Monday 17 December 2012

17/12/2012: Sony updates their Jelly Bean plans, Google apologises for Nexus 4 availability and Foxconn reportedly scoops Amazon phone manufacturing deal! Plus much more!

Sony updates their Jelly Bean plans. It's not all good news.

   In recent times Sony has been heralded as the new champion of the Android modding world with their recent support of modding initiatives and their trial period with the Xperia S in Google's AOSP. So you would think those guys would be good at pushing out software updates to keep their standard users happy too, well yes and no.

   Most of Sony's devices are currently on ICS so this update concerns Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. With that in mind Sony wants get the Xperia T, Xperia TX and Xperia V on to updated version as soon as possible and these updates are 'progressing as planned' and so they should be getting updates right around February and March. After that your trusty Xperia P, Xperia J and Xperia go will be upgraded from the end of March. Followed in the 'subsequent weeks' by Xperia S, Xperia SL, Xperia ion and Xperia acro S updates.

   Sony said that they're 'particularly excited about the Sony Xperia Jelly Bean features and functionality – [they] look forward to bringing you more information on this in the New Year'. Naturally we'll keep you updated on that front.

   Unfortunately though, Sony has taken the decision 'not to upgrade Xperia U, Xperia miro, Xperia tipo, and Xperia sola beyond Android 4.0'. So if you're rocking any of those devices you'll only be receiving your bug fixes and security patches.
SonyMobile Via XperiaBlog.

Google apologises for the issues with the Nexus 4 launch and availability.

   Us folks on the European side of the pond have had the same trouble everyone else in the world has had getting hold of the Nexus 4's at the Play Store price. Google’s UK and Ireland managing director, Dan Cobley, feels our pain and after one of his posts about Google Zeitgesit 2012 on Google+ got high-jacked by disgruntled Nexus 4 chasers, he felt he should address the problem. His statement on Google+ places the blame squarely on the shoulders of LG for not providing the supplies they want or need, but he also acknowledges that there have been communication problems too. His full statement reads:

   "Dear all, I know that what you are going through is unacceptable and we are all working through the nights and weekends to resolve this issue. Supplies from the manufacturer are scarce and erratic, and our communication has been flawed.
I can offer an unreserved apology for our service and communication failures in this process.
I am optimistic that we will be able to share some positive news shortly, but I do not want to cause any more disappointment by making a commitment until we are 100% sure we can deliver on it.
I realise that the people who ordered the Nexus 4 so early are among our most committed and loyal users and we are doing all we can to put things right."

   Since then he has reiterated that customers with orders in the 3-5 day shipping estimate are their main focus at the moment and customers can expect a refund to their Google Play account for shipping charges. If you were promised you would get your phone before Christmas you still will!
Via TechCrunch.

Amazon smartphone rumours start up again. Foxconn has the contract to make them?

   Ever since Amazon launched themselves onto the tablet market with their Kindle Fires, and more recently the Fire HD's, people have been suggesting it would only be a matter of time before Amazon turned their attention to mobile phones.

   According to Taiwan's Economic News, Foxconn have secured an exclusive contract to build Amazon's smartphone! Amazon has supposedly commissioned a maximum of 5 million of the devices, which is a rather understated figure, but it is better to be safe than sorry, as HP and their TouchPad can testify. This could also suggest an initial US or other region specific launch, just as Amazon did when they only launched their Kindle Fire in the US to begin with. The smartphone is set to cost somewhere in between $100 and $200 to manufacture so this could be a high-end device.

   The report says that the phones will be released to the public at some point between the second and the third quarters of 2013. This is a suitably broad 6 month period from April 2013 to September 2013, Amazon will probably have to finalise a release date which doesn't coincide with the launch of the Galaxy S4, Google I/O or any of Apple or other competitors events, which is easier said than done these days!

   What do you think? Would you be interested in an Amazon smartphone? Would you allow it to have adverts on its lock screen like your Kindle does? Let us know in the comments below!
Via AndroidCommunity.

 In other news:

  • Over the weekend Apple launched their iPhone 5 in China and subsequently shifted 2 million of the new iPhones. On the surface that looks very rosy indeed, however Slashgear have said that it was only with 'heavily subsidized carrier deals' that Apple broke their Chinese sales records. There was reportedly a distinct lack of purchases in Apple's own stores, people instead chose to head to carriers who were selling the new phone for as little as $96 on a contract! Either way this is undoubtedly successful for Apple; the Chinese market is pivotal to making money at the moment because it's so huge!
    Via Slashgear.
  • RIM have opened their new “technical review program” to over 120 enterprise and government “customers” and they've offered some pre-release software and devices to these companies to give them the early opportunity to decide if BB10 and RIM's new services are for them.

    Some of the people involved are from the 64 Fortune 500 companies RIM offered the chance to beta test their new BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 and pre-production BlackBerry 10 smartphones. This is something RIM hopes will “get them started” with the platform and allow them to make an informed decision on whether or not to promote RIM's devices within their company. Now we just need to come up with a convincing business name to get our hands on one of the devices!
    Via TheNextWeb.
  • Samsung's Exynos chips have got a very big security flaw in their kernels, which came to light over the weekend. We won't offer up any details at the moment, but there are some temporary fixes for custom roms from CodeworkX. Other than that Samsung is aware of the issues, which affect both the Galaxy S2 and S3 and all of the Galaxy Notes that use Exynos chipsets! There may well be a couple of other devices like the Meizu MX and the Galaxy Player which are affected too. The issue is that malicious apps can easily take control of your phone, so in the mean time please only download trusted apps from the Play Store otherwise you may well be risking your phone. Of course we will update you as soon as we hear more back from Samsung's 'official investigation'!
    Via AndroidCentral.
  • Nokia has promised via their US Twitter account that a software update will be arriving for Lumia 920 owners to make their cameras a little bit better in daylight, something which users have been complaining about since the devices launch. The timescale is currently only described as 'shortly', so we're hoping for a pre-Christmas update!
    Via IntoMobile.
  • HTC's Butterfly J or the Droid DNA as US readers will know it, will not be coming to Europe in its current form. It seems we will have to wait until CES or MWC at the start of next year to see what sort of equivalent device HTC is planning to offer their European customers! Ronnie from Coolsmartphone got an email from Expansys, who had put the device up for pre-order, it read:
    "Thank you for your recent interest and preorder of the HTC Butterfly. Unfortunately, we have now been informed by HTC that this device will not be available in European markets, and as such we have had to remove it from our website and cancel your preorder." Via CoolSmartphone.

    And finally, it seems Google is wishing their customers a very Merry Christmas with deal every day from now until January the 1st. They could literally be anything! Today's treat was $35 off of a Hotel, but we have a feeling Google's mobile and tablet users may well have a few useful discounts coming their way in the next few days! Remember to check back tomorrow to see what they're offering. If you did want to claim today's discount head over here!



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