Tablet shipments rose more than 112-percent in Q2 of this year, eclipsing netbook shipments for the first time. Tablet sales reportedly hit 13.6 million in Q2, a decent increase from Q1 which saw 6.4 million sold. Netbooks were the champions of Q1 with estimated sales of 8.4 million, roughly 2 million more than tablets.
The spike in tablet shipments is largely thanks to Apple's iPad 2. 68-percent of all tablets shipped globally in Q2 were iPad models. ABI Research group director, Jeff Orr says why many people are choosing tablets over netbooks:
Media tablets are perceived to be easy to use, compared to the keyboard and mouse interface of a netbook computer. Those who have avoided PCs because they are difficult to use - think the Baby Boomer generation and older - see media tablets as an opportunity to re-engage with Internet access.
Netbooks won't just disappear, though. They're still great value in underdeveloped counties where PC access at home is tougher to come by. Early adopters in the US, Japan, South Korea and Western Europe are expected to continue to drive tablet sales forward.
While certainly not the phone of choice for many in this day and age, Nokia's MeeGo-running N9 still has the ability to gain some love if people gave it a second look. If you need more incentive to spend a few minutes of your time looking at anything Nokia since Symbian pulled them down so far, perhaps this new video Nokia has posted on YouTube will do it for you.
The video will show you how the company uses its Finnish expertise in making the phone and may well be enough to earn some new found appreciation for what Nokia has always done well, produce quality, well built hardware.
The Commonwealth Bank has unveiled its near-field communication (NFC) payments product called Kaching. Kaching enables pay-anyone facilities through Facebook, e-mail and MasterCard PayPass. This is a great move by the CBA, as NFC allows data transmission over a range of approx. 10cm. An NFC-enabled chip in a smartphone can interact with a proximity card reader to make mobile payments.
Kaching is set to allow customers (via the app) pay each other via e-mail, Facebook or mobile, and via an iCarte case for iPhone or pay via MasterCard's contact-less PayPass terminals. Users don't even need to be Commonwealth Bank customers to receive payments, with non-bank customers directed to an external collection site.
The App is set to be compatible with Apple's iOS 4.3 and above, with cases designed for the iPhone 4 and 4S. CBA's chief information officer, Michael Harte has said that the Kaching app and the iCarte case have been designed in close consultation with Apple. Dubbed iCarte 420, the case contains an "embedded smart-chip" that can be configured for debit, credit and pre-paid use and also has the ability to read NFC-enabled advertisements and transit systems.
Android engineer Romain Guy has announced via Twitter that Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich will support USB game pads and HDMI. This will essentially turn ICS-powered devices into video game consoles. There aren't many other details to add at the moment, but its clear that you'll require a micro USB adapter in order to use the game pad.
We do have Sony's PlayStation Phone, the Xperia Play, which sports a slide-out game pad complete with directional pad, four thumb buttons and two touch-sensitive joysticks. But, Ice Cream Sandwich is ready to knock it up a notch or five. Being able to use future Android 4.0-powered smartphones and tablets is very, very cool. Especially considering that the upcoming NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core powered chips will rock tablets in the near future, with tablets featuring full-sized USB ports, there would be no need for micro USB, etc.
All you'd need is a USB game pad and you'd be off - it will surely change the smartphone and tablet gaming market with something that Apple just cannot offer right now or anytime in the near future. Galaxy Nexus is set to drop on November 10 if you go by current rumors.
ViewSonic has just confirmed that its ViewPad 7e, a low cost tablet running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) is scheduled to become available in North America at the start of next week - ie. the end of this month. This is about when it's due to hit the European market as well.
This 7-inch (800 x 600) tablet will come in at just $200 USD, sporting ViewSonic's ViewScene 3D interface with both finger and stylus input supported. It's powered by a Cortex-A8 single-core chip @ 1GHz with 512MB of RAM and has 4GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, a G-sensor, ambient light sensor, 3 megapixel rear-facing camera, front facing VGA camera, 1xUSB 2.0 port and a mini HDMI output.
"Our ViewPad tablet line offers a robust assortment of solutions designed to meet every individual's mobile computing needs - spanning from business to entertainment," said Michael Holstein, vice president of business development, ViewSonic. "The ViewPad 7e extends our quality commitment to consumers that want an excellent mobile multimedia experience, at a very aggressive price point."
A decade has gone by since the first iPod was released.. 10 years. Wow. Apple, a decade ago now, launched an MP3 player that would (not at the time) contribute to the shaping of today's mobile computing market. Along with being a best-selling portable media player and saving Apple from near irrelevance, the iPod influenced many of Apple's ambitious and revolutionary projects, forcing most of the industry in a non-stop game of catch-up.
Just over half a decade later, Apple launched the iPhone - it was a stand-out product then, and still is a top-selling product today. The same goes for most iPod launches since 2001 as well as the launch of the iPad.
The iPod and other Apple-related prompted Apple to change its name from "Apple Computer, Inc." to just "Apple Inc". This would be mainly the drop of selling computers, but media players, phones, etc. Good work, Apple. I can't wait to see where you are another 10 years from now!
iPad 2 Smart Cover has security flaw, circumvent the passcode and access the last open app on the iPad 2
Another day, another Apple problem it seems. Today we have the problem that involves the iPad 2 and its Smart Cover, where it will allow you to circumvent the passcode and access the last open app on the iPad 2. The hack requires iOS 5, an iPad 2 Smart Cover and a few steps to do so.
In order to hax0r the iPad 2, you'll have to install the Smart Cover on your locked iPad 2 then open the cover. From there, you'll see the passcode screen. Tap Cancel then hold down the power button on top of the iPad 2 for a few seconds to activate the 'power down' slider. But instead of powering down, close the smart cover, wait for a second then open the cover again.
Press cancel to close the power down slider and you will be put back into the last application you were running. If you were put into the Home Screen, you can't actually access any apps, but you can playback media. Where the real risk is, is if you were in Messages or Mail... some seriously sensitive data can be accessed and it doesn't even require a hardware hack.
Google's upcoming Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich' will include "full support for stylus input events" in the OS - including features such as pressure sensitivity and the ability to distinguish motion events from different sources; as in a pen or your finger. The support hangs on hardware-level support from tablet and smartphone makers, but hey, the native support in the OS is a big, big start.
This is something Apple have yet to include, and could push ICS in a different direction for smartphones and tablets for people on-the-go. Windows 8 will most likely include the same kind of support, but ICS is here, now.
iSuppli have torn the iPhone 4S apart to reveal the stock iPhone 4S 16GB modem carries a build of materials (BOM) of just $188 before factoring in manufacturing costs. Considering manufacturing costs for Apple are quite low because of where they're manufactured, Apple are making a tidy amount of money here.
The 32GB model is virtually identical with a BOM cost of $207 where the 64GB model's BOM is $245. NAND flash is the most expensive part of the iPhone 4S, so this is where the differerence comes into play.
16GB NAND will set you back $19.20 where 64GB is a hike up to $76.80. The electrical system is the most expensive subsystem sitting at $33, followed by wireless capabilities at $23.54 and the display at just $23. The A5 processor powering the iPhone 4S is just $15, while the camera subsystem is $17.60.
This teardown only takes hardware into account, other expenses such as software, licensing and royalties are not included. Manufacturing costs are $8 per handset, regardless of capacity.
Kogan have just released a new low-cost tablet in the UK which is set to target the audience who are unable or unwilling to spend more on a mobile device. The pricing in the UK for the 8-inch tablet is at around the £120 price point where the 10-inch version is just £30 more at £150.
Kogan has a business model which requires no middleman, designing, assembling and delivering low-cost tablets directly to customers. This keeps the prices extremely low. Both tablets sport capacitive touchscreens and a 1GHz processor.
Well, that was fast, Google. Along with the announcement of the next-gen Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Google have announced their all-new version of their Android OS codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich. Android 4.0 continues the development, ideas and design of the tablet-based Honeycomb, but will go onto smartphones, too.
Android 4.0 is an open source release which means any hardware manufacturer that wants to tinker with it can download the source and sell it with Android 4.0 on top. This is something Honeycomb never offered.
We've talked a bit about Android 4.0 'ICS', but if you haven't seen the news yet, ICS sports unlocking the phone through facial recognition, syncing Chrome bookmarks is now default, built-in NFC powers the new Android Beam app which lets you share content, maps, contacts, app and more by tapping the back of your phone to another NFC-enabled Android device.
Our Deal of the Day today is the B&H Photo Video - Apple TrackPad for $60.57 with Free Shipping.
Offer: Lowest price on the net, even among eBay folks. If you want one of these, get it here and before they raise the price to match everyone else. Free shipping and no tax except in NY.
The ASUS man himself, Jonney Shih has within the last few hours unveiled the "next-generation Transformer tablet" at AsiaD. It's the same one that Steve teased just a few hours ago. Jonney however, confirmed everything we need to know.
The Transformer 2 has been dubbed "Transformer Prime", it will sport NVIDIA's Tegra 3 SoC which is a qu ad-core processor, a 10-inch display, mini-HDMI, a 14.5-hour battery, an SD card slot and a top lid that looks pretty much identical to ASUS' new Zenbook line of products. The Transformer was a thickish tablet (I own one myself) but this Transformer Prime is just 8.3mm thick!
Apple have really stumbled with the iPhone 4S launch, yesterday I reported about the various screen issues, and today we have an issue with Siri. Siri, by default, can be activated even if the iPhone 4S is passcode locked. This is great if you are the one wanting to use it, but what if you leave the phone unattended, or, lose the phone altogether?
Anyone who gained access to your Siri-sporting iPhone 4S could take a look at your upcoming calendar appointments and know your every move over the upcoming days, weeks, months and it also gives access to send e-mails or text messages. Thankfully, there are limitations. While the iPhone 4S is passcode locked, you can't launch any apps, you can't send e-mail or text messages to anyone not on your contact list.
Reports coming out of the United Daily News believe that Samsung and AU Optronics have sent 7.85-inch screen samples to Apple for consideration in future products, the rumored iPad mini. Rumors of a smaller iPad have made their way around the Internet a few times now, and are once again doing so. Steve Jobs was against the idea of a 7-inch tablet, being quoted in an earnings call last year that Apple won't make a 7-inch tablet because the screen is too small to express the software.
Jobs believed that developers wouldn't be happy writing app code to accommodate varying screen sizes in the same product line (what about consumers?). Now that new CEO Tim Cook is directing the Apple ship, this could change. An iPad mini would be even more portable than the current offerings as well as costing just a portion of the price, allowing Apple to gain more market share at an even lower price point.
It would also be great competition for Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire, as well as the varying GALAXY Tab devices from super-competitor and main threat, Samsung. Apple is expected to unveil the iPad 3 sometime in early 2012 based on the 9.7-inch display. Rumors have again fueled on the iPad 3, with most (including myself) expected it to sport a resolution of 2044x1536.
Our latest poll had over 2,600 people who answered, what is the Are you going to buy an Apple iPhone 4S smartphone?
One thing is pretty clear - most TweakTown readers are not fans of Apple's new iPhone 4S. At least, they don't intend on buying one of these new smartphones.
Only 10% said they are going to buy an iPhone 4S, with a massive 57% saying they will not.
We're still waiting on a confirmed date of launch for the next-gen ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, said to be anytime between now and the end of November. However, ASUS has just provided a short 22 second video showing it off briefly for the first time and it sure is looking mighty schmick, especially when compared to the first Transformer.
What we've heard about the ASUS Transformer 2 in more recent reports is that it will sport NVIDIA's upcoming quad core Tegra 3 SoC. The video confirms rumour of the brushed metal finish and you can see it looks MUCH thinner than the first gen model; similar to ASUS' recently launched Zenbook lineup. Other things we can ascertain from the brief video is a new camera with single LED flash and of course the return of the keyboard dock, which also looks to have undergone several tweaks to better suit this sleek and sexy tablet.
Motorola have unveiled the RAZR successor, sporting Android, 4G LTE, a 1.2GHz dual-core chip and is constructed from Kevar, is a nice piece of kit. The new RAZR is only 7.1mm thick, making it the thinnest of its kind.
It also sports 1GB of RAM, 16GB of on-board storage, 12.5 hours of talk time, a 1800 mAh battery, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display with strengthened Gorilla Glass, a steel core and Kevlar fiber, which makes it both strong and lightweight.
Samsung has had the advantage when it comes with Google's Ice Cream Sandwich/Android 4.0 OS, but it doesn't mean that other smartphone manufacturers have been left out of the race. HTC have released an official statement to confirm that its looking at Google's latest OS, and combing through its new features and functionality.
HTC say that they're figuring out how to make it happen without forcing sacrifices to the usability and performance of each HTC product. Whatever HTC cook up, it'll be good to see how they integrate their amazing Sense UI with the new Ice Cream Sandwich UI. HTC are careful not to commit to the new Android, and it has not given any particular timeframe or roadmap. The full statement is shown below:
We are excited about the latest update for Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, and are currently reviewing its features and functionality to determine our upgrade plans. Our goal for Android updates is to give every customer an improved user experience, which means balancing each phone's unique hardware, HTC Sense experience and the Android kernel. While our goal is to upgrade as many of our recent devices as possible, we are committed to maintaining every phone's performance and usability first. Please stay tuned for more updates on specific device upgrade plans.
Another juicy rumor has hit the tubes, this time it was from the Dell World conference last week, where CEO Michael Dell reiterated his support for the upcoming Microsoft Windows 8 operating system as a tablet platform. He stated that Dell would release a "wide range of products around Windows 8's release".
Then we have a report from DigiTimes that claims the company's first tablet devices sporting Windows 8 could arrive in Q3 2012, possibly during the back-to-school season. The report also claims that HP will be amongst the first manufacturers to launch Windows 8-based tablets. HP has previously stated that although it discontinued webOS devices, it wasn't ready to leave the tablet market altogether.
Why the change to focus on alternative tablet platforms, instead of Android? It has to do with the market saturation and the pricing war triggered by Amazon's Kindle Fire. Sources also point blame at Motorola's "family edition" Xoom, which will sell at Best Buy for $379.
ASUS and Acer will still offer Android-based devices aimed at consumers, where Lenovo will use Android, but for their business-use ThinkPad tablets, they'll be using Windows 8 for its business-orientated tablets going into the future.
Not only do Apple have most (if not all?) of their manufacturing done in China, but it appears that China is now Apple's second-largest market, where they accounted for 16-percent of Apple's sales during the last quarter, with $4.5 billion in revenue, a year-over-year increase of a whopping 270-percent.
In comparison to fiscal 2009, China accounted for just a measly 2-percent of Apple revenue. Now, "the sky is the limit" says Apple CEO, Tim Cook. Cook also revealed that Brazil was up 118-percent year-over-year, Russia looks "promising" and the Middle East is, according to Tim, a "significant opportunity".
Keep in mind though, that Apple is not launching as full an assault in other countries as in China, Cook noted. Apple's approach in China is virtually the same as the US: six retail stores, 200 approved resellers, an online store and of course, advertising.
Around the world, Apple has 40,000 iPad point of sales, 50,000 for the iPod and 120,000 for the iPhone. Apple CFO, Peter Oppenheimer says that Apple plan to open 40 new stores in fiscal 2012, with over 75-percent of them outside the US.