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  • Steven Woda

links for 2009-06-18

T-Mobile is prepping to announce its second Android handset next week, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal that cites unnamed sources. The fourth-largest U.S. carrier did not confirm the report, but has already said it would have Android-related announcements over the summer. The report said the next Android smartphone will be the HTC Magic, but it will be rebranded as the myTouch 3G. The handset is expected to go on sale this summer.

Next time you ask your teen to “stop texting,” you may want to think twice. Your teenager may be gearing up for the National Texting Championship – and the fat check that’s bestowed upon the winner. In New York yesterday, 22 contestants, 22 years old or younger, stretched their thumbs and prepared to test their texting dexterity at the third LG US National Texting Championship. The contest was sponsored by the mobile-phones division of LG Electronics, based in Seoul, South Korea. The 22 finalists, plucked from 250,000 eager texters, competed against each other over two days. Some of the challenges consisted of texting while blindfolded (a Harris Interactive Study reported that 42 percent of teens say they can text blindfolded) and texting while walking on a treadmill.

(tags: mobile texting)

Microsoft continued to increase its position in the U.S. Internet search market during the second week after its new search engine Bing was launched, Internet marketing research firm comScore said on Wednesday. A new comScore study showed that average daily penetration of Microsoft sites among U.S. searchers, a measure of how many people are being reached, climbed to 16.7 percent during the period of June 8-12, up from 15.8 percent in the first week of Bing’s debut and 13.7 percent in the week prior to Bing’s introduction. According to the study, Microsoft’s share of search result pages in the United States, a proxy for overall search intensity, reached 12.1 percent during the work week of June 8-12, also increasing from 11.3 percent a week earlier and 9.1 percent in the week before Bing’s launch.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) released 45 software patches on Wednesday to address rare security vulnerabilities in its popular iPhone and iPod Touch mobile devices. The company released them as part of its widely anticipated iPhone 3.0 operating system. “This is a large cluster of patches for the iPhone,” said Dino Dai Zovi, a security expert who is writing a book on cracking the iPhone. Apple has a stellar reputation when it comes to securing its devices. While it is unusual for the company to issue so many patches at once, analysts have yet to uncover any malicious software targeting the iPhone since Apple got into the mobile phone market two years ago. Wall Street analysts said they were not alarmed by the news.

AT&T said today it is modifying its upgrade policy for the new iPhone after existing customers of the popular device protested the $200 price difference they would have to pay if they wanted the new iPhone 3Gs, due out Friday. Customers who are just shy of a year into their two-year service contract may be eligible for “best upgrade pricing” of $199 for the 16-gigabyte model and $299 for the 32 GB version, AT&T said today. The change will be reflected on AT&T’s Web site tomorrow.

AT&T Inc. will allow some current iPhone owners to upgrade to a new model at the same price as new buyers when it is released Friday. Wednesday’s announcement comes after AT&T took some criticism from iPhone owners who felt that its prices were unfair. Current owners would have to pay $399 for the cheapest version of the new iPhone 3G S, compared with $199 for new buyers. The Dallas-based carrier heavily subsidizes the purchase price of the phone, and it takes a while for it to make that money back through monthly service fees. That means it doesn’t want to sell new, subsidized phones to customers who haven’t “paid off” their old phones. Customers qualify for the “new buyer” price after a certain period, determined by a formula. Factors include how much they pay per month and whether they’re current on their payments. Those who pay at least $100 a month generally qualify 12 to 18 months after purchase, AT&T said.

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