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Nokia planning November 2nd Lumia 920 launch on AT&T, November launch across Europe

Nokia announced their flagship Windows Phone 8 device, the Lumia 920, earlier this week, though notably absent from the announcement was any mention of price or launch date. However, multiple reports are claiming that Nokia is targeting a November 2nd launch for the Lumia 920 on AT&T in the U.S., with a European rollout to follow later in the month.

First reported by TechRadar, and now further confirmed by The Verge, Nokia is reportedly working closely with AT&T and Microsoft to ensure they can meet the November 2nd goal. According to The Verge, AT&T is currently testing the device in their labs in preparation for launch, while Microsoft is close to finalizing Windows Phone 8, with a Release To Manufacturing (RTM) expected next week.

Meanwhile, prospective Lumia buyers in Europe can expect the phone to launch around the same time, according to an independent report from Reuters. Citing a “European telecoms operator”, Reuters reports that the Lumia 920 will hit shops across Europe during November. Operators said they expect the phone to be priced similarly to Samsung’s latest Galaxy S III.

Though Nokia managed to capture a ton of mindshare with the announcement of the Lumia 920 earlier this week, a November launch gives the company’s competitors time to capture valuable marketshare. Apple is expected to announce and launch the iPhone 5 in September, giving them a healthy head start over Nokia, while Google is expected to launch one or more new Nexus phones this fall, as well.

Sources: TechRadar, The Verge, Reuters

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AT&T launching Nokia Lumia 900 on April 8th for $99.99

Image: CNET

CNET has confirmed with AT&T the oft-rumoured launch date of April 8th for the Nokia Lumia 900. Announced in January at CES, the Lumia 900 is Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone device, sporting a 4.3″ ClearBlack display, 8-megapixel rear camera, an 1830mAh battery, and 4G LTE. AT&T and Nokia have decided to price the phone at $99.99 with a 2 year contract – astoundingly low for such a high-end device.

The Lumia 900 will be available in AT&T stores starting April 8th, while preorders will begin in-store and online March 30th. At launch the phone will be available in Black and Cyan (Blue), with a White variant to follow on April 22nd.

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AT&T to Unleash the HTC Titan II on April 8th at $199

Photo: Engadget

AT&T is preparing to unleash one beast of a Windows Phone. On April 8th, the nation’s second biggest carrier will be releasing the HTC Titan II. Boasting a 16 megapixel camera and a 4.7-inch super LCD display, the phone will arguably be AT&T’s best Windows Phone to date.

The phone was shown off at CES earlier this year and stunned many with the inclusion of the 16 megapixel shooter.

HTC’s Titan II will be available for $199.99 on contract.

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CES: The Best of The Best, Before it Actually Starts

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was scheduled to start today, and run until the 13th. I’m guessing that memo didn’t get sent out. News has been pouring out of Las Vegas over the last four days, with major announcements from Vizio, Nokia, and AT&T, among others. We at Current Editorials figured there is enough coverage, so in an attempt to lighten the load on your RSS readers, over the next few days we will be bringing you some of our favorite pieces from around the tech inter-web, in one easy to find place (that’s here). Here’s some of the best so far.

Nokia Lumina 900 –

With a 4.3-inch AMOLED ClearBlack display, 4G LTE, and a 1.4GHz processor, this is the first true WP7 high-end device.

 AT&T launches six LTE devices – Cnet

Five Android phones. One Android tablet. All with LTE. Pricing starting under $50 and topping out at $300. Verizon, watch out.

Nikon releases the D4 – TheVerge

It’s packing a 16.2MP sensor, and native ISO of up to 12,800. It’s also $6,000. But if you are looking for a high-end DSLR, this is the best.

Thermador Freedom Induction Cooktop – TheVerge

If you have $5,000, and a voracious need for high-tech cooking, this is your gadget. It’s absolutely ridiculous. In a good way.

Vizio unleashes a PC Line – Engadget

Vizio decided to enter the PC business, and take on everybody. At once. From 27″ All-in-one’s to 14-inch ‘thin + light’ laptop’s (even another tablet!), the TV maker seems ready to make a dent in the PC market. Only time will tell how big that dent will be.

Sony Z100, the Android-powered Walkman – TechCrunch

Never one to give up, Sony is still pushing their Walkman line, hoping to grab the non-Android, iPhone, iPod users. Which means your grandparents. Maybe.

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NFC: It’s Time

The way you make purchases is changing. With Bank of America preparing to start charging $5 a month for customers to use their debit card, and the promise of more banks to follow suit, the opening for NFC is here. Near Field Communications will allow customers make purchases with their mobile devices. Many know of Google Wallet, but Isis — a joint venture between U.S. carriers Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile — will be Google’s main competition.

Isis, the brainchild of three of the big four mobile companies (we will get to Sprint later), is slated to be a firmly established brand. With handset makers such as Samsung, HTC, Motorola, RIM, LG, and Sony Ericsson, committed to building NFC-enabled devices with Isis’ technology, competition is guaranteed, but success is not. Isis has not been released on any device yet. Those outside of the tech space have never heard of Isis. Most have never heard of NFC.

Scot Mulloy, Chief Technology Officer of Isis, said that “working together with the device makers and our founding mobile carriers, Isis can provide the consumer choice and scale necessary for widespread adoption of mobile commerce.”

Google Wallet is currently available on only one phone, the Nexus S 4G from Sprint. But this means little to Google. Google Wallet works on over 300,000 MasterCard PayPass locations, not to mention a worldwide license with Visa’s PayWave service. With Android as its platform, Google could just make Wallet a standard application on new iterations of the operating system. Of course, the three carriers would fight — and likely try to block it — but it may be a case of too little, too late. Google is expected to announce Ice Cream Sandwich, the new Android variation in the next few weeks.

Back in May, when Google Wallet was announced, Google VP of Commerce Stephanie Tilenius said, “in terms of iPhone, RIM, Microsoft – we will partner with everyone.” This, of course, depends on how willing Apple and Microsoft are to adding another Google product to their operating systems. Apple has also been rumored for months to be working on its own NFC service. But if accomplished, Google will have a stranglehold on the mobile payment market. Apple – and to a lesser extent Microsoft — as you may know, do not let carriers alter their devices, unlike Android, which is routinely altered to a carrier’s preference.

While Isis has been rounding up carriers and manufacturers, Google has been rounding up retail businesses. Merchants such as, Foot Locker, CVS/pharmacy, American Eagle Outfitters, Jamba Juice, RadioShack, and Toys “R” Us currently accept Google Wallet. Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Subway, and Walgreens are coming in the near future.

Wide-spread adoption of NFC technology seemed a few years away, but with banks implementing a monthly fee for debit-card use, it could come much quicker than we expected. Isis has the carriers and the manufacturers, but that may not matter. Google is Google, and they will implement their service.

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Microsoft’s resurgence to prominence

Originally published on ReadWriteWeb

The last two months in the tech world have been abnormal to say the least. Steve Jobs resigned, Google bought Motorola, Microsoft showed off Windows 8 and now uses ARM, Google now uses Intel, the AT&T and T-Mobile merger is on the brink of falling apart, HP stopped making mobile products after spending over $1 Billion dollars last year to start making mobile products, and Microsoft took a page out of 2013 in the Apple product roadmap, announcing an OS that works on desktops and tablets. Out of all these stories, Windows 8 may indirectly have the most impact over the next 5 years. Read on for more.

Remember those analysts who said Windows Phone will surpass Android by 2015, and everyone said they were crazy? They may be right. This may have been the smartest move made by Microsoft since putting Office on a Mac. It may have been designed this way, or not, but Microsoft just threw a big wrench in Apple and Google’s product roadmap. It may even cause delays for the giants. Let’s start with Apple.

Apple has been moving toward one OS since the release of the iPhone. With the release of OS X Lion, and every new iteration of iOS, we see bits and pieces of a coordinated attempt to bring users into one OS. With Lion, it became pretty clear that Apple would like a touch-based OS to run on all of its devices. This dream may have been pushed back.

Apple has been taking the slow and steady approach, with every release adding new features to OS X that closely resemble or mimic iOS designs and capabilities. Many believe that the merger would happen in 2013, with iOS 7 and OS Cougar, or whatever feline they decide to name it after. But that would mean that Microsoft, with over two years of developer input would have a substantial head start in the game. Not that Apple cares — but as they saw with Final Cut — professionals that use Macs will need time to get used to it, time that Apple doesn’t like to give out. Professional users, which make up a large majority of Mac users, like stability, and stability takes time. Whenever the developer version gets released — a few months before the full product launch as usual — Apple will have to have something substantial that Windows 8 doesn’t already carry (yes, it’s that impressive) for the hundreds of millions of users that it is sure to have. Apple will surely meet that criteria, but Apple likes to release features over time, as we have seen with the iPhone (copy & paste, Wi-Fi syncing, etc.). Maybe, for the first time this will change. Apple usually takes a good idea and drastically improves on it, when it can, while making it easier to use. With the early glimpses of Windows 8, drastic improvements may be necessary to maintain its dominance.

Android may be in more trouble than anyone. With developers not making as much money on Android as iOS, horrible tablet sales, and the widespread forking of the OS by Amazon, Barnes & Noble,  and a host of Chinese companies, Google may have to rethink its open source policy for future OS releases. Windows Phone provides an economically sound alternative to developers instead of Android. Windows 8 blows Honeycomb tablets out of the water, and it’s on a device that it wasn’t made for. Users like simplicity and compatibility; Windows 8 provides both. Microsoft may have accomplished something that only Apple has been able to do so far; bring in people who would have never used a tablet, to purchase their device. When you can tell people that using your tablet is the same as using their computer at home, you have some serious potential.

Apple and Google may have been taken aback by the quality and design of Windows 8, but rest assured they will respond accordingly. Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich will be released in the next few months, with a promise to unite the tablet and phone OS. iOS 5 includes most major features that Android fanboys and jailbreakers have been clamoring for, plus new features like iCloud and a reported Nuance-powered voice command system. But Microsoft has done some astounding work. Maybe HP knew something we didn’t. Microsoft will release Windows 8 in late 2012, with an App Store, à la Apple, with over a year’s worth of developer input. Apple and Google’s Mobile OS will have many improvements by then, but the race will be on. A couple of months ago I wrote an article, stating RIM and Microsoft needed each other to become the third power in the mobile world. Microsoft doesn’t need anyone. They have done it all by themselves.