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AU Optronics show off smartphone displays with just 1mm thick bezel

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 31, 2012 11:27 am

If you thought the bezel on your screen was already small, get ready for some ultra-thin bezels in the near future. AU Optronics have shown off a new smartphone display sporting a 4.46-inch display with a bezel that measures just 1mm, all with a resolution of 720p.




With just 1mm of bezel, the screen would take up virtually all visible space on the smartphone. AU Optronics supply displays to companies such as LG, who offer panels for Apple's iPad mini, and others.


The only problem I have with 1mm bezel sizes is the fact that my hand would get in the way of the screen. Everyone holds smartphones differently, but I can see peoples' hands getting in the way of the screen, without much (if any at all) bezel in the way. I would love to see this technology on notebook displays, TVs, and more. I think I'll have to see it, and feel the phone in my hands to really judge. But 1mm bezel, wow.

Alliance for Wireless Power approves more flexible power specification

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Oct 31, 2012 10:36 am

The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) have approved a more flexible wireless power specification that will usher in a new way consumers can wirelessly charge their phones on a variety of compatible surfaces. President of the A4WP, Dr. Kamil A. Grajski, says:




The Alliance for Wireless Power and its members have been focused on creating a more flexible wireless power specification that sets the stage for formal standardization in the future. Approval of the A4WP wireless power specification establishes a true path forward for the commercialization of wireless charging that will satisfy the needs of most consumers. A4WP and its members will now set their sights on building compliant wireless applications that can be integrated by key industries including automotive, furniture and retail.

Continue reading 'Alliance for Wireless Power approves more flexible power specification' (full post)

Samsung begins shipping Galaxy Note II into Canada

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 31, 2012 8:34 am

Samsung have begun shipping out their Galaxy Note II to retailers in Canada, and should be available at most stores in the next two or so weeks. Android Central are reporting that TELUS, WIND and Mobilicity would have the Note II, as well as the already confirmed Bell and Rogers.




Rogers and Bell are already taking orders online for $199 on a three-year (eek) contract. If you haven't seen what powers the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II yet, this should get you up to speed:

  • Network: 3G: HSPA+ 21Mbps (HSDPA 21Mbps / HSUPA 5.76Mbps); 4G LTE: 100Mbps/ 50Mbps
  • Processor: 1.6 GHz quad-core processor
  • Display: 5.5" HD Super AMOLED (1,280 x 720)
  • OS: Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • Camera: Main(Rear): 8 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash, BSI; Sub(Front): 1.9 Megapixel VT Camera, BSI; Best Photo, Best Faces, Low light shot
  • GPS: A-GPS; Glonass
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth® v 4.0 (Apt-X Codec support) LE; USB 2.0 Host; WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz), Wi-Fi HT40; Wi-Fi Direct; mHL; NFC
  • Memory: 16/32/64GB User memory + 2GB (RAM); microSD (up to 64GB)
  • Battery: Standard battery, Li-ion 3,100mAh

Rockstar announce spring 2013 availability of Grand Theft Auto V, PC is left out of the news

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 31, 2012 7:38 am

Finally, Rockstar have announced the release windows for Grand Theft Auto V - spring 2013 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. GTA V is set in a "re-imagined, present-day Southern California in the largest and most thriving game-world we have ever created set in the sprawling city of Los Santos and for miles beyond - from the tops of the mountains and the depths of the ocean".




Pre-orders will open up on November 5, with the developer to tease even more details of the game in the following weeks. One very negative thing about this is that Rockstar didn't talk about the PC platform in their announcement.


I did see on their site that they posted about the PC version in the comments section stating that "we're currently focused on the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game and don't have any details to share about a PC version at this time". It seems that a lot of people, myself included, are disappointed that the ageing consoles are getting their release, but our powerhouse PCs are left out, once again.


With next-gen consoles on the horizon, a spring 2013 release is very odd for a game of this caliber. If next-gen consoles launch just months after the spring 2013 window of GTA V's release, it would make people wonder why this wasn't a killer app for the next-gen consoles. Oh well.

ZTE becomes the world's fourth biggest smartphone manufacturer

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 31, 2012 6:33 am

ZTE can now have a celebratory drink, announcing they're become the fourth biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world as of Q3 2012. Hitting fourth place is a huge thing, as they've just taken it from struggling phone maker, HTC.




ZTE shipped just 7.5 million handsets in Q3, and while it might not compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung, being in fourth place is still an achievement in itself. In Q3 2012, ZTE were only 0.1% ahead of RIM, so things may change early next year if BlackBerry 10 is successful for yet another struggling phone maker, Research in Motion.


Things will change rapidly in the coming months, with Google going full steam ahead with Nexus-branded devices such as the amazing $299 Nexus 4, Apple's iPhone 5 is now here, Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 has just officially launched, and we're sure to see a Galaxy S IV in early-2013, too.

Google releases new Search app for iOS, Google's most advanced voice search finds a home on iOS

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Oct 31, 2012 5:36 am

Google have just released the new Google Search app for both the iPhone and iPad, which sports enhanced voice search that answers just about any question you have, with Google's comprehensive search results.



Thanks to Google's fast and accurate voice recognition technology, the new app understands exactly what you're saying. All you have to do is not use Siri, load up this app and tap the microphone icon asking a question such as "is United Airlines flight 318 on time?" As you speak, the words appear on screen and you'll receive your answer immediately. If the answer is short, such as asking the time, Google will tell you the answer out loud.


Google's Knowledge Graph is also another great piece of this app, giving their search technology an understanding of people, places and things in the real world. Here are some examples of what questions Google can answer:

  • "What does Yankee Stadium look like?" Google will show you hundreds of pictures instantly.
  • "Play me a trailer of the upcoming James Bond movie." The trailer starts playing immediately right within Google Search.
  • "When does daylight savings time end?" The answer will appear above the search results, so you can set your clock without having to click on a link.
  • "Who's in the cast of The Office?" See a complete cast list and find out who made you crack up last night.

Continue reading 'Google releases new Search app for iOS, Google's most advanced voice search finds a home on iOS' (full post)

Apple delays iTunes 11 release, needs "extra time"

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Oct 31, 2012 4:26 am

In between all the news of Disney buying Lucasfilm, and the devastating Hurricane Sandy, some news can be lost when walking down the wire - well, this is definitely one of those cases. Apple have said that they're delaying the release of iTunes 11, until sometime in November.




Apple previously talked of iTunes 11's release back in September when they announced the iPhone 5, and was meant to release the updated iTunes app by the end of October. Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr has said:


The new iTunes is taking longer than expected and we wanted to take a little extra time to get it right. We look forward to releasing this new version of iTunes with its dramatically simpler and cleaner interface, and seamless integration with iCloud before the end of November.

Samsung adds the iPhone 5 to their infringement lawsuit

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 31, 2012 3:31 am

Samsung has finally added the iPhone 5 to their infringement lawsuit, with the South Korean company claiming that all LTE-capable devices that Apple sells are in violation of eight patents the company owns. The lawsuit is already considered weak, as some of Samsung's LTE patents would be considered "standards-essential" and subject to FRAND regulations.




Samsung did threaten to "immediately sue" Apple if the new iPhone was LTE-capable, but at the time were unaware that Apple had already launched LTE-capable iPads a few months earlier. How Samsung would not know this, perplexes me, completely. Apple has maintained their stance, stating that they buy their LTE radios from Qualcomm, who has a full license for the patents and therefore that license extends to its customers.


The biggest issue for Samsung is if their LTE patents will be considered standards-essential when tested in court. The company is now at risk of having some patents ruled FRAND-eligible, which would weaken their portfolio. Worse, is if some of their patents are considered invalid, but Samsung are said to own around 12.2% of all LTE patents. Qualcomm and Nokia both hold equal, or larger stakes in the technology.

iPhone loyalty drops in US, Europe according to the latest figures from Strategy Analytics

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 31, 2012 2:32 am

According to Strategy Analytics' latest figures, loyalty for the iPhone has dropped in both the US and Europe. This marks the first time since the iPhone launched in 2007 that the number of iPhone users stating they'd either definitely, or will probably purchase their next phone from Apple has dropped, both in the US and Europe.




The latest figures from the Wireless Device Lab Report found that 88% of US-based iPhone owners planned on upgrading to another iPhone, which is down from 93% last year. Over in Europe, 75% would stay with the iPhone, down from 88% in 2011.


Strategy Analytics' director said that the new numbers show a continuing success for Apple, where they've been able to retain their existing user base, while attracting new customers. He did cite that negative press and accusations of a lack of innovation by Apple are pushing customers toward other products from different manufacturers like Samsung, for example.

ASUS enjoys strong third quarter, cites tablet sales as a winner

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 31, 2012 1:28 am

In a sea of bad quarterly earnings reports from competitors, ASUS are standing strong with some positive third quarter results this week. The Taiwanese maker of just about everything these days reported a revenue of $3.8 billion with a net income of $230 million.




Revenue saw a rise of 9% year-over-year, with net income boosting up by around 43% in the same period. Revenue is up 18%, with net income up 39%, sequentially. Expectations were lower than this, with over 12 analysts expecting net income to reach just $185 million, meaning ASUS beat analysts' expectations by over 10%. Where is this surge coming from, you aks? Tablets.


ASUS have been able to successfully glide over from the sinking netbook market to the ever-expanding and super-popular tablet market. If we look back to Q2, ASUS shipped 800,000 tablets - fast forward to Q3 and we're looking at tablet shipments hitting 2.3 million, a meteoric rise. Shipment increases can be credited to the great Nexus 7 tablet which ASUS co-developed with Google. ASUS didn't give the goss on just how many Nexus 7's shipped, but it would have to be a chunk of that 2.3 million.

Continue reading 'ASUS enjoys strong third quarter, cites tablet sales as a winner' (full post)

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