Inside these posts: Smart phones

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Android climbs to top of smart phone heap

Android is now the most-used smart phone operating system in the United States — a stunning race to the top from a platform that didn’t exist 25 months ago.

Nearly one third, or 31.2 percent, of U.S. smart phones ran Google’s Android OS in January, according to a study released Monday by comScore. That outpaced the 30.4 percent of American smart phone owners who use BlackBerry devices, which are made by Research in Motion. Get the full story »

Antenna problem fixed on Verizon iPhones

Gadget analysis group AnandTech, which was the first to diagnose the iPhone 4 antenna issue, ran a thorough test of the new Verizon iPhone 4 and found that the “death grip“ problem has been mitigated.

“Apple fixed the problem,“ said Brian Klug, author of AnandTech’s report. “You can use the Verizon Wireless iPhone with no case without any concern for losing signal because of how it’s held.“ Get the full story »

AT&T to start sending phones location-based ads

In a first for a wireless carrier, AT&T Inc. said Monday that it will use its phones’ location-sensing ability to target text ads with coupons and other offers to participating subscribers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.

Kmart, part of Sears Holdings Corp., is one of the chains that have signed up for ShopAlerts by AT&T. That means AT&T could send discount offers to subscribers who are close to a Kmart store. Get the full story »

Nasdaq to let investors trade on smartphone index

Investors hoping to ride the current wave of smartphone growth can now buy shares of a new exchange-traded fund based on the NASDAQ’s CEA Smartphone Index.

The First Trust NASDAQ CEA Smartphone Index Fund trades under the ticker symbol FONE and “provides a convenient way for investors to take advantage of the positive trends that are shaping the smartphone industry,” the NASDAQ OMX Group Inc. said in a press release. Get the full story »

HTC unveils 5 smartphone models

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC unveiled on Tuesday two social networking phone models, with a focus on Facebook access, and introduced its first tablet computer to a crowded marketplace. Get the full story »

Sony Ericsson unveils Playstation phone

Sony Ericsson has unveiled  its long-awaited PlayStation smart phone, taking video game console wars to cellphones.

Sony’s PlayStation, on the Sony Ericsson’s new Xperia Live phone, will take on Microsoft’s Xbox Live, available on Windows Phone 7. Get the full story »

SI bundles print, mobile subscriptions

Sports Illustrated said Friday that it’s offering new digital subscription plans, including one that bundles the printed magazine with versions that are available online, on Android smart phones and tablets, as well as  forthcoming devices.

Time Inc., the owner of the magazine and the publishing arm of Time Warner Inc. , has yet to reach an agreement with Apple Inc., maker of the iPad tablet and iPhone, to sell the subscriptions on iTunes, but its new offerings are part of a broader effort to create a subscription platform that allows customers to sign up once and access publications in any medium, including print. Get the full story »

Sprint to unveil dual-touchscreen smartphone

Sprint Nextel Corp. plans to unveil a smartphone with a twin set of touchscreens made by Kyocera Corp. late Monday, according to a person familiar with the device.

The device, called the Echo, features two 3.5-inch touchscreens that can be stacked side by side to form a pseudo-tablet design. Users can accomplish multiple tasks on the two screens, or drag items from one screen to the other. The phone, which runs on Google Inc.’s Android software, uses a pivot hinge that allows one screen to be tucked under the other, transforming it into a more conventional touchscreen phone. Get the full story »

Verizon sells out of 1st batch of iPhones

Signs in a Verizon store promoting iPhone sales. (Reuters)

Verizon Wireless ended online sales of Apple Inc.’s iPhone Thursday evening after what it said was “the most successful first day sales in the history of the company.”

The No. 1 U.S. mobile operator said it ceased pre-orders at 7:10 p.m. after opening limited pre-orders for the device to its existing customers at 3 a.m. Thursday morning. Get the full story »

AT&T to push Motorola Mobility’s Atrix 4G

AT&T Inc. is cozying up to Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. as the carrier seeks to bulk up its smartphone portfolio running on Google Inc.’s Android operating system in the wake of losing its exclusive hold on Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega said the coming Motorola Atrix 4G will be the carrier’s leading device in its portfolio. Mr. de la Vega wouldn’t say how much money the carrier will spend on marketing the device, but he said it would receive amounts similar to campaigns for the iPhone. Get the full story »

No Facebook phone on the way, company says

Facebook has no plans to launch Facebook-branded phones with Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC, it said on Thursday, following reports that it planned to launch an official tie-up next month. Get the full story »

Source: Nokia drops planned AT&T smart phone

Nokia has pulled out of a plan to launch a smart phone with No. 2 U.S. mobile provider AT&T Inc., just before the device was supposed to be announced, a person familiar with the matter said.

The touchscreen phone,  to be called the X7, could have helped Nokia gain ground in North America, where it has struggled to compete with rivals such as Apple Inc., Research in Motion and Motorola Mobility. Get the full story »

Sprint hiking data fee on smart phones by $10

Sprint is applying an additional $10 per month data fee on new smart phones, starting Jan. 30. Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint Nextel Corp. says it needs to apply the fee to maintain its network while offering unlimited data consumption. Get the full story »

Verizon beefs up network to prepare for iPhone

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Verizon Wireless has been beefing up its network and believes it will have no problem handling iPhone-type loads, a claim that could be put to the test this year if the carrier signs up millions of subscribers using the Apple Inc. device.

Verizon Wireless, the country’s largest wireless carrier, is confident enough in its network that it will offer unlimited data-use plans when it starts selling the iPhone around the end of this month, a person familiar with the matter said. Such plans would provide a key means of distinguishing its service from rival AT&T Inc., which limits how much Internet data such as videos and photos its customers may use each month. Get the full story »

Skype to buy mobile video company

Skype has agreed to buy Qik, a service that lets users stream video from their smart phones, for an undisclosed amount.

The price tag has been reported to be about $100 million, though Skype said it won’t provide terms. The deal is expected to close this month. Get the full story »