With the iPad 3 out, the rumor mill is mostly focused on Android, particularly on the upcoming swath of LTE-enabled phones due out soon. Because those phones have to get their radios approved, roaming agreements confirmed, and their newer chipsets tested, more news than normal leaks out about them than is usual. And that’s great for us!
Plus, a phone maker might be getting into the music streaming business with a buy-out. Why, you ask? Good question.
HTC and Beats buying MOG music streaming service
Details: Phone maker HTC owns the majority stake in Beats, the headphone and music accessory brand backed by Interscope Records honcho Jimmy Iovine and rap legend Dr. Dre. Beats is reportedly in talks to acquire MOG, a music streaming and sharing service that’s gained attention through its Facebook-integrated offerings lately.
Likelihood: HTC was previously rumored to be starting its own streaming service, while MOG has been actively seeking a buyer. Seems like a pretty rare three-way coincidence, so I’d go with 80 percent.
Get excited?: Pardon the cynicism, but if Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, Google Music, and Amazon Cloud Player have done nothing for you so far, what would make a manufacturer-owned service more appealing?
Sprint launching an LTE-enabled Windows Phone as early as fall
Details: Sprint hasn’t touched Windows Phone up until now, but now that the carrier has revealed a long-term LTE transition plan, and with Windows Phone 8 due to arrive this summer, a Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered phone could be a good launching point into Microsoft’s mobile system.
Likelihood: Somewhat if-y, given the complications that can arise in nationwide bandwidth shifts and Windows Phone OS releases. Plus, no manufacturer named for the device, so 50/50 that it actually arrives in what humans consider “fall.”
Get excited?: An LTE Windows Phone is a nice thing. But don’t change your contract plans.
HTC One X arriving on Sprint June 10
Source: S4gru, a blog seemingly designed by a 13-year-old hacker whose dad works in dealmaking for Sprint.
Details: The One X has been dubbed the “successor” to Sprint and HTC’s successful EVO 4G, with the twist that it introduces the LTE network that Sprint is pushing now, rather than the Wimax 4G the EVO touted. The phone also features NFC for purchases and data trading, and the latest version of Corning’s “Gorilla Glass.”
Likelihood: Spring and HTC lined up an April 4 press conference, which is just about the right amount of lead time for a phone debuting on June 10. And HTC showed off its “Jet” phone at the Mobile World Congress, intending to launch it on multiple carriers as an LTE handset under a common name. So, let’s say about 85 percent.
Get excited?: With a potential Nexus-branded tablet so close now, HTC I’d hold off, unless you’re really looking for something the size of an iPad, rather than a 7-inch, Kindle-Fire-style portable unit.
Galaxy Nexus coming to regional carriers in April
Details: The Galaxy Nexus, made by Samsung, was a Verizon exclusive when it launched, but that exclusivity seems to be coming to an end. AndroidCentral claims to have seen documents citing a price ($199 with two-year contract) and launch date of March 21--that’s today, actually.
Likelihood: That the Galaxy Nexus will go to more carriers very soon? Very high. That I Wireless gets it today? Well, the day is more than one-third over, so, you know, 66 percent.
Get excited?: The Galaxy Nexus hasn’t been without its share of bugs, slow-rolling releases, and other standard phone issues. But if you’re on a regional carrier and you love the stock Android experience, then it might be the best phone you can get.