Microsoft and Compal sign Android patent agreement

More Android money flowing into the pockets of Microsoft. This time it’s the Taiwanese ODM Compal who has signed a patent agreement covering Android and Chrome based devices:

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 23, 2011 — Microsoft Corp. and Compal Electronics, Inc. have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for Compal’s tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome Platform. Although the contents of the agreement have not been disclosed, the parties indicate that Microsoft will receive royalties from Compal under the agreement.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Compal, one of the leaders in the original design manufacturing, or ODM, industry. Together with the license agreements signed in the past few months with Wistron and Quanta Computer, today’s agreement with Compal means more than half of the world’s ODM industry for Android and Chrome devices is now under license to Microsoft’s patent portfolio,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. “We are proud of the continued success of our licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome.”

In case you forgot; Compal is also a Windows Phone 7 ODM currently manufacturing devices for Nokia and Acer.

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Acer and ViewSonic sign Android patent licensing deal with Microsoft

The ongoing Android Patent war/trolling ain’t going to finish anytime soon. Especially when Microsoft continues to get small and big ODMs/OEMs to sign a licensing agreement with them. Today is Acer and ViewSonic’s turn to get under Redmond’s wing. It should also be noted that Acer is now also a Windows Phone 7 OEM with one Mango device, the Acer W4, which is soon to be released. Anyway, just check out the press releases after the break:

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What you should expect from the new Windows Phone 7.5 Mango handsets

I’ve been reading a lot of misguided comments lately following the unveiling of the HTC Radar and especially the HTC Titan. Things like “HTC should be ashamed to used a WVGA 4.7″ screen, the resolution is too low” or “It’s going to be more expensive that the Dual-Core HTC Sensation! HTC are cheap bastards for using the MSM8255 clocked @ 1.5GHZ” or “Waiting for the Mango version of the Samsung Galaxy S II”. Ring ring my beloved anonymous friends! HTC and all the other OEMs don’t have much control over what SoC is used, same for the screen resolution. You already know that if you’ve been closely following the platform since the beginning.

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Acer W4 hands on video

Acer’s first Windows Phone 7 handset has made a brief appearance at the IFA convention in Berlin for the first time in its final retail form (previous sighting was just a dummy). The Acer W4 is basically an entry level Mango handset powered by an MSM8255 clocked at 1Ghz, a 3.6″ WVGA LCD scree, only 8GB of internal storage, 5Mpix camera and DLNA support. Nothing to really excited about here folks (there’s no mini-hdmi port). Check out the video after the break:

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Acer M310 / W4 Windows Phone 7 Mango phone to feature HDMI TV-Out ?

Paul Spain who attended the Tech-ED NZ event today has laid his eyes on a new Windows Phone 7 Mango handsets from Acer dubbed the MC310 (which may also be named the Acer W4). The interesting tid-bit though is that the device apparently had an HDMI output unlike any of the other Windows Phone 7 we have seen so far. I would definitely like to see a picture of it to confirm it though because this was never mentioned in the Acer W4 specs sheet and could very well be something only available a prototype version of the handset (or simply a micro-usb port which can look similar to the new mini-hdmi ports).

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New Samsung SGH-i937 , Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE Mango phones unveiled

Microsoft just showed during the Day 2 Keynote of WPC in LA, several of the new Mango devices that are expected to land this fall at your favorite retailer and carrier. The first one is the Samsung SGH-i937 which I first talked about back in May and sports a 4.3″ Super AMOLED Plus display similar to the Samsung Galaxy S II (overall design looks closer to the original Galaxy S though).People calling this the WP7 version of the Galaxy S II should check their facts. This Mango device (like the Omnia 7/Focus compared to the original Galaxy S) won’t have the same SoC at all. The SGH-i917 does seem to have a front facing camera too and will most probably be powered by an MSM8255 SoC clocked at 1.4Ghz like the Samsung Galaxy S Plus. Acer, Fujistu and ZTE’s first Windows Phones were also unveiled for the first time.

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Compal becomes Windows Phone 7 ODM: Will fulfill Nokia and Acer orders

Compal Electronics Inc CEO Ray Chen announced today during an annual shareholder meeting that his company has become a licensed Windows Phone 7 ODM and will build Windows Phone devices for Nokia and Acer which are expected to ship in the Fourth Quarter of this year. Being an ODM means that you won’t see Compal branded handsets sold, the company essentially manufactures and assembles the devices for other OEMs.

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Acer W4 hands on video

The guys at Engadget just post a relativity short hands on video of the Acer W4 mock-up that is on display at the company’s boot at Computex. Nothing really earth shattering here folks. As we learned yesterday the Acer W4 will sport an MSM8255 SoC but will unfortunately only have 8GB of storage. The device will also feature DLNA support similar to the LG Optimus 7. Video after the break:

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Acer W4 Windows Phone 7 Mango handset unveiled

Acer is showing off their first Windows Phone 7 handset at the Computex tradeshow in Taiwan today. The Acer W4 is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8255 SoC ,which is currently the most powerful chipset certified for Windows Phone 7, has a 3.6″ WVGA screen, 8Gb of Storage and a 5MPix camera. Nothing really breathtaking here obviously but it good to see that OEMs are getting ready for this fall’s launch More pictures after the break:

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Acer working on Window Phone 7 devices

It has long been known that Acer would one day come out with a Windows Phone 7 device but unfortunately nothing has materialized since the initial announcement back in February. Even before Windows Phone 7 was unveiled Acer was working on being a launch partner but given their recent focus on Android (and Microsoft’s switch from Windows Mobile 7 / Photon to Windows Phone 7) the company kept us in the shadows regarding their plans in the smartphone market. Today’s interview with Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci sheds some light on the company’s mobile future and their upcoming Windows Phone 7 products:

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Acer Stream review

The first Acer Stream review has just popped up a few minutes ago on Mobile-Review. Lots of photos and screenshots as usual with the Russian folks and some interesting talk about the hardware design, especially the weird placement of the dedicated multimedia buttons at the bottom of the device (while the 3.5mm headphone jack is at the top..). Acer seems to have done a pretty good job with their new custom UI this time around and according to them a Froyo / Android 2.2 is scheduled to be released approximately one moth after the product’s release. One of the most disappointing part is the camera quality especially when shooting 720P videos. As we have seen a few days ago the quality is far from good and it looks more like a low-res video upscaled to 720p instead od a native HD capture.

Source: Mobile-Review

First Acer Stream video samples: It ain’t pretty…

Two video samples of the recently announced Acer Stream Android handset have emerged on YouTube this weekend on YouTube and frankly they are disappointing. Even we you have keep in mind that we don’t know the exact camera setting used (compression level, sharpens..) and the fact that YouTube’s cmopression generally degrades the original quality of the videos, the quality isn’t up to what I expected from the device (5mpix camera with 720P camcorder feature). Check out both videos after the break:

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Acer Stream Android handset announcement and hands-on video

It didn’t take long for Acer to announce their new high-end Android device after it passed the FCC Tuesday. The Acer Stream is the company’s new Android 2.1 smartphone featuring a Qualcomm SnapDragon Chipset clocked at 1GHZ coupled with 512 Mb of RAM and 2gb of internal Flash. The screen is a 3.7″ WVGA (800×480) AMOLED panel (but there is a huge bezel!) and the 5Mpix camera is capable of shooting 720P videos. Other features included are: HD video playback on MP4, XVID and WMV-HD files, a Digital compass, GPS, FM Radio, HDMI port, UPnP & DNLA support, Micro-SD slot and Acer’s new UI. The device is 11.2mm thick. Check out the 22 minutes long hands-on video and press release below:

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Acer Stream Android handset hits the FCC

Looks like Acer’s upcoming high-end Android device has hi the FCC today. The Acer Stream (S110) was spotted last week during Google I/O event in California and apparently features the same basic specs as all the high-end Android device shipping lately: SnapDragon SoC, Big capacitive touchscreen and a 5Mpix camera capable of 720P video recording & and HDMI output. The device is rumored to launch in October with Android 2.1 on board (why not 2.2?).

Source: FCC via Androidguys Engadget

Acer NeoTouch P300 review

SlashGear has just posted a review of Acer’s latest Windows Mobile 6.5.3 device, the neoTouch P300. There’s frankly not much to say about it other than wonder who is going to buy such a low-end handset.The neoTouch is still powered by the MSMS 7201 SoC that everybody loves to hate, has a resistive WQVGA touchscreen and runs Windows Mobile 6.5.3. Frankly, any Android handset would be better. Here’s their conclusion:

Not much consumer attraction, then, but as a solid business device the P300 doesn’t break the bank or let you down in day to day functionality. It’s easy to become blinkered when faced with the latest and greatest cellphones day in, day out, and lose track of the fact that, for many buyers, basic features are all that’s really needed. Still, we’d probably look to budget Android devices ourselves; the HTC Hero may not have a hardware keyboard, but it’s only £20 (pre-tax) more. Our lasting concern is the longevity of Windows Mobile 6.5.3 – or, more accurately, the lack of it – since there’s no chance that the neoTouch P300 would see an upgrade to Windows Phone 7 later in the year. Nevertheless, even if superseded, the software will still do everything you asked of the P300 on the day you bought it, and there’s a considerable catalog of third-party apps available through the Windows Marketplace for Mobile that won’t run on a WP7 handset. We’d be happier if the P300 had a little more shaved off the price – a sub-£200 SIM-free smartphone would make for a decent argument – but if your ambitions are merely moderate and you’re dedicated to Exchange then the Acer is a reasonable no-frills budget buy.

Source: SlashGear

Acer P300 (WinMo) & Acer E110 (Android) certified

Looks like Acer is about to announce/launch two new smartphones in the coming days/weeks (at MWC ?) which are now certified by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. The first one is the Acer P300 Windows Mobile smartphone (SIG):

Acer P300 was Win-mobile smart phone with multi-function as below, Qualband GSM / GPRS / EDGE , WCDMA / HSDPA / HSUPA in FDD I, Bluetooth technology 2.0 + EDR, WiFi 802.11 b/g, USB 2.0

The second is the Acer E110 Android Smartphone (SIG):

E110 is a 3G bar type Smart Handheld. This product support GSM Quad band ( 850, 900, 1800, 1900 ), GPRS ( Class 12 ) , EGPRS ( Class 12 ) , UMTS ( Band I & VIII or Band II & V ) , and HSDPA on Android platform. Support both GPS and AGPS.

Via: Unwiredview

Acer Liquid to get Android 2.0 upgrade shortly

According to several sources (Acer France being one of them), the recently released Acer Liquid Android smartphone will receive an Android 2.0 update in the not too distant future. Tracy & Matt also heard does whispers today:

We’ve just had confirmation, from a very reliable source, that the Acer Liquid that we reviewed recently will be eligible for an upgrade to Android 2.0!

Liquid users rejoice!

Acer to launch 8-10 smartphones in 2010, mostly Android based

Just like we reported a couple weeks ago, Acer is shifting its focus on Android based smartphones next year. According to sources Acer is set to launch between 8-10 smartphones next year with Android models likely to be slightly more than Windows Mobile-based ones.

Acer will outsource the production of three Android-based smartphones to Foxconn International Holdings (FIH), using ST-Ericsson PNX6719 3G chipset solutions for the entry-level segment, the sources said. On the other hand, Inventec Appliances will roll out entry-level Windows Mobile-based smartphones for Acer.
Acer will continue to develop in-house smartphone models for the mid-range to high-end segments using Qualcomm Snapdragon solutions, while sub-contracting the production of those models to Compal Communications on an EMS basis, the sources noted.
Acer is also considering in-house development of smartphones based on Qualcomm’s Brew Mobile Platform (BMP) with an attempt to offer inexpensive models to compete with HTC (High Tech Computer) and also attract more interest from telecom carriers, the sources added.

It is also reported that Acer has added 30 members to their Android R&D team (from Mitac). The company seems to be mimicking HTC’s current 2010 strategy (more Android / less WinMo) and aiming at the very low end with a BrewMP device like the HTC Touch.B. For Microsoft, everything will depend on the development of Windows Mobile 7,as it was previously reported Acer is supposedly a WM7 launch parter (just like HTC)

Source: DigiTimes

Acer Liquid reviewed

PhoneArena just posted their review of Acer’s Liquid Android device. As it was expected the most disappointing part of the device is the software. Acer didn’t really do anything to the native Android UI other than ad a multimedia player (nemoPlayer) and some rotating thumbnails on the side of the screen.

Similarly to Acer´s latest Windows phones, the Liquid A1 comes with capable hardware that, sadly, is not exactly backed up by elaborate interface personalization, but the difference to Windows Mobile is that Android tends to be more user-friendly barefooted.

What’s interesting though is that they were supposedly able to playback 720P video content on the device, something that the HTC HD2 with a SnapDragon clocked @ 1Ghz (compared to 768Mhz on the Liquid) has a hard time to do. Looks like Windows Mobile 6.X is the culprit here…

The only video format you can watch videos in, meaning without any issues, is MPEG4. We managed to play content with resolution of 1,280×720 pixels and the quality was pretty good.

Source: PhoneArena