Android Weekly: Noteworthy News Stories From Last Week

Posted on Feb 4 2013 - 2:31pm by CR

Last week was pretty eventful for a number of reasons. Wednesday was host to the BlackBerry 10 announcement, which has been widely talked about over the course of the week. The announcement of the Z10 and the Q10 managed to impress us all, and there were plenty of comparisons being made too, which we love. But besides that, there was plenty happening in the world of Android too. So let’s begin, shall we?

NVIDIA Could Get Into Manufacturing (Monday, 28 Jan)

wexler-russia-tablet

Well, the week began on a pretty interesting note with rumors of NVIDIA planning to get into the manufacturing game. The rumor emerged from Eldar Murtazin of Mobile Review which has at times been pretty dodgy but pretty reliable too, but this was something worth giving a thought. Mainly because NVIDIA faces serious threat from fellow chip makers like Qualcomm, Mediatek and several others. However, by stepping into the manufacturing biz, the company could target and pin point particular markets and improve marketshare substantially. The rumor further stated that NVIDIA was planning to make reference designs for tablets and hire contracted manufacturers to make it for them. After this, the company will basically license/sell these tablets to regional retailers with enough market presence in their respective countries to sell it eventually. Murtazin also hinted that companies like Wexler, Fly (Russia) as well as Micromax, Lava (India) could be approached for this new project. These tablets will apparently break cover during May/June of this year. Let’s hope to hear more on that when the time approaches. It certainly seems like a viable plan by NVIDIA.

HTC Partially Confirms The Announcement Of The M7 By Giving Out Invites To Feb 19 Event (Tuesday, 29 Jan)

htc-feb19-event

We’ve all heard plenty about the HTC M7 and its rumored announcement date. What we got treated to this past week though, pretty much confirmed the info. HTC began sending out invites to blogs and other media personnel for its event on February 19 in London. It doesn’t take a genius to guess what this is, so we won’t state the obvious. The bigger news however is that the HTC M7 is only a couple of weeks away from now. What would this mean for the Sony Xperia Z? We will have to wait until then to know. One thing is for certain though, the smartphone industry is certainly stepping up its game in a major way and things are changing pretty quickly.

White LG Nexus 4 Spotted (Wednesday, 30 Jan)

nexus4-white

 

The more we speak about the Nexus 4, the less excited we get due to the stock issues it has had. But that’s all in the past now as the device is back in stock again and it’s currently listed as “Ships in less than one week” as compared to “Shipping in 1-2 weeks” a couple of days ago. So it goes without saying that the smartphone is well back in stock and is here to stay. That’s not what we’re talking about though, what we’re getting into is something even more exciting. And that’s the introduction of a white variant of the Nexus 4. Yes, you heard that right, a white Nexus 4. Never even mentioned during the announcement or launch, this white Nexus smartphone suddenly made an appearance online last Wednesday and we’re pleasantly surprised, even though it clashed with the BlackBerry Z10 launch. There are a few noticeable changes on the device, including the pattern on the back of the smartphone, which seems distinctly different here than on the black variant. There’s absolutely no info on when the device will arrive or launch, but we’re guessing it’s just around the corner. It seems like a good way to build hype again for the smartphone after the dismal two months it has had.

Samsung Purchases 5% Stake in Wacom (Thursday, 31 Jan)

s-pen-samsung

Samsung’s involvement with the S-Pen and the special digitizers that it utilizes began with the original Galaxy Note back in 2011. And it was revealed this past Thursday that Samsung bought a 5% stake at Wacom which makes digitizers for these Note devices. This obviously gave birth to a lot of speculations which suggested that Samsung would increase the implementation of the technology, perhaps even with the next major Galaxy flagship, the Galaxy S IV. Since none of that is clear as of now, we would like to take that bit with a pinch of salt. However, this could also mean increased innovation in the field of S-Pen and we’re sure Samsung and Wacom will find a way to fully utilize the resources at their disposal. We will most probably not see the S-Pen implemented in any way with the Galaxy S IV, but I could easily be wrong here.

Verizon Rolls Out Android 4.0.4 To HTC Thunderbolt (Friday, 1 Feb)

htc_thunderbolt-577x4081

Verizon’s forgetful history with updates has often haunted the carrier, without much affect though. One such smartphone in the list is the HTC Thunderbolt, which brags of being the world’s first 4G LTE smartphone landing on the nation’s biggest carrier. However, as big as its launch was, equally dreadful was its software support. As you know, it’s the carrier which calls the shots when it comes to updates. Although in this case, HTC was also a little late in delivering the update. In one way, it is commendable that they got the update working on the Thunderbolt, because its non LTE sibling, the Desire HD, was denied an update claiming “performance issues”. If you didn’t receive the update on Friday when we published the post, you must have it by now. Some people have claimed that the update doesn’t go live until Tuesday, so please be patient until then.

So these were the stories which made the news last week. The week was filled with interesting tid bits on Android, but the BlackBerry Z10 and more importantly the BlackBerry 10 OS are the new kids on the block, so these have pretty much crowded the list. While you’re at it, you might want to check out my feature on BlackBerry 10 and the Windows Phone 8 platform as to how they fare against each other (spoiler: Windows Phone 8 fans and especially the Lumia 920 owners aren’t going to like it).

Here are the links to our stories from this week:

Rumor: NVIDIA Looking to Up Its Game by Getting Into Manufacturing

HTC Sending Out Press Invites for Feb 19 Event, Possibly for the Announcement of the M7

White LG Nexus 4 Spotted in the Wild

Samsung Purchases 5% Stake in Wacom: Increased Implementation of the S-Pen on the Cards?

Verizon Finally Rolling Out Android 4.0.4 to HTC Thunderbolt Smartphones

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  • Vogs

    I have an HTC Thunderbolt from Verizon … wasn’t aware it was being updated, but it happened this morning, Friday 2/9 (woke me up in the 5am hour). Just thought I’d give an update, since the article says it would have happened sooner.

  • Vogs

    Saturday 2/9, I meant. A bit sleep-deprived.