Archive | December, 2009

S Tel launches GSM services in India

16 Dec

S Tel today became the latest entrant in the Indian cellular market with the launch of its GSM services in Himachal Pradesh. The carrier, which is a joint venture between Siva Group and Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco), has license to operate a GSM network in six other circles – Odisha, Bihar & Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and North East.

Just like Uninor, which is a joint venture between Unitech Wireless and Telinor of Norway, S Tel is claiming that it will focus on simple, transparent tariff plans with no hidden costs. Currently, it has two plans – 1 paisa per second and 50 paise per second – for all local and STD calls.

S Tel has tied up with Indiatimes to provide an array of VAS content and has also set up a separate call centre dedicated to VAS. Besides a robust traditional distribution network, S Tel will leverage Non Traditional channels (NTCs) to make its products available at the consumer’s doorstep. NTCs will include business units such as insurance agencies, cable operators, courier services and Ground Panchayats that are characterised by high customer interaction touch points.

Google's Nexus One name doesn't amuse family of the creator of Nexus character

16 Dec

Whoops! Even before Google could make the Nexus One official, it is already attracting controversies.

We have been following up on the Nexus One rather fanatically and pondering how Google would play its cards, that we totally forgot about the original Nexus Cyborgs – one that was created by author Philip K Dick in his novel Do Androids Deam of Electric Sheep and also used in the movie Blade Runner, which was based on the novel.

NYT reports that Google didn’t bother to discuss using the name Nexus One with the family of the author (he’d created Nexus 6, the cyborgs the bounty hunter was supposed to track down) and they ain’t too pleased.

Google cannot deny the existence of Nexus One or the fact that it is associated with the product as it has already filed a trademark application with the United States Patents and Trademark Office.

It still has a chance – all they need to do is to talk to Isa Dick Hackett, the daughter of Philip K Dick. We are sure things can work out between the two.

After all, Google hasn’t found the ‘evil room’, yet! Or has it?

via NYT

HTC Incredible trademarked, to be an Android phone

16 Dec

While we were investigating Google’s trademark of Nexus One, we stumbled upon one from HTC for the HTC Incredible. It could have been just one of the many fancy names companies keep trademarking every now and then but this one sounded familiar to us.

Now here’s the deal – a few days ago, someone delved into the code for HTC’s Android OS 2.1 and came across names of a bunch of unknown HTC phones and as you can imagine, Incredible was one of them. HTC has trademarked the name with the US Patents and Trademarks Office on November 19 and as expected it would be a smartphone. We’d like to believe that the Incredible would be one of the phones that HTC would be showing off in Barcelona at MWC in February.

More Nexus One news, Google owns the name…

16 Dec

And the plot gets murkier (or clearer, depending which camp you belong to). Google has registered to trademark the name ‘Nexus One’ with the US Patents and Trademark Office. So here’s, the deal, the Nexus One indeed is the Google phone. Now, what needs to be seen is whether Google sells it to normal consumers out there and jeopardise their relations with handset manufacturers or will it simple seed it to Android devs like it did earlier with the Dev Phone it gave out at the I/O Event?

Google's Nexus One shown off on video

16 Dec

After flooding the blogosphere and Twitter-land, it was only inevitable for Google’s HTC-built Nexus One to have its 22 seconds of fame on YouTube. And here we are, 22 glorious seconds of the Nexus One booting up and a wink-and-you-miss-it shot of the homescreen. BTW, do notice the colours on the boot sequence and the one on the box that screams neXus one. The combination seems familiar, doesn’t it?

Motorola MB501 gets identified as a GSM, 3G version of Zeppelin

15 Dec

When Motorola said it was working on a slew of Android smartphones, it meant serious business. Today, we have the details of yet another Motorola Android smartphone – the MB501 aka Zeppelin. There have been lots of rumors about the Zeppelin in the blogosphere that claim it to be a CDMA+GSM world phone. If this authentic Motorola UA Profile is to be believed, the Zeppelin is a GSM, WCDMA phone!

At the moment, the MB501 runs on Android 1.5, which we’d expect to be updated to Android 2.1 on its way to retail stores. It also states that it has a QWERTY keypad, which doesn’t really gel with the Zeppelin that is making its debut in China as the XT800 (pictured below).

Other details from the UA Prof indicates a 320×480 pixel display and probably a 2.0 MP camera (we have seen cameras getting bumped up at a later stage, so it may eventually get a better one). All these certainly doesn’t go with the Zeppelin launched in China that has a 5.0 MP camera and an HDMI slot.

So what’s going on over here? We’d like to believe that Motorola has three variants of the Zeppelin – one for the Chinese market, another for the American market with CDMA and a third for the European and other Asian markets with GSM and WCDMA. But that doesn’t really tell us anything about the QWERTY keypad that the MB501 claims to have. Well, the plot just keeps getting thicker, doesn’t it?

Zeppelin image courtesy: Mobile Review

Kindle app for iPhone now available internationally

14 Dec

This is going to be a quick and short one. Amazon today announced the launch of its Kindle app for iPhone in over 60 countries. The app comes a couple of months after the Kindle made its international debut. The app allows users to read their e-books from where they left it on the Kindle and even browse and buy new books. It is not clear at the moment whether international users (those outside the US, that is) will have to shell out $2 extra on every book they buy using the iPhone app like they do with the international Kindle. We don’t think that should be the case, but you never know. Amazon is also planning to launch a similar app for BlackBerry handhelds.