Tag - Helio
Korean cell carrier SK Telecom said Thursday that it was contemplating making a bid for the struggling video chain Blockbuster. An official didn't explain the motivations, but it's suspected the deal would be an attempt to diversify away from its Korea-only network, where it leads but has a tough fight with KT and LG Telecom. Daewoo Securities analyst Byun Sung-jae told the WSJ that SK Telecom might feel oversaturated but could thrive in Internet video, where Blockbuster's content rights would be advantages.
SK Telecom today signaled its plans to get into the mobile platform business. Company chief Jung Man-Won directly billed it as a strategy to "eventually compete against Google, Apple and Nokia" and set aside one trillion Won (about $897 million) over three years to develop the project. Aside from a platform to support third-party apps, it would expand existing services like T Map and T Store into services others could build on. The platform would be available in the US along with China and southeast Asia.
A final Helio phone that's not likely to be released at all has been leaked out thanks to MobileCrunch. The Ocean 3 would have been a product of Helio, which was bought by Virgin Mobile and closed down on Wednesday. The Helio 3 could have been the first Android-powered handsets, as the Android team met with Helio long before the first Android phone was released in September of 2008.
Palm may have been dealt a significant wound this morning as its key user interface designer Matias Duarte said this morning that he was leaving the company. The Senior Director of Human Interface and User Experience didn't say where he would go next, but sources for AllThingsD said he was leaving to join Google and develop the Android interface. Google hasn't confirmed the new hire.
Sprint this morning said it would buy out Virgin Mobile's US division for an equity value of $483 million. The deal cancels out Virgin's $248 million in outstanding debts and is intended to bolster Sprint's efforts in the arena of prepaid phones. Although Sprint already had a 13.1 percent stake in Virgin, the company now says it will use the takeover to unite its entirely self-run Boost Mobile service with Virgin under a single roof.
Helio today formalized the launch of the Ocean 2. The handset closely fits its description from an early hands-on and adds 2GB of built-in storage, an optical navigation pad and improved messaging that involves Google Talk and threaded SMS. It continues to offer a 2-megapixel camera and built-in GPS for navigation and location-based social features. It can also serve as a media player with a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Helio's long-delayed Ocean 2 is due to ship in just two weeks, MobileCrunch says in a pre-announcement hands-on. Supported in part by Helio parent company Virgin Mobile's own mention of the phone for a concert promo, the slip confirms that the phone will be available on February 12th. The phone continues to share the original's two-way QWERTY and number pad sliders but adds a new optical pad for navigation, 2GB of built-in storage, and improved software that includes a tabbed web browser, threaded SMS and Google Talk messaging.
MVNO carrier Helio may ship its second Ocean smartphone as early as February, according to a company representative. The phone is at least due this quarter, which would put a release date no further than the end of March. The current Ocean is Helio's signature phone, a messaging device with many iPhone-like features such as a YouTube client and a built-in GPS receiver. The Ocean 2 is expected to have similar features, such as a microSD slot and a two-megapixel camera with flash.
The long-rumored Helio Ocean 2 has finally shown in concrete form courtesy of an FCC filing made public today. Appearing under the codename OZII, the Pantech-made dual slider matches earlier leaks and appears to primarily change the looks of the original Ocean as well as improve the software; aside from chromed trim, the device would chiefly improve by adding a full HTML web browser.
Virgin Mobile plans to carry Helio's planned Ocean sequel but doesn't have plans for it until next year, says company spokesperson Jayne Wallace. Although confirming that the device has been built and that Virgin will take over releasing the device to market, Wallace says the new Ocean isn't yet ready and that it should be launched in early 2009, when it will perform as "best" as possible. Little is known about the Pantech-made device other than that it should continue to use a dual slider and that it will have a cosmetic makeover.