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.
If you are a collector of Apple gear, this is one piece of rare hardware you don't want to miss. An original first generation iPad prototype has been put up for auction on eBay. The device is running internal test software and features dual docking ports. The second port was to allow charge while in a horizontal orientation.
The device is said to be fully functional, save the touchscreen not working. The auction already has 1 bid at $4,800 and the seller has offered the option to Buy It Now for $10,000. Curiously enough, it looks as though Apple almost went with this design as early teardown images show the second ribbon cable.
The dock cable was most likely scrapped for aesthetics as it does look pretty bad. But nevertheless, this prototype up for auction does appear to be the real deal based upon that fact and the Switchboard software fact. Considering the touchscreen doesn't work and the fact Apple tends to get upset when people have prototype hardware, I don't know if I would risk $4,800+ on the device.
Details surrounding Huawei's new Emotion UI aren't plentiful or clear, but we do know somethings. Samsung, HTC, and now ZTE all have custom user interfaces for their Android phones so it seems as though Huawei doesn't want to be left behind. As such, Huawei is now working on a UI called Emotion UI, likely for ICS.
Considering the other manufacturers' UIs works on Ice Cream Sandwich, it makes sense that that is what Huawei will be targeting. The new UI will be unveiled June 9 and will become available sometime in July. Updates will be pushed to currently shipping Huawei Android phones so that they will get the new user interface.
Functionality of the new UI is not clear. Huawei is using words such as "emotional," "simple," and "smart" when describing it, but that doesn't exactly tell us that much. This UI also may not make it out of China, although it could as Huawei is trying to become a global manufacturer. The only downside to this custom UI is that updates will now take longer when new Android versions come out.
It was only a month ago that we reported that Oppo were about to claim the title of the world's thinnest smartphone, at just 6.65mm thick, but now they have. Enter the Oppo Finder.
Oppo's Finder grinds down some very nice specs into its slim 6.65mm phone, where we'll find a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 4.3-inch AMOLED Plus display, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Advancements in engineering of memory chips and other electrical components of smartphones have reportedly made it possible for manufacturers to slim phones down to this point.
Right now, the biggest problem for engineers is heat from the CPU and GPU. But, for those of you who want a super-slim phone, you could grab one of these. Oppo Finder pre-orders start on June 6, and it will be priced at around $632.
NVIDIA plan to bake Tegra 3 SoC's into 30 smartphones by the end of the year, says NVIDIA's Mobile Business Manager, Mike Rayfield. Rayfield unleashed the information at the company's annual Analyst Day.
Considering that half the year is already gone, and there's only a single Tegra 3-powered smartphone on the market, that's quite the call. One more is about to hit European countries next week. Last year, NVIDIA released just 15 Tegra 2-powered handsets.
Rayfield did note that out of the 30 smartphones destined to sport Tegra 3, 18 of those would be heading over to China and would be priced at under $300 each. That means that the rest of the world should see 12 handsets, but no word on pricing or models at the moment.
Just when you thought your 10.1-inch tablet was the best thing on the block and bought all the boys to the yard, ViewSonic are ready to unveil their
milkshake 22-inch Ice Cream Sandwich-powered tablet.
ViewSonic will unveil their 22-inch Android ICS tablet at Computex next week, with the marketing department over at ViewSonic designing an ad that promotes the 22-inch tablet as a device that not only "touch" but "connect".
What are ViewSonic trying to connect with here? I know they're going to connect with wallets, and souls, but what else? 22-inch is quite amazing for a tablet, and we'll be sure to bring you some in-person shots of this tablet when we run amok on the floors of Computex next week!
There are multiple sources saying that the 'pebble blue' version of the Samsung GALAXY S III will be delayed due to a manufacturing issue with the back case, but no more specifics have been made available.
XDA Developers is reporting that Samsung have ditched approximately 600,000 rear casings for the phone and that they are retooling the production process. The white version is reportedly OK, and will still be hitting shelves and hands across the world.
Just when I thought I'd be able to buy one of each color when I'm in Taipei for Computex. Samsung, you disappoint. Looks like it's two of the white-colored versions now!
We've heard the rumors before, and with the power that social networking giant Facebook has, it would not surprise me to see them release a smartphone. But, can a smartphone really succeed in this world of super-powered smartphones, built around Facebook?
Well, according to employees of Facebook, some engineers have been sought out by engineers there, as well as others who have been briefed on Facebook's plans, reckon that the company wants to release its own smartphone by 2013. These people spoke out in anonymity, fearing their jobs or relationship with Facebook.
Facebook have reportedly hired ex-Apple software and hardware engineers who worked on the iPhone, and one who worked on the iPad, these same employees said. One thing that would boost the 'is Facebook building a phone' argument, is CEO and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has said he's worried that if he doesn't create a mobile phone in the near future that Facebook will simply become an app on other mobile platforms.
Dell is hard at work on their Windows 8 tablet, but as with all Windows 8-based tablets, information on the specs is hard to come by. But, Neowin have gotten their hands dirty and found a slide which shows off Dell's upcoming Latitude 10 tablet.
The Dell Latitude 10 is a 10.8-inch tablet with a 1366x768 resolution, sports Intel's Clover Trail dual-core Atom processor, fingerprint reader, 2GB of RAM, 128GB SSD, and of course, Windows 8. What is surprising is that it has a swappable battery, Dell are offering a 2- or 4-cell battery with either 30/60WHr, depending on which battery is installed.
The smaller battery should be good for 6-8 hours of use, with the bigger battery achieving around 10-12 hours. Remember, this is probably just one of many tablets that Dell have in development that will run Windows 8, but it's good to see them finally taking form. Swappable batteries? Very nice change to the tablet world.
It seems as though Apple are looking at stylus pens for the iPad, and iPhone, according to a new patent from the Cupertino-based company. Apple's latest patent applications have shown that they're definitely working on one, but whether we see it eventuate into a physical product is another thing.
The patent filed is for an optical stylus, with haptic feedback. The optical stylus is an input device with an optical camera on the tip, when you move the stylus over the touchscreen, the optical camera tracks specially formatted pixels, or special, user eye invisible markings on the display.
So as you can see, it's not just a simple stylus pen. The stylus with haptic feedback comes with a built-in haptic actuator and a short-range wireless receiver. The vibration commands are transmitted through a tiny wireless transmitter built into the bezel of the iPad. Right now, these products are just teases, nothing concrete yet. But it's definitely funny for Apple, a company that once laughed at stylus pens, with the late Steve Jobs saying "if you see a stylus, they blew it."
A rumor has surfaced that Google is producing its own tablet to compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire. The rumor has been started by DigiTimes who has quoted "sources from the upstream supply chain." While sometimes these sources are right, they are also sometimes wrong. I have a feeling that they could be wrong this time.
According to the reports from upstream sources, there will be around 600,000 in initial shipments ahead of a July launch. This rumor goes along with one that was released back in January, also by DigiTimes, which says that Google is prepping a 7" tablet running Android 4.0 ICS. That rumor put the price point at $199.
That rumor was originally saying a March or April launch date, but has now been updated to July since "design and costs did not reach its expectations." The tablet is reportedly going to be built by ASUS at Google's request. Curiously enough, ASUS showed off a 7" Tegra 3 tablet in their suite at CES and later showed it off at an NVIDIA presentation. The price then was quoted at $249, so this could possibly be the device in question.
It wasn't so long ago that Samsung were showing off the GALAXY Note 10.1 tablet, back at the Mobile World Congress a few months ago. The GALAXY Note 10.1 at that time, featured the dual-core 1.4GHz Exynos processor, a 1280x800 display, 3-megapixel rear-facing camera and no place to house the S Pen.
But, now there's a revised GALAXY Note 10.1 in the wild, which sports Samsung's quad-core Exynos processor. Samsung have also added a "holster" for the S Pen, so that it can be all snug when it's not being used. The S Pen is also thinner than it was at MWC, but for those who like their stylus' thicker, Samsung are offering an S Pen Holder Kit, which lets you put the S Pen inside a thicker body.
We are looking at a June launch for the tablet, and its definitely shaping up to be quite the tablet indeed.
The Kindle Fire may currently be rocking the low-price Android tablet market, but it could soon have quite a bit of competition thanks to NVIDIA. NVIDIA has been working on a new platform called "Kai" which aims to bring quad-core Android tablets down to the $199 price range by this summer. At that price point, the Kindle is going to have some serious competition.
NVIDIA hasn't played any games with their intentions to make lower cost Android tablets a possibility. These intentions aren't just a dream either as NVIDIA has a plan to help quad-core Android tablets reach the $199 price point by this summer. During the investor meeting last week, Vice President Rob Csonger provided some details on Kai.
Our strategy on Android is simply to enable quad-core tablets running Android Ice Cream Sandwich to be developed and brought out to market at the $199 price point, and the way we do that is a platform we've developed called Kai. So this uses a lot of the secret sauce that's inside Tegra 3 to allow you to develop a tablet at a much lower cost, by using a lot of innovation that we've developed to reduce the power that's used by the display and use lower cost components within the tablet.
That's about all that has been made public thus far. But the prospect of a low-cost quad-core Android tablet has me excited. And I imagine it has Amazon slightly worried. Of course, things change and the price could need to be adjusted to cover costs.
If a YouTube video posted by wmpoweruser.com is to be believed, it features a Nokia Lumia 900, suggesting that the device would run Windows Phone 8. The leaked feature shows off the Photo Hub tile split into two.
The one on the left is the latest photo tile, with the second something new. The second feature is the "meet up with Sarah", in the Contact tile, none of which are features in the current iteration of Windows Phone. The screenshot above shows the difference.
Not that this is something that is huge news, but the talk of Windows Phone 8 is interesting in itself. Microsoft seem to be really pulling their stuff together lately, and if this is a sign of things to come, it looks like Microsoft may just pull Windows Phone right up to the ranks of iOS and Android sooner, rather than later.
If you're in the US and want to be among the very first people in the world to get your grubby, tech-loving hands on Samsung's quad-core GALAXY S III, well you might want to head on over to Amazon's website, right now.
The downside of this is that being one of the first people in the US to own the phone, will set you back quite a few bucks: $799.99 bucks to be precise. The blue version ships on May 29, with the white version shipping a few days later on June 1.
The i9300 GALAXY S III will be fully compatible with AT&T's HSPA network, which means you'll get 4G HSPA+ service wherever the carrier has it. But, you won't get any LTE connectivity, since this model of the GALAXY S III doesn't sport the ability. This means that if you're carrier of choice is AT&T, and you don't care about the LTE speeds, and you want to have the GALAXY S III as soon as humanly possible, then you should probably pre-order one, now.
TigerDirect's web store has Samsung's Chromebox listed, which means that Samsung must have used ninja's to get the super-small device into the store. But now we have more details on the ChromeOS-based device.
Samsung's Chromebox comes with an Intel Celeron B840 which is a 1.9GHz dual-core processor, backed up by 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 16GB solid-state drive, Wi-Fi and six USB ports. Samsung did tease a $400 price tag at CES back in January, so it's nice to see it 20-percent cheaper than the original price.
The listing will most likely get pulled between now and then, and probably float back up closer to Google I/O which is in a little over a month from now.
Vodaphone is singing praises about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S III. We had previously reported about the Galaxy S III surpassing 9 million pre-orders, but it now has reached the point where it is the most pre-ordered Android device that has been offered by Vodaphone. It hasn't quite reached the same popularity of an Apple device, but Samsung is getting closer.
A spokesperson told TechRadar: "We've been really encouraged by our customers' response to the Samsung Galaxy S III. With over a week to go until launch, it's already the most pre-ordered Android device we've brought into our smartphone line-up to date and our limited time offer of 2GB of mobile data and 100 free music tracks is being snapped up."
The Carphone Warehouse has stated something similar: "Pre-order demand for the new Galaxy SIII has surpassed expectations since the handset was first unveiled two weeks ago. The first 24 hours alone saw thousands placing their pre-order at Carphone Warehouse".
Worldwide pre-orders are nearing the 10 million mark. It's likely that Samsung's latest smartphone will surpass it's older brother in sales. It only has to achieve 20 million to do so, so it's halfway there already. It's easy to see why: this new phone has a host of cool features and new technologies that are unique to this new Android phone.
It's clear that people can't wait to get their hands on the latest Samsung Galaxy device, but they were at least supposed to have to wait until the international launch on May 29. Apparently one store in Dubai didn't want to make people wait, or maybe they just didn't get the embargo memo. Either way, the Samsung Galaxy S III has been put up for sale for $667 in Dubai.
An advertisement, seen above, for the upcoming smartphone was seen in the window at a mall by a Reddit user. Of course, he figured they meant for pre-order, but he decided to inquire anyway. Withing a few minutes of talking with a shop worker, it was revealed that the white Samsung Galaxy S III was in stock and waiting for customers.
It's not clear why the shop decided to start selling the phone before the May 29 date provided by Samsung as the launch, but I don't think anyone who has purchased a phone is going to be returning it to the store so that they can meet the date. I imagine quite a few people are happy about the slip-up as they are the first to have the Samsung Galaxy S III.
It looks as though ARM may finally be getting a bit of competition in the mobile device market. Intel recognizes the quickly expanding mobile market doesn't want to let the opportunity pass by and is working hard to push itself into it. They want to make mobile chips so good that Apple won't be able to resist using them in the iPhone and iPad.
Even still, ARM has the upper hand in this market as the majority of smartphone processors are based upon an ARM designed chip. Even still, Intel is expected to make it into 1 in 10 mobile devices by 2015, at least according to some. ARM CEO Warren East just happens to agree with that figure.
East spoke with the Dow Jones and reckoned that Intel would manage 5-10% of the market by 2015. For just two and a half years, that is quite the market share gain. Part of it will be due to its history of making CPUs and other microprocessor items and the other part will be from Intel having a lot of money to throw at the problem, whether by hiring more engineers or whatever else they might need.
Even though there's a ban on HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE handsets entering the United States, they're still leaking through the cracks and arriving anyway. An update on HTC's corporate website has said that some handsets are passing Customs inspections, even though there's an International Trade Commission (ITC) ban on the devices entering the US.
The update arrived yesterday, and states that "each imported HTC model must be reviewed by Customers" and would then be released after the inspection had been completed. The update doesn't mention which handsets got through, or how many.
The ITC placed restrictions on importing the HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE after courts determined that HTC had violated Apple patents in relation to messaging and browser apps. Both company's have been forced into settlement talks, which will start on August 28 this year.