Google backs high-speed network evolution
Google CEO Eric Schmidt believes the rollout of LTE networks and new cloud based services this year will mark the start of a new era for mobile innovation. “LTE will provide the platform for a set of new mobile applications that we can only begin to imagine,” said Schmidt in a special keynote session at Congress yesterday afternoon. Not surprisingly, he positioned Google’s own Android OS as at the forefront of this change. He said that Android phone activations were now running at 300,000 a day with 170 Android-based handsets currently available from 27 device vendors – making it the “world’s fastest-growing mobile platform.” He claimed that such scale made Android a compelling prospect for developers. “Developers think ‘mobile first’ because they know this is where there is scale and growth; they also go where the money is.”
HTC unveils ‘Facebook’ and tablet devices
HTC announced what Peter Chou, its CEO, described as ““the broadest lineup of phones we have ever announced at one time.” The company unveiled five Android smartphones plus its first tablet device, HTC Flyer. Among the updated smartphone portfolio are two devices (pictured) which feature a dedicated, “contextual” Facebook button, which has been integrated with a number of applications to enable one-touch content upload and sharing via the social networking site. One device, ChaCha, includes a QWERTY keypad as well as a small (2.6”) touch screen, while its sibling, Salsa, is touch-screen (3.4 inch display) only.ChaCha and Salsa will be available in “major European and Asian markets” in the second quarter, and HTC is also working exclusively with AT&T in the US for these products.
Huawei unveils new smartphone and the scale of its ambitions
Huawei announced a new smartphone and an updated tablet, both based on Android, in further evidence of the vendor’s ambition to increase its presence in the high-end device market. Speaking to Show Daily, Huawei Device’s chief marketing officer Victor Xu said the company plans to ship “more than 10 million” smartphones in 2011, up from 3 million shipments last year.The vendor’s Ideos X3 is its first smartphone based on version 2.3 of the Android OS, also known as Gingerbread, and has a 3.2-inch screen. Huawei boasts the new handset’s thickness of 11.2 mm makes it “the thinnest handset on the market today”. Comparable handsets from Motorola (12.4 mm), HTC (12 mm) and Sony Ericsson (15 mm) are chunkier than the new model, claims Huawei.