Memo to RIM: Don't give up your keyboard

commentary Dear Research In Motion,

I know I've taken a few shots at you for not moving quickly enough to keep pace with your competitors. But there are some sacred cows you shouldn't sacrifice in the name of progress.

I am, of course, talking about your iconic keyboard.

If the rumors are true, your first super-smartphone running on the next-generation BBX platform will be an all-touch-screen device. PC Mag essentially confirmed it in an interview with RIM's new developer guru, Alec Saunders, who said the device uses the same screen ratio--16:9--as the PlayBook tablet. Such a … Read more

iOS 5.0.1 fixes battery drain bug, say early testers

Apple's iOS 5.0.1 update, which the company released today ahead of schedule, apparently fixes the battery drain problem, at least according to some early testers.

Based on comments made by users who've installed the update, Wired found that most are enjoying a big boost in battery power. Followers of Wired on Twitter chimed in after the magazine posted a tweet asking who has updated to iOS 5.0.1 and if it improved their battery life.

In response, Wired reader Donald Kuntzman reportedly called the update "nothing short of amazing," saying that his iPhone … Read more

HTC Ville rumored as first Sense 4.0 Android smartphone

A second unannounced HTC handset has surfaced in less than one week, this time in the form of the dual-core HTC Ville.

According to information obtained by Boy Genius Report, the Android 4.0 smartphone will make its debut in February at Mobile World Congress and will go on sale in April.

Hardware specifications point to a very impressive device that includes a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display, and an 8-megapixel camera. Like the HTC Edge leaked earlier in the week, the HTC Ville's camera will have a backside-illuminated sensor and will be capable of 1080p HD video capture. Additional details include 1,650mAh battery, HSPA+ connectivity, and an ultrathin chassis that's less than 8mm thick. … Read more

Slower iPhone 4S demand making Apple rethink supply orders?

Apple has asked parts and components suppliers to delay their fourth-quarter shipments to the first quarter of 2012 due to lower-than-expected demand for the iPhone 4S, Digitimes is reporting.

According to Digitimes' sources, Apple was too aggressive in its initial supplier orders, and sales have not been in line with those initial estimates. In addition, the company has been having trouble getting all the key components it needs for its manufacturing partners to produce the iPhone 4S. Those two factors, Digitimes' sources say, are forcing Apple to revise its orders down.

Apple's decision will have a major impact on … Read more

China Mobile to Apple: iPhone deal will cost you

Around the world, there is no wireless carrier more important than China Mobile. Apple knows that. The only issue is, it can't get a deal done to bring its iPhone to the carrier's service.

Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu cites industry sources who claim that China Mobile is demanding a slice of the revenue Apple generates from the App Store in exchange for bringing the iPhone to its network, according to All Things Digital. As one might expect, Apple has balked at the idea, effectively putting the companies at a deadlock.

Bringing the iPhone to China Mobile has … Read more

Samsung Exhibit II 4G review: Android on a shoestring

Want a seriously cheap Android Gingerbread phone that doesn't suck? You got it! Meet T-Mobile's Samsung Exhibit II 4G.

It has T-Mobile's HSPA+ speeds (hence the "4G"), a front-facing camera, a 3-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 1GHz processor. Plus, it's filled with a bunch of useful apps, like T-Mobile TV HD. Overall, it's a nice chunk of plastic smartphone power for just $30 with a contract and $200 without one.

Read all the pros and cons, take the video tour, and peruse the photos (including comparative camera shots) in the full Samsung Exhibit II 4G review.… Read more

Skinny smartphones

Thin is in, baby.

Or at least that's what many phone makers would have you believe. Ever since the release of the Motorola Razr in late 2004, the trend of the superskinny phone has taken the country by storm. Fashionable, sexy, and easily portable, slim phones are still popular today. Here are a few smartphones that manage to pack in plenty of features in a thin and light package. … Read more

Republic Wireless: 'Unlimited' Android phone for $19 per month

Looking for a no-contract Android phone with low monthly rates? Until now, your best bet was Virgin Mobile, which has plans starting at $35 per month.

Newcomer Republic Wireless just blew that out of the water. The company offers an Android phone for just $19 per month, including unlimited voice, data, and text. No contract, no early termination fees, no overage charges.

I think I'm in love.

I think. There is, as you might expect, a catch. To help minimize costs, Republic Wireless relies on Hybrid Calling technology, meaning your phone automatically taps Wi-Fi networks--rather than cellular ones--whenever possible.… Read more

iPhone 4S still running out at most retailers, says analyst

Those of you still unable to get an iPhone 4S are in good company.

Almost a month after its debut, Apple's new phone continues to run on low or empty at most retail outlets, according to a series of checks by Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore.

Contacting online and physical stores in the U.S. and abroad, Whitmore found that demand for the iPhone 4S is as heavy as ever. Wait times among online vendors, including, AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint, are averaging around 14 days in the U.S. and one to two weeks … Read more

Dialed In #198: Too many Verizon superphones!

Is there such thing as too much of a good thing? Verizon comes out swinging with superphones galore, we take a look at the next generation of Windows Phone handsets, and we have a good old-fashioned rant against a very very weird phone. All that and more on today's Dialed In.

Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video)

A glut of Verizon superphones Verizon and HTC announced the HTC Rezound last week, and the Droid Razr is getting the major-promotion treatment this week. And the Samsung Galaxy Nexus hasn't … Read more