LG G2 owners may have to wait a while to get the Android 4.4 KitKat software that their Nexus 5-toting counterparts already enjoy. A spokesperson for the company’s Canadian branch informsMobileSyrup that the G2 should get its KitKat upgrade late in the first quarter of 2014 — in other words, March. While that will disappoint early adopters, LG does note that every local carrier will receive the update at about the same time. Whether or not Americans will see the new OS any sooner is another matter. We’ve asked the company about its US upgrade schedule, and we’ll let you know if it can provide some details.
There have been rumors that TSMC would handle some of Apple’s future chip production, but details of the purported arrangement have been vague. The Korea Economic Daily may have just filled us in, however. It claims that Samsung will make 30 to 40 percent of Apple’s A8 processors next year, with TSMC presumably assembling the lion’s share. Apple wanted TSMC to be the sole manufacturer, but the challenge of building 20 nanometer-class chips led to a supplementary agreement with Samsung, according to the Daily‘s tipsters. Neither side has commented on the report, so take it with a large grain of salt. If the story is accurate, though, it suggests that Apple will have only modest success in excluding its arch-rival’s technology from next-generation iOS devices.
It has been possible to snag an unlocked BlackBerry Q10 or Z10 in the US for a while if you’ve been willing to search around, but you now won’t have to. BlackBerry has quietly begun selling unrestricted GSM variants of the two smartphones through its US site at prices of $449 for a Z10 and $549 for a Q10. Either device remains LTE-capable, and both should play nicely with AT&T and T-Mobile. The direct sales aren’t likely to attract many converts, but they should help American fans who may have a tough time finding a BlackBerry in stores.
BlackBerry hasn’t said exactly when the Z30 will reach North America, but we now know that it’s getting close — a GSM variant with compatible LTE has reached the FCC. The smartphone supports 4G on both the 1,700MHz and 2,600MHz bands, suggesting that it will soon launch through bigger Canadian carriers like Bell, Rogers and Telus. We’ll still have to wait for an American model, however. Despite the US-friendly 1,700MHz LTE, this Z30 is missing both the 700MHz LTE needed for AT&T as well as the 1,700MHz 3G that T-Mobile would want. The promised Verizon model also hasn’t received FCC approval. The news won’t satisfy everyone wanting a big BlackBerry, but those who want to explore the Z30 in depth can check out both the Canadian phone and its just-launched European counterpart at the source links.
Oppo isn’t the only company launching a 5.9-inch smartphone today. Coolpad has just unveiled the Magview 4, which mates a similarly large display with a 1.8GHz Tegra 4 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a 13-megapixel f/2.0 rear camera and an aluminum chassis. The Android 4.2 handset doesn’t offer as many built-in tricks as its Oppo counterpart, but it’s arriving alongside a trio of clever accessories. The pocketable CoolHub combines a battery with a Bluetooth speaker, a microSD card reader and NFC tag support; the CoolHub 2 extends this with environmental sensors and a pedometer. Coolpad is also launching the cWatch C1, a waterproof smartwatch with alerts for calendars, calls and messages. While the company hasn’t yet priced its add-ons, it will ship the Magview 4 to mainland China in October for ¥3,980 ($650).
Republic Wireless’ low-cost, WiFi-driven phone service has proven tempting. The rapidly aging smartphones attached to that service, however? Not so much. The carrier will soon improve that device selection, as it has just revealed plans to sell the Moto X for $299 off-contract — roughly half of what it costs at other providers. Service is also expanding beyond the original $19 plan (now limited to the Defy XT), with steep discounts if you don’t depend on cellular service. Rely solely on WiFi, and you’ll pay just $5 per month for unlimited access; a $10 plan will be available if you need cellular voice and text messaging. There will also be more traditional plans with unlimited 3G and 4G data that respectively cost $25 and $40 per month. Republic Wireless hasn’t said when its extra-cheap Moto X will be available, but the new rates should take effect in November.
Want the Moto X experience combined with T-Mobile’s inexpensive plans? Today’s your lucky day — sort of. Motorola is now selling the promised T-Mobile version of its flagship, but only through its website at an unsubsidized $600 price. And like the Model T, you’re limited to black; the company lists the white version as “coming soon.” If you’re not deterred by the limited purchasing options, however, you can pick up a magenta-friendly Moto X at the source link.
We’ve seen AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon commit to releasing the LG G2 this fall… but where’s Sprint’s version? Don’t worry, fans, the carrier hasn’t forgotten you. Sprint now says it will take pre-orders for the $200 Android flagship starting on October 11th, with a release “in time for the holidays.” In return for the wait, the provider is giving out free QuickWindow covers to everyone who pre-orders a G2 through its website. We doubt that the gift will quell the jealousy of Sprint customers whose friends get a G2 weeks in advance, but the more patient among those subscribers can register their interest at the source link.