HTC confirms it will release a wearable device later this year


HTC logo

HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang has confirmed to Bloomberg that the company plans to sell its first wearable device by the end of this year.

The firm has apparently been working on wearable form factors for some time now, and it is almost ready to ship the product. Elaborating on the challenges HTC faced, Wang told the publication:

Many years ago we started looking at smartwatches and wearables, but we believe that we really have to solve the battery problems and the LCD light problems.

While the upcoming device is technically a first for HTC, the company did work with Microsoft on a smartwatch years ago.

HTC suffered sagging revenue and earnings performance last year. The company missed Wall Street expectations with its Q4 2013 earnings results. Despite being well-received by critics, HTC’s flagship One smartphone has disappointed on sales.

With its entrance into wearables, HTC is set to enter an increasingly crowded market. In addition to existing players like FitbitJawbone and Pebble, several major consumer electronics makers are betting big on the wearable market later this year.

Sony, for instance, introduced a new wearable platform called SmartBand at CES last month, while Samsung is expected to announce an update to its Galaxy Gear watch at the Mobile World Congress trade show later this month. Qualcomm released a limited-production watch last year showing off various screen and power management technologies that it has developed for wearables.  AppleGoogle and Microsoft have also been rumored to have smartwatches in the works.

Image credit: Mandy Cheng / AFP / Getty Images

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HTC Said To Be Planning Larger Screen Version Of HTC One Flagship Smartphone For March

by  (@drizzled)

HTC is said to be readying the next generation of the HTC One, which will keep the same simple moniker but offer up a larger display and a camera with a so-called “twin-sensor” rear-facing camera, according to Bloomberg (via Verge). The screen will be at least 5-inches diagonally, which is slightly larger than the existing 4.7-inch HTC One, but overall the design will resemble that of its predecessor.

I’m feeling conflicted about this new device: On the one hand, the HTC One is easily one of the top three best Android phones of 2013; on the other, it’s clear that the HTC One didn’t do much to turn around HTC’s flagging fortunes, despite the extremely positive reception it had among press and the few people who did buy one.

Still, maybe a year of positive press and hype associated with the HTC One name will help the Taiwanese company move more units this time around, paired with a bigger screen (which seems to be high on customer want lists) as well as this improved camera, which is said to offer better focus performance, improved depth of field and better image quality overall, according to Bloomberg’s source.

As sad is it to say, HTC doesn’t need another smartphone that appeals to the connoisseur crowd: It needs a runaway mass-market success. They did great work with the HTC One, but sticking close to the original design in this case does mean they run the risk of shipping another beloved but mostly ignored device.

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Apple and Samsung make up two-thirds of the U.S. smartphone market

Apple and Samsung make up two-thirds of the U.S. smartphone market


Motorola, LG, and HTC are getting left in the dust, according to new data from research outfit NDP Group.

According to a study, Apple and Samsung account for a huge 68 percent of the smartphone market in the United States — and that’s a trend that’s only being magnified as time goes by.

You want a chart? We got a chart:


As you can see above, wins for Apple and Samsung add up to losses for exactly everyone else.

iPhones alone captured 42 percent of the market, up from 35 percent in 2012. Samsung bumped up 4 percent year over year from 22 percent to 26 percent.

In terms of OS market share around the globe, however, Android is still the clear winner, capturing a whopping 81 percent.

HTC saw the biggest losses in terms of market share, and the all-time loser of 2013 was — drum roll — BlackBerry.

The report also shows a correlating spike in data usage from 5.5 GB to 6.6 GB per person a month between 2012 and 2013.

Also, more smartphones and more data usage mean one more big increase: streaming media. For streaming music alone, the percentage of people who stream media on their smartphones rose from 41 percent at the end of 2012 to 52 percent at the end of 2013.

“It’s not surprising that hardware manufacturers such as Beats are leveraging partnerships with carriers like AT&T to break into the streaming music market,” said John Buffone, an executive director, industry analyst, for connected intelligence, in a statement on the results.

“This allows AT&T to offer subscribers more of what they want in the way of innovative music apps and provides Beats a partner capable of driving trial in a market where consumers already have an affinity for the music services they use.”

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I’m still excited to see HTC’s successor to the One

by Evan Selleck – Contributing Editor

It hasn’t been a secret that HTC’s One is one of my favorite devices of 2013. Right out of the gate, ever since I took it out of the box and started playing with it, the device impressed me on just about every level. We all know that HTC has created plenty of great devices in the past, some of the best even, but the One brought the company to a whole new level. The one saw not only the introduction of one of the best devices on the market, but probably the best designed Android-based handset to date. The One was the hardware that Android had been waiting for. And, as you can see from our Smartphone Rankings, the One won plenty of hearts across the board as it still sits nicely at the top of the lists.
Yes, the One is an impressive device, even if it managed to be the first device in the wave of handsets that would crash onto 2013 like a tidal wave. Being first in the mobile market has a lot of value, especially if you can manage to do it a few months in advance than the competition. After all, if you’re the only high-end device on the market that’s not a phone from the previous year, that’s a pretty good reason to consider your product over any other. However, at the same time, it may mean you get left behind pretty quickly in the specifications department, as every other product out there launches with newer –maybe better– technology.
That’s essentially what happened with the One. Inside the One rests a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz. You’ll also find 2GB of RAM. In comparison, (most versions of) Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 and (most versions of the) Galaxy Note 3, along with LG’s G2 and Nexus 5 all boast a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, clocked in a wide range above 2GHz. Additionally, the Note 3 offers 3GB of RAM, while the Nexus 5, Galaxy S 4 and G2 will give you a similar 2GB of RAM.
It’s tricky to be first, especially in the Android market. Technology improves so quickly that it can be hard to stay in the picture as new devices are launched throughout the year.
HTC managed to stay in the eye of the people, though, even as Samsung, LG, Motorola and Apple released their own handsets. They did so with new colors for their impressive device, but those colors were usually shackled to a specific exclusive deal or carrier, so there’s a good chance that most of those colors never saw the hands of people who would have loved to own them. We also saw HTC launch a “mini” version of the One, as well as a “maxx” option, too, to flesh out the family lineup and offer plenty of options for consumers.
Now that 2013 is over and done with, it’s time to start looking at what’s next, and thankfully we’ve got a brand new report focused on some possible One successor specifications. Right now, the device is being called the M8, which fits, because the One’s codename was the M7. So, the M8’s still a rumor right now as HTC hasn’t announced anything, but that hasn’t stopped some leaked specs from making their way onto the ‘net. If you looked over them yesterday and didn’t get all that excited, I don’t think I’d blame you.
If you missed it: The M8 is rumored to boast a 5-inch 1080p HD display, with 2GB of RAM under the hood and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 to power things along. There’s supposedly a 2.1MP camera on the front of the device, and we’ll find another UltraPixel camera on the back. It’s also said to be running Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, and it’ll boast a new-and-improved Sense UI, bumping it up to version 6.0.
So far, that’s all that’s running the course for rumored specs. First, it’s not surprising that HTC would boost the display size up to five inches. This honestly makes the most sense. And, while the 4 UltraPixel camera may not have won as many people over as HTC hoped, that doesn’t mean they won’t stop using UltraPixel for their camera marketing. Indeed, I would expect them to bump it up to 8UP, rather than keeping it at the 4. (Sadly, if they do keep the 4 UltraPixel camera, I honestly wouldn’t be too shocked.) The 2GB of RAM shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, but we’ll probably see more devices launch with 3GB of RAM this year, so it could be a shortcoming for the M8.
Then we get to the processor. There’s no denying that specifications play a big part in Android’s success across the globe. Even people who probably don’t care what their phone is running still check out the specs and compare them to the competition. Which camera has more megapixels? Which processor has a bigger number next to the number of cores? These same folks probably never actually look at benchmark tests, but you can bet that most of them love bigger numbers where bigger numbers might matter. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processor is a great chipset, and companies love it. But, it is a chipset from last year. Qualcomm has a Snapdragon 805 in the process, and we could see it launch in devices late 2014 — right around the time for the Galaxy Note 4, LG’s successor to the G2, and maybe even the next Nexus.
Again, newer flagship devices leaving those first to the scene behind, in terms of newer technology.
It shouldn’t matter, though. Just as many people said in 2013, it doesn’t matter if the newer flagships launch with better/newer technology under the hood, because the HTC One doesn’t stop being a great device with its own suite of great specs. That will be the case with the M8, too. Personally, I think it could have stayed at the 4.7-inch screen size, but at five inches it should still be comfortable. Especially if the One keeps with the same design cue as its predecessor. Overall, while some folks may not be all that impressed with these rumored specs, I can say I’m still pretty excited to see what HTC has in store for us. Besides, they’re still just rumors. HTC could surprise all of us with some really impressive hardware across the board.
What do you think of the rumored specifications for HTC’s M8? Are you still excited about the device, or do you think HTC’s train towards success will be derailed with the One’s successor? Let me know!

Rumor: HTC One’s successor may be called the One+, will have Snapdragon 805 CPU after all


Just yesterday @evleaks revealed what he called “preliminary” specs for the HTC M8, which included a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2GB RAM, a 5-inch 1080p display, an UltraPixel rear cam, 2.1MP front cam and KitKat with Sense 6.0. Now if a new report from recognized XDA member Mike1986proves correct, we’re learning even more about the handset.

First, the phone will reportedly be named the HTC One+, and it will feature the newer Snapdragon 805 CPU after all. We also have learned a bit more about battery size, camera and other specs.

Rumored specifications

  • 5″ FullHD 1080p covered by Gorilla Glass 3
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 805
  • 6 or 8MP UltraPixel camera (possibly with double lens)
  • 2.1MP front camera
  • Software buttons
  • 2900mAh battery
  • Android KitKat with HTC Sense 6.0
  • micro-SIM, microSD
  • NFC

As you can see, the HTC One+ might not be a massive leap up from the original, but it look like it will feature some welcome changes when it comes to processing power, battery size, screen size and — most importantly — it will have an SD slot for memory expansion.

Of course it’s important to note that these specs are still unconfirmed, and so details of the so-called HTC One+ should be taken with a grain of salt. If the rumored specs are true however, the next-gen flagship from HTC is certainly worth looking out for.

What do you think of the HTC M8 (aka HTC One+) based on the rumored specs, impressed or not?


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iPhone users smartest, Test of Wits says. BlackBerry? Sorry

A series of brain teasers, called Test of Wits, put brainy hurdles in front of 2,000 smartphone users. Apple users finish 5 seconds before anyone else.


An expression of intelligence? (Credit: Apple/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

You are your smartphone, and your smartphone is you.

It is, by now, an accepted wisdom that your choice of pocket computer says more about you than perhaps even you might articulate.

These pages are evidence that such a choice elicits a competitive element. So might I present a supposedly objective piece of educational research that shows iPhone users are a touch smarter than users of other phones?

As with all the finest educational research, this was sponsored by a betting company, Britain’s Ladbrokes.

It gave 2,000 human beings the Test Of Wits. This is a compendium of seven brain teasers that purports to examine just how sharp you are.

Before the human beings began the test, each had to state the manufacturer of his or her smartphone.

The results will cause pain to some and an increased level of arrogance among others. You see, Apple users were the victors. Yes, those vain, design-conscious poseurs (disclosure: I myself own an iPhone) do indeed have the sharpest minds.

As the Daily Mail reports, iPhone owners solved the Test of Wits 5 seconds faster than owners of any other phone.

Chugging along immediately behind them were Google Nexus owners. Staggering along with a huff and a puff in very last place were those who still have a BlackBerry.

Please allow me to give you a sample from this test. Question 1 reads: “What is the next number in the sequence? 2,5,10,17,26…

(A) 34

(B) 37

(C) 41

(D) 43

The second question asks you how many months have 28 days. (Clue: The answer isn’t 1.)

The test is very forgiving, as you can stay on the question until you get it right. So speed of clicking on buttons is a very important facet — as it is in all digital life, of course.

This piece of research is as much entertaining bunkum as the last. Still, because you’ll want the complete data, I’ll tell you that Samsung users came in third, HTC fourth and Nokia fifth.

However, I am sure that BlackBerry’s new management will worry that its users took an average of 22 seconds longer to complete the test (yes, a fulsome 118 seconds) than did iPhone owners.


It would be interesting to know how many of these BlackBerry owners still had the physical keyboards. I’ve always been told how much easier it is to type on them.

At least, that’s what Eric Schmidt says.


(Credit: Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)



Nokia wins German injunction banning HTC Android devices


Nokia is clearly on a roll in the courtroom as of late — following lawsuit wins in theNetherlandsthe US and the UK, the company has landed a German injunctionbanning all of HTC’s Android-based devices. The ruling lets Nokia provisionally block the sale of the One and other Google-powered hardware that allegedly infringes on a patent for peer-to-peer sharing over Bluetooth and NFC. HTC is expected to appeal the decision; Google is trying to invalidate the patent, but its move won’t come in time to avoid or delay the ban. There won’t be much else the two firms can do in the meantime. As with a similar defeat in March, HTC will have to either change features or strip them out to keep doing business.


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Should All Cell Phones Come With “Kill Switches”?

Lawmakers seek to curb increasing smartphone thefts

A majority of Americans now own smartphones, and while that might be great news for app-makers, it’s becoming an increasing headache for law enforcement. About 40% of robberies in major metros across the country involve a cell phone, according to the Federal Communications Commission, and smartphone-driven thefts often take a violent turn. In a few humanity-shaming instances, those altercations have ended in death.

Congress and the FCC have been trying to come up with deterrents, but some state officials say those efforts are insufficient and slow. That’s why a California lawmaker is trying to pass the nation’s first state law mandating that phones have “kill switches,” mechanisms that would easily render devices inoperable if stolen. “The concept is to use a technological solution to curb this ever escalating new form of crime,” says California State Sen. Mark Leno, who will propose the legislation in January with the backing of the San Francisco District Attorney.

In 2012, the FCC helped broker an agreement among the nation’s largest carriers to join forces in a central database, where stolen cell phones can be cataloged. The idea was that someone who jacked a phone that was registered with AT&T would no longer be able to get it reactivated on T-Mobile, thus making life harder for criminals and chilling the black market. The companies balked at first, saying it would be too much trouble and cost to implement, but they caved and finished the process in late November this year.

Critics of the database plan have pointed out that phones are cataloged using identifying numbers that can be manipulated, and it’s not yet a crime to manipulate them in the U.S. The database doesn’t include all countries and carriers—including smaller carriers in the U.S.—meaning it does little to discourage stealing phones so they can be shipped to certain lucrative markets abroad. And it’s not an instantaneous process: a person has to report to their carrier that phone as stolen, that phone’s information has to be logged and that update has to go out to all the carriers using the database. Lag time can provide an opportunity to reprogram the phone before it’s popping up in the system. “The database is too complicated,” says San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. “There are too many moving parts.”

So what does a simple “kill switch” look like? There is no single definition, and the California officials backing the measure say they’re more interested in mandating that there is one than dictating how it works. But Gascón sees it as having three important parts: being an opt-out system, so that it’s widespread but not infringing on consumer choice; being reversible, so that someone who rediscovers a lost phone can go right back to the way things were; and being effective anywhere in the world, so that the stolen phone would remain a “brick” no matter where it ends up. As a best-so-far model, Gascón points to the “activation lock” feature introduced by Apple earlier this year.

The unclear nature of the “kill switch” isn’t going to be the only point of contention as lawmakers debate the proposal in Sacramento. The association representing carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile—known as CTIA—has balked at the basic idea, citing concerns about security. “Our members are continuing to explore and offer new technologies to address these crimes, while not inadvertently creating a ‘trap door’ that hackers and cybercriminals could exploit,” it said in a statement to TIME.

Gascón’s office has another theory about their hesitance; his office reviewed emails sent from Samsung to a third-party, in which the phone manufacturer said that carriers were hesitant to make a kill-switch standard on phones because it competed with their lucrative insurance products, a $7 billion market by one estimate. “The carriers are actually becoming a wall here,” Gascón says. “And it appears that this is pretty profit motivated.”

A kill switch could be something like an app that comes preloaded on a phone and allows users to go online and shut down the phone themselves, so that the gadget would never operate again in the absence of a user’s security codes. Leno says those details will be fleshed out in conversations with manufacturers and law enforcement in the new year, when similar legislation may be introduced in New York. “The intent is to make use of technology to make this kind of crime of little value to those who are involved,” he says.

Read more: Smartphones in Calif. May Soon Come With Kill Switch to Prevent Theft |

Hands on with the $2,500 24-carat gold HTC One

by  13 HOURS AGO
SUMMARY: What does a smartphone covered in gold feel like? I got a chance to find out.

photo: Gigaom

I’ve held a lot of smartphones in my day. Expensive ones too, like the $1,800 Porsche Design P’9981 BlackBerry Bold. But today marks the day that I can finally say I’ve held a smartphone made of gold. Or at least plated in it. That’s because today I got my hands on the $2,500 24-carat gold plated HTC One.

Gold HTC One back

So how did it feel? A lot like an HTC One. The gold plating doesn’t seem to affect the weight of the phone, and it feels just as solid as the standard aluminum version. The software is exactly the same as well. There’s really nothing different between this phone and the original HTC One, aside from the fact that this one is covered in over $2,000 worth of gold.

Gold vs Silver HTC One

Physically, I was surprised by just how much the gold-plated HTC One resembles a block of cartoon gold. It’s just about the right size, and it even sparkles a little when you get it in the right lighting. A modestly gold iPhone 5s this is not.

Would I be afraid to carry it around the streets of New York City? Not really. That’s because as nice as the phone is, there’s something so bold about the color that it almost appears fake. If I saw someone carrying it I would think they were simply holding a gold colored phone – not a gold covered one.

Gold HTC One left

But even if I wanted one, they aren’t very easy to get. HTC says the phone has been valued at more than $2,500, but it isn’t selling any. You can enter this contest for a chance to win one, but other than that, there are just a few of these phones in existence. If you really want one, though, you can always order one from gold device customizer Gold Genie. Just make sure you have enough money set aside – the phone costs $2558.26.

HTC One colors

Gold HTC One bottom

Gold HTC One front

Gold HTC top

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Oversharing Users Helped Instagram Have The Best Holiday Ever

by  ANDREW ROBERTS 11.30.13



Instagram broke usage records Thursday thanks to the once in a lifetime combo of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah occurring on the same day, the first time since 1888. People just couldn’t stop themselves from sharing their food and family moments with the Internet. Instagram thanked users in a statement on their blog.

Images of turkeys and latkes—and even an occasional “menurky“—from around the world flooded our Instagram feeds as friends and families gathered to celebrate and share these special holiday events. We saw record usage as Instagrammers shared a heaping helping of holiday cheer. Your Thanksgiving and Hanukkah-related photos and videos helped make yesterday our busiest day on Instagram so far.


Hooray? This is of course the second year in a row that the photo site has set records according to the Mirror.

Last year, the network said that it saw over 10 million photos on Thanksgiving, coming in at a rate of around 200 images per second.

And we couldn’t get these folks to help create a stable healthcare website?

Thanksgivukkah is a pretty cool thing and all, but must everything be a moment to be shared online? People are already ruining meals by photographing them, so should you really be doing that to arguably the biggest meal of the year?

Warren Zevon said we should enjoy every sandwich. I say put the phones down and enjoy these meals, whatever they might be. Or hey, set a bigger record next year.

(Lead image via kamercer)
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