as an extra for those who are investing in the new handsets that are coming out with Android 4.0 pre-installed.

According to HTC, Sense UI 4.0 requires dedicated hardware that is not yet available in all of its devices. This might be just another way of saying that some of its older phones are not powerful enough to handle the new UI overlay.

This new push for upgrade the HTC Sensation, Sensation XL and other phones comes from the fact that Android 5.0 is about to debut sometime later this year (rumors). Every Android manufacturer is trying to push out Android 4.0 upgrades before moving on to Android 5.0.

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26 May 12 HTC’s elite Android

HTC One X Android phone by HTC Corp.
$199.99 at

Because Google Inc. gives away its Android software for smartphones, there are a lot of mediocre Android smartphones. It seems like everybody with a soldering iron has slapped something together, often with unimpressive results.

But when a company like Taiwan’s HTC Corp. sets its mind to the task, it can come up with something exceptional, like this gorgeous new One X, available only through ATT Inc. It’s got to be the loveliest Android phone ever built, thinner and lighter than Apple Inc.’s iPhone, and with a bigger screen capable of excellent high-definition video.

The One X is compatible with ATT’s 4G LTE data service, much faster than the iPhone 4S, which lacks LTE. And the HTC phone has an exceptionally good camera, perhaps the best ever built into a phone. It’s especially strong in low-light situations, taking brilliantly sharp pictures even in dimly-lit rooms.

There are plenty of adequate Androids to choose from, but for a little more money, the One X delivers excellence.

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28 Apr 12 Microsoft Inks Android Patent Agreement with Pegatron


Microsoft Inks Android Patent Agreement with Pegatron

With the Pegatron deal in process, Microsoft claims to have rolled up agreements with nearly all of the Taiwan-based original design manufacturers.

Microsoft has signed a patent agreement with Taiwan-based device manufacturer Pegatron Corp. over its use of Google Android and Chrome software.

With the Pegatron deal in process, Microsoft claims to have rolled up agreements with nearly all of the Taiwan-based original design manufacturers (ODMs).

“With this agreement, Microsoft has now licensed four of the top five Taiwanese ODMs,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of the Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft, in a statement.

The announcement issued this week by Microsoft stated that Pegatron will pay Microsoft royalties under the agreement, which covers “eReaders, smartphones and tablets running the Android or Chrome platforms.” By “Chrome platforms,” Microsoft has in the past been referring to Google Chrome OS, the cloud-based operating system, rather than Google Chrome, the Web browser. However, Microsoft’s announcement did not provide clarification on the matter.

Taiwan-based Pegatron describes itself as a design and manufacturing service that was founded in January of 2008. It makes computer equipment, set-top boxes, TVs, wireless systems and game consoles.

Mobile Patent Wars

Last year, Gutierrez claimed that Microsoft had signed intellectual property licensing agreements with “more than half of the world’s ODM industry for Android and Chrome devices.” This year, Microsoft claimed that it had inked intellectual property deals with manufacturers covering 70 percent of all Android devices that are sold in the United States.

Microsoft’s attorneys have generally claimed that use of Linux operating systems in products violates 235 of Microsoft’s patents, without specifying what those patents are. One by one over the years, Microsoft has sought intellectual property licensing deals with hardware device makers using Linux. Many equipment makers have signed the agreements and didn’t go to court to dispute Microsoft’s claims. Exceptions include Barnes Noble, which is defending intellectual property claims against its Nook e-reader devices and Motorola.

Microsoft isn’t the only litigant in these patent wars centering on mobile device software technologies. Apple too is an active litigant suing companies using Linux operating systems. Those legal actions have put a crimp on Google’s plans of leveraging mobile devices for its search advertising business. Google fostered the Linux-based Android mobile OS that is used in various hardware devices by manufacturers, which don’t pay royalties to Google to use it.

Xbox In the Sights

Google is in the process of acquiring Motorola Mobility to bulk up its patents portfolio for legal defensive reasons. Even though Google’s proposed purchase hasn’t yet cleared regulatory approvals, the acquisition bid appears to be raising alarms with Microsoft and Apple, particularly over Motorola’s interpretation of standards-essential patents use rights. Supposedly, these sorts of patents are to be made available on “fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory” (FRAND) terms so that all organizations using standards-based technologies can operate, but it’s apparently somewhat of a gray area as to what that exactly means.

Motorola currently wants 2.25 percent of Microsoft Xbox gaming console net sales as royalties for its patents, which are associated with wireless LAN and H.264 video codec standards-based technologies. Microsoft and Apple have separately complained to the European Commission, claiming Motorola (and potentially Google) is abusing FRAND principles by its demands.

Microsoft recently got a reprieve against a potential injunction against Xbox sales in Germany, where the litigation is continuing. Meanwhile, a U.S. International Trade Commission court found this week that Microsoft is violating four of five Motorola Mobility patents with Xbox. That finding could lead to a U.S. ban on the importation of Xbox devices unless Microsoft pays royalties to Motorola, according to a Bloomberg story.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.

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24 Nov 11 HTC Working On A Hybrid Chrome-Android Device

HTC Chromebook

The ChromeBooks were not as successful as the manufacturers expected, but some interesting rumors hit the web lately. It seems that HCT want to pre-load their tablets with Android’s Chrome OS, an operating system developed for tablets and netbooks.

HTC has big plans both on the smartphones and tablets market. Soon after Nvidia officially launched their Tegra 3 quad-core chipset, rumors indicated that the Taiwan-based company is working on two smartphones and a tablet powered by quad-core CPUs. Am a talking about HTC Edge and HTC Zeta, both powered by quad-core CPUs, and HTC Quattro, a tablet featuring a Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a Tegra 3 processor.

HTC is seriously thinking of developing a netbook/tablet running on a Chrome OS/Android hybrid. For the time being, the Chorome OS-powered HTC tablet is just a rumor, as the Taiwan-based company haven’t dismissed, nor confirmed the information, yet.

The ChromeBooks were not a market success, that’s why most of the manufacturers decided to cut off the prices lately. Despite the fact that Google Chrome OS is optimized for x86 and ARM processors and comes with fast boot up speeds, many of the laptop manufacturers are skeptical about it and avoid using it.. A few days ago Acer and Samsung cutoff their prices for their ChromeBooks. Thus, the 11.6-inch Acer AC700 ChromeBook can be yours for $349, while Samsung Series 5 has a price tag of $429..

Despite the fact that Acer and Samsung are struggling to come up with attractive prices for their ChromeBooks, sources say that the Chrome OS-powered devices should have a price around $199 in order to attract the customers. Anyway, it looks like HTC still believes in Chrome OS and after they helped Android to become the most popular mobile operating system in the world, now they are planning to combine the advantages of both Google’s operating systems, and build a tablet powered by a Chrome / Android hybrid.

Anyway no one knows yet how HTC’s new tablet looks like or its specs, but we don’t expect to see a traditional tablet. Sources close to the company claim that the Chrome OS-powered HTC tablet will be similar to the Asus’ Eee Pad Transformer Prime.

Who knows, maybe HTC will eventually manage to develop a ChromeBook that exploits all the advantages of Chrome OS and make Google’s operating system more popular.

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27 Oct 11 Compal licenses Microsoft patents for Android

SAN FRANCISCO – Microsoft said Monday that Taiwan-based Compal Electronics has joined a growing list of gadget makers licensing its patents for use in devices powered by Google-backed Android or Chrome software.

More than half of the companies that contract to build Android or Chrome devices for major brands now license Microsoft technology, according to Microsoft deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez.

The deals mean that while smartphones powered by Microsoft software compete with Google-backed Android handsets, the Washington State-based technology giant stands to profit on the success of its California rival.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Compal, one of the leaders in the original design manufacturing, or ODM, industry,” Gutierrez said in a blog post.

“We are proud of the continued success of our licensing program in resolving IP (intellectual property) issues surrounding Android and Chrome,” he continued.

Specifics of the Compal licensing deal were not disclosed.

Compal subsidiary Compal Communications makes mobile phones and its list of customers includes Motorola.

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25 Oct 11 Microsoft Gets Android Phone Makers To Pay Up

7 Hottest Features In Windows Phone 7 Mango
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)Microsoft said Sunday that it has struck another licensing deal under which it will receive royalty fees from a manufacturer of devices that run Google Android and Chrome software, which Redmond claims violate its patents.

The agreement covers smartphones, tablets, and other devices that Taiwan-based Compal, known in industry parlance as an original design manufacturer (ODM), produces for a number of third parties.

“Today’s agreement with Compal means more than half of the world’s ODM industry for Android and Chrome devices is now under license to Microsoft’s patent portfolio,” said Microsoft deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez, in a statement.

Earlier this year, Microsoft struck similar agreements with ODMs Wistron and Quanta Computer.

[Learn about which new Android features Google copied from its competition. Read Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich: Brilliant Thievery?]

The software maker has also inked Android and Chrome-related licensing pacts from numerous original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that offer Google-powered devices under their own brands, including HTC, Acer, and ViewSonic. The company claims it now has licensing deals in place with more than half the ODMs and OEMs in the Android market.

Microsoft claims both the Android mobile OS and Chrome, which runs netbooks and laptops, step on certain Windows patents. But rather than attack Google directly, Redmond appears to be conducting an intellectual property campaign against its rival through proxies.

Microsoft officials say they are simply protecting the billions of dollars that the company has poured into IP development over the years.

“Amid continuing clamor about uncertainty and litigation relating to smartphone patents, we’re putting in place a series of agreements that are reasonable and fair to both sides,” said Gutierrez and Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith, in a jointly authored blog post. “Our agreements ensure respect and reasonable compensation for Microsoft’s inventions and patent portfolio.”

Microsoft has not disclosed how much revenue it has received from its Android and Chrome licensing programs, but some analysts believe it is substantial and helps ensure that the company will profit from the smartphone revolution even if its own efforts around Windows Phone continue to lag.

With a share of less than 6%, Windows mobile platforms badly trail market leader Android and second place Apple’s iOS in the U.S. market.

Google, for its part, isn’t standing still. The search giant in August said it would pay $12.5 billion to acquire Motorola Mobility, which manufacturers Android-powered handsets, and which Microsoft has sued for patent violations. Beyond giving Google its own smartphone manufacturing capacity, the deal also gives it access to Motorola’s trove of more than 24,000 patents.

Many observers believe that if Microsoft ever sues Google directly, the latter will use those patents as the basis for a countersuit.

The Enterprise Connect “Phone, Tablets, Smartphones–Who Gets What In Your Enterprise?” virtual event will help you sort through the choices that are out there today. It happens Nov. 16. Sign up now. (Free with registration.)

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