Following yesterday's surprising announcement that patent troll firm NTP is taking portable computing pioneer Palm to court over alleged IP infringement, the PDA and smartphone manufacturer has fired back with a statement detailing its position on the matter. While Palm corroborates NTP's assertion that the latter company had previously approached it about licensing the patents in question, it points out that all seven of them are still undergoing re-examination by the US Patent and Trademark Office, and all signs point to them being ruled invalid once the inquiry is complete. Therefore, Sunnyvale-based Palm has promised to "defend itself vigorously against the attempted misuse of the patent and judicial systems," which is the diplomatic way of saying that NTP won't see one red cent unless they pry it from Palm's cold, dead hands. Since the RIM / NTP fiasco took quite some time to wind its way through the courts, it seems that Palm is making the smart move here by stringing this along until the USPTO makes its final decision, but there's one thing it needs to bear in mind: NTP's got half a billion dollars to blow on legal fees, and since it doesn't actually do anything besides sue people, it can focus all of its energy and resources on this amusing but unhealthy lawsuit addiction.
When a single manufacturer accounts for an overwhelming majority of your license revenue, it stands to reason that said manufacturer might save a little dough in the long haul by acquiring you outright. And so it goes for the long, passionate relationship between UIQ and licensee Sony Ericsson; of the 13 handsets running the Symbian-based platform, nearly half -- six in all -- have been designed and produced by Sony Ericsson, with the remainder split between Motorola and Arima units that haven't seen been met with nearly as much publicity. The Swedish company, currently owned by Symbian itself, will be transferred to Sony Ericsson (pending clearance of the typical bureaucratic stuff, of course) for an undisclosed sum but will continue to operate as an independent entity with the current management team in place. Though UIQ promises that its platform will continue to be available "on equal terms to all its licensees," the move makes official what's been known for years: that UIQ is to Sony Ericsson what S60 is to Nokia, an interpretation of the Symbian smartphone operating system to call its own. Will UIQ ever match S60's popularity, particularly in the Symbian-friendly European market? Probably not, but with a committed partner now laying out the requisite cash, it does seem more likely than ever that UIQ's here to stay -- and as always, we're all about choice.
With Linux hitting it big on everything from the PSP to Monster's network media and automation devices, it's no surprise to see the OS taking charge on DrewTech's DashDAQ. The portable conglomerate is a "cross between a data acquisition system, diagnostic tool, automotive gauge display, and a handheld computer," and is targeting automotive gurus who crave performance monitoring, data charts, and customized gauges / diagnostic meters. With a bit of 1337 programming skills, the device can display nearly anything you desire, and can double as a navigation monitor, CarPC display, or snazzy tachometer to boot. It boasts a 4-inch QWVGA touchscreen, adjustable backlight, 200MHz ARM processor, 64MB of internal RAM, MMC / SD card slots, USB 2.0 connectivity, a serial port, and support for optional Bluetooth / WiFi add-ons. It also plays nice with OBDII, EGT, O2, and a plethora of other vehicle sensors. If this hodgepodge has you in a tizzy, but the gearhead in you longs for "one more toy," be sure to peep the video of DrewTech's multi-purpose device in action to determine if its worth the $595 pricetag.
All the big-time chip kiddies are all about diversity, and now that NVIDIA seems bent on doing things for serious in the GPU, chipset and (most recently) CPU spaces, its next step was pretty natural: go small. That's why it's forking over a cool $357 million for PortalPlayer, the system-on-chip wunderkind behind most some of the biggest music players in the biz -- most recently including the 5G iPod with video and SanDisk Sansa e200 series. However, NVIDIA has its sights set on much more than DAPs, and plans to combine the miniature know-how and processing power of PortalPlayer with NVIDIA's own graphics expertise in a bid to "drive the next digital revolution, where the mobile device becomes our most personal computer." Sounds like a good time for all, especially PortalPlayer stockholders, to which the purchase price represents a 19 percent bump on their stock value as it compares to the 20-day average as of Friday. The boards of both companies have approved the acquisition, and now the only hurdle is regulatory before these two chip fiends start busting out their "digital revolution."
Samsung's SPH-P9000 Deluxe MITs: Windows XP at 75 MPHUltra-portable XP devices have been getting a whole lot of interesting lately.
Now Samsung just upped the ante with this -- the SPH-P9000 Deluxe MITs -- at the Mobile WiMax Summit 2006 in South Korea. Measuring
in at chubby 143 × 94.3 × 29.75-mm / 580-g (5.6 × 3.7 × 1.17-inches / 1.28-pounds) when folded, this Windows XP device unfolds (dare
we say) origami-like to reveal a 1GHz Transmeta CPU and both Mobile WiMAX (AKA, WiBro which is already launched in Korea) and EV-DO
for data connectivity. No WiFi apparently, this all about Mobile WiMAX kids, with Internet speeds of 2-3 Mbps even when travelling
up 120-KPH (75-MPH). The SPH-P9000 packs a 5-inch 854x480 (WVGA) LCD, 30GB disk, 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and apparently ships
with both an internal 2980mAh and 7200mAh external extended-battery. People who have played with a prototype on display at the show
complained about the screen being too small (in DMB-cellphone crazed Korea!?) and of excessive heating. Well, they can at least work
on the latter before the scheduled Korean launch in the first half of 2007. No pricing yet but we've got plenty more pics after the
Sony's just going hog-wild with these fancy new PSP editions. This time we have the "camo" version that was spotted at the TGS, complete with Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops, a "Skin of a Warrior" faux snake-skin case, three pins and a nifty certificate. The handheld should be hitting Japan on December 22nd, and Play-Asia is already offering pre-orders for a fairly hefty $449 USD -- but we suppose they've gotta make a living somehow. There's also a cheapo option that skimps on the snake-skin and certificate, but reduces the price a whole hundie. No indication yet of when the madness might stop.
Peter Green is to Mac Minis what Ben Heckendorn is to gaming consoles, and Mr. Green has apparently one upped himself yet again by creating an even more compact alternative to throwing down for a shiny new MacBook. While Peter has apparently been too busy basking in his own glory to update his site with the juicy details we all crave, the Portable Mac Mini MK III has been spied by aminorjourney's wondering digicam, and judging solely by the looks of things, we dig it. Peter has seemingly crafted a portable enclosure that houses Apple's smallest Mac, a Li-ion cell that "lasts about three hours," and slapped a svelte touchscreen on the outer casing to get your computing on sans a mouse. While we're sure you're craving that case dimension and LCD contrast ratio info, you'll just have to live with photos for now, and be sure to click through for more live action shots of the MK III doing its thang.
StyleTap's Palm OS emulator for Windows Mobile has been kicking around in beta and preview versions for well over a year now, but the Toronto-based company has finally put all the pieces together and given its eponomously-titled software the big 1.0 release. From the looks of it, the emulator's come a long way since its earliest incarnations, now able to run apps written for any version of Palm OS -- including the ARM-based version -- as well as making use of your device's WiFi, Bluetooth, IR, and USB connections. It's also not a Boot Camp situation where you'll be switching back and forth between operating systems, with Palm OS apps instead simply showing up as native Windows Mobile applications on your device. If you're skeptical, you can grab a 14-day trial version from StyleTap's site before forking over the fifty bucks for the complete package. Not ones to rest on their laurels, StyleTap says this edition is only the first in a family of products, with versions for Symbian and Windows Mobile for Smartphones coming next.
We've been seeing these colorful PSPs around, but it looks like Sony is getting for reals and finally releasing them to the public. We've got pink, silver and blue, any one of which should significantly boost your fashionista cred, though we can't say they'll do a whole lot for your Locoroco score. If you want to take things to the next level, you can also nab an incredibly pink Samantha Thavasa purse for carrying your pink PSP, which will also do absolutely nothing for you Locoroco game, but plenty to inspire envy among teenage Japanese girls the world over. All of this will be hitting retail on November 22nd, but there's no word on price or whether this is some sort of limited run. As for cash, we suppose you could always crack open the PS3 fund, 'cause if you haven't nabbed one of 'em yet, the odds are slim you'll have need for that Yen before next year. We're also a tad curious about international availability, since those Lik-Sang and Play-Asia wells sure have dried up. Peep the purse after the break.
Anyone following things of this sort closely will know that Vista's not the only OS upgrade Microsoft's had in the pipeline, with both Windows XP Embedded and Windows CE seeing significant upgrades released today. So as to not leave good ol' CE feeling left out of the "embedded" game, Microsoft's also seen fit to rename the venerable mobile OS to something more buzzword-compliant -- henceforth, it will be known only as Windows Embedded CE 6.0 (or WECE, we suppose). The folks at The Inquirer have the rundown on what you can expect from the upgrade, much of which seems to be in line with the preview from earlier this year, including a completely rewritten, shared source kernel, the platform builder integrated into Visual Studio for a single development environment, and ready-made templates and libraries for things like GPS systems, networked devices and set-top boxes. It also comes in quite a bit under Windows XP Embedded in price, with volume licenses starting at $3 for the core version and $15 if you want to go for the professional model.
It's still forwarding us back to the old-skool 8125's product page at the moment, but a tipster has managed to coax Cingular's
site into giving up the goods on the 8525 -- Buy Now link and all. We're guessing it has something to do with region or
Premier account status, we're not sure, but the point is that a select few are able to place their orders for Cingular's
first HSDPA smartphone as we speak. Breaking out the wallet might be hard to justify for folks in 2G areas coming from an
8125, but if speed and power are top priorities, lick your chops as you read the full specs (highlights include a 400MHz
Samsung core, 2-megapixel cam, and that fabulous 3G radio) after the break.
Update: Judging from commenters' experiences, it's sounding like there's some buffoonery going on behind the scenes over at Cingular HQ -- the phone may not be shipping to anyone yet after all. In the meanwhile, enjoy the literature and imagery we've scooped, and we'll let you know what's going on as soon as we do.
Given that it's been six months since we last heard from NTP, we figured that the company had taken its $612 million, paid its hefty legal fees, and moved onto something more productive -- like sitting on a private Caribbean island drinking umbrella-laden cocktails all day. Unfortunately, we neglected to take into account NTP's limitless desire for suing other companies dry. So, still needing more money, NTP has filed a patent infringement suit against Palm in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, alleging in a press release that "Palm's products, services, systems and processes infringe NTP's patents." In a related matter, Scrooge McDuck is suing NTP for infringing his patent on a gold coin-filled swimming room.
While there are plenty of all-in-one DAP/PMP/gaming units out in the Chinese market, the V191 takes it to another level
by tossing in phone functionality and a PSP-styled enclosure to boot. A very likely candidate for Keepin' it real fake,
this handheld device comes in a tad shorter than the tried and true PSP, and replaces the unmistakable "PSP" logo with "FUN."
While details on this dodgy unit are far and few between, it apparently accepts any SIM card for mobile use, sports a 1.3-megapixel camera, supports MP4 / MP3 playback, and even boasts a gaming function for a bit of 8-bit reminiscing while on the go. You can store your tunes, movies, and homebrew apps on the included 256MB microSD card, or toss in a larger one for those extra lengthy trips. Assuming you can find one, the V191 is reportedly going for a whopping HK$5400 ($695) overseas.
Japan has a new mini-PC in the works this time from the obscure Kohjisha company. Besting the specs of most UMPCs while
combining a 77-key keyboard, the SA1F00 might just be what the aspiring UMPC fan boy has been waiting for. Ok it's not a
true UMPC, but this ultra-portable Windows XP device features AMD's 500MHz Geode LX800 CPU, a 7-inch 800x480
touch-sensitive (?) display, up to 1GB of memory and 80GB of disk, 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, 3-in-1 memory card
and CF card slots, and respectable 5-hour battery with a 2.2-hour full recharge or 1.5-hours for 85% juice. Oh, and it
measures just 218 x 163 x 25.4-mm / 8.6 x 6.4 x 1-inches while tipping the scales at 960-grams / 2.1-pounds. And get this,
it all starts at a mere ¥89,000 (about $754) with a 40GB disk on up to ¥109,800 (about $930) for 80GB of disk and MS Office
pre-installed. Compare that to the $1,178 Raon Vega, $2,000 Vaio UX290P, or $800 ASUS R2H and you'll understand the fuss.
Here at Engadget, we know the terrible ordeal of holiday shopping you're about to face, and we only want to help through this trying time. That's why we've produced this handy guide to pretty pink PSPs, 'cause every little decision counts. So, here's the breakdown: if your sister/girlfriend/mom is skanky (and/or a Sunday Night Football fan), then buy her the P!nk Limited Edition PSP. If your sister/girlfriend/mom is not skanky, buy her the Pink PSP, and toss in Locoroco for good measure -- she deserves it. Don't thank us, we're just glad to help.