cell phones

Apple employee loses next gen iPhone, Gizmodo gets it, dissects it

Image courtesy of Gizmodo

This has to be the story of the week so far – a new prototype Apple iPhone model (let’s say the 4G) was accidentally left in a pub, picked up by a random stranger, who tried to return it to Apple and then eventually sold it to Gizmodo for $5000.

Gizmodo has run a number of stories including: how the phone was lost, details and photos, and even a dissection of the device.

Here are some of the stats on what’s new in this iPhone:

  • front-facing webcame
  • micro-sim slot
  • seems to be a higher-res screen (maybe 960×640)
  • larger battery

Motorola Droid can do what?!

Motorola is continuing its marketing push of the Droid with these fun videos of the Droid being used to perform unreal shortcuts. No, it’s not April 1st any more, but yes, these are ‘artistic creations’.

Here’s one:

You can see all 7 on YouTube.

CES 2010: magicJack Positioning to Become Next Biggest Internet Phone Company

magicjack for cell phones
Image courtesy of AP

magicJack maker YMax plans to start selling a a magicJack for cell phones in about 4 months for about $40. The gadget will plug into your PC and which then acts like a cell phone tower, so that if your cell phone is within range (about 8ft) of your PC, the call will be routed through the magicJack and over the Internet via VoIP.

While YMax CEO Dan Borislow claims this gadget is legal within an individual’s home, we expect the lawsuits to roll in quickly from the carriers.


Most mobile phones like the blackberry torch available at www.dialaphone.co.uk will work with the device, for more information check out the dialaphone blog.

CES 2010: Verizon Getting Palm webOS Phones – Pre Plus and Pixi Plus

verizon palm pre plus pixiPalm is getting their new webOS handsets onto other networks. First up is Verizon which is getting updated versions of both the Pre and the Pixi.

The Pre Plus is pretty much like the original Pre, but will have twice the memory for a faster experience, and 16GB of storage. It also drops the physical center button.

The Pixi Plus will add Wi-Fi to its feature list. Pricing will probably be similar to what’s on Sprint and will be available Jan 25.

One of the more unique and compelling reasons to get one of these Palm devices on Verizon is the ability to create a mobile hotspot out of your Pre or Pixi that can connect up to 5 other WiFi devices. Unfortunately, it’s only via EV-DO. Perhaps Sprint should lobby for these phones and get Internet connections over WiMax.

[press release]

CES 2010: Powermat Announces Powerpack – Replacement Batteries for Cell Phones

Cordless charger vendor, Powermat, just launched an update to their product line – the Powerpack which is a replacement battery for your cell phone, so that you won’t need to wrap your cell phone in a Powermat-compatible sleeve or tack on an adapter.

powermat charger

Powerpacks will be available for devices from Nokia, HTC, BlackBerry, Samsung, LG, Sony, Motorola and more and cost about $40 each. Notice there’s no Apple on that list?!

Available in May 2010

CES 2010: AT&T Launching 5 Android Smartphones in 1st Half of 2010

androidat&t logoAT&T announced that it plans to launch 5 new Android smartphones in the 1st half of this year (2010) [press release]. The phones will be from HTC, Motorola and Dell. Yes, Dell.

What does this say about AT&T relationship with Apple and its iPhone? Perhaps nothing, but perhaps that the honeymoon is over and Apple may really be taking its iPhone to other networks as well.

Vopium launches their mobile VoIP service in the US

Vopium launched their mobile VoIP service in the US recently, offering a lower cost option for international calls from cell phones. Vopium consists of a free software app for your mobile handset that routes your int’l calls over their network.

Vopium is available for over 500 GSM handsets from over 20 hardware vendors and they impressively have very detailed howto guides with screenshots on their website.

As far as costs go, they claim an up to 90% discount on typical international calls from cell phones. And if your phone has WiFi, you can make the call for free. As an incentive to new users, they offer 30 free minutes of talk time. You can even send text messages overseas as well.

Google G1 Phone announced

The Google G1 phone is now available for pre-order on the T-Mobile network for $179.99. You may be able to get your hands on one as early as Oct 22.

So what can you expect in the HTC handset running Android, the Google-sponsored mobile OS? For starters, a touch screen, a slide-out screen that reveals a full QWERTY keyboard, a screen that displays in both landscape and portrait modes, a 3 Megapixel camera,  3G network and Wi-Fi access.

The G1 will come with a number of apps built-in, yes, all centered around Google applications, such as Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk. It will also thankfully have an IM application that is multi-platform.

Google has also already announced the Android Market which is analogous  to the iPhone Store, where you can download and/or buy apps for your Android-based phone.

It remains to be seen how successful Google will be with their handsets in terms of open sourcing the whole Android platform. My suspicion is yes they will, and I won’t be surprised if Apple ends up doing something similar with the iPhone OS within a year. After all, if both Google and Nokia/Symbian are running open source systems and have significant market share because of it, well… you can figure out the rest.

California cell phone dudes – time to headset up

Ok, you sun-worshipping CA folks – today is the day you must stop holding those cell phones while driving. Get yourself a headset, wired or wireless, as the brand new statewide law goes into effect. Did I mention it’s today?

Now whether you’re a fan or not, fact is that if you’re going to be talking on a cell phone call, then you need a headset. While I agree with JT that the law needs to be tougher, it’s a start. PS> please don’t text or e-mail while you’re driving. That’s just plain dumb, and you could end up having a Darwin Award after your name if you Murphy’s Law holds up.

Read on for some quick tips on searching for that elusive new Bluetooth headset since I’m sure you’re going to want to avoid the wires…

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