One of RIM's last chances of capturing the hearts, minds, souls and hands of BlackBerry users and the smartphone market itself is their upcoming BlackBerry 10 device. So, Research in Motion is reportedly preparing to reveal its first BlackBerry 10 device in mid-August.
After the initial reveal, RIM hope to have the BB10 device in consumer hands by October. It has been previously reported that RIM want to have these BB10 devices in the hands of developers by next month, which would give this news just a tad more credit. What should we expect from RIM's BlackBerry 10 device?
We should expect it to sport a touchscreen, and not the usual QWERTY goodness that previous BlackBerry smartphones have featured. We should expect a QWERTY-sporting BB10 device sometime in early-2013. More news on BlackBerry 10 as it surfaces.
According to some leaked benchmarks that were spotted by an eagle-eyed reader of Phone Arena, show the GALAXY S III sporting a quad-core Exynos 4412 chip that looks like it smashes all previous Android-based devices, and probably the iPhone 4S, not by a bit, but considerably.
In GLBenchmark 2.1.4 Egypt Offscreen, Samsung's GALAXY S II scores around 30fps, with HTC's One X which sports NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra 3 SoC scoring around 65fps, but the GALAXY S III just looks at those in disgust and spits out 90fps or so. An insane feat for Samsung, if it's true. This would mean that Samsung's GSIII would be nearly three times faster than its predecessor.
Samsung's GALAXY S III smartphone, or whatever they want to call it, is about as important now as Apple's next iPhone, or any iDevice released, which goes to show you just how much Samsung have riding on this. Today, we have another teaser shot.
We have a leaked image thanks to Chinese forum mobile01, where we can see the smartphone in much better quality, but definitely not in its final form. There is something that perks my interest: Samsung seem to have replaced the stock Ice Cream Sandwich software buttons, where they've switched the positions of the multi-tasking and back buttons.
Samsung also looks to have used a bigger menu button than the stock ICS look. Small detail, yeah, but there's nothing much more to go on, and I'm nearly salivating at the sheer thought of this phone being released. I think I'm building my expectations up, and I most likely won't upgrade from my GALAXY S II, but I have faith this will be an awesome smartphone.
Oppo, a China-based company is getting its share of airtime on news sites today, with a tease of another smartphone. Engadget China have an exclusive look at a device that is quite small indeed.
By small, we're talking just 6.65mm-thick, which is 0.03mm thinner than the Ascent P1 S from local competitor Huawei. If Oppo can drop this onto the market, they'll be able to claim they have the world's thinnest smartphone... for now.
More details aren't available, but from the picture we can see it sports a metallic bezel, three capacitive buttons and a three-pin contact for a dock connection.
Thanks to a new page put up by Samsung, everyone can see which Android-powered phones and tablets are set to receive an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich. The support page breaks down the phone models by carrier but does not give specific dates to expect the updates by. The page, available here, at least gives hope to the owners of listed phones that they will eventually get the update.
For Verizon, owners of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 or the Galaxy Tab 7.7 tablet are destined for Ice Cream Sandwich.
For AT&T, the Galaxy S II, Galaxy S II Skyrocket, Captivate Glide, Nexus S, Galaxy Tab 8.9, and Galaxy Note is on the list.
For Sprint, the Nexus S 4G already has the update and the Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch is sitting around waiting.
For WiFi only, the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, Galaxy Tab 8.9, and Galaxy Tab 10.1 owners will be happy to hear they are getting the update.
For T-mobile, you guys are a bit out of luck as nothing specific has been given. It only states that Samsung is "in close communication with T-Mobile to ensure that eligible devices are upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the coming months and will provide updates as we have additional details to share."
We all know it's coming, but whether Samsung would call it the GALAXY S III, or something else was the question on everybody's lips. Samsung have launched the Mobile Unpacked 2012 app, which lets users stream the event as it happens on May 3 in London.
From the Google Play description, we're seeing Samsung use the term "galaxy s3" in their description line, which would point toward it being called, well, the GALAXY S III. Of course, this could be a tease, and could be used to throw us off, but this is as real as it gets, folks.
As for the Mobile Unpacked 2012 app, you can use it to watch Samsung unveil the "Next GALAXY" live, no matter where you are. The app will also show the new product's details, an official press release, and give out helpful venue and transportation maps, as well as a map of foggy London town. The app also sports a count-down timer in the top right if you're not aware of how much longer it is.
10 more days and counting!
HTC's upcoming high-end smartphone, One X, isn't set to hit AT&T until May 6, but that hasn't stopped a customer from actually getting their hands on one of the new smartphones.
One of Engadget's readers managed to get their mits on one, where they talked a particular store into selling them a One X early. It came on a two-year agreement at $199, and if you want some proof, there's plenty of pictures to go along with it.
You can try your luck at your local AT&T retailer, but don't blame us if you aren't as luck as this reader. This should be one of HTC's strongest phones this year, and one of the better Android-based phones to hit. We should expect more and more details, videos and thoughts on HTC's One X as more people get their hands on it.
Oh, Apple, you cause so many rumors because of your secrecy. Now, according to sources in the supply chain, Apple is working on a low-end iPhone to gain some market share in the low-end smartphone market. Previously to do this, they had continued to sell previous generation iPhones, but even the lowest priced 3GS is still $375 unlocked.
The sources place the new, rumored low-end iPhone shipping at or around the same time as a new high-end sixth-generation iPhone would be. There have been rumors regarding a low-end iPhone for years and Apple has consistently done something different. That's why I recommend taking this rumor with a grain of salt.
However, this year may be different for Apple. For one, they no longer have Steve Jobs. Also, they could be feeling more pressure as Android gains market share. On the other hand, they may be hoping Oracle beats Google and destroys Android. Only time will tell if this rumor will come to fruition.
Well, Samsung has just broken Apple's marketing scheme of secrecy. Well, sort of. They have released one, well, one and a half teaser videos today after the countdown finished. In the video, it gives the URL TheNextGalaxy.com, but it doesn't seem to work for me. Try it out and let me know what's there if you get it to work.
The first video is basically just the first part of the second video, hence the "one and a half" quip earlier. What's more is that Samsung throws a jab in the teaser about "everyone else" as it shows a bunch of sheep. In case you didn't know, iSheep is what some people call iPhone loyalists. Watch the trailer and decide for yourself if Samsung can beat Apple in marketing. I'm starting to lean towards yes.
Pixel Qi founder, Mary Lou Jepsen, has revealed that her company is working on a super-dense version of its signature display. The new panel sports the same resolution as Apple's third-generation iPad, 2048x1536, but does so whilst using less power.
In a bright office, the new panel coming in at around 10-inches uses two watts of power, compared to Apple's iPad in the same lighting which uses five, and when outdoors, nearly eight watts of power. The new Pixel Qi display provides a more e-paper-like effect for readability outdoors. The newest panel is a special low-power mode which uses around 0.08 watts when in dim light, compared to the iPad which would use three.
Development is said to still be in the early stages and needed hardware partners lined up. Jepsen wouldn't say when the new screen would be available, but we should expect a 2013 release at the earliest.
Apple's next iPhone isn't too far off, we should see it this year sometime, but how could it stand out from the crowd and change from the 2-year-plus design of the iPhone 4/S? Well, according to part suppliers claimed to DigiTimes, Sharp and Toshiba Mobile Display were "likely" producing in-cell touch panels that have reached yields good enough for the two companies to participate.
The two companies would start production of the in-cell panels sometime this spring, but it's not clear whether this schedule includes Apple. The same tipster pointed toward the actual phone launch in the summer, but as with any rumor, there's no exact concrete proof. Most rumors and talk have pointed toward a September/October release of the next iPhone.
In-cell touch has been talked about before, and if it's baked into the next iPhone, it would point toward a significant redesign of the popular smartphone. In-cell tech puts the touch sensors within the display's TFT layer instead of its own surface, which slims down the overall screen quite a lot. It also sports the additional upside of bringing the LCD, AMOLED, or similiar display closer to the surface, which leads to a more direct interaction with what's on the screen, and sometimes a brighter picture.
ASUS' Transformer Pad 300 should arrive in the US on April 22 if Amazon's site is correct, where it has been listed to be available for $489.99. For those in Europe, it will arrive mid-May for EUR 400 (roughly $525).
The ASUS Transformer Pad 300 (TF300) sports a 10.1-inch screen with a 1280x800 screen resolution, 1.2GHz Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and software-wise rocks Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Compared to the Transformer Prime's specs of a 1.3GHz processor, it's not too far behind. It is however thicker and heavier: 0.39-inch thick and 1.4lbs in weight, compared to the Prime's 0.33-inch and 1.29lbs in weight.
There's no word on the keyboard dock yet, but it should be around EUR 149 (or $195) when it hits.
Let's face it, Samsung doesn't like Apple. Apple is in Samsung's sights and it will do anything possible to beat Apple out of its market share. On May 3, in London, a press event is being held to release Samsung's new Galaxy S III phone. The launch is shrouded with Apple-like security and secrecy, so what I'm about to tell you is a rumor.
At the launch, in addition to the Galaxy S III, Samsung could be launching a new cloud service to compete with Apple's iCloud. Dubbed S-Cloud, it would be Samsung's competing service. They will be almost the same in what they do (sync data to the cloud and across devices), but it is rumored that S-Cloud won't come with the content-uploading limitations found in Apple's offering.
Samsung is continuing in the Apple-like security and secrecy and has not said anything about S-Cloud or if it will launch at the May 3 event. However, there have been several reports that have surfaced recently claiming that Samsung is working towards this goal. Originally it was thought that it could launch in August.
It's further rumored that Samsung could have partnered with Microsoft to ensure a smooth global launch of the new service. I wonder if S-Cloud will come to old devices like mine. I guess it's true what they say, if you can't beat them, join them.
The update that has arrived today for the Samsung Galaxy SII phone in the United States had already been out in South Korea for sometime. Now today, we finally get an update to Ice Cream Sandwich, well, Galaxy SII phone owners do. I'm still on one of those Galaxy SI phones and I haven't seen an update past 2.3.4.
One of our friends over at Engadget was super excited when he woke up and found the screen seen above on his Galaxy SII. The update is for unlocked Galaxy SII phones only, meaning your phone needs to be an unlocked, non-carrier specific phone. But, you might as well check your settings for an update even if you don't have one of those.
Verizon 4G LTE network will spread its networking tentacles to more than 2/3 of Americans, starts on April 19
Verizon have just announced that they are bringing their 4G LTE network to 27 new markets and expanding service in 44 additional markets come April 19. Once Verizon starts this, 4G LTE will be available in 230 markets across the US.
Verizon's 4G LTE service will be made to more than 66-percent of America's population, and by the end of 2012 Verizon hopes to offer its service in over 400 markets, covering 260 million Americans. If you're ready for a mouthful of cities that will receive either new, or an expanded service, get ready:
On Thursday, Verizon will introduce 4G LTE service in Auburn and Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Pine Bluff, Siloam Springs and Van Buren, Ark.; Visalia/Porterville, Calif.; Fort Walton Beach and Ocala, Fla.; Brunswick, LaGrange and Macon/Warner Robins, Ga.; Peoria, Ill.; Kokomo/Logansport and Marion, Ind.; Dodge City, Garden City, Great Bend and Hays, Kan.; Salisbury, Md.; Cattaraugus/Allegany, N.Y.; Sandusky, Ohio; Ardmore and Ponca City, Okla.; Salem/Albany/Corvallis, Ore.; Pierre, S.D.; and Big Springs and Tyler, Texas.
During a panel with senior executives from Linley Group, Intel and Qualcomm, Amit Rohatagi, Principal Architect for MIPS Technologies detailed their mobile strategy of its company and the effects of collaboration with Chinese Ingenic Semiconductor.
MIPS-powered tablets have seen a stellar rise in shipment numbers, thanks to Google announcing that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will work on MIPS-based processors, MIPS started to grow in mainland China very unexpectedly.
We first saw Ainovo (sold under the Ainol brand) hit the market with a 7-inch Android 4.0-based tablet for just $99, after which the company began offering $79 and $119 parts, all of which continuously sold out. Ainol is said to be producing as much tablets as they can, and they're now seeing competing companies launching similar MIPS-powered tablets.
For a part that only went into mass production at the end of 2011, Ingenic Semiconductor have shipped 1.8 million chips for tablets. Their next step is to aim for 10 million units shipped by the end of this year. With the insane popularity of Ainovo's tablet, that shouldn't be a problem for Ingenic.
I love it when a rumor is proved false so quickly. Especially when it is proved wrong by the person who started the rumor. In this instance, Microsoft developer evangelist Nuno Silva has said on his blog that he was wrong. Apparently he confused applications with devices when he made the claim that there is an upgrade path.
"I mistakenly confused app compatibility with phone updateability, which caused the rumors we saw yesterday," Silva wrote. "I did not intend to give the impression I was offering new guidance on any products under development or their upgradeability." He was attempting to echo Microsoft's statements regarding app compatibility, he said.
The rumor which gained popularity yesterday has been denied by multiple sources for a while now, so the rumor came as a surprise. However, once one starts, it usually takes a while to go away. Windows Phone 7 currently supports only single-core processors and WVGA screens. For Windows Phone 8, it's likely that Microsoft will go to dual-core processors with higher res screens.
Microsoft refuses to go into any detail regarding the issue: "We have stated publicly that all apps in our marketplace today will run on the next version of Windows Phone. Beyond that, we have nothing to share about future releases." Although lacking the support for the upgrade will probably not affect Microsoft's already marginal sales.
We've all read the various rumors on what processor Samsung would opt to use in their next GALAXY device, which we don't really know the name of it, but more information has now surfaced on the subject. Samsung's Exynos 4412 processor is the one touted to go inside of the next GALAXY device, which will deliver "superlative benchmark performance".
This is the identical magic that is in Meizu's MX quad-core, which is said to be roughly 60-percent faster than the dual-core MX. Just like the GALAXY S II, the international version is the only one guaranteed to use the quad-core chip, if it does indeed get baked into the next GALAXY. This all comes from the same source of The Verge, who gave us some juicy info earlier on today.
Certain carriers would end up reverting to a dual-core processor in order to integrate LTE, which has happened just recently with HTC's One X on AT&T. This wouldn't give a huge cut in performance, but it would cut it down considerably in those intensive benchmarks. More info as it comes.
Samsung's next GALAXY phone is shrouded in so much secrecy, it's now being compared to Apple's paranoia-like state of hiding its next-gen products. But, it's for a good reason, Samsung probably knows their next GALAXY phone will be the biggest competitor to Apple's unreleased new iPhone, and doesn't want anyone getting the jump on them.
A news tip to The Verge has said that the test units are being put in generic enclosures that disguise the look of the smartphone for field testing. One of these examples was spotted by Gizmodo in Brazil (pictured above) and is reportedly "not even close" to the final look. It's also being reported that none of the photos or renders to-date have been accurate, said The Verge's insider. This insider also added that the final name wasn't available, which we already knew.
Asus apparently has a new Transformer tablet in the works and it has just been spotted available for pre-order on Amazon. The new device is called the Transformer TF300 and will, apparently, be available April 22 for an asking price of $489.99. I say asking price because it isn't being sold by Amazon. Rather, it is up for pre-order by Amazon Marketplace vendor "Spicy Bomb" and I have a feeling a bit of price inflation is occurring.
So what sets this apart from the Transformer Prime? Not much, actually. It features the same Tegra 3 processor, 10.1" 1280x800 display, 32GB of storage capacity, and 1GB of RAM. The TF300's CPU runs at a slightly diminished 1.2 Ghz versus the Prime's 1.3 Ghz. It's also slightly thicker and heavier than the Prime.
Since the tablet is a bit worse, I would expect it to be cheaper than the Prime. These concessions only yield you $10 in savings over the Prime's price on Newegg. This here is also why I think there is a bit of price inflation going on. We will see when the tablet releases which, according to the pre-order, should be April 22. A cheaper version of the Prime would be a welcome addition to Transformer family.
The iPad currently accounts for somewhere in the neighborhood of 70% of all tablets worldwide. Microsoft is desperate to claim some of this market share and push Apple and the iPad down to only 50% by mid 2013. To do this, Microsoft is planning on unleashing 32 Windows 8 based tablets before the end of the year is up.
The main part of this strategy seems to be based on the idea of flooding the market with tablets. Some of these tablets could hit the market as entry-level and come with a price tag of under $300...before tax. This would put them in the range of Amazon Kindle Fire and the rumoured Google Nexus tablet.
Apple could have some tricks remaining in order to combat these new tablets. There is that undying rumor of a smaller, cheaper iPad. Also, Apple makes quite a nice profit on the iPad. The profit is somewhere around 50%, so Apple has a large amount of leeway in the pricing of the regular iPad, if the rumor of the smaller iPad proves false.