Apple and Samsung Push HTC Sales to Bottom

Once high-flying Android manufacturer HTC reported weak fourth quarter results and forecast an even tougher first quarter as competition from Apple and Samsung squeezed the Taiwanese smartphone maker.

In the first quarter, HTC said it was expecting revenue of between 65 billion and 70 billion Taiwanese dollars or $2.20-2.37 billion, which could amount to as much as a 36 percent drop from the previous quarter. Analysts had expected HTC to generate $89.64 billion or $3.04 billion in revenue this quarter. HTC said the disappointing forecast stemmed from its transition to newer products, which will be previewed at the Mobile World Congress. It called the slow down “temporary.”

The company has been talking about putting out fewer phones and rallying around more “hero” devices. HTC rode the wave behind Android and enjoyed a lot of growth along with the rest of the smartphone market. But as Samsung began cranking on Android phones, Apple exploded last quarter with an impressive showing on iPhone sales and low-end Chinese makers ZTE and Huawei came on strong, it has left HTC with less room to stand out.

HTC will hope that the HTC Ville, a 4.3-inch inch Android 4.0 device, and other upcoming devices can help lead a turnaround. But it’s unclear what will provide the real spark. The HTC Rezound was one of the top Android devices this fall from HTC but it got overshadowed by the Galaxy Nexus from Samsung and the Motorola Razr.

Source: Digg

Image: Tech Radar

Carrier IQ Accused of VoIP Call Recording

Carrier IQ Accused of VoIP Call Recording

Carrier IQ caused a huge stir when 25-year-old Trevor Eckhart discovered that it was logging all the activities a person made using his or her mobile phone. Carrier IQ was an app that had been secretly installed on most Android, BlackBerry, and Nokia phones in the US. Eckhart also posted a video that showed how the app would report almost every action that the user made on his or her device.

UK mobile networks quickly stated that they did not make use of Carrier IQ “to the best of their knowledge.” Google has also stated that Carrier IQ was not installed in any of the smartphones in their lineup, including the Nexus One, Nexus S, and Galaxy Nexus handsets.

Now more accusations against Carrier IQ have surfaced. Some are now asserting that Carrier IQ also participated in VoIP call recording. A video of the app being used on an HTC device has garnered over 1.6 million views since it was uploaded on the site since the beginning of December.

Carrier IQ has denied that the app was snooping on the messages being sent by users or on the photos that were being taken using the devices. They also denied that the app did VoIP call recording. Carrier IQ insisted that they made use of the information collected to track performance data so that carriers would be able to improve their services.

A class action suit has already been filed against companies carrying Carrier IQ, including T-Mobile, Apple, Sprint, Samsung, HTC, AT&T, and Motorola. The suit alleges “unprecedented breach of the digital privacy rights of 150 million cell phone users.”