New Android phone rumors, iPad 3 details, and a PlayBook OS revision

It's Wednesday, so you know what that means! That's right--besides the week being half over, it’s that time when I dig through the rumors and insinuations about mobile and wireless happenings and quickly summate them, so you can go on with your fact-based life.

HTC launching its own Spotify-like streaming music service

Source: GigaOM, according to "sources familiar with the plans."

Details: In November 2011, HTC bought a stake in Beat, the maker of high-end (or at least high-price) headphones and other audio equipment, a joint project of hip-hop legend Dr. Dre and Interscope Records chairman Jimmy Iovine.

Likelihood: Rather high, given Iovine's statement to the L.A. Times in November that he was excited to see "Beats audio in just about every phone or tablet," and given the collective desires of Android phone makers to differentiate themselves.

Get excited?: Kind of weird, huh, how HTC, among others, is basically ignoring, or discounting, the likelihood of Google Music taking off? Anyways, if you're the owner of an HTC device, or you particularly like their products, it's notable. But it also seems like a very proprietary, locked-in way of approaching music. So if you’re a digital rights advocacy nerd like myself, maybe not.

BlackBerry PlayBook tablet OS revision arriving next week

Source: N4BB.

Details: Along with adding native email, calendar, and contacts applications, the purported "OS 2" will include a new Bridge framework for connecting to your BlackBerry phone.

Likelihood: Probably pretty high, given the existence of CES demos, a specific release date (Feb. 21), and BlackBerry's maker having little reason to hide what they're doing.

Get excited?: If you own a PlayBook, sure, you can look forward to, you know, actually emailing people from your tablet.

iPad 3 launching on March 7 with Retina Display and 4G

Source: Quite a few publications, many with simpatico reports, summarized by the NY Times' Bits Blog

Details: Reports show the iPad 3 as extremely close in form to the iPad 2, allowing for accessory compatibility, and having faster internal gear, especially in graphics processing. That's mainly thanks to the Retina Display due to be included, which offers double the resolution of the current iPads.

Likelihood: High. Lots of people are making the iPhone 4-to-4S comparison, although a doubled resolution on the world’s leading tablet is a lot more interesting than a voice-activated, sometimes-helpful assistant.

Get excited?: If you’ve been holding out all this time for the right iPad, this is probably the one: really fast web everywhere, really crisp graphics, and light and thin.

Upcoming HTC phones to play PlayStation library games

Source: Pocket-lint

Details: Combined with the HTC rumors further up this post, HTC is packing a lot into their phone packages: buy our Android devices, and you get access to our own streaming music, along with, say, Final Fantasy VII for those long airport lulls.

Likelihood: Hard to say. Sony does, in fact, have a certification program in place for its portable PlayStation platform, and HTC is, as shown, eager to bundle up their offerings. But it's early yet.

Get excited?: If you have fond memories of closing that circular CD-ROM bay on the classic beige PlayStation, then, absolutely--get happy that you won't need to buy an odd Sony PlayStation phone to get your mobile game on.

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