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After rumors, spy shots, blurry pics…. the new T-Mobile Shadow finally get’s a proper hands-on photo shoot it deserves. Engadget was fortunate enough to spend a few minutes with the upcoming HTC handset at CES in Vegas. Their initial take on the device is that it’s "decent looking slides" that average customers will like. Their only complaint was that the glossy screen was prone to evil finger prints and smudging (like most other HTC phones). The T-Mobile Shadow really tries to disguise the fact that it’s a smartphone. Be sure to check out a few more shots of the new Shadow and let us know what you think.
Fourth quarter numbers are in for HTC, but things arn’t as good as we had hoped. With stronger than forecast sales of the T-Mobile G1, we had expected HTC to post a very strong Q4, but analysts and the numbers chose not to agree with us. Analysts had predicted NT$7.78 billion in earnings for Q4, but HTC was able to beat those numbers by posting NT$8.14 billion in profits, net profit fell 19% from a year earlier. Revenue for the year rose 29% to NT$152.56 billion from NT$118.58 billion. HTC attributed the weak Q4 to a change in accounting practices and a new law that went info effect early last year which requited them to adjust employee bonuses every quarter. HTC said their net profit for Q4 would have been NT$9.81 without these adjustments.
The one thing to note in all this is that HTC finished the year with a 29% increase in revenue. We don’t have details on all their handset sale figures, but we know that the HTC G1, Diamond, and Touch Pro variants have sold really well. HTC is planning on ramping up production of several new phones over the next few months and I’d imagine they will launch 2-3 Android powered handsets in 2009. Lets just hope the numbers for 2009 turn out just as good.
Another day, another new HTC handset. Unfortunately, this time it’s not an official press release coming from HTC. The online retailed Expansys has just put up a page today, featurinf the new HTC Iolite. The new HTC Iolite will sport a 2.8-inch, QVGA touchscreen, run Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional on a 528 MHz processor, 288 MB of RAM, and 512 MB of Flash ROM. It will feature 3G HSDPA/HSUPA: Europe/Asia: 900/2100 MHz, but nothing to support U.S. 3G networks (at the moment). HTC will be including their HTC TouchFLO™ 3D UI and a 3.2MP camera. The Iolite will measure 102 mm x 53.5 mm x 14.5 mm and weigh in at 103 grams with a 1100 mAh battery. No release date or price is posted on their site, but you can pre-order the handset. Be sure to hit the read link for full specs or head on over to Expansys
Last fall, HTC launched the S740 in Europe, with a 12-key front keypad design with a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Now they are bringing the handset to the U.S. market, as the S743. This non-touch screen device, features the same faceted design as the original S740 and HTC Touch Diamond. THe phone is 1.7 inches wide and features a 2.4 inch QVGA vertical display. The HTC S743 will feature high-speed HSDPA (850/1900 MHz) network compatability and will be on sale starting some time in Q1 of 2009 at select e-tailers such as dell.com and cdw.com. For full details on the handset, be sure to check out the press release after the break.
T-Mobile and HTC have not done a very good job of keeping the T-Mobile Shadow II under wraps. Rumors have been flying around since spring of 2008 and we also got our first pics and details of the phone last rummer. The T-Mobile Shadow II is now expected to launch in a few weeks. January 28th to be exact. The Boy Genius Report seems to have the inside scoop once again and is showing off what they beleive are the final specs for the new Shadow. As you can see from the picture, the Shadow two will be available in white and red and will sprot WM 61. Unfortunately the new device will not be taking advantage of T-mobile’s newly launched 3G network. We still don’t have a set price for the new Shadow, but I can’t imagine that it would sell for much more than the refreshed black T-mobile Dash’s $99 asking price with new two year contract and after rebate. Be sure to check out all the specs after the break.
Only a week after the T-Mobile G1 was launched, a security hole was discovered that allowed access to Android’s root directory on the G1. google and T-Mobile worked quickly to patch the hole and T-mobile sent out an over the air firmware upgrade to G1 users. For many, the RC30 firmware upgrade did not do much. A few big fixes were included to make the general public happy, but developers and system hackers were only disappointed. To them, the security hole was an opportunity to dive further into the core of Android and tweak the system a bit more. Some developers have used root access in an attempt to start skinning the default Andorid UI, but other than that there have been no major advancements for those who still have root access.
Just recently, one of the developers on the xda-developers forum came up with a pretty simply way for G1 users to revert back to their original RC29 firmware and regain root access. I must warn that doing this could void your warranty and brick your phone, but there are quite a few success stories of forum members who have tried it. So if you’re interested in making your G1 UI look a little more unique
Oh, and there’s one thing that I want to help clear up. Getting root access on Andoid is not called "Jailbreaking". That was a term used for unlocking the iPhone to install apps on it. Root access is nothing like that since Android is an open source system. It seems there are a lot of bloggers out there simply using the wrong term.
The past few weeks have been filled with rumors that T-mobile would be launching a new Dash. It turns out that the rumors were true and now T-mobile is selling a new black version of the Dash for $99 after rebates and a new contract. The bad news is that he only new features of the black Dash are the color and Windows Mobile 6.1. We’re not sure that’s enough for for people to upgrade from their old Dash, but at $99, it’s quite an appealing starter Windows Mobile handset.