It looks like LG’s hard work is finally paying off as they are now the world's 3rd largest mobile phone manufacturer. Shipping 100 million handsets last year, LG managed to edge out the likes of Motorola and Sony Ericsson making them now part of the big three in the mobile phone industry. Not surprising is Nokia who is still no. 1 with 470 million units sold while Samsung is sitting pretty at no. 2 with 200 million phones. Motorola came close at no. 4 with 99.9 millions phones sold while Sony Ericsson was at fifth place with 96.6 million units shipped. It’s still a long way to go for LG if they seriously want to overthrow Nokia from the top spot, but if they continue to release phones like the LG Cookie and Renoir, I'm optimistic of their chances and 2009 will no doubt be another fruitful year for the company.
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In what could be a preview of the not-so-distant future of Apple, Steve Jobs has stepped down as Apple CEO in order to take a medical leave until June of this year. Here’s a copy of the letter he sent to Apple employees explaining his decision:
"Team, I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought. In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June. I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple’s day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan. I look forward to seeing all of you this summer. Steve"Even though the people behind the technology and success of Apple’s products are still there, the absence of Steve Jobs will surely raise some concern especially from an investor’s standpoint. Nevertheless, it’s business as usual over at the Cupertino-based company, and to be quite honest, I don't see this latest development having any immediate effect at the consumer level. However, we cannot discount the fact that people will react to this news. As to what extent Steve Jobs’ medical leave will affect Apple as a company, we’ll just have to wait and see how things will turn out in the next couple of months. Get well soon, Steve, as I’m sure everyone will rest more easy when you’re back at the helm at Apple.
If you've been out of the loop for the past couple of days, it might interest you to know that Microsoft has made available a public beta version of their upcoming operating system, Windows 7. You can download a copy by clicking here and installation is pretty easy. Just burn the Windows 7 image to a DVD, boot up from the DVD discand run the installation . However, if you're planning to dual boot Windows 7 on your Win XP/Vista machine, want to run it on a Mac, or on a netbook, Gizmodo has come out with a step-by-step guide on how to accomplish this with Windows 7. Just remember, the minimum system requirements include a 1GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB HDD space, support for DirectX9 wih 128MB memory for Aero features, DVD-RW/W drive and internet access. This beta trial version which will expire on August 1, 2009. Likewise, the Windows 7 beta version is only available for download until January 24th unless they decide to extend it. So, if you’re already raring to give Microsoft’s latest OS a try, then by all means download it now and tell us how it goes for you.
Those who want to try Nokia Maps for free can now do so as the mobile phone giant is giving away a week’s worth of free navigation services. By default, most new Nokia phones that have Maps come with a free trial period, but if for whatever reason you were never able take it for a spin, here is Nokia’s New Year’s present to all you folks out there. Simple select your country, enter your mobile phone number and wait for an activation codeto be sent to you via SMS . Similarly, you will also be notified via SMS when your free trial is over. Do note, however, that this works with the latest Nokia Maps version and GPS-enabled phones only. If you know you have both, head on over here so that you can get yourself a free one week pass now to play around with Nokia Maps.
The highly awaited and anticipated iPhone 3G unlock called Yellowsnow is now available.
You do need to have the latest 2.2 firmware installed and jailbreak it first before you can proceed with the unlock, but after you’ve done that, simply install the app via Cydia/Installer, return to the Cydia Main Menu, reboot with the new SIM inserted , wait for 10-15 seconds before sliding to unlock, and that's it, your're done! However, do note that this is still a beta version so don’t be surprised if you hit some bumps along the way. PIN support is not available yet so you better disable PIN request on your SIM before proceeding. With that being said and you’re more than ready to give this unlock a try, you can find Yellowsnow at the following locations: Cydia: http://apt9.yellowsn0w.com/ Installer: http://i.yellowsn0w.com/ If you encounter problems along the way, you can read more about Yellowsnow at the iPhone Dev Team's blog or send them your complaints/feedback here so that an appropriate fix can be included in their next release. Happy unlocking guys!
Maybe you’ve already bought yourself that dream phone or laptop you’ve been lusting for the past couple of months, but for those who still have some money left over from their Christmas bonus, you might be interested to know that the HP Mini 1000 is already available locally. This bit of news is courtesy of Yugatech, and based on the provided info, both Villman and PC Corner have this second generation netbook listed on their respective websites already. PC Corner is selling it for P21,950 while Villman is offering theirs for P21,948. Other retailers might also be offering this new netbook already though I have yet to actually see one in the local stores. The specs of the HP Mini 1000 includes an Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz processor, 10.2-inch display, 1GB RAM (single slot, max 2GB), 60GB 4200rpm IDE, Bluetooth, WiFi, webcam, 3-cell battery and runs on Windows XP Home SP3. While I love the over-all design and cheaper price of this new HP netbook, I just can’t get past the thought that it only comes with 60GB 4200rpm HDD. I don’t exactly mind the average capacity, though I would have preferred it to be bigger, but the 4200rpm will definitely take its toll in performance. Nevertheless, it should be functional enough to meet the average PC user’s needs and its stylish and excellent design is surely a winner. So if you’re still looking for a decent gift to give yourself this Christmas, this is one netbook that’s worth considering. Merry Christmas everybody!
Consumer Reports has released their January 2009 issue, and based on their study, the Samsung BlackJack II is the no. 1 smartphone as far as the US market is concerned. This QWERTY-equipped Windows Mobile-powered mobile phone managed to beat not only the T-Mobile G1, but also the more popular iPhone 3G. Actually, neither of the two even made it to the top five which was composed of the T-Mobile Wing, Motorola Q9C, T-Mobile Shadow, and BlackBerry Pearl Flip. The first Android-based phone and iPhone both were tied at 6th place. I guess this just goes to show that consumers still value form, function and price over design and hype. Of course, this listing applies to the US and being in the Philippines, we definitely have our own set of smartphones to choose from. My personal top five picks for local market are as follows (in no particular order): 1. Nokia E71 2. Samsung BlackJack II 3. iPhone 3G 4. Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 5. Motorola Q9 How about you guys? What’s your mythical five smartphone line-up?
Just when we thought that Red Mobile was going to be just like the rest of the guys in the industry, Load Momma gives us hope that innovation may still be alive. Load Momma is an online community specifically designed for Red Mobile users. After you sign-up with Load Momma, every new member you invite and successfully register will entitle you to receive P10 free load. If you think that’s a small amount, remember that they offer P0.50/minute rate for Red Mobile-Red Mobile calls allowing you to make 20 minute calls with the free load. If you don't have a Red Mobile SIM yet which is a prerequisite before becoming registered, signing up with Load Momma will also entitle you to get one delivered right to your doorstep for free. However, the free load is only valid for 1 day and this promotion will only run until January 31, 2009. Nevertheless, it is a very unique and fresh approach to get people onboard Red Mobile. As to how successful it will be in the long run is anybody’s guess at the moment, but their use of social networking strategies is its secret weapon right now. With more people hopefully joining in with some advertisers as well getting in the act, they can probably make the load-giving permanent if it becomes such a hit. Unfortunately, while this new service does manage to bring a glimmer of new hope for the upstart telecom, Red Mobile’s limitation to work only on 3G handsets is a big turn-off. Granted that using a 3G network will guarantee better call quality, not everyone uses a 3G-capable phone and even though 3G handset prices have considerably gone down in the past couple of months, I believe that the target market of Red Mobile still prefers to get the less pricey handset models that offer decent specs and features albeit lacking 3G connectivity. Anyway, I guess we'll know in a couple of months time how things will turn out for Red Mobile, but for now, if you've got a 3G-capable phone, why not grab the opportunity to try out Red Mobile for sides? After all, getting a SIM and load is now easier and won't cost you a single centavo with Load Momma around.
If Makati’s too far away a place for you to go for the Microwarehouse sale, then you might want to head on over to Ynzal as they're also having a year-end inventory sale starting today and will run until Wednesday. For those who want to view the items on sale, you can find the pricelist here. Ynzal is located at 25 Scout Rallos Street, Quezon City. A map of its location can be viewed here. They may not have as diverse a collection of gadgets as Microwarehouse, but they nevertheless have a decent set of devices worth checking out especially for the Mac fan boys out there.
Nokia Philippines has got a treat for those who want to be the first to own the much awaited Nokia 5800 XpressMusic touchscreen phone. You can now pre-order online and if you’re among the first 58 individual to claim their pre-orders, you’ll receive a Sennheiser HD-205 headset and SVIP pasess for two to the Nokia 5800 Hedkendi Playlist Party that’s going to be held on January 23 at the A.Venue Hall in Makati City. The next 100 claimed orders won’t go empty handed as they’ll also receive an access pass to the said event. It'll also come bundled with an 8GB microSD card, and preloaded with exclusive content such as Kjwan’s highly-awaited album “13 Seconds to Love” and access to downloadable content from Universal Music and Nokia Indie Artists Club. While the SRP isn’t available just yet, we hear that it’s around the P20K mark and is expected to become available in the early part of January 2009. Sure, the recently announced N97 will make you think twice before pre-ordering the 5800 XpressMusic, but considering that the N97 is filled to the brim with features, it means that it’ll likewise come with a heftier price tag that's well above the P35K mark. Similarly, you could make a case that the LG Cookie is way more affordable, but then again, the 5800 XpressMusic is definitely far more superior in terms of feature set.