Intel recently released their Medfield Atom chip in smartphones and have had limited success. At first blush, it appears tests are proving the single core chip is the same as multicore ARM chips in both performance and power draw measurements. Usually, to increase performance, more cores are thrown at the problem.
However, this time Intel believes that won't help as they are saying that Android isn't properly prepared to utilize multiple cores efficiently. Moreover, Intel thinks that these optimizations for multiple cores could and should come from the System-on-a-chip providers such as Texas Instruments or Qualcomm.
Intel's Mobile and Communications Group General Manager, Mike Bell, had this to say:
If you are in a non-power constrained case, I think multiple cores make a lot of sense because you can run the cores full out, you can actually heavily load them and/or if the operating system has a good thread scheduler. [...] So as we move to multiple cores, we're actually putting a lot of investment into software to fix the scheduler and fix the threading so if we do multi-core products it actually takes advantage of it. [...] The way it's implemented right now, Android does not make as effective use of multiple cores as it could, and I think - frankly - some of this work could be done by the vendors who create the SoCs, but they just haven't bothered to do it.
RIM has been having very public issues lately, and it seems this has steamrolled into their tablet, PlayBook, getting one of its models discontinued. Research in Motion have cut the 16GB model, as it will be removed from inventory lists after the current stock held by retailer's is gone.
A RIM spokesperson said that the company:
Remains committed to the tablet space and the 32GB and 64GB models of the BlackBerry PlayBook continue to be available from our distributors and retailers around the world.
RIM's tablet has been having issues, not getting even close to Apple's iPad in terms of numbers. For every PlayBook, 19 iPads are shipped. That must hurt, real bad.
Computex 2012 - Sitting in a private suite at the Grand Hyatt we got a chance to check out the Intel powered K800 Smartphone from Lenovo to see just what a smartphone from Intel was capable of doing.
I think the most obvious thing we notice is the performance of it. Silky smooth playback of video over a crowded 3G network in Taipei was great.
Of course there's the responsiveness of the phone as well when it's running the video and the Intel powered K800 really has no trouble making sure everything is running super smooth at all times. It's probably the two other features that we really loved, though...
Computex 2012 - I've got to say myself that Intel did a good job of impressing us at the end of Day 3 of Computex when all we wanted to do was grab some dinner and relax somewhere.
The next demo we got from Intel was with our French friend François Piednoël who was clearly thrilled to show us what the upcoming Acer W700 tablet can do when combined with Intel processing power. Apparently the exact final processor has been decided and hence not yet announced from Acer, but it's going to be a "Core processor" of some sort according to François.
I'll say it right now - this is what a Windows 8 tablet experience should be like. I was joined by Shane and Chris at the Intel meeting and over dinner we all said that we would be buying an Acer W700. We saw very smooth and fluid tab switching under Windows 8 on the W700 as well as very solid touch scrolling and zooming in the browser, as you can see in the video above.
I haven't personally had a chance to play in-depth with many Windows 8 tablets at this stage, but I'll go out on a limb here and say this is going to be one of the best at this stage when it comes to performance. Intel says you can expect up to around eight hours of battery life.
Computex 2012 - On Monday we got some short hands on with what ASUS are currently calling the Tablet-600. This is a system that is almost finished, but has yet to receive its final retail model name.
It's a system with a 10.-inch Super IPS+ panel with a 1366 x 768 resolution that supports up to an amazing 10 finger multi-touch. It was running the Windows RT Preview Release which if you weren't sure is essentially Windows 8 for ARM based processors, as opposed to regular Windows 8 that is for traditional x86 processors.
And on that note it brings us to the CPU and this job is given to NVIDIA with its Tegra 3 quad-core processor. As far as additional specs go, it comes with 2GB of RAM, 32GB eMMC storage, 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, rear 8MP auto focus LED flash camera and front 2MP camera. It also comes with enough sensors to ship a battle ship - G-Sensor, Light Sensor, Gyroscope, E-compass, NFC and GPS.
Check out our very quick hands-on video above when we checked it out during the ASUS Computex press conference on Monday. We will try to get back to ASUS to get a closer look at this thing as it looks pretty good on paper.
Samsung Galaxy S III coming to the US this month, T-Mobile on June 21, pre-order from Verizon from June 6
Are you a US resident sad that the rest of the world is getting the Samsung Galaxy S III before you? Well, you won't have to wait much longer as T-Mobile and Verizon have confirmed that they will be getting the devices just hours after Samsung announced it would be coming to 5 carriers in the US this month.
The kickass new device will be available on T-Mobile from June 21 and come in Pebble Blue and Marble White. Verizon was actually the first to announce the availability, but T-Mobile has set an actual date. T-Mobile has not announced pricing for the new device as of yet, but you can be reminded by signing up on their website.
Verizon, on the other hand, will be accepting pre-orders from June 6 on. The device will make it into stores and online in the following weeks, but no specific date has been given. We do know that it will come in 16GB and 32GB versions for $199 and $249 respectively. The new device will also require a 4G LTE data package which starts at $30/month for 2GB.
It may come as a shock to some of you, but smartphone users really do still make phone calls. Albeit, not nearly as much as they used to, but it isn't a feature that is going away quite yet. Or is it? Probably among some users, it is. With alternatives like Skype, Google Voice, and others, there are ways to not use any minutes and only data.
So why pay for minutes you're not using? Well, AT&T's CEO agrees with you, at least partially. Phone companies make a large majority of their money off of texting and minutes as the calls and texts don't use very much data. This is a prospect that they don't to let go of. But change is inevitable and going to data-only plans is the next logical step in wireless evolution.
Randall Stephenson said at an investor conference in New York on Friday that he'd "be surprised if, in the next 24 months, we don't see people in the market place with data-only plans." In this scenario, phone calls would just be considered another form of data. They basically are right now, but the company just bills differently for them.
The previous US Customs and Border Protection ban over the HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE has been lifted, after the customs review went into effect on April 19 preventing the sale of the two smartphones. AT&T did receive some units, and last week, Customs released a handful of the units to carriers for sale in anticipation of the release.
HTC e-mailed Wired saying:
HTC has completed the review process with US Customs and HTC devices have been released, as they are in compliance with the ITC's ruling. Future shipments should continue to enter the U.S. and we are confident that we will soon be able to meet the demand for our products.
HTC stated that before the phones arrived that they had already fixed the link patent issue to sidestep their ban, with Customs officials inspecting the modified phones to make sure they complied with the ITC's ruling. No ETA has been given on when we should expect full retail availability.
Apple's third-generation iPad is getting closer to arriving in China, with the country's Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center providing a mandatory license for an unnamed 3G-compatible Apple-made device, which is most likely the new iPad.
But, there are still some hurdles. Apple need to reach an agreement with Proview over the ownership of the iPad trademark in China, with negotiations starting up again recently. Apple have reportedly tabled a settlement of $16 million, but is much, much less than the $400 million that Proview is holding out for.
The new iPad is destined to be a China Unicom-exclusive, who is Apple's original operator partner, and LTE will not be featured in China as no network is operational in the country.
Our Deal of the Day is 9.7" HP TouchPad 32GB Refurb Tablet for $194.99 plus Shipping!
Woot has refurbished HP TouchPad tablets in stock at $194.99 plus $5 shipping. This tablet features a 9.7" XGA (1024 x 768) IPS LED multitouch TFT, dual-core 1.2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060 CPU, 1GB DDR2 SDRAM, Adreno 220 GPU, 32GB storage, 802.11a/b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR with A2DP stereo Bluetooth support, 1.3MP front camera, stereo speakers with Beats Audio, and 6300mAh lithium polymer battery. We've had ours on CM9 nightlies (Android 4.0.4) for awhile, and they're a great value. Good until 6/5/12 or after they run out.
Got a spare $10,000? Too late. The rare prototype iPad that featured two 30-pin dock connectors has sold for an astonishing $10,200, $200 above the original asking price.
The unit sported dock connects on the bottom and left side of the iPad, and was a fully functional unit except for a faulty digitizer, which renders the touchscreen inoperative. The prototype did still include Apple's "Switchboard" testing software included.
Seven bidders were at the hammer for the device, with 23 bids issued for the device. The unidentified buyer placed the winning bit with just two minutes to spare. What makes the device so rare is that it's just so scarce, as well as no one outside of Apple owns a dual dock-capable iPad.
The $10,200 prototype iPad lacks any trademark and regulatory markings that are found on a retail iPad, but it does sport a prototype ID number as well as part numbers and copyrights from prior to the official iPad launch. Both dock ports are reportedly fully functional.
Google's $199 tablet is here, dubbed Nexus 7, sports Tegra 3, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and is HD ready
Google Nexus 7, get to know it, because it's going to be something quite big over the coming months. Nexus 7 is a 7-inch tablet with a 'HD Ready' 1280x800-pixel screen, NVIDIA's 4-PLUS-1 Tegra 3 SoC which clocked in at 1.3GHz and is manufactured by ASUS.
It features a five-point multi-touch hardware-accelerated screen, which takes advantage of Tegra's fifth 'companion' core and Synamptics IP. Pixel density on the Nexus 7 is a little higher than 215 pixels per inch.
Being a Google device, it sports the very latest version of their mobile OS, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It has been previously reported that Android 5.0 would be Jelly Bean, but it seems Google is outfitting their $199 tablet with the latest deliciously-named OS. Android 4.1 is the next step from Google, with Android 4.2 being the step after.
It also includes OpenGL ES, the latest version released by the Khronos Group, but performance is not up to the usual Tegra 3-powered devices, with Rightware's Taiji OpenGL ES 2.0 test having a frame rate of just 18fps.
But for this price, who can complain? We hope to see more news on this in the coming days, and weeks.
According to Sony's market research and general common sense, water proof smartphones are something that everyone wants. Finally enough people have sounded off that Sony has decided to appease them. The Sony Xperia Go appears to replace last year's Xperia Active and the Xperia arco S appears to be an international Xperia arco HD.
Sony Xperia go specifications:
- 3.5" Reality Display powered by Mobile BRAVIA Engine with 480 x 320 resolution
- 5MP fast capture camera goes from sleep to snap in just over a second
- Scratch resistant mineral glass display with wet finger tracking
- Highest level of dust and water resistance in a smartphone - IP67 Rating
- 1Ghz dual core processor gives consumers super fast performance
- 512 MB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage plus MicroSD slot
- Launching on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with an upgrade to Android 4.0 on its way
- To be available in black, white and yellow colours
- 1305 mAh battery capacity
- Weighs 110 grams, 9.8mm thin
During a speech at the AllThingsD Conference yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook talked about various things, one of these topics was the Apple TV. Cook revealed that Apple was on track to double the sales of the Apple TV this year, where they've already racked up 2.7 million sold. Considering that 3 million were sold throughout the entire of 2011, this is not bad at all.
Cook added that staying in the Apple TV market was uncharacteristic for Apple:
We're not a hobby kind of company as you know. Our tendency is to do very few things. And, if something creeps in and isn't a big success, we get it out of the way and put our energies on something else. With Apple TV though, you see what we've done. We've stuck in this, it's not the fifth leg of the stool. It's not the same size as the iPhone or Mac or tablet business. But last year we sold a little less than three million Apple TVs.
Europe and the Middle East may have enjoyed their Samsung GALAXY S III launch yesterday, but come Thursday, it's Australia's turn. Vodafone Australia is set to live stream the Samsung GALAXY S III launch event from the Vodafone Australia website.
The live stream will start at 09:50 Sydney time, and for anyone around the world, you'll require some time changes, so here you go:
UK Time - 00:50
Eastern - 19:50 (Weds May 30)
Pacific - 16:50 (Weds May 30)
Excitement is definitely building, and it's not long now until the phone splashes down in more countries. Will you watch the live event?
In the wake of the Fukushima disaster many Japanese people are concerned about lasting radiation. The memory of the atomic bomb and its effects is all too recent in their minds. As such, many are worried that the government's numbers about the radiation levels from the disaster are wrong or purposefully changed.
Japan's third largest mobile carrier has announced a smartphone that will be capable of measuring radiation. The smartphone will be easier to carry then a traditional Geiger counter and more stylish too. The device has been designed to allay fears of radiation. The phone, which is set to launch in the summer, will be available in 8 different colors.
Softbank president Masayoshi Son said, "The threat from the nuclear accident cannot be seen by the human eye and continues to be a concern for many people, especially for mothers with small children." This new phone is also a great example of how smartphones can adapt to specific needs. In many ways a smartphone is more powerful than a traditional computer.
Let me qualify this with the following: While these appear to be legitimate, valid pictures of the upcoming iPhone case, I am still skeptical due to the fact Apple is ridiculously tight-lipped about products and slips like these don't usually happen. However, with a new CEO the secrecy of Apple could be in decline. If that is the case, I would have so many fewer rumors to post.
The first picture is courtesy of 9to5Mac. In it are two shells, which appear to be larger than the iPhone 4S. The casings show the smaller dock connector along the bottom of the phone along with what appear to be speaker grills and a headphone jack. The larger speaker grills are to accommodate better, larger speakers.
Also, the provider of the picture has said that there are two additional colors that the iPhone will be available in. What those colors are are not known. Again, I would attribute the new colors to the new CEO and the change that comes with a new leader. Engadget has supplied additional photos which depict a device which looks identical to the first set in the first picture. The higher quality pictures indicate that the device is not two-tone but rather just covered in a protective plastic covering.
Samsung have just announced that the GALAXY S III, their latest Exynos 4 Quad-powered smartphone will hit 28 markets across Europe and the Middle East today, arriving in 145 markets worldwide by July.
Today's launch is the company's largest single device push ever, with the July extension pushing the number of carriers offering the phone to a very tidy 296 across the world, which will include U.S.-based carriers.
The smartphone has already been immensely popular, with Amazon Germany seeing it become their biggest selling smartphone before it was even released, and Samsung have speculated that they've secured more than 9 million pre-orders. Considering the GALAXY S II saw 20 million shipped in 10 months, the S III is already half way in terms of beating its predecessor.
ASUS have smashed Computex before its even started, taking out no less than 6 Best Choice of Computex awards for various ASUS products. This includes a Green ICT Green Energy Saving Product Award for the Eee Box EB1033 as it has a recyclable ratio of more than 90-percent.
The star of these awards would be ASUS' Transformer Pad Infinity and PadFone, both taking out the Best Choice Gold Award. Filling out ASUS' award takings is the Display and Digital Entertainment Best Choice award which was given to the O! Play TV Pro.
ASUS' EA-N66 Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Ethernet NIC took out the Communication Class Best Choice award while the high-definition LED projector P1 took out the iF Gold Award, Red Dot industrial design prize. ASUS should be happy with their new awards, quite the array to be proud of!
We reported on the rumors of social networking giant Facebook looking at building their own phone, again. As well as the company hiring ex-Apple engineers who worked on the iPhone and iPad to help make a 'Facebook Phone'.
Enter New York-based UI designer Jay Moon mocked up a bunch of amazingly cool visuals in April, which he updated yesterday and would really look great on a 'Facebook Phone':
Not bad, hey? Considering that Moon is just 16 years old, this is quite a great job. I would be so torn if Facebook were to release a phone. I love how I have everything in my Google account, on an Android phone, so this would have to be hands-down amazing for me to change.
Just when you thought you wouldn't upgrade your phone beyond the already-announced and nearly here GALAXY S III from Samsung, or alternatively, HTC's One X, or if you're an Apple fan, the not-out-yet iPhone 5.
LG have just unveiled a new display for smartphones that shoves 1920x1080 pixels into a 5-inch screen. It's the world's first Full HD smartphone display and has an amazing pixel density of 440ppi, way out and beyond what we have in today's phones.
The panel LG have used is an Advanced High Performance In-Plane Switching or AH-IPS LCD. It's the same technology that LG used in one of their panels last year and when compared to a standard IPS panel, AH-IPS panels sport greater color accuracy, wider viewing angles and greater light transmission which all leads to lower power consumption.
We should expect this 5-inch Full HD display to be released in the second half of the year, and baked into smartphones sometime next year.