Friday, 31 of October of 2014


Archives from month » February, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 And Galaxy Beam Revealed At MWC 2012

Samsung Galaxy Tab (T-Mobile)

Samsung Galaxy Tab (T-Mobile) on Amazon

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 is getting a lot of limelight and stealing away all the attention from the other releases by Samsung — the Galaxy Tab 2 series of tablets and the Galaxy Beam smartphone.

Galaxy Beam from Samsung is the company’s update on the original ‘Beam’ phone which was the first of its kind. The Galaxy Beam is a ‘projector-phone’ that has a built-in pico projector to allow the user to share images and videos by projecting them on to a viable surface like a black wall or even on the back of somebody’s shirt! It also has a 5mp camera that has a 720p video recording feature that captures clips at 30 frames per second.

The Beam is around 0.5inches in thickness and sports a 1GHz dual-core processor. However, quite unlike most of the other phones being launched at the MWC 2012, it does not come with Android 4.0 ICS. It is running on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread instead.

Up next is the Galaxy Tab 2 line of tablets. Samsung introduced the next generation of its tablet line with 7inch and 10.1inch versions of the new tablet. Both sizes will have further options of WiFi only or WiFi+3G. The company intends to launch the tablets worldwide in March this year.

There’s talk of Samsung showing the highly anticipated Galaxy S III at the conference. According to a post made on tech blog Boy Genius Report, this super phone will have a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, a 4.8inch 1080p display with a 8MP rear camera and 2MP front camera. If launched soon enough, it might become the second phone to have a quad-core processor after a similar model was released by LG recently.

Samsung is currently facing stiff competition from both the high-end player Apple with their iPad and the base level players Amazon with their Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble with their Nook Tablet Color. The Galaxy Tab sits in that midway zone that is neither the iPad nor the Kindle Fire/Nook Tablet color range. This is the zone that has so far shown the least amount of sales going by the sales reports. The iPad continues to dominate the market with the Kindle Fire eating away at the rest of the market with its rock bottom price that most other mainstream tablets can’t match without sacrificing on functionality that will automatically make them inferior to the fire.

However, when it comes its own category, the Galaxy Tab has in fact been selling well the world over. It has received some amount of recognition amongst users for its performance and interface. It is possible that the new line of Galaxy Tab 2 tablets will finally define the mid-range for tablets.


Nokia Lumia Phone With Lower Price And Symbian Phone With 38Megapixel Camera Revealed At MWC 2012

Nokia Lumia 800 black 16GB -FACTORY UNLOCKED-

Nokia Lumia 800 black 16GB -FACTORY UNLOCKED on Amazon

Nokia unveiled a new Lumia Phone, some phones meant for emerging markets and one Symbian phone that boasts of a massive 38Megapixel photo capturing capability. It also introduced a few services that are mainly meant for running on the Lumia Phones.

Nokia’s Lumia 610 was unveiled as the lowest price device in the Lumia series of Windows Phone devices from the company. There was no information shared on the release areas of the device but the price is said to be about €189 (~254USD) upon release. The release itself is supposed to happen in the second quarter of this year.

With the Lumia 610, Nokia has covered all levels of the market for their Windows Phone series of devices. This phone marks the fourth Lumia Phone and the likely conclusion (for now) to the revamped side of Nokia. This phone came so late after its predecessors because Nokia had to wait till Microsoft decided to lower the minimum system requirements for manufacturers of Windows Phone devices so that lower processing power and memory could be used to bring down the final price.

Windows Phone is now apparently fit for sale in China and hence both CDMA and WCDMA Lumia phones will be launched in China in a few months from now.

Other Lumia news included the high-end 4G LTE capable Lumia 900 phone coming to places outside the US, startin with Canada where it will be available on the Rogers network. There will also be a version of the 900 made for running on HSPA networks for places that don’t yet have LTE networks. It is expected to be priced around €480 (~646USD) and also become available in the second quarter.

The Lumia series also received some new apps and services, out of the Nokia Transport promises to be quite helpful. It will provide door-to-door navigation using public transport. Then there’s Nokia Reading for reading everything — books, news, feeds — in one place.

Coming to the other part of the Nokia unveils — the company announced that they have made a advancement in imaging technology and it will be first implemented in the Nokia 808 PureView phone. It raised some eyebrows because the 808 is running Symbian — an OS that Nokia has officially declared as being phased out and replaced. However, the company said that this technology will become available on future Windows Phones too.

The new technology used in PureView allows the user to snap pictures in a staggering 38megapixel resolution! Users can zoom in a great deal in to these photos to see hidden details and print out in large blown up sizes.

Nokia also released three new phones called Asha 302, 202 and 203. The first is available now and the other two will become available in the next few months. Both are targeted towards developing markets and to become the first phones of those who don’t have one yet.


iPad 3 And iPhone 5 Rumored To Have 4G LTE Onboard

Apple iPad 2 MC769LL/A Tablet (16GB, WiFi, Black)

Apple iPad 2 MC769LL/A Tablet (16GB, WiFi, Black)

Analysts predict that both the iPhone 5 and the iPad 3 — devices that are expected to come out this year from Apple — are going to be 4G LTE enabled in order to better compete on a crowded market floor. Analyst Shaw Wu, who’s working for Stern Agee at the moment, made this prediction about the upcoming iOS Devices. This just adds fuel to the rumor mill that has been working overtime as the (purported) iPad 3 launch date draws closer. According the general consensus amongst rumors and experts, an early March date is when the next generation tablet is expected to appear.

According to Wu, it is not surprising at all and it falls in line with their checks within Apple supply chains mid-January this year. The 4G LTE capability will join a handful of other important upgrades, according to Wu. These upgrades are coming in the form of a better SoC with more processing power, a retina display (the same extremely high resolution display found on iPhone 4 and above) and of course, Siri. There have in fact been rumors about Siri finally shedding the beta tag and being launched as something even more spectacular than the entertaining virtual-voice-assistant that we now know and love.

In the meantime, there was a report from Wall Street Journal, who cited some unnamed sources who are apparently close to the matter, saying the iPad 3 will be sold by Verizon Wireless and AT&T for use on their respective 4G LTE networks. These are the same carriers that are selling the iPad 2 — the current generation of the tablet.

4G is currently avail in only select parts of the US and that is the similar state in every other place in the world where 4G is being rolled out. According to estimates from the analyst, the US will have about 80% 4G coverage by the end of 2013 and that is 2 years away. Which is probably why Apple had not introduced 4G on the iPad before this. However, now that coverage is getting better and the SoC has also become advanced enough, the iPad 3 is perhaps finally ready to be blessed with 4G. This is also going to help with the sales as lot as the device be facing a lot of stiff competition from almost every manufacturer on the planet thanks to Android and the upcoming Windows 8.

The iPad is currently the market leader for tablets but many are predicting its fall this year thanks to renewed competition and a better equipped Android with the 4.0 update (Android 5.0 Jelly Bean is also rumored for an early 2012 release).

According to Wu, this update will in fact send a boost through the iPad sales and increase overall sales. This, in a time when the iPad needs it to maintain and perhaps even increase market share that is slowly being eaten away by a fragmented competition.

Update: Here’s the direct link to the iPad page on Verizon’s website. Thanks Chloe!


HTC Endeavor Name Changed To HTC One X

HTC Inspire 4G Android Phone (AT&T)

HTC Inspire 4G Android Phone (AT&T) on Amazon

The rumored quad-core phone from HTC, reported earlier as HTC Endeavor, has gone through a name change yet again. Starting out originally under the moniker HTC Edge, its most recent name change is apparently the final one as MWC (Mobile World Congress) draws ever closer. According to the insider sources who leaked this information to gadget blog Pocketnow, this is the final name that is going to be used for the branding of this phone.

If the information is correct and this is indeed the phone that started out as the Edge, then we have some pretty good features going for this phone. Starting out is the best of the lot — the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core SoC (System on a Chip) with one full GB of memory and 16GB of built in storage. And it does not stop there either.

The display is supposed to be a stunning 4.7inch screen with HD resolution coupled with an 8megapixel camera at the back. There’s no information on the front-facing (because their has to be one) but it is definitely above the 1MP range given the premium nature of this phone.

Tracking back, HTC had applied for a patent for a phone concept that had almost edge-to-edge glass on its face. If that hold true, then it makes sense why this phone started out life in the labs as the HTC Edge. This special feature added to the fact that this will be coming with Android 4.0 ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) with the Sense 4.0 UI slapped on it, it should look pretty darn good.

In the meantime, there have also been rumors that we reported earlier about some custom apps made just for this device. That would include a custom video editing app made to suit the style and branding of the Sense UI and a hitherto unknown feature called HTC Speak. Given the name, the latter clearly has something to do with voice control but no one in the industry right now knows what it is all about.

Coming back to the HTC One X, so called, there’s news from tech news source SlashGear about HTC changing the name of the other rumored phone from HTC Ville to HTC One S. Adopting a naming pattern similar to Samsung (Glalaxy S, Galaxy Nexus, etc.), these phones seem to be part of one single solid brand that show off the latest in mobile technology. However, there’s no telling what HTC has in store for us with this new ‘One’ line of devices. There’s clearly a single common thread but it is one that eludes us for now.

HTC is expected to launch this phone at the upcoming MWC 2012, to be held at Barcelona, Spain.


Motorola Android Phone Running Ice Cream Sandwich On Intel Chip Leaked

Motorola DROID 3 Global Android Phone (Verizon Wireless)

Motorola DROID 3 Global Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) on Amazon

It seems as though Motorola is close to finishing the development of an Intel Medfield chip based design running Android 4.0. Smartphone focused site Pocketnow has posted some photos of the device along with some other details.

Motorola is known for using Texas Instrument’s OMAP processors usually but this time they are on their way to becoming the first manufacturer to release a smartphone running the newly developed Intel Medfield processor that seeks to launch the largest chipmaker in the world in to the mobile device market. Intel has so far been shunned by most mobile device manufacturers in favor of ARM chips and some others. But starting this year, Intel will launch its renewed effort to get in to the mobile business in the long run. Chipmaker has confessed that Medfield is not close to being competitive with ARM designs but the developments that will come to fruition next year should deliver something that is appropriately competitive to aggressively fight against ARM’s domination of the industry.

Motorola’s device is as of yet unnamed but it is expected to be launched during the MWC 2012 event that is scheduled to happen at the end of this month in Barcelona, Spain. The device will sport the MotoBlur interface that Motorola has designed for use with Android devices. Although hardware details were scarce, the original report says that the camera has major emphasis in the design and it is expected to be a major selling point for the device. There’s apparently enough muscle in this camera to attain a 15 frames per second burst mode that is normally reserved for higher level DSLRs. In fact, to attain a 15fps burst mode, one has to go very high up the DSLR line indeed.

However, if the camera is going to be the main focus of this phone, the Intel’s purpose would be defeated. Hence, it is likely that the phone is packing of lot of other features to gain attention of users and industry experts and lure them in to trying out the first Intel-Android device. If the device and the processor catches on at all, then Motorola might actually get the first-mover advantage and gain a better presence in the market before merging its smartphone division in to Google.

Motorola Android ICS Phone running on Intel Medfield Chip

Motorola Android ICS Phone running on Intel Medfield Chip

The device is said to be completely devoid of physical buttons and the images show only 3 soft buttons on the front that denote back, home and one for contextual menus. This is the nor the first time an Android phone is bring shipped without any physical buttons on the face but thankfully this design still incorporates the traditional volume rocker and power button on the side.

Keep a look out for the MWC coverage to find out more about this and other exciting mobile devices that are expected to come out of MWC this year.


HTC Endeavor Might Come With Siri Alternative Called HTC Speak

HTC Inspire 4G Android Phone (AT&T)

HTC Inspire 4G Android Phone (AT&T) on Amazon

HTC Endeavor is an upcoming smartphone that has been the center of attention for the smartphone community for a long time now. Other than its claim to fame as an upcoming monster phone with a quad-core processor, it has been teeming with rumors about various other new features. One of them has stemmed from a leaked Endeavor ROM and it is called HTC Speak

HTC Speak, in all likelihood, is an Android technology for taking on Apple’s voice assistant Siri — the popular feature on the iPhone 4S that allows people to talk naturally to their phones for performing actions and ask questions to perform searches.

There has been some confusion regarding what the HTC Endeavor actually is. The leaked ROM that gave away the existence of the HTC Speak also has a SIM insertion animation that shows the angular HTC Phone that was leaked earlier this month. However, HTC Endeavor has so far been believed to be the same as HTC Edge.

Meanwhile, HDBlog has done some digging and come up with a move editing app in the same ROM right alongside the HTC Speak feature. And this not the regular movie editor from Google either.

The problem with this leak is that it stops right here, after uncovering the names and some minor details. There’s no telling what HTC Speak actually is. It might be an augmented version of Google’s Voice search with HTC’s own magic. It might be a licensed voice recognition knowledge navigator that is truly a Siri rival or it might just be a voice command system that recognizes a handful of voice commands, the kind that all phone makers were toying with back in early 2000’s. It might also be a text-to-voice and vice-versa meant as an assistive technology and dictation taking software. So it remains to be seen whether HTC actually trying anything ambitious at all, especially after losing a round of patent battle with Apple courtesy the Trade Commission.

However, it is clear that HTC is trying to come up with a unique feature that sets the manufacturer apart from its competitors. Now that half the market is using Android, competition is tougher than ever and in this scenario HTC needs everything it can get. And if the suspicions are true, then the video editing app is also HTC’s own and not the one that Google baked in to Android. The app on this ROM has apparently been branded and designed to match the Sense UI’s feel.

Overall, HTC has definitely been busy preparing some superphones for MWC later this month. The HTC Endeavour along with HTC Ville is expected to make its debut appearance at the MWC 2012 in Barcelona, Spain later this month.


Apple iPhone Leads The Smartphone Pack In Sales Yet Again in Q4 2011, Says Gartner

Apple iPhone 4S 16Gb White Factory unlocked MD237LL/A

Apple iPhone 4S 16Gb White Factory unlocked MD237LL/A Factory Unlocked On Amazon

Tech industry research firm Gartner has released 2011 Q4 sales records and it clearly shows that Apple’s iPhone led the smartphone industry in terms of sales. Their volume actually affected the sales of others like HTC and Nokia who have been talking about a slow down in the smartphone market. However, according to Gartner, the market has actually grown by 47.3 percent year on year when compared to the same quarter last year. In Q4 2011, as many as 149 million smartphone units were sold.

In fact, according to Gartner, Apple is responsible for single-handedly saving the smartphone industry after it showed decline in sales for Q2 and Q3 in 2011. So it is not so much the smartphone sales declining as everyone actually buying an iPhone and shunning the rest. HTC and Nokia take note. This is where your business is actually going.

In the meantime, Gartner points out that the smartphone has been getting ever closer to dominating the entire mobile devices market. This report says that they accounted for one-third of all mobile sales in the world during the last quarter. According to their analysts, this upward trend is going to follow through the next few years with 2012 showing a 39 percent growth, as per the predictions. The same set of predictions for the feature phone (which is what the rest of the mobile phones are now called) is only seven percent.

This is a very strong indicator of exactly how well smartphones have been doing in the past few quarters and how fast they are growing. And these are worldwide figures. If they are to be concentrated only on the developed markets like the US or Japan, smartphones have actually been outselling features phones for quite some time now.

And in the meantime, even with the iPhone dominating the sales, Google’s combined Android might grew even stronger to take over half of all the smartphones sold during the last quarter. The same figure was barely over 30 percent during the same quarter a year earlier in 2010. In terms of platforms, Apple’s iOS and Samsung Bada are the only other ones that have shown any growth. The rest are quietly declining in to oblivion, including RIM’s BlackBerry and Windows Phone. Windows Phone accounted for 1.9 percent of all sales but that figure is set to grow again once Windows released. However, it most likely will be 2013 before Windows Phone shows up as a significant player in the market.

Coming back to Apple, the Cupertino company is now the world’s single largest smartphone vendor thanks to its tremendous iPhone sales. It accounted for 23.4 percent of all mobile devices sold in the last quarter. That is the equivalent of 35.5 million units sold in a single quarter. Yes, that’s a lot of iPhones for others to compete with.

In terms of global overall mobile vendors, Apple has now become the third largest vendor behind Samsung and Nokia. However, it has to be noted that Apple sells only one single line of very expensive phones with one release a year whereas Samsung and especially Nokia, sell a large number of phones that vary greatly in price range. Nokia in fact has basic, unlocked GSM phones for as cheap as $35 in Asian markets. No, you can’t pay Angry Birds on these phones.


Apple TV Might Be Soon Be Updated To A Full-Fledged TV, Retailer Stocks Are Running Low

Apple TV MC572LL/A (2010)

Apple TV MC572LL/A (2010) used and refurb deals on Amazon

Retailers seem to be running out of Apple TV’s current version quite fast and their stocks are not getting replenished. Apple news source 9to5Mac reported receiving information from their source within BestBuy about Apple TV units no longer shipping to retailers and poor availability amongst physical stores. In the meantime CNET has done some searching and found out that the Apple is either unavailable or has very limited availability amongst major US retailers such as Radio Shack, Amazon, Target and Wal-Mart.

This kind of widespread shortage of such a product is typical of the times just before a refresh and there have been rumors going around constantly about a new Apple TV coming out soon. Rumors out of Canada suggest that the Apple TV is already there with popular carriers for testing. It is supposed to look like an iMac or Cinema display with Apple TV built in to it. The OS inside would be like the iPhone and there will likely be support for many of the current iOS apps along with launch time future offerings of Apple TV specific apps.

There are already rumors of an Apple event coming up in early March. Although it is probably going to launch the next iPad, there’s a possibility of the Apple TV coming up as an ending note. Apple does not usually hold an entire event to launch a new version of Apple TV but then as the iBooks event showed earlier, the company does not play by any set of rules. It invents them as it goes along. Thus it is hard to predict exactly what the company is going to do.

A new Apple TV was part of the list of supported devices in the iOS 5.1 beta that was circulated in the market last year. Even though it might be an enterprise strategy to confuse the industry and competitors, any amount of truth in that list would mean that current rumors fall in line with it.

The upgrade would include the Apple TV coming in as an entire HDTV unto itself with a 1080p resolution, up from the current 720p that you get. The chassis will not doubt be slimmer than that of the iMac owing to lesser components. The Apple TV runs on a platform that is similar to the iPad and will come with its own storage.

The Apple TV concept is to allow you to add several new dimensions to your TV such as the sharing content from your iPad, iPhone and MacBook. There’s also the option of renting movies from services like Netflix. Plus you can control your Apple TV via the iPhone remote control app. You can even share content on your iPhone via the Airplay feature that automatically hooks Apple TV and your iOS device via WiFi.

Currently Apple TV is a small box that fits on the palm of your hands. However, there’s no telling what the price point would be like when it comes as a whole TV in itself.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 Will Feature Enough Horsepower for Android Ice Cream Sandwich

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus 16GB (Dual Core, Universal Remote, WiFi)

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus 16GB (Dual Core, Universal Remote, WiFi) on Amazon

If what Samsung has to say is to be believed then they are prepping a new Galaxy Tab tablet device that will act as a the follow up to the current Galaxy Tab model and this follow up model will be able to run the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS.

This information was released by the company through a press release that was posted just yesterday. This would be the first product of its kind from Samsung to run Google’s latest version of the Android OS. It will be a 7inch device that will have a host of new features, along with obvious increases in processing power, graphics processing and system memory in order to successfully run Android 4.0. It will have a completely new design along with a new app gallery layout. Other new features will include embedded Google applications, a facial recognition software that allows the tablet to be unlocked via the webcam and Samsung Hub services that will provide the user with many different multimedia features.

In the meantime, CNET has claimed that this tab will also be the first amongst all Samsung mobile devices to have the AllShare Play service. This service allows the user to stream media to their tablet device from a PC, a Samsung smartphone or even a cloud drive.

Hardware advances also include a front-facing VGA camera for video calls and a 3megapixel rear-camera, 1GB RAM and a weight of only .76 pounds. It will also have multiple options for internal storage — the standard 8GB, 16GB and 32GB spread as seen on the iPad. These were all mentioned on the press release posted by Smasung.

Interestingly, TechCrunch is of the opinion that the processor on this tablet is actually a notch slower than what the current generation (Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus) is running on. The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus was released very recently, towards the end of last year. According this post, the Galaxy Tab 2 is apparently built on a 1GHz Dual-core CPU whilst the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus is built on a 1.2GHz Dual-Core CPU.

According the release schedule information available right now, the Galaxy Tab 2 will debut in the UK and then gradually spread to the rest of the world without much delay. As per information collected by Sammy Hub, the Galaxy Tab 2 is likely to be priced between $420 and $460 depending on which location you are looking at. And that’s for the WiFi-only models. For 3G models, you will have to pay $520 and above.

Even though the Galaxy Tab 2 would be the first tablet from Samsung to run Android 4.0 ICS, it is definitely not the first ICS device ever for the company. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was release recently as the flagship Android device and the first device ever to be released with the Android 4.0 OS. Carrying the stock version without any customization, this device is meant to show off the advanced features of Android 4.0.


Samsung Galaxy Nexus Under Fire From Apple, Ban On US Sales Requested

Samsung Galaxy Nexus 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless)

Samsung Galaxy Nexus 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless) on Amazon

Apple has filed for band on the US sales of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus — the latest Android flagship phone model that bears the Nexus moniker and is the first phone ever to come out with the Android 4.0 OS onboard.

Apple filed for the preliminary injunction against the device on Thursday last week and a public version has been made available as of last Friday although several portions have been redacted from it to maintain the integrity of the original filing. This motion was filed in conjunction with a new federal lawsuit. This information was first reported by Florian Mueller at Foss Patents. The request for injunction was filed with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

The motion seeking the ban is made up of claims of four patent infringements — a patent on Siri and unified search, a new patent about slide to unlock, a patent for word completion on touchscreen text entry and one “data tapping” patent.

If the patent infringement claim against the unified search in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus actually holds in court then it could be a direct attack against Google’s main search business. This patent covers the ways the voice-assistant Siri searches the Net and everything else. In addition to this, the patent involving the word completion of text entry on touchscreen can also threaten a core functionality of the Android Mobile OS.

The “data tapping” feature is the simple action of tapping on a phone number or email id inside an email to directly make a phone call or email. However, this clever feat was achieved by Apple much in advance to Android and this is the same thing that HTC in trouble with Apple last year. Apple won that time and HTC was forced to create workaround when the International Trade Commission decided that Apple’s patent was indeed violated.

Slide-to-unlock is the focal point of another Apple lawsuit against the Galaxy Nexus in Germany. The resolution to that case is expected to come some time in March this year. An earlier suit by Apple against the Galaxy Nexus for looking similar to the iPhone was overturned by the German courts. Hence this time their attack is based on concrete technical patents as opposed to “softer design related rights” as Mueller puts it.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus has hardly been in the market for a few months before attracting a series of attacks from Apple. During the October launch, Samsung had ascertained that the phone was not in violation of anything Apple related — a claim that has since been proven wrong multiple times.

Apple has targeted the Galaxy Nexus mostly because it highlights issues with the core Android OS itself. The Nexus is a showcase of the Android 4.0 OS itself with nothing changed by the carrier or the manufacturer. So Google will be forced to take responsibility for these infringements if the judgment goes in Apple’s favor.