Monday, June 29, 2009

White iPhone 3GS suffering heat and discoloration

The white iPhone 3GS reportedly overheats during a period of using the GPS and 3G of the phone, and its case changes color. Engadget says it turns a browner and Gizmodo reports as being pink.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

New Xbox 360 coming fall 2010?

Take this one with a grain of salt, but gaming site 1UP is reporting that it's hearing a new Xbox 360 is in the works and is set to be released next fall in conjunction with the release of Project Natal. That in itself isn't all that newsworthy since it seems pretty logical that Microsoft would put out a new console with the release of its fancy new, you-are-the-controller technology that was demonstrated at E3 this month. However, 1UP is saying that while the new Xbox 360 will carry a new name and be a "new platform," it won't necessarily be much of an upgrade over the existing 360.

Here's the full quote:

"It's not clear what sort of upgrades we might see, but some have suggested it will be a slight upgrade of the current Xbox 360 technology. Current Xbox 360 games would be playable on it, but future games would be able to take advantage of the added muscle."

The article also adds that, "Games played on the more advanced Xbox would look or perform better, but publishers will still be able to support owners of both systems."

Again, this all makes sense, and you'd expect Microsoft (and possibly Sony) to have some new hardware a year from now. But it will interesting to see how Microsoft manages gamers' expectations and the sales of its consoles as it gets closer to releasing Project Natal. It's also important to note that Microsoft has said the new technology will work with existing Xbox 360s so long as you add the new video camera accessory.

How much credence do you think this rumor has? And if Microsoft is indeed going to release a whole new Xbox 360, what do you think it should be called? Xbox 360 Natal doesn't have the greatest ring to it.

Samsung debuts solar-powered cell phone

If you're an outdoorsy type, you might never have to worry about your phone running out of juice again.

Samsung announced Wednesday its first solar-powered GSM mobile phone, the E1107, also known by the catchier name Crest Solar. The phone is a dual-band GSM (900MHz and 1800MHz) and can be charged anywhere the sun is shining.

The phone is about the same shape and size as most regular compact cell phones, but with one big difference: on the back it has a solar panel that's capable of providing enough juice for about 5 to 10 minutes of talk time for each hour of charging.

Of course, this depends on how sunny it is. According to Samsung, the above estimate was based on 80,000 lux of sunlight (an average sunny day) with the phone turned off and sucking up rays.

The Crest Solar comes with many features. Its essential mobile phone features include FM radio, MP3 ringtones, embedded games, and the capability to work as a flashlight. The phone also has a few original security features, such as Mobile Tracker, which automatically alerts you when the SIM card is changed and sends out an SOS message in an emergency. It also has a fake call feature, which means you can pretend to get an incoming call when you need to get out of an uncomfortable situation (like a bad date).

Other than that, Samsung offers localized features. For example, in Southeast Asia, it offers profile screening for bikers, which provides incoming call alerts from selected contacts only to promote safe riding. The Crest Solar also provides specialized features for different religions, such as alerts for prayer time.

The Crest Solar will be available in numerous markets including India, Europe, Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, and Latin America staring this month. In India, it costs $59, which is a really good price. However, its price is generally determined by the carriers. There's no word as to when or if it will be available in the U.S.

Earlier this year, Samsung unveiled another solar phone, the Blue Earth.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Launch of iPhones 3GS

SAN FRANCISCO - APPLE announced on Monday that a new version of its hot-selling iPhone would be launched later this month and that the price of an earlier model was dropping to US$99 (S$149).

Apple vice-president of marketing Phil Schiller made the announcements at an annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco bereft of any sign of the firm's renowned chief executive, Steve Jobs.

Mr Schiller said the new iPhone, the iPhone 3GS, which can capture video for the first time, would be available on June 19.

'The 'S' stands for speed, because this is the most powerful iPhone we've ever made,' Mr Schiller said. 'What is inside is entirely new.' He said the 16-gigabyte iPhone 3GS would cost US$199 while the 32-gigabyte model would cost US$299. He said the price of an original eight-gigabyte iPhone 3G is dropped to US$99 as of Monday.

Mr Schiller also said a next-generation iPhone 3.0 operating system will be released worldwide on June 17 as a free upgrade to owners of the smartphones.

'It has been an incredible year for the iPhone,' said senior vice-president of iPhone software Scott Forstall. Sales of applications for the popular smartphones passed a billion in April, according to Mr Forstall. Apple also reported it has sold more than 40 million iPhones and iPod Touch devices, which are essentially iPhones without mobile phone capabilities.

Enhancements crafted into the iPhone 3.0 operating system include speedy video downloading and customization to additional languages including Arabic, Hebrew, and Korean. A new 'Find My iPhone' feature lets people use an Apple online Mobile Me service to locate lost or stolen devices.

'It will show you on a map where your phone is,' Mr Forstall said. 'You can send it a message and it plays an alert sound whether or not you left it in silent mode.' The feature also lets people remotely erase all data from lost or stolen iPhones, then reload the information using iTunes if they are reacquainted with their devices.

The new operating system also lets iPhones connect to one another wirelessly for communal activities such as playing games. Approximately 5,200 software developers from more than 50 countries registered to attend the sold-out conference, according to Apple.

The presentation featured humour and barbs aimed at rival Microsoft, but no sign of 54-year-old Jobs, who has been on a medical leave of absence since January. Apple has been notoriously secretive about Mr Jobs's health since he underwent an operation in 2004 for pancreatic cancer but has been adamant that he is returning to the company's helm at the end of this month. -- AFP