Poor HTC. As if it didn't already have enough to deal with, the troubled manufacturer now has to meddle with the original design of the One and other smartphones in order to avoid infringing on a couple of Nokia patents. According to the Wall Street Journal, HTC is currently working with Qualcomm to find a different method of improving reception and transmission within its radio components, following a successful patent suit by Nokia in the US a week ago. If these tweaks don't happen, and if the ITC upholds Nokia's victory when it considers the matter in January, a number of models could potentially be subject to import bans. This has happened before, however, when HTC unwittingly infringed on a Nokia microphone patent and quickly managed to find a workaround, so by now it has become adept at this sort of fire-fighting and says it already has a plan to avoid "business disruption."
Source: Wall Street Journal
30/09/2013 - Refresh Roundup: week of September 23rd, 2013
Your smartphone and / or tablet is just begging for an update. From time to time, these mobile devices are blessed with maintenance refreshes, bug fixes, custom ROMs and anything in between, and so many of them are floating around that it's easy for a sizable chunk to get lost in the mix. To make sure they don't escape without notice, we've gathered every possible update, hack, and other miscellaneous tomfoolery we could find during the last week and crammed them into one convenient roundup. If you find something available for your device, please give us a shout at tips at engadget dawt com and let us know. Enjoy!
HTC America ended its Friday evening on the somber revelation that 20 percent of its workforce would be terminated. In all, roughly 30 employees and contractors were let go from the 150-member division, which stands as the latest sign of the company's financial struggles. A representative acknowledged the layoffs in a prepared statement, calling it "... a decisive action by HTC Corp (US) to streamline and optimize our organization and improve efficiencies after several years of aggressive growth." The news was first announced by The Verge, which obtained a letter from recently appointed division president Jason Mackenzie, who promised to "treat the impacted employees with the respect they deserved and provide them with resources to help bridge them to their next opportunity." We're still looking forward to bigger things ahead from HTC, but in the meantime, you'll find the company's full statement after the break.
Via: The Verge
Back in June, Verizon gave us fair warning that it would start selling the HTC One "later this summer." Well, we're just about halfway through August, and while you can't buy a VZW One just yet, you can at least let Verizon know you're interested. The carrier has added a sign-up page to its website, where eager beavers can put in their e-mail addresses so that they'll be the first to receive more information as it becomes available. Unfortunately, that splash page says nothing about when the device might ship or what it will cost with the usual two-year agreement. So for now, then, this page is really just for the most impatient of HTC fans.
Source: Verizon Wireless
Remember when HTC decided to add its own contributions to the One Mini rumor mill by using its own infographic? It seems the Taiwan-based company is following the same trend with the HTC One Max, a device that we've heard about for what seems like months. On its official Twitter account, it posted a teaser in the form of a six-second Vine, three simple words and a hashtag: "big things ahead. #HTChange." Take from that what you will, but it seems to us that this particular tease means we'll be seeing the larger variant of the One sooner rather than later.
18/07/2013 - Global HTC One mini approved by FCC
In a matter of pleasant timing, the global version of the HTC One mini (PO58200) has been given the sweet go-ahead of approval from the Federal Communications Commission. As usual, we went through the documents that so discretely discuss the various radiation measurements, antenna placement and other intensely deep numbers and couldn't uncover any details we didn't know already, but FCC approval is always a rite of passage that indicates the phone is on the right track to a release sooner rather than later. Here's hoping this is a signal that we'll be playing with the new miniature device next month, as HTC has promised.
Sprint just recently announced that it will be offering the HTC 8XT on July 19th, but it turns out it's not the only option for those interested the phone. Upstart Ting has just announced that it is now taking pre-orders for the device, making it the first Windows Phone device available on the MVNO. Not many surprises beyond that, as you might expect -- the device is available off-contract per usual (running $373), and the phone itself is the same as you'll find on Sprint, including a 4.3-inch WVGA display, 1.4GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 CPU, 8 megapixel camera and HTC's trademark "BoomSound." Those looking for a different take on Windows Phone can also look for an unspecified Samsung ATIV device to be available on Ting sometime soon.
16/07/2013 - HTC and Sony prevail over patent troll WiLAN
A federal jury has just taken a bite out of patent licensing firm WiLAN's business plan, ruling that HTC, Sony, Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson didn't infringe any of the four patents it sued them over. The latter two companies fended off three wireless base station claims, while Sony and HTC defended a fourth involving handset technology. HTC said it believed that WiLAN "exaggerated the scope of its patent" to extract royalties, while a spokesman for Alcatal-Lucent said it believed the company "was stretching the boundaries of its patents" -- all of which were invalidated by the court. WiLAN has been fighting such battles on numerous fronts for many years, including one reported to have resulted in a large settlement with Intel. Though it said it was disappointed by the decision, the IP firm still has pending litigation against Time Warner and Comcast, among others. Those cable firms may be hoping a White House patent reform bill will be tabled sooner rather than later.
Verizon's flagship Moto X will release August 23rd, according to a leaked road map obtained by PhoneArena. The site also notes that Motorola's first handset built in the US gives users who order online the choice of separate colors for the back cover and trim and can also be engraved a la iPods and Zune HDs of yore; brick and mortar retail models will be standard black. The document also lists an August 1st release date for the HTC One, a phone we still have a soft spot for. We've reached out to the Big Red carrier for confirmation and will update this post accordingly should we hear back.
HTC One mini? HTC M4? Whichever moniker you want to give it, that appears to be what we see above. Shown in a bunch of photos on Estonian site forte.delfi.ee the 4.3-inch device seems to corroborate much of what we've heard already. Beyond the (slightly) smaller 720p display, the site also claims there's a dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB internal storage and a 4-megapixel shooter complete with UltraPixel technology. The same sources claim an August release date, at around €400, but we're not clearing our agenda just yet. That's all we've got to go on for now, but it seems 4.3-inch really is the new small.
[Thanks, Oliver. Image Credits: Forte]
Gallery: HTC One mini
03/06/2013 - HTC One coming to Verizon later this summer
Verizon just announced that the HTC One will finally make its debut on the network later this summer. Pricing and exact availability -- not to mention unique features or other specifics -- are yet to be determined, but this is a solid confirmation to a rumor that's been floating around for the last few months, ever since the One officially launched worldwide. Its availability on all four US carriers should be refreshing news to HTC, as this puts it on level ground (stateside, at least) with the immensely popular Samsung Galaxy S 4. The fight between these two flagships is far from over, but having the largest carrier in the US onboard certainly makes that battle much more interesting.
HTC's Desire line of mid-range Android smartphones have typically used the alphabet to denote different models, but the company is now switching to numerals. At least according to a Taiwanese certification page, we can expect a Desire 200. Some leaked benchmark results also indicate that a Desire 600 will head to market.
We don't know much about the Desire 200 apart from its name. It's listed as the HTC 102e on the certification page, and there's plenty of speculation that this handset is the G2 we heard about earlier this year. It's a different story for the Desire 600: the benchmark results indicate this device sports a 960 x 540 (qHD) display with an unspecified 1.2GHz chip. The benchmark sheet also reveals this is a dual-SIM model destined for Europe. That's it for now, but more details are sure to follow shortly.
These days, the presence of a microSD slot on new handsets is arguably more important than the amount of storage on the inside. One such slot found its way onto the Chinese variants of HTC's One, and now Japanese network KDDI has unveiled its model -- the HTC J One (aka HTL22) -- also with expandable memory on the spec sheet (up to 64GB cards supported). An accompanying promo video has informed us of some new camera modes as well, including a best shot feature like Nokia's Smart Group Shot or BlackBerry's Time Shift, the ability to edit out background photobombers, and creating slow-mo highlights within video clips. We'd hope to see a camera software update bringing these features to US Ones in the future, but for now, check out what you're missing in the video below.
After months of supply issues and courtroom wrangling, HTC might have finally put its hardware woes behind it. The company's North Asian president, Jack Tong, let slip that production capacity for the HTC One will double this month and continue to increase in June to meet "strong demand." Tong also casually dropped into conversation that the J Butterfly saw its own sales double in Japan when it became free on contract -- so perhaps those second-quarter financial results won't make for such depressing reading.
Source: Focus Taiwan
HTC has already gone the trade-in route to offer folks a discount on its new One smartphone, but it's now giving it another go this weekend with an expanded promo in the US and Canada. This new one is open to anyone that buys an HTC One between today and Sunday, May 5th (the previous promotion required folks to pre-register), and it now offers up to $375 for smartphones that you trade-in. Unless you're looking to unload your brand new smartphone in a hurry, though, you may want to check around for the going rates first. The slightly better option is for folks who've been sticking with an aging phone; as before, HTC is guaranteeing at least $100 for your trade-in, so you may well get more from it than you would on the open market (assuming you want to buy a One, of course). Those interested can find all the fine print and check the value of their phone at the source link below.
24/04/2013 - HTC insists Nokia's injunction won't affect the One's current stock, new mics in the works
In an email to press, HTC took the opportunity to make a few clarifications about the injunction filed by Nokia this week regarding the dual-membrane microphone in the One. The preliminary injunction claims that the high-amplitude mic, which HTC uses in its flagship device, was supposed to be manufactured exclusively for the Finnish company (and currently used in the Lumia 720). If you've been wondering how this particular action would affect sales of the high-end HTC handset, spokespeople assure us that it's business as usual for the company. According to its official statement, the One is not the actual target of any injunction in The Netherlands -- in actuality, the legalities of the matter are apparently only between Nokia and STMicroelectronics, the supplier of the component in question.
HTC tells us that Nokia's attempts to institute a recall of the One failed; since the products were purchased in good faith, the ruling states that HTC can continue to use microphones that are in its inventory. Despite having a history rich in manufacturing delays, we're told that this legal ruling will have no effect on the One's availability. The Taiwanese phone maker plans a transition to "improved microphone designs" as soon as its current stock of STM supplies has been exhausted, a move which HTC claims will be transparent to consumers. Head below to see the full statement.
Alongside its developer model, HTC now has an unlocked One for the rest of us. The fetching 4.7-inch 1080p device is in stock at HTC's US store with 32GB of storage and the same powerhouse specs we saw earlier: 1.7Ghz quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, 4-megapixel "UltraPixel" cam and Android 4.1.2 with Sense 5. You'll also get a SIM-unlocked model, but unlike the 64GB equipped, $650 developer edition, it won't come with a liberated bootloader -- though it'll cost a touch less at $575. So, if you've been biding your time for a carrier-free version of the svelte aluminum-bodied handset, you can place your order at the source.
Via: GSM Arena
We've had a feeling the date was quickly and quietly approaching, but T-Mobile has finally handed out details on when (and where) the HTC One will be available. Beginning today, you'll be able to head to the network's site and order your very own, but the brick-and-mortar stores won't be receiving them until April 24th -- the same exact day T-Mobile launches the Samsung Galaxy S 4. As expected, the pricing of the device will be $100 with the UnCarrier's installment plan and $580 at full retail. Behold T-Mobile's statement on the exciting news after the break.
Despite all of HTC's talk about unified branding in the West, the company's model names are still diverse when looked at from a planet-wide perspective. This newest phone, the Desire L, appears to be a Taiwan-destined version of China's One SU, with the same low-end specs -- including a 4.3-inch 800 x 480 SLCD2 display, dual-core 1GHz processor and 5MP camera -- but a distinctly pre-One moniker. It's different strokes for different folks, just as with the Butterfly and Droid DNA -- though only a chosen few can boast the added distinction of coming in pink.
Source: HTC (Taiwanese)
Quickly following AT&T's lead, Sprint is now ready to spill the details on its launch of the HTC One. Pre-orders begin on April 5th, while you'll be able to go online or into a store and pick one up starting April 19th. Since the 64GB is an AT&T exclusive, Sprint customers will only be able to grab it in 32GB for $200. Hit the press release for more details.
28/03/2013 - iFixit breaks open an HTC One, literally
Considering its sleek, primarily aluminum construction we never thought the HTC One was going be easy to crack open. But, it seems not even iFixit was completely prepared for the challenge of picking one apart. Since there are no screws used in the construction of the body, the fearless hackers needed to turn to a heat gun, a suction cup and a metal spudger to gain access to the internals. Underneath the swaths of aluminum and glass it turns out most of the components are covered in foil-like copper shielding that is quite difficult to deal with. There are a few screws inside, however, like the pair of fasteners that connect the 2,300mAh battery's cable to the motherboard. In the end, iFixit handed the One its namesake on the repairability scale -- meaning this sucker is practically impossible to pull apart and reassemble. To see the complete and careful destruction of HTC's latest flagship hit up the source.
26/03/2013 - Keepin' it real fake: the Star S5 Butterfly clones its HTC namesake, skips the good part
If you're going to engage in KIRF-ology, you could certainly do worse than HTC's lovely 5-inch slab of unibody plastic, the Butterfly. But if you want to sell it for $222.00, certain niceties have to go out the window -- like the signature 1080P screen, for instance. Star's slipped a 720P unit in there instead, while also downgrading the RAM to 1GB and swapping out Qualcomm's 1.5GHz quad-core CPU for a cheaper MediaTek model. The Chinese cloner's at least kept the other specs real, matching the kosher model's 8-megapixel rear and 3-megapixel front cameras, dual-sim option, SD card expansion slot and Android 4.2 software. Of course, nothing keeps costs down like not having to pay a designer -- and knowing that most of that pesky marketing's already been done for you.