HP just posted its Q2 financial report, and despite somber news of falling profits and revenue, the company managed to beat consensus estimates and the stock has jumped more than 10 percent in after-hours trading. As for concrete figures, HP pulled in $ 1.1 billion in profit, which is down 32 percent from just one year ago. Revenue of $ 27.6 billion reveals a similar story, which is down 10 percent year over year. Just three months ago, company CEO Meg Whitman promised a bright future for HP with plans to bring “a number of new programs and disruptive innovations to market in the coming quarters,” which likely includes such products as the Split x2. Whether consumers will respond remains to be seen, but for the moment, HP is keeping investors happy by returning $ 1.1 billion to shareholders through dividends and stock repurchases.
LTE might be all the rage right now, but next generation mobile technology is already in the works. According to Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, Samsung has successfully tested its 5G platform, pulling down data at 1Gbps in recent tests. The company apparently needed 64 antenna elements to pull the trick off, but says the technology will be available to customers by 2020 — matching the European Commission’s goal quite nicely. It may not be the fastest 5G test we’ve seen in recent months, but we’re not going to scoff at progress.
Last month Facebook Home arrived to the market, bringing forth Zuckerberg’s vision of an experience that “puts people first”. Since then, Facebook Home and the Home-equipped HTC First have had mixed reception at best.
In order to generate more interest for its spring flagship device, AT&T has now announced that the HTC First is jumping down in price to just $ .99 with two-year agreement. The outright price is also dropping to $ 350.
After just a month on the market, why does AT&T need to adjust the price already? Is there something wrong with the HTC First?
The First isn’t a bad handset, it’s just that most folks don’t want or need an in-your-face social experience that haunts you 24/7. Those who use Facebook generally like to log in, look around and get the hell out.
The good news is that you don’t have to live with Facebook Home on the First, and can disable it in order to get a near-stock Android experience. The problem for the HTC First is that even with the perk of having vanilla Android, most users still found that there were other handsets like the Nexus 4 that better fitted their needs for not much more cost.
Now at just $ 1 with contract, the HTC First is certainly more appealing than ever before. For those that need a refresher, the phone has a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, a 4.3-inch 720p display, a 5MP rear cam, 1.6MP front cam, a 2,000 mAh battery and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.
The First still doesn’t beat out the Nexus 4 when it comes to specs or non-contract pricing, but does offer the advantage of LTE. Additionally, for those that can’t afford to pay much up front, the HTC First gives you an extremely affordable way to get a near-stock experience.
What do you think of the HTC First, are you tempted to consider the handset now that its price has been dramatically reduced?
'Facebook Phone' currently selling for next to nothing on 2-year plan
If you've been tempted to pick up the Facebook-centric HTC First on AT&T, the carrier's hoping a temporary price drop might push you over the edge. The First, which runs the social network's Facebook Home software atop near-vanilla Android, is today selling online for just 99 cents with a two-year service agreement, down from $ 99 at launch.
However if you want to get the First at this significantly reduced price you may not want to hang around. Engadget's Brad Molen tweets that the price reduction is a promotional change rather than a permanent reduction.
In our review of the HTC First we praised its build quality and ergonomic form factor, though we had some misgivings about the usefulness of Facebook's home screen to the average smartphone user. Of course, you could always disable Facebook Home and be left with an attractive mid-to-high-end HTC phone running vanilla Android.
CEO departures normally come in one of two ways — a dignified slope to the exit, or an explosive, controversialparting of the ways. Departing Scarlet Motors CEO Julien Fourgeaud has taken a different approach with a stream-of-consciousness blog post, describing the company’s origins and cryptically hinting at divisions within the EV maker. Naming no names, the former Rovio executive mentions that he wishes people “kept their commitments, their word” and were “working together towards building an amazing product.” But despite the dissatisfaction, Fourgeaud says that he’ll continue to support the business as a shareholder — in between making sure his LinkedIn profile is up to date.
Voice, data and 911 service will cease the morning of June 30th
Sprint reminds us today that its iDEN network shutdown is right on schedule, expected to hit the date the carrier set out over 11 months ago. Starting "first thing" on June 30th, the carrier will turn off switch locations in rapid succession, quickly followed by powering down equipment and removing backhaul from the cell cites. The carrier has been urging customers since the announcement of the network's shutdown to move away from their legacy devices and onto one using EVDO and LTE going forward. Sprint says it has sent letters, legal notices, emails and text messages to customers consistently in order to remind them of the June 29th deadline.
Customers who eventually do make the move to Sprint's "Direct Connect" service to replace iDEN devices will experience better coverage, international Push-to-Talk service and much faster 3G data speeds. All they have to do now is make the switch.
As many of you know, Samsung devices have been pretty developer friendly for the most part over the past couple of years, but that could be changing. That or Samsung’s hands were forced. We’ve now learned the AT&T Galaxy S 4 and its bootloader is locked down tight. Thanks AT&T for making developers and modders instantly choose a different carrier.
While we can’t say for sure this was at the hands of AT&T, Samsung’s past pretty much gives credence to the theory. Then the hugely popular Android developer that needs no introduction, Steve Kondik (Cyanogen for those living outside of the Android world) backs up some of these suggestions with his own thoughts. While also confirming the device is locked down tight.
Over on Google+ Steve had some comments to share regarding the situation, and lets just say it doesn’t look good. Previously usually only Verizon devices were locked down, but now AT&T could be joining in on that mindset. Steve then backs up reasons why this shouldn’t be happening, stating they don’t have very much to gain by shunning developers.
“I can’t see what AT&T has to possibly gain from this. GSM and LTE aren’t magical, tethering is controllable on the server side, and theft-of-services is not possible from the application processor side (or even from the modem side as far as I know). The same device is available on every carrier, so it’s not an exclusivity issue either.” – Steve Kondik
However, locked doesn’t always mean completely encrypted so we have hope. That and developers have a pretty good track record of breaking these locks wide open and making the device modder friendly again. Even Motorola’s extremely tight devices have fallen from the Android Community of developers lately. So while this is bad news for the AT&T (and possibly other) GALAXY S 4 owners, we have faith that it won’t be long until everything gets figured out. In the meantime, developers might want to look elsewhere.
While there are signs HTC’s fortunes might turn a corner through the launch of the One, few would doubt that its finances could use some streamlining. The company has just outlined one of the ways it will be pinching pennies: it’s closing its Watch movie stores in Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden by May 31st, with some Italians reporting a shutdown on the 15th. As the company explains to us in a statement (after the break), it’s concentrating on supporting Watch in those regions with the “highest engagement” while dropping those with “less application traffic” — in short, markets with poor performance get the boot. HTC stresses that Watch isn’t going away, however, and it’s delivering a steady stream of content. We’re glad to hear that the company is sharpening its focus rather than cutting the cord. Still, that won’t be much consolation to movie-loving Europeans and Scandinavians.
The Optimus GK is a tad taller and thicker than the Galaxy S4 — and as of this announcement it's only destined for South Korea. But we've been pleasantly surprised by the larger Optimus G Pro, and chances are its little brother will be equally well-designed. It's got a 5-inch IPS display at 1,080 by 1,920 resolution, a 3,100 mAh battery and is running Android 4.1.2 on a Snapdragon 600 platform.
Plus, this one's got the same Photosphere feature — called VR Panorama here — as the Optimus G Pro (thanks, LG, but license that thing out already!) as well as the dual video recording that was first made available in an update for the Optimus G Pro and is also a feature on on the Galaxy S4. Yes, the back-and-forth feature battle is alive and well in the southern part of the Korean peninsula.
So if you're looking forward to AT&T's upcoming Optimus G Pro this week (we'll be at Wednesday's launch event in New York City, by the way) but don't want that oversized form factor, this might be the phone for you. Just hang tight and hope we get it here in the states.
Hit the link below for the full translation, and keep on keepin' on for the full specs.