OnePlus One expected to be available in June

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If you’ve got an eye on the OnePlus One, but you’re not too keen on smashing your current smartphone to bits in order to get the handset early, then you’re not alone. The good news is that you shouldn’t have to wait too long to get your hands on the self-proclaimed “flagship killer.” In a recent production update alert, OnePlus revealed that after it clears its first 100 devices from its Smash the Past campaign, the company will ramp up production for a larger batch of 16GB Silk White models of its new phone in mid to late May. This production run will require a hard to get invite, so what about the rest of the world?

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Android grows to almost 60% US smartphone marketshare in Q1 as iOS drops

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Kantar Worldpanel has released its latest numbers on US smartphone penetration just as IDC, Strategy Analytics are releasing numbers on smartphone shipments globally. In the US, with smartphone market penetration growing 10 percentage points since last year, much of that growth is attributed to Android as Apple’s share with iOS slips year-over-year.

The report puts Android at 57.6 percent of the US smartphone market as of March of this year. That’s up from 49.3 percent last year and compares to iOS with 35.9 percent marketshare this year down from 43.7 percent in March last year. Windows, BlackBerry, and the “Other” category pretty much remained flat, so the story here is that growth of the smartphone market in the US has also meant growth for Android and some of it at the expense of iOS.  Read more

LG schedules press event for May 27, likely for new flagship LG G3

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We’ve been seeing more and more leaks in recent weeks for the upcoming LG G3, the company’s follow up to last year’s flagship LG G2 smartphone. Just yesterday the company confirmed that the device was excepted to launch within two months sometime during the second fiscal quarter, and shortly after an image appearing to be the backside of the device leaked online.

While there is no way of confirming if the event is indeed for the LG G3, the timeline would make sense and events happened simultaneously in New York, San Francisco, and London hint that a major announcement is planned. LG is also repeatedly planning a new smartwatch lineup that’s expected to make an appearance this summer.

Leaked specs for the LG G3 so far have included a quad-HD display, 2.3 GHz SnapDragon, Android 4.4.2, and a 16 megapixel camera. Other leaks have recently shown off a new flatter UI expected to arrive with the LG G3.  Read more

LG’s G Watch reportedly launching in France in June for €199, suggests $199 in U.S.

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French site Les Numeriques is reporting that LG France has said that its G Watch will launch in the country in June, priced at €199. While a straight currency conversion would mean a U.S. price of $276, gadgets are typically priced higher in Europe than in the USA (partly due to taxes), so it’s likely that LG would match the $199 price of the Galaxy Gear 2.

If the watch does indeed launch in June, it’s likely to be the first Android Wear smartwatch on the market, ahead of Motorola’s Moto 360 expected sometime in the summer. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear 2 uses instead Tizen OS. Google announced the Android Wear platform and SDK last month. As we exclusively revealed last October, the platform puts Google Now functionality at the heart of the offering …  Read more

Spotify for Android updated with new interface, ‘Your Music’ feature

Earlier this month, Spotify updated its iOS app with a totally new, darker-themed interface. This, of course, left Android users in the dark and stuck with an older design. Today, however, Spotify has announced that its Android app has been updated with the redesigned interface.

The new interface features a darker theme with refreshed typography and rounded pictures and album art. The design is nearly identical to that found on iOS and the Spotify desktop app.

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Motorola to discount Moto X to $299 for 24 hours on Thursday, May 1 (Reg. $349)

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Just last week, select Moto X variants started to receive price drops to $349 and $399 for 16GB and 32GB respectively, but now the company is looking to further discount all models of the device. Starting on May 1 at 12:01AM ET and running for 24 hours, the 16GB Moto X will cost just $299. The 32GB and Developer editions will receive an even steeper price cut, from $399 down to $324.99.

It’s unclear how many units Motorola will sell at this price, or if it will simply run the entire day. You also have to keep in mind that Motorola has promised a new flagship by late-Summer. But if you’ve been waiting for your chance to snag one of the best Android smartphones out there, this is your opportunity.

Let’s just hope this sale goes better than Moto’s Cyber Monday catastrophe

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Sony Z Ultra Google Play edition discounted to $450

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If you’ve been flirting with the idea of buying a gigantic phone or a small tablet with a vanilla Android experience but your cash flow is low, look no further than the Sony Z Ultra Google Play edition. Typically priced at $650, Mountain View has knocked $200 off the phone-tablet hybrid’s asking price. In addition to a shrunken premium, Google Play is offering free ground shipping with a standard warehouse departure time of 1-2 business days.

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LG says flagship G3 coming within two months (Update: shot of the device leaked?)

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LG has confirmed that the G3 will be made available in the second fiscal quarter of this year. That means that the device will be available within the next two months — much sooner than some were expecting, as the LG G2 launched in September of last year. The launch window was confirmed by LG in its earnings press release. The company expects “higher revenues” in the second quarter due to this flagship launch: Read more

Google reportedly plans to launch “Android Silver” devices w/ partners next year

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Earlier this month a report from Android Police noted that Google was planning on launching a live 27/7 support service called “Android Silver.” Today, TheInformation reports on additional details of the in-development service and claims that it will extend well beyond just a support offering for customers that purchased an Android device. Accoridng to the report, Google will be spending as much as $1 billion on promoting “Android Silver” branded devices being sold through its usual OEM partners that come with access to various perks. Google plans to do so with in-store advertising and training of sales staff, but it will also apparently require Silver devices to allow users to remove third-party apps and or limit the number of third-party apps that come preinstalled.

Google is also reportedly planning on assisting OEMs in integrating new hardware features such as waterproofing and voice recognition through the Android Silver program, and it will initially be working with partners LG and Motorola opposed to the larger players like Samsung and HTC that already offer many similar features through its own program.  Read more

Sprint launching special edition Harman Kardon HTC One M8 on May 8

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Sprint just wrapped up its event today where the carrier unveiled a partnership with Spotify to offer 6 free months of the music service to all on its shared “Framily” wireless plans. In addition, however, the company also revealed that it will be launching a special edition HTC One M8 that it has teamed up with Harman Kardon to create. Of course the Harman Kardon team up means the companies have further refined the device’s sound quality and in the process improved the sound of streaming audio for those getting access to the new Spotify perk. Read more

Acer announces Iconia Tab 7 phone-tablet hybrid, refreshes its 7-inch slate

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If you think the idea of holding a 5-inch phone to your head sounds absurd, then you’re going to love Acer’s newest doodad. Today, the company announced its new Iconia Tab 7, a 7-inch tablet that just so happens to place phone calls. This tablet/phone mashup features a  a 1,280 x 800 display ( 1,024 x 600 in Mexico), a quad-core MediaTek processor, Android KitKat and a modest 3G radio — yep no LTE here. As indicated by its low-end specs, this device is targeting emerging markets, so don’t expect to see it stateside. Acer says the Iconia Tab 7 will be available in Latin America, Asia and parts of Europe. So if you hang your hat in any of these locations, you can take this hybrid device home for €149 (around $206) or 1,990 Mexican pesos (around $152).

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