New Android augmented reality rumors, a super-slim Galaxy S III, and free T-Mobile phones
One is true, one is pretty neat, and the other is a wait-and-see. Plus: more Transformer Primes, forever.
It's Wednesday, so you know what that means! Actually, you probably don't, since I've only done one previous roundup of mobile rumors, but I'm looking to make it a most-every-week tradition. Here, then, are the mobile rumors bloggers and tech types are murmuring about, which are generally the most interesting rumors around--mostly.
One quick note: the idea of Amazon opening its own retail store in Seattle, selling its own branded products, is not a really mobile-based rumor, but it's dominating the rumor mill this morning. So go ahead and read that, wonder about the labyrinthine nature of business strategy, then come back to the handheld stuff.
Galaxy S III will be super-duper-slim, arrive in May
Details: The successor to the best-selling Galaxy S II will be 0.28-inches thick, which would tie it with the Droid Razr for thinnest Android phone around. That's no small feat, when you consider it's also housing a quad-core processor runnning Android 4.0, a Super AMOLED display, 8 or 12-megapixel camera, and a 4G LTE radio. It's not expected to show up at next month's Mobile World Congress event (per last week's roundup), but it could arrive in May.
Likelihood: Fairly high. Those are some rather specific details for a general "X is coming" phone rumor, which usually carry just one or two notable details ("Retina display! 12-inch tablet!"). As for the May delivery day--the Galaxy S II was announced in February 2011, so it's looking about that time.
Get excited?: If you're a fan of the Galaxy S line, I'd say so. A thin, non-curved, maybe non-huge Galaxy phone running Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) could be the first mass-market phone to show off the really notable improvements of the most recent Android upgrade.
Google developing Android-powered augmented reality glasses
Source: 9to5 Google.
Details: Android software monitors what you're seeing through a pair of apparently thickened Oakley-like sunglasses, then projects information about key items and locations with a graphic overlay on one of the lenses. You respond and interact by tilting your head, which, you know, totally won't confirm any suspicions the neighbors have had about you.
Likelihood: That Google is testing something like this in a deep cavern of their Mountain View lair? Almost certain. That it's within two years of shipping? Lower than Android phones being allowed to sync through iTunes.
Get excited?: Actually, kind of, despite the far-fetched nature. Companies like Vuzix are already offering glasses that don't look like robot orthodontic gear, and some neat developments for average phone-toters can come out of learning how people interact with their eyes.
T-Mobile making all phones bought with contract free on Feb. 11
Source: TmoNews, which you can almost always assume is the source of any non-wild T-Mobile rumor.
Details: 4G smartphones, and even some tablets, are all free after rebates with a two-year, 5 GB data contract, for one day only (and online).
Likelihood: Actually, between star-ing this rumor in Google Reader and this morning, the rumor panned out to be true. So, uh, pretty good.
Get excited?: If you're a T-Mobile customer up for contract renewal with good negotiating skills, or about to switch over to T-Mobile, go ahead and snicker at your friends blowing $200 for the opportunity to pay even more each month (depending on your service).
Next Transformer Prime tablet/laptop hybrid due out soon
Details: Not much, other than a certification leaking from testing firm Quietek, that states a TF300T received its marks. The original hybrid with the very litigious name, the Transformer Prime, was the TF201, and the primary Transformer a TF101, so it's a guess as to what gives this third tab-top a "T."
Likelihood: Fairly high, given the photo, the certification, and the tendency of companies like Asus to capitalize on success by producing many, many models.
Get excited?: If you returned or had your order cancelled for one of the earlier, often busted Transformers, maybe this is the model where the bootloader doesn't lock up, the aluminum doesn't knock down signals, and everything snaps together well. Maybe the "T" stands for "tested"?
Top image via Cool3C.