December 2008

60% of the world's population has cellphones
3G Americas reports that as of December of 2008, there are four billions cellphones in use, representing about 60% of the world's population. Of those, it's estimated that over 400 million have 3G service, with UMTS/HSPA having a 77% share, far outpacing CDMA EV-DO (see release). These figures are in interesting contrast to Poverty Facts and Stats that says that in 2005, at least 80% of the world's population lived on less than US$10 a day. -- Posted Wednesday, December 31, 2008 by chb

Intel Atom in larger notebooks?
According to Digitimes, there's pressure on Intel to allow use of its inexpensive Atom processors in netbooks with displays larger than 10.2 inches. Atom chips do not provide the performance of Intel's Core 2 Duo processors, but cost less and are extremely power-efficient. -- Posted Wednesday, December 31, 2008 by chb

Full review: Handheld US M3 Mobile
Those who need a rugged yet light and compact industrial multi-function PDA should take a look at the M3 Mobile offered by Handheld U.S. It's a Pocket PC, a GSM/GPRS/EDGE voice/data phone, a 2-megapixel camera, and a terrific data capture device thanks to an extended keypad and either a laser scanner or 1D/2D imager. You can also get integrated GPS and the battery can last through a full 8-hour shift. While light and handy, the M3 Mobile has a wide operating temperature range and can handle 5-foot drops. [Read full review of the Handheld US M3 Mobile] -- Posted Monday, December 29, 2008 by chb

Palm gets another US$100 million equity investment
Palm announced that Elevation Partners has agreed to make an additional $100 million equity investment in Palm. Under a definitive agreement reached today, Elevation will increase its investment in Palm by acquiring newly issued Series C preferred stock that is convertible into Palm common stock at a price of $3.25 per share, a 31% premium to the closing price of Palm common stock on Dec. 19, 2008. -- Posted Monday, December 22, 2008 by chb

Stocking Stuffers 2008
For the past several years, our intrepid guru of all things mobile, Dr. Tim, has offered suggestions for stocking stuffers that you can use for your digitally addicted friends. Or, if you are so afflicted yourself, you may wish to drop a few hints based on the ideas herein. Check out Dr. Tim's 2008 Stocking Stuffers! -- Posted Sunday, December 21, 2008 by chb

Toshiba first to announce 512GB solid-state drives
Toshiba became the first to announce 512GB solid state drives in a new series of SSDs that also includes 64, 128 and 256GB capacities in flash modules or more conventional 1.8 and 2.5-inch enclosures. At over US$3/GB, pricing remains significantly higher than that of standard rotating media hard disks. This means that SSDs will likely remain optional, albeit at times highly desirable, equipment for most mobile devices in the foreseeable future. -- Posted Thursday, December 18, 2008 by chb

Palm reports sobering financials, hints at new platform
Palm reported total revenue of $191.6 for the second quarter of fiscal 2009, which ended Nov. 28, 2008. Smartphone sell-through for the quarter was 599,000 units, down 13% year over year. Smartphone revenue was $171.0 million, down 39% from the year-ago period. “We’re working through an undeniably difficult period,” said Ed Colligan, Palm president and CEO, “but near-term challenges shouldn’t overshadow the fact that we are on track to deliver a breakthrough new platform and products that will bring a truly differentiated smartphone experience to our customers and reestablish Palm as a leading innovator in the mobile industry.” -- Posted Thursday, December 18, 2008 by chb

Treo 80w cradle/battery
When Dr. Tim reviewed the Palm 800w a few months ago, he lamented the lack of accessories and the new, non-standard connector. More recently he reviewed several handheld screen control applications as an alternative to cradles, which no longer seem to come in the box as in the days of old. Well, Palm now has a nice cradle available for the 800w, and it’s nice to have a cradle again. [See report on the Treo 80w cradle/battery] -- Posted Wednesday, December 17, 2008 by chb

Case Study: Dive Support Computing with General Dynamics Itronix MR-1 rugged UMPC
Scuba divers rely on wrist- or console-mount dive computers to safely explore the vast world beneath the ocean surface. Most dive computers can communicate with desktop and notebook computers, but the feature is rarely used in a timely, productive manner. We used the super-compact General Dynamics Itronix MR-1 rugged UMPC as a dive support computer on a dive expedition to Honduras where we needed long battery life, a sunlight-viewable display, and the ability to be used on a dive boat mattered. [Read case study "General Dynamics Itronix MR-1 rugged UMPC boosts safety and productivity"] -- Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 by chb

Handango and Best Buy team up for apps
Handango and Best Buy announced a first of its kind deal to bring smartphone apps to Best Buy's retail stores nationwide. Through the partnership, Handango will offer Best Buy Mobile customers a content catalog of apps ranging from business and productivity to entertainment and games for Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Palm, and Symbian S60 smartphones. The apps now can be purchased for specific devices at the point of sale using Best Buy's in-store digital Mobile Genie system. -- Posted Monday, December 15, 2008 by chb

Two Technologies unveils Safari rugged handheld
Two Technologies introduced the rugged Safari handheld computer designed for a broad range of outdoor and indoor applications. The IP65-sealed Safari can handle 5-foot drops, a wide operating temperature range, and runs Windows CE .NET 5.0 on a 520MHz version of the Marvell PXA270 processor. There is a 3.5-inch QVGA touchscreen, various keypad layouts, integrated barcode scanning, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a variety of options including GSM/GPRS/EDGE, GPS and RFID. [Read description and specs of the 2T Safari rugged handheld computer] -- Posted Friday, December 5, 2008 by chb