Samsung outs Android-based i899 phone with GPS

Posted in Android, Samsung on December 31st, 2009 by Justin – Comments

samsung i899 Samsung outs Android based i899 phone with GPS

Samsung has been busy pumping out Android phones for most of 2010. China looks to be receiving one of its first of 2010 with the BCH-I899. The CDMA2000/EVDO Rev. A mobile phone features some half decent specs including:

  • 3.2-inch AMOLED HVGA resistive touchscreen with 320 x 480 resolution and an anti-scratch coating
  • 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth
  • 512 MB of internal memory expandable to 32 GB via a microSD card slot
  • 800 MHz processor
  • Wi-Fi
  • DivX/Xvid video support
  • USB 2.0
  • 1440 mAh battery

The Samsung i899 is currently listed on Samsung’s China website and will be available via China Telecom, likely in early 2010.


Motorola bringing 2 Android phones to CES. Could one be the Shadow or Mirage?

Posted in Android, Motorola on December 31st, 2009 by Justin – Comments

motorola shadow mirage Motorola bringing 2 Android phones to CES. Could one be the Shadow or Mirage?

Motorola announced its intent to turn around its flailing mobile phone business with the Android operating system some time ago. At the time I wasn’t so sure it would happen, but fast forward to pre-CES 2010 and now I’m a little bit more confident.

Yesterday Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdry, via Barron’s, revealed that Motorola “may announce” two new Android-based handsets at CES. One would head to the AT&T network in the United States, complete with an OLED screen, physical keyboard, and the “Google experiences” (??) software environment as opposed to the MotoBlur version. A second Android handset would be available via Verizon Wireless, also in the US, and have an OLED screen but a soft keyboard.

Further making this somewhat vague revelation intriguing is a picture that appeared on a Chinese website today of a supposed Motorola phone with a huge 4.3-inch display (via BGR). No doubt a phone with a screen of that size would have an optional car dashboard mount to go along with it. It would make the perfect crossover automotive GPS navigator/cellphone, assuming the phone includes a GPS chipset.

The display would have 800 x 484 pixel resolution, the same as found on most standard 3.7-inch screens. Other features of note include an 8 megapixel camera, 1080p video playback, and a thin 9 millimeter form factor. As for a name: Mirage/Shadow is what it’s going by for now.

Google Nexus One displays 3D capabilities on video

Posted in HTC on December 30th, 2009 by Justin – Comments

This video of what seems to be the Google Nexus One defies words. It’s a must see. In it you’ll get a good look at what we can expect of the user interface and most impressively you’ll get a look at a 3D Qualcomm Neocore benchmark test that is nothing short of mind blowing. Definitely take the time to check out this video.


Google Nexus One to cost $530 unlocked

Posted in HTC on December 29th, 2009 by Justin – Comments

nexus one order Google Nexus One to cost $530 unlocked

I’ve been rather fascinated by the Google Nexus One developments over the past couple days, today especially. The latest to leak onto the web is pricing which we’ve all been anxiously waiting for. According to a Gizmodo tipster, the Nexus One will be sold directly from Google for $530 unsubsidized and unlocked. A subsidized version will require a mandatory 2-year contract with T-Mobile that will set you back $180 for the phone and a $79.99 per month monthly fee for the Even More Individual 500 Plan. The rumored car docking station and desktop docking stationwill cost $50 and $40, respectively.

Other details revealed by Gizmodo include:

  • existing customers have to switch to the one plan if they want the subsidized version of the Nexus One
  • subscribers of Family plans, Flexpay, SmartAccess and KidConnect have to buy the $530 version
  • each Google account can buy a maximum of 5 Nexus One mobile phones
  • it can be shipped outside of the United States
  • it will be sold as the Nexus One, and not the Google Phone, at
  • and finally, if you cancel your plan before 120 days you’ll have to pay the difference between the subsided and unsubsidized prices or $350. This can be charged directly to your credit card or you can return the phone to Google.

nexus one google Google Nexus One to cost $530 unlocked

Pantech Sportive sports GPS, 3-inch touchscreen, DMB TV

Posted in Mobile on December 29th, 2009 by Justin – Comments

pantech sportiv Pantech Sportive sports GPS, 3 inch touchscreen, DMB TV

Pantech today unveiled a new GPS-enabled touchscreen mobile phone in South Korea called the Sportive, model number IM-U540L. Features include a 3-inch display, Bluetooth, GPS with Google Maps integration, a 3 megapixel camera, MP3 and video playback, mobile TV thanks to a DMB TV tuner. Available in red, blue and silver, the Pantech Sportive is available for an unknown amount through LG Telecom.


Google announced Android press event for January 5 (Nexus One)

Posted in HTC on December 29th, 2009 by Justin – Comments

android press event Google announced Android press event for January 5 (Nexus One)

The Nexus One news is moving faster than its previous trickle now. Just minutes ago I posted an internal communication from T-Mobile seemingly confirming a Nexus One launch on January 5. Now Google has just announced an Android-related press event on January 5 in Mountain View, California. Coincidence? I think not.


Google Nexus One “confirmed” to ship January 5, 9AM, from Google

Posted in HTC on December 29th, 2009 by Justin – Comments

nexus one t mobile Google Nexus One confirmed to ship January 5, 9AM, from Google

Google’s Nexus One will be shipping from directly from Google on January 5, 2010 at 9 AM sharp, according to TmoNews. The T-Mobile-oriented blog has a screenshot of T-Mobile’s internal communications regarding the HTC-manufactured Nexus One which you can see for yourself above. T-Mobile says it will be taking care of the “billing, coverage, features and rate plans” but Google will ship the phone. Any hardware problems or exchanges will be the domain of Google and HTC as well. No word on pricing yet.

Google Nexus One car dock appears in the FCC

Posted in HTC, Other Devices on December 29th, 2009 by Justin – Comments

More evidence of a Google Nexus One car dock has emerged after some pictures leaked on the ‘net yesterday. While those pictures aren’t necessarily real, FCC documentation is. Here’s a wireframe photo of said car dock and a reference to the Google Phone dug up by Engadget today.

car dock wireframe Google Nexus One car dock appears in the FCCgoogle phone fcc Google Nexus One car dock appears in the FCC

10 geospatial industry trends to watch in 2010

Posted in Apps, GPS Manufacturers, GPS Software, Geospatial Technology, Industry, Mapping, Mobile, Netbooks, Venture Capital on December 28th, 2009 by Justin – Comments

2009 was definitely the year that the geospatial industry took off from a mainstream consumer perspective. Sure location-based applications and services have been around for years, but not for the average Joe/Jane like you and I. This year will be the first year that I actually put together a prediction post, my thoughts regarding what will trend in the industry in 2010. It’s part of my goal to focus on content quality this year which I’ll talk about in a future post. So here goes. These are a few of the areas I think will be important to watch in 2010 and I hope you add your thoughts and opinions in the comments after the post.

1. Augmented reality explodes-and by explodes I’m not referring to the marker-based applications and browsers on the market now. While some industry insiders like to badmouth the augmented reality stuff available now, every successful industry needs to start somewhere. I think 2010 will bring a proliferation of location-based augmented reality apps running the gamut from marketing/advertising to social networking, and even filtering back up to military uses.

2. Game mechanics proliferate-right now Foursquare and Gowalla are the two biggest GPS-using mobile applications that have successfully incorporated game mechanics. Both have been quite successful acquiring users that use the respective apps repeatedly, though neither have the user base (and probably never will) that Facebook and Twitter have. I think we’ll see something from Twitter in this area in 2010 with the launch of its Geolocation API though I think it’ll be in the form of an acquisition (like its recent GeoAPI buy). Once Facebook incorporates location into its platform (which I think will be in 2010), I think we’ll see some interesting uses of game mechanics here as well.

3. Virtual goods and mobile coupons will be huge-I’ve talked about virtual goods before as a fitting business model for location-based applications. Geographical locations, especially those with some sort of historical significance, lend themselves to having a monetizable virtual good attached. Plus the next-to-nothing cost of a virtual good isn’t threatening to the average consumer, even young ones. Eventually though, and I think 2010 will be the year, mobile coupons will a massive industry. Especially once they can be tied to location-not only outdoor location, but in-store location as well. This year I was impressed with the “mobile deal” app usage by people looking for holiday buying deals. Next year the mobile deal apps will be much more complex, contextualized with geolocation, and even more popular!

4. Google-need I say more. Google’s movement in the geospatial industry in the past year has been something like a rocket taking off into space. It seemed like every week the company had a new geo-announcement pertaining to its Maps and Earth platforms, for both end users and developers. With innovations like Google SketchUp making it so easy to create 3D building models, the Google Earth platform will move increasingly toward a 3D interface in 2010 and count on many more information layers becoming available. Possibly most significantly, Google Maps Navigation, free and open source GPS navigation software that is only available legally in the United States will become globally (or at least moving in that direction) available. What that means for Garmin, TomTom, Magellan, Mio and other dedicated PND and GPS handheld manufacturers remains to be seen. Free GPS software that can be used by Garmin and others will also have a direct effect on the viability of companies such as NAVTEQ and Tele Atlas. Right now, on a global scale, both companies have better overall mapping data than Google. But remember that Google cut Tele Atlas as its mapping data supplier in the US recently and that trend will continue.

5. Android LBS apps surpass iPhone LBS apps-okay, maybe not in quantity. Right now the iPhone app platform is the place to be, but with the sheer amount of apps in the App Store it’s becoming tougher for developers to stand out. That goes for LBS apps as well as other types. In 2010 though, we’ll see a ton of Android phones hit the market and they’ll be better than the Droid (imagine that). With more Android phones available, and more Android APIs to work with for developers, I think we’ll see many LBS developers creating innovative applications for the Android Market. I don’t really consider the Blackberry App World, Palm App Catalog, and Nokia Ovi Store as major players at the moment.

6. Search engine results incorporating location-you could argue that there is already Google Local Search and other search engine niches that return search results that are local to the person searching. But I think that geolocation in real-time will play a part in search results, not only on the mobile phone but on the desktop as well. Google and Microsoft already incorporate real-time Twitter results in their search results. Indirectly that means Tweets appended with location information appear in search results almost immediately. Eventually location, whether it be indirectly or directly through mobile search, etc., will play a huge part in search engine results. Especially as search algorithms move to real-time rankings. Look for movement here in 2010.

7. Venture capital cash flowing again-in the first half of 2009, venture capital investments were fairly slow given the recessionary economic environment. In the second half of the year though, investments picked up, and quite a few were in the LBS industry. I think VC cash will flow in 2010 into the LBS industry with a focus on monetization platforms (mobile advertising, etc.) and back-end infrastructure (think SCVNGR-it’s a company that has my antennae pointing skyward). The first half of 2010 will probably include quite a few VC investments into consumer application-focused companies as well. I don’t really expect anything in the way of IPOs, though I’ve heard rumors that Loopt may be heading in the is directions. In terms of acquisition behaviour, look for Google and Twitter to gobble up quite a few smaller LBS companies. Facebook may acquire a few LBS companies of its own as I expect its engineers are working on the geolocation aspect of the social networking platform behind the scenes.

8. Location-based mobile video-the ubiquity of GPS-aware mobile phones and even digital cameras has made geotagging photos easy. Just browse through Flickr and Picasa and you’ll seee millions of personal pictures with latitude and longitude coordinates attached. I think 2010 will be the year of location-based mobile video. Mobile video platforms like Qik are incredibly useful and growing quickly in popularity as more and more people have smartphones with generous data plans. 2010 will bring new mobile video platforms that focus on contextualizing videos with location information. Whether this will be from established platforms or from new names I’m not entirely sure. Microsoft Research has a project called Mobicast which stitches mobile video from multiple mobile phones together, kind of like Photosynth does for pictures. In the future Mobicast may be able to figure out how to stitch together multiple video streams from a single location into a single stream using GPS metadata. This is the future of mobile video and we’ll see it begin this year.

9. Every gadget to include a GPS chip-I admit this might not happen in 2010, but things will move in this direction. Dedicated PNDs used to be the sole domain of the GPS chip, but in the next few years every mobile phone will have one, not just smartphones. In 2009 digital camera and netbook makers began to incorporate GPS chips into their respective gadgets, albeit only occasionally. In 2010 I think most netbooks will have GPS chips and they make great little navigation gadgets with apps like Google Maps. In fact, Google’s own Chrome OS-based netbook will supposedly include a GPS chip and one-click Google Maps access. From a cost perspective, the addition of a GPS chip isn’t much to a company with good distribution, but has a high value for the end user. Most digital cameras and possibly video cameras this year will also include an embedded GPS chip. Geotagging pictures is popular among the average electronics user now and this trend will extend to video I’m assuming. Next will come the incorporation of GPS into every gadget imaginable. Just imagine the Amazon Kindle  10 geospatial industry trends to watch in 2010with a GPS chip. Can’t find an ebook? Just launch Google Maps and access an application that routes you to the nearest bookstore stocking your book!

10. PND prices continue to plummet-now that pretty well every GPS manufacturer pumps out hardware and software with the same features, with different names, they can only compete on price. That drives price down and that’s why it isn’t uncommon to net a decent GPS navigator online for south of $100. Even in the middle of summer. This year it won’t be uncommon to net a Garmin or TomTom GPS, an entry-level one, for $50. ‘Nuff said.

Nexus One car kit caught on camera

Posted in HTC on December 28th, 2009 by Justin – Comments
Google Nexus One Car Kit

Google Nexus One Car Kit

The Google Nexus One will include a couple of accessories when it’s released in January (as rumored). Among them-a dashboard car kit and a Bluetooth desktop dock. The car kit has been caught on camera and doesn’t look to be anything special. It does continue to point toward the eventual demise of the PND though. The desktop dock, model number CR B410, is Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR-capable, as is the Nexus One. This is leading some tech bloggers to believe, citing an FCC filing, that the Bluetooth dock could be tethered via an AV jack to something like a DVD player to stream media content from the phone to, for example, an HDTV.

nexus one dashboard mount Nexus One car kit caught on camera